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Devananda assures solace to Jaffna's Muslim traders

Dec 27 (DN) Shops that belonged to Muslims, chased away from Jaffna by the LTTE in 1990, will be handed over to them, Minister Douglas Devananda said. He was speaking at a meeting at Weerasingham Hall to discuss problems faced by traders in Jaffna last week. The minister said the shops will be handed over to Muslim traders and if anyone was found forcibly residing or carrying on businesses at such places, legal action would more..

1,230 families affected due to rain at Chettikulam

Dec 27 (OU) Due to the continuous rain falls and floods, four thousand and 400 persons from 230 families living in Chettikulam divisional unit had been affected was stated by Chettikulam Divisional Secretary S.Kamamalanathan. All of them are sheltered in 15 evacuation centers and are maintained. They are provided with cooked food and distributed with essential items. People from Aandiya Puliyankulam, Periyakattu, Kannatti, Piramanthan pond, Kaduventhapulavu, more..

Lanka, one family today - minister

Dec 27 (DN) Sri Lanka today, is a nation for all communities and all religions, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. The minister speaking at a Christmas Carol Service ceremony at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London with the participation of over 150 members of the Sri Lankan diaspora community in the UK congratulated High Commissioner Dr Chris Nonis on his initiatives in bringing the diaspora in the UK together as a symbol of unity, friendship, and peace. more..

IMF review mission expected in February

Dec 27 (Island) An IMF review mission is expected in Colombo early February 2013 to explore further possibilities following the useful exchange of ideas that the Central Bank had following the completion of the US$ 2.6 billion Stand By Arrangement facility with the fund. "We had a very useful exchange of ideas how to continue with good relationship after the successful completion of the SBA for US dollars 2.6 billion. more..

Jaffna docs on one-hour strike

Dec 27 (Island) The Jaffna Teaching Hospital GMOA Branch union yesterday launched a one-hour strike (from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) in protest against the failure of the police to bring to book the attacker of Consultant ENT surgeon Dr. Balakrishna Tirumaran. Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala is due to visit the Jaffna hospital on Dec 28 to solve the problem. But, until he arrived there the trade union action would continue, GMOA Jaffna Hospital Secretary Dr. P. Nimalan said. more..

A'pura calm after floods

Dec 27 (DN) Flood waters in Anuradhapura are receding. Anuradhapura District Irrigation Director Lalith de Alwis said that except the Huruluwewa tank all other 10 major tanks in the district have been spilling. The water spilling level of these reservoirs have been on the decrease by a few inches but the spilling level of the Mahawilachchiya reservoir has been on the increase, Alwis said. Anuradhapura Additional District Secretary K.B. Hettiarachchi said the flood waters are subsiding. more..

Yapa defends PSC; refuses request for ind. Comm.

Dec 27 (DM) Denying a request by the leftist parties to appoint an independent committee to look into the charges against the Chief Justice, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, the chairman of the now defunct PSC said that that would not be within the provisions of the Constitution. “Our duties are set out clearly in the Constitution and the standing orders. We have been given a task under our Constitution and our standing orders. more..

Lankans among fake asylum seekers nabbed in Korea

Dec 27 (DN) Twenty-one foreigners from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Burma have been caught falsely applying for asylum to extend their stay, the Korean Justice Ministry said yesterday. They were caught by immigration officials paying brokers to illegally obtain refugee status in Korea. They cited death threats from the Taliban and political oppression in Pakistan among their reasons for applying for refugee status. But when immigration officials investigated, they admitted seeking to extend their stays in more..

‘Hygienic Rice’ seized by PHD

Dec 27 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) said they had taken 25 kilos of a ‘Hygienic Rice’, for sampling, during an inspection of wholesale dealers in the Pettah. PHD CMC Chief, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that the packing mentioned that the rice was good for diabetic patients. He said that the Colombo Central MoH office was carrying out inspections in Pettah during the season following complaints that low quality food items were being sold in more..

Fears for Sri Lanka's outspoken Leader

Dec 27 (BBC) Almost four years after its editor was killed in mysterious circumstances, there are fears that Sri Lanka's most outspokenly anti-government newspaper is losing its critical edge. On 8 January 2009, the editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was assassinated by a group of masked men on motorbikes. The case sent shockwaves around the world, highlighting more..

Increase of crimes and constitutional tomfoolery

Dec 27 (AHRC) The construction of a government that prevents one person becoming the prey of another can be said to be the aim of constitutionalism. Ever since Montesquieu, the greatest of political thinkers and statesmen have struggled to develop principles to achieve this aim of preventing citizens becoming prey of rulers who rule not for the purpose of achieving the greater good for the people, but to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation. more..

Sri Lanka’s military victory cannot substitute political reintegration

Dec 27 (ET) Tamil Nadu politics willy nilly is once again on the verge of rocking India-Sri Lanka relations at a time when Colombo is basking in the glory of its spectacular military victory in 2009 when New Delhi and Chennai had acquiesced to a military solution. The military has legitimised President Mahinda Rajapaksa's overwhelming majority rule both at the centre and in the provinces with the opposition reduced to a non-entity and kingmakers Sri Lanka Muslim Congress made more..

'All are welcome in North, East'

Dec 27 (CT) The TNA, in a ground-breaking approach to national reconciliation, invited members of the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and any other community to take up residence in the North and East if they so desired. "They are most welcome," the TNA said. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, said, "All communities are welcome to settle in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. As representatives of the people of the N&E, more..

Youth in mystery suicide

Dec 27 (Island) A student who had gained admission to the Commerce Faculty of the Ruhuna Uni committed suicide yesterday by hanging himself in a room on the upper floor of his home. The deceased was Suneth Hewage (21) of Borala, Weligama. The mother of the victim said that her son was to attend a leadership training course to be held in Embilipitiya on Friday, prior to the commencement of the University semester and he was very happy about it. more..

Death of journalist: Driver produced before court

Dec 27 (DN) The driver, who ran over 21-year-old female journalist Amila Mendis Jayasinghe of the Ceylon Today newspaper was produced before courts by the Cinnamon Gardens Police yesterday. Jayasinghe died in an accident whilst on her way to work on Tuesday. The accident occurred at the Rosmead Place, Wijerama Mawatha junction. Sources said she died on her way to the Colombo National Hospital. The driver who had no valid driving licence had lost control of the vehicle more..

Sri Lanka is No. 1 nation in ‘sex’ searches on Google

Dec 27 (E24|7) Not many will doubt that one of the most sought after keyword on Internet is “sex”. And Sri Lankans, it seems, are the most search savvy when it comes to Googling that term. This is according to Google Trends, a public web facility that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. Second-placed India is not far more..

Editorial: New battle in Sri Lanka

Dec 27 (Hindu) What is it with South Asia’s strongmen and top judges? Only five years ago General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan found he had bitten off more than he could chew when he tried to sack Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary. Now President Rajapaksa wants Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice out, but like her Pakistani counterpart, Shirani Bandaranayake is determined to fight it out. The chances of her emerging victorious seem slim but the battle is sure to roil the country’s more..

Media Minister won’t comment on CJ issue

Dec 27 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said now that a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), headed by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, had submitted its report on the conduct of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to parliament, he wouldn’t want to discuss the issue with the media. He was responding to a query by The Island. He said that some continued to express different opinion on the impeachment process without realizing the ground situation.

Museum robbery: All suspects arrested, 90% of stolen artifacts recovered – police

Dec 27 (Island) Eight persons including the chief suspect, Lansage Priyantha Medis alias Kangetta have been nabbed and 90 percent of the artifacts stolen from the National Museum have been recovered, according to the police. In addition, seven employees of the Museum had been suspended and nine others served charge sheets following the Museum theft, police told the media at the Police Headquarters yesterday. more..

TNA files case at Supreme Court appealing the release of students

Dec 27 (OU) TNA has decided to approach the Supreme Court assistance for the release of Jaffna university students who are detained at the Welikanda Rehabilitation camp. Alliance circles inform that very soon a petition will be filed in Supreme Court to release P.Bawananthan, P.Tharshanth, K.Jenamey Jayanth, S.Soloman the four students who are detained. Contrary to the regulation, the arrested university students were transferred to the rehabilitation camp and more..

Batsmen may have been overawed by occasion – Ford

Dec 27 (Island) Sri Lanka came into Australia determined to put their record of not winning a Test Match on Australian soil right. They had a perfect opportunity when captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat first against a bowling attack that has struggled, but were bowled out before tea for a disappointing total of 156. This is Sri Lanka’s first Boxing Day Test at MCG after 17 years and playing in front of 67,000 spectators, coach Graham Ford said that he wasn’t too sure more..

Harsha alleges UPFA ploy to deceive flood victims

Dec 27 (Island) Close on the heels of UNP Deputy Leader and MP Sajith Premadasa’s call for adequate compensation for those affected by recent floods, UNP MP Dr. Harsha Silva yesterday alleged that the allocation of Rs. 100 million as compensation for houses damaged and destroyed meant the majority of the victims wouldn’t receive any financial assistance at all. The MP accused the govt of trying to more..

Editorial: Prorogue Parliament to settle crisis

Dec 27 (DM) In the afterglow of Christmas on Tuesday, there is a ray of hope of a compromise on the middle path to settle the unprecedented constitutional crisis over the move to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The UPFA govt’s socialist allies – the LSSP, the CP and the DPF which are headed by cabinet ministers, have urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to prorogue Parliament as a means of settling the crisis which has severely damaged Sri Lanka’s image more..

Christmas in space

Dec 27 (DM) Despite the paparazzi, balloons and a few anaemic Santa Clauses prancing around, there’s no real Christmas this time. All that Kumbhakarna can see is another slide down the depressingly downward economic spiral that’s dragging down all but the rich and the politically connected, with everyone else trying to keep up appearances with the desperation of the newly impoverished. But, for those who are keen on good news at any cost, Sri Lanka will send its more..

Raining fish‘n’frogs instead of proverbial cats‘n’dogs

Dec 27 (ST) Raining of fish is not a doomsday prophecy, but a normal meteorological phenomenon, experts assured. ‘Fish-rain’ was reported at least from two places in Embilipitiya and Kamburupitiya this week, while a prawn-rain was reported from Tissamaharama on Thursday, raising concern among residents. The Ruhuna University Agriculture Faculty in Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, experienced ‘fish-rain’. more..

Jewels Lanka exhibition showcases varieties of gems under one roof

Dec 27 (GT) Jewels Sri Lanka 2012 exhibition held recently in Colombo, has given the opportunity to have a look behind the bejewelled curtain, see where gems come from and the people who deal with them. This opportunity was given not only to buyers and others within the market, but also to locals and tourists, who visited the Jewels Sri Lanka 2012, which also sold souvenirs and lower priced semi-precious gems. more..

Clarke, Watson, Johnson streak hosts ahead

Dec 27 (CI) It is said of golf that the measure of a player can be gleaned less by the quality of their best shots than by the quality of their worst. On day two of the Boxing Day Test, Australia's batsmen played a handful of poor strokes, but they were far less frequent and consequently less terminal than those offered up by Sri Lanka's batsmen on day one. None of Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade or Michael Hussey will be pleased with more..

A govt gone mad and bad

Dec 27 (SL) The heading is inspired by S. L. Gunasekera (his letter to BASL, 28.11.2012) where he asked the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) “to oppose this [impeachment] madness of the incumbent govt,” adding that he continues to support the govt. The Sinhalese in collective have been content to sit back and watch as our government literally took Tamils apart – perhaps 70,000 according to the recent Petrie report. more..

Leadership training project for Uni entrants to cost Rs. 200 mn

Dec 27 (Island) The leadership training programme for prospective university entrants would cost the taxpayer about Rs. 200 mn, a Higher Education Ministry official said. This year’s programme would be held in three stages with the first phase beginning today at 24 security forces and police facilities. About 10,000 undergraduates would take part in the first programme, which would continue till Jan. 12, 2013, more..

Karu J to Govt.: Change attitude or face consequences

Dec 27 (Island) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday urged the govt to change its dictatorial attitude forthwith or face the consequences. Former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya alleged that the govt had brought the people under tremendous pressure and it could boomerang on the Rajapaksa regime sooner or later. Recalling the efforts made by the clergy to persuade those in power to be flexible in dealing with more..

MR says thus far and no more

Dec 27 (DM) President Rajapaksa has intimated to the leftist parties of the coalition that he was not willing to move away from the current impeachment process with regard to the request made by them that parliament be prorogued or an independent panel of retired judges be appointed to investigate charges against the Chief Justice. “Since the impeachment process has been set in motion, the President said he is not willing more..

Mannar Bishop questioned by the CID

Dec 27 (CG) Bishop Rayappu Joseph of the diocese of Mannar has been questioned by the CID about a statement made by him over the issue of deportation of asylum seekers, by the Australian govt, the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) said in a statement. This is not the first time that the Bishop has been interrogated by the CID. “We as the CSM are proud to see him as a rare and extraordinary leader who is faithfully more..

Whether govt is expecting Muslims to carry weapons? MTNA query

Dec 27 (OU) 'Pothubala Sena' the Sinhala movement and other Sinhalese racists are carrying out unscrupulous activities against the Muslim and why govt is silently watching. Suppression against Muslims and continuous autocracies are unleashed against the Muslims by the govt, and to protect their rights, whether Muslims should carry weapons, is what the govt expect was queried by Muslim Tamil National Front. more..

UN closes its dossier on children and armed conflict in SL

Dec 27 (DM) The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict adopted the “Draft Conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka” on Dec 19, 2012, thereby closing the dossier on Sri Lanka in the Security Council. Issuing a statement the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York said, Prior to adopting the Draft Conclusions, the Working Group has considered the report more..

Editorial: Goodbye Amila, let your death not be in vain

Dec 27 (CT) 'Heap on the wood! The wind is chill; but let it whistle as it will. We'll keep our Christmas merry still. Wish you merry X-Mas.' These were the last words from the much loved Ceylon Today journalist, Amila Jayasinghe, to her friends at the newsroom on Tuesday, 25 December. The Christmas wishes were texted just an hour before she left her Kirulapone home to come to the Rosmead Place office, to work the holiday shift. Sadly, she never made it. more..

Apparent bias and prejudice of Prof Carlo Fonseka

Dec 27 (CT) I never contemplated that I may have to contradict or dispute Prof Carlo Fonseka one day whom I admired in my young days, and even thereafter, as an impressive ‘fire walker’ and an exponent of rational views on many matters, social and natural. But on many previous instances, I doubted his political views or judgements, but not on the reason of bias or prejudice. Now the things have changed. While pretending to be preaching a ‘Sermon on the Mountain’ on this Christmas more..

WikiLeaks: US on LTTE’s invocation of the ‘Eritrea’ mantra

Dec 27 (CT) “The popular perception of the Sri Lankan govt as anti-Tamil is reinforced by the apparently random manner in which the army lobs artillery shells into Jaffna. The Reuters correspondent recounted two such incidents which occurred during the week he has in Jaffna. In one case a shell landed in a crowded fish market, killing two civilians and wounded seventeen. Two days before, a woman and her two children were more..

Tourism promotion in Australia parallel with test series

Dec 27 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau today launched a promotional campaign in Australia, in parallel to the National Cricket Team’s tour to Australia, in a bid to attract a slice out of the growing Australian travelers. The campaign, which was launched today with the start of the historic ‘Boxing Day’ Test match played at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG) will be continued during the test series and the upcoming five ODI matches between Sri Lanka and Australia. more..

Herath's stunner, and an unlikely MCG favourite

Dec 27 (CI) Despite having had no fewer than four catches spilt off his bowling in the innings, Rangana Herath pulled off a one-handed stunner at long-on to dismiss Michael Hussey for 34 in the evening session. Hussey went on one knee to slog Dilshan straight, but could neither time nor direct the stroke as he wished as it floated into the vicinity of the fielder. Herath had some distance to cover though, and he did so by cha-cha-ing sideways. Still, he could not get into a position to more..

Sri Lankan couple jailed in Dubai for bribing immigration officer

Dec 27 (E24|7) The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced a Sri Lankan couple to six months in jail for offering Dh10,000 as bribe to an immigration officer at Dubai International Airport, requesting him to allow the woman to depart the country in spite of an entry and exit ban issued against her by the UAE authorities. The couple was ordered to be deported after serving their jail term. According to the records, saleswoman, more..