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Mulatiyana PS pledges support to Kelaniya PS against Mervyn

Jan 11 (AD) The Mulatiyana Pradeshiya Sabha has pledged to support the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members with any steps they take against the Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva. A proposal regarding this was brought forward by Mulatiyana PS member Nuwan Kannagoda and was approved by the govt and opposition members of the Pradeshiya Sabha. He stated that if any outside forces attempt to threaten the local govt officials of the people they will not be able to more..

Seven suspects held for manhandling Nadesan

Jan 11 (AD) The brother-in-law of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was on a visit to Rameswaram, was allegedly manhandled by cadre of the MDMK and Naam Tamilar Iyakkam. Seven cadre of both parties have been arrested in this connection. As word spread about the presence of Thirukumaran Nadesan, brother-in-law of Rajapaksa, in Rameswaram, about 50 cadre of both MDMK and Naam Tamilar Katchi gathered in front of the house of priest Anandha Balu Theetchithar, more..

UK and Russia 'commend' investigations

Jan 11 (BBC) Britain and Russia have commended the government for its investigations into the brutal attack on British tourist and Russian national at Tangalle. British tourist Kuram Shaikh was killed in an attack on Christmas eve and his companion Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna was also badly injured and there are allegations that she was sexually abused. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywadena told journalists in Colombo on Wednesday that more..

Well Spoken, Sir!

Jan 12 (NS) Since I was very little, I have been listening to cricket commentaries. At first, between my school and S. Thomas’ College when once I was too ill to go for the Big Match. Then, between what I took to be my team, the newly named ‘Sri Lanka’ and whoever it played with. Those matches were rare, sometimes played here, but mostly over there. Since I was very little, I have been listening to cricket commentaries. At first, between my school and S. Thomas’ College when once I was more..

How well do you know your Grama Niladhari?...

Jan 12 (NS) Generally speaking there is a tendency amongst us Sri Lankan citizens to complain about the lack of efficiency in the public sector services and systems. It’s come to a point that it’s almost dogmatic. In the hierarchies of the public service the most rudimentary rung would be the Grama Niladhari officer I believe. Yet somehow he isn’t the most close to home person to everyone living in urban locales; I believe there is some truth to this... more..

Stand up and be counted

Jan 12 (SO) For any country or nation a population census is a very important event. It was considered a vital date for everybody as it is the occasion where all the individuals are counted by the state officials. Sri Lanka which has not undergone a complete census in 30 years is ready to undergo this process at least in 2012 but with a different approach with Census and Statistics Department fixing dates for the enumeration stage sans a census night to more..

Missing the basics

Jan 12 (NS) “Labuwau Nawa Wasara Samayen, Sathutin Piri Wasarak Wewa./ I wish you a peaceful and a happy New Year. – President Mahinda Rajapaksa” I detest spam, whether it is in the form of unsolicited mail posted home, emails that clog my Inbox or SMSs on my mobile. However, linked to the powerlessness to stop it or opt out and residual seasonal cheer, I was willing to countenance the President’s New Year greeting that millions of Sri Lankans received via SMS a week ago. more..

Are you saying LTTE weren’t a Lankan force?

Jan 12 (NS) The LTTE were technically Sri Lankan Forces too. They are on record in non-Sri Lankan sources as having had amputations performed on people to stop them from leaving no-fire zones. A book, which announces that Sri Lankan forces amputated people’s limbs to stop them from leaving no fire zones will be technically correct too. One can issue statements explaining how the author did not write ‘Sri Lankan Government Forces’, merely ‘Sri Lankan Forces’ and what’s more..

‘I have been fighting for at least 30% mandatory women representation on nomination lists’

Jan 12 (TC) Sri Lanka was one of the forerunners in the fight for universal suffrage since 1927; in this region we were one of the first countries to give women the right to vote and contest. In 1931 when the battle was finally won we had 4.5 percent in the council. However we are yet to move forward from this achievement – almost eighty years later there are only 13 women in an assembly of 225. more..

Liberal Party of Sri Lanka on LLRC

Jan 12 (CT) The Liberal Party has studied the recommendations in the report and believes these could be used to promote consensus and as a starting point for national integration and reconciliation. The Liberal Party sees the recommendations as dealing with three areas. Firstly it deals with measures to restore normality with regard to problems that occurred during the long effort to overcome terrorism. In this regard the party welcomes the recommendations regarding disappearances, more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: O is for our people

Jan 12 (GV) The possessive pronoun “our” is deceptively simple. But who are the “we” that it refers to? The expression our people is a remarkably high-frequency term in Sri Lankan English. On a search of the Groundviews website, the phrase gets around 400 hits, compared to just 331 in the 100-million-word British National Corpus. In British English, the phrase most often refers to members of a particular organisation (“I’ll get one of our people to call you back”). more..

Who is Sarath Fonseka

Jan 12 (SL) Has everybody forgotten who Sarath Fonseka really is? Clearly the bankrupt UNP has. It is this same party and its current leader Ranil Wickremasinghe who accused Sarath Fonseka of the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Today, Wickremasinghe and the UNP are flirting once more with Fonseka hopeful that his colourful track record will help revive an ailing party of chauvinistic stooges. Wickremasinghe in January 2009 pointed the finger for more..

Editorial: The monster has stirred again

Jan 12 (Island) Pro-LTTE groups in Tamil Nadu, all out to paint a black picture of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a person whose hobby is to kill Tamils have set upon a prominent Sri Lankan Tamil for being the husband of one of his cousins. In so doing, they have unwittingly let the world know that President Rajapaksa has Tamil relatives––a fact they have suppressed in a bid to make him out to be anti-Tamil to the core. Reacting to Tuesday's attack in Rameswaram, more..

Agricultural Madness

Jan 12 (GV) The current ‘development’ madness that affects agriculture also prevails over agricultural research and does not bode well for this nation. It begins with the fact that, young agricultural scientists have to find support for the projects that will ensure their career from the only available source, the ‘chemical agriculture’ companies. Thus they are forced to carve out their futures supporting the only system that they have been trained in. In this way agricultural science in Sri Lanka has largely ignored the more..

Visual Evidence II: Torture Images on Channel 4 … and Weiss

Jan 12 (Island) In the course of my researches into the emergence of Ceylonese nationalism in the British period, I delved in considerable detail into an event that was referred to then as "the 1915 riots" - the term "riots" in South Asia being a mechanical reproduction of the terminology of the British legal lexicon to describe affrays of all sorts. In 1915 this short-hand phrase referred to the assaults on the Mohammedan Moors more..

Making sense of numbers

Jan 12 (FT) Poverty is a dreaded word for all humans. The Sri Lankan Govt has aggressive statistics for dealing with the issue by targeting poverty to be reduced to 3% by 2016, with the 2010 data showing 8.9% and 2011 7.9%, but the numbers still remain bleak. The ‘Samurdhi’ programme under the Economic Development Ministry says that 1.5 million families in Sri Lanka are recipients and another 100,000 will be added to this once people in the north and east are also covered. more..

‘Samurdhi’ heads to north and east

Jan 12 (FT) In an attempt to reduce poverty to three per cent by 2016, the Govt is expanding handouts to the poor and for the first time encompassing the former war zones in the north and east. At present the Govt gives handouts under a poverty alleviation programme titled ‘Samurdhi’ to about 1.5 million families countrywide. A further 100,000 families are expected to be added to this once the Govt starts handouts to families in the North and Eastern Provinces that were more..

New law soon: owners must register dogs with PCs

Jan 12 (DN) The Health Ministry will make arrangements to make dog owners register their dogs with Provincial Councils to control the dog population and the spread of rabies. “All dog owners have to register their dogs with the Provincial Council and the Provincial Council can take action against dog owners who do not follow this system,” Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that every dog should have an owner under the new system. more..

Docs demand a transport allowance

Jan 12 (Island) Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) demands that the government take immediate action to pay transport allowance to all doctors in the public service. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Upul Gunasekara addressing the media yesterday in Colombo said that the medical profession had been getting step-motherly treatment, but other professionals such as engineers, accountants and civil servants were getting transport allowances. more..

Rs. 1.1 b Nestle rice noodle plant to serve convenient-foods hungry Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (FT) Nestlé opened its new noodle plant at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kurunegala yesterday, marking the second phase of its investment commitment of Rs. 10 billion in the country. The company’s latest investment, amounting to Rs. 1.1 billion, sees the completion of a new noodle manufacturing plant that will increase and upgrade output for Nestlé’s popular Maggi Noodles range. The Maggi Noodles manufacturing plant was inaugurated by more..

'Worst game of my career'

Jan 12 (CI) Fact: Sri Lanka's 258-run loss to South Africa is the worst defeat in the country's ODI history. In numbers terms it is Sri Lanka's heftiest defeat and the lowest ODI total they have ever recorded. There is no escaping that and Tillakaratne Dilshan did not try to. He confirmed the team were scraping the bottom of the barrel and had harsh words for their ineptitude with the bat. "It was definitely the worst game of my career," said Dilshan, more..

SriLankan to increase fleet

Jan 12 (DN) SriLankan Airlines will increase its fleet to 30 aeroplanes within a few years in accordance with the airlines sector development plan, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. He said that initiatives are under way to increase the fleet up to 30, in line with the Airline's five year development plan introduced in 2010. In accordance with the five year plan, the annual passenger transaction rate will also be doubled by 2015. Annual transactions are now at more..

'UGC Chairman playing politics'

Jan 12 (Island) The Chairman of the UGC had claimed that undergraduates were playing politics, but it was he who was dancing to the govt’s tune, the UNP said. General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake, said that university students had the right to engage in political activity and no one could deny them that. It, was ironic to hear the UGC Chairman accusing undergraduates of politicking, when his institution was being run according to the dictates of the Rajapaksa regime and more..

Connections | January 09, 2012

Police crackdown on 'underworld' employed by politicians

Jan 12 (NS) In a sweeping trend to eliminate the underworld criminal activities which are backed by some politicians, the Police have ordered crackdown on under world elements reportedly employed by certain politicians as 'Security Officers' or 'Coordinating Secretaries' in their personal staff, highly placed police sources disclosed to The Nation this morning. The IGP, N.K.Illangakoon has directed that no person other than members of the police attached to more..

Unclaimed remains of Sri Lankan to be repatriated to India

Jan 12 (AN) Arrangements are being made by the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah to repatriate the remains of a Sri Lankan expatriate worker to India, since his family is settled there. S.D. Moorthy, consul for labor welfare at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, told Arab News on Wednesday that Pasupathipillai Sivanandan, 65, who was working as a storekeeper at the Hayat Hotel in Jazan, was married to an Indian woman. “There are no claimants for the remains from Sri Lanka,” more..

Proteas hand Sri Lanka their biggest ODI loss

Jan 12 (CI) South Africa's season of outlandish results produced another jaw-dropper as Sri Lanka subsided to 43 all out, their lowest total in one-dayers. The shorter format was widely expected to make the one-day series a more even contest than the Tests, but Sri Lanka's 258-run defeat in Paarl was the third largest in ODI history, giving AB de Villiers the perfect start to his captaincy. South Africa's batsmen had earlier enjoyed themselves more..

Interest rates move north as key rates held steady

Jan 12 (Island) The Monetary Board of the Central Bank has decided to hold key interest rates unchanged because it feels rising market interest rates would dampen demand and keep a check on growing credit, the bank announced. However, the sale of dollars to keep the exchange rate stable is drying up rupee liquidity in the system as well, and the Central Bank has made no mention of this aspect in its Monetary Policy Review for January which was released yesterday (Jan. 11). more..

CB unmoved by sceptics; sticks to its optimism

Jan 12 (FT) The Central Bank appeared to be unmoved by scepticism over its upbeat outlook for 2012, which was reiterated yesterday following the January monetary policy review leaving policy rates unchanged. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva as well as Standard Chartered Bank have separately questioned some of the upbeat 2012 forecasts. However, Central Bank’s statement following the review yesterday contained some of the salient points of the 2012 and more..

LTTE linked overseas groups want armed struggle to resume in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (DBS) Gotabaya Rajapaksa secretary of the Defence and UDA ministry is arguably the second most powerful man in Sri Lanka. It is an open knowledge that the retired colonel of the Gajaba Regiment calls the shots in the Country’s defence establishment. Even bitter critics of the Defence secretary acknowledge the fact that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is frank and forthright in, propounding, explaining, defending or rationalizing defence related policy measures. more..

Can’t be under two dictators – Dayasiri

Jan 12 (LT) The attempt to hold a disciplinary inquiry against me is said to be due to pointing out shortcomings at the elections held to elect leaders for our party. Is pointing out shortcoming to take the party on the correct path instead of agreeing to all the incorrect decisions a treacherous act? If so where is democracy in the party? We cannot be under two dictators,” said Kurunegala UNP MP Dayasiri Jaysekera addressing a meeting of UNP Members of Provincial Councils, more..

No surprise SEC wants more time!

Jan 12 (FT) If time already taken wasn’t long enough then the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) don’t agree, and hence opted to meet again on Monday to take a final decision on relaxation of rules on broker credit. Issuing a one paragraph statement the SEC said “At the 294th Commission Meeting of the SEC held today (11), the Commission Members discussed the subject with regard to extension of credit by Stock Broker Firms and decided to take a final decision on Monday 16 January.” more..

Likely delay in disposal of substandard fuel

Jan 12 (DM) The disposal of the stock of substandard fuel is likely to be delayed further since the govt has not yet found a buyer ready to purchase it according to the conditions laid down. Sri Lanka exported 20,000 tonnes of fuel from Singapore unit of Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) in June last year. Later, it was found that the stock was of inferior quality. Thousands of vehicles that used such fuel were damaged. more..

Man on Canada's Most Wanted list arrested

Jan 12 (ES) One of Canada's Most Wanted fugitives was arrested by police late Tuesday following a complaint. Tharmapaskaran Sellathamby, aka Baskaran Sellathamby, 61, of Sri Lanka, was turned over by Toronto Police to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for deportation from Canada. He is slated for a detention review behind bars this week, CBSA officials said. CBSA president Luc Portelance said Sellathamby was sought for serious criminality after more..

Canada to spend $11 million updating diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (CC) Despite concerns about Sri Lanka’s human rights record and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s threats to boycott a major Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Colombo next year if it doesn’t shape up, the Foreign Affairs department is planning to spend $11 million updating the Canadian high commission there. The govt sent out a request for proposals on Dec. 27, which follows: The Govt of Canada, through FOREIGN Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), more..

Supreme Court appoints five-judge bench to hear White Flag appeal

Jan 12 (Island) Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, appointed a five-judge-bench of the Supreme Court, to hear the appeal filed by General Sarath Fonseka against the White Flag judgment by a Trial-at-Bar. The Bench will comprise Chief Justice Bandaranayake, Justice N. G. Amaratunga, Justice K. Sripavan, Justice P. A. Ratnayake and Justice Priyasarth Dep. The appeal will be called before the Supreme Court on Feb. 8, 2012. more..

Mathata Thitha: Strict implementation this year

Jan 12 (DN) Priority will be given this year to eradicate smoking and alcohol from the country to prevent Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Over 60 percent of deaths take place daily due to NCDs and related matters. There are 1,000 to 1,200 births and 900 to 1,000 deaths in the country per day, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that over 40 percent of the cancer patients receiving treatment at Maharagama Cancer Hospital was afflicted with the deadly disease due to more..

Govt's move to deflect dissent - FMM

Jan 12 (BBC) The Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka (FMM) says that it did not campaign against the European Union's GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. It said that FMM only campaigned for retaining GSP+ by urging Sri Lanka government to respect human rights obligations. The Convenor of FMM, Sunil Jayasekera told Sandesaya that recent allegations levelled against FMM by the government is to counter the growing public opposition on government attacks on media freedom. more..

Students threaten Warden with death, dons refuse to teach

Jan 12 (Island) Teachers of the University of Sabaragamuwa have withdrawn from their academic duties demanding that undergraduates who attacked the house of university warden and security personnel during a protest on Tuesday night be arrested. The Sabaragamuwa University Teachers’ Association threatened to strike work unless the attackers are brought to book. An unidentified group assaulted three students inside the university more..

Parents protest opposite Hindu College

Jan 12 (NF) A group including the parents of students at the Ratmalana Hindu College staged a protest at the Borupana junction yesterday. This gathering was organised to protest against the failure to hand over duties to the newly appointed principal. Students, parents and former students participated in the protest. They stressed that education authorities of the province should take action to handover duties to the new principal who has been appointed based on qualifications. more..