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Azath Salley to resign from CMC

Jan 14 (AD) Azath Salley says he will resign as Colombo Municipal councilor after making a statement in the council on January 19. The former Deputy Mayor of Colombo said that the reason behind his decision was due to the UPFA govt breaking its promises to him. Mr. Salley, who joined the UPFA in 2010, accuses the Opposition Leader of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Milinda Moragoda of awarding the post of Deputy Opposition Leader to Mohamed Mahroof, more..

Dean’s appointment application rejected

Jan 14 (Island) The Court of Appeal recently refused to issue notice, in respect of a writ application filed against the selection and appointment of Professor D.D.S. Kulatunga, as Dean of the Faculty of Science, of the Kelaniya University. The Court of Appeal order, by Justice S. Sri Skandarjah, said that the petitioner had failed to establish any illegality in relation to the third term, the respondent, Professor Kulatunga, was supposed to have been holding, as more..

Docs warn against giving aspirin to children with high fever

Jan 14 (Island) The Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians warned the public yesterday against giving children, with high fever, aspirin and similar non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs which induces bleeding in the case of dengue haemorrhagic fever. Following is the text of the SLCP communiqué titled, "Important Message from the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians": "Presently, Paediatric wards in most parts of the country are dealing with large numbers of children with more..

India and Sri Lanka to work on faster repatriation of fishermen

Jan 14 (Hindu) Addressing one of the long-standing issues raised by Sri Lankans, India has agreed to work on faster repatriation of Sri Lankan fishermen who get stranded in Indian waters. Government of India could not give this assurance on its own. Hence, it involved the States where the majority of Sri Lankan fishermen get arrested – either when they are indulging in poaching or because of mechanical failure of their boats. more..

Champika says power piracy has increased

Jan 14 (SM) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka says that given the record sums of monies earned by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) during the last quarter through raids has indicated an increase in power piracy. Ranawaka has said that regulations would be introduced this year giving the CEB the mandate to disconnect the power supply of those involved in power piracy in a manner they could not get connected to the power supply. more..

New act will cripple education, health sectors: GMOA

Jan 14 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday said the proposed Qualification Framework, Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions Act proposed by the govt specified that a structure superior to the UGC would be established. It also said this structure would override the powers of professional bodies such as the Sri Lanka Medical Council and it would cripple the education and health sectors of the country. more..

A/L results messed up not at stage of entering data

Jan 14 (SM) An expert committee has released its report of inquiry into the GCE A/L exam 2011 results mess up. The report, released by the Presidential Secretariat says the error in calculating the district rankings had been caused at the last stage (processing stage), and not at the stage of entering data. This processing error had been rectified by the Department of Examinations within a short period of time and the results released thereafter more..

Import levy on several food commodities upped

Jan 14 (SM) The import levy on dhal, sugar, edible oils and fish have been raised from midnight yesterday (14). For Maisur dhal, the tax has been increased from Rs. 18 to Rs. 22 per kilo. The per kilo import levy on sugar has been doubled to Rs. 10, while for fish imports, the Rs. 30 tax has been upped to Rs. 35 per kilo. For coconut, soy, sunflower and other edible oils, the import levy has been increased from Rs. 20 a kilo to Rs. 75. more..

SL car ferry service hits a snag

Jan 14 (CT) The new venture of the SriLankan Airlines to ferry motor cars from London to destinations such as Singapore and Malaysia ran into a hitch, due to procedural failures. SriLankan Airlines ventured into the business several months ago offering lower freight charges to importers, undercutting the rates of major airlines operating in Asia such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines. However, the business had run into severe snags when they were unable to offload the cars in Colombo more..

Duminy, Amla take SA to five-wicket win

Jan 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's batting turned up on a slow East London pitch after the no-show in Paarl but a scratchy performance was not enough to push South Africa, though the hosts managed to give themselves some nervy moments during the chase. Sri Lanka's three big batsmen failed once again and it was only due to the rapidly maturing Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga that they avoided another poor score. Hashim Amla's wizardry then threatened to more..

Editorial: Undergrads should be wary of JVP’s political minefield

Jan 15 (SO) Organised protests in several universities have disrupted the smooth functioning of academic activities. The protests, staged by a handful of undergraduates, are invariably blown out of proportion and the so-called independent media gives undue publicity to them. The trouble-makers in the universities and other higher educational institutes are a minuscule of the total number of undergraduates in the country. It is deplorable that more..

Editorial: Mervyn Silva - Sri Lanka's quintessential coward

Jan 15 (SL) Last week Mervyn Silva was on the run. The foul-mouthed thug switched off his phones having purportedly declared that he would not speak to the media. No small wonder there. Given that Silva was under fire from men not only within his own constituency but from those very persons he had handpicked to perform local functions. In a nutshell, Mervyn Silva has been accused of taking bribes. So what is new? No surprises there. more..

'Discipline in party is vital'

Jan 15 (SO) The UNP, which had been a formidable political force in the country since its inception has sustained innumerable problems during the recent past, mainly due to remaining bogged down in the Opposition for a long period of time. It is quite evident that there has been a gradual deterioration of the party since the 2004 general election when the UNP was comprehensively defeated by the UPFA. A large number of stalwarts left the party and more..

Editorial: Losing the moral high ground

Jan 15 (NS) Young people are rebellious. That’s how it always was and how it always will be, all over the world. They have the energy, the determination, all the answers to all the questions, the idealism, romanticism and are typically fortified with sufficient quantities of arrogance, disrespect and innocence. It is a heady cocktail and can be quite potent in destabilizing conditions. The young, especially students, are hardly ever free agents. Idealism coupled with naiveté are made for manipulation. more..

Editorial: It is paper thin

Jan 15 (LB) Too much and too frequent papering over of the truth in recent times has resulted in the skepticism with which the Dhara Wijetilleke committee report on the A-Level results is being treated. Are we living in a Potemkin world of comfortable unreality? The answer is, in all probability, yes. Many presidential committee reports never saw light of day; some other report recommendations have been almost triumphantly ignored. Do not even ask what happened to the Katunayake more..

‘Unity among groups will come sooner than later’

Jan 15 (NS) The wife of JVP’s Premakumar Gunaratnam, Champa, who was questioned by the police when she visited Sri Lanka recently and was returning to Australia where she is domiciled, tells The Nation in an exclusive interview the inside story of the present JVP and its past. Q: Q: When you were in Sri Lanka recently and returning to Australia you were subjected to a long session of questioning by the police at the airport. Could you elaborate? more..

Editorial: Publish the Dhara Wijetillake Committee report

Jan 15 (Island) In a news release issued on Friday, the president’s office said that there was no fault in the evaluation of GCE A/L answer scripts according to the Dhara Wijetillake Committee report which had recommended wide and careful consultation on formulating the Z score on which admission to the universities are determined. There is no escaping the reality that the examinations department and the govt itself ended with a lot of egg on its face when the delayed more..

Editorial: Ties with India vital but not at any price

Jan 15 (ST) Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna arrives in Sri Lanka on an official visit tomorrow. He is flying in almost under the radar because Indo-Lanka bi-lateral relations, which have highs and the lows from time to time, are right now, out of the focus. Not that it needs to be the central point of Sri Lankan life at all times, but at this very moment, it has been overcome by numerous other issues. This, however, is no excuse for the Sri Lankan Minister more..

The 670 km Walk in aid of a Childrens ward for Jaffna Hospital

Jan 15 (TC) A recent event that underlines the innate good nature of man was the great Walk from Dondra in the South to Jaffna in the North covering a distance of 670 kms. to generate funds to build the Paediatric (Children’s) Cancer Ward in the Jaffna General Hospital. The Walk named Trail, a journey of 27 days was undertaken in the month of July from 1st to the 27th. The Trail was initiated by the Colours of Courage Trust, more..

Grand old party heading for split

Jan 15 (NS) Demonstrations by students demanding the withdrawal of the proposed Private Universities Bill and provision of adequate common amenities at universities have been almost a daily feature of the past few weeks. These included students of the Jaywardenapura University staging protests demanding the removal of their Vice Chancellor. The growing unrest in the country’s university system has led to the closure of some universities indefinitely and suspension of more..

Some are more equal

Jan 15 (NS) Headlines and Mervyn Silva are inseparable. He belongs to that breed of politician who truly believes that any publicity is good publicity. Now, he is in the news again, charged with a multitude of offences by members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha. This shouldn’t raise eyebrows. The man has been masquerading as a mascot for King Dutugemunu, parading a dubious doctorate and generally bad-mouthing anyone who dared to disagree with him. more..

Name of Sarath Fonseka is part of history that cannot be obliterated

Jan 15 (TC) A politician’s desire to be remembered is only natural. To be remembered forever would be the acme of political desires. What better way would a Sri Lankan desire be remembered than for his name be inscribed in the Mahavamsa. (The Mahavamsa we have to explain to those uninitiated in our history is the record of kings and their reign said to have commenced around 2500 years ago and continues to date.) Thus, to rub shoulders in history with more..

Did Attanayake rig the UNP election?

Jan 15 (Island) There were reports in the press that veteran UNPer Dr Karunasena Kodituwakku the organizer for Kolonnawa had been kept out of the working committee because he had voted for Sajith Premadasa at the intra-party election held last month. This was on the assumption that there was some way whereby the party general secretary who conducted the election could keep track of who voted for whom. We will come back to that issue later. However, as far as Karunasena more..

There are embarrassments, and embarrassments

Jan 15 (LB) Though on the one hand the govt’s response to student unrest in university campuses is a tough one, the president seems to be aware that any precipitate action in this regard could be later regretted. He knows that universities are hotbeds of political action, a lot of the time of the rather militant variety too. Surely, it must be the reason that he stopped Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s Private Universities Bill when it came up for consideration more..

Anti-rabies programme gone to dogs

Jan 15 (NS) Statements that the govt may revert back to the policy of catching and killing stray dogs in order to prevent the spread of rabies, evoked strong condemnations from animal rights activists last week. The reaction centred on a statement allegedly made by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena that the govt may have to revert to the ‘old policy’ as the sterilisation programs for dogs had failed. This was initially taken as an indication that more..

5th column: They are good at doing the job other than theirs

Jan 15 (ST) "Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera said, "I think I know why our country is in such a mess…" "I didn't think that we are in a mess, Bindu," Bindu's father Percy said, "but why do you think so?" "I think people are not doing the job most suitable for them…" Bindu declared. "Why do you say that?" Percy wanted to know. "Take Mahindaananda maama for instance," Bindu said, "he is only doing the job of the minister of sports…" "And a lot of people think he is not doing more..

Anilana Hotels launches eight hotel and property development projects

Jan 15 (Island) Anilana Hotels and Properties Ltd, a group controlled by entrepreneur and frontline Asset Manager Asanga Seneviratne and his family, will shortly launch eight hotel and property development projects with investments totaling to US$ 122 million. The group successfully raised capital through a private placement of US $ 70 million early last year, will apply for a listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange end January, Seneviratne said. more..

Cricket team crisis due to dressing room divisions?

Jan 15 (DBS) The drastic decline in the Sri Lankan cricket teams performance in recent times is a cause for concern and worry among all lovers of the game who root for our Lankan lads. The latest defeat in South Africa has upset many and even made our unflappable cabinet minister Keheliya Rambukwella “feel horrible”. Avid fans cannot help observing that Sri Lanka was a World Cup finalist and ranked third in Test cricket when Tillekeratne more..

Celestial Residencies compensation process gets underway

Jan 15 (ST) Despite the confusion of the wrong company being listed in the troubled Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act, a consortium of five state entities headed by Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLC) is going ahead with a plan to pay compensation for creditors, contractors and those who paid advances to buy super luxury residential apartments of the state-acquired Celestial Residencies, one of the premier iconic properties of more..

'Unpaid' maid detained over a year

Jan 15 (BBC) A Sri Lankan housemaid, who was not paid for over 15 years, says her constant pleas to send her home from Saudi Arabia has been ignored by the authorities. Kusuma Nandani, a mother-of-two who has been in Saudi Arabia since 1993, says that she has been cut off from the family. "I suffered memory loss and depression and even forgot to get in touch with my family," she told she told BBC Sandeshaya from Olaya detention camp in Riyadh. Though Kusuma Nandani says more..

US court grants immunity to President

Jan 15 (CT) Obama administration has granted immunity to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over his court case in the US. The US Justice Department based on US State Department’s legal adviser Harold Koh’s instruction, has suggested to the court that Sri Lankan President MahindaRajapaksa has immunity over the war crime case filed by Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan and two others in the District Court of District of Columbia. more..

India drops 'traditional fishing right' in Lanka

Jan 15 (BBC) Indian govt has agreed to withdraw its claim of "traditional fishing right" in Sri Lankan territorial waters, a cabinet minister has said. Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senarathne said the agreement was reached at a two-day bilateral summit held over the weekend in Colombo. "In all previous joint communiqués it was stated that India has a traditional fishing right in Sri Lankan waters," the minister told Jeyapragash Nallusamy of BBC Tamil service. more..

SLPA willing to acquire Spence shares - Chairman

Jan 15 (NS) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is willing to buy the Aitken Spence shares in the Colombo South Container Terminal Project, says the SLPA chairman, Dr Priyath Bandu Wickrama. He said that however, according to the agreement, shares that belong to a company in the joint venture could be bought by the existing shareholders only on a pro-rata basis and as such the maximum they would be able to acquire will be another 15 percent. more..

Kelaniya: Mervyn’s Waterloo

Jan 15 (SL) Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva’s fiefdom in Kelaniya has fallen apart. Friends have now turned foe with Silva’s trusted allies at the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha now becoming his enemies. The so called descendent of King Dutugemunu, Silva’s dirty deals in his electorate Kelaniya have now come to haunt him with the governing party members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha threatening to expose everything with evidence. more..

State and private sector banks to develop roads

Jan 15 (SO) State and private sector banks will join hands with the Government to develop the national road network with an allocation of around Rs. 25 - 30 billion for road development and rehabilitation projects in 2012, Secretary to the Ports and Highways Ministry Ranjith Pemasiri said. “For the first time in Sri Lanka we are implementing a road rehabilitation program with local bank funding as State banks and private sector banks are providing funds for road rehabilitation”, more..

Qatar seeks stakes in CSE, Kalpitiya and other property

Jan 15 (ST) Qatar Holdings, the investment arm of the state-owned Qatar Investment Authority, is interested in various development projects ranging from a stake in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the Kalpitiya Tourism Zone (KTZ), the Colombo Commercial Property (CCP), and a host of sites in the South for hotel projects, according to official sources. A preparatory team ahead of today’s arrival (visit) of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Ruler of Qatar, more..

Cabinet body wanted Harry fired

Jan 15 (ST) A five-member Cabinet Energy Committee sought the removal of Harry Jayawardena as Chairman of the CPC since he was not heeding its directives on tender procedures, it was revealed yesterday. Minister John Seneviratne, Vice Chairman of the committee that monitors the country’s energy needs told the Sunday Times, “as a result, Minister Susil Premjayantha complained to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the behest of the Committee. more..

Bribe cops caught on cop camera

Jan 15 (ST) We know the saying that it takes a thief to catch a thief, but this is a story where it took a police camera to catch bribe-taking policemen. The spy cameras installed in Colombo to nab errant motorists, criminals and others snapped up two traffic policemen taking bribes at different locations. One policeman was positioned at the Liberty roundabout in Kollupitiya and the other at the entrance to the city on the Kelaniya bridge. In one camera grab, the officer at Kollupitiya is clearly seen taking money from more..

New laws to curb sale and supply of pesticides

Jan 15 (ST) The Govt will seek Parliamentary approval this month for tough new regulations to control the sale and supply of pesticides in the country. The regulations have already been put forward by Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena under the Control of Pesticides Act and have been presented to Parliament and are pending approval. Under the new regulations, no person will be allowed to sell any restricted or general pesticide unless he is registered with more..

Indo-Lanka clash on maritime boundary

Jan 15 (ST) Talks aimed at resolving the thorny issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters ended without agreement yesterday with a joint statement failing to note India’s response to Sri Lanka’s position that both countries respect the International Maritime Boundary Line. The joint statement issued at the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the Joint Working Group on Fisheries in Colombo noted that Sri Lanka had “stressed” more..