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President to appoint committee on Z-score

May 16 (DN) The govt is to appoint a high level committee with a view to restructuring the Z-score system for the admission of students to universities. According to Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, this committee will be entrusted with restructuring the present Z-score system to ensure that no student is subjected to any injustices in university admission. Minister said President Mahinda Rajapaksa will appoint an independent committee more..

Sri Lankan maid who drugged
boy, grandma and
robbed house in jailed

May 16 (KT) A 31-year-old maid Sri Lankan maid was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for stealing valuables from her new sponsor after knocking his family out using a spray with a drug-like effect. The Court of First Instance also ordered her deportation after serving her jail. The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days at the Court of Appeal. She had been employed for one day only when she stole the valuables including precious watches and jewellery worth more..

‘India’s stance towards Eelam War IV changed in Oct. 2008’

May 16 (Hindu) India stance towards the Eelam War IV changed from ‘negotiations’ and ‘peace talks’ between the Sri Lankan govt and the Tamil Tigers to ‘terrorism should be countered with resolve’ in late 2008, a book written with considerable establishment support, ‘Gota’s War,’ launched here on Monday has said. This means that the Indian change of heart happened much before its then National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan flew to Chennai to assure more..

'President’s reply on SF release was spontaneous'

May 16 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was very spontaneous when he stated that Sarath Fonseka will be released within this month, claimed R.K. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Editor of the Hindu publication. In an article released on the Hindu today, Radhakrishnan stated that jailed former Army Commander of Sri Lanka Sarath Fonseka, who led the Eelam war IV against the Tamil Tigers and helped win it, is set to be released shortly. “We will release him soon,” more..

Alles responds to President’s comments on Sarath Fonseka

May 16 (NF) MP Tiran Alles commented on the report published by The Hindu newspaper, on President Mahina Rajapaksa's statement on the decision to release former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. The Hindu newspaper reported that the jailed former Army Commander is to be released shortly, according to comments made by President Rajapaksa. Speaking to the newspaper, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said "[they] will release [Sarath Fonseka] soon". The Hindu newspaper had then gone on to inquire into why the release more..

G.L's US visit a 'secret'

May 16 (CT) There are questions raised in Washington DC as to whether the visit of Minister G.L. Peiris to the US is shrouded in a veil of secrecy. According to Sri Lankan Embassy officials in Washington DC, Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris’s scheduled visit to the United States will be a secret diplomatic mission. For securing the secrecy of this so called secret mission, Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC has decided not to disclose the schedule of Minister’s programme. When contacted the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, officials stated that for more..

'Mahinda wouldn’t have given in to India’s pressure unlike JRJ'

May 16 (Island) Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga on Monday asserted that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have reacted differently if he had come under the same pressure as the late President J. R. Jayawardene. J.N. Dixit had been lucky that he had had to deal with JRJ and not President Rajapaksa, Weeratunga said. He was speaking at the launch of The Island staffer C.A. Chandraprema’s book ‘Gota’s War’ at the Waters Edge more..

JVP says people want democracy, lower cost of living and not snap polls

May 16 (Island) The JVP lashed out at the government yesterday for its plan to dissolve provincial councils before the completion of their official terms and warned that it would take to streets with the people unless the UPFA changed its mind. JVP Parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the government was planning to dissolve the Eastern and North Central Provincial Councils first and was preparing the party machinery for the electoral battle. more..

Principal convicted of serious sexual assault

May 16 (Island) A principal who had sexually assaulted a seven-year-old schoolboy, inside his office, was convicted on Monday by the North Central Province High Court and sentenced to 11 years rigorous imprisonment. When the case was taken up again on Monday, High Court Judge Sunanda Kumara Ratnayake sentenced Gunasekera Piyaratne, the principal of a school at Kapugollewa,Horowpathana. He was charged with committing serious sexual assault on the victim in July 2005 and more..

Jaffna Tamil petitioners allege they were forced to sign statements

May 16 (LB) The Supreme Court on Thursday granted leave to proceed with petitions filed by 51 Jaffna Tamils who allege that the military and police assaulted them in the aftermath of the ‘grease yaka’ (devils) incidents in the peninsula last year. The petitioners also say that their fundamental and language rights were violated by the police forcing them to sign statements in Sinhala, which they do not understand. The first respondent in this case is Defence Secretary more..

Three-in-one passenger rule jolts three wheelers with a bang

May 16 (ST) Last week’s police announcement that the three-passenger-rule in a three-wheeler will be strictly enforced has had a smooth ride in some quarters, but bumpy in others, amidst questions about the interpretation of the law by the police. “We have been enforcing this rule from May 8 and drivers and owners of three-wheelers who violate the law will not face spot fines but will be produced in courts. In cases of repeated offences the licence could be cancelled,” more..

All out war against illegal sand mining

May 16 (DN) Raids on illegal sand mining would be carried out with high frequency and the law against the offenders would be strictly implemented to prevent a possible rise in illegal sand mining with the relaxaing of sand transport regulations, an Environment Ministry spokesman said yesterday. He observed that the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) will establish a flying squad shortly to nab illegal sand miners. more..

What is Caesar’s wife up to?

May 16 (SL) The controversy concerning the recent purchase by the government owned National Savings Bank (NSB) of a large parcel of shares of The Finance Company (TFC), a struggling finance company, once again has laid before us the sorry state of affairs in our public as well as private institutions. On the face of it, a very large amount of public money has been invested by the NSB to purchase shares of the publicly quoted company at a much higher price than more..

Sri Lanka gets Japanese help to map a transport plan for Colombo metropolis

May 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Transport Ministry on Wednesday secured a Japanese grant to draw-up a master transport plan for the Colombo metropolitan region. With financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the study will focus on identifying methods to ease traffic congestion and transport difficulties faced by people in the Colombo city and suburbs, JICA said in a release. The statement did not give the quantum of the grant. more..

Two VIP mill owners ruling paddy fields in Polonnaruwa

May 16 (DM) The COPE has in its inquiries found that two politically influential mill owners in the Polonnaruwa district have defaulted on the repayment of loans amounting to Rs.300 million borrowed from a state bank, it is learnt. The loans had been obtained to purchase paddy from farmers in the area. The Bank had eventually written off this amount as bad debt. These two mill owners who enjoy a major stake in the country’s paddy marketing industry have more..

'Rajiv Gandhi supported a Tamil Elaam'

May 16 (NS) Assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had turned his attention to establishing an independent Tamil Eelam state, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi stated. Karunanidhi stated that when he had taken oaths as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time he had met with Rajiv Gandhi during which the former Prime Minister had stated that he would give his full support to the establishment of a Tamil Eelam state under the leadership of Prabhakaran, Indian media reported. more..

Z-score: Committee can't be appointed till case is over

May 16 (DM) Professor R.O. Thatil who introduced the Z-score system for the admission of A/L students to universities said yesterday he believed it would not be possible to appoint a committee to reconsider the method of calculating the Zscore till the court case on the mtter was over. The common criteria adopted by the higher education authorities for the admission of students under the new and old syllabuses were challenged by some students and more..

Tiran meets MR on Fonseka

May 16 (CG) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) parliamentarian Tiran Alles met President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning to discuss the release of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Alles told the local television station Sirasa/MTV (Audio below) that there are some outstanding issues which need to be sorted regarding Fonseka’s release and those issues were discussed with the President today. “Once those minor issues are sorted more..

'Lasting peace in Sri Lanka will be achieved through “Home-Grown” solutions'

May 16 (GDI) External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris opened a four-day, official visit to Washington, D.C. Tuesday with a series of meetings with key U.S. Senate leaders and a talk on Sri Lanka’s post-conflict redevelopment and reconciliation programs, emphasizing that lasting peace, stability and growth in Sri Lanka will be achieved through home-grown solutions, not those prescribed by the international community. more..

Editorial: Austerity package must begin at the top

May 16 (DM) With the European Union and the United States still crumbling in their worst-ever financial crisis which signals the collapse of crony capitalism and corporate greed, France's newly-elected President Francois Hollande, who was sworn in yesterday has pledged he would continue the austerity package, but it will begin with the rich and ruling elite. The Sri Lankan Govt needs to take a lesson from what happened to defeated President Nicolai Sarkozy more..

Sri Lankan stocks up 1.71 percent

May 16 (LBO) Share prices continued to edge up Wednesday, driven largely by investor interest in Sampath Bank PLC and Asiri Medical Services Limited, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index moved up 1.71 percent or 87.82 points to close at 5,213.68 while the more liquid Milanka Price Index gained 1.44 percent or 66.54 points to end at 4,683.43. Wednesday’s turnover was 543.32 million rupees, an improvement from last week’s average of 400.00 million rupees. more..

Sri Lanka mulls freeing jailed ex-army chief

May 16 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities are mulling a pardon for jailed former army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka amid international calls for his release, an official said Tuesday. President Mahinda Rajapakse was likely to consider freeing Fonseka who is serving two jail terms over two separate cases -- one ordered by a military court martial and one by a civilian court, an official close to the president said. more..

Leo burnett celebrates Vesak with Apple dansala

May 16 (GDI) Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. the Sri Lankan office of the internationally acclaimed advertising agency network Leo Burnett Worldwide held an Apple Dansala to commemorate Vesak. Amidst a colourful display of stalls and vivid lanterns that decorated Bauddhaloka Mawatha, the Leo Burnett team handed out apples to the multitude of passersby who thronged to see the festive decorations in the true spirit of giving which is synonymous with Vesak. more..

Japan-Sri Lanka investment and trade promotion

May 16 (GDI) A Japanese business delegation led by Kouhei Watanabe - Chairman of the Japan - Sri Lanka Business Co-Operation Committee and Senior Corporate Adviser to ITOCHU Corporation of Japan met. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development at the Ministry of Economic Development Tuesday (15). Kouhei Watanabe said the Japan Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Committee is working toward promoting investment and trade between the two countries. more..

Petition against ban of 5 news sites rejected

May 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ruled that freedom of expression was not an absolute right and could be restricted. The ruling came as it refused a petition filed by the media watchdog -- Free Media Movement -- against the govt decision to ban five news websites. The court refused to allow the case to proceed. The govt had last year banned five websites -- Lankawaynews, Sri Lanka Guardian, Sri Lanka Mirror, TamilNet and Lanka-e-news -- for failing to more..

Fire destroys plantation workers’ homes

May 16 (wsws) Over 100 people, including infants and children, have been forced into temporary accommodation after a fire gutted 22 homes and 7 makeshift sheds on May 3 at the Middleothian Division of Mocha Estate. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault. The victims are being temporarily housed in the estate school. The blaze at the Mocha Estate, which is located at Maskeliya, is the third line-room fire in the region in the past 12 months. more..

Lankan group donates air tickets for the repatriation of detainees

May 16 (GT) The Sri Lankan Community Benevolent Fund in Qatar has donated air tickets to repatriate 16 community members held at the detention centre. Sri Lankan Ambassador Jayantha Palipana received the tickets from an SLCBF delegation led by president George P G Bandula. Minister and deputy chief of mission Sithara Khan, Sri Lankan Labour Bureau deputy general manager Wanasekara, SLCBF vice president Tennisan de Silva, secretary Dhammika Jayasena, more..

Sri Lanka calls for Tamils to return

May 16 (Age) Sri Lanka has offered Immigration Minister Chris Bowen an escape for Tamil refugees branded a threat by security agencies and locked in indefinite detention in Australia - saying they are needed back home. "Help is required in Sri Lanka now," the country's top envoy to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, told The Age. "Those who have got a negative assessment, please come back to Sri Lanka. Even if you have been sent out from the place, more..

Indian tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka on the increase

May 16 (PTI) The total number of Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka has seen a six per cent increase during January to April this year, the tourism authority here said today. Some 55,780 Indians had arrived this year compared to 52,181 during the same period last year. The overall growth during this period has been over 18 per cent -– 330,116 against 278,959 last year. The British tourists with 36,959 was the next highest market which however had seen more..

'Every cent taken abroad fraudulently can be brought back'

May 16 (LT) Every cent taken abroad fraudulently could be brought back to the country under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) says Attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna. Speaking at a seminar under the theme ‘Govt’s corruption burdens masses’ organized by ‘Voice against Corruption’ held at the auditorium of the Public Library in Colombo yesterday Mr. Weliamuna said thirty one principal universities in the world are studying corruption and good governance. more..

Aide says grandmother not in house as Dhanuna came

May 16 (DM) Giving evidence in the case filed against Dhanuna Tillekeratne’s grandmother, a domestic aide who had been employed at her home told Court that Mrs. Tillekeratne (grandmother) had not been at her residence when Dhanuna Tillekeratne arrived there on February, 2010. In this case Dhanuna Tillekeratne's grandmother Ellen Wimala Tillekeratne (80) had been charged by the CID that she provided accommodation to her grandson, more..

Prison riot- Magistrate Court apprised

May 16 (CT) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) today informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli of the details of the investigation of the recent Welikada Prison riot that have been submitted to the Attorney General. The CCD said they will carry out further investigations once the department received directions from the AG. The CCD also said four T-56 firearms, two T-58 firearms and 20 used bullets which have been used by the prison officials during the tense situation have also been submitted for an analyst’s test.T more..

Pak- Lanka Friendship Gala on Saturday

May 16 (NNI) The Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship Association, in collaboration with the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka is organizing the 2012 Sports Gala on Saturday at Stanley Jansz Grounds, Colombo 2. The Mayor of Colombo Mr A. J. M. Muzammil will be the Chief Guest at the occasion. The High Commissioner of Pakistan Seema Ilahi Baloch as the Patron of the Association, will also grace the occasion. The Sports Gala will feature number of activities including more..

Concern over the safety of the Bishop of Mannar, Rev Joseph Rayappu

May 16 (HR) The Asian Human Rights Commission is concerned over the safety of the Bishop of Mannar, Reverend Joseph Rayappu who has a long-standing record of being a spokesperson on the democratic rights of the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka. As a pastor of his people and a conscientious religious leader he has consistently expressed his concerns about the problems that affect the Tamil people. On May 13, the Sunday Leader revealed that, more..

Army goes from house to house canvassing for Karuna & Pilleyan

May 16 (LT) It is reported that the Army is initiating election campaigns for Karuna Amman alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan and Pilleyan alias Shivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan. Army officers going from house to house in the Eastern Province, specially in Wakarai, are intimidating residents asking them to vote for Karuna and Pilleyan and to get their pledge confirmed are getting the signatures of residents with their names, addresses in books brought by Army more..

Army goes from house to house canvassing for Karuna & Pilleyan

May 16 (SM) It is nothing else but international pressure that is forcing the president and his govt to free imprisoned former Army chief Sarath Fonseka, says Nawa Sihala Urumaya leader Sarath Manamendra. Mr. Manamendra told ‘Srilankamirror’ over the phone that the govt would have no existence without releasing the ex-Army commander, since he has been recognized by the world community as a political prisoner. However, the govt is playacting a comedy with more..

Sri Lanka extends social benefits to hardest hit war-torn regions

May 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has extended social benefits to the regions that were hardest hit by the country's three-decade civil war. Deputy Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena said 42,667 new beneficiaries were added from three districts which were under the rebel control during the war. The new districts include Kilinochchi, the de-facto capital of LTTE who fought for a separate homeland from the country's eastern and northern regions. more..

Dambulla temple: Devils quoting scriptures

May 17 (NS) I thought of writing this piece after having read Malinda Seneviratne’s illuminating article Let’s locate ‘Dambulla’ on the world map of (in) tolerance. Sri Lanka has been the home for many mosques since the first Arab traders arrived in Sri Lanka around the 8th Century AD. When the Portuguese and later the Dutch occupied the island’s Maritime Provinces the Muslims (mostly Moors) fearing persecution fled to the provinces under the control of Kandyan Kings. more..

Should the Geneva Resolution be accepted?

May 17 (NS) If one is to go by the opinions expressed in the English press quite a number is for implementation of the 13th Amendment, contained in the Geneva Resolution either fully or partially. Pieris who is sending out ‘a secret document’ to party leaders appears to be in the same frame of mind with a desire to implement the 13th amendment as far as possible. Those who want to make the district the unit of devolution are also working on the same premise. Furthermore more..

Mullaitivu reaps peace dividends

May 17 (SO) The clear blue water is constantly disturbed by different flocks of birds that prey on fish. The location has become the latest destination of migrant birds as it has an abundance of fresh water fish. With no rain in sight, the fertile soil has turned rough. The gravel road which snails around the lagoon gets fresh layers of soil under the road expansion project which is being carried out. With the clearance of the deadly anti-personnel mines, more..