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'Global natural disasters affected over 206 m people last year'

Aug 22 (DN) According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in 2011 alone, 302 hazards resulted in disasters that claimed almost 30,000 lives, affected over 206 million people and inflicted damage worth an estimated US $ 366 billion, said UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator Subinay Nandy in a speech to mark World Humanitarian Day at the UN office in Colombo yesterday. more..

Govt. strategy spearheaded by ‘media mafia’ – UNP

Aug 22 (Island) UNP MP Harin Fernando on Monday night lambasted a section of the media for helping the UPFA strategy to undermine the Opposition, particularly the UNP. Alleging that the media was obviously a part of the ongoing political conspiracy, Fernando declared that there was an influential ‘media mafia’ in operation in support of the UPFA’s political strategy. The UNPer was responding to a query by the media at more..

2 survive to tell of abduction squads

Aug 22 (AP) The politician knew something was amiss when a suspicious white van pulled alongside him at a Colombo park and four men got out, pretending to exercise. Ravindra Udayashanta alerted his supporters, and police. Soon, the gunbattle began. In Sri Lanka, anyone who has crossed someone of importance is wary of white vans, said to be the vehicles of choice for shadowy squads who “disappear” opponents of powerful people. more..

Speaker allows motion to summon ex-SEC boss

Aug 22 (DM) The Speaker yesterday allowed the UNP to move a motion summoning former SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne to the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to obtain details on insider trading in the Colombo Stock Market. Mr. Karunaratne resigned from his post last Friday saying that pressure from certain quarters was making it difficult for him to function as SEC Chairman. more..

Editorial: Markets are not politics!

Aug 22 (DM) Today you are against the executive power and tomorrow you are with the ruling party and voting for it. In those good old days you shouted for the rights of the young and now you may be feeling that it’s your patriotic duty to restrain the rights of the same group who have now grown old. But, who cares? It’s all politics. If you don’t change your stance all the time, people will rule you out from it. But markets are not politics. They are far more sophisticated and run on integrity and sentiment. more..

Pension rights for over 23000 Samurdhi employees

Aug 22 (GDI) Establishment of the Divineguma Development Department fulfils a pledge given in the Mahinda Chinthana Future Vision that Samurdhi officers who were in a non-pensionable category will be absorbed to the govt service and will be provided pension rights. This Department will amalgamate the Samurdhi Authority established in 1995, Southern Development Authority established in 1996 and the Kandurata Development Authority established in the year 2006. more..

Consumer spending drops amidst cost increases - Nielsen

Aug 22 (DM) Consumer spending dipped during the second quarter of this year as inflation hit 9.8% in July, despite an annual average inflation of approximately 6%, according to a report from ACNielsen. “Most indicators show that at least in the short term, consumers are cutting down on spending due to increasing costs and concerns about the need to pay off debts. Increasing borrowing costs as a result of a spike in interest rates more..

FUTA levels fresh threat to govt.

Aug 22 (Island) University teachers yesterday warned the education ministry that if it decided to evaluate answer scripts of the GCE (A/L) exam without their involvement, they would not approve the admission of those students to the universities. Vice President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) Ven. Dambara Amila thera said that they could do it through their members of the faculty boards, senate and the council of respective universities. more..

‘No possibility of destabilizing Sri Lanka’

Aug 22 (DN) Pro-LTTE elements do not have opportunities to destabilize the hard won peace of the country again, Defense and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He was delivering an address as Chief Guest at the annual convocation of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) at the BMICH yesterday. Over 150 students who successfully completed their courses in respect of the Certificate, Diploma , Higher Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations were more..

Range Bandara’s wife discharged

Aug 22 (Island) The estranged second wife of controversial UNP MP Range Bandara, who was warded at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital, after a beating last Friday night, was discharged last evening after being examined by the Judicial Medical Officer of the Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila. The JMO report had given her a clean bill of health. Earlier, CAT scan and other tests done at SJH, too, had determined that there were no injuries. more..

Moving from Tamil Eelam to Eelam Tamil

Aug 22 (DM) Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi seems to have quietly acquiesced to New Delhi’s pressure to shift the focus of his widely publicised “Eelam Tamils’ Rights Protection Conference” on August 12 from ‘Tamil Eelam’ to ‘Eelam Tamil.’ The exercise was more than semantics; except for two – Thol Thirumavalavan of the Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi (VCK) and Veeramani of the Dravida Kazagham (DK) – other mainline speakers hardly made a more..

Court rejects to release computers of Mud Websites

Aug 22 (GDI) The CID yesterday told the Court that and websites have been identified as scurrilous and mudslinging websites and they cannot be considered media institutions. The CID also told the Court that the suspects arrested from these Mud Websites cannot be considered as professional journalists. The CID made these assertions when the case against the two websites was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate K.A.G. Punchihewa. more..

Sri Lanka 'stock market mafia' stories scaring foreign investors

Aug 22 (LBO) Stories about a 'stock market mafia' in Sri Lanka is scaring foreign investors, Dilith Jayaweera, a leveraged investor who made a presentation to the president shortly before a securities regulator resigned, said. Foreign investors however have been buying into companies with strong fundamentals and good management after Sri Lanka's market fell and valuations fell to levels more comparable with more..

Sri Lanka gives nod to USD1.59bn worth hotel projects

Aug 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka has approved 129 projects involving the building of 9,364 hotel rooms up to July 2012, deputy minister Lakshman Abeywardene said. A 'one stop shop' at the ministry of economic development which fast tracks investment clearances had received 217 applications worth 2.14bn US dollars up to July 2012, he said. Minister said this year Sri Lanka was on track to welcome 1,050,000 tourists in 2012 up 22.7 percent from a year earlier. more..

Sri Lanka introduces new land policy to promote tourism

Aug 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has introduced new land policy to attract foreign investment for tourism. Deputy minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Cabinet has given nod to lease out state lands for hotel projects for foreign investors under 99 years lease agreement. "The lands will be leased out on the prices valued by Govt Chief Valuer," he said. Sri Lanka's robust post-war tourism sector continued to grow, posting a 7.8 percent rise in July from a year earlier, more..

Sri Lanka appreciates India’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s post-conflict era

Aug 22 (GDI) India's contribution towards resettlement and reconstruction programmes in the conflict affected two provinces in North & East was a vital factor said minister Basil Rajapaksa, when he met the visiting Indian Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja on Tuesday. He thanked the Indian Minister Kumari Selja for leading the delegation that brought the Sacred Kapilawastu Relics more..

Sri Lanka Seychelles to share experiences for economic development

Aug 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Seychelles will establish direct Air link between the two countries immediately enabling increased trade and tourism between the two island nations and neighboring countries. At the discussion held between the visiting president of the Republic of Seychelles Alix Michel and Minister Basil Rohana Rajapaksa, at the Hilton Hotel yesterday, it was decided to open up a direct flight service between the two countries immediately. more..

Pillayan’s absence a non issue says TMVP

Aug 22 (CG) The absence of former Eastern province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) during a visit to Batticaloa yesterday by a government delegation including some Ministers and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been termed as a non issue by the TMVP. TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana said that TMVP leader did not attend the meeting as the meeting was purely on development issues organized by the UDA which is headed by the Defence Secretary. more..

Sri Lanka coal plant: Chinese designer says accusations unfair

Aug 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Chinese built coal plant which is breaking down repeatedly has been over-used without scheduled maintenance but had still saved billions of rupees to the power utility, its designer has said. Zhao Wenxue, from the Northwest Electric Design Institute which designed the plant said in a statement that most of the accusations leveled against the plant, built by China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) are unfair. more..

Sri Lanka detains 152 on boats headed to Australia

Aug 22 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy says it has detained 152 people who were attempting to migrate illegally to Australia in fishing trawlers. It says naval ships detained 69 people on a trawler off Sri Lanka's west coast on Tuesday and 83 others on two other boats off its east coast on Monday. It says all 152 were Sri Lankans and were handed over to police. It is illegal in Sri Lanka to leave from unauthorized ports. The maximum sentence is five years in prison. Police say so far this year they have arrested more..

People pawning jewellery says UNP

Aug 22 (CG) The United National Party (UNP) claims that over the last two years several people have pawned their jewellery. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that according to some bank managers there is no room in their safety deposit boxes as they are full with pawned items. He said that people are pawning their valuables in order to borrow money to survive as a result of the rise in the cost of living. “The govt does not know the suffering of the people. It is really disappointing when we see how the govt is wasting public funds. more..

Sri Lanka condemns Buddha-kissing French tourists

Aug 22 (AFP) Three French tourists convicted in Sri Lanka for desecrating a temple by photographing themselves kissing and posing with a Buddha statue drew condemnation Wednesday for their "uncivilised behaviour". The JHU, which is in the coalition govt, said the trio of travellers aged 26-35 had been insensitive to the religious feelings of the island's majority Buddhists. "Sri Lankans consider this statue to be sacred. more..

UPFA regrets A’pura incident

Aug 22 (DM) The UPFA today expressed its remorse over difficulties faced by the A/L students who were disturbed by the noisy election campaign held in Anuradhapura while they were sitting the exam. The incident which occurred last Saturday was blamed on former NCP Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake. Sequent to the incident the Elections Commissioner had asked the UPFA to take action against Mr. Dissanayake. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said his party would assure that more..

MDP wants MR to push Waheed on polls

Aug 22 (CG) The main Maldivian opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to push Maldives President Mohamed Waheed to hold early Presidential elections. The Maldivian President and a delegation of senior Ministers and officials are scheduled to undertake a State Visit to Sri Lanka from tomorrow at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. During this visit, the two Presidents will conduct bilateral consultations to review the relations between the two countries. more..

Akashi briefed on Sri Lanka's post-war developments

Aug 22 (MEA) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris today, briefed Japan’s Special Envoy, Ambassador Yasushi Akashi in detail about the procedures set in motion by the govt for implementation of the LLRC recommendations, the progress already achieved and priority objectives for the future. He explained that the work connected with the resettlement of internally displaced persons, the re-integration of ex-combatants and de-mining operations are more..

Contrasting wins for Sri Lanka, West Indies

Aug 22 (CI) Sandun Weerakkody and Lahiru Madushanka starred as Sri Lanka routed Ireland by 109 runs in the ninth-place play-off semi-final in Brisbane. Sri Lanka chose to bat and their total of 258 was anchored by Weerakkody's unbeaten 112. Weerakkody and Angelo Jayasinghe (55) put on 87 for the fourth wicket to take Sri Lanka to 155 for 3 in the 35th over as Sri Lanka looked set for a big total. Ireland captain George Dockrell picked up three quick wickets as Sri Lanka slipped from 197 for 4 to 219 for 8 more..

Professors and students take to the streets after authorities shut down universities

Aug 22 (AN) The govt of Sri Lanka yesterday ordered the closure of all of the country's universities, except medical faculties. It took the step in response to a two-month long strike by professors. For the authorities, such action is jeopardising students' future. For the Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA), the decision by politicians is "stupid and unjust" and will have as a consequence the destruction of the country's educational sector. more..

FUTA on positive govt. response

Aug 22 (AN) After a meeting with Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Tuesday the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) said that there was a possibility that the ongoing countrywide university strike would be called off next week. FUTA President Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that discussions with Minister had been successful and that both parties had begun developing a framework to implement the proposals made by university teachers unions. more..

K. Indrapala, a story of a regressive evolution

Aug 23 (NS) Why did Professor K. Indrapala write his 2005 book, ‘The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity’? Some people suggest external duress (Nalin De Silva; ‘he became a prisoner of the LTTE’) while some allege duress exerted by the subconscious. Michael Roberts, an old Peradeniya colleague of Indrapala said; “knowing Indrapala’s history and the recluse position he adopted after criticism in the 1970s I believe he is trying to reclaim his Tamilness as a final swan song in old age”. more..

Art, not just for art’s sake

Aug 23 (NS) Your columnist cannot draw. Over 30 years ago he was taught by his grandmother to draw a seascape, with coconut trees, the odd bird and sand, which is about the only thing charcoal, pastels, pencil or watercolors in hand can generate to date. There is also the enduring gap between what in his mind distinctly depicts a bird in flight against a setting sun, and what for many others, an indeterminate dark blob signifies in the middle of an orange splotch, but more..

Sampoor: Destroying a community for development in the name of security

Aug 23 (DBS) On the 1st of August, English daily “The Island” quoted a top UN official praising the Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) for ‘achieving excellent results in its Northern and Eastern rehabilitation and resettlement programme and post-conflict economic development drive’. Wrapping up his three-day visit to Sri Lanka, John Ging, Director of Operations of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has more..

1956: When ordinary men got absolute power a new culture of corruption dawned

Aug 23 (DBS) If you want succeed in politics, you have to exude charisma. Voters tend to soft-pedal allegations of corruption made against such a politician. The iconic leader with charisma and charm is permitted to rule unchecked. Peasants and the common man are swayed by the oratory and the sheen emanating from his glowing personality and would feel assured that the he would lead them to the ‘promised land’. Lal Bahadur Shasthri died a pauper and did not even own a house. more..

Sampanthan to move motion pertaining to North – East situation in Parliament

Aug 23 (DBS) Sir, I hereby give notice that I shall on Wednesday 22nd August 2012 at adjournment after question time, as a matter of urgent public importance as per the agreement reached at the Leaders’ Meeting move the following motion pertaining to the North East: Whereas more than three years have lapsed since the conclusion of the war on 19th May 2009 during the course of which grave violations of international human rights laws and international humanitarian laws occurred. more..

Enters the space race: Sri Lanka to break the final frontier

Aug 23 (SO) Centuries ago, there was evidence to suggest that King Ravana of Sri Lanka used a wooden plane to fly across to India. However, since then, this amazing technology the Sri Lankans had was never heard of. During recent times, if someone said that Sri Lankans were to build an airplane, the world would have laughed it off. However, President Rajapaksa thought otherwise! He did not want to build an airplane, but more..

Bandula hits out at teachers

Aug 23 (Island) Minister Bandula Gunawardena found fault with teacher trade unions, for blowing the issue, pertaining to errors in question papers, out of proportion with the intention of instigating the public against govt. In a reply speech to a series of questions raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, during a special statement made to Parliament on Tuesday, the Minister said that there weren’t serious errors. A group of trade unionists with ulterior motives more..

Apologising for Saffron terror

Aug 23 (CT) Rauff Hakeem is a generous man. A week or so ago, he issued what he referred to as an ‘unreserved apology’ to all Buddhists in Sri Lanka for a remark he made on the campaign trail that some people had interpreted as an insult to the Sangha. Indeed, he didn’t just say sorry. The SLMC leader also praised the pluralism practised by Sinhalese Buddhists from as long ago as the time of King Senarath, who gave Muslims land in the Eastern Province when they were being more..

Illusion-mongering, for Geneva

Aug 23 (SL) The Rajapaksa administration’s tryst with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is just two months away. India, Spain and Benin are assigned to review the Lankan case; indubitably, Delhi’s will be the decisive voice. The UPR report will be submitted to the next UNHRC session. That session will also review the progress made by the Rajapaksa administration in implementing its own LLRC Report, since the one year grace-period accorded to Colombo more..

Editorial: A big lie exposed

Aug 23 (Island) The problem with lying is that there is no end to it. Lies have to be remembered all the time unlike the truth. It was Mark Twain who famously said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." A lie also comes with a short lifespan and has to be replaced with another upon its expiry. The govt's claim that the striking university teachers were reporting back for work in compliance with Minister S.B. Dissanayake's request to that effect has turned out to be a big lie. Minister Dissanayake is left with egg on his face. more..

Lanka to participate in Asian Science Camp in Israel

Aug 23 (DN) Five young scientists from Sri Lanka will travel to Israel next week and join 300 counterparts from all over Asia to participate in the most important conference in the world of science for young people. Jerusalem is hosting the sixth Asian Science Camp (ASC), the most important scientific encounter in the world for young scientists from all over Asia and the Pacific. The science camp or The Summit of Genius, hosted each year in a different Asian country is more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – August 21, 2012