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‘We don’t earn a profit by re-scrutinizing answer scripts’

Jan 8 (Island) The Examinations Department said yesterday the number of applications received so far for re-scrutiny of the GCE (A/L) answer scripts is not known as the deadline was extended to Jan. 17. Addressing a media conference at the ministry auditorium, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that a section of the media is trying to mislead the public on the (A/L) results released recently. more..

UNP favours Land Commission as provided in 13A

Jan 8 (Island) The UNP will propose to the govt that the land commissions and which have been provided under the 13th Amendment of the Constitution be implemented in order to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. It is important the govt establishes a Provincial Commission for land and police matters as spelt out in the 13th Amendment which will operational in the North and the East which will report to a National Commission which more..

SLFP to probe alleged corruption by Mervyn

Jan 8 (ST) Controversial Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva is being probed for alleged extortion of money, acquiring land illegally and interfering in the work of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, it was revealed yesterday. The probe is being conducted by Minister Maithripala Sirisena who is also the General Secretary of the SLFP. He would report on the findings to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

India’s Krishna in Lanka for TNA-Govt. talks

Jan 8 (ST) Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna will be meeting the TNA and govt officials within the next two weeks, in a move seen as ensuring continuity in talks to finding a political solution to issues in the North. Mr. Krishna arrives on January 16. His visit coincides with the next round of talks between the four-member govt delegation and the TNA delegation. The talks will take place over three successive days, more..

Coalition partner of the UPFA to initiate legal action against UN

Jan 8 (SL) A coalition partner of the governing UPFA, the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) is to initiate legal action against the UNHCR for its failure to provide relief to the Muslims who have been displaced due to the three decade long ethnic conflict in the country. ACMC Leader and Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said the party was currently consulting its lawyers to commence legal action against the UNHCR. more..

Virtually no investigation into Lasantha’s killing says wife

Jan 8 (Island) The third anniversary of the death of Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, falls today. In a statement issued from New York, his widow, Sonali Samarasinghe, Journalist-in-Residence at the City University of New York, alleged that in the 36 months since the killing, "there has been virtually no investigation into this crime." "Police had earlier succeeded in taking into custody five mobile phones, more..

Opposition to Mervin is due to a conflict between Rajapaksas

Jan 8 (LT) The conflict between Minister Mervin Silva and the Members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha including its Chairman is a reflection of the power struggle between two Rajapaksa stalwarts reveal govt sources. Minister Mervin Silva and the PS Members accuse each other in public and in media briefings that both parties take extortions from businessmen in the area. Their racket of extortions was a public secret until now. However, the President and seniors of more..

New method to be adopted for census

Jan 8 (SO) A new method will be adopted at the enumeration stage of the 2011 population and housing census to be conducted from February 27 to March 21 to support the need assessment in the development and administrative purposes by collecting data from the residents, Director, Census and Statistics Department H.R. Gunasekara said. At the enumeration stage, the Census and Statistics Department will not use the de-facto method of counting people as they are found on an assigned more..

Now Tiger stamp in Britain

Jan 8 (ST) From France to Canada, Tiger guerilla stamps have now appeared in Britain. One depicts a portrait of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran but it is not clear whether the stamp has received the approval of Royal Mail, the sole authority for postal matters in Britain. An External Affairs Ministry spokesperson in Colombo said yesterday the Sri Lanka High Commission had been asked for details relating to the issue of the stamp. more..

TMVP name change likely in March

Jan 8 (SL) The TMVP is likely to change its name in March this year when the party holds its first National Convention, a TMVP spokesman said. Following the end of the war in 2009, the TMVP announced it will look at removing the word “pulikal” from its name as it means tigers and could be seen as a reference to the LTTE. Asked why the name has yet to be changed TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana said that a name change can be done only with the support of a majority of the party members. more..

Dilantha: Bail enhanced from Rs. 1m to Rs. 4 Million

Jan 8 (SL) Dilantha Malagamuwa the Sri Lankan racing car driver, was ordered by the Colombo Magistrate to provide an increased bail amount. The previous amount was Rs. 1 Million but at the latest hearing bail was enhanced to Rs. 4 Million. He was also ordered to provide two sureties. Dilantha who participated in the recent Night Races in Colombo, returned to the controversial Monte Cristo Estate after his court hearing. Staff at the estate reported under anonymity that more..

US for international probe

Jan 8 (SL) The United States is to push for an international accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka over alleged Human Rights violations. Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S Department of State has said this in a response to a petition filed by Amnesty International, Sri Lanka Country Specialist for Amnesty International USA Jim McDonald stated in an email to The Sunday Leader. more..

JVP says no to new electoral system

Jan 8 (DM) The JVP today criticized the proposed bill for the introduction of new election system for local the bodies. The JVP charged that it, if passed in Parliament, would only aggravate the prevailing crisis in electoral politics. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the democratic verdict of people was not properly reflected through the present electoral system and the proposed Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill would not be a solution to more..

Sri Lanka central hill expressway trace changed

Jan 8 (LBO) An expressway from Sri Lanka's capital Colombo to the central hill city of Kandy has been changed to touch Kurunegala, another key city, Road Development Authority chairman R W Pemasiri said. The trace of the 98 kilometre planned expressway was earlier going over Ambepussa. The new road may be slightly longer as a result of the change, Pemasiri said. Ten companies from China, Korea, India and Malaysia have given proposals with financing to build the track. more..

Hospital says Russian tourist was not raped

Jan 8 (SL) Following this week’s identification parade of the main suspects involved in the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh Zaman, his Russian companion, Victoria Alexandrovna is preparing to return home. Alexandrovna (23), a victim in the brutal attack in Tangalle on Christmas day, has received travel clearance from her physicians at Lanka Hospitals in Colombo. The victim’s relations have arrived to escort her home to Moscow. more..

Stone throwers on SE01 to be dealt with severely

Jan 8 (DM) Police warned people not to throw stones at vehicles travelling on the Southern Expressway after the second such incident was reported on Saturday between the Welipenna and Dodangoda stretch. The Police said that those involved will be strictly dealt with by the law. The Southern Expressway Traffic Police Division was informed by a monk after the car he was travelling in was stoned. The police also informed motorists travelling along the highway to inform the police more..

Attempted robbery on Expressway exit

Jan 8 (DM) A group of robbers had attempetd to rob a Sri Lankan diplomat on her way out of the Southern Expressway's Baddegama exit point on Saturday night. The attempt was made during her way out of the Baddegama exit point towards the Baddegama town. Speaking to Daily Mirror online the diplomat said that the attempted robbery had been pre planned and around three to four men were involved. "They had put a log in the middle of the road in order to stall the vehichle and more..

Sri Lankan boat adds to visa concerns

Jan 8 (TA) The interception by the Sri Lankan navy of a group of asylum-seekers bound for Australia has heightened concerns that Indonesia's plans to relax its visa restrictions could lead to a sharp spike in the number of boatpeople attempting the hazardous journey. Last Friday, a group of 22 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers preparing to travel to Australia via Indonesia was intercepted by the Sri Lankan navy before they left the port city of Tangalle. more..

Samaraweera proves his point

Jan 8 (CI) The shining light of Sri Lanka's tour, Samaraweera became only the third batsman from the sub-continent to score two centuries in a series in South Africa, after Azhar Mahmood and Sachin Tendulkar. He batted with composure, forcing the South Africans to bowl a straighter line to him and milked the spinner, Imran Tahir. His hundred in Durban was match-winning and if he had had an able partner at the other end of his Newlands century for longer, he might more..

Protests over culling of stray dogs

Jan 8 (BBC) Animal rights campaigners in Sri Lanka have urged the govt to conduct a proper research on the impact of stray dogs before re-initiating a culling programme. Health Minister Maithreepala Sirisena has told Swarnavahini television that Sri Lanka would lift a moratorium on killing stray dogs, because of rabies concerns. The govt attempts to cut down on the 2,000 people that are hospitalised every day after being bitten, AFP news agency reported quoting the minister. more..

TNA to discuss Tamil issue with ANC

Jan 8 (BBC) The major Tamil party in Sri Lanka says it will urge South Africa's ruling party to help resolve the national question. A delegation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is in South Africa to attend the centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC), a leading liberation movement and the party that holds power in South Africa. TNA leader R Sampanthan is leading a four member delegation to the ANC centenary celebrations. more..

Indian fishermen keep off sea

Jan 8 (Hindu) Fishermen of about 950 mechanised boats had kept off sea in Rameswaram on Saturday in protest against the detention of five fishermen in Sri Lanka. Though the decision to strike work was taken immediately after the detention of eight fishermen with two boats, the protest was modified to seek the release of five others held in Sri Lanka on November 28. The detained boats, with eight fishermen, have been released from Sri Lanka and they are expected to more..

Maligawatta shooting-suspects still at large

Jan 8 (DM) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) have intensified its search for the suspects involved in the shooting incident in Apple-watta area in Maligawatta on last Tuesday which resulted in the death of a person who is the brother of a prominent underworld figure. The victim Mohammed Rasuldeen succumbed to his injuries on Saturday while receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Colombo National Hospital. He was placed on the life supporting system. more..

Krishna to take stock of IDP housing project

Jan 8 (Hindu) After a series of delays at various levels, false-starts, slip-shod trial and error experimentation at the Indian and Sri Lankan capitals, the massive Indian housing project for the displaced Tamils is set to take off. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, and his team that deals directly with the project, including the Joint Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Adviser Raghavendra Shastry, will review the project on the ground, more..

Have money, will play A Div. Rugby

Jan 9 (SL) Any move to rid the SLRFU of it’s hefty Rs.21m.-debt is to be commended. With a lack of funds seriously impeding the game’s development over the past three seasons, especially with the reduction of Provincial Unions to a state of defunctness, there’s a compelling need to achieve solvency quickly. But there are dangers: the dire financial situation can well tempt the Union into making shortsighted deals that can, potentially, have harmful consequences in seasons ahead. more..

The illusion that is free education

Jan 9 (SL) I remember when I did my O/Ls. I crammed a few months before the exam. And passed pretty well. At that time (which wasn’t so long ago!) the exam was a repeating pattern; most teachers knew the most common questions. So they focussed more on these areas when studying the textbooks. Exam questions also got leaked, and some teachers were known for subtly giving an exam question or two in ‘revision classes’ before papers. I studied a fair bit of algebra, biology, physics, more..

Rare finds aplenty in Ambalangoda

Jan 9 (SO) An antique is a collectible item of rare value and dates back to many years. It comprises furniture, coins, stamps and other items. Antique furniture is now available in many ‘Antique shops’ in and around Colombo, but how is one going to assess whether the piece of furniture is a true antique or not. Do we have the expertise to identify a true antique from the mock antique bits of furniture that has flooded the market. Of course a real collector of more..

SWRD brought about the common man’s era

Jan 9 (NS) We remember the great national leader, orator who was named the ‘Silver tongued Orator of Asia’ by Indian Premier Jawaharlal Nehru, our own Premier S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike whose 113th birth anniversary falls today. Leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha, one of the first political parties of Sri Lanka, and later the founder leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party SWRD is best remembered for ushering in the common man’s era by the revolution by the ballot in 1956. more..

Reflections on the Tamil’s Problems

Jan 9 (NS) I hope you have inserted the quotation marks in that title. If you have not, it would mean that your mind has been subverted by the propaganda conducted here by the dominant minorities that control our Mainstream Media. This note is to help you disabuse your mind. ‘The Tamils’ does not refer to those who live in their homeland in South India but to their representatives. They are being represented by the Jayalalithas, Vaikos and others who, together with the BJP, more..

Firm duty of this Presidency to listen to inconvenient ‘truths’ in the LLRC report

Jan 9 (TC) Several months ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared to the world that the ‘truth’ in regard to the last stages of the war between the LTTE and govt forces will be revealed by the Report of the LLRC commissioned by himself. Let us take this Presidential prediction further and examine precisely what the ‘truth’ of the LLRC is all about. In so doing, we shall not limit ourselves to the narrow focus of the war theatre as this does not reflect the more..

Student from B.C. in climate change spotlight after passionate speech

Jan 9 (TC) A young scholar from B.C. has found herself in the centre of the international climate change spotlight after a video of her rousing speech at the Durban climate talks in South Africa last recently went viral. Anjali Appadurai, a former student of Gleneagle Secondary in Coquitlam, who is now a third-year student at College of the Atlantic (COA) in Maine, stepped up to the microphone and challenged the delegates to put aside what she called short-sighted more..

Stamp and First Day Cover for Chunnakam Skandavarodaya College 117th year Anniversary

Jan 9 (TC) Skandavarodaya College, Chunnakam, Jaffna which was established in 1894 by philanthropist and educationist, late Kandaiya Upaathiyayar is completing 117 years in the sphere of education. To mark this occasion a special commemorative first day cover and stamp will be issued by the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry. Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga will be the chief guest while Senior Minister DEW Gunasekara will be the special guest at a function to be held at more..

So far no Rajapaksa has condemned the alleged crimes of their henchman

Jan 9 (TC) President Rajapaksa won the Eelam War, with the help of countless others (including the imprisoned Gen. Fonseka). In fairytales, the hero who saves a country from some deadly peril is rewarded with kingship and a happy ever-after ensues. In real life, when heroes claim countries as their reward, tyranny beckons and tragedy happens. The 18th Amendment transformed independent commissions into Presidential appendages. more..

Kotugoda criminals still at large

Jan 9 (SO) The two brothers who lived at a housing complex in Kotugoda Udammita in the Kuruswatta area in Ja-Ela was a law unto themselves which drew the wrath of other young people who lived in the same village. The natives of Udammita especially the young men were terribly scared of them as they used to throw their weight around in the village and intimidated those who crossed their path. Eranda Silva and Prabath Silva were related to each other. more..

LLRC report places govt in the dock over five issues

Jan 9 (TC) The full report of the LLRC is in public domain, after it was presented in parliament on 16 December, by the Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. He in fact made it very certain that the recommendations would be carried out to the letter. The report and its recommendations do not satisfy the Tamil organizations. There is no mention of war crimes, crimes against humanity and there is no mention of a need to investigate such crimes. more..

A nation held hostage by agitators

Jan 9 (Island) On Thursday traffic was in a state of gridlock in Colombo first along High Level Road and then along Galle Road during the noon rush hour leaving hundreds of thousands of people stuck on the roads for hours. All that was because of some minor damage to a concrete memorial at the Sri Jayawardenapura University. The students tried to march on Temple Trees over this minor incident involving damage that would at most amount to a couple of thousand rupees. more..

Editorial: From Adam to Hawking

Jan 9 (Island) Theoretical physicist of eminence Prof. Stephen Hawking, who has proved medical experts wrong by miraculously surviving MND (Motor Neuron Disease), transformed our understanding of the universe with his quantum cosmology and found himself at the centre of a huge controversy by ruling out God's role in the creation of the universe, has turned 70. We thought the wheelchair bound genius with an incisive mind trapped inside a frail mortal coil did nothing but more..

Banks have brief window of opportunity

Jan 9 (Island) Domestic banks would have to prepare their balance sheets and prepare to seize the brief window of opportunity to raise capital from global capital markets as the gap between advances and deposits increase, a senior banker and a ratings specialist said. Hatton National Bank Managing Director Rajendra Theagarajah said domestic banks have two options of raising capital from overseas markets, through a private placement for smaller banks and via the more..

Dancing behind bars

Jan 9 (ST) A.D. Jinadasa Nivithigala was recently where many would tremble to be, brimming with confidence and happiness. He was the revered Gurunnanse invited to place Ves on many who had reached the relevant expertise to be called Kandyan dancers. As he walks into these once-familiar surroundings, the memories come flooding in…….long days and nights with everyone else “without” heavily locked and barred doors and he and his students “within”. more..

Residents blamed for Negombo’s dengue crisis

Jan 9 (ST) Negombo is in the grip of a major dengue epidemic, with health and local government authorities warning residents to clean up their homes and gardens. Seventy-five dengue patients were being treated at the Negombo Hospital yesterday while a high-level team from the Epidemiology Unit in Colombo rushed to the area on Friday to take measures to rein-in the epidemic. Confirming that 15 of the 75 dengue patients were children, Negombo Hospital Medical Superintendent more..