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Real heroes and conspiracy theories behind riots within high walls

Feb 6 (LB) We were told that four prison officers and ten men on remand over drug related offences have so far been identified by the intelligence units, as having been behind the recent riot in the Borella Magazine prison. Police officials say that three prison officers had been seen encouraging the rioters. It is claimed that alleged drug traffickers, identified among those who led this revolt inside the prison, are Anthony Raj, Mohamed Shiran, Malik alias more..

Now look who’s dividing the country!

Feb 6 (LB) In a most curious turn of events the military which battled to defeat the LTTE because of its separatist agenda is now the agency that is dividing Sri Lanka into two distinct portions. Persons who wish to travel to the north to campaign against the govt are stopped, harassed and busloads are turned back. I ask you who is de facto dividing the country. What is wrong, in law, with holding meetings to raise public awareness and increase anger against abductions, more..

Are we really independent?

Feb 6 (NS) The commemoration ceremony to mark the country’s 64th anniversary of Independence will be held today (4) in Anuradhapura; one of the country’s great historical cities. Sri Lanka was one of several Asian nations that regained freedom from the British. When the British left India in 1947, they had carved out Pakistan and East Pakistan as a separate nation from the Indian Sub-continent. Though they did not divide Sri Lanka into such segments, more..

Paki pukes on his panel

Feb 6 (LB) The poor Dr. Izzeldin. His daughters must be turning in their graves too. What sin had this very humane medical practitioner and man of reason committed to have been asked to be in the same panel with Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu at the recently concluded Galle Literary Festival? Here was a man who was preaching passionately against hate, who had by experience of having lost three daughters to an Israeli missile attack learnt that violence begets violence, and that the spiral of more..

Editorial: Thus spake the Prez

Feb 6 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the nation on the Independence Day, made it clear that his govt would not give in to pressure from the overseas Tigers and their local agents; he said solutions could not be obtained by implementing the proposals of extremist groups. "Remember, the country would not benefit by trying to please selfish groups who receive foreign funds. Similarly, solutions cannot be obtained by implementing the proposals of extremist groups more..

Mr. Minister, my name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist

Feb 6 (GV) Mr. Minister, I don’t know whether you have seen the film called ‘my name is Khan. In it, the main character played by popular actor Shah Rukh Khan Repeats the lines ‘My name is Khan. I am not a terrorist’ at different points in the film, in order to affirm his innocence. I too am about to tell you a similar story. ‘My name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist’. This is my theme. The story of ‘My name is Khan’ centres around more..

Changing scenarios: 64 years of lost opportunities

Feb 6 (ST) The 64 years of independence that we have just celebrated are years characterised by economic policy changes and lost opportunities. As a vibrant democracy we can take pride that the country changed its governments democratically. Yet each political change brought about economic policy changes that created uncertainty. Since 1994, there was a degree of stability in economic policies that could be described as continuity with change. more..

Schoolboys figure prominently in ransom drama

Feb 6 (SO) The parents of a schoolgirl at Moratuwa met the Superintendent of Police, Mount Lavinia Division, Ravindra Karawita who gave a patient hearing to their complaint last week. The parents were in a state of shock and agitation and began narrating the threat made to them by an underworld man. The girl’s mother said while she was at home, a man rang up her mobile phone and introduced himself as an underworld man. The man told her that a businessman had offered him a more..

‘Govt is trying to divide the TNA but will never succeed’

Feb 6 (TC) TNA MP Suresh Premachandran claims the Govt is trying to divide his party in the same manner in which it split other opposition parties in the country. He strongly attacks the Govt for its lack of commitment to finding a solid solution to the ethnic issue and points out that the much-discussed 13 Plus will not be a solution to the problem. He also notes that the talks between the two parties have come to a standstill due to more..

Moving the Colombo Courts out of Colombo

Feb 6 (TC) It appears that the Govt wants to move the Colombo Courts out of Hulftsdorp where they have been located, and periodically renovated and improved, for more than a century. The plan is apparently to split up the High Courts, District Courts and Magistrate’s Courts that are presently grouped together and move them to three different locations in Battaramulla, Kadawatha and Kiribathgoda. Presumably the Govt has some other use in mind for the land that will thus be vacated. more..

Three Sri Lankans arrested for trying to leave without papers

Feb 6 (PTI) Three Sri Lankans were arrested here today for trying to flee the island town to their country without proper documents, police said. They said Nishant (43) and Abdul Kalam were released from Puzhal Central jail a few days back after serving a 11 year sentence for smuggling heroin in 2001. The third person Mohammed Khader, who had come to India in 2003 from Vavunniya district was involved in many illegal activities, including sending refugees back to more..

Killer croc at Muthurajawela marsh strikes

Feb 6 (ST) The routine of humble Sebastian Angelo Uday Kumara, 36, may probably have rung the death knell for him that fateful Friday at Ragama, just a stone’s throw from the busy town and hospital. For, as Kumara went about his usual work of getting into the ‘Meda’ marsh knee-deep to cut the grass and bundle it up and then walk a little distance to wash off the mud, the predator lurking in the murky waters may very well have eyed him on several days more..

Deegavapi Stupa excavation recommences

Feb 6 (DN) Excavation of the largest and ancient Dagaba in the Eastern province, the Deegavapi Stupa recommenced on the instructions of Archaeological Director General Dr Senarath Dissanayake yesterday, Archaeological Deputy Director Dr Nimal Perera said. The Civil Defence Force will provide manpower for the excavation programme of the Deegavapi ancient site, he said. Under the guidance of the Archaeological Department Excavation Branch, the Civil Defence Force will more..

'Russian-Lanka relations facilitate regional stability and security'

Feb 6 (Island) President of the Russian Federation Dmitry A. Medvedev in a message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s Independence Day said: "In recent years Sri Lanka has achieved significant results in securing sustainable economic and social development, consolidation of democratic state institutions. Our countries are tied up by strong bonds of friendship and cooperation, long-standing traditions of mutual respect and trust. more..

'10 billion allocated for development projects in the north'

Feb 6 (DM) The Economic Development Ministry has allocated Rs.10 billion for various development projects to be carried out in the north this year, officials said. Minister Douglas Devananda and Northern Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, made this announcement at a meeting held at the Jaffna District Secretariat. Mr. Devananda said that though the opposition had alleged that no budgetary allocations had been made for more..

Rajarata PU opening opposed by student union

Feb 6 (Island) Medical undergraduates of the Rajarata University, who have been agitating for a setting up of a Professorial Unit (PU) in the Anuradhapura teaching hospital for their clinical training, now are protesting against opening it on Feb 9 to coincide with the Deyata Kurula development exhibition. Convener of the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Nilan Fernando said all its requirement had yet to be completed but the govt wanted to open it for cheap publicity. more..

Rich Govts harassing Sri Lanka - PM

Feb 6 (BBC) Prime minister has accused capitalist countries in the West of threatening resource-rich nations in Asia. DM Jayaratne issued the warning addressing a celebration to mark the birthday of Prophet Mohamed in Ratnapura. "There is no talk about Libya; no questions about Egypt and Iraq. They are only talking about Sri Lanka ending 30-year old war," he told the gathering in Arabic school in Batugedara. "We should not forget how many countries in Central Asia were more..

Bird flu scare deals body blow to poultry business

Feb 6 (Island) The All Island Poultry Producers Association (AIPA) yesterday said that there was a rapid drop in business due to fear of bird flu virus in a farm in Bingiriya last week. AIPPA President Dr. D. D. Wanasinghe said that birds of two farms in the area contacted the H5N3 virus, but it had not been transmitted to humans. He said however, all fowls and its products from the farm had already been destroyed and more..

JJ off to India on study tour

Feb 6 (DM) The main opposition UNP is to study how India is conducting its private medical colleges in order to come up with a specific stand on the issue. UNP Deputy General Secretary Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene has left for New Delhi to undertake the study on behalf of the party. Prior to his departure Dr. Jayawardene said he would deeply look into how the system worked in India and also the role played by the private sector. He said he would also study how India was maintaining its medical service more..

Did Lanka import tainted drug from Pakistan?

Feb 6 (Island) Prof. Senaka Bibile Memorial Committee National Organiser (SBMC) Dr. Jayantha Bandara yesterday said that about 117 heart patients in Pakistan had died due to drug poisoning and the death toll could rise. Health authorities in Pakistan had been conducting investigations on five kinds of drugs. The other patients who used the drug were being monitored while taking legal action against the drug manufacturing companies. more..

'Some foreign embassies controlling trade unions here'

Feb 6 (DM) Some trade unions that are funded by the Western Countries are out to de-stabilise the country by their strike action, Minister Wimal Weerawansa charged. Addressing a ceremony to distribute financial assistance to public servants under the housing loan scheme yesterday said, these trade unions are now launching one day token strikes just to get publicity in the international media just to get publicity in the international media more..

President inaugurates construction work of Sada Hiru Ceya brick wall

Feb 6 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the construction work of the brick wall for the Sada Hiru Ceya which is being built to symbolize the sacrifice made by the members of the Security Forces to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This Ceya is to be built in every province of the country. The construction of brick wall of the Ceya under the second stage of the project was inaugurated by President more..

Many cannot celebrate Sri Lanka's recent history

Feb 6 (CT) The advertising feature (Feb 3) promoting Sri Lanka as a country of peace - complete with a handshake between our PM and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and congratulations from the University of Canberra - is an offensive whitewash of the country's recent past. The President stated in his message that the nation celebrates its 64th Independence Day "with a genuine sense of dignity about freedom". One wonders whether the Tamil minority will share this more..

Gotabaya denies north Lanka is militarised

Feb 6 (AA) Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stoutly denied he was militarising the northern region and insisted troops “are maintaining absolutely essential presence” and were spread across all 22 districts on the island. He was responding to the charge by Tamil parties and the diaspora that army camps flooded the north even after the government won the war over 30 months ago and no civilian activity — not even family celebrations — could happen more..

Abdul Kalam, rock star

Feb 6 (Hindu) It was a reception befitting a rock star. Everywhere former Indian President Abdul Kalam went, during his four-day tour of Sri Lanka, huge crowds waited to see and hear him. And, unlike the obtrusive security of leaders, Mr. Kalam's security personnel were sensitive. Senior politicians and bureaucrats are unable to recall an instance when a foreign leader received such a warm and spontaneous response. Hundreds of students in Colombo University, and elsewhere, surged ahead to more..

'A.H.M. Azwer MP’s statement might make the life of poor Rizana miserable'

Feb 6 (AT) The UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwer has come into sharp criticism from Saudi Arabia for his latest speech in the floor of Parliament regarding the Sri Lankan Housemaid Rizana Nafeek. The leader of the Saudi Arabia’s Al Othibi tribe Mr. Shaik Faisal al Otaibi has expressed his serious displeasure and criticism over the speech recently made by A.H.M. Azwer, in the floor of Sri Lanka’s Parliament. Mr. Shaik Faisal al Otaibi, the leader Al Othibi tribe more..

UNP to oppose Town and Country Planning Ordinance

Feb 6 (DM) UNP is to oppose the Town and Country Planning Ordinance Amendment Bill in the provincial councils, party sources said. Accordingly the party will oppose the Bill when it is presented to the Western Provincial Council today. The party had also decided to oppose it in other councils as well. The Bill is presented to the provincial councils following the directive of the supreme courts that the Bill has to be referred to more..

Speculative counters pop up like mushrooms, then crash and burn

Feb 6 (Island) The Colombo bourse last week continued to get hammered from all angles with junk stocks booming for a few days only to crash and burn, Bartleet Religare Securities (BRS) said. Last week, heavy selling pressure wiped out gains made the previous week with the All Share Price index falling 2.43 percent during the week to close at 5,586.39 points. Year-to-date the bourse fell 8.04 percent while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks fell 7.96 percent. more..

Cannabis misuse on the rise

Feb 6 (DN) Present trends indicate an increase in the misuse of cannabis, the latest Handbook of Drug Abuse Information issued by the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board said. According to statistics of the handbook, there had been a 52 percent increase in cannabis related arrests during 2010 compared to 2009. Around 20,259 persons had been arrested for cannabis related offences in 2010 while this number was 13,300 in 2009. The total number of drug related arrests were 29,796 in 2010. more..

13th Amendment full of flaws: TNA

Feb 6 (DM) The TNA yesterday said that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was riddled with flaws and therefore it could not be accepted as a basis for power devolution under the present circumstances. The TNA’s latest remarks came in the backdrop of some quarters including India asking the govet of Sri Lanka to evolve a political solution based on the 13th Amendment plus. TNA spokesman MP Suresh Premachandran told the Daily Mirror yesterday that more..

Minister proposes five year jail term for quacks

Feb 6 (DM) The Health Minister has decided to introduce a new law which provides for a five year jail term for quacks. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said he had a discussion with his officials regarding quacks who practised in the country posing a threat to patients seeking treatment from them. It is estimated that there are about 50,000 such quacks in the country. A ministry official said that the minister had instructed his officials to draft a new law to more..

LTTE stamps in Norway

Feb 6 (CT) Steps will be taken to prevent the circulation of LTTE propaganda stamps in Norway, Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs told Ceylon Today. “We have come across similar situations in Canada, London and France where personalized LTTE stamps were issued by mail services,” he said. “In those cases we were able to convince the authorities that these were all propaganda stamps that glorified people who have taken up arms and committed terrorism in Sri Lanka,” more..

US diplomats heading to Sri Lanka for civil war talks

Feb 6 (AFP) Three American diplomats will travel to Sri Lanka for talks about alleged killings of civilians by government troops in their campaign to defeat the Tamil Tigers, an official and report said Sunday. The visit comes ahead of a United Nations human rights council meeting in Geneva, which starts later this month, where Washington hopes to move a resolution pressing Sri Lanka to probe alleged war crimes. more..

Sri Lanka becomes a Port of call for luxury liners

Feb 6 (GDI) Sri Lanka has been earmarked as one of the most suitable tourist destination in the world by prestigious tourist literature publishers. Cruise ships carrying tourists have also started to anchor in the Sri Lankan ports. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, along with the officials of Sri Lanka Port Authority, last week welcomed the vessel ‘Arcadia’, at a brief ceremony held at the Colombo Port. This luxury carrier, owned by by the UK based company more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa chairs DDC meeting in Jaffna

Feb 6 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will chair the District Development Council (DDC) meeting scheduled to be held in Jaffna Kachcheri today (6). The President is on a two day visit to Jaffna. He proceeded to the Peninsula after participating at the 64th Independence Day celebrations that were held in Anuradhapura on 4 Saturday. The TNA and several other political parties and other state sector representatives are invited for the meeting today. more..

Govt. tight-lipped over disappeared political activists

Feb 6 (LB) The Court of Appeal on Friday ordered to issue notice to Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, IGP N.K. Ilangakoon and Security Forces Commander, Jaffna, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe to present themselves in Court on February 15 in connection with the disappearance of two political activists who some say are believed to be held in a secret military detention facility. more..

Sri Lanka Post goes for 'Prepaid Accounts'

Feb 6 (SO) Sri Lanka Post has decided to introduce a "Prepaid Account" as an alternative to the credit card, where the regional community will have some difficulties in getting the credit cards. The prepaid account would be a very simple concept, where any customer could create own account by only visiting the nearest post office and could use the account for any transaction at anytime. This is exactly the same facility that one can get from a credit card, but more..

'Accountability never an issue before conclusion of conflict'

Feb 6 (Island) Those demanding the UNHRC to take up what they call Sri Lanka’s accountability issues had never been bothered when the LTTE was killing civilians in their thousands, UPFA MP Dr. Mrs. Sudarshini Fernandopulle says. she emphasised the need for an effective mechanism to counter LTTE propaganda. Some foreign politicians had become eelam propagandists due to their dependence on the votes of more..

Politicisation, indiscipline blamed for deterioration of Uni education

Feb 6 (Island) The quality of university education is fast deteriorating owing to politicization, indiscipline and lack of modern technologies and facilities, a recent survey reveals. The increasing rate of graduate unemployment is a major burden and severe criticism has emerged against the traditional and non-updated university curricula, the survey titled Determinants of Unemployment among more..

Principal and witch-hunt victim fights back

Feb 6 (ST) The principal of a national school in the south, who was interdicted ostensibly because students of the school had mimicked President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a school play, has filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court. E.K. Premasiri, principal of Siridhamma College, Labuduwa, Galle, has been interdicted by the Ministry of Education Secretary, H.M. Gunasekara. In his application, the principal, Mr. Premasiri, more..