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Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors discuss FUTA action

June 27 (FT) The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) on Monday held a special meeting to discuss the impending trade union action by the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA). After deliberations, the CVCD issued the following statement signed by its Chairman Prof. Susirith Mendis. Having considered the present situation in the Universities in Sri Lanka, the CVCD is convinced that: Since the non academic trade union action has already disrupted academic activities of the universities, more..

'Media should support national agenda'

June 27 (DN) The media has a collective responsibility to join in the forward march and development drive of the country by supporting the country’s national agenda, Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary W B Ganegala said. He was addressing a workshop for journalists organized by Sri Lanka Press Council and Govt Information Department yesterday on “Contemporary Politics and Media Use”. He observed that the local media has a duty to counter the false allegations more..

Whose job is it anyway?

June 27 (CT) In the wake of Supreme Court’s order to recalculate the Z-score, the UGC is to go to courts again to obtain a clarification from the Supreme Court as to who should issue the recalculated scores. Chairman of the UGC Professor Gamini Samaranayake speaking at a press conference yesterday said legal advice is being obtained from lawyers to seek a clarification from courts as to who should issue the recalculated z-scores because as per the Examinations Act more..

Sri Lanka has least number of underweight children in South Asia

June 27 (DN) Of all South Asian nations, Sri Lanka has the lowest number of underweight and stunted children, World Bank’s South Asia Region Human Development Unit’s senior nutrition specialist Nkosinathi Mbuya said. He said 22 percent of Sri Lankan children aged up to five, are underweight while the prevalence rates of underweight children are 33 percent in Afghanistan, 41 percent in Bangladesh, 43 percent in India, 39 percent in Nepal and 31 percent in Pakistan. more..

CPI leader meets Sri Lankan refugees in Hospital

June 27 (ENS) CPI state secretary D Pandian met the Sri Lankan refugees that were admitted at Chengalpattu Medical College Hospital, to express his solidarity with their stir. Although he was not allowed to meet the refugees at the special camp in Chengalpattu, he was permitted to meet them in the Hospital on humanitarian grounds. One of the refugees told Express that they had conveyed their intention to fast unto death if they were not released from the special camp. more..

IDPs escorted back to Menik farm

June 27 (CT) 64 internally displaced families who were brought to be resettled in their original places in Thirumurugandi in the Kilinochchi District were taken back to the Menik Farm welfare centre in Vavuniya in busses and lorries with the escort of the Security Forces. A mass protest was held in Thirumugandi by the Tamil political parties yesterday. 64 internally displaced families were brought to be resettled in Thirumurugandi area from Menik Farm welfare camp more..

SA ‘A’ ready for SL test

June 27 (SAPA) South Africa's next tier of Proteas players, the A side, take on Sri Lanka A in the first four-day match of the visitors' tour starting in Durban on Saturday. High Performance coach Vincent Barnes is in charge of the squad, alongside captain Faf du Plessis. “It's an important tour for a lot of these cricketers,” Barnes said. “If they want to play for South Africa at the highest level this is where they need to put in the performances. It is not only about the individuals. more..

Dengue eradication campaign in Jaffna

June 27 (DN) Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna organised a campaign to eradicate dengue. An officer said the troops of the 23rd Gemunu Watch and 15th Sri Lanka National Guard serving under the 552 Brigade participated in the programme. Garbage dumps, abundant lands, blocked drains and other mosquito breeding places were cleaned during the dengue prevention campaign. In addition, Polythene and other waste items scattered around the area were collected and set on fire. more..

Sanath's performance in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa

Comb Duck- a very rare bird sighted in Yala

June 27 (Island) Last Thursday, I was in Yala nature reserve with Nanda Senanayake, who is the president of the Bird Club as well as one of the most knowledgeable wild life observers’ in Sri Lanka. On the morning round, we were very fortunate to have had a long viewing of a female Leopard and small cub playing, at the Borolu wala, which is between the Koti Gala and Kohombagaswala. Thereafter, we were hoping to see the Rukwila cubs, hence proceeded to the spot. On approaching the Rukwila Tank, a large goose like bird flew more..

Feasibility test for modern public transport system

June 27 (DN) A Korean company conducting a feasibility test to construct a modern public transport system in Sri Lanka, entered into a MoU with the University of Moratuwa to conduct collaborative research projects for planning, construction, engineering, design and technology advancements. Media spokesman for Garamspace Company in Korea, which is nearing the end of the feasibility test on this project, L Ihalagamage said the feasibility test will be over soon more..

Sri Lanka Establishes ICT Resource Hub for the Police

June 27 (FG) Sri Lanka’s ICT Agency (ICTA) has established a “Nenasala” (Wisdom Outlet)—an integrated ICT hub that provides global information resources as well as internet and communication tools and services—in the Crimes Reporting Division (CRD) within Colombo. The Nenasala has been established within the newly-established library of the CRD, where it will serve not only the police officers, but also more..

On the importance of the workshop for Sri Lanka’s Heads of Missions

June 27 (AT) After the LTTE terrorism challenge was over, the country now has different challenges and the most important one is the economic challenge and it is time we face it, said Karunatilaka Amunugama, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs. When speaking to Asian Tribune about the need to hold workshop for Sri Lanka’s heads of missions and heads of posts, he said that now we have to rearrange the systems and involve the ambassadors to more..

Universal DRS falls at board table

June 27 (CI) The universal application of the Decision Review System (DRS), which was recommended by the ICC's cricket committee and by its Chief Executives Committee, has met an expected and swift end at the ICC's Executive Board meeting in Kuala Lumpur. It is believed the issue was discussed at the meeting but was not put to a vote. The development came a day after India publicly and unambiguously repeated its opposition to DRS, when most other countries are believed to support it. more..

Envoys of four nations present credentials to President Rajapaksa

June 27 (IL) Four foreign envoys including three Ambassadors and a High Commissioner, presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony which was held at the Presidential Secretariat today (26). Accordingly three new Ambassadors from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China and new High Commissioner from the Republic of Seychelles. more..

UGC claims Uni. teachers given unusual pay hike

June 27 (Island) The UGC yesterday said that the govt had granted an unusual salary hike to university teachers and asked them to call off the strike scheduled to begin on July 04. UGC Chief Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that according to revised salary structures, the salaries of senior professors, professors, assistant professors, senior lecturer grade I, senior lecturer Grade II, lecturer and probationary lecturers had been increased by 73.88 per cent, 69.73 per cent, more..

Foreign missions requested to check asylum seekers’ documents

June 27 (Island) In the wake of on-going investigations into the furnishing of forged documents, allegedly issued by military authorities in the Northern Province, to foreign missions in Colombo, in support of those seeking political asylum, the Defence Ministry wanted the diplomatic community to verify such documents. A senior official said that the racket had come to light following the arrest of two Sinhalese living in Vavuniya over alleged forging of documents, more..

Buddhist Affairs Dept. accused of inaction

June 27 (Island) Buddhist Cultural Centre Director, Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thera yesterday accused the Buddhist Affairs Ministry of failing to perform its duty. Ven. Wimalajothi Thera said that it was the responsibility of the Government to protect Buddhism and to take action against persons like the man in Wanduramba who claimed to be Maithree Buddha. Many NGOs and certain elements with outward Buddhist faces were working against Buddhism, he said. more..

UNP mavericks defy party leader organise rallies for Fonseka

June 27 (Island) Two maverick UNP MPs have decided to defy their party leader’s orders and go ahead with organising political rallies for former army commander General Sarath Fonseka. The UNP leadership has recently issued strict instructions to its MPs to refrain from having any public dealings with the general. Palitha Thewarapperuma has already, in defiance of party orders, gone ahead and organised Gen. Fonseka’s first public rally after being released from prison last month. more..

Non-academic staff call off strike

June 27 (Island) University non-academic staff called off their strike last night after signing an agreement with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Labour Commissioner. Media spokesman of the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee Wijayathilaka Jayasinghe told The Island that the UGC had promised to rectify their salary anomalies within 45 days and issue a circular to that effect. Non-academic staff launched the strike on June 06.

Power cuts imminent as monsoon fails

June 27 (Island) With three consecutive monsoon failures – a rare occurrence in the history of the Ceylon Electricity Board - power cuts were now a possibility, CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala said. He said that despite making the utmost use of the existing thermal plants up to now, providing for future demand without the hydro power would be a Herculean task. In that scenario, they would go for the best option, taking into consideration the more..

Bandula, SB must resign – JVP

June 27 (Island) The JVP yesterday called for the resignation of Ministers S.B. Dissanayake and Bandula Gunawardena from their portfolios of higher education and education respectively for their blunder of defending the 2011 GCE (A/L) Z-score. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, addressing a press conference, alleged that those two ministers had messed up the country’s education sector. Before they pushed it further into ruination they should be removed, he said. more..

Some feet dragging over training intensivists

June 27 (Island) Of 25,000 patients admitted per annum to the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in the govt and the private sector hospitals, approximately 6,000 to 8,000 patients die as they do not receive 24-hour medical attention by resident intensivists. Although a medical officer is on-call duty, there is no ICU resident or an anaesthetist to provide 24-hour service in ICUs. Consultant Anaesthetist and Intensive Care Medicine Professor Chula Gunasakara more..

ICC may drop Sri Lanka tourism

June 27 (SL) A USD 12 Million advertising and promotion budget of the International Cricket Council (ICC) may be at risk thanks to bureaucratic bungling by the Ministry of Economic Development. Sri Lanka will host the World Cup T-20 cricket tournament starting in the third week of September. In a communication to Rumi Jaufer the Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Upeka Nell, more..

Humans provoke wasps

June 27 (LB) The wasp attacks on visitors to Sigiriya have turned out to be a ‘sting’ on the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Arts in view of the ministry being a cash machine through entance ticket monies collected for decades. From time to time its officials come up with schemes to tackle this ‘nuisance’ ‘for good.’ These schemes include burning their hives, ignoring the cultural significance of the wasps, but more..

Sri Lanka among 12 in Apple’s Asia iTunes music, movies rollout

June 27 (ST) Sri Lankans can now buy digital music and movies from Apple’s iTunes Store. Music and movies are a new addition to the iTunes Store for 12 countries in Asia, which include Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Users in these markets could only download and purchase apps from the iTunes Store previously. more..

Nearly 14,000 docs face ‘hello’ cut

June 27 (Island) Out of 16,000 govt doctors around 14,000 will be deprived of their monthly communication allowance of Rs. 6,000 from this month. Only 1,000 medical specialists, 1,000 Grade one doctors and 200 medical administrators will be eligible to the allowance in future. Health Ministry sources said that even though the Finance and Planning Ministry Circular, dated on 15-11-2011, had instructed the Health Ministry to pay Rs. 6,000 to all more..

Over 2000 physically disabled in Jaffna

June 27 (CG) An estimated 2000-3000 people are physically disabled in Jaffna out of a registered population of 600,000 people, official statistics revealed. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that overall some 10 to 15 percent of the people in the north of Sri Lanka are physically disabled and this is attributed to illness, accidents, birth defects and the ethnic conflict. The ICRC is collaborating with the Jaffna Jaipur Centre for more..

UNP claims 'economy militarised'

June 27 (DM) The UNP today claimed that the countries economy has been ‘militarized’. UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the “economic management of the country has been completely militarized”. "The Central Bank yesterday had issued notice to all banks not to sell the rupee above a certain price, there was no spot market during yesterdays trading due to this” he said. De Silva went onto point out that the budget deficit is continuously increasing and more..

Severe drought hits cultivation

June 27 (DN) The severe drought in many parts of the country has threatened the livelihood of thousands of farmers, with 150,000 acres of paddy lands in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Puttalam districts at risk of being destroyed. Lack of education in water management among farmers and the people in the dry zone has aggravated this situation. Authorities stressed the importance of educating farmers on proper water management methods to be adopted more..

No directive from AG's to CID

June 27 (CT) The CID informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday that the Attorney General’s Department has not given any directive on taking down the statement of the suspect Duminda Silva over the assassination of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. The CID made the submission when the case was taken up before Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis. The CID said the AG’ Department directive regarding the case was necessary to obtain more..

UGC wants SC to clarify

June 27 (DM) Plunging the Z-score fiasco into further confusion, UGC chairman Gamini Samaranayake said yesterday that the UGC would seek a clarification from the Supreme Court as there were some ‘gray areas’ in Monday’s ruling. A three judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on Monday delivering the ruling on the Fundamental Rights petition filed We have no reason to delay the results now. It will be released without further delay by more..

Sri Lanka population lower than estimated, but growing: Census Dept

June 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's first countrywide census conducted after the end of a 30-year war shows the population is 20.277 million, the statistics office said, which is lower than earlier estimates. Earlier estimates put mid-year population in 2011 at 20.869 million with an annual growth rate of 1.0 percent. The census conducted in March 2012 shows that the population growth has fallen to 0.7 percent in the past 10 years. more..

Editorial: Capitalist market economic policy dying

June 27 (DM) As expected and as usual, the Central Bank is embroiled in a controversy with the widely-respected global rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) over the state of Sri Lanka’s vital banking sector. S & P in a report last Tuesday said Sri Lanka’s banking sector had plunged to a high-risk category but the Central Bank responded by claiming the S & P rating was baseless and that Sri Lanka’s banking sector was sound and resilient. more..

Rupee hits record low on dollar demand

June 27 (Reuters) The rupee hit a record low of 134.10 to the dollar on Wednesday on importer demand for the U.S. currency, sparked by worries it will weaken further after banks started quoting spot prices again. The rupee closed at 133.90/134.00 to the dollar, down from its Friday's close of 132.80/133.00, extending its fall to 1.6 percent since June 18. Several banks had stopped quoting spot rates for the rupee in the previous two sessions after what dealers said more..

HR action plan being implemented

June 27 (CG) The govt says the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, which has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers is time bound and is currently at the implementation phase. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona said that Sri Lanka will, with or without outside interventions, continue to take all necessary measures to heal its wounds. “Outside interventions, even if more..

Lanka needs right hotel mix – Report

June 27 (DM) Development of tourism in Sri Lanka will require stakeholders to strike a proper balance between developing 3-star and 4-star properties on the one hand, and luxury and boutique hotels on the other, in addition to implementing a more liberalized pricing structure, according to a report from Sri Lanka-based strategy consulting firm Vox & Co. “Sri Lanka is poised for unprecedented growth in tourism, and has set ambitious targets for itself within a more..

Ceylon Today threatened media rights groups and editor resigns from FMM

June 27 (CT) Newly appointed editor of the Ceylon Today newspaper owned by DNA MP Tiran Alles, Hana Ibrahim has resigned from her position as trustee of the Free Media Movement. Ibrahim was formerly Treasurer of the FMM and subsequently took over as a Trustee of the movement according to the FMM website. Ibrahim was appointed as Editor of Ceylon Today after the summary sacking of former Editor in Chief Lalith Allahakoon by the management headed by more..

Sri Lanka's North population shrinks, East expands

June 27 (LBO) Population in northern Jaffna area has shrunk during a 30-year civil war but parts of the former war zone which was not fully under control of separatists had seen above average growth, new census data shows. The first census conducted in the area since 1981, has shown that the population of the Jaffna district, where ethnic Tamils form the majority had contracted at a rate of 0.74 percent to 583,017 from 734,474. more..

150,000 acres of paddy hit by drought in Sri Lanka

June 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is facing an agriculture and energy crisis due to a drought condition that could destroy 150,000 acres of paddy and severely deplete hydro-power generation, an official said here on Wednesday. Prolonged dry weather conditions in many of the key paddy cultivation areas in the country including the north central area of Sri Lanka could reduce the all-important rice harvest, which is the staple food for 20 million inhabitants. Agriculture Minister more..