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'Universities will be subjected to radical changes'

Feb 17 (DN) Universities will be subjected to radical changes to meet global trends in the higher education sector, Minister SB Dissanayake said. The minister was addressing scholars who were recipients of scholarship under a corporate social responsibility programme initiated by the Commercial Bank. Under this CSR programme, 25 students who have been selected to universities, would receive Rs 25,000 each per year until completion of higher education. more..

World’s top department stores to meet in Colombo

Feb 17 (FT) Retail professionals from some of the world’s top department stores are due in Sri Lanka this month for a 3-day conference that will generate valuable exposure for the country’s retail sector. 10th Commercial Director Conference of the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS), the world’s largest association of department stores, is to be hosted in Colombo by ODEL, the only Sri Lankan member of this exclusive group. more..

Water purification unit designed to reduce hardness and fluoride in water

Feb 17 (Island) The Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) which functions under the Ministry of Technology and Research conducts basic and advanced scientific research and makes new innovations which uplifts scientific and technological activities of Sri Lanka. Scientist J.P. Padmasiri of the IFS and Engineer W.M. Jayawardhana, a volunteer, have successfully designed a water purification Unit which can reduce excess hardness and fluoride in drinking water in the dry zone. more..

Police raid on Chinese traders

Feb 17 (Island) Kollupitiya Anti Vice Squad beginning this month conducted a series of raids in a major clean up of operation netting several suspects. An employee of a bookshop on Galle Road who allegedly sold two porn books for Rs. 2540 each was produced before Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne on February 2, and fined Rs. 2500 on the suspect. The materials were ordered to be destroyed. In another raid on a Chinese retail shop in Kollupitiya Supermarket, a consignment of more..

LLRC can be the basis to solve national issue - Ranil

Feb 17 (CT) The LLRC findings despite its shortcoming could be the basis of an internal solution, if the govt and the opposition all work together; Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said addressing a media briefing. The UNP Leader also strongly stated that although the UNP supports the LLRC this will not extend to the political continuous of the govt. He added that it was difficult for the UNP to support the political continuous of a govt which is more..

Sri Lanka: On the edge of the knife

Feb 17 (AHRC) There is always a fallacious belief that, It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible. The morning of Valentine's Day (Feb 14) started with the unwholesome smell of the burnt carcass of a person; the incident took place in the central part of Colombo, which is one of most secure places in the entire country. The body had been tied to a pole and burnt. People are weeping and screaming over the incident, no one has a solution, and all are in a dilemma. more..

Underage girl delivers baby

Feb 17 (CT) A 16 year old girl, who allegedly had sex with her boyfriend in a movie theatre, had later delivered a baby, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court yesterday. The girl, according to the NCPA, had sex with her partner at a movie theatre in Gampaha. She has confessed to the NCPA officials that she got pregnant after this sexual encounter. The NCPA informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court that it sought Attorney General’s more..

Metre taxis to charge Rs.2 more from 2nd km onwards

Feb 17 (DM) Metre Taxi charges will be increased by Rs.2 per kilometre to keep up with the recent increase in fuel prices, the Association of Sri Lanka Metre Taxi Services said. From today all vehicles coming under the association will continue to charge Rs.50 for the first kilometer. However the charge for the second kilometer will be increased from Rs.30 to Rs.32. “We needed to set up an association of our own to address the issues in more..

Govt. won’t disappoint GMOA

Feb 17 (Island) The Health and Education Ministries are in the process of making arrangements to accommodate doctors’ children requiring schools in areas where the parents were transferred to Education Ministry spokesman, Jayalath Rajapakse said that a list of doctors’ children in need of schools had to be prepared. He was replying to the GMOA warning that is members would not accept annual transfers if schools were not found for their children at the same time. Rajapakse said that the Ministry had to collect the applications and more..

Student boxer's death: Suspects further remanded

Feb 17 (DN) The Maharagama Magistrate Sumith Perera yesterday further remanded the two suspects, who are alleged to have involved in the death of a student who died due to an internal haemorrhage according to the medical evidence. Earlier the mother of the student informed Court that she suspected foul play and requested to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the death. Senior Counsel Upali Senaratne who appeared for the suspects submitted to Court that there was more..

I am shocked – SLC Chief

Feb 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket boss Upali Dharmadasa says that he was shocked to hear that two rivets of the 1996 World Cup trophy had been stolen and promised to find replacements in less than two weeks’ time. The Island yesterday reported that Sri Lankan cricket’s greatest possession had been slightly damaged and two of its rivets were stolen and after initial denials, SLC admitted that there had been some damage done. "When I was informed about more..

'Removing Silva as UN Adviser Addressed Feb 17'

Feb 17 (ICP) For three weeks Inner City Press has asked the UN how it could accept as a UN "Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations" of General Shavendra Silva, whose Division 58 is repeatedly named in connection with war crimes in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Panel of Experts report. Ban's lead spokesman Martin Nesirky has said Ban can do nothing, and that Inner City Press should "ask the Asia group." On February 13, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative Abulkalam more..

Douglas extradition hearing next week

Feb 17 (PTI) The Madras High Court today posted to February 21 for orders on a petition seeking extradition and arrest of Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda, wanted in connection with a murder case. When the matter came up before a division bench, comprising justices K Mohan Ram and G M Akbar Ali, Additional Solicitor General of India M Ravindran informed the bench that India and Sri Lanka have only an 'extradition arrangement' and not an extradition treaty. more..

Cabinet shoots down transport allowance for public servants

Feb 17 (DM) The Cabinet has turned down a request by Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge to give a transport allowance to public servants so as to cushion the burden caused by the increase in bus fares, sources said yesterday. According to them, at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister Lokuge had said that paying a transport allowance to public servants was better than giving a fuel subsidy to private bus operators. more..

Mahela takes positives from narrow defeats

Feb 17 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene is looking at the positives of having pulled two games back from the brink as opposed to feeling frustrated at not having finished those games off. Sri Lanka's three games in the series so far have been weird, in that they lacked flow and continuity. At times they showed remarkable spirit and intelligence, at times they played ordinary cricket that confounds. In Sri Lanka's first game, their batting was stop-start against India but their bowlers more..

'Only a nominal rise in electricity bills'

Feb 17 (DN) Nearly 23 percent of the country’s population will have to pay only an additional Rs 22.50 for electricity due to the fuel adjustment charges as the govt has promised to provide an additional subsidy of Rs four billion to the CEB not to place the entire burden of the world fuel price hike on the public, Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission chairman President’s Counsel Dr. Jayatissa de Costa said on Wednesday. He made this observation at a press conference more..

'Govt aiming to relieve consumer of oil price worry'

Feb 17 (DN) The govt reduced the price of fuel many times in the past when the price of oil in the world market went down. Similarly, the govt will reduce the price of fuel as soon as the price of a barrel of oil goes down in the world market and will offer the benefit to the public as it did in the past, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said yesterday. He said that the price of a barrel of oil in the world market reached US$ 119 by February 15. more..

No water price hike for few more months

Feb 17 (Island) Despite speculation that there would be a price revision by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, its Chairman Karunasena Hettiarachchi yesterday assured that there were no immediate moves to hike water tariffs. However, he said that they were in the process of analyzing the situation and would come out with a decision in a couple of months. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Chairman Dr. Jayatissa de Costa, at a more..

State banks allowed to be duped by govt. henchmen

Feb 17 (LT) A large amount of loans that have been released from state banks on directives by govt stalwarts have not been recovered say bank sources. Billions that have been released on political connections from Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, National Savings Bank, regional development banks and Lankaputhra Bank without any certificates of security will have to be treated as dormant debt say these sources. It is revealed that the debt ratio of Lankaputhra Bank exceeds 60%. more..

Arjuna slams treatment of World Cup trophy

Feb 17 (Island) World Cup winning Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga says that he was deeply saddened to learn that the World Cup trophy that the country won under his leadership 15 years ago was damaged and that two rivets attached to it had been stolen. The Island reported on the damage done to Sri Lankan cricket’s greatest possession allegedly damaged when it was taken for the Deyata Kirula Exhibition. more..

CJ cautions Golden Key depositors

Feb 17 (CT) “We are fully aware we have to go in a coffin. That is the only certain thing in this world,” noted Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake cautioning some of the petitioners who had taken a coffin inside the court complex. The protesters took a coffin as part of a protest campaign in connection with the delay in the re-payment of the Golden Key deposits. Chief Justice Dr. Bandaranayake voiced her concern during yesterday’s proceedings of the rights plea filed by more..

CMC protests against takeover of its property by UDA

Feb 17 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said that certain state institutions owed the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) over Rs. 1.5 billion in assessment tax arrears, while the Urban Development Authority (UDA) was continuing to acquire CMC administered property in the guise of development creating a big financial loss to the Council. He said that taking over of CMC property was a violation of the 13th Amendment, while the income generated by the Council had been reduced by 40 percent. more..

Police Commando ASP grilled over Chilaw killing

Feb 17 (Island) The CID investigating the shooting incident in Chilaw on Wednesday where a fisherman was killed has started questioning an ASP attached to the Police STF. Well informed sources said that the ASP had given orders to his subordinates to shoot after the protestors who staged a demonstration against the recent fuel price hike went berserk. They said that the ASP had told investigators that the protestors were armed with swords and clubs and more..

SC lays down directors to pay back Golden Key depositors

Feb 17 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday advised the Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne to convene a meeting with the Directors of the Ceylinco Consolidated Company Pvt. Limited. The meeting is to include representatives of the Central Bank and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. The meeting is to be held at the Attorney General’s Department and is aimed at preparing an agreed Repayment Plan to pay the 9123 depositors who had deposited with more..

Brother and sister killed after earth bund falls on house

Feb 17 (Island) A brother and a sister aged 16 and 11 were killed on the spot at Welimada when an earth bund fell on their house in the early hours of yesterday. The two children - R. M. Gayan Ratnayake and R. M. Gayani Natasha were fast asleep with their grandmother when the earth bund collapsed on their house following a leak from an underground water tank near the embankment adjacent to their house, Welimada Police said. Their mother was not at home at the time the more..

Speeding Yala safari drivers must be reined in

Feb 17 (ST) Indiscipline among safari jeep drivers at the Yala National Park came to the fore, with an “accident” in which BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland suffered a head injury. This is not the first instance of speeding and accidents at Yala and will not be the last if the rules are not strictly enforced within this National Park, stressed an environmentalist citing the “road-kill” of even a leopard in recent times. more..

Electricity to uplift educational standards of village children

Feb 17 (GDI) “By providing Electricity to remote villages in the country the Govt hopes to up lift the educational standards of the children living in those areas "said the Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi after inaugurating the Eheliyagoda Keenagahavila Ingiriya Kalukade Electricity project, completed at a cost of Rs.80 million. The project was carried out under the Iran Electricity Project. more..

Canadian jobs to Sri Lankans

Feb 17 (CT) A MoU will be signed between Sri Lanka and Canada to increase job opportunities for Sri Lankans in the near future, Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman Amal Senadhilankara told Ceylon Today. “A delegation including myself visited Canada to assess the opportunities available in the country, we also held various discussions with high ranking Canadian officials however no MoUs were signed during these meetings,” Senadhilankara said. more..

Rupee may slide to Rs 125-130 for dollar - economists

Feb 17 (CT) Economists warned the govt that the Rupee would slide further to Rs 125-130 for a dollar, if the present depreciation continues. Speaking to Ceylon Today prominent economic analyst Dr. Nimal Sandaratne said there is a likelihood of the rupee further depreciating and this Dr. Sandaratne added could slide the Rupee further to Rs 130 for a dollar. “This expectation itself would mount pressure on the value of the Rupee,” more..

Terrorists out, Army in – Part 1

Feb 17 (IPS) With the Feb. 27 session of the UNHRC looming on the horizon, human rights watchdogs are making yet another push to get Sri Lanka onto the agenda – and once and for all settle the issue of alleged wartime abuses that the government continues to deny. In a recent letter to UNHRC permanent representatives, members and observers, Human Rights Watch said, "Almost three years after the end of the military conflict between more..

CEB’s powerful engineers’ union declares war

Feb 17 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) has passed a resolution demanding the immediate implementation of the salary revision already approved by its Board. This decision was taken at the Special General Meeting of CEBEU held at Rajagiriya on Wednesday. All engineers belonging to CEBEU had taken leave from work to attend this meeting as a mark of protest. more..

Satisfied with displaced Sri Lankan Tamils' rehabilitation : EU

Feb 17 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has expressed satisfaction with the resettlement process in Sri Lanka three years after the war between the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE ended. The Sri Lankan govt should be commended for the efforts it took to resettle most of the war displaced people, EU ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bernard Savage said Thursday. He said that all the major camps for the war displaced have now been shut. more..

Money can’t silence us, say slain fisherman’s family

Feb 17 (DM) A group of uniformed men had come to the home of 28year-old fisherman Anthony Fernando who had been shot dead in Chilaw and had allegedly offered cash to the family members requesting them to keep quiet about what had happened, a family member said yesterday. Mr. Fernando’s brotherin-law Wijay Waranakulasuriya said the group had come to the house on Wednesday evening. But the family had no hesitation in refusing to accept the cash. more..

Be partners in our development process – President tells international community

Feb 17 (GDI) With the end of terrorism a new era of peace and development had dawn upon our nation and as Sri Lanka continuing on the path of development, we have requested our friends in the international community to be partners in this process, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "Strengthened by the basic structures in place for a robust economic partnership, Singapore is in a unique position to harness the many opportunities for more..

Dew warns of Opp. threat to stability

Feb 17 (Island) In the wake of the UNP seeking to renew its partnership with the JVP and the TNA to oust the govt amidst a worsening economic crisis, senior Minister Dew Gunasekera yesterday said that the ruling coalition had to counter the Opposition offensive or face the consequences. He said that it would be a challenging task to counteract Opposition attempts to blame the crisis on UPFA’s incompetence, waste, corruption and irregularities. The UNP, JVP and the TNA backed Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s candidature at more..

Editorial: Turn around before it's too late

Feb 17 (DM) Last Saturday's fiery fuel price increase blazed into public outrage which now appears to be growing to the proportions of a public uprising, with strikes or demonstrations by private bus operators, and fishermen's associations, trade unions and political parties. But millions of heavily burdened lower or middle income families, which have no association, union or effective opposition party to protect their rights have been forced to carry the full load more..

Sri Lanka shares end marginally higher

Feb 17 (LBO) Shares ended slightly higher Friday after a roller-coaster ride with heavy trading again in stocks favoured by speculators while there was also some buying into banks, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed up 0.12 percent at 5,285.17, for the third day, after a nine-day slide, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.07 percent to close at 4,549.43. Turnover was 2.2 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures. more..

National Reconciliation Policy to be presented shortly

Feb 17 (DM) A draft towards a National Reconciliation Policy is currently being prepared and will be presented shortly for public discussion by MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha. “I hope that this is looked at seriously, adjusted as necessary, and then adopted and implemented expeditiously,” Prof. Wijesinha said. Commenting on the US stance that it will support a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in March, Prof. Wijesinha said more..

HRW is promoting pro-LTTE propaganda

Feb 17 (DM) Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle in response to the allegation levelled by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the recent announcement made by the Sri Lanka Army that it is another govt delaying tactic while facing international pressure said that it is one of their tasks that they are engaged in before the UNHRC session in Geneva as a part of promoting pro-LTTE propaganda. Hulugalle said that they have been more..

No truth to ‘Basil going to buy srilankamirror’ report

Feb 17 (SM) The editorial of stresses that there is no truth whatsoever to a claim that minister Basil Rajapaksa is going to buy the website. A report posted in has made the claim. Our website has not held discussions with either Mr. Rajapaksa or his representative regarding a selling of the website, as claimed in that report, said chief editor Kelum Shivantha. more..