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UNP woos dons

Nov 19 (Island) Having decided to form an association of university teachers affiliated to the party, the UNP leadership initiated a dialogue with a section of university dons. A delegation led by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe met a group of university teachers at the Colombo Mayor’s residence. General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, MPs Mangala Samaraweera, Kabeer Hashim, Ravi Karunanayake and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam were involved in the discussion. more..

Ramboda estate families relocated

Nov 19 (Island) Fifty one estate families, living at the base of the Wavendon Estate, in Ramboda, have been relocated due to the area being prone to erosion. They have been relocated in temporary shelters, according to the Disaster management Centre’s Additional Director for Nuwara Eliya Muditha Manjula. Residents of Kotmale and the Divsional Secretariat are providing them with dry rations. The DMC has identified the areas which are prone to landslides and erosion in the area. more..

Real or psychological, what ails these students?

Nov 19 (ST) What has hit schoolchildren in different parts of the country? This is the question that is worrying parents and puzzling epidemiologists as 1,500 students of five schools have fallen ill due to allergies. The premises of the affected schools are being cleared with the assistance of the relevant councils, school authorities and parents. School authorities of Jinaraja Balika Vidyalaya, in Gampola, where the most number of children more..

Opposition raises point of order about constitutionality of Appropriation Bill

Nov 19 (FT) Parliament erupted on Saturday (17) after UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne raised a point of order when Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa called for a vote on the Budget. Raising the point of order, Wickremaratne said that before he voted, he would like to know what changes the Government was proposing to the Appropriation Bill, clauses of which the Supreme Court had deemed unconstitutional according to the court’s ruling announced to Parliament on 6 November. more..

ASOCIO 2012 ends successfully in Colombo

Nov 19 (DN) The biggest ICT events of the year, which represent Sri Lanka’s continual progress and the importance of information communications and technology, were hosted by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS)recently. Accordingly, ASOCIO 2012 the regional ICT Summit, was held in Sri Lanka from November 15 to 17 in Colombo alongside the INFOTEL 2012, the National ICT Exhibition at the BMICH from November 16 -18 ,2012. more..

Sumanthiran’s ‘useless’ description of 13-A

Nov 19 (DN) TNA MP M A Sumanthiran’s description of the 13th Amendment “as meaningless and something which had been continuously rejected by his party,” has taken the country by storm. “The 13th Amendment to the Constitution is something that we had rejected right through as being meaningless,” he told Parliament during the recent Budget debate. The words are reverberating in the civil society and political more..

15 Sri Lankan refugees missing in India

Nov 19 (Hindu) Fifteen inmates of Boganallur refugee camp in the district are reportedly missing since last Friday. During the fortnightly inspection that was conducted in the refugee camp at Boganallur near Kadayanallur in the district on Saturday, the revenue officials found 15 of the 139 Sri Lankan refugee families in the camp were missing. Based on the complaint filed with the Chokkampatti police in this connection, the police are investigating the case. more..

Shipping executive found with throat slit

Nov 19 (Island) A manager of a shipping company was found with his throat slit, inside his car, an Elite hatchback, on the Marine Drive around noon yesterday. Senior Superintendent of Police Colombo South, Premalal Ranagala, who launched an immediate investigation, said they had ample evidence to apprehend the killer. The victim was identified by a relative as Ranjith Costa (47) of Kirilapone and an employee of Asian Shipping Company of Kollupitiya. The victim’s wife, more..

TNA wants jumbo Cabinet downsized to make devolution meaningful

Nov 19 (Island) The TNA said that it was the prerogative of the SLFP-led ruling coalition to appoint a special Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) or some other mechanism to examine various proposals pertaining to devolution of power, with the focus on the unit of devolution. TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, MP, stressed that his party was ready to play a consequential role in the process if an agreement could be reached on more..

Nearly 450 flood-hit still in temporary shelters

Nov 19 (DN) Around 450 persons from 99 families are still living in temporary shelters following the recent rains and floods, a Disaster Management Centre (DMC) spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said five evacuation centres in the Central Province still house 367 persons from 76 families. Thirty three houses in Ambaganuwa, Mulatiyana, Pasgoda and Hambantota have been fully damaged while 248 houses were partially damaged during the recent floods. more..

JVP to rope in TUs for public sector pay hike struggle

Nov 19 (Island) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) has written to 14 trade unions urging them to join in the struggle of the public sector employees to win a salary increase to meet the increasing cost of living. NTUC President K. D. Lal Kantha said they would contact the other trade unions as well. "Public servants need a pay hike of at least Rs. 13,442.50 according to the govt’s own cost of living statistics," Lal Kantha said, adding that Budget 2013 had promised only an allowance of Rs. 1,500. more..

'People's dynasty' dampens Sri Lanka's boom

Nov 19 (SMH) From foreign hotel towers sprouting on Colombo's seafront to the new motorbikes and mobile phones buzzing in war-ravaged Jaffna, at first glance, Sri Lanka seems to be living up to its claim as Asia's latest frontier market. But private businesses are not investing enough, threatening the boom that has swept the island since the end of a long ethnic conflict, while President Rajapaksa and his family are more..

Editorial: Lamborghini and ‘badagini’

Nov 19 (DM) The popular belief that the name of the town Baddaginnie in West Australia has its origin to Sri Lanka may hold some element of truth; for ‘badagini’ has been the common cry of the island’s citizenry given the economic constraints they are compelled to endure. However, with the annual budget and the monetary policies that are rather intimidating than relieving, people are forced to live with their low purchasing power. The disaster is very much man-made than natural. more..

Re-interpreting the Executive President’s impunity

Nov 19 (DM) The constitutional wisdom of a people is the last resort that the people have when they are faced with constitutional peril. It is an almost unanimous opinion in Sri Lanka that the country is faced with constitutional peril due to the 1978 Constitution. The first attempt to deal with this problem was in 2001, when the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was almost unanimously agreed upon by all the members of the parliament. This amendment also had the backing of the more..

Czech Republic to open its embassy in Colombo in mid-2013

Nov 19 (Island) Czech Republic will open its embassy in Sri Lanka in mid-2013, The Island has learnt. Miloslav Stashek, Czech Republic’s New Delhi-based Ambassador to Sri Lanka, said: "We are planning to open our Embassy in Colombo by the middle of next year." When this happens, the Czech Republic will be the 40th country to have a diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka. India-based ambassadors and high commissioners of 78 more..

A budget for the non-urban Southern Sinhala voters

Nov 19 (LB) DR. Nishan de Mel, economist and executive director, Verité Research said that the 2013 budget did not seem to be Colombo centric and is framed in a way that it would have a high appeal to the non-urban, Southern Sinhala voter. It is his view that the North and East is not addressed as much as the Southern voter, due to the implications of the budget towards the Provincial Council system. “The budget actually presents Provincial Councils more..

Battle for Welikada

Nov 19 (SL) Amidst sensational allegations that selected hardcore criminals were killed by the authorities in last week’s “Battle For Welikada” – a claim hotly denied by Ministry sources – it has become clear that the Battle for Welikada erupted after STF and Army Commandos – untrained in dealing with hardcore criminals – botched up what should have been a routine check for contraband within Sri Lanka’s largest more..

'Sino-Lanka ties at all time high'

Nov 19 (DN) The multi - faceted relations enjoyed by Sri Lanka and China are at an all time high, Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao said. He said since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, China's investments here has grown rapidly and bi-lateral economic cooperation stands at over US $ 5 billion. The ambassador said during the recent visit to Sri Lanka by National People's Congress of China Standing more..

Cricket returns to Dambulla next year

Nov 19 (DM) International cricket will very soon return to Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, most likely for the series against South Africa in July/August next year Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said after the entire ODI and T20 series against New Zealand were disrupted by rain. The stadium has been abandoned for more than two years due to poor floodlights but has again more..

Estate workers mull street protest

Nov 19 (Island) Estate workers are planing take to streets, demanding a wage hike. President of the pro–JVP Estate Workers’ Union, Ramalingam Chandrasekar, said that the estate workers still received as little as Rs. 380 a day while the prices of Kerosene and flour had increased drastically. He said that estate workers mostly depended on wheat flour and they used kerosene for lighting. Estate workers had expected relief from Budget more..

FERCAP conference at Waters Edge

Nov 19 (ST) The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), the University of Colombo and the National Science Foundation have taken the leadership in promoting the protection of patients taking part in medical research in Sri Lanka by jointly hosting the 12th International Conference of the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in Asia and the Western Pacific (FERCAP) at the Waters Edge Hotel, from November 18 to 21. more..

‘Help prevent another war’

Nov 19 (Island) Navy Chief Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage on Saturday said that the primary responsibility of those joining the armed forces today was to prevent another war in the country. VA Colombage was addressing the commissioning and passing out parade at the main parade ground of the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA) in Trincomalee on Nov 17. 59 officers, including 08 officers of the Direct Entry more..

Series of religious ceremonies to mark the President’s 67th birthday

Nov 19 (IL) Series of religious ceremonies have been organized worldwide throughout this week by the people of Sri Lanka to mark the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 67th birthday and also the second anniversary relating to his second ascension to the presidency. President Rajapaksa also celebrated this great day with the all-night pirith ceremony yesterday, on 18 Nov and sanghika dhana (almsgiving) this morning at the more..

SL v NZ 1st Test: Herath delivers crushing win for Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (CI) game that began on even terms finished as one-sided. New Zealand's fast-bowling stocks may be promising but their batting continued to be a serious worry and it let them down again, on a day when they had the rare chance of pressing ahead and aiming for a win. They slumped to a fifth straight Test defeat in conditions far less lethal than their scoreline suggested. The batsmen were largely victims more..

If 19 is to equal 13 +

Nov 19 (CT) According to NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa a petition to get the 13th Amendment abrogated was held back considering the current tensions between the Judiciary and Legislature. Talks with the UNP and SLFP suggest that there are few takers for dogmatic positions on the 13th Amendment. Even the leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, while holding fast to ‘devolution’, has expressed a willingness to go for re-demarcation of unit, i.e. three or four zones instead of more..

Mahinda regime is preparing its own grave

Nov 19 (CT) Govt indirectly proposes in this year budget, that people must depend on banks and insurance companies for poverty alienation, without expecting social security from the state. We were told that Market should be allowed to function freely with Irida pola giving grass root support. Accordingly poor youth should take it as a challenge and go into financial agreements with money lenders, local or other wise, and eagerly go into investments, preferably in the agricultural sector. more..

Sub-standard drugs issued to patients

Nov 19 (DM) A stock of drugs purchased for Rs.971 million last year had been declared to be of inferior quality. But the bulk of them had been issued to patients for treatment by that time, the Auditor General reports. In his report, the Auditor General has observed that a survey had not been conducted to find out the harm done to patients by the use of these drugs. Also, during the year under review, drugs valued at Rs.4.1 billion had more..

Another Herath show in Galle

Nov 19 (CI) A top-class bowling display by Rangana Herath crushed New Zealand's hopes of competing in the first Test. Here are some numbers from Sri Lanka's ten-wicket win on the third day in Galle. Sri Lanka's win is their sixth in 17 home Tests against New Zealand. Five of their wins, however, have come in the last seven Tests. New Zealand's last win in Sri Lanka came at the R Premadasa Stadium in 1998. Sri Lanka's win is their sixth in the last eight Tests in Galle. Their only loss in more..

Czech MPs’ delegation arrives today on week-long visit

Nov 19 (Island) A delegation of parliamentarians and diplomats from the Czech Republic arrives in Colombo on Monday to pay a week-long visit to Sri Lanka. This is the first time such a visit is taking place. The delegation of the Foreign Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament is led by David Vodrážka, Chairman of the Foreign Committee. The eight-member delegation comprises Miloslav Stašek, Czech Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Sri Lanka; more..

Additional financing from ADB for Northern Road Connectivity Project

Nov 19 (GDI) Two loan agreements to rehabilitate and improve 200 kilometers of 19 roads under the Northern Road Connectivity Project were signed at the Ministry of Finance & Planning, by Dr.P B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, on behalf of the Govt of Sri Lanka and Ms. Rita O’Sullivan, Country Director of ADB on behalf of the ADB. Additional financing is required to rehabilitate more..

Treasure placed at Sandahiru Seya

Nov 19 (GDI) A ceremony was held to place the blessed treasure within the Basal Rings of the Sandahiru Seya (The Victory Stupa) in Anuradhapura on Sunday. The ceremony was conducted by the venerable Mahasanga at the auspicious time amidst the chanting of noble Pirith. Lankaramadipathi and Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka for North Central Province Ven Ralapanawe Dhammajothi, Nayaka Thera presided over religious activities. Devotees who were present at more..

Special Pooja in Jaffna to bless the President

Nov 19 (GDI) People of Kachchai, Jaffna, to mark the 67th birthday of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the aniversary of his accession to the Presidency, held a special pooja at Kachchai Amman Hindu Kovil on Saturday. The function was organized by the people in the area, Angajan Ramanathan Foundation headed by Jaffna District Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organizer Angajan Ramanathan and the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J). Offerings were made to the more..

WikiLeaks: Mahinda confident that he can manipulate the JVP, we hope he’s right – US

Nov 19 (CT) “Rajapakse, more energetic and articulate than we’ve seen him, is supremely confident that he can control and manipulate the JVP to suit his electoral purposes. We hope he’s right. The problem is that he seems oblivious to our point that ‘words matter’ and that interested international partners (and, presumably, the LTTE) cannot help but read his pact with the JVP as a renunciation of the peace process and more..

Don’t call Sri Lankans ‘Tamils of Indian origin’ – Dallas

Nov 19 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday said that Tamil speaking people living in upcountry areas shouldn’t be categorized as Tamils of Indian origin. Minister Alahapperuma said that he despised the practice as the Sinhalese, in spite of being descendants of King Vijaya weren’t called Sinhalese of Indian origin. Minister Alahapperuma was addressing a public gathering in Nuwara Eliya after the opening of a youth training centre funded by India. more..

This time it’s different. Is it?

Nov 19 (DM) The press conference called by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka last week may have reminded most of the enlightened attendees the most dreaded phrase in the financial world, ‘this time it’s different’. The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), stockbrokers, margin providers and representatives from the unit trust industry were there on the head table giving a serious impression that this time things are really different. However, it didn’t take much time to more..

'Budget 2013 illegal until amendments made'

Nov 19 (DM) The committee stage of the Budget cannot go ahead today till the govt makes amendments to the appropriation account in accordance with the judgment given by the Supreme Court, Leader Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He said Budget 2013 would stand illegal until the amendments recommended by Supreme courts were implemented. The court held that the permission granted to the Minister of Finance more..

President leaves for Kazakhstan

Nov 19 (PRIU) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Kazakhstan this morning for a three-day state visit. During his stay, President will hold bilateral talks with the President and the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. He is also schedule to address Nazarbayev University in Astana. Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan in May this year signed a MoU to expand the bilateral relations between the two countries and hold regular consultations between the Ministries of External Affairs of Sri Lanka more..

Tiran’s response to Ranil

Nov 19 (AD) Delivering a statement for the first time in Parliament today, DNA MP Tiran Alles inquired as to what UNP leader Ranil Wickarasinghe has achieved for the country or the opposition in his 16 years in the opposition since 1994. He made these comments responding to a recent statement by the Opposition Leader where he had claimed that Mr Alles has created a world record by refraining from speaking in Parliament for two years and that he deserved an award for that. more..

'I will continue to Fight on'

Nov 19 (DM) Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka who is currently facing a split within his camp, speaks to the Daily Mirror about the issues that prevailed within the party which led to the current situation. Fonseka in a wide ranging interview that could be viewed fully on says that he is undeterred by the current developments and will fight towards the ambition of changing the political culture existing in the country. more..

Editorial: A budget by a few for a few

Nov 19 (CT) The 2013 Budget speech that was delivered by the President in Parliament on 8 November has drawn a mixed reception from the people, a majority of whom feel that it is a budget by a few for a few. That is because the budget does not contain any concessions for the middle class or common man, but heaps further burdens on them, despite the fact that they are already burdened by a high cost of living, which has made life virtually impossible. What has earned the ire of more..