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U.S. funded UNICEF mine risk education begins

Dec 21 (USE) United States Govt grant of $500,000 will help 150,000 residents in the Northern and Eastern Provinces avoid landmines and explosive remnants of war. Beginning this week in Mullaitivu, resettling communities are participating in mine risk education activities funded by the USAID and the Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. Implemented by the UNICEF, the mine risk education falls more..

Big or small, no animal is spared on Yala ‘killer-road’

Dec 21 (ST) The ‘Road of Death’ running through the Yala National Park has claimed yet another victim – this time a baby elephant. Many have been the ‘road kills’ in this National Park including a bear and a pregnant she-leopard, by speeding vehicles along the Sella Kataragama-Buttala Road and environmentalists are insistent in their calls for action to safeguard these voiceless victims. Urgent discussions are underway more..

Army mine clearing group gets international training

Dec 21 (Island) A group of Sri Lanka Army personnel has received international Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Level III training courtesy Mines Action Group (MAG) Sri Lanka. A spokesperson for MAG yesterday told The Island that eight members of the SLA Humanitarian Demining Unit had benefited from the programme conducted by Allen Vanguard Counter Threat Solutions (AVCTS). The programme more..

'Ranil invited C’wealth hearing into impeachment motion against Sarath Silva'

Dec 21 (Island) Despite many UNP MPs signing the 2004 impeachment motion against the then Chief Justice Sarath Silva, the Prime Minister at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had called on the Commonwealth to nominate a panel of judges to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the charges, Senior Vice President of the UNP, Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. He told The Island that Wickremesinghe had, through Faiz more..

Salley claims no crisis in BASL

Dec 21 (Island) Leader of the Muslim-Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) Azad Salley, the maverick politician, said that there was no crisis in the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and it was only a creation of the UPFA govt. Salley claimed that the chaos at the BASL meeting recently was after the three resolutions were passed and after BASL President Wijedasa Rajapakshe had left. ‘Unite Country with Power Sharing’ is a seven more..

‘Parliament not bound by SC interpretations’

Dec 21 (DM) Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that Parliament was not bound by Supreme Court interpretations and that the govt might not agree with the Supreme Court ruling regarding the constitutionality of the PSC. He said under the ruling given by Anura Bandaranaike, the Parliament ruled supreme and therefore was not bound by the rulings of the Supreme Court. more..

SL to send skilled labourers to Afghanistan

Dec 21 (DM) The Sri Lankan government has agreed to send skilled labourers to contribute towards rebuilding Afghanistan and restoring cultural artifacts in the country, a joint statement said. This was revealed during a meeting between visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul and External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in Colombo. Issuing a Joint Communiqué the both the countries said, “two Ministers more..

Dilshan undimmed by his age

Dec 21 (CI) As lights begin to flicker on long cricketing careers, the idea of enjoyment is often invoked by the player approaching his final campaigns. "I'm still having fun out there," is almost a cliché now, trotted out most often by men who are waging war on two fronts: against the opponent, and against time and its effect on his body. It is an older man's outlook. Twenty-year old freshers are more occupied by the yearning to earn a place in more..

Indian Army Chief thanks Lanka President for IPKF memorial

Dec 21 (NoA) Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh called on President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo yesterday. During discussions with the President, the Indian Army Chief said India is fully commited to Sri Lanka's security and expressed India’s desire to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. General Singh thanked the President for building a monument commemorating the IPKF more..

Sri Lankan court summons speaker, lawmakers

Dec 21 (AP) Three Sri Lankan judges have summoned the parliament speaker and 11 lawmakers to appear before an appeals court in response to a complaint by the country's chief justice that a parliamentary committee unfairly convicted her of misconduct. The court on Friday also asked Parliament not to take a vote on the guilty verdict, a step that could result in her being removed from office, until it hears the case more..

Sri Lankan rupee gains on exporter dollar sales; stocks down

Dec 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee gained for a third straight session on Friday to its highest level against the dollar in more than seven months on exporter dollar conversions, while stocks ended weaker. The rupee firmed 0.55% to 126.90/127.00 to the dollar, its highest since May 3, compared with Thursday's close of 127.60/70, Reuters data showed. "The lowest trade was done at 125.50 early but later importers bought dollars and booked forwards," a dealer said. more..

Editorial: Extreme weather déjà vu

Dec 21 (CT) The headlines in this week’s newspapers made grim reading. Heavy rains experienced in most parts of the island, extensive flooding and the invariable earth slips have all exacted a disquieting toll of death and destruction in the past few days. By Wednesday evening, 23 people were reported killed, 15 missing, 34 injured and 266,740 affected. Eleven districts have faced the brunt of the extreme weather onslaught, with Chilaw, Bangadeniya, Mahawewa, Batticaloa more..

I have lost confidence in SLC: Mahela

Dec 21 (DM) Sri Lanka cricket team captain Mahela Jayawardene said yesterday that he has lost confidence in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after a confidential document handed over to SLC had been published in the Daily Mirror. Jayawardene who is currently touring Australia with the national team said this in an email sent to Daily Mirror through the Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayaka. more..

'T20, only reason for Indian cricket’s decline'

Dec 21 (SS) Amidst all the action and excitement at the Central College Ground, the venue for the SBI T20 World Cup for the Blind, former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga spoke to Sportstar about the ill-effects of Twenty20 cricket, India’s recent poor run in Tests and much more. Ranatunga was in Bangalore to show his support for cricket for the blind, opting to take a break from his busy schedule as a Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament. In a hard-hitting interview, more..

Key issue is to defend the judiciary now

Dec 21 (CT) Karl Marx said “the task is not just to understand the world but to change it.” Of course the implication of this is that “if you want to change the world you would better understand it first.” One doesn’t need to be a Marxist to agree upon the above two propositions. In the case of Sri Lanka, we have a situation where there is a clear attempt on the part of the executive to subjugate the judiciary using the legislature as its cat’s paw. Legislature has lost or losing its proper representative more..

Valiant woman saves 5 men from watery grave

Dec 21 (DM) A 35-year-old who woman waded through flood waters in the night had saved five men from drowning in Havan Ella Oya in Andiyagala when the cab they were travelling in was caught in rising flood waters. The woman R.M.Nilanthi Ratnayake of Ellewewa who dared to jump into the river at around 10 pm on Tuesday night, saved the five officers of the Palagala divisional secretariat from drowning when more..

26 Australia bound Persons arrested

Dec 21 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 26 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler on 21st December. The trawler named “Sindathri” with 22 Tamils and 4 Sinhalese on board was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command off Chilaw seas. Among the arrested persons are 15 men, 05 women and 06 children. They are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Chilaw, Marawila and Negambo. All were brought to Mutwal Fishery Harbour to more..

SLPA may call for tenders to develop West Container Terminal - Chairman

Dec 21 (DM) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) may call for tenders to develop the West Container Terminal of the Colombo port in the near future, according to its Chairman Dr. Priyath B.Wicrakama. “We will call tenders for West container terminal in the near future depending on the requirement,” Wickrama said. He made this comments during his keynote address on the subject of ‘Modern Container Terminals’ at the Seatrade Middle East Maritime Conference in Dubai recently. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil movie releases to rave reviews

Dec 21 (E24|7) A Tamil movie by a Sri Lankan director has been making waves across the world long before its release in the country. Slated for release today, Ini Avan is the first Tamil movie to be made on LTTE post-war. And that is reason enough to trigger curiosity among Lankan film buffs worldwide. The title 'Ini Avan' is a beautiful play of words. When used separately it means 'Him, Here, After' and when used as one word more..

Sri Lanka to see its own tablet PC brand soon

Dec 21 (CT) Following its strategic partnership China-based AVIC, Corporate Merge International Lanka Ltd., is hopeful of setting up Sri Lanka’s first-ever Tablet PC assembling plant in the near future. “We have jump-started the process. We have identified certain properties in Gampaha for the setting up of our plant. We have already begun discussions with Board of Investment (BoI) and we are positive beginning the setting up of the venture in 2013,” said Corporate Merge International more..

Colombo among 40 global cities identified as next frontiers for technology talent

Dec 21 (AD) Colombo is among 40 global cities identified by Bangalore based globalization and technology market advisory firm Zinnov as next destinations for technology talent. The study titled ‘Next Frontier Cities for Technology Talent’ identified 40 Global cities suitable for hiring technology talent, after a comprehensive evaluation of over 400 of them on key parameters like talent availability, market maturity, cost, peer group eco-system, government policies etc. more..

Rs. 128 Million disbursed as relief assistance

Dec 21 (GDI) The govt has allocated Rs. 128 million to provide expeditious relief facilities to the people affected by rains and floods. Minister of Disaster Management said that the govt is ready to allocate further funds if it becomes necessary. The Minister said that cooked foods, dried foods, medicines, drinking water and other requirements are being provided to the displaced people, and members of the Army, Navy more..

Murder solved after 19 years, son arrested

Dec 21 (CG) A mysterious murder of a 70 year old man in Galle 19 years ago, who was initially reported missing, has been solved following police investigations and the son of the victim as well as the son-in-law of the victim have been arrested. The police media unit said this morning that the victim had been killed by the son in June 1993 and his boy was them cut in half and hidden at two locations with the help of his sister’s husband. The son had then three days later reported his father more..

President commends SLBCs yeomen service

Dec 21 (GDI) Media could make a significant contribution towards forging closer relationships and ties between people from various backgrounds, different religions and different ethnicities. This has become possible due to its expanded outreach following the defeat of terrorism. Currently the media could have access to all parts of the country. This was stated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa participating at the inauguration of the Abhiman Rathriya musical pageant organised more..

'Everyone is bound by SC interpretations'

Dec 21 (DM) The UNP said today everyone was bound to accept a Supreme Court ruling on the impeachment process if it were based on constitutional interpretations. UNP Vice President Lakshman Kiriella said that the Supreme Court had the sole and executive province for the interpretation of the Constitution. He said the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, which were the three pillars of governance, should exercise their more..

Sri Lanka hosts UN Global Compact Regional Meeting

Dec 21 (DM) Global Compact Network Ceylon hosted the United Nations Global Compact Local Network Regional Meeting for Asia & Oceania in Colombo recently. Organized jointly with the UN Global Compact Office in New York, the two-day event convened Global Compact representatives of Local Networks from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. The Regional Meeting provided an opportunity for more..

Communist Party to stay away from impeachment

Dec 21 (CT) The Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) has decided not to be involved in any manner in the impeachment of the Chief Justice, Colombo Telegraph understands. This decision was taken at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Party held on 15 December. Sources told Colombo Telegraph that there had been severe critism against the impeachment process. Central Committee members had pointed out that it was important to see the real reasons behind more..

Graduation of DSCSC held at Temple Trees

Dec 21 (MoD) The graduation ceremony of the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) Sapugaskanda was held this evening (20) at the Temple Trees. One 103 officers including 56 Army, 19 Navy, 17 Air Force and 11 foreign students of the sixth course who had successfully completed the course thus received their graduation certificates from Minister Prof. GL Peiris at a glittering ceremony held more..

Indian Army chief meets ex-rebels

Dec 21 (CG) Visiting Indian Army Chief, General Bikram Singh travelled to the Wanni today and met rehabilitated former LTTE cadres, the army media unit said. General Singh flew to the Security Forces Headquarters-Wanni (SFHQ-W) and Anuradhapura as part of his five day visit to Sri Lanka. In the Wannui he had talks with the Wanni Security Forces Commander Major General Boniface Perera, where he was briefed on the post war developments in the area. Major General Perera more..

BASL executive committee to meet today

Dec 21 (AD) The executive committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka is to hold a special meeting this evening, aimed at discussing onward action regarding the alleged threats on BASL President Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Attorney Gunaratne Wanninayake. The meeting will convene at around 5.00pm today, says the secretary of the association Attorney Sanjeewa Gamage. It was reported yesterday that an alleged shooting had taken place outside the house of Wijeyadasa more..

Sri Lanka tackles the threat of wartime mines

Dec 21 (KSA) Rajan Thangavelu is grateful to be home. The displaced Kombavil Village farmer was able to return after the LTTE were defeated in 2009, bringing Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war to an end. He cleared wild shrubs from the land and rebuilt his house. But the task of retrieving his cattle – who were roaming in a nearby jungle – proved to be more difficult, and even dangerous. The LTTE had planted anti-personnel mines and other more..

Recent policy decisions of SL: Surprisingly nobody is worried about the paper war

Dec 22 (DBS) Some of the recent policy decisions of Sri Lanka affecting Indian commercial interests are sending disturbing signals that have the potential to affect Indo-Sri Lanka relations. Will these storm signals add to the political stress created by the non implementation of the much maligned 13th Amendment to the Constitution? Sri Lanka watchers are probably already debating this question. India-Sri Lanka relations, despite occasional hiccups have remained cordial all along because a more..

Reconciliation through trust and participation

Dec 22 (Island) National reconciliation has attracted the attention of its stakeholders ever since Independence, though much headway has not been made in that direction up to now. Interest in the subject reached an unprecedented level with the physical unification of the country after the conquest of the LTTE. Much has been promised in the meantime but the ground situation does not appear to have improved that much. There is a vociferous debate on the level of reconciliation attained more..

‘I don’t see myself as a rebel in govt ranks’

Dec 22 (DBS) National List MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha has been in the news lately for his independent approach and outspoken views. In this interview the academic turned politico speaks out openly on a number of issues including the impeachment motion against the chief justice, stalled Govt-TNA talks, National reconciliation, about the President being reportedly annoyed with him and whether he desires a cabinet portfolio. more..

The govt treats the law as the enemy

Dec 22 (CT) Within this week alone there were three events directed against the lawyers who are opposing the impeachment of the Chief Justice. These were: the attempted attack on the lawyer, Gunaratne Wanninayaka, the President of Colombo Magistrate’s Court Lawyer’s Association and the Convener of People’s March; the shooting incident near the residence of the President of the Bar Association and MP, Wijedasa Rajapaksa and the withdrawal of the security at more..

Sanga’s letter to SLC on Chandika

Dec 22 (Island) I am writing to place before you my honest view on the contribution of Chandika Hathurisinghe to national cricket and his value towards ensuring its sustained success. This is in no way meant to argue or debate the termination of his contract, or the inquiry preceding it, but to simply implore all of you to offer a talented and capable coach of proven ability a second chance to further not only his personal career, but also to enrich the current and future performances of the more..

Writing to reconcile in Sri Lanka

Dec 22 (GV) I interviewed over email the award-winning author Shyam Selvadurai on a new initiative called Write to Reconcile, of which he is Project Director. Groundviews featured an in-depth interview with Shyam in mid-2011, when he was the curator of the Galle Literary Festival. Write to Reconcile is his brainchild, and I was curious to find out what drove him to think of it, and the challenges around doing this kind of work more..

General impression created by others was either that the CJ was a monster or a saint

Dec 22 (CT) The Liberal Party stands today in a very interesting position. To a great extent because of the enthusiasm of our Youth Wing, we have had very interesting workshops at two venues, in Hambantota and Kurunagala. At the former in particular we had remarkable input from youngsters, who are keenly interested in politics but miss the absence of a coherent philosophy in the political movements they have had experience of through elections. Given the sophistication of these youngsters, who more..

Sri Lanka’s secret of survival: Riding from crisis to crisis

Dec 22 (SL) What’s happening to the country? This is a question frequently posed by thinking people and even those who do not think. This is the question we were contemplating in our thinking chair, the hansiputuwa, on Thursday morning but no ready answer was forthcoming. There was the ‘War’ which we were told would end all our troubles but even after three years defence expenditure is gobbling most of the income – Rs 231 billion – 23 per cent more than last year. more..

New York Report: Dec. 21, 2012