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14,000 ICT centers to be set up at village level

Nov 12 (GDI) The 2013 budget proposal to set up 14,000 Nenasala ICT centers will be implemented within three years' time, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his budget for next year proposed to set up Nenasala centers in every Grama Niladari division as a special project to broaden the access to IT facilities. The 2013 budget has allocated 750 million rupees to set up an ICT center in each of 14,000 Grama Niladari areas of the country. more..

Sri Lanka military defends prison riot killings

Nov 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military on Monday defended its soldiers who have been accused of massacring prisoners during a jail riot last week, saying the inmates were heavily armed and posed a danger to the public. Sri Lanka's main opposition party has accused security forces of killing in cold blood after the deaths of 27 inmates in maximum-security Welikada jail in the capital Colombo during a riot on Friday and Saturday morning. more..

Special tourist promotion in Germany

Nov 12 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau launched a successful tourist promotion programme in Germany during the October Festival held in Munich, Germany. The Festival held in October each year is visited by millions of people not only from various parts of Germany but from many other neighboring countries as well. The Festival was held from Sept 22 to Oct 7. The Embassy organized a poster campaign on 100 taxis more..

New office train service between Kalutara & Wadduwa

Nov 12 (GDI) The Department of Railways has commenced a new office train service between Kalutara and Negombo. Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama travelling on the train’s inaugural journey from Kalutara South to Colombo Fort said the service was launched following a number of requests by train commuters. The train will leave the Kalutara South railway station at 6.55 am and reach the Colombo Fort at 8.00 a.m. and Negombo at 9.0 am. The return journey more..

JVP attacked us more than 23 times this year - FSP

Nov 12 (DM) FSP in the wake of Saturday’s arrest of their stalwart Udul Premaratne said this year alone the JVP has attacked them more than 23 times as a result of which eight people were seriously wounded. ‘We complained to the police about their actions against us, but no action was taken to stop those attacks. But when the JVP complained against us, they immediately arrested our frontline member Udul along more..

NFF to go to Court against 13th Amendment

Nov 12 (CT) The NFF headed by Minister Wimal Weerawansa intends to file a Fundamental Rights petition against the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, today. Central Committee member of the NFF, Piyasiri Wijenayake said, over and above the legal action contemplated against the 13th Amendment, the NFF is also involved in an exchange of views with the SLFP, the main constituent party of the govt, on repealing the law that paved the way for the PC System. more..

Opposition questions STF prison-Op

Nov 12 (CT) The opposition in parliament today demanded the govt reveal who ordered the security forces and STF to intervene in prison matters which led to the riot at the Welikada Prison. This was in order to deal with the prison riots last Friday. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake making a special statement under Standing Orders 23-2 also demanded the govt answer under what provisions of the law members of the security forces had been sent to the prison for more..

DNA nominates Vijitha Herath for PSC

Nov 12 (AD) MP Vijitha Herath has been nominated by the DNA as its representative for the Parliamentary Select Committee which will probe the charges in the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice. The ruling UPFA last week nominated Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Rajitha Senaratne, Wimal Weerawansa, Dilan Perera and Neomal more..

Rs 400 B in Api Wenuwen Api fund

Nov 12 (CT) The Api Wenuwen Api fund has received Rs 400 billion as donations from July 2010 to September 2012, out of which only Rs 360 million has been spent so far, Minister Dinesh Gunawardane said. He also said some 328 houses have been completed using the monies in the fund. Answering an oral question posed by DNA MP, Sunil Handunnetti, on the Fund and how funds were utilized, he said some 75 houses in Matale District, 85 in Ratnapura District, more..

Bishops gravely concerned over threat to judiciary

Nov 12 (ST) The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) yesterday expressed grave concern over the threat to the independent and fair functioning of the Judiciary. The Bishops in a statement called upon the Executive and the Legislative stake holders to address this issue and ensure the freedom for the Judiciary to function. In the statement the CBCSL said that whatever differences the Legislative and Executive may have with the Judiciary should be solved amicably. more..

UNP names Amaratunga and Kiriella for PSC; Sampanthan from TNA

Nov 12 (AD) The UNP today nominated MPs John Amaratunga and Lakshman Kiriella for the Parliamentary Select Committee to probe allegations against the Chief Justice while the TNA named MP R. Sampanthan as its sole representative. The committee will inquire into the 14 charges contained in the impeachment motion presented against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, in order to facilitate all more..

Gap between current situation and diaspora beliefs could harm the reconciliation

Nov 13 (DBS) Thisara Devasurendra participated in the French-Sri Lankan Diaspora Youth Workshop “Post-War Reconciliation Dialogue for a Sustainable Peace”, which took place in Paris, on October 27th, 2012, as a panelist on the theme “The role of the Diaspora youth in Sri Lanka’s peace building process”. The event was organized by What’s Next!, an independent forum comprising of post-graduates and young professionals of Sri Lankan origin residing in France. more..

Eastern diplomacy: TNA is sent to Guangxi

Nov 13 (DBS) Immense excitement and euphoria followed among the Tamil Expatriate Communities when the LTTE was given the status of being the Lankan Tamil Leadership and taken to the capitals of Western Countries by the Norwegians. After the demise of the LTTE, Tamil MPs were taken to see Switzerland and other European countries, bringing joy to their hearts and satisfaction to those receiving money form the sponsors of these events, and the rest of the Tamil population desist to express their happiness. more..

Lanka on course to become leading travel destination

Nov 13 (SO) When President Rajapaksa said a few years ago that Sri Lanka would attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016 certain pundits said the island would not attract even one million tourists. However, the country is well on course towards the one million arrivals target this year with September arrivals already passing the 693,000 mark and industry stakeholders now believe that achieving the 2.5 million target is also possible. more..

Shameful stifling of freedom of expression

Nov 13 (CT) It is heartening to witness an element of angry vigor emanating from Sri Lanka’s legal profession against the pending impeachment of the country’s Chief Justice. The resolutions issued by the general membership of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka yesterday expressing concern over the impeachment and the indignation displayed by provincial Bar Associations show that decency and sanity is not yet lost in the country. In depressing contrast however, we have a most shameful more..

Reflections on the killings in the prisons and the impeachment of the CJ

Nov 13 (CT) Humankind has at least a few millenniums of experience in keeping prisons. It is part of the unfortunate predicament of humanity that there is this need to have prisons. However, over these long years, through bitter experiences, humanity has learned to lessen the suffering involved for the inmates of prisons and to make the whole experience within the bounds of humane limits and within the framework of human cooperation. The art of governance is the more..

Indian govt. would have collapsed if it had voted for SL at UN sessions

Nov 13 (DM) Salma Yusuf in candid conversation with Shri Rahpal Malhotra, the distinguished mover-and-shaker in India’s Prime Minister’s Office having advised former Indian leaders including Indhira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He is Executive Vice-Chairman of the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) in Chandigarh, of which PM Manmohan Singh is Chairman. He currently provides suggestive more..

Trial By Select Committee

Nov 13 (Island) On 14 March 1984, Mr Neville Samarakoon, the first Chief Justice to be appointed directly from the unofficial bar within living memory, made an ill-advised speech at an inappropriate venue. President Jayewardene, who had appointed him some six years earlier, decided that he should be removed from office. Article 107 of the 1978 Constitution provided that a Judge of the Supreme Court shall hold office during good behaviour and shall not be removed except by more..

Editorial: Where is it ants die …?

Nov 13 (Island) The extraordinarily brilliant career of US soldier-scholar, Gen. David Petraeus, who amply demonstrated his mettle in battle in Iraq and went on to become America's spy chief, has ended in disgrace of a sex scandal. No sooner had the FBI disclosed that he had an extramarital affair with his 'embedded' biographer, Paula Broadwell than he hung his boots like a true soldier. He was wise enough not to get into a bigger mess by going into the denial mode. more..

Govt to merge pension and welfare schemes

Nov 13 (FT) Pensions and social security funds in Sri Lanka will soon be consolidated to establish a new pension scheme which is commercially viable. Taking matters forward, a Cabinet Memorandum will be presented seeking approval to amalgamate all institutions currently under the purview of different ministries and departments, according to Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. Raising concerns more..

ERI, Taprobane in cross deals worth Rs. 3.7 b

Nov 13 (FT) In a major development, Taprobane Holdings Plc and Environmental Resources Investment Plc announced cross deals worth Rs. 3.7 billion subject to shareholder approval at a hurriedly-convened EGM. Taprobane Holdings Plc said it was selling a 20% stake in Browns Investment Plc for Rs. 2.04 billion to ERI. THL will also buy a 28% stake in ERI from Lionhart Investments for Rs. 1.68 billion. An EGM of THL has been convened on Friday to get shareholder approval. more..

Cathay Pacific expands with new freight service to Colombo

Nov 13 (FT) Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday announced the launch of a new weekly freighter service to Colombo in Sri Lanka commencing 2 December 2012 (subject to government approval). The new service will expand Cathay Pacific’s cargo presence in the South Asia region and give shippers in Sri Lanka greater choice and flexibility for connecting to the airline’s international cargo network through the Hong Kong hub. The Colombo freighter service will be operated on more..

JVP union invites others to join its pay hike struggle

Nov 13 (Island) The JVP-led National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) invited other trade unions to join forces to win a pay hike for public sector employees. NTUC President K. D. Lal Kantha told The Island that the NTUC had organised several protests and made several requests to the govt seeking a salary hike as the cost of living was sky rocketing. "The govt has totally forgotten the public servants in the 2013 budget," more..

Deepavali messages: From the All-Ceylon Hindu Congress

Nov 13 (Island) As we have repeatedly highlighted Diwali is a day meant to remove all the darkness and restore light but unfortunately our people have not yet reached a stage of celebrating Diwali with happiness. They still live with the hope that the darkness surrounding them will disappear soon and will have no alternative but to pray on this Diwali only with that belief. Getting back what we lost and moving back to places to their own places to live as citizens more..

Army Court of inquiry has received 50 complaints – govt.

Nov 13 (Island) The Court of Inquiry, established by the army as part of the Action Plan to implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, had received around 50 complaints and each and every one of them would be looked into, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the debate on Second Reading stage of the Budget 2013, the Minister said: "We are definitely looking at accountability and more..

HRCSL team to probe Welikada incident

Nov 13 (DM) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is preparing to send an investigation team to look into the Welikada prison incident which claimed 27 lives, Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa said yesterday. The commissioner said an investigation team would be deployed soon to carry out an investigation over the riot. Dr. Mahanamahewa said the HRCSL would more..

Deepavali messages: From President

Nov 13 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark Deepavali, said that Diwali marks victory over evil. He said: It marks the victory of good over evil, and bringing the light of knowledge over the darkness of ignorance that are the eternal quests of humankind. It also signifies the progress made in the constant struggle of people for a better life, in keeping with the great spiritual values and traditions of Hinduism. Today, as the Hindus of Sri Lanka join their kindred believers the world more..

CP CM orders DIG to solve traffic problems

Nov 13 (Island) Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, presiding at the Kandy District coordinating committee meeting on Monday (12) called for a report on the traffic situation from DIG G. B. Peramune. Ekanayake told the DIG that a lasting solution to traffic congestion was required and instructed him to study the situation and submit a report with the proposed solutions. The report should be tabled at the next meeting of the district coordinating committee, more..

Deepavali the ‘Festival of Lights’ today

Nov 13 (DBS) “Deepavali” is a celebration and joy and wisdom, and will be celebrated on 13th of Nov 2012 around the world, with great pomp and enthusiasm. “Deepavali” is popularly known as the “Festival of Lights”. It is celebrated with sweets, savouries, firecrackers, greetings, gifts and lights. The annual festival is usually celebrated in late October or early November according to the new moon, has been more..

Deyata Sevana, an investment for country's posterity

Nov 13 (DN) The Deyata Sevana National Tree-Planting Programme can be identified as an investment project implemented for the posterity of the country, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said in a release yesterday. The Deyata Sevana National Tree-Planting Programme will be implemented, this year, too, with the participation of all ministries of the central govt, departments, corporations, boards, Provincial Councils, Local Govt bodies, District and Divisional more..

Health Ministry dedicates 2013 to combat NCDs

Nov 13 (DN) The Health Ministry will dedicate 2013 towards eradicating Non Communicable Diseases. Under this theme, the ministry hopes to achieve its national target set to eradicate NCDs, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The ministry has drawn up plans to hold the National Health Week from December 10 to 17. Under this programme, it is also hoped to deal with the dengue mosquito problem, he said. The minister was addressing a health conference on NCDs. more..

CPC involved with secret deal with INOKS

Nov 13 (CT) Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has disclosed that the CPC is involved in another secret deal with INOKS Company Singapore, which has been blacklisted as it had supplied substandard petrol. A quantity of 80,000 MT of crude oil as an urgent supply to resume the refinery at Sapugaskanda has been imported from the INOKS Company. The Minister of Petroleum more..

Aerial spraying of BTI shelved

Nov 13 (DN) The Health Ministry postponed the aerial spraying of the Cuban BTI due to the bad weather spell, a ministry spokesman said yesterday. Experts say aerial spraying of the Cuban BTI bacteria during this period will not be effective due to the rain. The Cuban BTI bacteria can be washed away under these circumstances, they said. It has been decided February and March next year as the best period for spraying the BTI bacteria in Sri Lanka, the sources said. more..

Several documents misplaced

Nov 13 (CT) The Superintendent of Prisons has informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court he was unable to bring the suspects for the cases from the Welikada prison as there were several documents that have been misplaced or are in disarray following the Welikada prison incident. The Prisons Superintendent apologized to the courts for the inconvenience caused by failing to submit the relevant papers through separate letters. The same sources said these letters had been more..

India secures consular access to Welikada prisoners

Nov 13 (Hindu) Sri Lanka granted India consular access to its prisoners at the Welikada prison, the site of bloody clashes that left 27 dead and over 40 injured on Friday. High Commission officials made a physical verification of the 39 prisoners and said that they were all unharmed. “Our officials met all the Indian prisoners. One had irritation in the eye. Apart from that all the other 39 prisoners were unharmed during the clashes,” more..

Kerala could be way for all-rounder to make Sri Lanka return

Nov 13 (National) Kaushalya Weeraratne has not given up hope of returning to the international fold with the Sri Lanka squad, but in the meantime he is concentrating on performing to his maximum in the Kerala Premier League (KPL) in Dubai.Weeraratne has 20 international appearances for Sri Lanka, but his chances of a recall have become increasingly difficult now that his place as an all-rounder in both the ODI and T20 squads seems to have been filled by Angelo Mathews, more..

SB fails to reveal source of remittance statistics

Nov 13 (FT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake who went public on numerous occasions stating “a considerable amount of money is being remitted annually for the higher education of Sri Lankan students living abroad” was questioned in Parliament by DNA MP Anura Dissanayake to reveal the source for remittance statistics. “We don’t have records of students who went abroad for higher education. A separate institution should be established to keep records and to take more..

Basil’s promises not honoured

Nov 13 (Island) University teachers claimed that in spite of Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s assurance neither the Higher Education Ministry nor the UGC had honoured the promises made one month ago. Budget 2013 was also not clear on how the promised relief would be delivered, they said. President of the FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the Higher Education Ministry had requested his association to propose two more..

Now, England-Sri Lanka tie under scanner

Nov 13 (TOI) The startling suggestion that a bookie correctly predicted the way the Pakistan innings would unfold in the crucial 2011 World Cup semifinal against India in Mohali isn't the only explosive revelation in sports journalist Ed Hawkins' new book 'Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy'. Hawkins also quotes another bookie as saying that a Test played between England and Sri Lanka at Cardiff in May 2011 - which was sensationally won by England - was fixed. more..

SL v NZ OIDs: SL 3, Rain 2, NZ 0

Nov 13 (CI) Rain robbed New Zealand's best chance of sneaking in a win in a one-sided series, after they restricted Sri Lanka to 123 for 8 in Hambantota. The match began under sunny skies, but little over two hours after the start, rain forced the players off the field and they remained indoors till half past eight, when another downpour brought a soggy end to an ill-timed series. All six matches on tour were affected by rain, with Sri Lanka taking the one-dayers 3-0. While Sri Lanka were the superior side in the more..