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Deyata Kirula aims at rural development

Feb 6 (DN) The Deyata Kirula national development exhibition paves the way for rapid development, especially for the overall development of rural areas, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. President Rajapaksa addressing the gathering after launching the sixth Deyata Kirula exhibition at Oyamaduwa in Anuradhapura on Saturday said Deyata Kirula is not merely a carnival but a display of the country’s future prosperity. more..

Govt. moves to take back some land powers

Feb 6 (Island) When land powers are already vested with the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment of the constitution, opposition parties are perplexed at the Govt’s move to introduce an amendment to the Town and Country Planning Bill through the Provincial Councils which will enable the Central Govt to take over certain lands at the discretion of the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs. This amendment will be moved at the Western Provincial Council and more..

Mine clearance could take 10 years or more

Feb 6 (IRIN) Landmine clearance in Sri Lanka's conflict-affected north could take more than a decade, experts say. "It is expected to take [in] excess of 10 years to fully mitigate all remaining contamination in Sri Lanka," the Mine Action Project of the UNDP in Sri Lanka told IRIN, citing a lack of resources coupled with the difficult nature of the work. Approximately 126 sqkm of land remains to be cleared in the island's north at the end of 2011, more..

Anxieties over oil grows in Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (Hindu) Amid Sri Lanka's growing anxiety over possible disruption of Iranian oil imports due to United States-led sanctions against Iran, two important delegations from the U.S. and India visited the country this week, lent a sympathetic ear — and nothing more — to address the concerns. The U.S. delegation led by its Assistant Treasury Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Luke Bronin, met the Sri Lankan Petroleum Secretary more..

Sri Lanka begins negotiations with Somali pirates

Feb 6 (CT) Sri Lanka has begun negotiations for a safe return of six fishermen held captive by Somali pirates, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne told Ceylon Today. The discussions are being conducted through an intermediary, the Minister said, adding that the same back-channels were used to secure a Sri Lankan who was held captive last year. Somali pirates have demanded US$ 6 million for the release of the fishermen. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka economy veiled with illusions

Feb 6 (DM) For anyone who watches and listens to the state run media channels, Sri Lanka’s economy may seem as good as, if not better than that of a first world country. Even though, the purchasing power of the people is fast receding, most of them are under the illusion that, with the skyscrapers and expressways, Sri Lanka is heading towards revolutionary development. As optimistic as it may seem, reality is far from the picture conjured by the govt’s economists, more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.5-pct

Feb 6 (LBO) Shares closed weaker Monday, falling for the fifth straight trading session with trades in Commercial Bank helping to prop up turnover, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed down 0.45 percent at 5,561.43, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.15 percent to close at 4,805.99. Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 167.50 rupees, up 30 cents. more..

Technical team for Norochcholai

Feb 6 (CT) A technical committee was formed to review the recent breakdowns in the Norochcholai coal power plant, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Power and Energy Dhanushka Ramanayake said. “This is not a critical issue, the committee was only appointed to look into the technical faults that have caused these breakdowns,” he said. The CEB board of directors met to review the progress of the technical inspection and three construction sites in the plant. more..

Activists issue warning to tea industry

Feb 6 (UCAN) Activists and academics say tea workers are living in abject misery which if not addressed will have a severe impact on the industry and ultimately on the country’s economy. “Many workers live with their entire family in small, one-room structures that lack running water and sanitation facilities,” said Professor Kalinga Tudor Silva, a senior sociology professor at Peradeniya University. “Malnutrition, a lack of education, low wages, lack of job security, more..

A four storied building for Arthur C Clarke Institute

Feb 6 (GDI) The Arthur C Clarke institute for Modern Technologies is to get a new four storied building to house it's laboratories by the year end. The foundation stone for the new building costing Rs. 40 million was laid under the auspices of the Minister Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi. The institute is engaged in the research and development activities related to Electronics, Information Communication, Space Technology and provides training and Technical services to more..

Opposing 13th amendment violates constitution: Dilan

Feb 6 (DM) Opposing the 13th Amendment was a violation of the constitution as it was a part of the country’s basic law, Minister Dilan Perera said. He also said the habit of opposing any move was detrimental to the country’s future. Addressing a large gathering at the National Day celebrations in the Badulla district he pointed out that the 13th Amendment was already a part of the constitution and that it was meaningless to oppose it. more..

Japanese Volunteers join at grass root Development Efforts

Feb 6 (GDI) Three Japanese volunteers have arrived in Sri Lanka recently with the aim of providing their expertise to improve and add value to activities carried out by various public institutions in the country. These volunteers are in Sri Lanka as a part of JICA’s ongoing Volunteer Dispatch Programme. The volunteers were introduced to their host organizations at an assigning ceremony held at the Department of External Resources on 1st February 2012. more..

Parliament to debate expressway toll

Feb 6 (CT) As motorists expressed objections to the govt’s decision to impose a toll on vehicles that commute on the Southern Expressway, Parliament is now taking up this matter for debate, informed sources said yesterday. Ceylon Today learns the debate will be taken up in parliament on Thursday. The toll varies between Rs 150 and Rs 2,000. The toll according to sources would be decided according to the distance travelled and the type of vehicle a motorist uses. more..

Independence celebrated in Washington D.C.

Feb 6 (GDI) The 64TH Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka celebration was held at the University of the District of Columbia Feb. 4, 2012, an event that featured traditional Sri Lanka dances and speeches and appearances by notable diplomats and U.S. govt officials. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake and a number of other diplomatic dignitaries took part in the celebration, which highlighted the economic and social progress that more..

540 fined for exceeding speed limit on E01

Feb 6 (DM) The Southern Expressway Traffic Division has fined 540 individuals mainly for exceeding speed above 100 kilometres per hour. A total of 68 accidents have been reported so far since the first expressway in Sri Lanka was opened on Nov 27, 2011. A total of 23 persons have sustained injuries, all minor injuries and the first death was reported last Friday. The new division of the expressway traffic is administered by a DIG with powers vested similar to more..

Woman sentenced to death

Feb 6 (DM) A woman was today sentenced to death after she was found guilty of possessing and peddling 40.8 grams of heroin in Borella in 2003, by the Colombo High Court. The accused B.N. Nilmini Samanthi alias Niluka of Borella was found guilty of the charge of possessing and peddling 40.8 grams of diacetyl-morphine (heroine). The Attorney General had indicted the accused on two counts and further alleged that she had committed a punishable offence under section 54 (A) and more..

Hirunika says no to active politics yet

Feb 6 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra the daughter of Baratha Lakshman Premachandra said that she hasn't joined active politics as portrayed in the media. “There is a big difference between joining a political party and joining active politics. All I did was taking membership of a political party, which any person in this country can do," she said. When asked if she intends on getting involved in active politics in the future she replied in the affirmative. more..

GNOA to protest on Thursday

Feb 6 (DM) The Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) will carry out a protest on Thursday outside some 100 hospitals in the country urging the government to address their grievances, failing the union will go on strike until their demands are met, the union said today. Union President Saman Ratnapriya said all 10,000 nurses in the GNOA in addition to another 4,000 supporters will take part in the protest. “Since we have still not received a positive response more..

Root ton helps England A seal series

Feb 6 (CI) As England were spinning to defeat in the third Test against Pakistan, the next generation had just secured an encouraging victory on the subcontinent. The Lions, featuring several players likely to be included in the senior England squad to play Pakistan in the ODIs, clinched their series against Sri Lanka A 3-2 after a resounding 117-run win in Colombo. The victory was set up by Joe Root's first limited-overs hundred - as well as another thunderous cameo more..

'Fonseka not ready to apologize, discussions positive'

Feb 6 (AD) Anoma Fonseka the wife of the former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka today said that she will lead a protest to free her husband on February 8. She added that on February 8 it would be exactly two years since Fonseka was arrested. Anoma also stated that her husband is not ready in any way to apologize. However she added that the DNA had held talks with the government to secure the release of Fonseka led by DNA MP Tiran Alles. more..

Lankan found dead due to cold weather in Italy

Feb 6 (DM) Temperatures fell to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) in Milan on Monday as 59,000 households remained without electricity in Italy and officials declared a gas supply emergency. “The situation is certainly critical because the flows from Russia and France have diminished but the situation is being monitored,” Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera told reporters. The death toll from the rare cold snap in Italy meanwhile rose more..

Sri Lanka Cricket wishes Yuvraj speedy recovery

Feb 6 (PTI) Best wishes continue to pour Yuvraj Singh's way with Sri Lanka Cricket wishing the Indian batsman a speedy recovery from impending treatment for a lung tumour. "President and the Members of the Executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, along with Mahela Jayawardene our National Captain and the rest of the National team, the staff, and all the Cricketers at Sri Lanka Cricket convey their prayers and blessings to our dear friend Yuvraj Singh for a speedy recovery," more..

Lost Shashi Weerawansa found

Feb 6 (SM) Police and search parties have found the wife of Minister Wimal Weerawansa - Shashi Weerawansa, who had been reported as lost in the Kebiliththa area. The incident was reported today (6). Reports say that Mrs. Weerawansa and a group had gone on a pilgrimage to the area in three vehicles. Speaking to 'Srilankamirror', police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the vehicles have been stuck in mud. more..

SL to market Ayurveda drugs

Feb 6 (DM) Sri Lanka is to enter the global medicinal drugs market by producing Ayurvedic drugs to international standards, Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation (ADC) Chairman Somaweera Chandrasiri said. He said the demand for Ayurvedic drugs are on the rise and there was a huge potential for value added, high quality Ayuvedic drugs in the international market. “We expect to construct a factory to manufacture Ayurvedic drugs to global standards and to the quality more..

'Horiwila Weda Mahattaya' treated for fractured kneecap

Feb 6 (SM) Son of the well known member of the Horiwila traditional orthopedic medicine K.S.M.H Banda (Horiwila Weda Mahattaya) says that his father is being treated at the Central Private Hospital in Colombo for a fractured kneecap and not with a broken hip. Speaking to ‘Srilankamirror’, the son – Mr. Senanayake said that his father has fractured the kneecap of his right knee. He added that his father was hospitalized after his blood sugar levels rose on Feb. 02. more..

India unveils a photographic Exhibition at the Deyata Kirula exhibition

Feb 6 (HCI) India’s contribution to the ongoing Deyata Kirula Exhibition has been a photographic exhibition titled “India through Sri Lankan Eyes” and a photographic portrayal of the Development Partnership between India and Sri Lanka being carried out through a number of projects under grant assistance from India and through the concessional Lines of Credit extended by India. “India through Sri Lankan Eyes”, curated by Mithra Weerakone, more..

Drugging the people

Feb 7 (NS) There is a nefarious nexus between those who are Hippocritian, pharmaceutical companies, and those politicos who have contrived to bring human concerns right down to their knees. Drugs are hot, indeed very-very hot news right now and not only in that variety that radiates from its incubus in Kelaniya. The account of that particular malady in your last issue may cloud the history of vandalism perpetrated by the Portuguese on such centres of our culture as more..

Lankan independence from Chechnya

Feb 7 (NS) While a Chechen may have much to celebrate in his historically entrenched, uniform and consistent association with Chechnya, I hold that he is also poorer because he is deprived of the experience of being part of a region with diverse and multi-cultural associations such as our Northern Province. Being Sri Lankan means different things to different people, which I think is totally fine. The only aspect of Sri Lankanness worth insisting upon is that all persons, more..

Providing life-long care for differently-abled soldiers

Feb 7 (SO) It is their kindergarten with colourful toys, sixteen ‘children’ in the class are gradually improving their lost skills under the careful guidance of teachers cum therapists. Private Shanaka Wijewickrama knows nothing except his favourite puzzle board - Sri Lanka with 24 districts. He takes the pieces out and fits them one by one to make a complete picture. The 21-year-old repeats this throughout the day, apart from identifying letters more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: P is for pre-poya

Feb 7 (GV) Poya must be one of the first Sri Lankan English terms to enter the vocabulary of foreigners when they arrive in Sri Lanka. A poya day is a full moon holiday, a day when devout Buddhists go to the temple and observe sil. To non-Buddhists it is a welcome day off, but (not so welcome for some) a day when meat and alcohol are not available in shops and supermarkets, and are not supposed to be served in restaurants and hotels. Many people are critical of a more..

‘I moulded the world’s first woman tea auctioneer’

Feb 7 (Island) One of the most fulfilling and pleasurable experiences that Just retired John Keells Holdings Executive Vice President (Plantation Services and Corporate Social Responsibility) Lalith Devakumar Ramanayake has in a rich and variegated career spanning 42 years, is the creation of Sri Lanka’s first woman tea broker who also became the world’s first tea auctioneer! With JKH adopting more scientific practices in Human Resources Development and more..

‘The Sara Saga’ Memoirs by Manicam Saravanamuttu published again

Feb 7 (DBS) The Saravanamuttus are a respected Sri Lankan family of Jaffna origin that has rendered and continues to render yeoman service to our Island nation. From Colombo’s first Mayor and Colombo North State Councillor Sir Ratnajothy Saravanamuttu to Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu the executive director of CPA the “clan” has etched its name indelibly in the affairs of this country. Almost all male members of the family have a Thomian “connection”. more..

Editorial: Jailing quacks

Feb 7 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have stressed the need for tough action against quacks said to number over 45,000. There are about 37,000 qualified medical practitioners in all parts of the country. The Minister wants the quacks jailed for at least five years, we are told. He should be assisted in the task of introducing new laws for that purpose. Those who make money by endangering the lives of innocent people must be dealt with severely; more..

Democratization of trade unions urgently required

Feb 7 (Island) The lightening strike that a section of the railway staff staged last week brought to public focus once again the rights and wrongs of the trade union movement in this country. The manner in which the Colombo-bound train from Vavuniya was abruptly stopped a kilometer away from Galgamuwa railway station placing thousands of hapless passengers stranded shows the heartless and senseless way some trade unions seek to win their demands. more..

Can GOSL implement LLRC recommendations?

Feb 7 (GV) This is the question of the day. This is raised nationally and internationally and answers contrast for different reasons. In this article, I endeavor to briefly answer this question from a governance perspective, keeping in mind the present socio-political realities in Sri Lanka. The President appointed the Commission of Inquiry on LLRC on 15th May 2010 with a broad mandate to inquire into and report on specific matters, in terms of the more..

The “Singapore Model” Vs the ''Miracle of Asia''

Feb 7 (SL) From time to time, someone trots out an invidious comparison/contrast between Sri Lanka and the South Asian City State created and managed by Lee Kwan Yew and his successors. Let me, this Sunday, make a similar effort. Sri Lanka emerged out of World War II, with its foreign exchange coffers brimming with hard currency reserves and democratic governance that was the envy of many newly-independent nations in the region and elsewhere. more..

Objective of committees: Produce more committees, not results

Feb 7 (SL) “A committee is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, it wilts and dies scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in turn.” This is the demystification of that bureaucratic and political panacea for most of political and bureaucratic ills - a committee – by Northcoate Parkinson a former British civil servant who became a well known writer by exposing creations of British bureaucratic myths which have now spread the world over. more..

The vast gulf between Rajapaksa rhetoric and existential reality of Rajapaksa rule

Feb 7 (TC) The Rajapaksas have quite a few attributes in common with Vellupillai Pirapaharan. A pronounced tendency towards deceitfulness is one such characteristic. Lying is a habit, but the Ruling Family is more likely to lie to fellow Sri Lankans than to foreigners. According to a Wikileaks cable, Basil Rajapaksa admitted, in a conversation with the then American Ambassador, that the STF was responsible for the January 2006 murder of more..

From Sarath Fonseka to accountability: On those who capitalise from afar

Feb 7 (CT) This article refers to an issue of interest and concern to the Government of Sri Lanka, which, purposefully or not, has been ignored by officials concerned over a tremendously long period. It is about individuals who utilise political developments within Sri Lanka for their personal gain, in a very different way. The individuals in question do not act from within the political realm, and are therefore different from the likes of, say, one very sleek, more..

The politics of fascist terror: A sociological analysis

Feb 7 (CT) First of all, I wish to express my respect and gratitude to Colombo Telegraph for offering the space for open debate and discussion on the vital topics of the day. I feel it is important that we begin to get beyond the highly subjective discourse on the political character of Prabhakaran and the LTTE, and approach the subject with a scientific sociological perspective. Where we position ourselves on the ideological political spectrum, and the way more..