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Sri Lanka exports down 6.6% in November

Dec 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell 6.6% to 827.6 million US dollars in November 2012 from a year earlier but apparel exports picked up 4.6% to 363 million US dollars, official data shows. The value of tea exports was also up a slight 0.6% to 126 million US dollars, though overall agricultural exports were down 8% to 190.2 million US dollars. Imports fell 8.4% to 1.82 billion US dollars in November 2012 from a year earlier with more..

TID summons Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

Dec 28 (CG) The Police Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) has issued summons on Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) President Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, reports said today. A notice had been sent to him yesterday asking him to be present at the TID office in Colombo tomorrow. Reports from Jaffna said that the Tamil politician, son of late Kumar Ponnambalam, is expected to be questioned over some of the recent incidents in Jaffna involving Jaffna university students. more..

12 suspects arrested for deceiving devotees

Dec 28 (CT) The Yatiyantota Police have arrested 12 suspects, including three children for deceiving devotees and obtaining money during the Saman Denala Perahera, which started on Thursday from Ratnapura to Sri Pada marking the beginning of the Sri Pada season. The suspects had gone ahead of the Perahera and obtained money from devotees, who had lined up the streets to witness the event. On information provided to the police the suspects were arrested and produced in court. more..

'Dropped catches cost us'

Dec 28 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said the two dropped catches in the third session on day one were crucial and might have changed the complexion of the Melbourne Test, in which Sri Lanka were defeated inside three days. The innings and 201-run loss is the third heaviest in Sri Lanka's Test history, as the visitors succumbed to 103 all out in 24.2 overs in the second innings. Kumar Sangakkara was retired more..

Back-to-back disasters compound north’s difficulties

Dec 28 (IRIN) Floods in the past two months following a long drought have left Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces reeling, with tens of thousands of people displaced, thousands of houses damaged or destroyed, and stretches of agricultural land devastated. Rain beginning on 16 December has affected at least 350,000 people, displaced 31,000, killed 39 and left seven missing, according to the nation’s DMC. Storms have thus far damaged 12,000 houses and destroyed another 4,100 more..

Separate treatment units for child abuse victims

Dec 28 (CT) The Ministry of Health has decided to establish separate units in all main hospitals, to treat children who have been subjected to abuse. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena today instructed officials to set up these units, on a request by the Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Anoma Dissanayake. She had pointed out that children go through intense emotional trauma when they do not have a separate space allocated for them when more..

National heritage frauds mostly 'inside work'

Dec 28 (DM) Sri Lanka Accounts Service Association Secretary M.S.D. Anton Perera said the National Heritage Ministry and the Archaeology Department must take responsibility for the financial rackets in the Archaeology Department as well as for the devastation of artifacts in the country. “All these financial rackets and archaeological devastation are carried out with the ‘blessings’ of the National Heritage Ministry more..

Halaal is not forced - ACJU

Dec 28 (SM) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama says it never forces the halaal certification on anything, and its intention is to ensure healthy consumer goods for the public. Noting that it has given this certification to more than 200 Sri Lankan companies, ACJU says its charge is not a levy, and that it is cheaper when compared to other certification fees. JHU leader Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera has alleged ACJU earned Rs. 7,000 million a year through the issuance of halaal certification to 4,500 more..

Sri Lanka establish diplomatic ties with Mauritania

Dec 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Mauritania established formal diplomatic relations on 21st Dec. Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, signed the Joint Communiqué on behalf of Sri Lanka, while Ahmed Ould Teguedi, the Permanent Representative of Mauritania to the UN, singed on behalf of Mauritania. Dr. Kohona noted that the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries would enhance existing close relations and cooperation in the political, social and more..

CTU, IUSF, condemn leadership training programme

Dec 28 (CT) Parents of students who successfully completed their A/Ls have to spend over Rs 10,000 to buy items required for the students’ two week stay at military camps for their leadership training programme. The students and parents, speaking to Ceylon Today, said they are outraged at the amount of money they had to spend to buy the items listed in the letters sent to the undergraduates. “It’s Christmas season, and more..

A coup sans arms

Dec 29 (NS) In 1962, a group comprised military and police officers attempted to overthrow the democratically elected govt in a conspiracy. In the past six episodes, the issues leading to, and the background of the key players were discussed in detail. As planned the operation commenced with senior DIG police Range I, CC ‘Jungle’ Dissanayake issuing a ‘Take Post’ order to his subordinates at 2200 hrs on Saturday, 27th January. The details of which were kept secret from the second more..

Doomsday: How to face fiction and reality

Dec 29 (NS) Although the so-called ‘dooms day’ predicted by the Mayan calendar has just passed, some fear psychosis still persists among many in our country due to frequent media reports on red rain, meteoritic rain, earthquakes, illuminated objects in space and mass sicknesses among schoolchildren. However, addressing the recent Second World Ecological Safety Assembly held recently in Bali, Indonesia, I stressed that although the Mayan prediction would be a myth the more..

Bhikkhuni order established in month of Unduwap

Dec 29 (SO) Buddhists all over the world celebrate Unduwap Full Moon Poya on a grand scale. It is the final of the 12 Poya days according to the Buddhist calendar. Devotees give the same prominence to Unduwap Full Moon Poya as to Vesak, Poson and Esala Full Moon Poya days. The Unduwap Full Moon Poya is very important to Buddhists, especially to Sri Lankan Buddhists due to 3 reasons. The arrival of Therani Sangamitta more..

Shed all bias and prejudice, and give justice to the Chief Justice

Dec 29 (CT) Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Wimal Weerawansa who were members of the PSC have taken unto themselves the campaign against the Chief Justice Shiranee Bandaranayake whom they found guilty of three charges contained in the impeachment motion. The readers will remember that the CJ at the outset of the inquiry took up the objection inter alia that the two members of the Committee Rajitha Senaratne and Wimal Weerawansa are biased against her in that more..

Editorial: Flogging a dead horse

Dec 29 (Island) The left allies of the ruling UPFA coalition have reportedly expressed their disappointment over President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s refusal to prorogue Parliament and thereby stall impeachment process against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The President does not seem to care a damn about their disapprobation. After all, he is the boss! He knows they will have to fall in line sooner or later; it’s a case of Hobson’s choice for them. Whether they will have the more..

Out with cupcakes in with macarons

Dec 29 (ST) What makes a perfect French macaron? A smooth, firm shell and a soft, melt-in-your-mouth centre is a good place to start. But for something that can disappear in one bite, a macaroon is a lot of hard work, says Dushinka Subramaniam. Dushinka has owned and run Munchkin, a home bakery since 2010 and she turns out macarons in coffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla and pistachio flavours. more..

Uncontested findings against the CJ by the PSC

Dec 29 (CT) On going tussle between the Judiciary, Executive and the Legislative (absolutely nothing more than puppets conduct themselves according to the whims and fancies of the Executive President) is surely a step forward for restoring democracy proper in this inland nation. Particularly since the 1972 Constitution, separation power between the three organs of the govt was not worth the paper (the Constitution) it was written. Since then the judiciary, headed by the CJ in most cases more..

Cheers - Feel truly sovereign in this New Year

Dec 29 (Island) There will be the huge blasts of crackers trying to beat the deafening singing of Auld Lang Syne for good times gone by, with wishes for the best to come as the New Year dawns. The hotels in Colombo and other urban centres will be full of New Year revelers, to whom several thousand per head spent on a night to greet the New Year is no problem. This comes easy with all we hear about the great march of progress and the economy on the bounce in Sri Lanka, year on year. more..

Let Reconciliation and Rule of Law be our wish for the New Year

Dec 29 (Island) This was the poem that was quoted by the then King of England King George VI at the end of his Christmas Day broadcast to the nation in 1939 on the eve of World War II. This was stated in a Christian context but since then has been used as an inspirational message by people of many faiths and in a variety of contexts. When in doubt or in need of help, adherents of all four major religions in our country pray for support from more..

At least a six-year plan is a must says Julian Bolling

Dec 29 (ST) “Sri Lanka does not have swimmers even to compete in the Asian standards, despite the fact that we have enormous resources in the country like the vast sea around us, a large number of rivers and swimming pools in practically almost all schools and districts” said one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent swimmers — Julian Bolling. Bolling, who is the recipient of 15 gold medals at the SAF games — the highest to win by a single athlete says the only way for the country to develop swimming more..

PIM first university institute to get ISO certificate

Dec 29 (ST) The Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) has received the ISO 9001:2008 Certificate, the first and only institute in the university system to receive this certification in Sri Lanka. PIM’s quality management system was certified by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI). It confirms that the internal systems that are adopted by the Academic Administration and Finance Divisions as well as the Library and the IT Centre, four major components of the PIM’s more..

‘I see no reason to resign and I don’t think I would be asked to’

Dec 29 (DBS) Q: Although you say you do not perceive yourself as a “rebel” MP I am sure you must be aware of reports describing you as one. There have also been reports that you are to be moved out of Parliament on account of you being a “rebel”and that your National list MP slot would be given to Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama. It is also said that Mr. Bogollagama would be appointed External Affairs minister thereafter. Is this a likely more..

Uninvited guests intrude SL mission in Malaysia

Dec 29 (CT) The Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia was intruded upon by a couple of representatives of the Keadilan Rakayat Party, and an unknown cameraman, on Thursday. Two party representatives identified as Arjunan alias Mutu and his son Kalaimugilan alias Arjunan of the Tamil Progressive Team intruded the Sri Lankan High Commission premises in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with a cameraman. The unknown cameraman had taken photographs without permission. more..

Official lauds National Green Reporting System

Dec 29 (DN) The National Green Reporting System initiated last year has become a remarkable step towards "the greening the industries in Sri Lanka", said Environment Ministry Secretary B M U D Basnayake. He said under this mission, strategies and actions have been developed to minimise environmental degradation by promoting sustainable and cleaner production in industries. Participating in the Annual Green Reporting Ceremony 2012 at Waters Edge in Battaramulla recently, more..

Nihal Sri alerts Speaker about perceived bias by CJ, other judges

Dec 29 (FT) Public Interest Litigator Nihal Sri Ameresekere has maintained that the Supreme Court Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunge and K. Sripavan stand disqualified from hearing the writ applications pertaining to the interpretation of Article 107 (3) of the Constitution with regard the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Referring to an application filed by him in the Supreme Court, seeking a more..

Inter-provincial special private bus service: NTC receives 116 complaints

Dec 29 (DN) The National Transport Commission (NTC) received 116 complaints from passengers regarding the inter-provincial special private bus service operated during the festive season. An NTC spokesman said most complaints were for overcharging, failure to return the balance to passengers, being discourteous to commuters and the non-issuance of tickets. He said they received 33 complaints regarding overcharging during the special bus service. Among other complaints more..

Aim to drive away fear psychosis, suspicion fostered by war

Dec 29 (DN) Another stage of the Uthuru Vasanthaya Nena Guna Weduma Sisi Diriya national programme was held for four days at the community centre near the Kilinochchi Public Playground recently. This national programme launched on a concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been operating continuously for the last seven years, a press release issued by the Presidential Secretariat said. Its main objective is to drive away the fear psychosis and suspicion more..

Boston Lanka News: December 28, 2012

Ensure principle of Natural justice adhered to -SLMC

Dec 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Medical Council says the govt should ensure that citizens are entitled to be judged in accordance with the principles of natural justice. President of the SLMC, Prof Carlo Fonseka, in a letter addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa says: "At its monthly statutory meeting held on 21st December 2012, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) noted with appreciation Your Excellency’s reported intention to appoint a panel to review the procedure and report of the PSC more..

Counterfeiting duo nabbed with Rs. 260,000 in dud notes

Dec 29 (Island) The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Kandy DIG headquarters, yesterday arrested an ex-soldier and his accomplice, a computer graphic designer, with a haul of dud currency notes to the value of Rs. 260,000. The ex-soldier, a resident of Kiribathkumbura off Peradeniya, had in his possession 170 counterfeit currency notes of the Rs. 1,000 denomination and 18 of the Rs. 5,000 denomination. A large number of forged identity cards, Passports, diploma more..

Students save for school in Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (CWD) While many 16-year-olds are enjoying their latest gadgets from Christmas, a group of James Sheahan Catholic High School students are thinking about how they can help others. Student Sophie Brown is one of 15 who will head to Sri Lanka in September to work with students at a Lasallian school but this is no cushy overseas trip. The students embarked on a fundraising campaign last term to come up more..

'Small is beautiful led to country's down fall'

Dec 29 (DN) The Maha Sangha have always come forward to save and protect the country during crisis situations, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. He was addressing a meeting at the Sri Gangarama Viharaya, Pitabeddara to mark the handing over of the act of appointment bearing the Dharmakeerthi Sri Pannananda Honorary title to Ven Hewowita Indaratana Thera who was appointed the Chief Sanghanayake Thera of Matara Palatha by the Malwatte Chapter of the Shyamoplai more..

Subash Hotel reopens in Jaffna

Dec 29 (Island) Subash Hotel, Jaffna comprising 36 Rooms was the main Hotel in Jaffna, where many visitors to Jaffna stayed, including VIPs. It had been requisitioned by the armed forces during the war and handed back to the family owners. The entrepreneur of Subash Hotel, was late A. Sangaran, who also had a flourishing ice-cream business, Subash Café and Ice-cream in Jaffna town, which was a virtual monopoly in the 1970s. On December 14, 2012, late A. Sangaran’s family re-opened the more..

Korean govt launches Sinhala e-services

Dec 29 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul celebrated the launch of the e-People service in Sinhala on 21st Dec 2012. The Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) offers an online web service named e-People, Korea’s major online communication channel between the govt and the people, which gathers civil complaints, petitions and suggestions for the Korean govt. With the addition of an more..

India and Sri Lanka’s Civil War

Dec 29 (TD) Last month the United Nations published a highly critical internal report in which it admitted it didn’t do enough to protect Tamil civilians in the final months of the Sri Lanka civil war. In late 2008, the UN had withdrawn staff from the northern part of the country in anticipation of the Sri Lanka govt’s bloody military offensive against the LTTE. Tamil civilians had pleaded with the UN to stay at the time, but the international organization said it was unable to ensure the safety of its more..

Pandemonium at Welimada PS

Dec 29 (Island) Pandemonium prevailed at Welimada Pradeshiya Sabha yesterday after a group of opposition members dragged its Chairman R.M. Abeysekera out of his chair. Clashes erupted during the debate on third reading of the PS’s budget for the next year. When the proposals were presented by the Chairman, some govt members themselves found fault with the document. At this point a UNP member hurled a plastic bottle of water targeting the PS chairman triggering a hot more..

Toxic gas kills three miners in Nivithigala

Dec 29 (Island) A toxic gas killed three miners and left two others in a serious condition at a gem mine in Vithanakanda, Nivithigala yesterday. The two labourers, who are in a serious condition, are receiving treatment at the Ratnapura General Hospital Intensive Care Unit. Two other labourers, who were also affected by the toxic gas, are being treated at the Watupitiya hospital. The workers were overwhelmed by some toxic more..

Parliament is supreme – TU leaders

Dec 29 (DN) Trade Union leaders yesterday said Parliament is the supreme institution in a country and the Judiciary has no right to challenge Parliament. “All public sector employees must respect the constitution,” they said. “According to the public sector ethics code, govt employees are bound to serve the govt honestly and disciplinary action can be taken against those who fail to do so,” they said. “But this procedure is different, when we look at those holding high public positions, more..

DPF Dy. Leader urges President’s direct rule over N&E

Dec 29 (Island) Deputy Leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF), Dr. Kumar Guruparan, yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to directly handle the affairs of the Northern and Eastern Provinces as the situation, particularly in the North had gone from bad to worse. Dr. Guruparan said that with the arrest of the Jaffna University undergraduates and even those who had returned from rehabilitation, the parents of those northern students were living in fear. more..

CID allowed further grill Edu. Dept. press employee

Dec 29 (Island) Kaduwela Magistrate yesterday allowed the CID to further question and record the statement of one of five suspects, who were produced from remand custody, over the leaking of the Science Paper 1 of the recently concluded GCE O/L exam. While allowing an employee of the Examinations Department’s printing division, Mangala Priyashantha, to be questioned by the CID, the Magistrate more..