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Sri Lanka urged to use Senegal duty free market access

Jan 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporters can use duty free trade deals and cheap labour in the West African state of Senegal to gain access to markets in North America, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. A statement quoted Amadou Moustapha, newly appointed Ambassador of Senegal to Sri Lanka, as saying his country could be used as a production base by Sri Lankan apparel exporters. “Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers can use Senegal as a production base to more..

Tourist arrivals exceed 60,000 in 16 days

Jan 18 (GDI) With tourist arrivals exceeding the target last year, the New Year has dawned with a bright future for the Sri Lankan economy through this sector. Within the first 16 days of this month Sri Lanka has welcomed 60,989 tourists and is expecting to end the month with 100,000 arrivals. The Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said that if arrivals reach 100,000 in the month of January, it would be the highest-ever recorded arrival and it would break more..

China offers Sri Lanka help to find Silk Route wrecks

Jan 18 (AFP) Chinese authorities are seeking permission to explore Sri Lanka's coastline for possible Chinese ship wrecks from the ancient Silk Route era. Sri Lanka was a key trading post along the ancient Silk Route which saw silk, spices and handicrafts travel by road and sea between Asia and Europe. The seas around the island's southern port of Galle are known to have at least 75 ancient ship wrecks, of which 25 have been well documented. more..

Thai Pongol in US

Jan 18 (SLE) Sri Lankan Americans gathered at the Embassy of Sri Lanka here Friday, Jan. 13, to take part in Thai Pongal, the harvest festival that celebrates the sun, the fruits of the earth and the renewal of the spirit. Guests including officials from the US State Department filled the embassy’s salon for the traditional celebration of giving thanks for the harvest. Swami Sivanatha Kurukkal offered Hindu prayers, performed the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and more..

Customs Inspectors’ Union contests non-release of exam results

Jan 18 (DM) The Court of Appeal on Friday issued notices on the respondents including the Director General of Customs and the Commissioner General of Examinations in respect of the Writ application filed by the Customs Inspectors Union seeking an order for the release of the results of the Limited Competitive Examination held for the internal promotion to the post of Assistant Superintendent of Customs (Grade II). more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 18.01.2012

Prof. Thattil receives death threats

Jan 18 (CT) Professor R.O Thattil who introduced the z-score system to Sri Lanka has received death threats from anonymous callers, the FUTA claimed today. Dr. Ananda Jayawickrema the co-Secretary of FUTA said that Prof. Thattil had expressed his concern regarding the blunders in calculating the results of the A/L exam due to the wrong methodology being applied. The Professor of Geometry claims that the main issues that have arisen regarding the results of the A/L examination has not been resolved as yet. more..

All political parties should appreciate govt​'s decision: Praba Ganesan

Jan 18 (LS) Colombo District MP Praba Ganesan stated without any differences Tamil political parties of SriLankan should appreciate president Mahinda Rajapkasa for promising Indian Foreign Minister that the SriLankan govt is ready to work according to the 13+ amendment. By releasing a statement to the media Praba Ganesan stated, Govt and TNA was unable to achieve victory from the discussions held for past one year. Earlier govt announced it was more..

Krishna hands over houses to beneficiaries

Jan 18 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday handed over houses built for the IDPs at a function organised at Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi. “The houses that you see across the school compound have been constructed in the pilot phase for 1,000 houses under our Housing Project which was launched during my visit in November 2010. I am happy to hand over these houses to beneficiaries of Ariviyal Nagar here and at Ariyalai in more..

Counsel wants intepol warrant on Duminda

Jan 18 (DM) CID yesterday informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate that they are already discussing with Solicitor General Palitha Fer nando and Senior State Counsel Shanil Kularatne about the arrest of Duminda Silva and whether two separate cases should be filed against Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra faction and Duminda Silva faction. ASP Shani Abeysekera made this disclosure before Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis during the magisterial inquiry into the more..

Indian court remands human trafficking kingpin

Jan 18 (DM) The Intelligence wing and the police are quizzing the kingpin of the human trafficking racket that tried to illegally transport Sri Lankan Tamils to Australia from Kerala in a fishing boat. “The person was interrogated to check whether people were transported for any terrorism activity. He was trafficking the Sri Lankans in a similar manner for the past several years,” an official said. The police said the accused Senthuran, a Sri Lankan native, is more..

Dilshan rues Duckworth-Lewis denouement

Jan 18 (CI) Irony can be cruel and it played one of its most callous cards when Sri Lanka's bid to stay alive in the series was killed off by wet weather. After the favours rained on them in that famous relegation game in the 2003 World Cup - when South Africa's mathematical deficiency meant the showers fell in Sri Lanka's favour - the wheel was bound to turn at some stage. When it did, it was violent. Sri Lanka were crushed when they had more..

The Southern Expressway and inequality

Jan 19 (NS) My car overheated on the Southern Expressway, plunging me onto the street, feet first. It really is a different world. Most people don’t have cars - Most people don’t have cars. It’s easy to say that, but the statistics are actually shocking. Of all vehicles on the road in 2010, only 10% were cars. Car owners may feel like they own the streets, but they’re actually more of a priviliged elite. My car overheated on the Southern Expressway, plunging me onto more..

Jaffna Today

Jan 19 (NS) That, of course, is a large subject - not just for a newspaper article or even an academic treatise but for a govt entrusted with her care. As govt and its agencies proliferate, spreading their tentacles in all directions, subject and geography-wise, their activities affect the people everywhere in whatever vocation they are engaged or wish to engage. Whatever the motive force may be that propels them, whether it be ‘public policy’ as dictated by the IMF more..

University crises and vile objectives

Jan 19 (DM) The govt is displaying various ‘skills’ lately. Not long ago the govt got stuck in a vegetable crate. After unusually delaying results of the A/L exam the candidates were provided with a result that made them see stars. When there were accusations all around that the results were distorted the govt skillfully provided a queer solution. The candidates were given more time to apply for re-evaluation! more..

Family bandyism

Jan 19 (Island) Our late colonial masters, the British, have an institutionalized system of ‘family bandyism’. Their Head of State will always be from one family. When the mother Elizabeth dies it will be her eldest son or failing him his eldest son or failing a son, a daughter who will succeed to the job of Head of State with all the allowances and perquisites that go with it at the expense of the people of the United Kingdom. They however make no bones about what they do. more..

Thirteen minus not thirteen plus

Jan 19 (Island) The thirteenth amendment was forced on us by India following the infamous Indo Sri Lanka Accord, without considering the historical, cultural and geographical background and the Sinhala opinion. India for a long time had acted without listening to the Sinhala majority, without even taking into consideration the importance of Sri Lanka in respect of security of the subcontinent. Delhi listened only to Tamil Nadu, which had ulterior motives and hence more..

Is power sharing in land administration practical in Sri Lanka?

Jan 19 (GV) The author informs us that this Long Reads article is the result of many months of research, and aimed at promoting reconciliation. It is a dispassionate take on a vexed issue, and the author has in recent weeks shared it on a personal basis with selected political figures in the Govt and Opposition. The author predicts that sooner than later negotiators in Govt will come to terms with power sharing in land administration. more..

Dissapointed over the Z- Score ?

Jan 19 (Island) A large number of students who sat the G.C.E. A- level exam last year must be disappointed over the Z – Score obtained for many and varied reasons. Many of them, their parents and school authorities may not be aware of the opportunities available for Tertiary Education in Sri Lanka irrespective of the Z – Score achieved at the GCE A- level, and / or GCE O- level performances. Many parents, grandparents, guardians and others of our youth are unaware more..

Accountability, sovereignty and universal values

Jan 19 (CT) I look at the issue of accountability primarily as a political scientist and from a comparative politics point of view. And I am struck by the fact that what I consider to be an exemplary progressive democracy, Brazil, headed by Dilma Rousseff, who was herself an guerrilla and a political prisoner, tortured by the military junta, has only now, some weeks ago, instituted a commission of inquiry into the conduct of the military junta from 1964 to 1988. more..

‘I have been damned by the establishment in Sri Lanka and its proxies in Australia’

Jan 19 (DBS) The book written by former UN official in Sri Lanka Gordon Weiss titled “The Cage:The fight for Sri Lanka and the last days of the Tamil Tigers” has made huge waves. Indian journalist G.Pramod Kumar of “First Post” interviewed Weiss recently in Sydney, Australia. Weiss has made some pertinent observations in that interview which are of great relevance in the current context. I am reproducing the interview more..

The Tiger-bogey and the 13th amendment

Jan 19 (TC) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has spoken: the dead Tiger might arise. If the Tiger does rise from the ashes of an annihilating defeat, a lion-share of the credit for that near-miraculous resurrection would belong to the Rajapaksas. Can the re-emergence of the LTTE – or some approximation of it – be forestalled by ringing the North with tri-forces camps? By delaying a political solution indefinitely while hollowing out the 13th Amendment? By violating the more..

Sri Lankan Airlines stewardess shot in the face

Jan 19 (SL) Startling revelations have come to the fore as to how a stewardess of SriLankan Airlines was shot by her husband who is an army soldier on December 3, 2011 at the Tissamaharama Police Station. The dispute was over the refusal by the stewardess to stay with her husband after joining SLA according to Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana. He said that this unfortunate incident had occurred while the inquiry into the complaint of the army soldier was in progress. more..

Blowing In The Wind

Jan 19 (SL) The Meteorological Department is one of those government institutions whose function your familiar with, yet know little about its operations. Up until the tsunami of 2004, little attention was paid to its day to day operations. Sri Lanka woke up to death, destruction and disaster, all of which could have been lessened, had there been ample warning given. Very few Sri Lankans were aware of such natural disasters, and it is the Meteorological Department more..

Has the Expropriation Act resulted in injustice?

Jan 19 (SL) A ruler with a depleted treasury eats into the very vitality of the citizens and the country. A ruler, who impoverishes his own people or angers them by unjust exactions will also lose their loyalty. Impoverishment, greed and dissatisfaction are engendered among the subjects, when the ruler among other things: (i) fails to give what ought to be given and exacts what he cannot rightly take;(ii) indulges in wasteful expenditures and destroys profitable more..

Editorial: Rein in these asphalt cowboys!

Jan 19 (Island) It is no exaggeration that animal rights are better protected than those of children on public roads in this country. Trucks overloaded with cattle are seized and their drivers fined. Many have taken up the cudgels for the canine being run over on the newly built Southern Expressway. But, school van operators have risen above the law just like their private bus counterparts and nobody seems to care. They carry as many children as they like, packed into more..

Namal says Hamantota is happening, urges private sector to cash in

Jan 19 (FT) Youthful MP Namal Rajapaksa is reiterating that mega developments in Hambantota which are having benefits to the rest of the country were taking shape and urged the private sector to cash in early with a mindset of “positivism.” “We are going ahead with our plans and efforts as we firmly believe in the future of Sri Lanka’s potential. We are convinced we can do it (become a dynamic country) but at the same time it is important for more..

Plastic crates on easy payment terms

Jan 19 (DN) The Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry will supply plastic crates to farmers and vendors at subsidized prices through the islandwide network of the Agrarian Service Associations. "A scheme has been introduced to hire or purchase the crates for a daily fee from such Associations for those who cannot afford the subsidize prices, an Agrarian Services Ministry Spokesman said. "We have drawn up an easy payment scheme for farmers and vendors to purchase crates. more..

Los Angeles Law Enforcement Delegation meets Secretary Defence

Jan 19 (MoD) A team of senior officers of Los Angeles Law Enforcement Authority headed by Chief Matt Woolman from Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department paid a courtesy call on Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa this morning (18). During the meeting, a cordial discussion was held between the Secretary and the delegation on the matter of bilateral interest. Chief William McSweeney from Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department, more..

'Govt can overcome political extremism'

Jan 19 (DN) "Although a handful of bankrupt political extremists are trying to create a crisis in the country, the govt has the strength to thwart such attempts and bring them under control within the next few days, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella participating in the SLBC Subharathi programme. He said that cropping up of minor problems is a natural feature when certain govt sectors tried to effect changes essential for the country's forward march. more..

Lankan missing in Saudi: Family says officials dragging feet

Jan 19 (ST) A Sri Lankan engineer is missing from a hospital in Saudi Arabia since mid December last year and his family members charge that local authorities are doing little to trace the man. B.W. Seneviratne 58, went missing from the King Fahd Hospital in Riyadh on Dec 18 after being admitted for treatment following a motor accident on Nov 16. The hospital had later informed the family in Colombo that the patient may have walked out of the hospital as a result of more..

Imported larvicide: From saviour to menace

Jan 19 (ST) ‘Bti’ (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis), a bio-larvicide, used to kill mosquito larvae, brought into the country two years ago, as a rescuer from the deadly dengue mosquito, has now turned into a menace, especially to ground level health officers. They complain that, not only its use has been ineffective to date, but people, instead of destroying mosquito breeding sites, are depending more and more on the larvicide, which is active only for a few days more..

Thriving on the sufferings of the Tamils

Jan 19 (Island) In the heyday of the LTTE, the TNA had it good. While the Tamils whom they claimed to represent suffered indescribable hardships, torments and agonies by reason of being under the jackboot of the Tigers with their little children being regularly kidnapped and their hard earned money extorted from them by the LTTE, the TNA which was supposed to represent them raised not a whimper of protest, but on the contrary, functioned as obedient servants more..

Justice Wijesundera welcomed as Appeal Court Judge

Jan 19 (Island) The Attorney General, Mrs. Eva Wanasundera, PC, yesterday said that she was privileged to make her first ceremonial address to a Court, after assuming office, as the Attorney General, to welcome a lady Judge. The Attorney General addressed the assembly, on behalf of the official Bar. The following is the text of Mrs. Wanasundera’s speech made at the ceremonial sitting of the Court of Appeal to welcome the newly appointed Judge, Justice Deepali Wijesundera. more..

People of two Weli Oya villages return after 12 years

Jan 19 (Island) 142 families of Gajabapura and Monarawewa, in the Weli Oya AGA’s division, have returned to their original places and settled in temporary shelters. These people had left their villages in 1999 at the height of terrorist activities. They have now returned to their villages after 12 years. These families still undergo many difficulties. Infrastructure of the area has been destroyed during the terror era. The schools had been abandoned and allowed to fall into decay. more..

Govt. resorts to “psychological terror”: Dissidents

Jan 19 (DM) The Collective against Disappearances and Abductions, a movement led by the JVP Dissidents and other organisations charged that the govt attempted to create “psychological terror” in both the northern and southern parts of the country to suppress the people after an awareness campaign by the dissidents in the north was hindered by police and army on Tuesday. Dissident supporters had organised an awareness campaign in Jaffna more..

No tuition classes on Sundays, Poya days

Jan 19 (DN) Chief Ministers of all Provincial Councils have reached a consensus to ban tuition classes from being held on Sundays and Poya days. This will be in effect in the Sabaragamuwa Province as well, Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council (SPC) Chief Minister Maheepala Herath said. He said so participating in the progress review meeting of the SPC. The meeting was summoned by the Sabaragamuwa Province Governor W.J.M. Lokubandara. more..

Controversial diplomat snares Gillard role

Jan 19 (WA) A TOP Australian diplomat heavily criticised for her role in 'rehabilitation' ceremonies for alleged Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka has been rewarded with a job in Prime Minister Julia Gillard's department. Kathy Klugman will become head of the international division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, a key foreign policy job.Ms Klugman, who was high commissioner in Colombo until this month, was condemned by rights groups in October for more..

GLs absence at centenarian celebrations, ANC leaders disappointed

Jan 19 (DM) The leaders of the African National Alliance (ANC) have expressed its disappointment over the absence of its Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in the party’s centenarian celebrations in South Africa recently, informed sources said today. The govt did not send Prof. Peiris as its representative in the event on January as a mark of protest against the invitation extended to the Global Tamil Forum, an LTTE front. more..

Speaker rejects adjournment motion by UNP MP

Jan 19 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa: yesterday in Parliament rejected an adjournaent motion extended by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa. The Speaker stated that MP Premadasa could not be allowed to move the adjournment motion according to the Standing Orders number 31 (11). He observed that the issue raised in the adjournment motion by Premadasa MP was broadly discussed and fully answered on Tuesday in Parliament. The Speaker noted that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe more..