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Aborting the right to life

Aug 16 (DM) Neither this fabulous universe nor all existing life-forms were created by us human beings. There is a mysterious process going on and going on in the universe about whose origin we hardly know anything. Human life begins to blossom at conception and continues to be so throughout pregnancy. In other words, human life begins before its live birth. Only conception provides a biologically and morally significant point in the continuous development of a person. more..

Edgy villagers declare ‘31’ a deadly number for folk in Warapitiya

Aug 16 (ST) The person, or persons, responsible for the serial killings of 15 women in a village in the Ratnapura district continues to evade arrest. The Police have still not found the killer, or killers, and the residents of Kahawatta Kotakethana, in Warapitiya, live in fear, day and night. Warapitiya is under heavy guard. The three roads that lead to the village are being policed by both Police and Special Task Force officers. more..

Sri Lanka has to manage economy well to retain rating outlook: Moody's

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs effective economic management to retain a positive outlook on its 'B1' rating Moody's Investors Services said in a credit analysis, also raising concerns over declining rule of law. Economic growth rose to 8% in 2010 and 8.3% in 2012 after the end of a 30-year war which brought benefits to the economy. "However, some aspects of the 'peace dividend' appear to be waning--namely, more..

'India can supply 4,000 MW power to Lanka'

Aug 16 (NIP) India has the potential to supply 4,000 MW power to Sri Lanka. But, as on date, Lanka’s capacity to absorb is only 2,000 MW, says Asoka Abeygunawardana, Advisor to the Ministry of Power and Energy. He said that though 94% of Sri Lanka was already covered by electricity, the demand for power was expected to grow exponentially and efforts were on to increase capacity, exploiting renewable sources of more..

Sri Lanka Design Festival kicks off

Aug 16 (JS) I'm in sunny Sri Lanka. Sadly, I'm not poolside sipping on cocktails, but hard at work bringing you the latest from the 2012 Sri Lanka Design Festival, which began last night. Sri Lanka's garment industry has always differentiated itself by its sustainable and ethical credentials, and this year that focus is set to continue, with today featuring a sustainable fashion symposium, and a visit to the Hirdaramani more..

President congratulates the new Chinese leadership

Aug 16 (GDI) China has elected its new leadership at the end of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held for one week in Beijing. Xi Jinping has been appointed as the General Secretary of the Party. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a congratulatory message to Mr. Xi Jinping has said that his election to the highest office of the Communist Party of China is a manifestation of the confidence that more..

SriLankan Airlines to ramp up training as skills shortages loom

Aug 16 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is to increase its training of airline personnel to help alleviate looming skills shortages in the region, an aviation forum was told. Sri Lankan Airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena said the costs of operations were going up while ticket prices were coming down. "What we do is put our people as the foundation," he told the second International Air Transport Association 'Global Human more..

Red rain in Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (DN) Rare showers of red rain fell for over 15 minutes in Sewanagala, Monaragala and Manampitiya, Polonnaruwa yesterday morning hours of yesterday and day before yesterday. According to sources red rain fell heavily in these areas and the reason has not been found yet. Red rain in Sewanagala and Manampitiya left red frost on the ground. This is the first time red rain was witnessed in Sri Lanka. more..

CMC meat sellers slapped heavy licence fee

Aug 16 (CT) The meat sellers within the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) limits have been slapped with, what some meat sellers described, as an exorbitant special licence fee of Rs 88,000 with VAT added, which has to be paid by today. Failing to do so would have their trade licences suspended and sued thereafter for the recovery of the licence fee according to a letter circulated under the hand of Acting Chief Veterinary Surgeon of the CMC, more..

Rs.500m worth intoxicant pan parag nabbed

Aug 16 (DM) More than Rs. 500 million worth banned intoxicant ‘pan parag’, imported from India through Dubai has been nabbed by the Sri Lankan Customs a short while ago. A spokesman for the Customs said that the stock had arrived in at least eight containers, which were now kept at the Customs yard at Peliyagoda. “We are going to open containers shortly,” the spokesman said. The importation of this product was restricted by more..

Stunning SLC lapse could cost millions

Aug 16 (DM) Officials of the financially-struggling Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have made another colossal blunder by failing to insure the heavily rain-affected current tour of Sri Lanka by the New Zealand team, sources told “Daily Mirror”. That has been an extremely dangerous gamble amidst the current stormy weather caused by monsoons and cyclones and could have cost millions of Rupees which SLC can ill afford, an insider said more..

Budget 2013 and the July ’80 strikers

Aug 16 (CT) Thirty two years is a long time to wait for justice. Too long for some. So long that some decided to take matters to their own hands: they killed themselves. It’s been thirty two years and four months, and still, after all these years, there are those who continue to petition for redress or for some kind of relief so bring closure to a union action whose architects didn’t suffer much and indeed moved to greener pastures of one kind or another. We are talking about the July ’80 strikers. more..

A bloody riot

Aug 16 (CT) There was one thing that everybody was sure of on Friday afternoon as news of the riot at Welikada prison broke – there would be a lot of bodies. And so it happened. 37 deaths had been announced by Saturday morning. The stand-off lasted for an hour, as inmates somehow managed to get the better of not just their regular guards but 200 fully-armed members of the STF. They battled their way through clouds of tear gas to break into the armoury, then made their way up to the roof more..

The battle for Hulftsdorp Hill

Aug 16 (CT) Hulftsdorp or the village of Hulft, named for Dutch Governor Gerard Pietersz Hulft, became synonymous with the law only after the Supreme Courts of Ceylon were moved there by British Governor Sir Fredric North. At the time, North faced massive resistance from members of the Judiciary about the move from Colombo Fort, where the British garrison were also stationed. Today the hilly area in Maradana more..

Sri Lanka to host climate parliament

Aug 16 (PTI) Parliamentarians from 10 Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations will meet in Sri Lanka tomorrow to discuss ways to fight climate change by promoting renewable energy. The three-day meeting between November 16 to 18, to be held at the southern resort of Wadduwa, will focus on regional electricity trading and the potential of sustainable investment for cutting carbon emissions. "As we surely know when living in Asia climate change is a real threat," more..

SriLankan spreads its wings to orphanage in Jaffna

Aug 16 (GDI) 230 eager hands accepted a gift pack each, with compliments from SriLankan Airlines, when a team of airline staff visited the oldest orphanage in the country, in Thilunelvely, Jaffna, last week. Orphans from the age of four to eighteen most of them victims of terrorism, are taken care of by the Saiva Children’s home, since either one or both of their parents have died in the war. SriLankan Airlines in keeping with their Corporate Social Responsibility Program to empower and more..

What if the UN Had Spoken Out on Sri Lanka?

Aug 16 (HP) If today the United Nations announced that it had received unconfirmed reports of 50,000 casualties in a war off limits to journalists - wouldn't the world take notice and try and stop the killings? We now know the UN system had this information in 2009 about Sri Lanka and suppressed it. We know this because of an internal review, commissioned by the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon. It's a report that concludes more..

President reappoints NEC

Aug 16 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday reappointed the National Education Commission (NEC). Founder President of the NEC Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake was appointed President, while senior civil servant and former Director General of the Consumer Affairs Authority Chandraratne Pallegama was appointed Secretary. Other members of the Commission are Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera (Chancellor, Sri Jayewardenepura University), Gotabhaya more..

Sri Lanka face fast-bowling questions

Aug 16 (CI) Heading into the two-Test series with New Zealand, Sri Lanka have the visitors beaten on paper in most aspects. A man-for-man comparison of the two top sixes might show that only Sri Lanka's opener, Tharanga Paranavitana, fails to command better numbers than his opposite. The chasm in quality is almost as wide among the spinners. Rangana Herath has bowled several match-turning spells for Sri Lanka in the last 12 months, both home and away, but Jeetan Patel's more..

Commonwealth concerned over Lanka's move to impeach CJ

Aug 16 (PTI) Commonwealth Secretary-General has expressed concern over the recent move by the Parliament to impeach the country's Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. "The Commonwealth's principal consideration is that the provisions of Sri Lanka's constitution are upheld with regards to the removal of judges, respecting the independence of the judiciary," Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said in a statement more..

Ministerial delegation to promote Sri Lankan spices in Brazil

Aug 16 (GDI) Minister of Minor Export Crop Promotion, Reginald Cooray, and three delegates visited Brazil during the period from 21-26 October 2012 on a trade promotion mission for Sri Lankan spices. Minister and the delegation held official meetings with Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development of Brazil, Mendes Ribeiro and senior officials in Brasilia. At these discussions, Minister Ribeiro had agreed to provide assistance for Sri Lanka for crop management more..

No show by medicos wanted by police for inquiry

Aug 16 (Island) Poddala Police yesterday again summoned 18 medical students of the Karapitiya Medical Faculty who were believed to have been involved in Tuesday’s clash between two student factions, for an inquiry as they failed to turn up yesterday. The police said that 22 students had been asked to come to the police station yesterday but only the complainants had turned up. Dean of the Faculty Dr. Sampath Gunawardena said that at the moment only two students remained more..

Dilshan misses out, Dimuth Karunaratne to debut

Aug 16 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan will miss the first Test against New Zealand due a back niggle and, in his place, 24-year-old Dimuth Karunaratne will debut. Dilshan's bad back had kept him out of the final two New Zealand ODIs as well. He had picked up the injury before the third ODI in Pallekele, where he made a century, and the team management left him out of the squad for the last two ODIs as a precaution. Sri Lanka are hoping he will be more..

More students fall ill as allergy spreads

Aug 16 (CG) Over 200 students of the Nugawela boy’s school in Kandy were admitted to hospital today after suffering from an allergic reaction. The latest incident comes after 1000 children were hospitalized in Gampola this week after suffering from the allergic reaction. The children were from the Jinaraja Balika (girl’s) school. Gampola Hospital Director Sarath Weerabandara had said that the allergy was still not identified. Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake more..

Two killed due to toxic gas

Aug 16 (CT) Two lives have been claimed while nine others have been hospitalised due to a gas leak at the Sapugaskanda Oil refinery. “The deaths have occurred due to a poisonous gas leakage and the two out of nine persons who have been hospitalized are in a critical stage “according to the Spokesman of the Petroleum Corporation Ajith Dharmapriya. The deceased have been identified as Wilfred and Dharmasiri Perera attached to the Sapukaskanda refinery. “Their bodies have been sent to more..

Sri Lankan boat people sent home

Aug 16 (NST) Australia's Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Thursday announced the return of the group of 32 men from Christmas Island to Colombo. "The men were advised of their status and that they were subject to removal from Australia," Bowen said. "The message is clear that people who pay smugglers are risking their lives and throwing their money away. There is no visa awaiting them on arrival, there is no more..

Off The Record

Aug 16 (CT) It was the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who opened the debate from the govt side and responded to the charges made by MP Karunanayake. He dubbed Karunanayake’s speech ‘a nit picking and nut picking way of speaking’ (jambu kadana widihe kathawak) and decided the best way to teach the budget to the opposition was in the manner a teacher would explain things to students. Thus he started: more..

China to launch Satellite for Sri Lanka: India’s missed opportunity?

Aug 16 (IDSA) Sri Lanka's first communication satellite is expected to be launched on November 22, 2012 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. This geostationary satellite would get operational by mid-2013 for commercial purposes. The satellite is partly owned by a private company, Sri Lanka's first Satellite Company called SupremeSAT. The cost of the project is expected to be around US$ 360 million. According to the Chairman of the company, the project is a more..

Sri Lanka policy rates unchanged, private credit low

Aug 16 (LBO) Central bank kept the rate at which money is injected into the market at unchanged at 9.76% at its November monetary policy meeting, though money has been injected at below market rates on longer tenures from time to time. The central bank said in September new credit to private businesses from banks was less than 10 billion rupees compared to around 55 billion rupees in Feb and March. "Net credit to the govt more..

‘History of the party’ presented to Delgoda Raja

Aug 16 (LT) The media unit of the JVP states the ‘History of the JVP’; a book containing the history of the party from 1965 to 1994, was presented to Mr. Rajapaksha Perera alias Delgoda Raja, who has been a member of the party from its inception. The book was first presented to Delgoda Raja after the book was launched on the 13th at the ceremony to commemorate ‘November Heroes’ held at Viharamahadevi open air theatre. The Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe presented more..

Editorial: UN’s failure, forced withdrawal or a great betrayal?

Aug 16 (CT) Another internal report that the United Nations has published is now the topic of discussion among the international community. The Report is said to lay out a case for the UN’s inaction during the commitment of atrocities allegedly carried out by the Sri Lankan security forces during the last stages of the war between the Govt of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. There have been various ‘Monitoring’ mechanisms and processes that were employed following the cessation of hostilities between more..

Restriction on transfer of vehicle permits removed

Aug 16 (DM) The three-year restriction imposed for transferring duty-free vehicle permits for public servants has been removed with effect from today. Director General of Customs Dr. Neville Goonawardena said that the customs had received a directive from the Ministry of Finance and Planning to this effect today. Official from the Ministry of Finance and Planning confirmed that the clause restricting the sale of permits was removed. more..

Only go-carts will get racing car tax exemption, Treasury

Aug 16 (ST) The importation of a "Go-cart", which can be used for travel by only one person and classified under racing cars have been separately identified and have been exempted only from Excise (Special Provisions) Duty but is s liable for payment of 55% of CIF value as other taxes, Ministry of Finance and Planning said. The objective of this tax concession is to improve the sports economy and tourism activities and thereby to increase country's income, the Ministry said. The importation of more..

Former SEC chief stresses need to minimise market manipulation

Aug 16 (ST) Thilak Karunaratne, former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has stressed the need of giving more powers to the SEC to minimise market manipulation so that the bourse can flourish with all sections of investors entering into a level playing field. He urged retail investors to enter the Colombo Stock Exchange investing in unit trusts as several stock brokers are not trust-worthy, with some of them being investigated for using dummy accounts to manipulate the market more..

The motion to impeach the Chief Justice should be withdrawn – Academics

Aug 16 (CT) “We appeal to our representatives, the Executive and the Legislature, to fulfil their political and legal obligations towards us, and to guarantee respect of the judiciary and to defend their independence. The motion to impeach the Chief Justice should be withdrawn, those responsible for the assault on the Secretary to the JSC should be brought to justice and those responsible for the attack on the Mannar more..

Budget 2013 and the challenges ahead of motherland

Nov 17 (NS) The government has presented its 2013 budget proposals. In 1960s and 70s, presentation of the budget had been an event of much public attention. That was the period during which the government controlled a lion share of the country’s economy. Therefore, price revisions of essential goods, salary increases, identification of development projects and matters related to their implementation were made public through the budget proposals. more..

Ambassador Jayatilleka speaks at French National Centre for Scientific Research

Nov 17 (DBS) Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka participated as a panellist at a conference entitled “ Sri Lanka & South Asia : New challenges for a regional policy” organized on November 7th, 2012, at the CNRS, the prestigious French National Centre for Scientific Research. The conference gathered intellectuals and scholars from various fields. The event was organized in partnership with the Foundation for Human Sciences (FMSH – Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme) and more..

Little Miss Courage

Nov 17 (ST) Braving a condition that would generate nothing more than pity in our society, she passed the 2012 Grade 5 scholarship exam obtaining 153 marks –the first student to do so in her village school in the last 10 years. Visiting their home in Avissawella shrouded in a hedgy growth of betel, we are greeted by Rashmi’s heart-warming smile. It takes a few seconds for the realisation of her condition to settle in. The fact that she more..

The attempt to remove the Chief Justice

Nov 17 (DBS) A host of questions can be raised following recent events regarding the Chief Justice of our country. A survey of developments involving the independence of the judiciary can go way back to the 1972 Constitution, to the de facto sacking of judges by the 1978 Constitution, the summoning of Supreme Court Justices Wimalaratne and Colin Thomé before a Select Committee of Parliament, the attempted impeachment of Chief Justice Neville Samarakoon, the physical attacks more..

English language Emblem of excellence in education

Nov 17 (NS) It is a known fact that English has become ‘sine qua non’, that is, indispensable, for everyone’s advancement and improvement, if one is to succeed in modern society. The language’s qualities of relative simplicity and flexibility enhance its chances of taking root and surviving, internationally. Now the question arises, how could one learn and practice this all-important universal language? A probable answer would be: the means and capacity to fulfill one’s more..