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Gajadeera orders probe into Kalutara Prison smuggling incident

Aug 31 (Island) Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera yesterday ordered Prisons Commissioner General P. W. Kodippili, to conduct a probe to find whether any Kalutara prison officer was connected to delivery of a parcel of narcotics to the prison premises by means of a string tied to a ward of the prison. The parcel valued at Rs. 500,000, contained 560 packets of heroin, six sheaves of tobacco, a packet of cigarettes, six packets of Babul (betel laced with intoxicant), more..

Commotion as college hosts Lankan students

Aug 31 (TOI) The Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts in Trichy has had to pay a heavy price for hosting Sri Lankan students at its premises. Volunteers of Naam Thamizhar stormed the institution accusing them of harbouring Sri Lankan nationals and conducting cultural programmes with the latter. As soon as the news that about 70 A-level (equivalent to Plus Two) students of Sri Lanka had landed in the college broke out, Naam Thamizhar more..

Dons snub govt. stick to their main demands

Aug 31 (Island) Although the Cabinet of ministers had decided to establish a special category of service for university lecturers and appoint a high-powered committee to monitor the implementation of proposals submitted by the university lecturers, the FUTA has refused to give up its on-going strike. FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said they would not suspend the trade union action until all demands were met, more..

HSBC Sri Lanka wins ‘Best Credit Card Initiative of the Year’ award

Aug 31 (Island) HSBC Sri Lanka was presented with the prestigious Credit Card Initiative of the Year award by Asian Banking and Finance 2012 for the launch of its Visa Signature credit card in Sri Lanka, at a special awards ceremony held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore on 23 Aug. For several years, Asian Banking and Finance Magazine (ABF) have been recognizing the best performers of various banking and finance institutions around Asia. more..

Thamara faults heads of schools for empty seats

Aug 31 (Island) Thamara Herath, the President of the Interim Committee of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka said that she regretted the failure of the heads of education institutions in sending school netballers to witness the ongoing 8th Asian Netball Championship at the Sugathadas Stadium. Herath said that the Director of Sports of the Ministry of Education was informed about the importance of getting school netball players to more..

Pakistan arrests mastermind of Lankan Cricket team attack

Aug 31 (AFP) Pakistan on Thursday arrested the head of a banned Sunni extremist group accused of inciting sectarian hatred and masterminding an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, police said. Malik Ishaq, leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) which is said to have links to al Qaeda, was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore after his return from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, police spokeswoman said. more..

Separatism fails to resonate in Tamil Nadu

Aug 31 (KSA) Efforts to revive separatist sentiments appear to be making little headway in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, even as some local political figures continue using rhetoric with strongly divisive connotations. For more than four months, the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) – a group launched in the 1980s to push for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka's northeast – has been wrangling with various arms of the federal govt and more..

Museum robbery mastermind still missing

Aug 31 (LB) One of the most controversial crimes which were committed in this country in recent times was the unprecedented break-in and robbery that took place at the Colombo museum on March 16 this year. The entire country was aghast at this carefully-planned robbery which was carried out when the CCTV cameras were found to be malfunctioning, and many priceless gems, swords and coins were stolen. more..

Cabinet approval is a fraud, strike will continue until all demands are met – FUTA

Aug 31 (LT) The cabinet approval of the recommendations in the joint memorandum submitted by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse and Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka is a fraud and university teachers would not suspend the trade union action until all demands were met states Vice-President of FUTA, Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera. more..

No conflict of interest in Lorgat's involvement with Sri Lanka, says ICC

Aug 31 (IC) Dave Richardson, the new CEO at the ICC, said that Haroon Lorgat's involvement with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as a paid advisor, shortly after he finished his term as the ICC CEO, is neither a conflict of interest nor improper conduct. Lorgat was hired by Sri Lanka's financially struggling cricket board as an adviser for $100,000 just weeks after the ICC granted the board a $500,000 grant and a $2 million loan. more..

Immigration and Emigration Act to be strengthened

Aug 31 (GDI) The government will introduce tough laws for human traffickers and organisers of boat trips and measures will be taken to forfeit their assets and will serve a jail term of up to 20 years instead of the present two. Immigration and Emigration Chief Chulanada Perera said his department would strengthen the Immigration and Emigrations Amendment Act of 2006 in an effort to end human trafficking in Sri Lanka. more..

Govt declares day of mourning

Aug 31 (CG) The govt has declared Monday as a day of mourning following the demise of the Mahanayaka of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya the most Venerable Weweldeniye Medhalankara Thero. The Mahanayaka of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya passed away on Wednesday afternoon at the age of 103. The govt information department said that all liquor shops will be closed on Monday during the day of morning as the funeral of the monk will take place on that day. more..

FUTA demand for 6% of GDP for education: Free education not factored in – govt.

Aug 31 (Island) The FUTA had not taken the component of free education, in calling upon the govt to allocate 6 per cent of the GDP to the education sector, the govt charged. The FUTA was demanding that the govt spend 6% of the GDP on education as in the developed countries in the West, but it had not factored in free education at primary, secondary and tertiary education level, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said more..

Doctor injured in attack by Berty’s supporters in ICU

Aug 31 (LT) Dr. Chamila Herath, injured yesterday night in an attack by a group of supporters of UPFA chief ministerial candidate for North – Central PC election who were decorating an election office, has been admitted to the neurosurgery section of the ICU at Anuradhapura Hospital. He was being treated at Ward 11 when he was brought after the attack. The sources say the injured doctor is not affiliated to more..

CJ wants intake increased

Aug 31 (DM) Chief Justice Shirani A. Bandaranayake yesterday advised the University Grants Commission to increase the number of students admitted to universities and develop the infrastructure to accommodate them in light of the GCE Advanced level examination Z-score issue. She recollected that a similar situation arose in 1991 and it was resolved by the increase in the intake of students, when the matter came up before the Supreme Court. more..

Editorial: Blunder and plunder - Deal with VIPs also

Aug 31 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who visited several districts where provincial elections are to be held, hit out strongly at local council politicians and officials, accusing them of blundering or bluffing. He referred especially to the scandal of laying foundations stones with big ceremonies, but doing little or nothing after that and provoking demonstrations by the people. The President said he was banning the laying of foundation stones more..

Justice and Equity as Pathways to National Security

Aug 31 (DM) The notions of justice and equity are paramount in any endeavour to establish and sustain national security. The sentiment was consistently resonant in the submissions and interventions made by a range of speakers from diverse backgrounds at the fifth annual International Symposium of the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University held last week. Accordingly, the following were among the key messages tabled at the deliberations. more..

Vaiko seeks ouster of Lankan officials

Aug 31 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has demanded that the Centre should immediately pack off the two Sri Lankan officials undergoing training at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Udhagamandalam. Criticising the Union Minister of State for Home Pallam Raju for his comments that the Central govt would go ahead with providing training to the Sri Lankan defence personnel, he said that it showed disrespect to the people of Tamil Nadu. more..

Indonesia Rescues 43 Sri Lankans Adrift for 9 Days

Aug 31 (AP) Indonesian police say they have picked up 43 starving, dehydrated people who were adrift in a boat for nine days after their engine broke down while fleeing Sri Lanka in hopes of reaching Australia. Police Capt. Abdurachman Suryanegara in the Western Indonesian town of Sikakap says fishermen discovered the stricken boat off Mentawai island off Sumatra and towed it ashore on Friday. He says the passengers include four women and three children. more..

Sri Lanka group wins 2012 water prize for ‘more crop per drop’

Aug 31 (BN) The International Water Management Institute, a Sri Lanka-based organization, was awarded the 2012 Stockholm Water Prize for research to help farmers produce “more crop per drop” and improve agricultural water management. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden made the award presentation, which comes with a $150,000 prize, to IWMI in a royal ceremony during the annual World Water Week event in Stockholm that wraps up today. The Colombo, Sri Lanka-based group, more..

Aravinda slams premier league critics

Aug 31 (IANS) Former leading Sri Lankan cricketer and cricket selector Aravinda De Silva on Friday slammed critics of the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, insisting that the event had met its expectations. De Silva told reporters at a media briefing that the main focus of the SLPL, a cricket tournament which featured local and foreign players together in seven teams, was to nurture young Sri Lankan cricketers, reports Xinhua. more..

SLMC election office attacked

Aug 31 (DM) A Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) election office in Akkaraipattu was attacked this morning by a group of masked men who arrived in several vehicles. Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFÉ) told Daily Mirror the SLMC supporters who were at the office at the time of the attack had given the vehicle numbers to the police. CaFFE said some people who were heading towards an SLMC election rally had also been attacked by the masked men. more..

Over 48,000 criminals arrested

Aug 31 (CG) Over 48,000 criminals who had warrants against their name were arrested between the beginning of July and the 26th of this month, the police media unit said today. The police said that 48,977 wanted persons were arrested during that period with most arrests being from the Western Province. All those who were arrested were produced in court and remanded while a few were released on bail, the police statement said. The arrests were carried out in special operations more..

Pakistan President for diversifying trade between Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (N360) Pakistan requests Sri Lanka to fully utilize the US$ 200 million worth “Buyers Credit Facility” to maximize bilateral trade between the two nations. This request was made by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting he held with the Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the ongoing NAM summit. President Asif Ali Zardari has called for diversifying trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka more..

Presence of Sri Lankan fishing vessel near Kochi raises suspicion

Aug 31 (IBN) The coastal security agencies here launched immediate search operations on Thursday following an Intelligence report that a Sri Lankan fishing vessel was anchored in sea off the Kochi coast. The Intelligence wing alerted the Kochi coastal police that some of the persons were being transported in a fishing boat to a Sri Lankan vessel anchored at a distance of one nautical mile off the coast. The security agencies suspect that it would be a bid for human trafficking. more..

Grade 5 paper marking to proceed despite protests

Aug 31 (DM) Examinations Commissioner W.M.J. Pushpakumara said yesterday evaluation of the 2012 Grade 5 scholarship test-paper would take place as scheduled on Monday despite education professionals urging that allegations of a possible leak should be probed first to prevent any injustice to the students. Mr. Pushpakumara said the evaluation of the scholarship exam would not be affected as a result of the evaluations of the 2012 GCE A/L exam having been put off. more..

Asian Netball C’ship: Singapore edge out Sri Lanka 48-47 to regain title

Aug 31 (RS) In a game between two undefeated teams, it was Singapore that eventually edged out defending champions Sri Lanka 48-47 to claim the Asian Netball Championship crown. Singapore had beaten Hong Kong 53-27 to qualify for the final while Sri Lanka saw off Malaysia 67-58 in the other semi-final. Singapore last won the Asian Netball Championship in 2005 when the event was held in Singapore. more..

A’pura doctors in continues strike, no arrests over attack - GMOA

Aug 31 (AD) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) says that the strike launched by doctors of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital will continue as police have failed to arrest any persons responsible for the attack on a doctor last night. The strike which will be carried out within the course of today will not end until authorities apprehend all suspects involved in the attack, GMOA spokesman Dr. Naveen de Soysa said. He further warned that they would resort to strict trade union action if more..

Green light given to commission Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project

Aug 31 (LT) According to Indian media the Madras High Court today gave the green signal for the commissioning of the units one and two of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli district. The nuclear power station has been under construction in Kudankulam in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. This nuclear power plant is to be commissioned at Kudankulam in the tip of India which is an area less than 280 kilometers away from Sri Lanka. more..

A national research center on the Dengue disease is to be setup

Aug 31 (SLBC) The cabinet has granted approval to setup a national research on the dengue disease. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says that the center is entrusted with the task of studying the measures to be taken regarding research on dengue menace. He further said that the center will be established according to a cabinet paper submitted by the Minister S.B. Dissanayake. more..

Tamil politicians became media oppressors

Aug 31 (CT) In Sri Lanka there are few Tamil newspapers that have both local and international reputations. “Virakesari” is one of these and also one of the oldest newspapers in Sri Lanka. The news, articles and analyses it publishes, are taken seriously by diplomatic circles in Colombo and abroad. This newspaper carries verified news items, balanced/neutral articles and analysis irrespective of race, language, religion, individuals, political parties and leaders. more..

21,000 cops deployed for election duties

Aug 31 (CT) Police Spokesperson, SSP Ajith Rohana said 21,000 police officers have been deployed for election duties. Among them are 123 Superintendents and Assistant Superintendants of Police, 1,407 Chief Inspectors, Inspectors and Sub Inspectors and 68 women Inspectors and Sub Inspectors. He further said 5,340 Police Sergeants have also been assigned for election duties together with 12,886 Police Constables. A further 1,427 women Police Constables have also been assigned for election duties, on 6 September, more..

WikiLeaks: Lankans were doing just enough to keep the Indians satisfied for now – Menon

Aug 31 (CT) “Responding to the Ambassador’s query about whether the Sri Lankan govt was being responsive to demands from the international community to provide access to internally displaced persons, Menon said the Lankans were doing just enough to keep the Indians satisfied for now. On-the-ground cooperation with Indian relief providers was good, but he was unable to make any judgment about what the more..

'Police under pressure from PC politicians'

Aug 31 (DM) Election monitors yesterday requested regional politicians to stop applying pressure on police personnel to prevent them from performing their duties imspartially during the campaigning for September 8 provincial council elections. In a joint statement, election observers said they had received several reports of political intimidation during the final stages of campaigning by candidates canvassing for votes. They said impartiality of elections was being compromised by more..

Solution to the university crisis: A view from an academic

Aug 31 (CT) Mr CA Chandraprema in his article published in the SundayIslandof 19th August has dedicated two paragraphs to my detailed response to his previous criticism of the current trade union action of academics. Even though he states that his faith in academia has been restored after reading my article, I find that his faith is still wavering as it has not stopped his dismissal of the key issues and usual endorsement of Government view. more..

China and Sri Lanka to boost military ties

Aug 31 (MoD) The visiting State Councilor and Minister of National Defence of the People's Republic of China (PRC) General Liang Guanglie called on the Secretary to the Ministry Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa today at the Ministry premises. Gen Guanglie arrived in the Island on a five day official goodwill visit leading a high powered delegation. The members of the delegation were also present at the occasion. more..

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei meet President

Aug 31 (ABNA) In a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the 16th NAM Summit, Supreme Leader said the hegemonic powers through their media and political insinuations, try to show themselves invincible but experience with Iran and Sri Lanka shows resistance to colonialism and domineering powers bears fruit. Ayatollah Khamenei said Sri Lankan support for Palestinian nation and respect to rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka are noteworthy values more..

Judge blasts Roxon 'errors'

Aug 31 (TA) A MELBOURNE businessman facing terrorism charges in the US should not be extradited because Attorney-General Nicola Roxon was too slow to complete the paperwork and did not properly consider the case, a Federal Court judge found yesterday. Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, the former head of the Melbourne International College, was arrested in July 2008 for seeking to procure US weapons for the now vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam two years earlier. more..