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‘School allergy’ spreading

Nov 19 (DM) At least 20 students of Gampola Muslim Maha Vidyalaya have been admitted to the Gampola hospital today, as a result of an alleged allergic reaction, hospital sources said. 18 out of them have been discharged while another two are still in hospital for further treatment. Other students of Digana Senarathwala Maha Vidyalaya in the Theldeniya Educational Zone also had been admitted to the Menikhinna Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile 7 students of, Athimale Maha more..

Sri Lanka's working-class hero

Nov 19 (CI) Rangana Herath was on the field when Muttiah Muralitharan took his 800th wicket in Galle. At mid-on most likely, or short fine leg. Perhaps no one other than him remembers. He will never be the bowler that Murali was, and he is fine with that. What he has become since that day, is Sri Lanka's unlikeliest, most unassuming star. 

On day three against New Zealand, he transformed a match that was set to be a nailbiter into a more..

‘Made in Sri Lanka’ crafts moving with int’l tourists, says Dubai’s Fakih

Nov 19 (Island) The Dubai based Fakih Collection, the multinational manufacturer of specialised gift items, souvenirs and handicraft, is now in town scouting for craft provisions from Sri Lanka for its demanding supply chain. "My products sourced from Sri Lanka are fast moving among international tourists. The ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ label is fast gaining ground in Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s sprawling tourist club area. Viet Nam just received our first ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ labelled handicraft shipment," more..

Sri Lanka could benefit from greater private investment: World Bank MD

Nov 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka has shown high debt-backed investment led growth when the rest of the world was slowing but to attract long term "good quality" investors, a better environment is needed, a top World Bank official said. Sri Lanka's fiscal side was improving with debt levels while falling from high of 100 percent to 80 percent of gross domestic product but was still high compared to East Asia, making the country vulnerable Sri Mulyani Indrawati, a managing director at World Bank said. more..

Tangalle PS Chairman granted bail

Nov 19 (DM) Eight suspects including the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman who were in remand for nearly 11 months over the alleged killing of a Briton and criminal assault on a Russian woman in Tangalle on Christmas Day last year were today released on bail. Tangalle Provincial High Court Judge Lalith Wijesekera ordered the suspects to mark their presence at the Tangalle Police Station on the first and more..

Gold medalist remanded for robbery

Nov 19 (DM) Former South Asian Games gold winning athlete Ranga Wimalawansa and a former Police Constable who were arrested for allegedly robbing Rs. four million from a Chinese national were remanded till November 29 by a Colombo Court. Two suspects Ranga Wimalawansa and Sumith Weerasinghe a former constable were arrested by Kollupitiya police sequel to complaint lodged by a Chinese woman. During the incident which had taken place at Cameron Place more..

Murder suspects confess to killing the ‘wrong man’

Nov 19 (AD) A group of men who broke into a house with the intent of murdering a person in Boralesgamuwa over a dispute regarding a three-wheeler, have instead killed his mentally handicapped brother, police said. The 22 year old youth was stabbed to death in Diwulapitiya in Borelasgamuwa at around 1.00am today. Four persons, including a chief suspect, were arrested over the murder by the Borelesgamuwa Police. During interrogation the suspects had more..

Mahela hails team for 'winning tough moments'

Nov 19 (CI) After the opening hour on the second day of the Galle Test, Sri Lanka were 50 for 5 in their first innings, in response to New Zealand's 221. Before the third day was done, the Test was finished, and Sri Lanka had won by ten wickets. "This is what winning Test matches is all about," Mahela said after his team took a 1-0 lead in the series. "Winning tough moments and getting ourselves into a winning position under more..

Welikada riots: A black mark against prison system

Nov 20 (NS) The riots at the Welikada prison that left 27 prisoners dead last week are a stinging indictment on the current state of law and order in Sri Lanka and should serve as a rude but timely wake up call for the authorities. It is well-known that prisons in the country are among the most corrupt institutions in the land. For some time now, there have been reports that prisoners were masterminding criminal activities elsewhere in the nation through their proxies. more..

'President Rajapaksa must be careful in choosing his trusted lieutenants'

Nov 20 (DBS) The year was 1994 when the UFPA Govt was formed after 17 years of UNP rule. The victory ushered an era free of post-election violence, a time of joy and happiness enabling the entire population of the country to breath a sigh of relief. As the General Secretary of the alliance I worked relentlessly amid numerous hardships, sometimes even foregoing meals and satisfying my hunger with just a glass of water. As a result of dedication, hard-work, untiring efforts, and courage more..

'Welikada Prison clash: Core issues must be addressed'

Nov 20 (SO) Overcrowding would have been an underlying cause for the major mishap that occurred at Welikada prison last week, Commissioner, Human Rights Commission Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa opined. Citing their own report on the state of Sri Lankan prisons, submitted last year coinciding with the World Human Rights Day 2011, he said the authorities must address the core issues which have made the prisons more..

Lateral implications of the impleachment exercise

Nov 20 (DBS) The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) has emphasized repeatedly that there is a strict need for the Constitution and all subordinate laws to be honoured not only by the citizenry but equally so by the People’s representatives. A few of the issues raised by us previously have acquired a particular importance in view of the current proceedings that have been initiated against the Chief Justice. Whereas the present impeachment effort is considered more..

Transition Times

Nov 20 (NS) ‘Till the second half of the 1950s, Sri Lankan military officer corps was 3/5 Christian, Tamil and Burgher…..Sinhala-Buddhists who were 69% of the island’s population, constituted only 2/5 of the officer corps’ - Prof. K M de Silva, historian, in his paper (2001) to Clingendael Institute, the Netherlands. In the previous week’s article the political background and the religious/ethnic composition of the top brass of the police and military in Ceylon’s early post-independent more..

'PCs need not be given legislative power'

Nov 20 (SL) NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa says the country would be able to move forward without abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He noted that even those who supported the 13th Amendment have now realized the need to re-think the piece of legislation. According to Weerawansa, it is also this controversial piece of legislation that has affected relations between Sri Lanka and India. more..

On critiquing of UN failures: Missing the wood for the trees

Nov 20 (GV) The BBC’s revelation on the leaked “penultimate” draft report of an internal UN review on UN’s handling of humanitarian crisis during the last stages of Vanni war in 2009, has justifiably invoked immense interest – on its content and implications – among Sri Lanka watchers and Tamil activists globally. Charles Petrie, former UN employee, led the review panel and he is expected to handover the final report to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in next few days. more..

Why devolution of power should be on linguistic basis

Nov 20 (GV) Sinhala nationalists who deny that the Tamils have any grievances are now campaigning for the abolition of the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment. But S.W.R.D the western educated liberal who introduced the Sinhala Only Law realized that an injustice was done to the Tamil people for it was not only an instrument to discriminate against Tamils in State employment but also to force them to deal with the State and its agencies only in Sinhala which more..

Nilakshi De Silva

A deaf and dumb 113 signed a piece of paper

Nov 20 (CT) There are times when one must drive a political crisis to a ruthless finish to terminate a pernicious adversary whose continued survival will be iniquitous. Obama and the joint opposition in Lanka, each in their spheres, surely smell blood these days. Obama must finish off the Republicans for a decade. Events have played into his hands; the point is whether he has that killer instinct the moment demands. The Rajapakse regime has abruptly been caught flat footed and can be bloodied. more..

Need to hit the bottom of the precipice before climbing back

Nov 20 (CT) It did not take much prescience to foretell that parliamentary privilege would be formally wielded to prohibit public discussion of the PSC process with the commencement of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to consider the impeachment of the Chief Justice this week. The Speaker’s warning to party leaders on Friday that matters discussed at the PSC may not be divulged to the media is therefore unsurprising. As observed previously, first we had a group of more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s path to the peak of success

Nov 20 (CT) Going through my old diary I came across the date 4 March, 1988. Place IRED Institute, Horton Place, Colombo 7. The Convener of the event was Sunimal Fernando. There is no doubt that the discussions there laid the seeds of all the victories of the present President. The participants were K.H.A. Godawatte, T. Jayasinghe, Dr. Willie Gamage, Dharman Wickremaratne, S.S. Sahabandu, more..

Editorial:FUTA on suicidal course?

Nov 20 (Island) Some members of the FUTA have become overly critical of their leadership of late. Angered by the manner in which their 100-day strike was suspended, the FUTA dissidents have fired a salvo at their President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, who has said the decision to end trade union action was not his own and had the blessings of the executive committee. All signs are that the FUTA's unity is threatened. Growing dissension among its members is likely to develop into a more..

CMC taken for a ride

Nov 20 (CT) A member of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) of the UPFA fold to boot, has taken the CMC for a ride and reportedly pocketed several hundreds of thousands of rupees by securing space on the sly for a mega sale in a municipal playground. The MMC had written a note on a letterhead of the Colombo Municipal Councillor’s Welfare Fund seeking the CMC’s permission to hold a mega sale in aid of the fund. The top authority of the CMC seeing the institutional letterhead more..

Call for urgent fix of VAT fiasco on supermarkets

Nov 20 (FT) The supermarket industry is calling for an urgent meeting between the Finance Ministry and all stakeholders over the new taxes on organised large-scale retail trade. The move is following industry experts pointing out likely snags in implementing the Budget 2013 proposal of imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on supermarkets and other larger retail or trading businesses. In Budget 2013, President more..

Making access to quality Education widely available

Nov 20 (Island) The govt’s move to allocate nearly Rs 306 billion for the education sector which amounts to around 4.1% of GDP is a positive move towards building capacity to meet the future skills needs of the country. For many successful economies Education has been the great engine of prosperity, innovation and social mobility. Demand for new skills has reached an all time high. People in every continent have realized to thrive in the modern economy, they need to be able to more..

Tourist Hotels Association welcomes Budget

Nov 20 (FT) The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) has welcomed the 2013 Budget presented by President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 9 Nov. “The 2013 Budget is a positive one aimed at achieving sustainable economic development for the country,” THASL President Jayantissa Kehelpannala said. He went on to point out that relief has been provided for almost all sectors, especially the agriculture and plantation sectors. The Govt’s strong pledge for more..

Army joins people in rebuilding activity

Nov 20 (IDN) Amid reports that an internal document, made public on November 14 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, has triggered soul-searching in the world organisation on its failure to protect non-combatants in Sri Lanka's civil war, a visit to the country shows that the army and the people in the Northern Province are busy rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by 30 years of a gruesome conflict. During a recent visit to more..

Oil exploration second stage in February

Nov 20 (DN) Minister Susil Premajayantha said in Parliament that the second phase of oil exploration work would commence in February next year. The minister said the first phase of oil exploration has already been completed. He said Cairn Lanka Pvt Ltd spent US $ 131 million on the first phase. Premajayantha said oil exploration activities are being carried out according to international standards. He said data collection for oil exploration in the Eastern and Southern coastal more..

'All facilities for rural schools'

Nov 20 (DN) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said the govt's programme to develop three secondary schools in every Divisional Secretariat division in the country will help students in rural schools enjoy the facilities available in popular schools. He said that the govt is dedicated to provide all facilities to schools in the country. Speaking at the opening of a four storied building complex and a science laboratory of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Model School at Diyagama, Homagama, Minister more..

Karunanidhi hopeful of UN intervening in Tamils issue

Nov 20 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Monday said he was hopeful that the United Nations could effectively intervene in the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, notwithstanding an internal report that spoke of the UN’s failure to prevent mass civilian casualties during the civil war that ended in 2009. He said, “I believe these efforts will definitely bear fruit. We have submitted TESO resolutions on the way forward to both the more..

Sri Lanka eyes Indian corporate tourists going abroad for meets

Nov 20 (Hindu) Even as the Tamils continue to struggle to rebuild their lives after the decades-long conflict, which ended three years ago, Sri Lanka seems to be intensifying its efforts to sell itself as the ideal tourist destination to Indian companies looking to hold their meetings abroad. Talking to Indian journalists, director general of the Tourism Development Authority and the General Manager of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Vipula Wanigasekara claimed, more..

Tax officials urged to conduct ‘serious’ audits, investigate banks

Nov 20 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera urged officials of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to conduct serious tax audits and investigations into large corporate firms and banks. "The administration cost of the IRD is more than the value of taxes collected. This is a headache. The department is not spending quality time. There is less quality work and no audits at all," Dr. Jayasundera told tax officers at a post-budget seminar organised by the IRD. more..

Sri Lanka to unveil first communication satellite on Thursday

Nov 20 (DN) Sri Lanka would move to a new era on Thursday when the country’s first Communication satellite would be orbited from China. In a few hours, it would be positioned over Sri Lanka. The Supreme Group Sri Lanka along with China Great Wall Industry Corporation has funded and developed this satellite which would be the third of its kind in the South Asian Region. With this launch, Sri Lanka recovering after a 30 year more..

Power supply to Jaffna causes Rs. 3 billion annual loss

Nov 20 (Island) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka recently said in Jaffna that the government was losing Rs. 3 billion annually from electricity supplied to the Jaffna peninsula and that a furnace oil power plant to cater to the power needs of the peninsula would be completed by next year. When that plant was fully operational it would meet 100% of the power requirement in Jaffna, he added. The minister was addressing a seminar on quality power for industry. more..

What happened to SF’s campaign funds, Ranil queries

Nov 20 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliamnt in response to MP Alles’ criticism that the Opposition had functioned well without complaints except one that there was a single MP who had been paid his salaries and given a vehicle but did not speak in Parliament. "Today we achieved this task, too. I got an MP to talk. Even the Leader of the House could not get this done. I would like to remind this House that our hands are clean and not sullied by amassing LTTE funds. more..

Petitions on impeachment before Appeal Court

Nov 20 (DM) The Court of Appeal nominated a Three-Judge Divisional Bench to hear the Writ applications seeking to prohibit the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) from continuing the probe on the impeachment motion against CJ Shirani A. Bandaranayake. The Bench comprising Justices S. Sriskandarajah (President of C/A) and P.W.D.C. Jayathilaka nominated Justices S. Sriskandarajah, Sisira de Abrew and more..

Mega building material complex in Peliyagoda

Nov 20 (DN) For the first time in Sri Lanka, the State Engineering Corporation has taken measures to construct a C City (Construction City) One Stop Shop for all building material and services, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. He said Sri Lanka is engaged in a massive development process under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Construction of the C City will be started on Nov 25 to mark President Rajapaksa's birthday and the second year of his second term in office. more..

Vaiko appears before courts in 4 different cases

Nov 20 (Hindu) MDMK chief Vaiko on Monday appeared before courts in four different cases in a single day. All cases were adjourned. Mr. Vaiko appeared before III Additional Sessions Judge K.H. Nilavazhagan in connection with a sedition case filed against him by ‘Q’ Branch police in 2008. The charge was that he had made a speech at a meeting supporting the LTTE, the banned organisation. The judge had fixed the date for commencing of trial from November19. As the witnesses did not more..

Impeachment Motions: Ranil wants standing orders amended

Nov 20 (Island) Parliamentary Standing Orders pertaining to impeachment motions were outdated and should be amended to ensure that justice prevailed, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the third reading stage debate on Budget 2013, Wickremesinghe said that the Sri Lankan Parliament had to take examples in this regard from other Commonwealth countries, such as more..

'Credit card scammers Russians'

Nov 20 (RIA) Russian embassy representatives met on Monday with the five people who were arrested in Sri Lanka over a credit card scam and confirmed they were indeed Russian nationals. Sri Lankan police arrested the Russians on Sunday in Colombo with 250 fraudulently acquired credit cards. Russia has yet to receive official notification from the Sri Lankan authorities concerning the case, the embassy said. A police spokesman earlier said the Russians were arrested with more..

ACTWU to launch TU action in December

Nov 20 (CT) All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union (ACTWU) will launch a trade union action in December unless their salary issues are resolved by the govt. ACTWU General Secretary Sepala Liyanage claimed that the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees do not receive their salaries on time and also the ex-SLTB employees have not received their gratuities on time. “We are going to request all SLTB employees to join the struggle to protect the rights of the more..