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Editorial: 'P' for propaganda

Jan 17 (Island) Some US Marines have got into hot water, having urinated on dead Taliban combatants in Afghanistan. An inquiry is said to have been initiated into the deplorable incident. Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who watched the brutal execution of bin Laden live on TV from the White House unflinchingly and publicly gloated at the lynching of Gaddafi, has expressed shock and dismay over the so-called body abuse in Afghanistan! more..

A Man for all political Seasons: Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

Jan 17 (GV) On first reading Dr Dayan Jayatilleka one is seduced not only by his prose but by the battery of great names he uses to support his arguments: Edward Galeano, Mao, Gramsci, Che, Nietzsche, Camus and Sartre (and the list does not end there). His political examples are drawn from Serbia, Rwanda, Burma, Pakistan and Mubarak’s Egypt. He does not spare his opponents and their causes – “Red fascists,” he cries; others are deemed: “Orientalist Western critics and more..

Silva’s report, role of international community and reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (GV) Since the brutal war in Sri Lanka came to an end in May 2009 with the violation of International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law, the International community called for an International Independent Investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity. Due in part to this pressure, the UN Secretary General appointed a Panel of Experts (PoE) to advise him on accountability issues in Sri Lanka. more..

Some issues concerning accountability related to ....

Jan 17 (GV) There is a tendency to isolate issues and incidents, and to treat them as separate projects, which does harm to the need to hold the State, the various regimes and all parties to be held accountable for all crimes and violations connected with extra-legal killings, abductions and enforced disappearances. It is only then that we can work towards achieving a united Sri Lanka governed by a democratic State. The blood and tears of the past have to be swept clean, more..

Mahinda regime put petrol to the fire by creating a problem in the A/L results issue

Jan 17 (TC) In recent months, people in Lanka have seen a dramatic increase in the number of protests involving thousands of university students. Many of these turned violent after clashing with the police, who tried to stop their campaigns. Last week Jayewardenepura student demonstration was stopped at Colpetty junction, but there was no clash. Both students and the police were restrained and one could see students cleaning the streets after the demonstration. more..

Plague of goons serving politicians

Jan 17 (NS) IGP N.K. Illangakoon has issued a directive to his officers to arrest underworld figures attached to the official staff of certain politicians. According to the IGP, persons serving as coordinating secretaries and bodyguards of some politicians are linked to the underworld. It has also come to light that some of these persons are engaged in various crimes while serving on the staff of these politicians. more..

Death sentence imposed on two assassins in Hamer case

Jan 17 (SO) The murder most foul took place almost around eight years ago when three men armed with knives and clubs stormed into a house at Frazer Avenue, Dehiwala at night and killed the father, his young daughter and the son by stabbing them with knives. Their bodies were found next morning lying on the floor of their rooms in pools of dried blood. The three of them had bled to death while no one heard or saw while they were being stabbed to death. more..

Mason poses as president’s secretary – takes Thambuththegama OIC for a ride!

Jan 17 (LB) Police last week apprehended a mason who was posing off as Lalith Weeratunga, the president’s secretary and had also succeeded in fooling senior police officers. The HQI of the Thambuththegama police station, Upul Seneviratne was notified of a telephone call he had received from a female on the station’s general line recently. As the phone call had originated from the Presidential Secretariat, the Thambuththegama HQI had decided to answer the call promptly. more..

Favourable times, but Lanka yet to decide on bond issue

Jan 17 (Island) With robust inflows expected this year, the Central Bank says the govt has not decided whether or not to go for another sovereign bond issue with the situation in international capital markets favouring Sri Lanka whose credit ratings have improved while some economies in the EU facing a debt crisis have seen their ratings taking a hit. Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s gave Sri Lanka favourable sovereign rating reviews last year, more..

Credit is King!

Jan 17 (FT) Confirming the exclusive Daily FT report, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) yesterday formally announced the granting of enhanced limit for broker credit, giving an estimated Rs. 5 billion extra boost for the market. Revealing its new stand much to the delight of brokers the SEC in a statement said: “At the commission meeting held on 16 January 2012, SEC decided to permit stock broking firms to leverage three times adjusted net capital with immediate effect. more..

Tiger fascism is no more but Sinhala supremacism has made a triumphant return

Jan 17 (TC) Tiger fascism and Sinhala supremacism: two inimical but mutually sustaining extremisms which have been the bane of post-independence Sri Lanka. Sinhala supremacism created a language issue, prevented its resolution and enabled its metamorphosis into an ethnic problem. Tiger fascism rendered a negotiated settlement of the war impossible and murdered many Sinhala and Tamil moderates who stood for a devolution-based political solution to more..

UGC chief defends tough action at universities

Jan 17 (Island) Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Gamini Samaranayake yesterday strongly defended tough action taken by University administration to thwart the JVP and so-called JVP rebels from causing mayhem at higher education institutions. The veteran educationalist emphasized the pivotal importance of tackling troublemakers, regardless of political consequences in a brief interview more..

Sri Lanka on the verge of fourth successive series defeat

Jan 17 (Island) Bloemfontein is the venue where Sri Lanka’s campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003 started and captain Sanath Jayasuriya set the tone for the tournament with a swashbuckling hundred and the Sri Lankans will be hoping for a similar performance by their current captain Tillakaratne Dilshan or one of the senior players as they take on South Africa in the third ODI of the five match series here at Springbok Stadium today. more..

Z-score: Ranil to make statement in Parliament

Jan 17 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will make a statement in Parliament today on the crisis of the Advanced Level results, the party said yesterday. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said that his party would also move a motion for the appointment of a select committee to study the reasons that led to the crisis. Mr. Amaratunga said that the party would hand over the motion to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa in terms of normal procedure. more..

Connections | January 16, 2012

Showcasing Colours of Sri Lanka in Paris

Jan 17 (DN) A photo exhibition dedicated to Sri Lanka by French photographer Pascal Thomas was held in the presence of Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka and a Sri Lankan delegation in Paris on January 12. The theme of the exhibition was 'Colours of Sri Lanka' at which guests viewed an exposition of visual perspectives of the island and enjoyed a selection of home-made Sri Lankan savouries. The exhibition 'Colours of Sri Lanka' took place at Eugene, a renowned more..

State Drama Festival begins today

Jan 17 (DN) The Cultural Affairs Department will stage seven long, 24 short and two invited dramas at the State Drama Festival which begins at the John De Silva Commemoration Theatre Hall at 6.30 pm today, a Cultural Affairs Department spokesman said. The State Drama Festival which concludes on January 24 is organized by the Culture and Arts Affairs Ministry, Cultural Affairs Department and the Sri Lanka Arts Board. Under the long drama category, Adawage Dawasaka Antigani- by more..

Thousand national schools to be developed islandwide

Jan 17 (DN) In a bid to ensure a quality education to all students, the govt is to develop 1,000 National Schools with modern facilities, while 5000 primary schools will also be developed, said Education Minister Bandula Gunewardene at the launch of Sithmina, a weekly educational magazine for students sitting the GCE O/L exam, published by ANCL. The govt plans to develop 1000 National Schools with more..

Police releases statue desecration suspect following political influence

Jan 17 (TN) A suspect arrested by the Sri Lankan police in connection with the desecration of Swami Vivekananda in Batticaloa was released on bail due to the intervention of MLAM Hisbullah, a deputy minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa led government. The statue of 18th century Vedantic spiritual leader of Hinduism, situated in the border of Tamil dominated Aaraiyampathi and Muslim dominated Kaaththaankudi, was desecrated by a motorbike squad Tuesday last week. more..

'EPC needs land powers to preserve traditional Tamil homeland'

Jan 17 (TN) Land powers should be provided to Eastern Provincial Council in order to safeguard the traditional homeland of Tamil speaking people from being plundered by the Colombo govt under the pretext of setting up army cantonments and implementing tourist and various corporate projects, councilor of the EPC from Batticaloa district R.Thurairatnam, has said. Two third of the so-called state lands in the eastern province come under the centralized authority of the Colombo. more..

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI: Preview

Jan 17 (CI) It is tough to find positives when you are 0-2 down in a five-match series, but Sri Lanka have cause for relief following their show in the second ODI. They stretched South Africa for a fleeting passage of play in the last game, suggesting they had woken up from the 43 all out nightmare. It was a game the visitors conceded with eight balls to spare, leaving in its wake a series of ifs and buts. If Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal had more..

Cases involving monks to be heard separately

Jan 17 (Island) Arrangements will be made to hear civil cases, where the litigants are Buddhist monks, separated from laymen, said Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem. He was speaking at the presenting of the Sannasa to Sanghanayaka Ven. Panditha Dodamwala Dhammaratana Thero. The scheme will be launched in Kandy with the approval of the Chief Justice, Minister Hakeem said. This is a measure taken to safeguard the dignity of the Sangha, the Minister said. more..

Gen. Fonseka seeks MP seat; CA Writ fixed for 31 January

Jan 17 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed to be mentioned on 31 January the Writ application filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka seeking to sit and vote in Parliament. Justice J.A. Nalin Perera fixed the matter to be mention as the Bench was not properly constituted. Petitioner Fonseka is seeking the Court for an order directing the Respondents to take all necessary steps according to law to enable him to sit and vote in Parliament and to exercise his more..

'Law enforcement, a top priority'

Jan 17 (DN) ‘The Police has to play a vital role in the country’s development. The government has given more strength and freedom to the Police to act independently, which is essential to protect peace and harmony in society to successfully realize its development objectives. ‘The Police has no excuses to shirk its duties while presenting various excuses for its lapses, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. more..

Sajith undeterred

Jan 17 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, yesterday said that he would abide by whatever rules and regulations imposed by the party, though he wouldn’t give up his right to engage in political activity aimed at promoting the party. He was speaking with The Island shortly after the party declared that no one could talk to the press without prior approval. Premadasa said that rules were necessary, though that shouldn’t be an excuse to curtail political activity more..

Govt. urged to seek waiver on sanctions to get oil from Iran

Jan 17 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday told The Island that the govt should seek a waiver on new international sanctions on Iran to ensure the latest moves targeting Iran wouldn’t cause a debilitating fuel shortage in Sri Lanka. The war-time foreign minister said that Sri Lanka’s only oil refinery at Sapugaskanda was entirely dependent on Iranian crude oil. Responding to a query, Bogollagama said that he had raised the issue with more..

'Acceptable solution to the national question duty of India'

Jan 17 (DM) The TNA stressed to India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna yesterday that India is duty bound to prevail upon the govt of Sri Lanka to evolve an acceptable solution to the national question, party’s media spokesman Suresh Premachandran said yesterday. Soon after his arrival in the country, Mr. Krishna, accompanied by the top officials of the High Commission, met with a TNA delegation more..

National Mosquito Control Week Jan 16 to 22: Random inspections countrywide

Jan 17 (DN) Health authorities will carry out random inspections countrywide to ensure the implementation of the National Mosquito Control Week, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will also participate in these inspections, the spokesman said. The National Mosquito Control Week which commenced yesterday ends on January 22. “The inspection teams will use a card to record the condition of the specific premises and buildings. more..

Allegations traded by Mervyn and rivals: Police launch probe

Jan 17 (Island) The Police Special Investigation Unit yesterday commenced probing the veracity of allegations and counter allegations of extortion and racketeering charges traded by Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva and his erstwhile friends turned enemies in the Kelaniya Pradheshiya Sabha during their battle for supremacy in the electorate. Accordingly, the police had begun to record statements from businessmen and persons in the Kiribathgoda area yesterday to more..

'TNA move upsets DPL community'

Jan 17 (Island) A section of the Colombo-based diplomatic community, supportive of the TNA’s push for a substantial devolution package, has strongly opposed the release of statement highly critical of the LLRC ahead of Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s arrival. Authoritative sources told The Island that the TNA had made available copies of the statement to diplomatic missions seeking their consent before releasing it to the media. more..

‘Naming of Duminda a suspect will not be changed’ - court

Jan 17 (SM) Colombo additional magistrate Prasanna Alwis said today that the court will, under no circumstance, change its naming of MP Duminda Silva as a suspect in the killing of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. He said the decision could be challenged, if needed, in the Colombo high court. He was taking up the case regarding the Bharatha Lakshman murder. Sixteen suspects were produced before the court and were remanded further until January 31. more..

AG tells Supreme Court:NHS director will not be appointed till Jan. 24

Jan 17 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the Public Services Commission will extend the period of time, till January 24, 2012, during which it will refrain from appointing a Director to the National Hospital of Colombo. On October 19, 2011, the PSC said that up to January 17, 2012, it would not hold interviews to select a candidate. Yesterday, the time limit was extended till January 24, 2012. In this case, more..

Rajapaksas’ Isolated Mindset

Jan 17 (SL) There has been an unexpected reaction to my article last week titled “Rajapaksa dynasty and their education qualification saga”. A State controlled Sinhala daily carried a front page news item last Tuesday which claims this writer is living in exile in New York and runs a website with NGO help and pays money to some people living in Sri Lanka for false information which he in turn spreads. The news item further said; State Intelligence Service has more..

At odds with reality, and a secret

Jan 17 (LB) Stakeholders including teachers and students unions are demanding that the full report by the committee appointed to look into fiasco with regard to the 2011 GCE A/L examinations results be publicized. The committee headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Technology and Research Dhara Wijethilake handed over its report to President Rajapaksa last Wednesday. Although media institutions received a two page fax on the more..

Z Score Imbroglio

Jan 17 (Island) I am writing this article to clarify certain matters raised at different forums, some in the form of allegations. The Secretary of the UGC stated on TV (Rupavahini programme held on 14 January, 2012) that I had not been invited to the committee because I submitted a document that the Z score was incorrect in a court case a few years back. This is totally untrue. How could I go against the Z score that I advocated a decade ago? more..

Complaint over expenses accounts of Dalada Maligawa

Jan 17 (SM) A complaint has been lodged alleging that expenses accounts of Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy have not been submitted to the commissioner of Buddhist affairs since 2009. The movement for the protection of the Dalada has referred the complaint against the Diyawadana Nilame to Kandy acting magistrate Ravindra Premaratne. Rasika Punchibandara and Asoka Bandara have filed the complaint. more..

City of Toronto proclamation: January 2012 Tamil Heritage Month

Jan 17 (TC) Whereas our city’s Tamil community is committed to preserving its rich heritage and has contributed greatly to Toronto’s diverse population. Tamil Heritage Month provides the opportunity to showcase and share the community’s vibrant culture and traditions and longstanding history with Toronto residents and visitors. In Toronto, we encourage and welcome celebrations of our many cultural groups more..

Six state entities to close shutters

Jan 17 (Island) The State Resource and Enterprise Development ministry is planning to close down six State entities operating under them while seven more had been recommended for restructuring for better income generation. Six State entities, including Lanka Sack Makers Corporation, Werahera Engineering Service and Wanni Tile Corporation would be closed down after addressing employee grievances, while Hingurana and Kantale Sugar Corporations, more..

Truce between Buddhika and UNP

Jan 17 (DM) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana whose party membership was suspended after being at logger heads with the party hierarchy had come to a truce with the party, General Secretary Tissa Aattanayake said today. He said that he has had a discussion with Mr. Pathirana and had come to an agreement. He said this agreement should be approved by the working committee of the party. Mr. Attanayake however did not elaborate on the agreement. more..

Devastating critique of LLRC Report by the TNA

Jan 17 (DBS) The controversial report presented by the LLRC has evoked much interest in many different circles. It is being projected by some as Sri Lanka’s effective response to the demand for an International accountability mechanism on the one hand while others criticize it as falling far short of International standards. The premier political organization of the Sri Lankan Tamils at present is the umbrella group known as the TNA. more..