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Return to sender

Oct 16 (CT) Sri Lanka intends sending two Cobalt 60 radiation sources to India within a fortnight at a cost of Rs. 10 million. The sources are currently installed at the Gannoruwa Horticulture Agrarian Centre. According to the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA), these two sources had been used for purposes of agrarian research for nearly 30 years and are now considered outdated. ‘Even though these sources are outdated, their nuclear impact has not reduced. more..

GNOA worried about their private practice

Oct 16 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) expressed concern over a gazette notice, issued to recruit new nursing trainees, claiming that it enslaved nurses. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya warned yesterday that nurses would resort to trade union action if the Health Ministry failed to annul the gazette notice, which decreed that nurses and other paramedics should serve for ten years in their home districts. A perturbed Ratnapriya said that more..

Manmunai Bridge construction begins with Japanese help

Oct 16 (DN) The construction of Manmunai Bridge in Batticaloa will be inaugurated by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo today. Deputy Highways Minister Nirmala Kotelawala, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Harumi Ao and dignitaries from the Eastern Province including the Chief Minister will also participate. The bridge will be constructed under a 1,206 million Japanese yen grant assistance from JICA. more..

UGC not honouring promises – FUTA

Oct 16 (Island) The university authorities had still to withdraw some of the circulars, issued by the UGC, as promised by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) charged yesterday. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that they had suspended the strike last Thursday on the basis of such promises. "One of the major promises was that the circulars issued by the UGC, more..

We need sincere, sacrificial leaders - Editorial

Oct 16 (DM) When society fails to inculcate moral values in its children it reflects the decadence of its people. The much sought after miracle of Asia may become one more of the many pariah and lawless states of the world, like the wild west of yesteryear. We need to reflect seriously on where our country is heading, because it is going to affect our children and grandchildren. Generally we as humans feel that as long as our children develop themselves we need more..

Editorial: We need sincere, sacrificial leaders

Oct 16 (DM) When society fails to inculcate moral values in its children it reflects the decadence of its people. The much sought after miracle of Asia may become one more of the many pariah and lawless states of the world, like the wild west of yesteryear. We need to reflect seriously on where our country is heading, because it is going to affect our children and grandchildren. Generally we as humans feel that as long as our children develop themselves we more..

Intruding on the untrodden green

Oct 16 (DM) The ‘development projects’ and tourism promotion activities have threatened Sri Lanka’s natural resources, especially the wildlife. The officials continuous give eloquent speeches about sustainable tourism and one might wonder whether their speeches are just limited to words. As environmentalist Rukshan Jayawardene quite rightly pointed out it is not acceptable and sustainable to destroy wildlife as it is the very resource which helps to earn foreign exchange more..

When the principals go marching in!

Oct 16 (LB) One of the main topics of discussion these days, is the commissioning of class I principals of Sri Lanka as brevet colonels. While most principals prefer to keep mum about their recently received title, there were a few among them who were willing to express their opinion. LAKBIMAnEWS spoke to two such principals of leading schools in Colombo and a trade union official who expressed their views on the matter. more..

Hotel, Seaplanes land Kurunegala paddy farmers in dire straits!

Oct 16 (SL) Paddy farmers in the Kurunegala district, who lost their cultivation due to the prolonged dry weather conditions, blame irrigation officers for not managing water carefully. Farmers in Bathalagoda and Nikaweratiya – two badly affected areas in the district – accused their respective Irrigation Engineers and their staff for wasting water in the tanks to please political stooges. more..

Sri Lanka’s defeat was too much to bear for this one-time cricketer

Oct 16 (ST) Preethika Ranaweera (35) heavily pregnant with her second child sat down in her small living room with family members to watch the finals of the T-20- Championship finals with high expectations that Sri Lanka will win after failing at three earlier consecutive finals. Preethika a former cricketer of the Lanka women’s team kept in good form although she was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease at the age of seven. more..

Sri Lanka rupee 'overvaluation' debate meaningless: IMF Rep

Oct 16 (LBO) Debating whether Sri Lanka's rupee is 'overvalued' is a wasteful exercise as models used to determine some intrinsic value of an exchange rate are not worth the paper they are written on, an IMF said. "Economists - we - have these models," IMF's resident representative Koshy Mathai told, a pre-budget forum in Colombo organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. "I don’t think they are worth the paper - or the virtual paper - they are written on. more..

Three Sri Lankan fishermen killed, two rescued

Oct 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday said that three fishermen were killed and two were rescued after their boat was attacked by an unidentified group at mid sea. A local council Minister told Xinhua that the attackers have yet to be identified but it was believed that local fishermen were involved. The attack has taken place after five fishermen set out to sea from Tangalle, in the south of the country late on Sunday. more..

Reformists will attend Fonseka rally

Oct 16 (Island) All UNP reformists, including Provincial Councillors Maithri Gunaratne, Shiral Lakthilaka and Sirikamal Silva, will attend Thursday’s anti-govt rally at Hyde Park, organized by the National Bhikku Front (NBF). However, the attendance of UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, who also leads the reformists, is uncertain. A leading monk of the NBF has already accused Premadas of playing a double game and the accusation has been repeated by Gen. Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka, India hold first talks on nuclear cooperation

Oct 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and India have agreed to work on a comprehensive agreement on nuclear cooperation, the Indian High Commission said here on Monday. The first round of talks between India and Sri Lanka on comprehensive civil nuclear cooperation was held last Friday in New Delhi, the statement said. "Discussions were held in a warm, friendly and cordial manner. Both sides exchanged views on all aspects of civil nuclear cooperation and more..

Govt ready for INGO lobby at UPR

Oct 16 (DN) Sri Lanka is ready to answer any question that will be raised at the forthcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UNHRC by any local or foreign NGO, External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amumugama said. Asked about the secret submissions to the UPR against the government by the UK headquartered Tamil Global Forum (TGF) and several Tamil NGOs and international Human Rights organisations, Amunugama said: “These organisations including some INGOs have more..

Ex-CJ says if not for his order Mahinda won’t be President today

Oct 16 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have become the President of Sri Lanka if not for the Supreme Court ruling to release him in the Helping Hambantota case. Mr. Silva said Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have either been able to contest the 2005 Presidential election or come into power if the Supreme Court bench headed by him did not clear Mahinda Rajapaksa of allegations of misappropriation of Tsunami more..

President Rajapaksa arrives in Kuwait to attend ACD Summit

Oct 16 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Kuwait to attend the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit today on 15 September. Sri Lankan President was warmly received by the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at Amiri International Airport in Kuwait. The Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and more..

Is FUTA struggle genuine or ‘naatami strike’?

Oct 17 (NS) First, let me apologize to the “Pettah naatamis” who carry huge weights on their backs for a pittance and provide a valuable service – no disrespect intended to them. I am using the phrase “naatami strike” as a slogan in the article just as much as FUTA uses “Save State Education” and “6% GDP for Education” as slogans. In my view, FUTA’s demands can be summarized into three: 1. Progressive increase of governmental spending on education towards the 6% of GDP target. more..

Mobile phones take over students’ lives

Oct 17 (NS) While visiting one of our favorite spots in Kandy to purchase something to read, we could see school kids in large numbers gathered by the doorway. It is bliss to see students show enthusiasm for reading. But it was rather disappointing when we understood the actual reason behind the gathering of students. The students weren’t interested in books. They had flocked to purchase mobile phones. They were bargaining, arguing and questioning the shopkeeper on the functions of more..

Jaffna: Still riding on hope

Oct 17 (SL) For Palamimurugaiya Rajandran pottery has been his way of life for the past 25 years. He uses the income to feed his family and educate his three children. Born in Colombo, Rajandran moved to Jaffna during the war and settled with his wife. He sold the only land he owned and took a house on rent from where he does his business. But nearly four years after the war ended Rajendran says his life has not changed much as the economic conditions are more..

Entry of Sri Lanka to the T-20 finals caused euphoria engulf the entire nation

Oct 17 (DBS) For all Sri Lankans it was the most exciting day of the year. None of the cricket experts, who contribute to various journals nor the panelists, attached to the many Television stations, which covered the T-20 World Cup, ever gave any chance to the Sri Lankan Cricket team. Everyone was counting on the Australian, English or the Indian teams to be in the final. Though Australia had a miserable T-20 record, before this and was ranked even below Ireland, more..

The 25th Anniversary of a national tragedy, its aftermath and lessons for the future

Oct 17 (DBS) Twenty five long years have gone by since the Indo- Sri Lanka agreement was signed by the late Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India and the late J.R.Jayawardene, the then President of Sri Lanka on 29th July’1987. The intense involvement of India in Sri Lanka, which commenced after the calamitous and inhuman July’1983 anti-Tamil riots, reached its zenith on this day. The Sinhalese at large were seething at what was obviously being thrust down the throat of more..

Waiting to return home

Oct 17 (CT) On 19 Sept, the govt officially announced the closure of Menik Farm, a camp for the war-displaced and set a deadline of concluding the process of return by 25 Sept, just six days after the announcement. At that point, within the camp lived 367 displaced families and 110 of them were from Keppapilavu in the Mullaitivu District. For them, resettlement was not a current option, yet, they continued to hope that after three years in a displaced facility, it would more..

What a “Democrat” and should he go scot free ?

Oct 17 (CT) This is a majority Sinhala Buddhist society in a country, introduced in song as the “The most noble of all countries in the World” (Loken Uthum Rata Lankawai), where an ex-Chief Justice could get on a platform that’s supposed to campaign for “democracy”(?) and say, “There are many complaints that it was I who was responsible to bring Rajapaksa into power. I admit it since Mahinda Rajapaksa was freed to become President because of this decision by the Supreme Court,” more..

Wasting the money allocated to education

Oct 17 (CT) A couple of days back I predicted that the FUTA strike would soon be resolved by yet another increase in the salaries of university staff, with no correctives with regard to the grave problems now facing our education system. Recent reports in the papers suggest that this will indeed be the case. That would be tragic, for it would provide yet another instance of state resources being squandered. Salaries should be paid in terms of work done, and sadly there is no system at present to ensure that university lecturers actually more..

Connections | October 15, 2012

Editorial: Keep prison doors open for them

Oct 17 (Island) We reported yesterday that a deputy minister and fifteen others had been turned away when they went to the Kalutara Prison on Sunday night to visit a remandee. The prison officers had plucked up the courage to say that prisoners were not allowed visitors on Sundays and at night and, therefore, they could not let anyone in, much to the consternation of the hoity-toity politician, who stormed out of the prison together with his supporters gritting his teeth in not-so-silent fury, our report said. more..

Govt.’s taxation policy heavy burden on the poor

Oct 17 (Island) While the govt continues to streamline the taxation regime by reducing tax rates and granting heavy tax concessions to attract strategic investments into the country, a new UNDP report says the govt’s taxation policy is hurting the poor and preventing resources from going into critical areas of the economy which could significantly improve the standard of living in the country. The UNDP’s ‘Sri Lanka Human Development Report 2012’, for which detailed more..

6% GDP on education: From a fantasy to a real programme

Oct 17 (Island) Of the four trade union actions, the FUTA has been so far engaged in, in its about three decades of history, the one that came to conclusion last week was the first that ended with no tangible material results. On the other hand, the last trade union action was of great significance for two reasons. First, it was the first strike action by the university teachers. FUTA had resorted to different kinds of protests, more..

Sri Lanka: yes to development of farmers and fishermen, for greater food safety

Oct 17 (AN) A week of events, seminars, theatre productions and religious activities, to promote food security and the right to subsistence, for the small fisherman as well as large-scale producers. Thus Sri Lanka has prepared for today's marking of World Food Day. The various initiatives come after the recent publication of the Global Security Index, which analyzes accessibility, availability, quality and food safety. Based on these factors, more..

Sri Lankan model for post-war peace (2)

Oct 17 (MT) This is the second part of a three-part analysis of how the Sri Lanka govt managed the peace process after it defeated the Tamil rebellion. “Alongside the de-mining process, reconstruction was expedited in each area that was cleared of mines and rendered safe. As a result of LTTE action and long neglect, many of the houses, business premises, govt offices, schools, hospitals, other facilities and infrastructure were in need of significant repair and improvement. more..

CPA files case in SC against 2013 Appropriation Bill

Oct 17 (FT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) yesterday filed an application for Special Determination of the Supreme Court against the Appropriation Bill of 28 Sept, lamenting that the said Bill would result in the abdication and/or alienation of the full control/powers of the Parliament over public finance. CPA and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu in the application filed through Lilanthi De Silva is more..

Construction of Manmunai Bridge and causeways inaugurated

Oct 17 (FT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of the construction of Manmunai Bridge across Batticaloa lagoon and causeways yesterday. The Batticaloa District, a centre of the Eastern Province, is separated into western and eastern parts by the Batticaloa Lagoon, which extends north and south by approximately 50 km. Development and maintenance of infrastructure has not been implemented in this area for over 20 years. more..

Driver kills employer and rapes his wife

Oct 17 (KP) A Sri Lankan driver got drunk and murdered his 75-year-old Saudi employer before raping his wife. He then tried to commit a suicide but was overpowered and arrested by security men. The unnamed driver, in his 50s, committed his crime early on Monday at his employer’s house in the eastern Saudi town of Khobar. “He then tried to end his own life but police rushing to the scene overpowered the man and arrested him…no other details are so far available,” more..

Karu J asks Ranil to reconsider ban

Oct 17 (FT) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya has written to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over the Working Committee’s decision to restrict members from participating in the proposed rally on 18 Oct by the United Bhikku Front (UBF). Following is the full text of the letter: I was disappointed to learn of the party’s Working Committee decision to restrict members of our party from attending a rally organised by the UBF. more..

Gifts for backward schools from PM's Office

Oct 17 (DN) Prime Minister's Office distributed school items among Kukulapola Junior School and Gurukumbura Junior School under its programme of 'Socialisation of Positive Attitudes for Economic Development.' The schools are situated in a difficult area in Mahiyangana. This was organised by the Prime Minister's Office under the guidance of Prime Minister D M Jayaratne. This was conducted with the participation of Prime Minister's Office Additional Secretary S S Miyanawala. more..

Mega water project for Point Pedro

Oct 17 (DN) The government has set apart Rs 674 million to provide pipe borne water to Point Pedro, Water Supply and Drainage Ministry Secretary Amarananda Abeygunasekera said. People in Point Pedro depend on shallow wells for their drinking water and other purposes. Approximately 50 percent of the area's ground water is saline or brackish. Therefore, the people have to transport drinking water from nearby areas where fresh water is available, he said. The project will bring a more..

First test flight successfully lands in Mattala

Oct 17 (FT) The first test flight on the new airstrip at Sri Lanka’s second international airport at Mattala landed safely yesterday. The airport construction project is on a 2,000 hectare bare land at Mattala in the Hambantota District at a cost of US$ 200 million. The project was launched by President Rajapaksa on 27 Nov 2009. The Super King 20 Test Aircraft, which belongs to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Department and features a dual engine, landed on the new runway. more..

Sri Lanka to use up to 700,000 tonnes of coal a year

Oct 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka will use between 650,000 to 700,000 metric tonnes a year for its first 300 MegaWatt coal power plant when if the plant is in full operation. The coal plant is designed to operate 80% of the timem, generating about double or three times the energy of large hydro power plants of equal size in Sri Lanka in a year. In 2011 Sri Lanka has imported 362,682 tonnes of coal up to October after the coal plant started operations in July, minister Ranawaka had told parliament, more..

PUCSL calls for public comments on electricity services

Oct 17 (FT) Submissions from the public on draft regulations for the safety, quality and continuity of electricity services could be sent to the PUCSL until 5 Nov 2012. The PUCSL, as the regulatory body for the economic, technical and safety aspects of the electricity industry, is entrusted with the protection of the public from dangers associated with the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. In this regard, all who have obtained licenses (electricity licensees), more..