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In Sri Lanka even team selections are done by politicians

Oct 10 (DBS) When the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were awarded to London, opinion on the probable success was divided. The pessimists expressed concerns that London’s worldly cynics, sophisticates and marginalised urban poor, will not be moved by the international sporting event and that the city will end up in gridlock due to the huge numbers of visitors expected. The special traffic lanes, offered by the organisers for visiting dignitaries, which even the ubiquitous more..

The bell tolls for us, again

Oct 10 (SL) The constitutional path to tyranny is a well-worn one; its many previous travellers include a former corporal named Adolf Hitler. Sri Lanka took a giant leap along this path with the 18th Amendment. The Divineguma Bill, prepared in equal secrecy and propelled with similar unseemly haste, constitutes the second gigantic leap. The 1978 Constitution created an overweening executive. The 13th and 17th Amendments sought to correct the resulting power-imbalance. more..

SLMC has become a shameful liability on the community

Oct 10 (CT) It was deliberate deception and calculated betrayal by the SLMC. This is how most Muslims describe the SLMC decision to join the very UPFA govt which it severely criticised to win votes and deceive people during the recent eastern PC elections. Muslims were suspicious of SLMC when it criticised the govt, while being part of the it, in view of its past record of letting down the community. As a result most Muslims were indifferent to recent PC elections. more..

Open letter to all parents: For the sake of quality education

Oct 10 (CT) Today this country is facing a dilemma over education at all levels. The universities have been closed for over three months due to the academic staff strike. Previously it was disfunctional for a month because the non-academic staff staged a strike. The students have been at home for more than four months. The clock is still ticking the hours away wasting the lives of thousands of young adults in their prime. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Who is fiddling while the long established more..

Even Gods are displaced by war

Oct 10 (CT) The day starts slowly for the people in the sleepy village of Periyathampanai in the Vavuniya District. To the visitor’s eye, it is a peaceful location that belies its recent violent history with acres and acres of paddy fields and vegetable plots greeting you. Today, it bears all tell tale signs of a prosperous and peaceful village. During the height of the war however, Periyathampanai regularly grabbed news headlines and was more..

Editorial: Erik Solheim's innocence

Oct 10 (Island) Erik Solheim has drawn heavy flak from the very people who once hailed him a hero over a remark that if Prabhakaran had agreed to an organised surrender towards the final phase of the war many lives could have been saved. Solheim has sought to pull the wool over the eyes of the world community by craftily holding the dead LTTE leader responsible for what happened. Solheim cannot wash his hands of the disastrous outcome of the LTTE's military campaign. more..

Culture, Knowledge, Relativism and Bududahama – II

Oct 10 (Island) Before answering the questions raised by Prof. N. A. de S. Amaratunga it would be beneficial to at least some of the readers if the objective existence is discussed without referring to any texts in Bududahama or western science or any other tradition. It is clear that the objective existence is something that has no ‘objective’ validity. There is nobody who can establish, prove, show, ascertain etc objectively that objects (including sathva) exist independent of the mind. more..

Top Lankan team for IMF-WB annual meetings in Tokyo

Oct 10 (Island) A high-level Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and comprising Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal will attend the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting beginning from Wednesday in Tokyo. The Lankan team also includes the Finance Ministry’s External Resources Director General M.P.D.U.K. Mapa Pathirana, Department of Fiscal Policy Director General K.M.M. Siriwardana, IMF Alternative more..

Access to finance, productivity problematic says Cabraal

Oct 10 (Island) Despite the end of a 30 year brutal conflict and sound economic growth the country still needed to harness its full potential for an economic growth of eight percent, while access to finance needed improvement to strengthen local production, observed Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Addressing the 25th Annual Sessions of the Organization of Professional Associations, Cabraal said that the country revised growth targets twice in the current year and more..

Issue on acquisition of land for preservation of water supply

Oct 10 (FT) The Supreme Court recently held that filing of a re-listing application by a third party and thereby seeking to appeal a matter is a backdoor method and the attempt thereby to re-argue the matter amounts to abuse of court process. Justice Sathya Hettige delivering a unanimous judgment of a bench that included Justices P.A. Ratnayake and Chandra Ekanayake refused to grant any relief to the petitioner and dismissed the appeal challenging the acquisition of a land by more..

Treasury opts for new rules to get AG off its back

Oct 10 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said that public sector institutions were following archaic financial regulations which gave the Auditor General’s Department plenty of ammunition to throw a poor picture of the state of governance in the country. "We need new financial regulations and this is something the Treasury has started looking at. The existing regulation is well structured but it is out dated, hinders decision making, more..

Diva China to build Five Star hotel in Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (DN) Diva Investment and Management Group of China is to build a 300 room five star hotel in Sri Lanka. The company is also looking at acquiring a four or Five Star hotel which is now in operation in a bid to fast track their operations in Sri Lanka. Zhang Zhi Li, Chairman of the Group, said that he is now in Sri Lanka on a fact finding mission and he is bullish about Sri Lanka.“The country after the war and with political stability is turning to be an investment paradise and I am keen to do large scale business in the island,” he said. more..

'Strike action raising serious questions'

Oct 10 (DN) "It is regretable for judges, of whatever their ranks they may be, to take strike action in less than 24 hours after the happening of an equally regrettable event", said Court of Appeal Judge Justice Rohini Marasinghe. She was the President and Secretary of the Judicial Services Association and also President and Secretary of the High Court Judges' Association. Justice Marasinghe at present a Senior Judge of the Court of Appeal. She has over 30 years experience in the Judiciary. more..

Warning ahead of Sri Lanka’s UPR

Oct 10 (Island) A collective of Sri Lankan human rights organizations urged the govt to address accountability issues or face the consequences at the UNHRC. Senior representatives of 32 organizations made representations to Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday as regards their submissions to Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on No 1, 2012. Minister explained post-war initiatives on the part of the govt to more..

'Attackers tried to kill Manjula Tillekeratne'

Oct 10 (Island) Sunday’s physical attack on Manjula Thilekeratne, the Judicial Service Commission Secretary, was aimed at killing him and the govt should stop trivialising the incident, the UNP said yesterday. Mangala Samaraweera MP, said that the JSC Secretary had been targeted by a goon squad because he had spoken out against high level interference in the judiciary. There was an attempt to trivialise the whole episode by attributing motives such as robbery and personal animosity, but more..

Body with severed limbs found

Oct 10 (Island) A body of a man whose hands and legs had been severed was found burning at Zoysapura, Ragama yesterday. Police had not been able to determine his identity as the body had been badly burnt. The body was found burning in a corner of the Zoysapura housing scheme. A woman living in the scheme had told the police that around 5:30 am a vehicle had come to that place and she had seen a fire afterwards. Two separate investigations are being conducted into the incident, more..

OPEC donates US$ 40 m for road development

Oct 10 (Island) Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development, met Minister G.L. Peiris on Monday. He is in Sri Lanka to sign an Agreement to provide a loan of 40 million US dollars for the National Road Development Project. Prof. Peiris expressed appreciation for the substantial contribution already made by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to more..

Norbert Dentressangle takes over freight forwarding operations of JKH

Oct 10 (SCS) Norbert Dentressangle completed the acquisition of Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells Group’s freight forwarding operations. The business unit employs 120 people and reported revenues of nearly €8 million for 2011. It has six offices in India, covering the main coastal regions, as well as two in Sri Lanka. “We continue to strengthen our freight forwarding operations in growing markets and we are now present in all key countries: China, Latin America, the United States, Europe and more..

SSP Jayakody returns as police spokesman

Oct 10 (Island) SSP Prishantha Jayakody re-assumes duties as Police Spokesman this morning, while incumbent Ajith Rohana takes over as Head of the Ampara Division police. Jayakody had previously served as the police spokesman and was succeeded by SSP Maxi Proctor when he went to Haiti as the Head of the Sri Lanka Contingent of the UN peace keeping mission there. SSP Maxi Proctor was later replaced by Superintendent Ajith Rohana, who assumed duties in the post on October 18, 2011. There were unconfirmed reports that more..

'Foreign conspiracies hatched to discredit govt'

Oct 10 (DN) 'The govt has no intention or requirement to attack JSC Secretary or interfere with the country's Judiciary, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. "Elements who want to create a rift between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary in order to destabilize the country are the ones behind this attack," he charged. The minister was addressing a gathering of 476 govt servants who were eligible to receive more..

Govt. should protect Judiciary – Hemantha

Oct 10 (Island) A majority of Colombo Magistrate’s Court Lawyers’ Association (CMCLA) members had not participated in the protest organized by Lawyers on the grounds that it was politically motivated. This was revealed by former CMCLA Secretary and leading criminal lawyer, President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya. He said that the Association membership yesterday decided to strongly condemn, in no uncertain terms, and protest against the attack on Judicial Services more..

Rajitha lashes out at FUTA

Oct 10 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday lashed out at the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) for demanding the allocation of six per cent of the GDP for education, saying it was not feasible. FUTA had presented a number of demands to the govt and those demands were not implemented anywhere in the world, he said, adding that the Government had allocated 1.87% from the GDP but lecturers were requesting a six per cent allocation, which was untenable. more..

Sri Lanka: New wave of brainwashing

Oct 10 (AHRC) Despite all protests by the public, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, who is retired lieutenant colonel of the Sri Lanka Army, a green card holder of the United States of America, and one of brothers of the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has appointed select school principals as "brevet colonels." In yesterday's ceremony that marked the occasion, the Secretary minced no words when he opined about failures of the nation. He claimed that recent loss of more..

Over 1,000 participate in bicycle rally to mark World Post Day

Oct 10 (DN) The Postal Services Ministry held a bicycle rally with the participation of 1,000 cyclists to commemorate World Post Day yesterday. Ministry is conducting several events to commemorate the 138th World Post Day, Minister Kumaratunga said. World Postal Day marks the anniversary of the Universal Post Union's establishment and is annually held on October 9. The union aims to create and maintain a structure for the free flow of international mail around the world. more..

President opens South Asian Centre for Teacher Development

Oct 10 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday opened the South Asian Centre for Teacher Development at the premises of National Institute of Education in Meepe, Padukka. The institution is expected to play a pivotal role in the transformation of the teacher development process in the South Asian region. The President opened the first facility to be built for the institution, a state-of-the-art Information and Communication Technology Laboratory. Later he participated in the more..

Ranil demands to know situation concerning striking dons

Oct 10 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday demanded that the govt reveal what progress had been made in the discussions, held so far, with university lecturers, to solve their salary problem and what action it expected to take to bring that problem to a close. Making a special statement in parliament, the Opposition Leader said it was the responsibility of the govt to adopt a flexible and sensible more..

Quality of diplomas must reach university level - SB

Oct 10 (DN) The quality of diplomas awarded by the country's higher educational institutions should reach university level, Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake said yesterday. "As the new generation which will take over the reins of the country's future, you need to change according to the demands of the world," he told recipients of diplomas of the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education at the BMICH yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan envoy pushes for increased trade and connectivity with Nepal

Oct 10 (MR) Entrepreneurs, who have extended relationship with Sri-Lanka in trade and economic front, met officials from Embassy of Sri-Lanka in Nepal on Tuesday in a bid to discuss and identify possible ways of increasing volume of trade and connecting the two countries through direct flights. According to a press release issued by Nepal-Sri Lanka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (NSCCI), A team led by Bhakta Bahadur more..

TNA's expectations and fears ahead of India visit

Oct 10 (Hindu) On the eve of a TNA delegation’s departure for an important visit to India, a senior leader in the group said that New Delhi must convey to the Sri Lankan leadership that long lasting peace can only come through meaningful devolution. A senior Minister, on the other hand, said it wanted India to use its good offices to prevail upon the Tamil political grouping to agree to a Parliamentary Select Committee more..

Assaulted Army Major faces prison term and dismissal

Oct 10 (FT) The Army Major who was allegedly assaulted by a ruling party politician’s son has been found guilty of providing security to a casino owner outside of his Army duties. The report of the Court of Inquiry to probe the alleged assault on Army Intelligence Officer Major Chandana Pradeep at a Colombo five-star hotel was handed over to the Army Commander Monday. According to Army sources, the Army Commander based on the report has decided the Major was guilty and more..

FUTA gets magic letter: Exco to decide whether to call off strike

Oct 10 (Island) The much anticipated Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera’s letter announcing a short term solution to university teachers salary problem was issued to the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that their executive committee had decided to discuss the letter and issue a joint media statement with the government, after consulting branch trade unions in all universities today. more..

'Delivery of Divineguma ruling to House: Supreme Court erred'

Oct 10 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday fired a salvo at the Supreme Court for not complying with the procedures laid out in the Constitution to be followed as regards Bills challenged in Court for their constitutionality. The Speaker’s statement was made in agreement with all party leaders in Parliament on the manner in which the Supreme Court ruling on the Divi Neguma Bill was conveyed to Parliament. It was more..

Editorial: Senior minister on conspiracy affairs?

Oct 10 (DM) The experience we had so far was the Sri Lanka cricket team coming into the final with the parallel of jacking up of commodity prices. But this time it was different. The Sri Lankan cricket team played the final of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup last Sunday and the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was assaulted by four unidentified goons on the same day and was admitted to hospital. It seems that the parameters have changed; from hiking petroleum more..

Agrochemicals and NCP kidney disease – the reality

Oct 10 (DM) Since the year 2000, Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDU) also called Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) has been reported in several areas of Sri Lanka, mostly in the North Central Province (NCP). A large number from the Badulla and Kurunegala districts are also affected by CKDU. Ministry of Health (MOH) initiated a research study in Oct. 2008 on CKDU to be carried out in collaboration with WHO- Colombo. The study was conducted by the National more..

Blame it on FUTA!

Oct 10 (LB) Supporting the three-month long strike launched by FUTA, university lecturers withdrew from marking answer scripts of the A/L exam. This decision complicated matters in many senses, as it resulted in having no one to mark the answer scripts of the A/L exam. Due to this the attention of the Ministries of Education and Higher Education has been focused on the continued formulation of policies which would result in presenting no complications more..

Tax week

Oct 10 (SL) The govt last week proposed an annual Tax Week, where the govt will take the first week in November to raise awareness among the public about the tax administration system in Sri Lanka, and the contribution that people can make towards the country. The total tax revenue in Sri Lanka in 2011 was Rs. 813 billion, amounting to around Rs. 38,700 per capita. This is more than double the figure in 2005, where Rs. 337 billion was raised. more..

Rumpus at Vidyaloka: Mob education to the fore

Oct 10 (ST) Vidyaloka Vidyalaya in Galle, that was closed earlier this week following unruly behaviour reportedly by students and parents will open tomorrow, while police continue their investigations into the incident. Galle’s SSP Vas Gunawardena said that security has been tightened at the school to pre-empt a repeat of the unprecedented incidents that took place on more..

Will FUTA lose the game?

Oct 10 (AHRC) The tread of hundreds of thousands of feet walking across the country in search for the liberty of education has ended (as has the lives of two students in the process) at the Ministry of Economic Development, one of the ministries headed by a brother of the president. The FUTA had the 'opportunity' to sit with the minister of the subject at his high security compound and receive his 'political' answers. more..

Nursing unions clash over promotion

Oct 10 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers Association yesterday warned that it would take legal action against, what it termed, the illegal promotion given to the Vice President of the rival Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU), D. Boralessa, violating the regulations of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Cabinet. GNOA nurses of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital (KTH) have been up in arms since last week against the promotion given to Boralessa, more..

Sri Lanka saved ICC Blushes

Oct 10 (DM) Embarrassed ICC officials pleaded with the Sri Lanka cricket team management to reverse the host team’s smart move to sidestep ICC’s regulations during the ICC World T20 by switching the captaincy, sources told “Daily Mirror”. It was only after a reciprocal promise by the ICC to adopt a lenient approach on Sri Lankan over rates, that Sri Lanka agreed to put Mahela Jayawardene back at the helm for the tournament semi-finals and finals while covering ICC’s more..