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Crimes against women and children on the rise

Aug 28 (DM) As a senior citizen of this country I am alarmed at the statistics revealed by the Police Department that claim 900 rape cases within six months of this year, out of which 700 are of children. Statements made by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and certain other authorities give the impression that this problem is difficult to resolve or diverse. Govt agencies are “passing the buck” from one to the other. I wish to state that there was a period when more..

Drought link with kidney disease risk

Aug 28 (IRIN) Soaring temperatures in Sri Lanka’s dry zone in the northeast of the country are likely to heighten the risk of chronic kidney disease as residents increasingly consume poor quality drinking water, experts warn. More than a decade since the first cases of the fatal disease were reported, health experts are now blaming contaminated groundwater as the main cause. The illness slowly destroys kidneys, making it impossible to more..

Sri Lanka stocks up 0.29 pct

Aug 28 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.29 percent with several large caps and speculative stocks extending gains, while a transfer of Aitken Spence shares boosted turnover, brokers said. The All Share Index closed up 29.55 points at 5,102.65 and the S&PSL20 index of large cap stocks closed up 0.35 percent at 2,856.75. Turnover was 3,073 million rupees. A trade in Aitken Spence valued at 2,543 million rupees, said to be an internal transfer accounted for most of the revenue more..

Dairy firm eyes former war zones, exports

Aug 28 (LBO) Lanka Milk Foods, a unit of Sri Lanka's Stassen group said it was eyeing former war zones in the north and east of the country for expansion, while it operated within complex state interventions. LMF's imported milk business was hit by state price controls and import duties but it also has liquid milk and other products including two dairy farms which had made profits. While the liquid milk sector was helped by protectionism, imported milk powder sector was more..

Sri Lanka to get Rs. 9 billion from EU

Aug 28 (LBO) European Union will provide Sri Lanka an Rs.9 billion (EUR 60 million) grant under its support to the District Development programme from 2012 to 2017. The announcement was made by EU Delegation Head Bernard Savage during a meeting with Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday. Under this programme, the projects identified by the Sri Lankan govt as priority projects will be implemented by UN agencies more..

'Investors not interested in who’s SEC Chief'

Aug 28 (DM) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said investors were not interested as to who was the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman when they invest in the stock market. “There is an influx of Rs.29 billion in foreign exchange in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from foreign investors,” he said. “Sale of the shares is one of the several functions of the stock market.The shares available in our stock market are reliable and investors are aware of this. more..

NTUC support for the FUTA struggle

Aug 28 (LT) The crisis due to the breakdown of education in the country is becoming worse and the National Trade Union Center (NTUC) supports the struggle carried out by university teachers to restore and protect education for future generations says the convener of NTUC Samanthe Koralearachchi. The struggle carried out by university teachers have continued for over a month but the government has not taken any measures to solve any issue in the education sector points out Mr. Koralearachchi. He said an agitation would be held more..

Passports fees and validity period for minors revised

Aug 28 (AD) The validity period of new passports for children, below 16 years of age has been reduced from 10 years to 3 years while the cost for same day all country service is to be reduced from Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 3,500, the Department of Immigration and Emigration said today. It said while the current validity period of passports issued for minors is 10 years, due to rapid change in the physical appearance of children, parents have had face numerous difficulties at airports. more..

'Striking lecturers teaching at private universities'

Aug 28 (AD) The university lecturers who are on strike to protect the free education and the university system are teaching at private universities, the National Freedom Front (NFF) charged. The people of the country do not know this secret, Politbureau member of NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake today. He claimed that lecturers of state universities are striking so that students will join private institutions affiliated with foreign universities, as they lack student numbers. more..

First Mass for Mullikulam refugees after five years

Aug 28 (AN) For the first time in five years, refugees in Mullikulam (Mannar District, Northern Province) celebrated their parish feast day on Sunday at the Queen of Heaven Church. With almost a thousand people in attendance, Mgr Rayappu Joseph, bishop of Mannar, called on the faithful to pray for the community that it may go home and see its rights as Sri Lankan citizens protected. A delegation of 150 Catholics from southern Sri Lanka, lay and religious, took part in the celebration to express more..

Wanted: Sri Lanka hangman. Very light work. Only males need apply

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Tuesday began interviews for the post of hangman a year after two positions fell vacant, with at least 480 convicts on death row. But it was not quite clear how the two successful candidates would fill their days - the death penalty has not been used in Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country, since 1976. "About 176 applicants are there and interviews are going on today and tomorrow," Gamini Kulatunga, more..

147 Australia bound Persons arrested

Aug 28 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 147 persons illegally bound for Australia in 02 multi-day trawlers on 28th August 2012. One of the trawlers named “Jethsameny” with 66 persons including 64 Tamils and 02 Sinhalese on board was intercepted 22 nautical miles off Beruwala and the other named “Panchali Duwa 4” with 81 persons including 59 Tamils and 22 Sinhalese on board was intercepted 20 nautical miles off Chilaw. Among the arrested persons are 147 men and a woman. more..

Death threat on NTC Chief

Aug 28 (DM) National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairman Roshan Gunawardene said he had received several death threats from anonymous sources suspected to be extortion gangs involved in the illegal route permit fraud in the inter-provincial bus services in Chilaw. He said he was subjected to threats over the phone and through letters and that even those close to him had been threatened. He said the threats were likely because of the investigations into illegal bus permits in the area following a large number of complaints more..

Chinese defence minister due tomorrow

Aug 28 (SM) Chinese defence minister Liang Guanglie will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a five-day visit. His visit follows Sri Lankan Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya's visit to Beijing in two months ago. During his visit, the Chinese defense minister is expected to visit the Sapugaskanda Defense Staff College, the Panagoda army cantonment, Galle and Hambantota. Meanwhile, China is providing 100 million dollars for army welfare projects more..

'Killing the golden goose to steal the golden eggs'

Aug 28 (NF) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera alleges that the govt is acting with disregard to the law of the country. He made this statement while participating at a meeting in the Kotiyakumbara area. The meeting was held in support of those candidates contesting the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council polls in the Kegalle, Yatiyanthota, Deraniyagala and Ruwanwella areas. ’Just because the war is over the country cannot be ruined. The govt cannot fill a more..

Vasavilan primary school completely renovated by soldiers

Aug 28 (GDI) Soldiers of the Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) on a three day shramadana campaign renovated the buildings of J / Vasavilan primary school at Urumpirai. The renovation was conducted by the troops of the 511 Brigade at Atchelu in compliance to a request of the principal of the school K. Kanagaram from Commander SF-J Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe. Classrooms are presently being held in four temporary shelters constructed in a private-owned land more..

Govt. has failed to provide the lawyer’s fees for Rizana Nafeek death sentence appeal

Aug 28 (CT) “As the Sri Lankan govt was not willing to provide the lawyer’s fees for an appeal from the death sentence, AHRC took the initiative to raise the funds for filing the appeal, and thus prevented her immediate execution. Ever since, we have taken many initiatives to save the life of this unfortunate girl, who was seventeen years of age at the time she left for employment in Saudi Arabia. more..

The exposition period of Kapilawastu relics extended

Aug 28 (SLBC) Time period of exposition of the Kapilawasthu sacred relics has been extended up to the 12th of next month. Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Shasana K.B. Dissanayake said that the devotees can worship the sacred relics as President Mahinda Rajapaksa has requested from the Indian PM to extend the time period of keeping the relics in Sri Lanka. Sacred relics will be exhibited at the Tissamaharamaya Raja Maha Viharaya from the 5th to 7th of next month. more..

Muralitharan inspires UAE’s young cricketers

Aug 28 (GN) Muttiah Muralitharan, the legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner and the world’s highest wicket-taker, inspired 67 budding cricketers from the UAE during Desert Cubs Cricket Academy’s annual summer tour of Sri Lanka this month. Muralitharan not only handed over the trophies to the top performers of the tour, but also spoke at length on the qualities that are needed to become an outstanding cricketer. “Dedication to the game, commitment to improve your skills and more..

Godahewa appointed new SEC Chairman

Aug 28 (LBO) Nalaka Godahewa, former chairman of Sri Lanka's tourism development agency has been appointed as the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Priyantha Fernando, Sujeewa Mudalige, S R Attygalle (from the Treasury), Ananda Silva (Central Bank) are the other commission members. Godahewa this week resigned from George Steuart Finance (formerly Divasa Finance) a firm connected to investor Dilith Jayaweera, more..

Competency needed for policy management

Aug 29 (NS) Higher education in Sri Lanka is in crisis - and that is an understatement. The Z-score fiasco continues. Question papers at the recent Advanced Level examination were riddled with errors. University academics are on strike. To cap it all, all universities - barring medical faculties - were closed this week. We need to ask why education has reached this sorry state. Along with free healthcare, free education has been a luxury Sri Lankans have taken for granted. more..

Post-war Jaffna, a tourist hotspot

Aug 29 (NS) Yaalpaanam, or Jaffna as it is known, was known for the wrong reasons for the past 30 years. The war that rocked the entire country was centered in and around the peninsula.Today, the peninsula has caught the eyes of thousands of people who are curious to know what the once war-affected battle zone has in store. The war has ended and the roads have been opened for the people. In short, Jaffna has become a tourist attraction to many who visit. But, it still has stories to tell. more..

Far-sightedness essential for a stable Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (DM) Q: What are your views on the Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the LLRC? Do you feel that it adequately demonstrates the govt’s commitment towards peace, justice, and reconciliation? A: We welcome the action plan just as we have welcomed other statements of intent. Such statements do not by themselves demonstrate commitment, however. Only concrete action can do that and more..

Sri Lanka masks tyranny with selective democracy – GTF

Aug 29 (CT) “Global Tamil Forum condemns Sri Lankan Govt’s indefinite closure of 13 of the 15 state-run universities on the island, in response to strikes over privatisation of the higher education system, politicisation of key appointments in the sector and military training of all university entrants. This latest act to undermine academic freedom and institutional autonomy is a continuation of heavy militarisation of the island to maintain social control and curb any democratic opposition. more..

The FUTA option and its replicability

Aug 29 (CT) The public meeting last week by university academic staff led by the Federation of University Teachers Associations was a success both in terms of numbers who participated and the government’s response to it. The outcome of the event also points to the possibility of domestic pressure as against reliance on international pressure to make the govt move. The modestly sized Hyde Park where the event took place has been a favourite site for public rallies and more..

Is this development?

Aug 29 (SL) The Chinese deal to provide Sri Lanka with a communication satellite and a space-academy was one of the fastest BOI projects to get off the ground, according to the proud-boast of the state-media. Unsurprisingly; there is an intimate connection between the Ruling Family and the space-project. “The idea of having a satellite was the brainchild of President Rajapaksa who spelt it out when he was in China recently” more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: U is for up

Aug 29 (GV) The verb cope up is one which divides opinion: is it acceptable Sri Lankan English, or simply an error? It is certainly commonly used in SLE (“He’s finding it hard to cope up”), but it is also true to say that it is a signal that the speaker is not necessarily adhering to recognised international standards. In standard usage, cope is used without the particle up: “He’s finding it hard to cope”, “How is she coping with the pressure?” The same applies to the verb bear up: “She couldn’t bear up the pain”. more..

Public perceptions of the LLRC in Trincomalee

Aug 29 (GV) President Rajapaksha appointed the LLRC in May 2010 and after 18 months of sittings, the commission submitted its report to the President in Nov 2011. The report is not only about the effects of war but also about the need to depoliticize state institutions and foster good governance. However, at the time of writing, the report is not yet accessible in Sinhala or Tamil, even though it was reported in the media that Central Bank had commissioned the translations. more..

It was President Rajapaksa who wanted to devolve power urgently

Aug 29 (DBS) I have argued on this forum and elsewhere that Sri Lanka needs to take deliberate steps in a new direction. I have contended that stability is contingent upon the distribution of power away from the Centre. I cited several examples to illustrate that the de-evolution of power need not come at the expense of security or as the harbinger of secession. I presented international examples of de-centralized govt utilized for social and more..

Country yearning for visionary leader who would offer an alternative to the present set of policies and programmes

Aug 29 (DBS) Forgotten are the days when people waited in line for two to three hours to buy a loaf of bread; forgotten are the days when rice was not available on Tuesdays and Fridays, when rice could not be transported from point A to point B; when one had to take the old bicycle tyre to buy a new one, when the groom had to take the registration certificate to purchase the cloth for his wedding suit; when only two yards of white cloth were more..

Re-settlement that has been carried out by the govt is inadequate

Aug 29 (DBS) The Bishop of Jaffna has issued a statement setting out the ground realities in the Northern Province. We can expect the bishop to be reasonable and objective rather than be swayed by emotion and emotional attachments to ethnicity. So we hope and pray that his statement will receive the attention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The govt says that the bulk of the internally displaced people who were in govt camps like the Menik Farm have been re-settled because more..

Uva upset Wayamba to reach final

Aug 29 (CI) In a match replete with high drama befitting a semi-final, the individual performance of the tournament from Jacob Oram helped Uva Next derail favourites Wayamba United by 20 runs in Colombo. Oram's 17-ball 41 electrified an Uva Next innings that had spluttered to 89 for 5 from 13.5 overs, before he before he overcame a poor start with the ball to gut the Wayamba United middle order with three wickets for 16 from four overs. more..

Editorial: Blind men and a white elephant

Aug 29 (Island) Lakvijaya is likely to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the most repaired power plant in the world. That may be some consolation for the hapless Sri Lankans who have had to cough up a whopping sum of USD 1.3 billion for the mega project. Nobody seems to know what has really gone wrong with Lakvijaya (Norochcholai) power plant. There seems to be a jinx on it as we argued the other day. Vice Chairman of the CEB Anura Wijepala recently told more..

SriLankan goes paperless to save jet fuel

Aug 29 (Island) SriLankan Airlines is entering the new age of ‘iPad electronic flying’ by switching from using bulky mandatory paper manuals, to a sleek 662 gram iPad, as SriLankan becomes Asia’s first airline to use the iPad Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) starting 29th August, 2012, the national carrier said in a statement. The ‘green’ benefits of using iPad EFBs are immense as there will be a drastic reduction in the use of thousands of sheets of paper and printing. more..

Connections | August 28, 2012

Sri Lanka beat minnows Japan 110-8

Aug 29 (Island) Sri Lanka advanced to the semi-finals of the 8th Asian Netball Championship as the leading team from Pool ‘A’, after an annihilating 110-8 victory over minnows Japan in their last Pool match of the competition at the Sugathadasa Stadium, yesterday. The defending champions reduced the lowest ranked team of the tournament to mere onlookers in a goalless first quarter (29-0) before the latter regrouped to show some resistance during the dying stages of the game. more..

Over 34,000 applications for Korean Language proficiency test

Aug 29 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has distributed 34,200 applications to job aspirants who wish to sit for the Korean Language proficiency test in October. The 10th Korean Language Proficiency test will be held on October 13,14. Only those who pass the test could apply for jobs in Korea via the Employment Permit System (EPS) agreed upon by the two govts. The test is jointly organized by the SLBFE and the Korean Human Resources Development more..

Artificial limbs a lifeline for Sri Lanka's war disabled

Aug 29 (KSA) In March 2009, on a day of fierce fighting in Mullaitivu in northern Sri Lanka, Parasothan, a 30-year-old civilian, was trying to flee the vicious war. But as he ran, a mortar shell fell near him and exploded. He was rushed to a local hospital, and his left leg was amputated below the knee. Being disabled, he thought he would never resume his livelihood of fishing in the northern sea. But in June, he received an artificial limb more..

Unregulated leasing bites!

Aug 29 (Island) An unregulated leasing industry is eating into market shares of companies registered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka while the present macroeconomic environment was posing a challenge for business, an official said. "We view with concern the presence of unregulated leasing companies that have encroached into this market and secured a substantial share of business of the Licensed Finance Companies and Licensed Leasing Companies," Associated Motor Finance more..

Bar girl arrested for dancing with cobra

Aug 29 (Island) A 22-year-old bar girl of a nightclub at Colpetty was arrested yesterday for dancing with a cobra. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohan said that the girl had been arrested on a tip-off. She had been taking care of the snake in her room at the club and had also been dancing with the cobra twined around her body. Colpetty police said that the girl who was arrested early yesterday morning had been admitted to the National Hospital after she fell ill soon afterwards. more..