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We have fulfilled SLMC guidelines: SAITM

Aug 24 (DM) The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) said yesterday that despite criticism from several groups the private medical faculty had fulfilled the guidelines of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and would reapply for SLMC registration at the end of the year. SAITM Director Dr. Sameera Seneratne said that the SAITM teaching hospital would be up and running by the first week of October and that unions and organizations that criticized the private faculty would then have no leg to stand on. more..

Sri Lanka dismisses threat from oil spill

Aug 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Friday dismissed any threat by spilling oil from a sunken ship off country's western coastal belt. The Disaster Management Center (DMC) said the leaked oil is still in the deep sea off the island and there is no threat so far. DMC's Deputy Director Sarath Kumara said that the oil leak is currently in the deep sea 4 to 10 nautical miles off Colombo. "At present there is no threat that the oil would reach Sri Lankan shore," Kumara said. Most of the oil from the ship had been removed before the vessel sank more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 24.08.2012

Questions raised over income of the SL Cricket Board

Aug 24 (NF) It was revealed in parliament yesterday, that Sri Lanka Cricket had made a profit of 1297.6 million rupees in the last two years. Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket, Nuzki Mohommad said that although Sri Lanka Cricket had made a profit on paper, cash flow issues needed to be resolved. The Minister of Sports tabling a paper in parliament yesterday, pointed out that Sri Lanka Cricket had suffered a loss of 71.6 million rupees in 2009. The paper submitted in parliament notes that more..

Independent Teachers’ Union to not withdraw from paper-marking?

Aug 24 (NF) The Sri Lanka Independent Teachers’ Union says that it will not withdraw from marking the G.C.E. A/L Exam answer scripts. Issuing a communique, the union pointed out that they were astonished to hear that two teacher services unions had withdrawn from marking the A/L answer scripts, in support of the strike action launched by the university lecturers. The communique bearing the signature of President of the Sri Lanka Independent Teacher’s Union, more..

UNP demands accountability for Lakvijaya breakdowns

Aug 24 (AD) The UNP today stated that seven of the country’s main power plants were built under the Mahaweli Project and none of them had broken down as much as the Lakvijaya power plant, which has broken down around 12 times last year. Lakvijaya power plant has broken down 12 times during last year and the individuals who undertook contracts to build the plant should answer to this as they are responsible, more..

Diesel samples to be given to ITI

Aug 24 (NF) The Ministry of Petroleum Industries states that a sample from the stock of diesel which gave rise to controversy recently, will be handed over to the Industrial Technology Institute to find out whether there was a bacterial development owing to micro-organism presence in the stock of diesel. The Ministry noted that this step will be taken as per the recommendations of the three-member committee appointed to inquire into the stock of diesel. A release issued by the Ministry of Petroleum Industries states that more..

Sri Lanka's foreign inflows buoyant on tourism, remittances

Aug 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's foreign inflows remain positive due to growing tourism and remittances earnings despite a challenging global economy. Earnings from tourism in June 2012 grew by 20.6 percent year-on- year, to 63 million U.S. dollars, while during the first six months of 2012, earnings from tourism have grown at a robust rate of 24.3 percent year-on-year, to 460 million U.S. dollars. Data showed that the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka totaled 65,245 in June, more..

Chief suspect in Wellawatte triple murder arrested

Aug 24 (AD) The chief suspect in the triple murder which recently took place in Ramakrishna Terrace, Wellawatte has been arrested, police said today. The 28-year-old, Prabath Kumaraswamy, is said to be the son of the murdered couple and was suspected to be involved in their deaths as he had been missing since the incident. The three persons, an elderly couple and their daughter, whose bodies were found inside a more..

Selja launches project to restore temple in northern Lanka

Aug 24 (PTI) India has launched a project to restore the Thiruketheeswaram Temple in Sri Lanka's northern district of Mannar. India and Sri Lanka are the closest of neighbours, with the edifice of the relationship built upon a legacy of intellectual cultural, religious and linguistic interactions over a period of 2500 years, Union Minister for Culture Kumari Selja said while launching the project. Thiruketheeswaram Temple, one of the five sacred Ishwarams dedicated to Lord Shiva more..

No action against those who defame me - MR

Aug 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Police Chief not to institute any action against the parliamentarians and local politicians who had allegedly made defaming statements about him. “This is in reference to a news item published in the newspapers about investigations being carried out by the CID to take the legal action against these politicians,” the presidential office said in a statement quoting the President. The President has also said that as a matured politician more..

'Committee trying to protect crooks'

Aug 24 (CT) The three-member committee appointed to look into the substandard diesel issue is attempting to protect the fuel importer and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) officials who were involved in the corrupt deal, CPC trade unions alleged. They also said the committee, while attempting to protect these officials, also attempts to make out to the public that imported diesel is substandard. more..

The core problem is the Elites, not the People

Aug 25 (CT) This article is a response to Ms. Ambika Satkunanathan and Mr. Asanga Welikala, who both wrote detailed responses to my previous article ‘Reconciliation in Sri Lanka means the youth must lead the way’. Both responses are extremely logical and based on the assumption that the problem in Sri Lanka is between ethnic identities of Tamils and Sinhalese, not the political paradigm. This is where my argument differs in core content, as I do not recognise that Tamils and more..

‘Eelam dream’ and Tamil elitism

Aug 25 (CT) The LTTE was crushed. The face of the LTTE, Prabhakaran was eliminated. We celebrated, ate ‘kiribath’, and even ignored the relentless abuses and excesses of our leaders just to show our gratitude. The prolonged curse of war was finally at an end. Yet, the voice of the LTTE was howling with pain. And this howls of pain seem to be continuing! No, it is not the pain of the crushing defeat. The real pain lies somewhere else! The LTTE waged war for a separate country for Tamils, more..

Madugalle on the evolution of cricket

Aug 25 (DM) Ranjan Madugalle, the chief match referee of the ICC, is more of a silent man who lets his decisions do the talking. Having officiated in 136 Test matches and 260 plus ODIs, by far the most by any ICC official, Madugalle has seen the game evolved since his playing days at Royal College as far back as 1979. Thus he becomes one of the most qualified people to voice his feelings on all three formats of the game. more..

Embracing the full menu of human rights

Aug 25 (DM) The disproportionate focus on human rights from a negative perspective has sadly resulted in detraction from understanding the role that human rights can in fact play in a post-war setting such as ours. The time is ripe for human rights to be approached positively, recognizing its value and ability to contribute to the process of national healing and reconciliation. One of the key advantages that civil and political rights offer is that, when, properly implemented, it enables citizens to feel more..

Air Force helicopter showers flowers on Nallur temple during chariot procession

Aug 25 (DBS) Arohara – hail the almighty – was the rhythm of Jaffna for the past one month as the people of Jaffna embraced the annual festival of the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil and the spiritual atmosphere the festival brings with it. Needless to say, the majority of the residents also opted to forego meat of any kind and remained vegetarian during this period. An unfortunate outcome of this was the skyrocketing of vegetable prices, which reached exorbitant heights and more..

SriLankan unveils US$ 500mn five year corporate/financial plan

Aug 25 (Island) SriLankan Airlines has adopted an ambitious US$ 500 million five year business strategy in order to make the airline a profitable undertaking for the govt by 2014. "The strategy adopted was to re-fleet and refurbish aircraft to bring the SriLankan product in par with the best in the region, a process already in progress, contributing to the overall plan to profitability. "What has effectively happened is that the requirement of more..

No country in the world can develop without the help of intellectuals

Aug 25 (DBS) Sri Lanka is experiencing the dividends of peace at the moment. The economy has expanded at a healthy growth rate of 7.9% during the first quarter of this year, from the same period a year earlier. A Global Survey carried out by the ‘Equity and Bond Trading Institution’ chose Sri Lanka as the 4th rapidly developing economy in the 3rd quarter last year. Sri Lanka’s logistics sector international ranking has improved from 137 to 81 in the World Bank logistic performance index more..

City & Guilds Graduate & Post Graduate Diplomas in Engineering

Aug 25 (ST) On the 16th July 2012, the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, H.E John Rankin hosted the Launch of the Graduate Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering conducted by City & Guilds the world leader in vocational qualifications. The prestigious event was held at Westminster House the official residence of the British High Commissioner and was graced by Hon. S.B.Dissanayake Minister of Higher Education, Prof Dayantha Wijesekera Chairman, more..

3D - හිංසනය සහ වධබන්ධනය

No decision yet on cash awards for SLPL winners

Aug 25 (DM) The winners of the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League are to receive only trophies and no cash awards according to some officials of the SLC. When questioned from officials they said that they are not aware of the matter and to get more information from Ashley de Silva Director Operations. When asked from De Silva he too said that no final information was delivered to him. Though there is no final decision on the payments to the winner of the SLPL, the money has been allocated for the man of the match. more..

Protecting Sri Lanka’s Ocean

Aug 25 (GV) Sri Lanka is exposed as the worst polluter of the Indian Ocean. The new maps on human impact on the world’s oceans are now on the web. Although there had been regular commentary on the need of every government and various authorities to be cognizant of oceanic health, it was a shock to see the evidence that is now before us. The map of the Indian Ocean shows an ugly halo of pollution and ocean impact that rings the ocean around Sri Lanka. The irresponsible use of our land, cutting the forests, eroding the soil more..

Higher education in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (Economist) An Elderly couple sat inside an auto-rickshaw holding a placard with bold red and blue writing: “Don’t mess with our granddaughter’s right to free education”. The pair, both in their eighties, were among hundreds of protesters who met at Colombo’s Hyde Park on August 23rd to demand a dramatic increase in the government’s education spending. “Darling, I’m nobody,” the old woman said. “But poor people are having trouble getting their kids educated.” more..

Editorial: Dons punching above their weight

Aug 25 (Island) Thousands of striking university teachers, accompanied by their well-wishers, trade unionists and Opposition activists, thronged the streets of Colombo on Thursday, braving as they did inclement weather to pressure the govt to be amenable to their demands. They held a highly successful rally at Hyde Park and dispersed peacefully. Their message has been loud and clear: the strike will continue until their demands are met! The FUTA is punching above its weight. more..

Peace, reconciliation and ground realities

Aug 25 (Island) Malaysian Cecil Rajendra, poet, environmental activist and human rights lawyer, wrote and dedicated the above poem many years ago to Nelson Mandela when Mandela was still a prisoner in Robben Island. Rajendra was a conscientious and courageous person. He wrote as a poet and fought many a battle as a lawyer for social justice, particularly for the poor and the marginalized. In Malaysia then, as it is now, the name of the game was conformism. more..

Sri Lanka starts upgrading SMEs

Aug 25 (FT) Having infused technology awareness to the tune of US$ 120,000 (Rs. 15 mill) to its crucial SMEs so far, Sri Lanka is moving to introduce automation to the sector – while also paying tribute to their contribution. “The need of the hour for our SMEs is technology transfer and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to facilitate this year’s initiative too, where we will introduce automation to our SME sector for more..

SLPL: Kandurata hold nerve to win thriller

Aug 25 (CI) The Kandurata Warriors eked out a tense two-run win against Wayamba United to put one foot into the semi-finals of the SLPL, defending a total of 149 for 8 that had largely been the work of Australian Chris Lynn. The Warriors lost wickets early, and continued to be pegged back towards the end, but Lynn's 80 from 51 deliveries carried his side to a competitive total, despite his team-mates managing only 57 from 69 balls between them. Wayamba United were without their captain more..

Kapilavastu Relics Exposition delayed due to wet weather

Aug 25 (DN) The Exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics was delayed until evening yesterday, due to inclement weather. The Exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics commenced at the Jayanthi Viharaya, Anuradhapura at 4 pm, Indian High Commission Counsellor ( Press Information and Culture) Birendra Singh said. "As thousands of devotees queued up for several kilometres to pay homage to the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics, the bad weather caused a delay to the programme," he explained. more..

Tilak’s resignation accepted, Nalaka to be new SEC Chief

Aug 25 (FT) The resignation of Tilak Karunaratne as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been accepted whilst a successor will be named next week, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said. The confirmation by the Treasury Secretary ends week-long uncertainty whether the SEC Chief’s quit notice would be accepted or not, even though Karunaratne himself said he was firm about his decision to resign. more..

Dilshan Munaweera has lot to prove

Aug 25 (Island) When Dilshan Munaweera was selected for the Sri Lanka Under-19 team for the ICC Youth World Cup some four years ago, the sentiments to his selection were similar to the sentiments surrounding his selection to the national team for the forth coming ICC World T-20. As of late the highest score of his four SLPL matches so far in the tournament is 36 runs when selectors kept faith on his hard hitting approach to make a surprise calling. He was not in the initial more..

Macro shocks pressure profits

Aug 25 (FT) The combined profits of a sample of 88 firms analysed by NDB Stockbrokers reveal a decline of 13% year-on-year to Rs. 38.5 billion in June, though when non-recurring items are excluded, the results show a 10% increase. NDBS said the 88 companies picked contribute 69% of the total market capitalisation of the Colombo stock market. The results analysed include 27 companies reporting profits for the six months ended 30 June and other reporting profits for three months. more..

Mervyn to obstruct Kali Kovil sacrifice

Aug 25 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva requested the public to refrain from sacrificing animals at the Munneswaram Kali Kovil in Chilaw. He said, the practice of animal sacrifice by the Hindus for the Kali Kovil is a ritual not stated in any of the religious scripture. “It is what these people have made up. Being a Buddhist country, we should not engage ourselves in these types of criminal acts,” Silva said. more..

Infant’s finger allegedly cut by nurse

Aug 25 (DM) A probe is underway over an incident involving a six-day old infant whose finger had been accidentally cut allegedly by a nurse attached to the Bandaranaike Children's Hospital, Peradenya. Hospital Deputy Director Dr. Sampath Ranaweera who confirmed the incident said two inquiries by the Department and the hospital were progressing. An operation had been performed to save the finger of the child, but it has not been successful. Therefore another surgery is due to be performed more..

Over 300,000 students sit for Grade 5 scholarship exam today

Aug 25 (Island) Over 240,492 Sinhalese and 77,926 Tamil students will be sitting the Grade five scholarship examination today in 2803 centres countrywide. Commissioner of Examinations W.H.N.J Pushpakumara has advised students to answer their scripts in either black or blue pens or a dark colour pencils while stressing that the use of ink and erasers was prohibited. He has also said that the answers should be provided in the question paper itself and that they should more..

'Killed parents, sister with poisoned yoghurt'

Aug 25 (Island) The chief suspect in the Wellawatta Ramakrishna Road triple killing has told police that he gave poisoned youghurt to his parents and sister to obtain Rs. 300,000 his father had refused to give him. He was arrested yesterday morning by the Kadawatha police, while he was proceeding to Kurunegala in a private bus. The arrest was made immediately after the police were tipped off by another passenger who was in the same bus. more..

New mysterious AIDS-like disease found in Asians

Aug 25 (DN) Researchers have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the United States with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV. The patients' immune systems are damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers this isn't known, but the disease does not seem to be contagious. 'This is another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults, more..

Colombo Medical Faculty teachers in token strike on Monday

Aug 25 (Island) The Colombo Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association yesterday decided to stage a token strike on Monday over the failure of authorities to find a solution to the current trade union action by FUTA now nearing two months. Following is the text of a media release issued by FMTA President Prof. Ravindra Fernando in this connection: "Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association held a special general meeting today (23) to discuss the recent development within more..

Plans to aerial spray Cuban BTI bacteria in Colombo

Aug 25 (DN) Arrangements will be made soon to aerial spray Cuban BTI bacteria in Colombo city to control the increasing spread of dengue. Cuban BTI bacteria will be sprayed from the air in Colombo using Air Force aircraft to control the rapid spread of dengue with the onset of the rains. This will be done under a pilot project. Discussions were held with the Air Force in connection with using aircraft to spray the bacteria from the air. more..

GMOA accuses admin of sitting on transfers

Aug 25 (Island) The GMOA yesterday accused the Health Ministry and the Hospital Administrators of not effecting the annual transfer of doctors which had resulted in some hospitals being in urgent need of doctors. The procedures of the annual transfer of doctors were grossly violated. For instance, the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital is in need of 61 doctors, but the transferred doctors are not released. The GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that though the the Annual Transfer Scheme had to be carried out without delay, more..