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Army harasses Tamil students: Reconciliation or repression in Jaffna Uni?

Dec 31 (CT) Let there be no doubt about it; the military entering Jaffna University, framing allegations and incarcerating Tamil students is intended to send a chilling and brutal message to all Tamil dissent. “We have crushed you once, don’t dare raise your heads again; we will do it again. Learn your place as second class citizens of Lanka; a new social order has been defined. Live with it!” The reconciliation and rebuilding covenant that Rajapakse tried to sell to the international more..

Editorial: India’s moment of truth

Dec 31 (Island) The New Delhi gang-rape victim’s tragic death has shifted the tectonic plates of India’s conscience and triggered a tsunami of public outcry. Posthumously, she has become the symbol of a noble cause. Indians have been shaken awake and made to take up the cudgels for women’s rights. She has not died in vain! Mass protests have had the desired impact on the Indian govt; it has been jolted into action. A high level probe has been launched into the incident; police officers accused of more..

Foreign inflows boom

Dec 31 (FT) Foreign inflows to the country are on the rise as per Central Bank data released. It said that with respect to the services account and current transfers in the BOP, earnings from tourism and workers’ remittances continued to grow at a healthy rate. Tourist arrivals in November 2012 increased by 20.1% to 109,202, with arrivals during the first 11 months of 2012 totalling 883,353 reflecting a growth of 16.5%. more..

Sharp drop in distillation of illicit liquor

Dec 31 (SO) The distillation and sale of illicit liquor have dropped sharply following raids on illicit hooch dens in many parts of the country this year. The Panadura Walana Vice Squad which comes directly under the purview of IGP, N.K. Illangakoon conducted 4,551 raids, a senior police officer said. He said most of these raids were on illicit hooch dens in the country. “We raided 4,332 illicit hooch dens this year alone”. The other 136 raids were conducted under the Dangerous Drugs more..

Where have all the openers gone?

Dec 31 (Island) Ever since the times of Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka have struggled to have a steady opening combination. Various players have been tried during the last five years, but none of them have lasted long enough as the selectors chopped and changed all too frequently. The terrible scenes at the MCG on Friday took place after the openers fell in the first over. What was Dimuth Karunaratne thinking when he took off for the second run? more..

'Life jackets compulsory on boats'

Dec 31 (SO) The Disaster Management Ministry has warned owners of boats and fishing craft in the country that the provision of life saving jackets to persons travelling in their craft will be strictly implemented from Jan 1. The decision was taken following the deaths of over 12 persons in the recent past in the Beruwela sea and Tissamaharama lake after their boats had capsised. Both boats were overloaded at the time more..

UNP urges protection for women

Dec 31 (CG) The UNP has condemned the brutal rape of a girl in India and called for urgent measures to be taken for the protection of women around the world. A statement by Shanthini Kongahage, head of the UNP Lakvanitha Front, said that the rape incident which drew regional and international headlines, highlighted the fact that there has been a rise in the number of women being abused. She claims that even in Sri Lanka women are being abused and have failed to be given protection more..

‘CJ’s impeachment – majority view should be considered’

Dec 31 (SO) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said if the majority of MPs are of the view that Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake should be impeached as she had committed certain malpractices, it has to be considered. There can be disagreement on the views expressed against the impeachment motion. We should not forget the fact that 117 Govt MPs held that the Chief Justice should be removed through an impeachment motion. So why shouldn’t we respect this view, more..

Between Drought and Floods: A year of extremes in Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (IPS) Wild elephants are usually the primary attraction in the remote shrub jungles of Udawalawe, about 180 kilometres southeast of Colombo. But this Christmas season, the massive Udawalawe dam stole the limelight from the lumbering beasts. By the end of December, heavy rains had brought water levels in the Udawalawe reservoir close to spilling point, forcing irrigation engineers to open the sluice gates. more..

Gem pit victims drowned: DMO

Dec 31 (ST) The post mortem conducted on the three victims who died in a gem pit at Withanakanda in Nivithigala, Ratnapura revealed that the cause of the deaths was drowning and not due to the inhalation of a toxic gas as initially suspected, Dr. P.H.A. Weerasinghe said. The incident took place on Friday and it was suspected that the three victims died of toxic gas poisoning. “There were toxic gases in the pit. However, we found that the deaths were caused by drowning,” more..

No audit report, no Party

Dec 31 (CT) Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, is expected to summon the Secretaries of all registered political parties to the Election Secretariat this week to take a final decision on cancelling the registration of parties that have not submitted reports of the annual accounts for 2011. Political parties are required to submit the annual audit reports and the declaration of assets of the office-bearers, but several parties have failed to comply with the requirements. more..

Maheswaran’s brother goes missing

Dec 31 (Island) The whereabouts of assassinated UNP Thiagarajah Maheswaran’s brother, who was the victim of an acid attack, remained a mystery as at yesterday. Maheswaran’s brother, Thiagarajah Thuwarakeswaran (47), was attacked with acid near the historic Nallur Kovil, where he went with his two sons for a special ‘pooja’ on account of his elder son’s ninth birthday on Saturday. Although some reports stated more..

Three Sathosa stores sealed

Dec 31 (CT) Three wholesale stores of Lanka Sathosa were sealed and several employees suspended pending investigations, after officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) discovered a 44,700 kg stock of imported big onions that were both substandard and past the expiry date. The substandard big onions were founded during a special raid conducted by CAA officials, following confidential information received by the Trade Minister Johnston Fernando. more..

Dengue death toll 220 this year

Dec 31 (DN) Dengue claimed 220 lives with nearly 50,000 cases reported this year, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The mosquito density was increasing rapidly due to the current unfavourable weather conditions. He said the number of dengue cases reported from the Western Province decreased compared to the last few months while dengue cases in other provinces increased. Around 25% out of the total number of deaths are those between the 5 to 15 age group while more..

'University intake increased to 27,000'

Dec 31 (SO) Higher Education minister S.B. Dissanayake said that the university intake has been increased to 27,000 from 9000 in 2005. This is a 288% increase when compared to 2005. He was speaking at the opening of the Leadership Training and Positive Thinking Development Program for university entrants at the Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Training School, Gannoruwa on Friday. more..

UDA to give facelift to Bandarawela town

Dec 31 (DN) The Urban Development Authority (UDA) which comes under the purview of the Defence and Urban Development Ministry has made arrangements to implement a new development project in Bandarawela town along with the Sri Lanka Railway Department. They are to establish a new bus stand in Bandarawela town as the first step in this development project. The UDA and Sri Lanka Railway Department are to spend Rs.170 million on these development activities according to more..

British tourist dies in ICU

Dec 31 (DM) A British businessman Richard Wilkinson (49) father of two who was flying from England to Maldives died in an intensive care unit of a Wattala Private Hospital where he was admitted during the stop over at the BIA as he was suddenly fallen ill in the air. Ragama Hospital sudden death inquirer (SDI) H.P.D.D De Alwis had done the sudden death inquiry of deceased whose body has been brought to Ragama Hospital. SDI permitted to take the dead body to England as it was more..

President tours landslide hit Matale

Dec 31 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised alternate land for those who lost their homes due to landslides in the Matale district. During a visit to flood and landslide affected areas in the Matale district on Saturday, the President told residents, the govt will provide suitable alternate lands in safe locations for those whose property has been totally destroyed. President Rajapaksa instructed the Matale District Secretary to more..

And now green rain

Dec 31 (CT) Following red rain, yellow rain and fish rain, the country is now experiencing green rain, with residents in several areas in Matale and Ampara, reporting this new phenomenon. The residents have been collecting quantities of the green rain as proof, even as the Meteorological Department requested the public to handover systematically collected samples of the green pigmented rain to the Govt Analyst's Department. An official said such samples have been referred to the Met Department by more..

Dr. Sivashankar arrested by military

Dec 31 (OU) Dr. I. Sivashankar employed as a Medical Officer at Anuradhapura a native of Jaffna had been arrested yesterday and is detained at the Kokavil military camp is according to unconfirmed information. A woman a native of Kilinochchi Uruthirapuram recruited to the military had come home to sit for the GCE O/L exam. Military had urged, she should be handed over to the camp on conclusion of her examination. However the said woman had informed her parents that she is more..

Gota making irresponsible statements-LfD

Dec 31 (DM) Responding to the statement of the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that some local and foreign elements were trying to destabilize the country through the Judiciary, the Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) claimed that it was the government that destabilizes the country. While countering the Defence Secretary’s statement, Lawyers for Democracy, an organization of group of independent lawyers also asked how a more..

Marriage registrations to cost more

Dec 31 (SM) Marriage registration fees have been increased with effect from the 01st of next month. Accordingly, a registration at a wedding hall will cost Rs. 5,000, the Department of Registration of Marriages said. However, the department will receive only Rs. 500 out of the increased amount, while the rest will go to the state. Earlier, a Rs. 1,000 fee was charge for the registration of a marriage outside the registrar’s office. The Rs. 750 fee for the registration of a marriage outside the more..

Sri Lanka welcomes one millionth tourist

Dec 31 (FT) Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of 1,000,000th tourist in year 2012 at BIA last night. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism- Bhashwara Gunarathna, Kamal Rathwaththa – Deputy Chairman Of Airport and Aviation(LTD), Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau – Rumy Jauffer with a group of representatives more..

SLMC alarmed by religious intolerance, attempt to abolish PCs

Dec 31 (Island) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has, in a resolution unanimously adopted on Saturday, noted ‘with grave concern the intensity and widespread religious intolerance’ and ‘attempts to stall progress in devolution by weakening or abolishing the provincial council system’. The following is the full text of the Resolutions unanimously adopted at the 24th Delegates’ Conference of the SLMC: more..

Rains, floods affect nearly 402,000 persons

Dec 31 (Island) More than 401,980 persons or 110,204 families, have been affected by the heavy rains and floods in seven provinces. Forty deaths have been recorded, while seven persons have gone missing. The DMC reported 4,191 houses had been destroyed and 21,705 damaged, while 39,191 persons, or 11,302 families, were accommodated in 242 evacuation centres. The situation has returned to normal in the Galle and Hambantota districts, while in the Central Province, where 13 more..

I'm being subjected to a malicious attack – CJ

Dec 31 (CT) Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, acknowledging that she was being subjected to a malicious attack, said she would not remain in her post if she has committed even the slightest mistake. Participating in an Ashirwada Bodhi Pooja at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya on 28 December, she said, "Whatever I have lost, my effort is meant to strengthen the public to fight against injustice." After attending religious rites, she offered gilanpasa poojawa to the monks. more..

'CJ should have resigned over husband’s role in NSB-TFC deal'

Dec 31 (Island) UNP MP Harsha de Silva says that investigations into the conduct of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and her husband, Pradeep Kariyawasam, one-time Chairman of the National Savings Bank (NSB) shouldn’t be mixed up. National List MP de Silva insists that the investigations should be handled separately and all those involved in the illegal transactions punished regardless of their social status. more..

Editorial: May the rule of law prevail in the days to come

Dec 31 (DM) Year 2013 dawns amidst loud and sparkling fireworks, bringing with it many aspirations and expectations as the New Year usually does. There is commonness in the wishes that are exchanged back and forth; there is a hope for happiness and good health. There is also a wish for prosperity- an aspiration that needs to be achieved not only individually but also as a nation. A New Year is a time one makes resolutions to do things right and learn from the past mistakes. more..

Can another second PSC play a better job?

Dec 31 (DM) President Jayawardene manipulated the presentation of an Impeachment Resolution to remove the then CJ Neville Samarakoon on March 3, 1984 as the then CJ had strongly resented the interference of the Executive President in the Independence of Judiciary. It was suddenly dawned in the President’s mind that there was no procedure prescribed to receive, conduct and conclude such a removal. So, Standing Order 78A was formulated on March 4, 1984, infringing the provisions of more..

Turkey for some

Dec 31 (SL) Sri Lanka can truly be myopic and in fact they really are. Its law enforcement agencies are nothing short of a joke. It is rare that an officer who has been entrusted with a piece of work will actually be pro-active and get on with it. In case you are wondering just what I am referring to, do you remember an event called the collapse of the Golden Key depositors? Tricky Lalith Kotelawala, who wined, dined and financed all sorts of more..

'Law College entrance exam: Nothing fishy'

Dec 31 (ST) Law College Principal Dr.W.D.Rodrigo claims he knows nothing about the ongoing controversy surrounding the conduct of this year’s entrance exam to the College despite the much publicised claims that the examination results were manipulated. He said he had not received a complaint from anyone regarding a manipulation of the exam result. “I know nothing about it. Don’t expect any comment from me,” more..

Ratmalana triple murder: Killer husband spills the beans

Dec 31 (LB) A mystery has been unravelled and the shocking truth is now out. The assassin of a woman and her two children where their charred bodies were found inside a two-storey house in Ratmalana last Monday (17) morning, had been none other than the 34-year-old husband, the suspect has confessed. The assassin who has been working as an assistant manager of a firm had resorted to this crime in the vain hope of more..

'Central bank slashes Treasuries holding with profit transfer'

Dec 31 (LBO) Central bank has cut its Treasury bill holding with a year-end transfer of profits Governor Nivard Cabraal said, in a move that will help avoid any negative effect on inflation, the exchange rate and foreign reserves. "We knocked off Treasury bills with it (profit transfer)," Cabraal said. A cash transfer of profits (printed money) to the state, when spent, increases demand in the economy, pressuring inflation and more..

SL should be ashamed of topping Google ‘sex’ search list – NCPA Chief

Dec 31 (Island) Chief of National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Anoma Dissanayake, said that Sri Lanka should be ashamed to top the list of countries searching ‘sex’ on Google. "I’m really embarrassed," she said, adding that the entire country should be concerned about the situation. She said urgent remedial measures were required to address the issue. Sri Lanka had beaten India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, more..

Medical administrators openly doing private practice

Dec 31 (Island) Between 30 and 40 of the country’s 220 medical administrators have been found to be openly engaged in private practice, thereby violating the rules and regulations governing their appointment. Among them are a Deputy Administrator of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Matara Regional Health Services Director and some Senior Administrators attached to the Health Ministry. This is despite their more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka trade ties growing: Business Forum

Dec 31 (TN) Pakistan and Sri Lanka can compliment each other in trade and learn from each other’s experiences. This was said by President Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum Tarek M. Khan, at a business networking dinner reception hosted at the Sri Lanka Consulate General. Tarek Khan gave details of the 45th general body meeting of Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Forum held earlier in the day at Sri Lankan Consulate. more..

Eight Indians trapped in Iranian ship off Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (TOI) Eight Indian crew members of a detained Iranian ship are learnt to have landed in troubled watersoff the coast of Sri Lanka and are allegedly facing the wrath of their 16 fellow Iranian crew members for their refusal to sail back with the ship and the rest of the crew till their documents, which were seized by Sri Lankan authorities, were not returned. The beleaguered Indian crew members, who are understood more..

'Govt. ready for talks with TNA'

Dec 31 (Island) The requisite amendments to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, if required, to solve the ethic question, would be made only after the PSC, to solve the ethnic question meets, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says. He told The Island yesterday that the govt had not decided on any amendments to the 13th Amendment and should they be required, they would have to be deliberated at the PSC, more..

Gotabhaya offers to train Indian forces

Dec 31 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has offered Sri Lanka’s help to train Indian army personnel in counter-insurgency warfare. The offer was made during the visit of the Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh to Sri Lanka in the third week of December. “When I met Gen Bikram Singh, I renewed our offer to train Indian forces in counter-insurgency. We have designed courses in this field and have offered them to more..

Sri Lanka, double standards of western countries, conspiracy theories and dictators

Dec 31 (CT) Dictators and their supporters throughout the world always complain of the double standards of Western Countries when it comes to human rights violations. Was it correct for Americans and Western Countries to tolerate human rights violations of dictators who were supporting them such as Pervez Musharraf, Hosni Mubarak, Marcos and many others and also encouraging overthrowing of regimes that opposed them even though these regimes have been elected by people? more..