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Tamil diaspora’s impediments to peace in SL

Dec 26 (NS) Since LTTE emerged in 1972, it assassinated a president, a prime minister, Tamil and Sinhalese politicians, GOSL ministers and innocent Tamil and Sinhalese civilians. It attempted to, but failed to assassinate Army Commander; Sarath Fonseka and former President, Chandrika Bandaranaike, but robbed several banks, exhorted money and gold from Tamil civilians, blew up multistorey buildings and destroyed billion dollars’ worth of Sri Lanka’s assets transforming more..

A stinging judicial rebuke to the govt

Dec 26 (CT) As Sri Lanka heads into a New Year made dangerously uncertain by the precipitation of the worst constitutional crisis since independence, mindless revelry needs to be replaced by this Govt’s sober rethinking of where it wants to take this country and its people. Is it down the road of quasi-dictatorship pitting itself with an increasingly angry and mutinous populace, with the courts and the legislature in an open clash or is it to step back from the precipice that yawns before us? more..

A shadow action plan for the LLRC

Dec 26 (GV) The LLRC Final Report contains many positive recommendations which merit immediate attention. Unfortunately, the present administration has given virtually no indication that it has any intention of seriously engaging with these recommendations. With the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the unwarranted arrest of University of Jaffna students and the recent murder of dozens of Welikada inmates, it’s more..

Sri Lanka, between the hammer of Rajapaksa-absolutism and the anvil of ...

Dec 26 (CT) Their greed, our apathy; their fanaticism, our indifference; their brutal aggression, our embarrassing cowardice: such are the basic ingredients of the baleful concoction which is seeping into almost every aspect of Lankan life, undermining Lankan stability and destroying Lankan security. The unnatural and repeated earth-tremors affecting Ampara and the (mercifully unsuccessful) attempt to divide the Bar Association the attack on the President of of the Colombo Magistrate more..

Eelam lobbyists in Australia can tarnish Sri Lanka’s image before CHOGM

Dec 26 (NS) The average Sri Lankan, if questioned about Sri Lanka-Australia ties last week would have alluded to the on-going, closely fought Test cricket series between the two countries. Most of them would have heard of Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, but not of Bob Carr. Carr, the Australian Foreign Minister visited Colombo last week but he hardly captured the imagination of the media engrossed in the drama surrounding the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

සංවර්ධන සටහන් | December 21, 2012

Editorial: Sexual predators still at large

Dec 26 (Island) The Health Ministry is always in the news––for the wrong reasons. It hits the headlines, more often than not, for drug shortages, strikes and various protests which greatly inconvenience the public. During the past few weeks, it has got a great deal of bad press for the sexual harassment of its female employees. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who has, to his credit, shed light on the high incidence of sexual offences at his institution, now tells us that some of the worst more..

‘Stability in the Indian Ocean region should be fostered’

Dec 26 (SO) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa warned that the threat posed by the Indian Ocean might seriously affect the security, stability and sustainability of the Indian Ocean region and its impact is felt not only by regional littoral nations but also globally. He identified piracy, terrorism, illegal human, drug and arms trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing and waste disposal as the major issues among others that seriously affect the security and sustainability of the Indian more..

Funding shortage thwarts reconstruction efforts

Dec 26 (IPS) The landscape in northern Sri Lanka’s former war zone can change abruptly from the ordinary to the surreal. Areas that lie on the main highways, or major towns like Kilinochchi, Paranthan and Mullaittivu, have replaced the rubble with restaurants, banks, shops and ATM machines. Here, three and a half decades of civil war that only ended in May 2009 seem to have been long forgotten. But travel deeper more..

Kilinochchi mass celebrates Christmas

Dec 26 (FT) Kilinochchi dwellers recently celebrated the Christmas replete with cultural events, Christmas carols, musical show and pyrotechnics recently in view of Christmas season. The Christmas celebration was a brainchild of Security Forces Headquarters Commander and selected students in the region were gifted 200 scholarships each worth of Rs. 10000.00. Mainly the most prominent events in the occasion were the exhibit of the highest Christmas tree of 80 ft and the more..

NP teacher transfer discussed

Dec 26 (DN) A special meeting regarding the Northern Province teacher transfers was held under the chairmanship of Northern Province Governor G A Chandrasiri in Battaramulla. Ways and means to implement transfers properly were discussed. The Northern Province Teacher Transfer Board, headed by the Provincial Director of Education was formed. The board is represented by representatives of teacher unions. The Governor instructed the board to submit details of teachers to more..

Tamil protesters urge Sri Lanka cricket boycott

Dec 26 (SMH) Sri Lanka and its cricket team should be exiled from world sport in the same manner as Zimbabwe and boycotted by Australia, according to Tamil protesters who demonstrated outside the MCG for the start of the Boxing Day Test. As cricket's showpiece game, the Boxing Day Test provided the opportunity for President Rajapaksa to continue to launder his "dirty image", offering more spin for the govt than more..

Online currency fraud: Majority of suspects from Taiwan

Dec 26 (Island) 96 of the 114 suspects arrested in Colombo on Saturday in connection with an internet currency fraud perpetrated on people living in mainland China, were from Taiwan. "None of the victims were Sri Lankan. Ninety six of those arrested were from Taiwan. The suspects had taken advantage of the rapid increase in Chinese investments in Sri Lanka, to dupe their fellow country men," a Chinese Embassy said. Chinese Police, had provided maximum assistance to more..

Daily three female Jaffna university students called

Dec 26 (OU) Jaffna university students are endlessly under interrogation by the Terrorism Investigation unit police. Mainly investigations against female students have increased. Daily about three female students are called for inquires to Vavuniya. Jaffna university Teachers have informed that the students called for inquires is informed to the parents, hence the details of how many students faced interrogation is unable to assess. They further informed after the arrest of Jaffna university students union more..

Why do asylum boats keep coming from Sri Lanka?

Dec 26 (SBC) So far this year, the number of boat arrivals from Sri Lanka is over six-thousand - almost 30 times bigger than last year's figure. It's raised questions about the reasons for the recent jump. It's been more than three-and-a-half years since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka between govt forces and Tamil separatist rebels. Yet 2012 has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of Sri Lankans arriving in Australia by boat more..

N'Eliya preserves biodiversity despite odds

Dec 26 (DN) Nuwara Eliya is rich in biodiversity in spite of lands used for tea cultivation, according to a study of the Young Biologists' Association, Sri Lanka. The study says, though tea plantation is prominent and land used for cultivation in the up country, the area still sustains a significant portion of up-country biodiversity. It has been revealed that 245 fauna and 160 flora species were recorded during the study. Vertebrates observed comprises 22 amphibians, 19 reptiles, 95 birds and more..

Tuition classes to be put under watch

Dec 26 (CT) The govt is considering introducing regulations to control the activities of private tuition classes and international schools, following the incident of the GCE O/L Science paper being leaked through a private tuition teacher. Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardena, said, a special advisory committee appointed by the ministry is now reviewing the steps to be taken to amend or introduce legislation. The advisory committee has received recommendations and more..

Turkey to open Embassy in SL in February

Dec 26 (Island) Turkey, a member State of NATO will be opening a fully fledged embassy in Colombo in February next year. They have already designated an Ambassador to Sri Lanka. On Monday this week, the Turkish Ambassador Designate to Sri Lanka Ambassador Iskender Okyay paid an official visit to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Ankara and had formal discussions with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Turkey Bharathi Wijeratne. more..

'Foreign job seekers encroach SL job market'

Dec 26 (DN) There is a trend to lose local job opportunities for Sri Lankans due to the migration of foreign job seekers to Sri Lanka, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. Participating in the awards ceremony of Civil Security Department officers who completed the first phase of a mason skills training programme at Construction Equipment Training Centre recently, Minister said if there is not a skilled labour force in the country, it is unavoidable to keep job opportunities for Sri Lankans due to the more..

Teacher unionists call for education minister’s head

Dec 26 (Island) Teacher trade unionists have called upon the Education Minister to accept responsibility for the GCE O/L science question paper leak and resign from his portfolio. Ceylon Teachers’ Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin said, in a press release, that the minister had publicly admitted, during a meeting attended by the Examinations Commissioner and Secretary to the Ministry of Education, that 19 questions of the paper were leaked to some students prior to the exam. more..

Colombo Today journalist meets with tragic end

Dec 26 (CT) In a tragic turn of events, a promising young Ceylon Today journalist was killed yesterday, when a lorry driven by a person without a valid driver's licence went out of control and ploughed into her, before crashing into a wall. The journalist was wedged between the lorry and the wall and suffered critical injuries. She died upon admission to the Accident Service of the National Hospital, Colombo. The accident occurred at more..

Floods: Com Bank mounts emergency relief operations

Dec 26 (Island) Branches of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon in several areas scrambled to provide assistance to people affected by floods resulting from the current spell of inclement weather over Sri Lanka, the bank said in a statement. Acting on the instructions of the Commercial Bank CSR Trust, the Bank’s branches in Chilaw, Ambalantota, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura and Nikaweratiya, assessed needs of people in their respective areas and provided assistance, the Bank said. more..

Festive season: 3% rise in accident victims this year

Dec 26 (Island) The National Hospital has received more than 400 accident victims during the 24 hours ended at 9.00 a.m. yesterday due to road traffic accidents, drunk driving, falls, suicide attempts and brawls. Some got emergency treatment and were discharged, but some patients had to be hospitalized as they were serious. No one injured in fire-cracker related accidents had been brought to the NHSL Accident Service up to the time of going to press. Spokesperson for the National Hospital more..

Relocated Tamil girls bury ghosts

Dec 26 (NIP) “Ghosts” that were “tormenting” 15 of the 103 Tamil women recently inducted to the Sri Lankan army have ceased to pose a problem ever since the recruits were shifted out of the Bharathipuram camp. “When we came to know that Bharathipuram had seen many deaths during the war and that the ghosts of the dead were still hovering around, some of us felt like strange men were touching us. We would faint out of more..

Exams Dept. to tighten security

Dec 26 (Island) The Department of Examinations has decided to increase security arrangements following the leak of question papers of public examinations, department sources said. Accordingly, the CCTV network of the department would be further expanded to cover all sections of the institute and a new uniform without pockets would be introduced for the employees attached to the Secret Document Printing Section, sources said. Sources said that the salaries of an employee more..

Remembering those killed by the Tsunami 8 yrs ago

Dec 26 (Island) Sri Lanka today commemorates about 40,000 people who died in the tsunami tragedy eight years ago. Arrangements have been made to hold commemorative ‘pinkama’ and other religious events. The annual national disaster management day would be held at Badulla today with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. National Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera requested the general public to maintain two minutes silence from more..

Have a better record before criticising Sri Lanka _ Russian envoy

Dec 26 (DN) Sri Lanka is being criticised for Human Rights violations by those who are not in the least perfect in that area themselves, new Russian envoy in Sri Lanka Alexander A Karchava said. “Sometimes people point at a speck in the others eye without knowing a whole lot about the board in theirs,” he said. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, the envoy said developed countries in the West can suggest ideas to more..

More people evacuated due to flood threat

Dec 26 (DN) Farmer families of Bisokotuwa, Kambiliwewa, Konwewa Weherawewa, Boralukanda and Ulpathgamawewa in the Padaviya Divisional Secretariat area are being evacuated due to heavy rains experienced in the area. Minister Tissa Karaliyadda visited Padaviya and Welioya areas to receive first hand information regarding the flood situation and to make relief arrangements. The two sluice gates of the Padaviya reservoir have been opened by four feet and two and half feet more..

150 small tanks destroyed

Dec 26 (CT) Over 150 small reservoirs and other irrigation projects have been damaged due to heavy rains, Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wildlife said yesterday. Commissioner General of Agrarian Services, Sunil Weerasinghe, said 25 of the damaged reservoirs are in Anuradhapura major paddy cultivation district. 128,000 acres of rice cultivation are affected by floods. However, he said a portion of these cultivations can be saved if the rain stops and flood waters recede. more..

Rising per capita GDP, key to Northern prosperity

Dec 26 (DM) The country’s war ravaged Northern Province has recorded the highest growth rate in 2011, improving its rank to sixth position from ninth in a prosperity index calculated by the Central Bank. “The Northern Province recorded the highest growth rate and improved its rank to sixth position in 2011 from ninth position in the previous year mainly on account of an increase in per capita GDP, bank density, road density and more..

Insurance and more for disaster preparedness

Dec 26 (DN) The Disaster Management Ministry is planning to introduce a special insurance scheme for homes in identified disaster prone areas to protect property owners against potential losses during a natural calamity. The insurance is to be extended to home owners whose houses are located within identified risk zones subject to recurring natural disasters such as floods, earth slips, quakes etc. An official said the insurance premiums would be borne by the ministry. more..

Iran’s Speaker calls for expansion of Sri Lanka ties

Dec 26 (TT) Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has called for the expansion of relations between Tehran and Colombo. Larijani made the remarks during a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem in Tehran on Monday. During the meeting, Larijani stated that Iran’s great potential in various areas can help the progress and development of Sri Lanka and the Majlis supports efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation. He also expressed hope that the obstacles in the way of cooperation more..

'President has not decided to prorogue Parliament'

Dec 26 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had not decided to prorogue Parliament though a suggestion to that effect had been made by the left allies of the UPFA coalition, Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. The LSSP and the CP have said the prorogation of Parliament was the only way to avert a crisis over the govt’s impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake as it will cause the more..

Editorial: A people's right

Dec 26 (DM) Those who try to interpret the ongoing battle between the Judiciary and the Executive as a personal dispute may be blind to the fact that the manner in which the latter has been behaving in the process reeks of partiality. The core of the matter lies far beneath the Impeachment procedure and the theatrics of the Select Committee that was appointed to look into the charges against the CJ. The incumbent government is well-known for its mechanisms to make the dissent fall in line. more..

Power spares none; Not even the Judiciary

Dec 26 (DM) President Rajapaksa, exerting his considerable talent to deal with populist pressure claimed that, despite the govt driven impeachment process finding Lanka’s Chief Justice culpable on certain charges, he would act ‘according to his conscience’ and appoint an ‘independent committee’. Later it was assumed to further inquire into the findings handed down by a majority of the PSC. Many believed that this statement by the President gives an opening for a fair inquiry more..

Rust bucket sails to Colombo

Dec 26 (Island) The almost hilarious saga of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation’s last surviving and aging vessel MV Mahapola is now expected in Colombo early next year, according to Triple S Shipping Company that chartered the vessel from the Corporation on bareboat basis in October 2011. The current head of Triple S. Shipping, Dr Sanjaya Senarath said that the vessel detained in Durban for several months more..

Sangakkara reaches 10000-run milestone

Dec 26 (CI) In the first innings of the Boxing Day Test, Kumar Sangakkara became the second Sri Lankan batsman, and the 11th overall, to reach the 10,000-run mark. Sangakkara, who got to the milestone in his 195th innings, is level on top with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar on the list of batsmen to reach the mark in the fewest innings. The first man to achieve the landmark at the MCG, Sangakkara crossed 10,000 runs more..

Height of State sponsored racism and impunity

Dec 26 (CT) Recently, there was a wave of explicit racism on Facebook from a large number of Sri Lankan youth who identified themselves to be Sinhalese-Buddhists defending their race. They once campaigned to boycott brands said to be owned by a minority ethnic group in Sri Lanka. Recently I saw a jubilant notice by this hate group – "We proudly announce that we could bring the profits of THAT BRAND by 40% over the last more..

Private bus operators pay ‘kappam’ to survive

Dec 26 (ST) Private bus drivers are compelled either to speed and race with other buses or drive slowly to collect more passengers, as they have to find extra money to pay ‘kappam’ or extortion fee, a senior Transport Commission official said yesterday. Complaints lodged by private bus owners to the National Transport Commission (NTC) that bus drivers are forced to pay a minimum of Rs 300 on each of their turns, resulting in losses, more..

Sri Lanka wary of loss making global Casino brands

Dec 26 (SL) Business Development managers representing global casino operators regularly scour the world for new markets to expand their operations. As Asia’s wealth grows, Sri Lanka too has been identified by some as the new growth area with over a billion people in the region within a three and a half hours flying time of its capital Colombo. However Sri Lanka is growing weary – and has grown wary – of global casino brands that more..