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Ananda College hostel uplifted by Gotabaya Rajapksa

Jan 16 (MoD) The complete renovation and refurbishment of the Hostel of Ananda College, Colombo under the direction and guidance of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapksa, Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development was successfully completed and passed on for use by the hostellers at a simple ceremony held at the college premises on 13th January 2012 under the patronage of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

CTB workers deprived of Dec. salary demand justice

Jan 16 (Island) While trade unions representing workers at Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) are threatening to launch a countrywide strike to win an annual 15 per cent salary increase for a three-year period beginning Jan. 2012, the All Ceylon Transport Workers Union (ACTWU) is fighting for last month’s salary of those attached to Nittambuwa and Gampaha CTB deports. more..

E-voting system not just yet

Jan 16 (CT) The manual voting system would be replaced with the electronic voting system only after three years, elections chief Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said the electronic voting system cannot be implemented at present as there has not been any change in the elections law. He envisaged a change to the election laws in two to three years from now. “So until a change to the election law is introduced, the new system cannot be implemented,” more..

Reformists tell Sirikotha inquiry panel: Ranil, cronies must go

Jan 16 (Island) UNP reformists yesterday appeared before a three-member committee inquiring into Decenber 19 incidents at Sirikotha following the re-election of Ranil Wickremesinghe, to reiterate their demand to oust Wickremesinghe from the leadership. They also demanded that all those wanting to retain Wickremesinghe, too, should be chased out of the party. more..

Teacher unions dismiss expert committee report

Jan 16 (Island) Teacher trade unions dismissed the recommendations made by experts committee appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into the matters related to the mess up of the district rankings of the GCE (A/L) results. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that there was nothing different between the statements of the Education Minister and the experts committee more..

Ranatunga says SL selectors must resign over team's poor performance

Jan 16 (IANS) Former Sri Lankan cricket captain-turned-politician Arjuna Ranatunga says the current national cricket selection panel should be sacked following the national team's poor performance in the UAE and South Africa. Ranatunga also accused the govt of interfering with Sri Lankan cricket, resulting in some senior players also making political comments instead of just focusing on the game. more..

N-Eliya chills down to 2.7C

Jan 16 (DM) Nuwara Eliya experienced extreme cold weather recording a low of 2.7 degrees Celsius early last morning with ground frost formation, the Meteorological Department said today. However, Deputy Director M.D. Dayanada said the cold weather in the district was not something extraordinary as it was an annual occurrence mainly in January. The cold weather will persist for another three to four days, he stressed. more..

Editorial: Opportunity to untangle Indo-Lanka issues

Jan 16 (DM) When it comes to the bilateral affairs with Sri Lanka, the role played by India is a shade of grey rather than that of black or white. She has come to our rescue when the international pressure was attempting to sweep the island nation away from the map of sovereign nations. On the other hand, India is known to have bred the Tigers; for which they paid greatly with the life of a Prime Minister. She also has a history of trespassing the Sri Lanka’s more..

Indian tourist’s adventure with Mirissa Whales

Jan 16 (GDI) An Indian tourist writing to "The Hindu” newspaper has highly commended the tourist opportunities available in Sri Lanka. The Traveller Shruthi Mathews says that there are lot of nice things for tourists to do in Sri Lanka, but whale-watching is one particular activity that seems to be experiencing quite a hike in popularity. There are several spots around the island where you can do this, depending on the season. Mirissa, which is on the southern tip, is more..

New laws to tackle Ayurvedic spas that exploit customers

Jan 16 (Island) Indigenous Medicine Minister Salinda Dissanayaka gives notice of new legislation to protect foreigners and local customers from bogus health resorts. He said that there were no strong enough provisions in the Ayurvedic Act to institute legal action against mushrooming spas and resorts to check their abuses. Those institutions exploited and duped both foreigners and locals promising them ayurvedic treatment. more..

AP manufacturing resources attract Sri Lankan apparel firm

Jan 16 (F2F) Being the first FTA for India and Sri Lanka, the 1998 Indo – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement carries substantial sentimental value for Sri Lanka. Together both countries can play a major role in elevating the Indo-Sri Lanka economic relations from the current level to much higher level. Also, Sri Lankan private sector is upbeat on the outcome of the outcome of Partnership Summit 2012, held in Hyderabad. more..

Lankan court extends remand period of TN fishermen

Jan 16 (PTI) A Sri Lankan court on Monday extended by 14 days the remand period of five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested on drug smuggling charges on Nov 28, an official said. U Arulanandam, state coordinator of 'Alliance for the release of innocent fishermen', told reporters from Sri Lanka, here on an invitation by the state govt, that Mallagam court Judge Gajanidhi Balan extended to January 30 the remand of the fishermen when they were produced in court today. more..

WikiLeaks: Gota and Basil are to provide political cover to Mahinda

Jan 16 (CT) “Moreover, one of their biggest roles is to provide political cover to the President. The President often has Gothabaya and Basil take credit for decisions so he can appear less involved in actions that earn the GSL criticism at home and abroad.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” details the Presidend Rajapaksa’s decision making process. more..

Distorted result takes its first prey

Jan 16 (LT) A female student who had been depressed due to receiving A/L results that she did not accept has committed suicide. The girl who had committed suicide was a 19 year old student residing at Garden Hill in Nuwaraeliya. She studied in a popular girls’ school at Nuwaraeliya, passed the G.C.E. O/L with distinctions and expected good results at the A/L examination. However, she has got only credit passes for Tamil, Geography and Political Science. more..

Sri Lanka reject negative news reports related to the India-Sri Lanka joint meeting

Jan 16 (GDI) The Sri Lankan govt is fully committed to working towards fulfilling the mandate of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group to address issues relating to cooperation in the fisheries sector between the two countries, the External Affairs Ministry said in a press release. The External Affairs Ministry rejecting some negative news reports relating to the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries held in Colombo on 13-14 January 2012, more..

TNA publishes 100page response to LLRC

Jan 16 (DM) The TNA, in its formal and analytical response to the report compiled by the LLRC said yesterday the entire LLRC process and practices had failed to win the confidence of the Tamil community. Also, the TNA said that the LLRC fell dramatically short of international standards applicable to accountability processes. The TNA, in its over 100-page report issued to the media, stated that the ethnic and gender imbalance in the membership, more..

Arrest Nauzer Fowzie – court orders

Jan 16 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has ordered the police crime division to apprehend Western Provincial Councilor Nauzer Fowzie, son of Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, for allegedly threatening a businessman with a firearm. The suspect had pointed a gun at the businessman, Mustaq Sally, and threatened to kill him on Jan 13 at Independence Avenue, officers of the CCD told the court today. The businessman had subsequently lodged a complaint with the Cinnamon Garden Police more..

Iran assures uninterrupted oil supplies to Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (DM) Iranian oil exports to Sri Lanka will not be disrupted despite attempts by certain powers to escalate tension in the MiddleEast, Iranian Ambassador Mohammed Nabi Hassanipour said. “I have spoken to our Minister of Petroleum about this matter and he said there is no problem as far as our oil supplies to Sri Lanka or to any other country is concerned. There are forces that wish to create insecurity in the region but Sri Lanka can be assured that more..

Indian External Affairs Minister arrives on a 4-day visit

Jan 16 (GDI) India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago on a four day official visit. The much talked visit by the Indian Minister will be centred on discussions with leaders of political parties including the Leader of Opposition and representatives of the TNA. Krishna will also visit northern Kilinochchi and Jaffna to inspect projects that are being carried out with Indian assistance and will hand over the more..

Two books authored by veteran chef Pubilis presented to President Rajapaksa

Jan 16 (GDI) Two books authored by Veteran Chef Pubilis presented to President Rajapaksa Veteran Chef Dr.Pubilis Silva presents two books compiled by him to the President Rajapaksa. Two books compiled by Dr.Pubilis Silva, Head Chef of the Mount Lavinia Hotel outlining the Cultural background of local food was presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week. The books contain Sri Lanka recipes going back to the Vijaya period as well as food partaken by all more..

Sri Lanka SEC allows more broker credit

Jan 16 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission said it had allowed brokers to lend up to three times their net capital to clients to buy shares in a relaxation of credit rules imposed last year. The adjusted net capital is arrived at after deducting from net capital 50 percent of the value of fixed assets. Earlier brokers were only allowed to lend only their own assets. The new rule allows them to leverage, effectively engaging in a finance business of borrowing and lending. more..

No meetings without approval

Jan 16 (CT) The UNP Working committee today decided to prohibit the convening of meetings by party members without prior approval of the party. The Committee further instructed the members not to form organizations or forums or create funds without approval from the party hierarchy. Party Leader Ranil Wickremesighe informed the WC members to consult him or General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka when issuing media statements regarding the party’s stand on more..

Police boots on sale in Pettah

Jan 16 (DM) A police warehouse labourer and two footwear traders were produced in court and remanded till January 27 on charges of having pilfered 420 pairs of boots from the police warehouse. Police told Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne that the boots, which were being readied for distribution among police personnel, were allegedly smuggled out of the warehouse by a labourer, Tilak Ravindra and sold to two footwear traders at Malwatte Road in Pettah. In his complaint to the police, more..

Ten treasure hunters nabbed

Jan 16 (CT) Ten persons who were arrested for attempting to unearth hidden treasure in the Wewagedarawatte area were placed in remand till 27, January. This decision was taken by the Wariyapola Magistrate today. The suspects were arrested by the Wariyapola Police on Sunday for attempting to unearth treasure in state-owned coconut plantation in the morning. The police managed to arrest the suspects, on a tip off received. Three of the suspects are said to be serving in the army. more..

Rizana case: Sub agents jailed for three years

Jan 16 (DM) The two foreign employment sub agents who are alleged to have sent Rizana Nafeek to Saudi Arabia for employment were sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment and ordered to pay Rs.60,000 each as compensation to her parents. Rizana Nafeek while still underage was sent as a housemaid to Saudi Arabia with the help of forged documents. She has been sentenced to death over the death of her employers’ baby daughter. more..

Final phase of Lankan war merits investigation: Gordon Weiss

Jan 16 (FP) The political evolution of China and India and the movements in the UN Human Rights Council offer some scope for a possible international investigation into the alleged civilian deaths during the 2009 siege in Sri Lanka, says Gordon Weiss, author of The Cage, that vividly documented the final days of the defeat of LTTE and the suffering of Tamil civilians. “I think the ground clearly exists for any basis of fairness, and equivalence with other similar more..

A/L results fiasco, President to take appropriate action

Jan 16 (DM) Though the five member committee that probed the 2011 GCE Advanced Level results fiasco held certain officials at the data processing unit of the Examination Department responsible for the blunder, it was up to the President to take appropriate action against them, committee secretary Dhara Wijetilaka said today. “Since the committee was appointed by President Rajapaksa, the report was handed over to him and it is up to him to act accordingly,” more..

'Five years' to resolve SLC crisis

Jan 16 (BBC) The newly elected president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has once again has predicted that at least five years will be needed to resolve its financial crisis. Upali Dharmadasa, who was elected uncontested on 03 January, said the SLC will get a considerable amount of income from future tours of other Test playing nations by 2020. "We have almost completed the assessment of outstanding payments so I think, in my personal opinion, it will take at least more..

Krishna attends Rajapaksa's Pongal reception

Jan 16 (PTI) External Affairs S M Krishna began his Sri Lanka visit today by attending a traditional reception hosted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the occasion of the Tamil festival Thaipongal, the only foreign guest to be invited at the event, in what reflects the close ties between the two countries. Krishna, who arrived here on a four-day visit, drove straight to the Temple Trees, the official residence of Rajapaksa, accompanied by his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris who more..

300 years since the birth of Blessed Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (AN) A year of celebrations to commemorate the third centenary of the birth of Blessed Father Joseph Vaz, "the Apostle of Ceylon" has drawn to a close. The Diocese of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Anuradhapura, Chilaw, Kurunegala, Badulla - where the blessed carried out his mission - hailed the end of the jubilee with a Mass, asking the faithful to pray for the canonization cause of Fr. Vaz. Bishop Maxwell Silva, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka looking to touch 250

Jan 16 (CI) Sri Lanka have one important target in their minds ahead of what could be a series-decider in Bloemfontein: to put at least 250 runs on the board. After being shot out for 43 in the first ODI, they recovered admirably to post 236 in the second, but still fell short and face defeat in the five-match series sooner than they would have expected. Vice-captain Angelo Mathews said if they can just get over the five-runs-per-over mark, they could be in with a chance. more..

Union opposes EPF amendments

Jan 16 (DM) The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) today expressed reservations over the govt’s decision to table amendments to the EPF Act in Parliament tomorrow and said it was strongly opposed to two of the amendments. ICEU President and former JVP MP Wasantha Samarasinghe said that at the labour consultative committee discussions held on January 4, it was agreed to remove the new clause 24(7), which would empower the Labour Commissioner to prepare an insurance more..

J'pura expected to reopen

Jan 16 (CT) The University of Sri Jayewardenepura is likely to reopen next Monday, Vice Chancellor Dr. N.L.A. Karunarathne told Ceylon Today. The reopening of the University was discussed during a meeting with the academic staff yesterday. Though the VC was allegedly present at the meeting, a university source claimed that the discussion was conducted between student representatives and the University academics. University of Sri Jayewardenepura Bhikku Society, convener, more..

TNA Seeks India's Help for 'Corrective Steps'

Jan 16 (PTI) TNA, an umbrella group of Tamil political parties, today complained to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's about Lankan government's "lethargic" attitude in talks for evolving a political solution to the ethnic crisis and sought India's help for "corrective steps". A delegation of leaders of TNA led by its Parliamentary Party Chief R Sampanthan met Krishna, who arrived here on a four-day visit, and said "no progress" has been achieved during more..

KING UTHTHIYA The unchronicled regent

Jan 17 (NS) Fascinating clue hinting at the possible existence of a royal lineage never mentioned in the Mahavansa chronicle, has been unearthed from Trincomalee. The discovery was made by Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera during an investigation conducted in the Kandankaru area in Trincomalee. The clue hinting at the existence of this mysterious king was found in a stone inscription (Sellipi) located inside a cave. Explaining how he came across the stone inscription, more..

Bullying SL while US/NATO crimes go unpunished

Jan 17 (NS) That the US, UK, EU, Canada and similar nations join in tandem to bring allegation after allegation against Sri Lanka is something we as citizens should not be surprised over while politicians need to realise that it is their follies and inactions that allow a continuous barrage of accusations. Yet, if crimes against humanity is the buzz word then investigations must begin in a chronological fashion starting with those committed by US/NATO forces more..

UNHRC wants Sri Lanka to investigate and prosecute “Murderers” of Peiris

Jan 17 (TC) The continuing failure of Sri Lanka’s institutions of justice is well demonstrated in the most recent Views of the Geneva based United Nations Human Rights Committee (UN Committee) calling upon the Sri Lankan State to effectively investigate and prosecute the murderers of a small time businessman in Negombo after he, his wife and their two children had been repeatedly intimidated and threatened by police officers whom they had angered. more..

UNP’s 17 + record breaks – and nobody notices

Jan 17 (LB) The UNP’s 17-year-old record in power being broken in 2011 by the SLFP-led UPFA coalition was strangely not news to the pundits. In this world beset by weightier considerations such as T.M. Dilshan’s facial expressions and the expressway to Pinnadoowa, the fact that the UNP’s 17 year record essentially under the iron grip of J.R. Jayewardene was being surpassed, was largely forgotten. That this historically significant overtake was taking place at the height of more..

No option for us but small nuclear

Jan 17 (LB) It has not been a good three years for green energy in so far as electricity generation is concerned. I am using three years as a review period because it corresponds to the duration of the Obama Administration which promised a turn to renewable, environmentally friendly methods of generating electricity. There are two reasons for the setback; technical and political. The R&D in solar photo-voltaic (PV) conversion has been disappointing and large scale wind generation more..

Sri Lanka fences in humans to protect its elephants

Jan 17 (DW) In the central Sri Lankan village of Randunne Wewa, Angie Magilin Nona recalls her terrifying encounter with an elephant. It was the middle of the night and the family was sleeping when the animal tore through the side of her mud brick house, trashing anything in site. "I am angry at the elephants," says Nona. "They destroyed the coconut trees, ate all the rice, they broke all the furniture…they destroyed everything." more..