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A Bar Association going from perverse to stupid

Jan 5 (LB) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka now caught out pants down in a flagrantly partisan attempt to save newly minted opposition loose cannon Sarath N. Silva, now does the most cynically expedient thing by coming out with a slick statement against the contemplated appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the conduct of Silva, accompanying it with a rider. This puny accompanying note says that the Select Committee appointment is being opposed on more..

Why not sing Kolaveri Di in Jaffna Tamil?

Jan 5 (GV) It was less than 200 years ago that the title of “orator” or “navalar” was bestowed on Kandar Arumukam Pillai, by the grateful inhabitants of South India. Leaving his native Jaffna for a time, he had spearheaded a renaissance of the Tamil language and culture in South India preaching, printing and endowing educational institutions. Thus began a long history of Jaffna Tamil involvement in the renaissance of Tamil. Thamotharampillai, Winslow and Kanagasabai more..

There’s always a face behind the ...

Jan 5 (NS) The queen of mythical king, Mahasammatha, when conceived with a child got a craving or a dola duka like no other, which was to witness an uproarious performance, says the legend. The king was left helpless as no such hilarious performance was ever heard of. Sensing the turmoil of the agonised king who yearned to please his wife and the equally bereft queen, Sakra Devendra summoned Vishwakarma, the God of art to put them at ease. more..

LLRC report, an inconvenient truth?

Jan 5 (DM) Accordingly the govt spends most of its limited attention span on the ethnic issue by complaining about the TNA's alleged intransigence, denying the existence of an ethnic problem and blaming the West for not recognizing the claimed post war economic progress in the North. However, this Rajapaksa / UPFA narrative is not supported by the facts as largely attested by the LLRC. Firstly it is incumbent on the govt to take the leadership on a political solution, more..

Editorail: Need for neutralising Blue Terror

Jan 5 (Island) Time was when SLFP heavyweights including incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa would haul the late President J. R. Jayewardene over the coals for, inter alia, pardoning convicted criminal Gonawala Sunil, who was serving a jail term for abducting and gang-raping a doctor's teenage daughter. Today, an SLFP-led government is shielding equally dangerous criminals and the human rights activists turned rulers are practising the exact opposite of what they preached then. more..

UK keen on Sri Lanka’s booming tourism sector; Rishad invites Britain to Expo 2012

Jan 5 (FT) British investors are keen on investing in Sri Lanka’s new phase and are specifically eyeing Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has invited strong business and industry delegations from UK to Sri Lanka’s Expo 2012 show. “Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is very promising with good potential,” said James Wharton, the visiting British MP. Wharton was paying a courtesy call on Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen more..

All change at Newlands as willow dominates

Jan 5 (CI) A run a minute. Yes, it really was that many. Between them, South Africa and Sri Lanka put on 382 runs in 382 minutes. The run-rate only dipped below four as the day entered its twilight zone. Astounding when you consider that less than two months ago at this ground, 23 wickets fell on a single day. Newlands has been the summer's home of extremes, going from the breathlessness of the Australia Test to the intricate fascination of the current contest. more..

Sri Lankan- American Teledrama: Shooting begins in January

Jan 5 (UL) A Sri Lankan – American Teledrama ‘Adaraneeya Niagara’ will begin shooting in Boston starting mid -January 2012. As the first ever Sri Lankan teledrama in the United States, the Boston Lanka Media Network, hope to present a unique insight into the Sri Lankan expatriate culture embedded in USA. Additionally, ‘Adaraneeya Niagara’ will also present the Sri Lankan viewers with the opportunity to enjoy the iconic tourist destinations of America such as more..

Scholarships for studying in India

Jan 5 (IHC) The High Commission of India Colombo has announced the offer of the following scholarships: 40 scholarships for Sri Lankan Nationals under the “Nehru Memorial Scholarship Scheme” for undergraduate courses, 5 scholarships under the “Commonwealth Scholarship & 2 scholarships under IOR-ARC Scholarship Scheme for postgraduate course for Nationals of Sri Lanka. These will be at various Indian Universities, during the forthcoming more..

Govt. creates new company to revive ailing energy projects

Jan 5 (Island) To revive ailing power projects and to further strengthen the functions of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka (SEASL), particularly to promote the use of more renewable energy sources, a new entity, Sri Lanka Energy (Pvt) Ltd, was inaugurated yesterday by Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. Sri Lanka Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Ceylon Electricity Board is housed at the BMICH in Colombo. more..

Bourse blip!

Jan 5 (FT) Within just three market days since New Year, the Colombo Bourse has already surpassed the 1% decline threshold closing yesterday with a negative return of 1.67% and losing Rs. 32 billion in value since end 2011. The dip yesterday was the sharpest in the New Year, with ASI down by over 1% and Milanka Index by over 2%. Turnover was Rs. 459 million, slightly better than Tuesday’s Rs. 380 million. On a normal day the 1% dip wouldn’t have been of concern given more..

'We're talented and tough enough'

Jan 5 (CI) When the Sri Lankan team watched the sun set behind Table Mountain two evenings ago, the possibility of winning their first series in South Africa still existed. Now, not even halfway into the deciding Test match and their focus has shifted substantially. Instead of their sights set on a massive upset they are looking only for a draw as they aim to share the spoils in this series. Geoff Marsh, Sri Lanka's coach, admitted their poor first day, more..

Police officer accused of stealing from suspect

Jan 5 (BBC) Court in Sri Lanka has ordered the Police Chief to investigate and report on an incident where Narcotics department official was accused of forcibly withdrawing money from the bank account of a suspect in his custody. The attorney representing the suspect Sujith Kumara told Colombo magistrates court on Wednesday, that the officer had obtained the secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the bank card by forcing the suspect. He also said the more..

Hikka stench abates

Jan 5 (Island) The hotly disputed garbage disposal issue at the Hikkaduwa tourist resort which almost created a huge environmental hazard has been settled and the Urban Council has resumed clearance of garbage from the hotels commencing Friday after the Economic Development Ministry intervened in the matter, an official said. Siri Goonewardene, President of the Hikkaduwa Hoteliers Association (HHA), said that after the Urban Council was sent a directive by the Economic more..

Three hundred years old Three kings in Chilaw

Jan 5 (BBC) She was been guided towards perfection by a group from an early generation. They were all endeavouring to revive a centuries old theatre production depicting the visit of three wise men to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. I witnessed their effort in the fishing town of Chilaw in the coastal belt of north western province of Sri Lanka famous for coconuts, crabs and Catholics. They were practising the lines and steps of a stylised drama genre known as Nadagam. more..

Resolutions, transparency and saving cricket

Jan 5 (ST) Yes, it is a brand new year and it is time to make resolutions. By now most of us may have made up their resolutions. Yet we at this end would like to suggest to Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage about a resolution that he could make for the betterment of the most followed sport in the country -- cricket. We know he is a busy person and would not have the time to indulge in mundane things of this nature. Yet, we would like to plead with him even at this late hour to make a resolution if he has not. more..

Panditharatne passes away

Jan 5 (Island) One-time UNP Chairman N.G.P. Panditharatne passed away yesterday morning after a brief illness. A close associate of all former UNP leaders, Panditharatne, a polls strategist of the party, conducted a comprehensive inquiry into the UNF defeat at the parliamentary polls in April 2004, though the UNF never published it. Former police officer, Panditharatne married Renee Kannangara of Deniyaya and qualified as a chartered accountant in the UK and practised accountancy here. more..

Missing A/L papers found

Jan 5 (DM) Five A/L exam papers of students who had sat for the examination on Buddhist Civilisation which had gone missing, were discovered on Tuesday, the Ceylon Teachers Services Union said yesterday. The union’s General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said the discovery was made at an A/L results assessment centre at the Embilipitiya Maha Vidyalaya. The second part of the answer scripts which include essay type questions had gone missing while more..

Ruhunu Uni. Agri student protested demanding hostel facilities

Jan 5 (Island) Undergraduates of the Ruhuna University protested yesterday (04) demanding hostels for all students in the Faculty of Agriculture. Convener of the Inter University Students Federation Sanjeewa Bandara told The Island that the university administration provided hostels for all students until 2010, but now they have asked students to pay for the facility. "Our demand is for them to provide the facility to all without charging for it," he said. more..

4 Indian fishermen held by Navy

Jan 5 (TOI) Four fishermen from Rameswaram, who ventured into the sea on Monday were allegedly arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Wednesday. Govindaraj (45), Arumuguam (35), Kumar (34) and Kalanjianathan (53) ventured into the sea in a boat belonging to one Bose. They were supposed to return on Tuesday morning but did not return after which a few fishermen took a search order from the fisheries department and went looking for their missing comrades. more..

Indians on salvage mission in Lankan waters ahead of fisheries talks

Jan 5 (Island) Following high level consultations between India and Sri Lanka, an Indian salvaging team has arrived in Sri Lankan waters to salvage seven fishing craft which had run aground off the Delft and Analativu islands. The team will try to repair and re-float those that require to be fixed before they can be moved across the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary. The Indian craft had been poaching in Sri Lankan waters at the time they ran aground more..

J’pura u’grads to protest against suspension of colleagues

Jan 5 (Island) Undergraduates of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura would launch a protest against the suspension of 10 colleagues by the university administration. Representative for the students K. Chandananda thera said that the university administration suspended 10 students of the Management Faculty for allegedly organizing students against the govt. He said that this was the latest step by the Vice Chancellor Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne to suppress student leaders. more..

Maldives lifts ban on spas after brothel probe

Jan 5 (AFP) The Maldives president said Wednesday he had lifted a ban on spas in the upmarket tourist destination after establishing they were not being used for prostitution, as alleged by Islamist protesters. The tourism ministry ordered all massage and beauty treatment centres to close six days ago in response to public demonstrations in the capital against spas organised by the hardline Islamist opposition Adhaalath party. "There was a huge demonstration in more..

Further boost to renewal energy drive

Jan 5 (DN) Sri Lanka Energies (Pvt) Ltd was launched yesterday to increase renewable energy upto 20 percent of the national grid by 2020, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The minister made this observation at a ceremony at the BMICH to mark the establishment of Sri Lanka Energies (Pvt) Ltd, which is a subsidiary of CEB, to expand the use of renewable energy. Minister Ranawaka said that the govt initiated this company to propel the use of more..

Sri Lanka: Another abduction and murder

Jan 5 (AHRC) On the 2nd January a man by the name of Mohammad Nistar was abducted by a group who arrived in a white van from San Gartikulam at Puttalam. According to reports at the time of the abduction Mr. Nistar was traveling in a three-wheeler. Sometime later his body was found with bullets wounds to the head. According to reports Mr. Nistar was engaged in the rehabilitation of drug addicts at a centre in the area. No one has been arrested for this abduction and murder. more..

Court moved against appointment of Keleniya Science Faculty Dean

Jan 5 (Island) Head of the Science Faculty’s Botany Department of the Kelaniya University Prof. M.D. Amerasinghe has petitioned the Court of Appeal seeking a Court order prohibiting Prof. D.D.S. Kulatunga from assuming duties as Dean of the Faculty of Science of the Kelaniya University with effect from January 2, 2012. The petition has alleged that Kulatunga was an accused in a case before the Chief Magistrate of Colombo 12 and hence he could not be considered for a post in the university. more..

Public servants to receive health records

Jan 5 (DN) The Health Ministry will provide a special folder containing 'Personal Medical Record' to public servants. The main objective of this is to protect them from Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a ministry spokesman said. Personal health records for public servants attached to the Health Ministry (around 300,000) have been printed and will be distributed soon. The total number of public servants in Sri Lanka is around 1.6 million. more..

Sri Lanka tourist killing: brother hopes for justice

Jan 5 (LBO) The brother of a murdered British tourist, has called for justice and a speedy conclusion to an investigation in which a politician of a local council and several others are held by the police. Khuram Shaikh, a Briton who is working for the Red Cross in Palestine was killed after being shot and cut with broken bottles by a group led by local politician and his and his friend Victoria Rustkacheva, raped, according to media reports. more..

Motor Traffic branch out further

Jan 5 (Island) The Motor Traffic Commissioner’s Department says that five branches would be opened this year with online service facilities for the convenience of the public living outside the capital. "The new branches would be opened in the Puttlam, Vavuniya, Kegalle, Kalutara and Batticaloa districts," Motor Traffic Commissioner Lalith Dharmapriya said. The branches opened in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Hambantota are functioning successfully and providing more..

Massive petroleum racket bared

Jan 5 (Island) A massive scam where petrol is mixed with kerosene at a Lanka Indian Oil Corporation station in Kottawa, has been bared. The racket was exposed when the Special Investigations Unit of the Mirihana Police detected an unauthorised bowser at the Kottawa fuel station of the Indian Oil Corporation. The Police have taken steps to produce the driver of the bowser and three others in Court. more..

LPBOA chief warned against suspending semi-luxury bus service

Jan 5 (Island) Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka yesterday warned Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne against a move to suspend the private semi-luxury bus service in view of public complaints. Wijeratne couldn’t take a unilateral action, Ratnayake said. The urgent need was to take remedial measures to rectify shortcoming in semi-luxury services, he said. Ratnayake accused Wijeratne of causing unnecessary trouble. more..

Suspect in X’files actress’ case refused bail

Jan 5 (Island) Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne yesterday re-remanded a suspect, who was produced before him, on a charge of criminally misappropriating Rs.17.8 million, from the Sri Lankan properties of popular Hollywood actress, of X-Files fame, Gillian Anderson till January 18. In her complaint to the CID, Ms Anderson said that suspect Anura Rathne Herath had been entrusted to administrate her properties located in the Pasyala area. more..

Flashback 2011 Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (SL) The much controversial and greatly followed ‘White Flag’ case, involving former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and the ruling government, came to a conclusion this year. On Nov 18, Fonseka was sentenced to three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5,000 by the Colombo High Court. Two of the three judges on the Bench, in the “White Flag” case, found him guilty of “propagating a false rumour’ in violation of emergency regulations and more..

All State lands being registered

Jan 5 (Island) A national programme to register State lands countrywide had been implemented to prevent the forging of land deeds, forceful acquisitions and other frauds connected to lands, Senior Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Lands and Land Development P.M.P. Udayakantha said. "A unique number would be given to the lands and the details would be computerized to prevent the fraudulent acts," he said. The process is scheduled to be completed by 2020. more..

JVP rebels to launch new youth front

Jan 5 (Island) The JVP dissident group, which had almost lost its legal ownership of the Socialist Youth Union, plans to launch a new youth organisation to mobilize the cadres who left the party along with them. The new organization named as ‘Youth for Change’ will be officially launched in Colombo on January 09 at the New Town Hall in Colombo, JVP Western Provincial Council member cum dissident group strongman Waruna Deeptha Rajapaksha told more..

Ranil vows to crack the whip

Jan 5 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that indiscipline had been tolerated for far too long and he would crack the whip this year without fear or favour. Speaking after accepting donations from party members and well wishers for the ‘Sirikotha Repair Fund’ in Colombo, Wickremesinghe said that no one would be victimised. However, those who claimed to be loyal members but had damaged their ‘own house’ because they were unable to more..

Sri Lanka gold imports surge to U$600mn in 2011

Jan 5 (LBO) Sri Lankans have spent a record 600 million dollars of gold in 2011 up more than seven times from the 82 million US dollars a year, the central bank said, as demand and prices for the precious metal rose. "Gold in the past was very marginal, but we have seen a rapid demand for gold in our country," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "That phenomenon has been share in many Asian countries like India. more..

Poverty down to seven percent

Jan 5 (DN) Poverty levels in Sri Lanka have dropped to seven percent. This is one of the greatest achievements in Sri Lanka's development programme. All measures will be taken within the next few years to bring down poverty to two percent, said Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. The govt has taken measures to increase the country's per capita income to US$ 4,000 by 2016, he added. The minister was addressing the Samurdhi journal launching ceremony at more..

'Security wise, we are dependent on Sri Lanka'

Jan 5 (MoD) "Security wise, we are dependent on Sri Lanka - there are large security concerns that can affect both countries in the Indian Ocean. We would like to continue to keep on the right side of Sri Lanka", said Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in an interview with the Business Standard on January 1st. Relations have improved but they were always good even when Prabhakaran was riding high on the LTTE banner. more..

'Attempts to get SF to ask for pardon a ploy'

Jan 5 (DM) The 'People's Movement to Free Gen. Sarath Fonseka' said yesterday that various groups and individuals were trying to make deals with the former army commander by offering to get him released. Kumara Alagiyawanna, the convener of the movement, said that most of these elements were trying to get Mr. Fonseka to ask the president for a pardon. He said most of these deals were being offered by pro-govt sources. more..