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Ranil objects to District Level meetings

Jan 9 (CT) The UNP local govt representatives and other prominent leaders have defied party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s instructions not to hold district level meetings. UNP Deputy Leader Premadasa is planning to hold a series of district level meetings for local govt representatives and ground level activists of the party, in all districts. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe previously said Premadasa should not hold such meetings. more..

A Rajapaksa skirmish on Mervin

Jan 9 (LT) The fate Minister Mervin Silva who acted in a rage once Mahinda Rajapaksa govt was established is pathetic say govt sources. It is discussed within govt circles that the situation that exists is similar to the events that befell Baharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Donald Ranjith, said to be a coordinating secretary of Minister Mervin Silva, has been abducted in a white van and has been disappeared. Some time back, Amal Rodrigo, another said to to be a coordinating secretary of more..

Five accidents reported on Sunday in E-01

Jan 9 (DM) Five accidents took place on the Southern Expressway on Sunday bringing the number of accidents reported so far in Sri Lanka’s first highway to 57. Southern Expressway Traffic Police Division SP Eric Perera said that the accidents were minor incidents and no injuries were reported. He also said that the motorists should be careful while travelling on the expressway as the misty conditions still prevail in the area. He said that a policeman is been placed at more..

I am prepared to face any probe against me: Mervin

Jan 9 (DM) Controversial Minister Mervin Silva today challenged those who allege him of frauds asking them to prove them. He told a news conference today that he is prepared to face any probe that may be conducted against him. He was referring to the request made by the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera on Sunday. The Minister said that he too has allegations against the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera whom he more..

Sri Lanka liquor sales grow

Jan 9 (LBO) Sale of hard liquor and beer in Sri Lanka are estimated to have increased by about 7-8 percent in 2011 from the year before owing to a post-war economic revival and opening up of former markets. Commissioner General of Excise Vasantha Hapuarachchi said sharply higher tourist arrivals and reduced consumption of illicit alcohol also contributed to the growth of the legal liquor industry. "Sales of hard liquor and beer have increased by about 7-8 percent in 2011 more..

Tangalle killing: PS Chairman, five others further remanded

Jan 9 (DM) The six suspects who were arrested in connection with the killing of the British tourist Khuram Shaik Zaman and caused severe injuries to his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna on Christmas Day at a hotel in Madilla, Tangalle were today, further remanded till January 20. The six suspects included Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidhanapathirana, Lahiru Kelum, Praveen Chaturanga, Mohottige Saman, Saman Deshapriya and Ratnayake Weerakoon. more..

We condemn government’s attempt to crush student issues through suppression – JVP

Jan 9 (LT) It appears that the govt is attempting to bar from education students who ask for solutions for their issues and crush their peaceful demonstrations by suppression. This is a situation that leads to suspicion that it is an intended attempt to maintain a conflict situation within universities. The govt is preparing to legalize privatization of higher education in such an environment. The government by breaking down of the state university system is more..

Sri Lankan company receives prestigious International Award

Jan 9 (GDI) The Environmental Resources Investment plc (ERI) of Sri Lanka has been awarded with the prestigious international ‘Diamond Eye Award for Quality and Excellence’ by the Otherways Management Association Club (OMAC), France at an awards ceremony held recently in Geneva, Switerland. ERI is the first Sri Lankan business entity to be presented with the ‘Diamond Eye’ award and has also been awarded the certificate for T.Q.M (Total Quality Management) at this ceremony. more..

Sri Lankan first-class season from Jan 20

Jan 9 (CI) The first-class season will begin on January 20. The first-class Premier Tier A and B league matches had been postponed indefinitely last month, in part because of a lack of funds to run the tournament. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) then had to wait until a new committee was in place, following the elections on January 3, to resolve the situation. "Most of the tournaments had been stopped because the elections were on and the committee was changing," more..

Sri Lankan cricket in 'crisis': minister

Jan 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's sports minister on Monday blasted the national cricket team's recent performances, saying the side was riven by politics and in "crisis". Mahindananda Aluthgamage vowed to deliver a stern lecture to the players when they return later this month from their tour of South Africa, where they last week lost the Test series 2-1. "The Sri Lanka cricket team is in a crisis situation. It is very unfortunate," Aluthgamage told reporters in Colombo. more..

VIDEO: The whole country knows about me and my service - Mervyn

Jan 9 (AD) The people of the entire country know about me and my service to the country, Mervyn Silva said today. Referring to the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members who have charged him with corruption, the Minister said that because of the full moon, hidden ailments have resurfaced and “they have gone mad”. “Kindly ask them to get treatment for that,” he told media today. He stated that the Pradeshiya Sabha members had thought the accusations would enrage him and more..

Dilshan blames domestic cricket for team’s failure

Jan 9 (DM) National skipper T. M. Dilshan said that Sri Lanka's domestic cricket structure has to be revamped to find new players with potential. Dilshan said this at Cape Town after his team suffered a 2-1 series loss to South Africa. It was his fourth straight Test series defeat since taking over the reigns as Sri Lanka skipper in April last year. "We have to correct our domestic structure. We don't have a strong domestic tournament back at home," more..

Ministry says stray dogs will not be killed

Jan 9 (SL) The Health Ministry says with the number of dog bite incidents seeing a rise in recent times a more effective mechanism is being worked on to control the stray dog population while continuing with the “no kill” policy. Ministry spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayake said that there was no move to kill stray dogs and said that such claims were based on a statement made by Minister Maithripala Sirisena in Kalutara last week which was taken out of context. more..

Illegal cable TV providers raided

Jan 9 (CT) The TRC has conducted raids on nearly 40 unauthorized cable TV providers in the Jaffna district. TRC Chairman Anusha Palpita told Ceylon Today the raids were conducted with the assistance of the CID. “Some illegal operators carry out their operations as subsidiaries of legal cable operators who are recognized by the TRC. Therefore, we have informed the operators to remove those illegal subsidiaries immediately,” he said. According to Palpita, the problem of illegal operators is not only confined to the Jaffna district. more..

Initial steps taken to indict Sakvithi

Jan 9 (DM) Initial steps have been taken to indict alleged billion-rupee fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe and several other suspects in the Colombo High Court, in connection with the defrauding of Rs.1,060 million belonging to 2,135 depositors, the Attorney General informed court. Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris appearing for the Attorney General told the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court that the Attorney General had finalised charge sheets which are to be filed against more..

‘Politicians, their cronies strip the country of its resources’

Jan 9 (SM) Politicians and their cronies have stripped the country of its resources, said former Army chief Sarath Fonseka. He was speaking today (Jan. 09) at a private hospital in Colombo where he was brought for physiotherapy treatment. After the foreigners stripped the country’s assets, politicians, together with their cronies and henchmen, are today continuing to do the same, said Mr. Fonseka. more..

Another coordinating secretary of Mervyn Silva abducted

Jan 9 (SM) Another coordinating secretary of minister Mervyn Silva has been abducted in Moratuwa. Donald Ranjith Perera alias ‘Panadure Donald’ or ‘Maligawatte Donald’, a businessman of the area, was taken by a group in a van on the afternoon of January 07, said police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana. At the time, he had been on his way from Wadduwa to Colombo, said the spokesman, adding that Moratuwa police are investigating the incident following a complaint. more..

Religious leaders call for urgent solution to the IDP problem and reconciliation with Tamil

Jan 9 (AN) Leaders of all main religions are calling on the govt of Sri Lanka to implement right away the proposals contained in the report on the civil war released by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The commission found that the main issues relate to war crimes, resettlement of about 200,000 internally displaced people and a solution to the interethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamil. more..

National Cancer Hospital denies radiation fear

Jan 9 (DM) The National Cancer Hospital in Maharagama categorically denied reports that cancer was spreading in the vicinity of the hospital as a result of the hospital’s radiation facilities stating that there was no scientific evidence to show that there was a cancer threat. Hospital Director Dr. Kanishka Karunaratne said that tests were carried out on the soil and water outside the hospital premises but that there had been no trace of more..

We need to ensure a sane language policy that Provides maximum opportunities to all our citizens

Jan 10 (TC) Speech by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP at the inaugural session of the ‘Global Languages Meet’ on January 7, at the Sir Sayoji Rao Auditorium, Varodara,India. It was an honour to be present at the launch of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, and I must congratulate Dr Ganesh Devy, your founder, on so successfully pushing through this initiative, a landmark venture after the pioneering work of Grierson nearly a century ago. more..

Any solution addressing the concerns of Tamils and Muslims must not be at the expense of the Sinhalese

Jan 10 (TC) To gain an accurate understanding of the Muslim community’s approach to the rebuilding of Society it is necessary to first comprehend a Muslim’s outlook to life itself. For Muslims, religion is the most important aspect in life and hence the approach to public affairs would be premised upon a system of values that Islam embraces. Religion for Muslims is more than a mere system of beliefs and practices that govern their private lives. more..

LSSP welcomes LLRC report as positive, constructive basis for reconciliation

Jan 10 (TC) The LSSP welcomes the LLRC Report because it provides a positive and constructive basis for achieving reconciliation and national unity. It is a balanced, serious and comprehensive report that also makes available, as a separate Annexures publication, all the data drawn on by the LLRC Commission in preparing its report in a transparent manner. The conclusions drawn are clearly fair and the recommendations are sensible, and more..

Problem & Solution: Parameters of possibility

Jan 10 (GV) The New Year brought a valuable gift in my email. It was a dossier entitled ‘Seeking Space for State Reform’ and carried an even more beguiling subtitle, ‘Consensus and Contradictions in Public Perceptions’. A publication of the ICES (the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, from and of which I hadn’t heard for quite a while), it was a product of the Politics of State Reform Project. What made it compelling reading was that it was nothing less than more..

Is Sri Lankan tourism safe?

Jan 10 (SL) The animal assault on tourists in Tangalle is a tragedy, but not a trend. Sri Lanka remains a safe and friendly place to visit. The lawlessness and empowerment of government thugs, however, is a trend, just not one that usually affects foreigners. Now that it has, the government has to make a choice. They can either run a successful country or a successful mafia. Not both. In purely rational terms, being a tourist in Sri Lanka is extraordinarily safe. more..

Quo Vadis, the Conga Line?

Jan 10 (GV) When Sri Lanka vied for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, there was a telling photograph taken at one of the bashes the regime threw in the Caribbean, the culminating event of a labour intensive, extravagant self-indulgent exercise. The photograph has Namal Rajapaksha MP leading a conga line followed by the Governor of the Central Bank. They both seem…well, happy. However, though a good time was had by all no doubt, that conga line led nowhere. more..

Is it a covenant never to be consummated?

Jan 10 (LB) The national question in Sri Lanka has remained unresolved for 36 years short of a century if you start counting from 1948. This is the date to set the start as it was then that the Upcountry Tamils were disenfranchised and their citizenship robbed by the Senanayake-Bandaranaike UNP govt. The history of the next 64 years is well known and oft repeated; it is redundant to recount it. I will only flag important milestones: the enslavement of plantation more..

The only newspaper nation

Jan 10 (LB) Newspaper tycoons have dived into deep pockets and come up with a plethora of new publications — particularly in the Sinhala language. This bucks the global trend almost totally at a time when in most countries newspapers are said to be closing shop at the rate of one per day! But are we anomalous in this regard because we are behind the technology, and because we do not tweet — or because there is some aspect in our social and political culture that makes us want to keep newspapers going, more..

Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions have metastasized into something dangerous

Jan 10 (GV) January 8 marks the third death anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge a human rights journalist from Sri Lanka who fought fearlessly for the freedom of the press and relentlessly pursued what he believed was right. On January 8, 2009 he was brutally murdered by the Sri Lankan authorities for his journalism. Three years after Lasantha’s brutal murder despite the vapid assurances of the Rajapakse regime to the international community, more..

Editorial: Needed: Someone to play Hazare's role

Jan 10 (Island) Minister Piyasena Gamage has got into hot water over his statement at a public function that he bribed a principal to have a child admitted to school. It is illegal to give or take bribes and the JVP is planning to move the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) against him. That most school heads are corrupt and willingly violate rules and regulations in admitting children to their schools if their palms are oiled is only too well known. more..

LRRC report and pressures from Tamil civil society

Jan 10 (Island) The TNA has yet to issue its follow up response to its initial rejection of the report of the LLRC. In a strongly worded statement the TNA noted that "The report of the LLRC is a serious assault on the dignity of the victims of the war in Sri Lanka, and as such, has not only gravely damaged the chances of genuine reconciliation but has further alienated the victims of the war." It therefore called on the international community "to acknowledge the more..

'Stresses commitment to protect human rights of all Lankans'

Jan 10 (SO) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe expressed his views on the possibility of the LLRC report being debated at the 19th UNHRC sessions in Geneva and the implementation of the National Action Plan on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Referring to the HR Action Plan, he said, “I must tell you frankly that we did not do this exercise to satisfy the international community. We did it because it was the right thing to do, more..

Colombo Tamil group fallen into GoSL net?

Jan 10 (TN) “After the war, with protection of Tamil civilians neutrralized, the Eezham Tamils have become powerless even to conduct their routine day-to-day activities to survive. The occupying Sri Lankan army, the military-led administration of Colombo, and Sri Lankan ministers such as Rishad Bathiutheen, who intervene in the affairs of resettlement, have become the authorities of ‘appeal’ in resettling the Muslims in Jaffna and other places,” says a Colombo-based more..

They attempted highway robbery while serving in army

Jan 10 (Island) The Kandy police recently produced six suspects who were accused of waylaying and robbing a lorry carrying goods along Kandy-Mahiyangana road at Hunnasgiriya and injuring three of its occupants, before the Kandy High Court judge Manilal Waidyatillake. The suspects pleaded guilty and the Judge sentenced the first accused to 1 and a 1/ 2 years rigorous imprisonment and the other five suspects to a suspended sentence of five years. more..

Ruling of the arbitration panel dismissing the claim in the oil hedging case

Jan 10 (Island) An arbitration panel comprising Lord Millet, Michael Hwang and V.V. Veeder (President) appointed by the London Court of International Arbitration issued an arbitration order in the case filed by Citibank N.A. against the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for non payment of dues in the oil hedging deals. The case was heard in Singapore. The panel in a judgment (award) dismissed the claim against the CPC more..

Sri Lankans warm up for ODIs with 78 run win

Jan 10 (Island) There was some useful practice for the national cricket team ahead of their five match ODI series against South Africa that gets underway on Wednesday as they took on Emerging Cobras at Brackenfell Cricket Ground in a one day encounter and won by 78 runs yesterday. Brackenfell, an Afrikaans suburb about 30 minutes from Cape Town, was hosting its first ever big game in its 32 year old history and a decent crowd, certainly much bigger than those more..

Nivarana anti-narcotic villages launched

Jan 10 (DN) 'Nivarana', the introduction of anti-narcotic villages islandwide was launched recently as an additional service to the state but under the supervision and support of the state authorities, to reduce the use of narcotics rapidly. This project will coincide with the 100th year celebration of the National Alcohol and Tobacco Authority in Sri Lanka. We now have one Excise Department for every 5 villages in the country. This project therefore is taking place in 60 Excise Departments more..

Import duty on select vehicles removed for better transport service

Jan 10 (FT) Consequent to the Budget 2012 proposal, Custom import duties charged on the importation of buses, lorries, trucks and new lorry engines have been completely nullified. The Custom import duty charged in the importation of tyres used for lorries and buses has been reduced by 50%. The Finance Ministry said that measures have been taken to repeal the Custom import duties in more..

State sector in domestic aviation industry dampens investments

Jan 10 (Island) With the government targeting to establish an aviation hub in the country, state-sector involvement in the domestic aviation sector with the Air Force launching commercial services is dampening private sector appetite to invest. "One extra plane or helicopter used for commercial purposes by the Air Force crowds out space available for private investment in the sector," said Suren Mirchandani, a local investor who was instrumental in putting together a more..

No ‘Wonder of Asia’ at Bourse

Jan 10 (FT) The Colombo stock market continued its miserable run in the New Year with no iota of ‘Wonder of Asia’ mindset or optimism. Whilst recording its fifth successive negative session, the Colombo bourse has seen Rs. 68 billion in value wiped off since the New Year and the All Share Index’ negative return topping 3% mark. Yesterday’s volume of shares traded at 11.5 million is nearly nine times lower of past year’s annual average. Turnover was only Rs. 434 million, now a standard but slightly above Friday. more..

West beckons skilled Lankans

Jan 10 (DN) Skilled Sri Lankan foreign employment aspirants can expect a large number of lucrative job offers in the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and Australia this year. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) new chairman Amal Senadhilankara said that authorities had secured a number of such job opportunities and many more were in the pipeline. The former MP who assumed duties at the SLBFE yesterday, predicted further growth in more..