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Army vacates more private property in Jaffna

Dec 25 (Island) The army recently released a 32-acre block of land at Ramavil, Jaffna, where the LTTE had a base during the ‘90s. An army spokesman told The Island that 45 families would benefit from the release of the property. After the liberation of the Jaffna peninsula in early 1996, the army established a base at Ramavil, though it was subsequently vacated. During eelam war IV, the site was used to accommodate IDPs. more..

400 new appointees refuse to work in remote areas

Dec 25 (DM) Nearly 400 graduates and diploma holders have rejected their appointments as Information Technology (IT) teachers citing difficulties in serving at remote areas such as Dehiattakandiya and Dimbulagala, Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. He said the Education Ministry appointed 936 graduates and diploma holders, who passed out from the National Colleges of Education, as information technology teachers some 400 of them had refused to work in the schools more..

SF aware CJ engaged in political campaign - Keheliya

Dec 25 (DN) Sarath Fonseka has invited Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to enter politics because he has understood through his past experiences that she is presently engaged in a political campaign without acting impartially in her post. Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said. Fonseka is fully aware of the programme launched several years ago to draw him into politics. Inviting the Chief Justice too to enter politics should not be taken lightly, he said. more..

‘Impeachment must go on'

Dec 25 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said impeachment must go on with due respect for the Constitution, LSSP leader and Senior Minister Prof Tissa Vitharana said yesterday. Prof Vitharana said this on being asked whether President Rajapaksa has responded to the letter submitted by him, Communist Party leader D E W Gunasekera and DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, which requested the President was made respondent in the case after more..

Sirisena promises land for flood affected

Dec 25 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that if the flood affected people in the Polonnaruwa district, or any other district, wanted land in the Mahaweli area, he would take immediate action to provide it to them. Currently, around 12,000 people are staying in makeshift camps which have reached saturation point. Minister Sirisena said that during his tour of the Polonnaruwa district, he was able to see with his own eyes the disaster caused by torrential rains more..

Sri Lankan Tamil seeks bail

Dec 25 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil who was recently arrested by the ‘Q’ branch-CID on suspicion of being an LTTE cadre moved the Madras High Court on Monday seeking bail. Chera alias Sureshkumar, along with three others, were arrested by the police and remanded to judicial custody. Chera said Udayadoss alias Udayashankar had given a confession to the police that he was a member of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and had escaped to Chennai. more..

Lanka prepares sex education policy

Dec 25 (DM) Sri Lanka has compiled a legal and policy document on sexual and re-productive health for youth and adolescents in accordance with its global obligation to protect the youth from sexual diseases through education, Health Ministry spokesman said. He said the right to information on sexuality and re-productive health was a human right of the youth. It has been ratified by the UN and the WHO. more..

Sri Lanka should go in unchanged for Boxing Day Test — Arnold

Dec 25 (IC) Q: What is your Sri Lanka XI for the second Test at MCG? Who should be dropped and why? A: I would go unchanged and play the same team. There's no reason to change the batters. Even Dimuth looked very good, but needs to kick on and try make the big scores. Sri Lanka must play their best spinner — Herath. Eranga could be the X-factor together with Welegedara who looked rusty, but got better as the game went on. Welegedera has not played in a long time, but he showed more..

Impeachment motion saved us: GK depositors

Dec 25 (DN) Golden Key depositors yesterday said Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake was to throw out their case at the next hearing when the impeachment motion was listed in the Order Paper in Parliament. Golden Key Depositors’ Association Secretary Malcolm de Silva said the Chief Justice was to throw out the case citing that the President to prorogue Parliament as a measure to resolve problems pertaining to the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka. more..

Merely increasing allowances won’t do says FUTA

Dec 25 (CT) Despite plans being underway to increase the academics’ allowances from January, the academics’ issues regarding brain drain and retaining qualified lecturers would not be solved unless their salaries are restructured, academics said. The FUTA said that they appreciate the govt’s move towards resolving their issues, but granting allowances give only temporary respite and would not resolve the bigger issue, once and more..

Revenue licences through Internet

Dec 25 (DM) Revenue licences for motor vehicles in the southern province will be issued though internet from next year. Chief Minister Shan Wijelal de Silva said all facilities including computers and printers were provided to the Divisional Secretariats in the Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts to implement the plan. He said the programme was introduced in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Information Technology Institute. The Chief Minister said the owners of more..

Vavuniya DMC notify all arrangements completed to assist flood victims

Dec 25 (OU) Due to the floods in the Vavuniya district, to avoid people facing massive difficulties, 10 welfare centers are organized was mentioned by Vavuniya district Disaster Management Director Janaka Jayawardena. Due to the unexpected weather conditions prevailing in the country, it was queried whether prior arrangements are done by you for the people from Vavuniya district to evade from getting into difficulties, he gave this reply. He said, in the localities of Alagalla, Galkunnamaduwa, more..

Impeachment: Unforeseen hand ruled against more time for CJ – UNP

Dec 25 (Island) Despite all members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), that inquired into the Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, agreeing to continue proceedings until Dec 12 and then seek one month’s extension from the Speaker, an unforeseen hand ruled against it, the UNP said yesterday. Senior Vice President of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella told The Island that when more..

Rains to continue

Dec 25 (Island) The heavy showers that have been experienced over the past days will continue for a few more days, according the Meteorology Department. The prevailing rainy weather would continue in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern, Central and Uva provinces and in the Hambantota district while a rainfall of more than 100 mm was expected at some places, the Met Department said yesterday. According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Around 42 persons have died, more..

A barber sold Science paper for Rs. 100,000

Dec 25 (Island) The CID has cracked the leaking of the GCE (O/L) 2012 Science Paper 1 and arrested all four suspects involved in the racket, including the person who sold the question paper to a private tutor for Rs. 100,000. The paper was pilfered out of the Examinations Department printing press by an operator addicted to liquor. He had given it to a close friend, who is a retired army officer whose wife is a school principal. The retired officer, in turn, had given the question paper to his barber known more..

'Opposition PSC members could appear before CA'

Dec 25 (Island) President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL) Wijedasa Rajapakshe, MP, said yesterday that Opposition members of the 11-member PSC, which investigated allegations against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, could accept the Court of Appeal summons issued on them regardless of the UPFA decision to ignore it. UNP MP Rajapakshe said that the Opposition could appear before more..

Editorial: Christmas - Liberation from self-centredness

Dec 25 (DM) Today is Christmas. The very word conjures up a feeling and sense of joy. People refer to the word Christmas when they want to describe moments of great joy and great favour. We hear them say ‘it was like Christmas when this unexpected windfall came my way’. Why is Christmas linked with joy, celebration and goodness? What is the joy it brings to us? Christmas is a tradition inherited from Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the cornerstone of more..

Christmas is a “Mystery” forever

Dec 25 (DM) In a little town in Bethlehem a unique event in the history of the mankind that shook the world took place over twenty centuries ago. It was the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace called Christmas. This glorious event has been celebrated down the ages to the present time and would go on till the end of time. Christians throughout the world are once again preparing to commemorate this special occasion. This event was to be the beginning of the life story of the promised Messiah, more..

The Real Issue

Dec 25 (SL) The current imbroglio relating to the attempt to dismiss the present Chief Justice has obscured the real issue facing the country which is whether the independence of the judiciary and hence civilized governance will prevail or not. What the people must understand is that Mahinda Rajapaksa is unimportant as are Shirani Bandaranayake, and the other actors in this sordid drama – for they all fade into wholesale more..

Herath's 'modesty' at odds with stats

Dec 25 (CI) Among the current Test crop, Rangana Herath is perhaps cricket's least likely athlete. Barely 5'7" with a physique better befitting a shopkeeper, at a glance, or at first meeting, no one would guess he was 2012's most successful bowler. He has piled up 60 wickets at 22.03 this year, and with only one more Test to play before year's end, he will remain atop the list. His name may barely register in a conversation about the best bowlers in more..

Executive power to parliament strengthen 13 amendment

Dec 25 (DM) The LSSP was established with the Suriyamal Movement 77 years ago, on 18 December, 1935, under the leadership of N M Perera, Colvin R de Silva, Philip Gunewardena and S A Wickremasinghe, to continue the anti-imperialist struggle and win complete independence from British rule. Our leaders like N M, Colvin, Philip, Edmund and Bernard were jailed both here and after they escaped from jail, in India. more..

'All parties, politicians should join hands to topple govt.'

Dec 25 (Island) UNP stalwart and Gampaha District MP Joseph Michael Perera said that all political parties and politicians, including General Sarath Fonseka, must band themselves together to topple the corrupt govt. Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo on Sunday, the former Speaker said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must take full responsibility for all the wrong doings happening in the country. more..

Emigration Dept. probes illicit Lankan ‘deployment’ in Iraq, Afghanistan

Dec 25 (ST) A special team has been deployed to investigate an alleged racket involving fake UAE entry visas used by persons taking up clandestine employment at US and NATO bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, Immigration and Emigration chief Chulananda Perera said. He said the team from the Dept’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has been instructed to complete their findings and report back within 10 days. more..

Prof Wickramasinghe says yellow rain is young red rain before growth

Dec 25 (Island) Explaining the recent yellow rain experienced in Polonnaruwa, Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe said it was part of the growth cycle of red rain. The scientist of the Buckingham Center of Astrobiology in UK said, "The Kerala rain also had the same changes of colour from yellow to red. In the growth of the cells we found that the young cells started off as yellow. It is part of a growth cycle." more..

SL v AUS 2nd Test: Showpiece for hosts, last chance for tourists

Dec 25 (CI) Australian cricket's biggest day conjures up plenty of memories for the hosts, but only one painful recollection for the visitors. The MCG on Boxing Day was the scene of Darrell Hair's fateful decision to call Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing, in a match that finished in a comfortable 10-wicket victory for Mark Taylor's Australians. Back then, the result was entirely overshadowed by anger surrounding Hair's decision, and more..

Tamils take their cause to the Boxing Day Test

Dec 25 (TA) THE Sri Lankan cricket team faces up to 1000 protesters at Melbourne's Boxing Day Test today amid claims by organisers that Australia had helped sanitise Sri Lanka's brutal repression of its Tamil minority to stop the flow of asylum-seekers before next year's federal election. One of the organisers, cricket writer Trevor Grant, said the Tamil Refugee Council would stage a noisy but peaceful demonstration outside more..

China to help local coconut industry

Dec 25 (Island) China was always ready to provide its unstinted support and assistance to develop Sri Lanka’s coconut industry, assured Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jinhao. He gave that assurance when he called on Minister Jagath Pushpakumara for a discussion at the latter’s Ministry last Friday. "There is a big demand in the Chinese market for Sri Lanka’s active carbon, Coir peat and coir based industrial products," more..

Mahela defends writing to Daily Mirror

Dec 25 (DM) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has defended his decision to send a letter to the press -- with perceived questionable comments on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) -- but said that the fallout from the incident was not a distraction for his side ahead of the Boxing Day Test. SLC, in an official release, stated it will review the actions of Jayawardene and team manager Charith Senanayake, during the lead up to more..

Editorial: Let Christmas fill our hearts with peace

Dec 25 (CT) Today is Christmas Day, a day of great significance to Christians all over the world. On this day, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace who was born into this world to redeem man by suffering for his sins. Christmas starts with Christian families attending Christmas Mass on the night of 24 December, following which starts the festivities connected with Christmas. Traditionally families enjoy eating the Christmas cake on returning from the church and more..

Recapturing the Tamil vote

Dec 25 (CT) In the last provincial council elections, the TNA gained sweeping victories across the North. Tamils may have done well to choose the TNA which continues to voice Tamil concerns. For, just this last June, the govt implanted a military camp in Thirumurukandy, Mullaithivu by stripping those who lost their permits in the war, of their land. I learnt from witnesses, while working in the Vanni, how the military enforced this land decision (though how the military is involved in civilian more..

Captive migrant workers return from Abu Dhabi

Dec 25 (DM) Twelve Sri Lankan women employed at a janitorial service in Abu Dhabi, out of the 101 Sri Lankan women alleged to be forcibly detained by the company returned to the country yesterday, after being released on an order by the Labour Tribunal of Abu Dhabi. The women aged between 22 and 38 and are residents of Negombo, Wennappuwa, Gampaha, and Hanwella. One who had suffered a nervous breakdown more..

Indian fisherman released on bail

Dec 25 (AD) The group of Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka Navy on Sunday for crossing the maritime boundary line and poaching in Sri Lankan waters have been released on bail by the Tricomalee Magistrate’s Court. Naval craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command apprehended the 27 Indian fishermen and 4 trawlers East of Mullaithivu and handed over to Trincomalee Harbour Police for legal action. They were produced before the Trincomalee Magistrate’s Court yesterday more..

Peraliya train to get a second chance

Dec 25 (CT) The Department of Railways has decided to redeploy train No 50, that was hit by the tsunami in 2004 at Peraliya. This train is to start travelleng from the Fort Railway Station to Peraliya tomorrow under the patronage of Transport Minister, Kumara Welgama and Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake. The train is redeployed to coincide with the eighth year commemoration of those who lost their lives in the 2004 Tsunami. After religious observances at the Fort Railway Station, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

NCP budget adopted without any opposition

Dec 25 (DN) The development-oriented 2013 budget presented by the North Central Provincial Council was adopted by the Council without any opposition from the Opposition group in the Council said NCP Chief Minister S M Ranjith at a meeting of the Anuradhapura District Pradesheeya Sabha members forum recently. He said that even though the preferential vote system led to enmities during elections, everyone should forget those differences after the elections and more..

Army deserter fires at cops before killing self

Dec 25 (AD) An army deserter who had allegedly carried out several crimes in Siripura, Aralangawila using a T56 rifle fired at police officers before turning the gun on himself, police said today. The shooting had occurred at around 1.20pm today when officers of Siripura Police reportedly attempted to question him. Police said that a magistrate’s inquiry has commenced and that a special investigation will be conducted regarding the incident. However, no police officers were injured in the shooting. more..

'Media is fulfilling the duties of the opposition'

Dec 25 (NF) Leader of the JHU Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thera says that it is the media that is fulfilling the duties that should be fulfilled by the opposition. The Leader of the JHU made this observation while addressing journalists in Embilipitiya. "The opposition of this country has become effeminate. There is no opposition at all. Why does the opposition shout? It is only to gain power. more..

Many people are missing out on the message of Christ’s birth during Christmas

Dec 26 (DBS) So, it is Christmas – 2000 years have rolled on since the day Christ entered this world. We go over the nativity scenes over and over again each year – but the time has come for us to really come to terms with what Christmas means in relation to what was foretold by the prophets. We know for sure that the prophecies concerning Christmas by prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah (to mention a couple of prophets ) and the Psalms have all been fulfilled, where the birth of Jesus is more..

The hijacking of Christmas by commercial interests

Dec 26 (DBS) Another Christmas has dawned with the cheery feeling evident all round. The run up to Christmas as always is a hive of activity with brisk shopping and hectic preparations. The streets are choked with milling crowds grabbing up the Christmas bargains and Yuletide perennials blare forth from record bars and sundry shops sending that special feeling coursing through your veins. There is also that nip in the air this time of the year mingling with the scented cypresses lined more..

The Hantane trek that went awry

Dec 26 (SO) "Had we been a few more hours late, some students may not have made it down alive". Brigadier Udayantha Wijeratne, General Officer Commanding 11 Division who headed the 200 odd military contingent on the biggest rescue mission ever carried out in the Hantane Mountain trek said. The mission was called by the Police emergency unit last Sunday to track down 453 undergraduates who got lost more..