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Two Indian youth compelled to take U-turn

Jan 20 (DM) Two youth of Indian nationality who were deported from Sri Lanka a year ago for overstaying their Visas were nabbed by Immigration and Emigration officials at the Katunayake Airport early morning when they tried to re-enter the country and were sent back to India in the same aircraft they arrived in. The youth who were aged 27 and 29 who had originally arrived on visas had earlier been apprehended by emigration authorities when they had overstayed their visas more..

Only a handful of bribery cases concluded in 2010

Jan 20 (DM) Only 23 bribery cases had been concluded in 2010 although the Bribery and Corruption Commission had received 1,637 complaints that year, Parliament was told recently. Responding to an oral question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake in the House, the Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardene said in 2010 out of the said amount of complaints received in the same year. more..

Third Jaffna Trade Fair today

Jan 20 (PRIU) The third Jaffna International Trade Fair (JIFT) 2012 will open today at the Alfred Durayappah Stadium in Jaffna and conclude on 22. The trade fair is set to attract over 200 companies both local and international, exhibiting in over 300 stalls. The organizers expect more than 60,000 visitors from all areas of the peninsula at this International Trade Fair. Within the course of three years the Trade Fair has been earmarked as a must witness event by more..

Sri Lanka has enough talent - new selector

Jan 20 (BBC) The Sri Lankan cricket team do have enough talent and it is for the players to enhance their performances, says the newly appointed chief selector. Asantha de Mel, who replaced Duleep Mendis as the head of selection committee, said the new selectors will discuss the issues related to the recent poor performance of the team when the squad is back in Sri Lanka after their current tour of South Africa. Sri Lanka has only secured a single Test win, a historic win against more..

Govt behind abductions - Fonseka

Jan 20 (BBC) The former army commander of Sri Lanka has accused the government for being responsible for series of abductions and disappearances recently reported in the north. Former general Sarath Fonseka made the accusation as he was brought to Colombo High Court as a suspect of a case involving alleged corruption when he was the army commander. The govt on Thursday said that it does not have any information on the whereabouts of more..

Encourage learning and leading

Jan 21 (NS) On an initiative of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat, the Business for Peace Alliance of the Ceylon Chamber of commerce commenced in 2007 a scholarship programme entitled ‘Learn & Lead’. The purpose was to secure a good education for gifted children from difficult areas whose future schooling was uncertain. The scholarship was also intended to help young people from conflict affected areas in Sri Lanka to realise their leadership potential. The programme grew out of a more..

Education and examinations

Jan 21 (NS) Parents send their children to school for education. In this country, education is highly valued and often considered by many as the only way to progress. Therefore, those who design and deliver education in school and beyond bear a great national responsibility. Quality of education in our national and other institutions has been a recurrent topic of public concern in recent times. Since more recently, the processes of education, especially the conduct of more..

'Tigers squeezed the Tamils dry'

Jan 21 (SO) Channel 4 video is purely an emotional video made by the Tiger propaganda machine and the allegations in this are not credible enough to claim even in the basic check list for war crime charges, levelled at Sri Lanka, this was the contention expressed by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Netherlands Buddhi Athauda. Based in the Hague, where the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court and Court of Arbitration are located more..

Editorial: Roads soaked in children's blood

Jan 21 (Island) The government is planning to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee on what has come to be known as the national question and the Opposition wants Parliament to probe the GCE (Advanced Level) results mess-up. But, strangely, neither of them has ever called for such urgent action to tackle a serious national problem which has caused the country to bleed profusely for many years; that is the extremely high incidence of road accidents. more..


Jan 21 (LB) The Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha continues to maintain an extremely large garbage dump in the Minneriya forest reservation, around 500 metres from the Minneriya National Park. Environmentalists allege that this particular garbage dumping site is around 10 acres in extent and is in the midst of three important nature reserves – the Minneriya National Park, the Minneriya Forest Reservation and the Kaudulla National Park. They further allege that in view of more..

'Efficient private sector CEOs and MDs could make state institutions productive'

Jan 21 (SO) Public Management Reforms Minister Navin Dissanayake said President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the ideal leader who can successfully address the Sinhala people when a political solution is evolved for the people in the North and the East. The Minister told the Sunday Observer that nobody commanded the respect that President Mahinda Rajapaksa commanded from the Sinhalese and can educate them about a political solution for the North and East. more..

Expats and the LLRC Report Recommendations

Jan 21 (DM) A lot of this inertia can be attributed to a reactionary impulse of the govt to deflect widespread international criticism about how the last stages of the war was handled coming from many Western governments and institutions, perceived to be largely pressurised by a vocal and influential Tamil Diaspora. As a consequence, much needed concerted and focussed engagement with members of the Sri Lankan expatriate community has been at best patchy. more..

British Council to undergo Rs. 500 mn refurbishment

Jan 21 (NS) The British Council in Colombo is to soon undergo a major refurbishment costing Rs. 500 million, which will be the single largest investment made by the Council for 2012 in any of the 105 countries it operates in worldwide, a statement by the Council said. The Council said the project will be phased over 2 years to minimise disruption to customers and its operations. The inauguration ceremony of the refurbishment will be held at its premises located at Alfred House Gardens more..

President Rajapaksa must address specifics of a political settlement

Jan 21 (DBS) India’s respected newspaper “The Hindu” has experienced a change at the Editorial helm with the Editor in Chief Narasimhan Ram stepping down with effect from January 19th 2012. The Hindu’s national bureau chief Siddharth Varadarajan has succeeded him as Editor. “The Hindu” dubbed as the “Mount Road Mahavishnu” by some of its detractors is regarded as the most influential newspaper in shaping public opinion on Sri Lankan affairs in more..

Sri Lanka introduces cess to cash in on global mineral sands boom

Jan 21 (Island) Sri Lanka is joining to cash in on the international mineral sands and rare metals boom. Sri Lanka is also giving relief to the apparel manufacturing sector by reducing raw material import taxes. "The encouragement of value added industry, while leading to more investment opportunities to establish new industries, would increase export earnings, said minister Rishad Bathiudeen Minister. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the Parliament on Cesses Imposed under more..

Dr. Kalam to address PIMA, CIMA forum on Sunday

Jan 21 (FT) India’s former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will make a presentation at the Post Graduate Institute of Management (PIM) Auditorium tomorrow (22), from 6p.m. to 7.30 p.m. at a joint program organised by the PIM Alumni (PIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The program is titled 'Economic Development and Creative Leadership.' Dr. Kalam’s interaction with PIMA, CIMA members is part of his week-long stay in Sri Lanka during more..

Why Thiru was lambasted in Rameswaram

Jan 21 (LB) The protest by the MDMK and the Naam Tamizhar Movement (We are Tamils) against Thirukumar Nadesan, Chairman of Hilton Colombo who visited Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu was just another incident in the string of such occurences that many Sri Lankans visiting India have been facing when angry South Indians gather to protest over several incidents related to Tamil issues in Sri Lanka. Thirukumar Nadesan who is the husband of more..

Word “Sorry” has no place in Professional Cricket

Jan 21 (DM) It is about time that someone speaks out the truth to protect Sri Lanka Cricket. Let me first wish Sri Lanka Cricket newly elected President Mr. Upali Dharmadasa and his team all the very Best of Luck in the world. Mr. Upali Dharmadasa hails from a top class business family and a leader of leadership; it is always difficult to form the team that a person would like however Upali soon will settle matters with confidence, my best wishes to him. more..

Beruwala to become an attractive city

Jan 21 (DN) All measures are in place to develop Beruwala as an attractive city by 2013 by completing all electricity, water and road development projects. The govet has allocated Rs.1,370 million on water supply projects in the Beruwala electorate as well, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. According to the minister they had spent over Rs.10 million on electricity projects in 2010. He was addressing the opening ceremony of electricity projects in Walathara, Heralaththuduwa more..

The Galle Lit Fest on international calendar

Jan 21 (Island) The Galle literary festival which began Wednesday in its 6th continuous cycle this year had evolved to be an international literary event, CEO HSBC Sri Lanka, and the Maldives Nick Nicolau said. HSBC is one of many sponsors for this event. Over the past few years this literary gathering grew in its intensity and expectations are that several thousand visitors would be in Galle for the event which concludes on Sunday, to witness outstanding more..

Top officials of Toastmasters International visit Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (DN) A top level delegation of Toastmasters International (TMI) including the organization's Executive Director, Daniel Rex, Managing Director - Communication and Development, Sally Cohen, District Governor of Japan, Bunzo Suzili, District Governor of Taiwan, Grace and DTM LGM, Joy Tsai visited Sri Lanka recently. The foreign delegation and the International Director for Region 13 - South Asia, DTM Arunasalam Balraj were welcomed on their arrival to the island more..

Sri Lanka: Making progress on reconciliation

Jan 21 (TF) Ever since Sri Lanka ended a two-and-a-half-decade civil war against the LTTE in 2009, the government has faced questions about alleged violations of human rights and the killing of thousands of civilians during the war. Despite the Sri Lankan govt’s initial resistance to exploring these issues, it took a notable stride forward last November when it released the findings and recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). more..

Causes for seeking asylum

Panadura Magistrates's residence leased to run cafeteria

Jan 21 (DM) The official residence of the Panadura Magistrate and the land on which it is located has been leased out to a private institution to run a cafeteria, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera charged today. Mr. Perera who raised an oral question with regard to the issue said this had happened just after the tsunami. He said the then magistrate had left the house when it was damaged by the tsunami. He alleged that the transaction had been made by the then divisional secretary in the area. more..

No legal requirement for prisoner or family to seek pardon - Hakeem

Jan 21 (Island) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said in Parliament yesterday that there was no legal requirement for a prisoner or his family members to seek a Presidential pardon, but it was only a convention. He was responding to UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella’s prodding to show him the law under which there was a requirement for a request to be made to obtain a pardon. Kiriella said that Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne had told Parliament that a family member of DNA more..

Road mishaps kill 223 schoolchildren in 2011

Jan 21 (Island) Wednesday’s disastrous accident in Mt. Lavinia, where nine schoolchildren were injured, has jolted the police into mulling tough measures against reckless drivers. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana, addressing the media, yesterday said 223 schoolchildren had been killed and 4,100 others critically injured in road accidents in 2011. In 2010, 223 students had died in road mishaps while 3,400 were injured more..

Kalam: Learn Sinhala, Tamil and English and make Sri Lanka a great nation

Jan 21 (Island) India’s former President Abdul Kalam has appealed to Sri Lankans to use the Trilingual Initiative being launched in Colombo on Saturday to learn Sinhala, Tamil and English and make the island-nation great. In an exclusive interview to The Island on the eve of his departure for Colombo, Kalam said: "Languages have a very important role in connecting the individual minds, articulate aspirations of the people and shape the dreams of a nation. more..

CPC obtained Rs 285.238 bn in loans last year

Jan 21 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation obtained loans amounting to Rs 285,238 million during the last year, a document tabled in Parliament said on Thursday. The document tabled by Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premjayantha, in response to a question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, said those loans had been obtained for the purposes of constructing a petroleum products storage tank complex and for import of petroleum products. more..

'On a mission to promote peace in Sri Lanka'

Jan 21 (Hindu) former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will embark on a mission to promote peace, harmony and prosperity for all societal constituents in Sri Lanka and propagate an agenda for an inclusively developed nation. On the eve of his four-day visit to the island nation, Mr. Kalam gave an e-mail interview to The Hindu, explaining how he plans to meet leaders of “both sides” to convey a mission of building an environment for harmony and mutual trust. more..

Speaker instructs Johnny to probe EC extortions

Jan 21 (Island) Speaker instructed Minister Johnston Fernando to look into the allegations that big time extortions were taking place in Economic Centres. The Speaker’s instructions followed MP Buddhika Pathirana raising an allegation that the businessmen in Economic Centres had to pay Kappam to conduct their businesses without hindrance. The MP said that there were complaints that those extortionists operate with the blessings of powerful persons. more..

Lankan engineer goes missing from hospital

Jan 21 (AN) Police are seeking public’s help in locating a Sri Lankan engineer who went missing from a leading hospital in the Eastern Province. Bataheene Wederalage Seneviratne, 58, went missing from the King Fahd Hospital in Al-Hasa on Dec. 18 after being admitted for treatment following a car accident on Nov. 16. Confirming the disappearance of the patient from the hospital, a senior official from the Sri Lankan Embassy here told Arab News on Friday that more..

'Only three ministers had back bones to take pragmatic decisions'

Jan 21 (DM) There were only three education ministers who had a spine to take pragmatic decisions and a vision for national education in Sri Lanka who were C.W.W. Kannangara, I.M.R.A. Iriyagolla and Richard Pathirana, Small Crops Exports Minister Reginald Cooray said. Minister Cooray who is also a former education minister said the education system in the country during colonial era had been centred in favour of elite classes until Mr. Kannangara more..

500 acting sub postmasters get confirmed by showing bogus certificates

Jan 21 (Island) Over 500 acting sub postmasters had got confirmed by showing bogus certificates with the blessings of a high official and this had been detected. The govt has employed these people as sub postmasters on the basis of them having passed the GCE O/Ls in six subjects and also who had obtained credit passes in four subjects – Mathematics and Sinhala and two others. The govt had told them that they needed to have the requisite qualifications to be confirmed. more..

Int’l status slotted for Palaly Airport

Jan 21 (DN) The Palali Airport will be upgraded as an international airport for Indian traffic and regional passengers, said Minister Douglas Devananda. Speaking to the Daily News after inaugurating the third edition of the Jaffna Trade Fair yesterday, he said that the Indian govt is assisting this project and work is in progress. The minister said that an additional Rs one billion will be allocated by the govt for infrastructure development in the Northern Province this year. more..

Govt. invested Rs. 5.54 bn in Mihin Lanka

Jan 21 (Island) The Govt has invested over Rs 5,547 million in Mihin Air since it commenced operations in April, 2007, Parliament was told yesterday. The initial capital investment in the airline was Rs 250 million in 2007, but that had risen steadily since then with Rs. 1,680 million infused in 2010 and another Rs. 1,700 million in 2011. The Bank of Ceylon had granted a loan of Rs. 252 million to the airline in August, 2010, Civil Aviation Minister more..

‘Without engineers’ support CEB cannot be paralysed’

Jan 21 (Island) Trade union action by the employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would be successful without the backing of the powerful engineers’ union, a senior official of the CEB said. He said that the public should not fear any problems as engineers and other unions would not take part in the work-to-rule campaign by a group of JVP-backed workers. In 1992, when Karu Jayasuriya was the Power and Energy Minister, all electrical superintendents had demanded more..

Lankan card cheat’s dreams of flying to France dashed

Jan 21 (TOI) Nandeepan, a Sri Lankan national, dreamt of settling in France after getting a job, but greed for easy money has put him in Puzhal prison. The 28-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil from Jaffna, who was on Wednesday arrested in connection with a credit card scam, came here to get a visa to France. Central crime branch sleuths recovered 70 fake credit cards and 200 blank cards from Nandeepan and his associate Vinod, 26. The duo had withdrawn Rs 1.16 lakh from four ATMs more..

Hard-hitting Perera seals first win for Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (CI) It took Sri Lanka three consecutive defeats to get their batsmen firing in unison. Tillakaratne Dilshan finally played with freedom to give the chase momentum, Dinesh Chandimal anchored it in the middle overs, and Thisara Perera stunned South Africa with sustained hitting to overhaul a stiff target in Kimberley. Perera had also struck crucial blows earlier with the ball, making South Africa lose their way in the final quarter of their innings, more..

Towering target

Jan 21 (FT) Construction work for the 350 metre iconic Lotus Tower commenced yesterday following the foundation laying ceremony at the auspicious time of 10:28 a.m. The tower, which will be the tallest tower in South Asia, is located down D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, overlooking the Beira Lake and is budgeted at an estimated cost of US$ 104.3 million. Construction work the project is expected to finish within 30 months. Designed as a multi functional telecommunication tower and more..

President appoints Arun as Batticaloa District Coordinator

Jan 21 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed Arun Tambimuttu as the District Coordinator to the President for the Batticaloa District with immediate effect. Arun’s parents Mr and Mrs Sam Thambimuttu were gunned down by the LTTE in front of the Canadian High Commission in Colombo in 1990. His father the outspoken lawyer and TULF MP died immediately at the scene of the shooting at Gregory’s Road and his mother succumbed to her injuries ten days later. more..