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Lessons Learnt: But where are the learners?

Jan 13 (Island) I sometimes imagine that if a group of three hundred ordinary adult citizens, young as well as old, with some education, one hundred from each of the three major communities, both men and women equally represented, and selected from all parts of the country, and most important, without any commitment to partisan politics, were asked to thrash out, through general consensus, in the interest of the future of the country, more..

Democratic feature of elections degraded

Jan 13 (NS) One of the essential features in the practice of democracy in a country is the conduct of free and fair elections where the participants have an opportunity of making their choice without coercion or intimidation. It is unimaginable that any other country in the world where the conduct of elections has become as frequent as in Sri Lanka. One of the essential features in the practice of democracy in a country is the conduct of free and fair elections where more..

Editorial: Gabriel-Ernests & little Toops

Jan 13 (Island) The govt has come under heavy fire––quite rightly so––for its failure to bring the killers of The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga to justice. Three years have elapsed since his assassination but President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ministerial lackeys keep trotting out lame excuses for the inordinate delay in the probe which has apparently been abandoned. So, it is imperative that pressure be brought to bear on the govt to ensure that justice is done. more..

Dilshan defends Thilan’s exclusion

Jan 13 (Island) Ever since Thilan Samaraweera was overlooked for the ODI leg of Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa, captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has been bombarded with questions relating to the omission of team’s best batsman on tour. Samaraweera scored back to back Test hundreds to join an elite group of cricketers to have had success in South Africa and it has been felt that Samaraweera’s uncompromising style of batting would have served the team better in ODIs. more..

Unearthing rural talent, our priority - DG Sports

Jan 13 (SO) Director General of Sports, Ranjani Jayakody was at the centre stage in the local sports arena as she was entrusted with the task of conducting the much-looked forward to Annual General Meeting and election of office-bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). A Masters Degree holder in Sociology from the University of Peradeniya, Jayakody turned a new chapter for sports at the Department of Sports when she cut unnecessary expenditure of the National Sports Festival and more..

Sri Lanka and Cuba sign agreement to develop sports

Jan 13 (Island) The government of Cuba and Sri Lanka inked an agreement to develop sports and sports physical education in Sri Lanka. The agreement was signed last morning by Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage and the Cuban Ambassador Mrs. Nirsia Castro Guevara, at the Sports Ministry. It was agreed that the assistance of Cuban coaches will be utilized in developing sports in the country. The two parties also agreed to grant Sri Lankans the facility to study more..

HSBC Colombo Fashion Week to boost SL fashion business

Jan 13 (FT) HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) focuses on creating livelihoods and creating commercial opportunities for Sri Lankan fashion designers. Moving from strength to strength since its inception in 2003, HSBC CFW has built a reputable following locally and internationally. CFW 2012, scheduled for 24, 25 and 26 February, is set to take things to a whole new level. CFW will see the integration of a true fashion week with links more..

Weak rule of law, state presence in economy hampers development

Jan 13 (Island) Sandwiched between Zambia and Serbia, Sri Lanka is ranked among countries classified as ‘mostly unfree, the latest Index of Economic Freedom showed. Although significant gains have been made, weak rule of law and heavy state-presence in economic activity continues to dampen private-sector led development, the editors of the index compiled by US based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal said. "Sri Lanka’s economic freedom score is 58.3, more..

'Proper implementation of law should be ensured'

Jan 13 (DN) Popular judgments cannot be given to popular cases ignoring the law and its proper implementation. The proper implementation of law of the land should be ensured no matter whether the judgments are popular or unpopular, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said that according to the existing law of Sri Lanka an investigation cannot be conducted without a formal complaint. The public can make complaints to the Police, CID, the Bribery and Corruption Commission etc. more..

'Pressure on Sri Lanka rupee to ease in 2 months’

Jan 13 (Reuters) Ccentral bank on Thursday said it expects dollar inflows in the next two months to soften depreciation pressure on the rupee, which it will still defend despite IMF pressure to stop managing the currency. The central bank has spent more than $850 million propping up the rupee since President ordered a surprise 3 percent devaluation on Nov. 21. Since then, dealers say the central bank on average has been selling $25 million a day more..

Only those qualified can apply for KDU degree programmes - VC

Jan 13 (DN) The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) introduced the fee levying degree programmes for Sri Lankan and foreign students to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa's vision of making Sri Lanka the knowledge hub, KDU Vice Chancellor Major General M.P.Peiris said. Addressing a press briefing on degree programmes for this year at the KDU yesterday the Vice Chancellor said fee levying degree programmes will be offered at an affordable cost. more..

China, India feed on Colombo real estate boom

Jan 13 (Island) Colombo city has the potential to become the best investment proposition in the region and perhaps the world as the government offers attractive incentives to property developers with the current real estate boom being led by Chinese and Indian involvement, a recent study shows. "The private land values in Colombo 01 and 02 can be expected to experience significant appreciation. Meanwhile, areas that will be accommodating more..

‘LLRC recommendations can contribute to the process of political reconciliation’

Jan 13 (TC) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the following statement on the final report of Sri Lanka’s LLRC: “Canada notes the public release of the report of Sri Lanka’s LLRC. Although we are still studying the report, the commission has addressed and provided recommendations in some areas of concern, including reconciliation, the rule of law and demilitarization. “Canada strongly urges the Govt of Sri Lanka to implement the commission’s more..

Appeal Court ruling on former AG

Jan 13 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Appeal Court has ruled that former Attorney General Mr. Mohan Pieris could be called in as a witness to inquire into the disappearance of journalist, Prageeth Eknaligoda. State Counsel told court that the order given by the Homagama Magistrate Court to call former attorney general before court was illegal. Appeal Court stated that Homagama Magistrate Court has the power to issue such an order on the ground of new evidence in this case. more..

Request for semi luxury buses

Jan 13 (CT) The Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) has requested approval from the Ministry of Transport to introduce semi luxury buses on all main routes in the country. The PBOA has decided to introduce semi luxury buses on main routes with the aim of giving commuters a better and convenient service. PBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said due to the many complaints received by bus commuters they had decided to request permission from the ministry of transport to more..

Govt 'pay hike' rejected by wokers

Jan 13 (BBC) Trade unions say they will take industrial action to protest against the proposed wage increase announced by the govt. They have expressed disappointment over the decision of the committee appointed to look into salaries of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Water Board. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Thursday that the govt has decided to increase the basic salary of all employees in the three institutions by 18%. more..

Qatar, Sri Lanka to sign investment, scientific research pacts during Emirs visit

Jan 13 (Island) Agreements on Investment Promotion and Protection and Cooperation in Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research, are to be signed between Qatar and Sri Lanka during a scheduled two-day visit by the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to Sri Lanka commencing on Jan 15. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the MoU’s once finalized would intensify economic cooperation to the mutual benefit of both countries, while creating favourable more..

Spain and Sri Lanka cheapest breaks

Jan 13 (Guardian) Britons looking for winter sun will find their spending money going considerably further in Spain and Sri Lanka than the Caribbean or Australia, a cost comparison survey has showed. A basket of typical holiday items, including drinks and suntan lotion, was less than £28 in Sri Lanka and just under £38 on Spain's Costa del Sol, the survey by Post Office Travel Money found. The same eight items, including a three-course evening meal for two, were as much as £113 in Barbados and more..

Private universities - Dons to strike on Tuesday

Jan 13 (DM) While students of several universities were continuing protest campaigns, university teachers said today they would launch a countrywide strike next Tuesday in protest over the Private University Bill which they said should only be brought to Parliament after the govt discussed the matter fully with university teachers and other stakeholders. The FUTA said the govt should not introduce the proposed more..

Sajith advised to follow father’s example

Jan 13 (Island) The Mahanayake thera of Asgiriya yesterday advised UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa to follow his late father’s example and forge on ahead till he meets with success. "Do not be discouraged by criticism, challenges and obstacles. Go ahead winning the support of others. You will be successful in the end, the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha thera said when conferring his blessings Sajith Premadasa who celebrated his 45th birth anniversary yesterday. more..

Assault on Veddha Chief, home guard arrested

Jan 13 (DM) A Civil Defence Force home guard, who is alleged to have assaulted the Ratugala Veddha Chief Danigala Mahabandiyalage Suda Vanniyale Ettho was arrested by the Inginiyagala Police. The Vedda Chief in his complaint said the home guard had forcibly entered his house, threatened to kill him and severely assaulted him after dragging him outside. Police inquiries revealed that a dispute was over the home guard preventing the Veddha community from having more..

'Rapid development after defeat of terrorism'

Jan 13 (DN) Prime Minister D M Jayaratne yesterday stated that the people should be vigilant of the few groups who attempt to reverse the government’s achievements and its massive projects, which have marked the highest development in Sri Lanka’s history within two and half years after the elimination of terrorism. He made this observation as chief guest at the Seethawaka Abimana exhibition held at Rajasinghe Central College, Hanwella. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket: where does the buck stop?

Jan 13 (IC) Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he was "appalled" and "horrified" at the team's performance in South Africa, after Sri Lanka suffered a humiliating 258-run defeat in the first ODI at Paarl on Wednesday. "You can understand a defeat, but not something like this," he said, responding to a query from a journalist. "We are appalled. Something has to be done immediately. It looks like there is no team spirit among players." Rabukwella is not the first govt minister to publicly criticise the more..

Sri Lanka expects most FDI for infrastructure in 2012

Jan 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting most of the two billion US dollars of foreign direct investment targeted for 2012 to flow into infrastructure with 400 million US dollars going into tourism, an official said. Head of Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, MMC Ferdinando said about a billion US dollars are expected to go into infrastructure in 2012. "We are targeting about 400 million will go into tourism and the rest into IT (information technology and other areas," more..

Z score: The real Story

Jan 13 (Island) The release of the GCE A/L results has led to many controversial issues regarding the method used to rank the students. The students and parents are in a dilemma whether to accept the results or not. Therefore, I decided to write this article to clarify matters since I was responsible for introducing the Z score as a basis for ranking a decade ago. Admission to universities prior to the year 2000 was based on aggregate marks more..

Members of Kolonnawa UC protest against Deputy Chairman

Jan 13 (NF) Members of the Kolonnawa Urban Council staged a protest today (12). The protest was held against the actions of the Deputy Chairman of the Urban Council. Officials of the Kolonnawa Urban Council engaged in a protest this morning opposite the Urban Council premises. The officials refrained from carrying out their daily activities today. The protestors charged that the Deputy Chairman was disrupting the development activities launched by the Chairman of the council. more..

Lankan Nabbed in attempt to smuggle Gold biscuits and foreign currency

Jan 13 (DM) A Sri Lankan who attempted to smuggle 18 gold biscuits worth Rs.11.7 million concealed in his rectum area and a Thai woman who had undeclared foreign currency in her hand bag of value of Rs.3,576,096 were nabbed by the customs officers of the BIA this morning. The Sri Lankan suspect had arrived at the airport on board UL 141 which was scheduled to leave for Mumbai at 12.10am. Sources revealed the suspect to be a 54 year old person from more..

Consequent to SC directive:Govt. bans 30 websites, registers 45

Jan 13 (Island) The govt has registered 45 news websites in line with a disputed decision taken late last year to regulate websites. The Mass Media and Information Ministry would issue letters of registration to 45 out of 80 websites, which had sought approval from the govt. The govt last November ordered news websites to register with the Media Ministry, in what a section of the media and the opposition called a more..

Expressway earnings top Rs. 100 mn

Jan 13 (Island) Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotalawela says that during the last 44 days an income of more than Rs. 100 million had been earned from vehicles using the Southern Expressway. Nearly 400,000 vehicles had used the expressway since its opening on November 27. More than 125,000 vehicles had used the Kottawa main entry point recording the highest income of nearly Rs. 40 million. The second highest income of Rs. 33.5 million had been recorded from Pinnaduwa in Galle more..

Immigration hearing for one of Canada's most wanted

Jan 13 (TS) A fugitive who was a member of Canada’s Most Wanted criminals will appear for an immigration hearing on Friday as a manhunt intensifies for dozens of other runaways sought by police and border officers. Tharmapaskaran Sellathamby, 61, of Sri Lanka, was arrested late Tuesday by Toronto Police and turned over to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for removal from Canada. Sellathamby is slated to appear before a member of more..

British Govt. comments on LLRC report

Jan 13 (DM) The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt stated: I would like to inform the House of the Govt’s views on the LLRC report, which was published on December 16, 2011. The LLRC was established in May 2010 to look into the conflict between the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE. The British Govt welcomes the fact that the LLRC report has been published in full. We have read the report closely and have considered more..

The reason for Sri Lanka's 43 all out goes beyond cricket

Jan 13 (CC) Of late, insanity has been frequenting cricket matches quite often. On Wednesday night at Paarl, Sri Lanka was the latest team to embrace it when they were bundled out for 43 - their lowest ever ODI (One-Day International) score - against South Africa in the first match of the series. Cricket is surely a game of uncertainties, but the undercurrent is that when uncertainty strikes it brings pandemonium to the forefront. That a team which was the runners-up of more..

Kamalini appointed Justice Secretary

Jan 13 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed Mrs. Kamalini de Silva, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Justice, as the Secretary to the Ministry with effect from Jan. 16. She will succeed Suhada Gamlath. Mrs. Silva, a lawyer by profession, joined the Ministry of Justice as an Assistant Secretary in 1984. She is an old girl of Vishaka Vidyalaya and took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law in 1977. One of the highlights during her career at the Ministry of Justice was more..

SLC elections: Another case of political whitewash?

Jan 13 (SL) Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) first election in seven years ended in a no-contest with opposition candidates withdrawing from the race. Mohan de Silva, vice-presidential candidate and leader of the Thilanga Sumathipala faction, explained that they withdrew due to opposing candidates being allowed to contest despite being ineligible under the Sports law and the SLC law. It was to be an election that heralded a new era for Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Muslim underworld goons in Maligawatte gangland jihad

Jan 13 (LB) Last week, Maligawatta resembled a battlefield due to clashes between rival factions of the underworld in the area. One of the Muslim underworld kingpins is Mama Asmin who it is said is the last remaining leader of the Muslim underworld. An unidentified gunman had shot at Mama Asmin, the ‘godfather’ at Maligawatta, but the bullets had instead hit his brother Rasool Deen who had sustained severe injuries as a result. more..

Govt. plans Dharma Sangayanawa

Jan 13 (Island) Prime Minister D. M.Jayaratne, who is also the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, is making plans to organise a Dharma Sangayanawa in Kandy in March this year according sources close to him. To Buddhists, a Dharma Sangayanawa denotes a process whereby the theory as well as practice of Buddhism is determined and elucidated. The theoretical aspects of Buddhism were determined and codified in the first three Great Sangayanawas more..

Homagama Magistrate given time to probe Ekneligoda disappearance

Jan 13 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday gave the Homagama Magistrate time till February 15, 2012 to submit the investigation report in respect of the alleged disappearance of Lanka-e-News journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. Sandya, Prageeth Ekneligoda’s wife, along with their two sons, Sanjay Bandara and Sooriya Bandara, had filed a habeas corpus application in the Court of Appeal, complaining that more..

Pinnawala earns Rs. 13.3mn in first week of year

Jan 13 (Island) The Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala, the only one of its kind in the world, collected a staggering Rs. 13.3 million in revenue during the first week of January, this year. National Zoological Gardens Director General Bashwara Senanka Gunaratne told ‘The Island’ yesterday that the booming tourism industry was the major contributory factor to the record income generated. more..

Disappearances in Sri Lanka: Murky business

Jan 13 (Economist) The 2009 victory of the Sri Lankan govt over the Tamil Tigers in the country’s long-running civil war may have brought peace, but it has been an uneasy one. Now people from all walks of life are disappearing. No-one knows why but some blame the govt. Colleagues of two political activists—Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan—who went missing in Sri Lanka’s north on Dec 9th, fear the men are in grave danger. more..

Uma Oya to add 120MWs to national grid

Jan 13 (DM) ”There were many misconceptions spread on Uma – Oya multi purpose development project by interested parties but the people now have realized the truth and given full cooperation for the project,” Irrigation and Water Resources Development Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. “Rumours had been spread that the project would be an environment disaster with heavy damage to agriculture in the region and that people must protest to the project. more..