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In Prabakaran’s birthplace, a different kind of hero

Oct 21 (Hindu) In the town that cradled Sri Lankan Tamil militancy and was the birthplace of its most ferocious exponent Velupillai Prabakaran, a legend of a different kind is now getting belated attention. VVT, as this north Jaffna coastal town is known, is planning to erect a statue to a less famous son, V.S. Kumar Anandan, who did a record two-way swim from Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi on the Tamil Nadu coast. more..

Over 400 Academics settle oversea

Oct 21 (SL) Over 400 academics have settled overseas despite signing bonds with the local authorities, the Higher Education Ministry said. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Navaratne said that legal action will be filed against those lecturers as well as guarantors who had signed the bond. He said that 471 lecturers had signed the bonds before going overseas saying they will return to Sri Lanka and some had even obtained air tickets at the expense of the UGC. more..


Oct 21 (SL) The Sunday Leader wishes to retract and clarify the following articles which were published by us during the period 20th Feb 2011 to 6th March 2011. a) Article titled; “S.Thomas’ College Prefects Assault Fellow Thomian” by Vimukthi Yapa dated 20th Feb 2011. b) Articles titled; “A School Like No Other” and “Nine Thomians Assaulted By Senior Prefects” by Vimukthi Yapa dated 27th Feb 2011. c) Article titled; “Serial Thuggery” by Faraz Shauketaly dated 6th March 2011. more..

To return or not to return?

Oct 21 (Hindu) Sitting in her mother’s lap, 3-month-old Cinderella was the cynosure of all eyes at the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner’s office here on Saturday. She was there to receive her birth certificate, issued as part of the mission’s second special consular service aimed at facilitating the return of refugees to Sri Lanka. Her mother Anna Mary landed at the Mandapam camp near Rameswaram in 2006 and Cinderella’s more..

Where to go in 2013: Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (Independent) Dubbed Serendib – the origin of the word serendipity – by seafaring Arab traders centuries ago, Sri Lanka has been anything but serene in recent decades. Battered, tragically, by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and wracked by a civil war from 1983 to 2009, many areas of South Asia's most compact country have remained off limits to even the most intrepid traveller. Now the bitter conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels is at an end, investment is again fuelling the tourist industry and more..

‘Won’t join Fonseka’s party’

Oct 21 (NS) As the issue over certain UNPers attending DNA party leader former Army General Sarath Fonseka’s public rally during the week heightened, UNP firebrand Palitha Range Bandara yesterday ruled out any possibility of joining Fonseka’s DNA party if they were suspended.“No, no way. We will not. We are true UNPers,” was Bandara’s flat response to the question. However, he claimed he was in the dark whether he and other two colleagues Palitha Thevarapperuma and more..

HRW blames Russia, China over Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (SL) New York based Human Rights Watch blamed Russia and China over the failure by the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Sri Lanka during the war to the International Criminal Court (ICC). “While war raged in Sri Lanka, Russia and China’s strong support of the government in Colombo thwarted almost all efforts to even discuss the known horrors committed during the war by both sides,” International more..

Sri Lankan in the fray for top police job in Kent

Oct 21 (Island) Sri Lanka born Dai Liyanage has sought nomination for election as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent in England. The election for this top position new has been fixed for Nov 15, 2012. Liyanage, former Mayor of Medway in Kent, has wide experience as a Project Manager. He was a former Local Authority Chief Officer, Councillor and also served on the Police Authority for Kent. Policing and tackling crime more..

Child abuse at international schools probed

Oct 21 (NS) Many complaints have been received by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) on incidents of child abuse and students engaging in sex acts in international school premises, NCPA sources disclosed.They said the complaints were being probed but declined to divulge the names of the schools for security reasons. The NCPA has urged the Education and the Health Ministries to regulate international school administration in a planned out manner in which the NCPA could more..

SLFP MP lashes out at buyable politicos and names the price

Oct 21 (Island) Kurunegala District UPFA MP Jayarathne Herath said that the SLFP should take tangible action to cleanse the party of corrupt elements or face the consequences. He alleged that the new rich were making every effort to expand their influence in the party at the expense of those who had served the SLFP faithfully over the years. Asked by the Island whether he was accusing the UNP of causing trouble in the SLFP, more..

More insurance cover for MPs?

Oct 21 (Island) The govt is looking at providing insurance cover to family members of MPs in addition to the insurance cover that MPs already have as part of their perks, Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena confirmed. Asked about this proposal, the minister said that there had been a round of discussions on this matter with a director of the National Insurance Trust. The additional cover suggested would result in an increased premium of Rs.40 million, he as said. At present the govt spend Rs.10 million annually for providing insurance more..

Mullaitivu GA protests after relocated elephants run amok

Oct 21 (ST) Elephants have damaged houses, property and crops after being relocated from other districts to Mullaitivu District by the Wildlife Department, drawning a strong reaction from Govt Agent N. Vedanayagan who has lodged a protest. The protest was lodged on Friday after villagers surrounded the GA’s office and complained about the recent elephant attacks. The protest came after an elephant relocated from Nawagattegama in the Puttalam District to the Mullaitivu District went on the rampage damaging 10 houses belonging to more..

Indo-Lanka ties near breaking point; Moves to repeal 13th Amendment

Oct 21 (ST) A deal brokered by India for the TNA to engage in a dual track dialogue with the govt, revealed exclusively in the Sunday Times of Oct 7, has run into serious problems. One such track was to be the resumption of the bilateral talks between the Govt and the TNA. The other was TNA’s participation in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). In a dramatic turn of events, the TNA will not make any statement declaring its willingness. more..

Govt’s investment on key projects gathers momentum

Oct 21 (SO) The Govt’s investment on key national infrastructure projects has gained momentum and its total investment on roads, bridges, ports, power generation, and irrigation amounted to Rs.152,401 million from January to April 2012. According to the Mid Year Fiscal Position Report 2012 issued by the Finance and Planning Ministry, the Govt has channelled enhanced resources for public investment with a commitment to accelerate more..

13 Lankan tourists taken ill after taking breakfast in hotel

Oct 21 (IE) Thirteen Sri Lankan tourists were taken ill after consuming allegedly contaminated food here, police said. The condition of three of them is stated to be critical. The tourists, who were staying in a hotel here, were taken ill after taking breakfast and were admitted to the district hospital. The doctors attending the patients said it is a case of food poisoning. Hotel manager A.K Singh blamed it on outside food. “They had consumed food at more..

Rare bipartisanship on European tour

Oct 21 (ST) Last Thursday, Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera called on Denis Pietton, Cabinet Director of the French Foreign Ministry in Paris. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleke was on hand sporting what appeared to be an oversized satakay, or shawl, not quite of the Mahinda Rajapaksa kurakkan hue but of the Fidel Castro red. Who else should be on Deputy Minister Perera’s delegation? more..

British visas, a big business

Oct 21 (CT) The mainstream newspapers regularly publish advertisements of financial sponsorships offered for students, visits and migration to countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These ‘financial sponsors’ are sometimes a person or a company which does not support somebody by paying for their training or education in the traditional sense of the word. more..

Grand opening for race course mini pavilion

Oct 21 (ST) The Colombo Race Course Mini Pavilion, refurbished at a cost of Rs.125 million, was declared opened to the public yesterday by the Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the Mayor of the CMC, M. J. M. Muzammil. Special guests included politicians, members of the diplomatic community, high-profile cricketers, heads of the armed forces, and prominent Cinnamon Gardens residents. more..

Garbage strikes back: Disposes people of their homes

Oct 21 (ST) The controversy over the Kolonnawa garbage dump which has collapsed on houses and the offer of rent for residents who have lost their houses, will be taken up for discussion with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the UDA on Monday, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said. “There are residents who don’t want to leave the place, and are not willing to accept land, but want houses instead,” Mr Muzammil said. more..

45 break-ins a day: Burglaries and robberies on the rise

Oct 21 (ST) A 23-year-old burglar scaled water and drainage pipes of apartment complexes in Wellawatte to gain entry into flats from their rear doors or windows and got away with money and jewellery. his veritable Spiderman, who had robbed 14 apartments in this manner, shattered the belief of apartment dwellers that they were safe from break-ins as they lived in high security buildings. The burglar gained access to these apartments more..

Environmentalists want national park campsites dismantled

Oct 21 (NS) Welcoming the move taken by the govt to dismantle campsites operated by high-end eco tourism operators, environmentalists now demand same be done in other national parks. Sajeewa Chamikara of the Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) said some of the same eco tourism operators, who operated camp sites at Yala, were operating in Udawalawe and Wilpattu National Parks. “There are two such more..

Delhi to discuss KP’s extradition?

Oct 21 (NS) A fresh controversy surrounds the extradition demand of the former LTTE international arms procurer, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP from India as the latest reports from New Delhi indicate that the Center is now discussing the issue again, reports reaching Colombo from the Indian Capital disclosed.Diplomats at the Indian High Commission in Colombo declined to comment on the issue stating that “It is too premature more..

Differing views on 13A within ruling coalition

Oct 21 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s suggestion that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (13A) be immediately abolished, supported by some constituents of the UPFA, remains in limbo with widely differing viewpoints on the subject within the ruling UPFA coalition and no govt decision on the subject yet. Minister Dinesh Gunewardena said that there was no govt decision on the views of more..

Universities in race to catch up with missed lectures

Oct 21 (ST) Extra classes and semester extensions are among the measures university authorities are adopting to overcome the backlog of academic activities – a result of the three-month-long academics’ strike which ended last week. But, students said these moves had put them under pressure for no fault of theirs. “Three months were an utter waste. We couldn’t join even a private course because we weren’t sure when more..

Nuclear threat: India turns down Lanka’s request

Oct 21 (ST) India has refused to accept a year-long request to have Sri Lankans to be part of safety committees in the event of a nuclear fallout at the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu to be commissioned shortly, Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) Chairman Dr. Ranjith Wijayawardana said. The matter was taken up by Sri Lanka when officials from both govts met during a two-day meeting in New Delhi a fortnight ago more..

Mass protests to demand pay hike

Oct 21 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) has decided to stage a mass demonstration in Colombo and other parts of the country this week demanding a pay hike for public servants. NTUC President K. D. Lalkantha said that the govt had failed to address the rise in the cost of living by increasing the salaries of public servants to be on par with the current cost of living index. “Between January 2006 to August 2012 there has been a Rs. 21052 increase in the cost of living and more..

GMOA to strike ahead of budget

Oct 21 (NS) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will launch its island-wide strike involving over 16,000 govt doctors in all hospitals ahead of the budget.“It will be anytime, any day within this month before the budget is present in the first week of next month,” Dr Nalinda Herat, a spokesperson of the GMOA said. He said the strike was to put pressure on the govt ahead of the budget, to meet their two demands, which have been accepted by the Treasury and the Salaries Commission. more..

Seabed change sends thousands of fish ashore

Oct 21 (ST) Shoals of fish, some alive and others dead, have begun to flood coastal areas in what experts described yesterday as an impact of the inter-monsoonal weather changes. Thousands of fish were being collected by residents and fishermen in the eastern, southern western, north-western and northern coastal areas and were either being sold or used for consumption. more..

Heavy tourist arrivals to Kumana

Oct 21 (NS) Three hundred percent increase in tourist arrivals to the Kumana National Park had been witnessed over the past few months, Wildlife Department Media Spokesman, Hasini Sarachchandra said. Kumana National Park was closed for a long period during the armed conflict and reopened after the war. “Over 3500 local tourists and over 500 foreign tourists have visited the sanctuary in August, and the numbers keep increasing,” she said. “Kumana National park more..

Malinga's Mumbai blinder likely to anger Sri Lankan cricket fans

Oct 21 (E24|7) Chennai Super Kings salvaged some of their lost pride when they pulled off a thrilling six-run win over Mumbai Indians in a Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 on Saturday. All eyes and debate will be on Lasith Malinga who had a brilliant game for the Mumbai Indians - shortly after flopping for Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup, at hope in Sri Lanka. The IPL has been blamed for Malinga's loss of impact when playing for Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lanka hope for Ajantha Mendis' recovery

Oct 21 (CI) Ajantha Mendis' fitness remains a concern for Sri Lanka as they prepare to take on New Zealand in a series of Tests, ODIs and a one-off T20 international starting October 30. "Ajantha is still recovering from a side strain which he suffered during the World T20. That is our only concern right now," Sri Lanka's team manager Charith Senanayake said on Saturday. Mendis picked up the injury during Sri Lanka's more..

Sri Lanka tops Eid destination

Oct 21 (TOO) The response to Eid Al Adha travel booking has been lukewarm so far but travel agencies hope that it will pick up with the holidays being officially declared. Speaking to Times of Oman Vijai D'Cunha, assistant general manager, Marmul Travel & Tours said, "This year we have not witnessed huge bookings like always. Many travel agency officials feel this is because the Eid Al Adha holidays have come soon after the long summer break. In fact, most of residents had taken a more..

Colonel ranks given to education officials not Army rank

Oct 21 (SL) The Colonel ranks given to principals of the Sri Lanka education administrative service and officers of the Ministry of Education are not ranks of the Army, Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said. Last week 23 Class 1 principals of the Sri Lanka education administrative service and officers of the Ministry of Education were Commissioned as Brevet Colonels at a ceremony held at the Defence Ministry premises. more..

FUTA says will look into Govt’s implementation of its demands

Oct 21 (ST) The FUTA will hold an Executive Committee meeting on Thursday to review the process of implementation of its demands which were agreed upon by the Govt, said FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Dewasiri. He said that, although it was agreed to immediately withdraw circulars that disrupt the autonomy of the university, after the suspension of the strike, no measures have been taken so far more..

Two buses in head-on collision: 12 students injured

Oct 21 (Island) Twelve students were injured following a head-on collision of two private buses at Holbrook junction in Agrapatana yesterday morning. They were injured were admitted to the Agrapatana Hospital, police said. The mishap occurred around 8.30 am when the two buses -- one proceeding from Dayagama to Hatton with schoolchildren and the other coming in the opposite direction on its way to Dayagama -- crashed head on. The injured, six boys and six girls, were taken to hospital by more..

Spices to earn 10% of GDP by 2022

Oct 21 (NS) Sri Lanka is to launch an ambitious 10-year plan funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to raise the export income from spices to 10% of the GDP by 2022. Ministry of Minor Export Crop Promotion believes that despite huge challenge it will be possible to achieve this target through good planning and high technology. Currently all spice exports led with cinnamon are only earning 0.6% of the GDP annually. “The 10-year plan more..

'UNP ready for talks with govt'

Oct 21 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his party was ready for a dialogue with the govt on resolving the crisis with regard to what he called the brewing conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive. Speaking at the annual get-together of the National Lawyers Association in Colombo, Mr. Wickremesinghe said his party was always ready to talk with the govt to decide on the composition of the committee more..

Person abducted by group in white van in Alewatta

Oct 21 (AD) A person was abducted by an unknown group of people who arrived in a white van in the Alewatta area of Ragama while he was on his way home. The wife of the victim who was riding back home on their bike stated that the white van had blocked off the road after which a group of people had assaulted her husband and abducted him. She stated that one of the assailants was carrying a firearm. She informed the police through the more..

Err in book for journos puts lady in a soup

Oct 21 (SL) A woman in Kurunegala is in an embarrassing situation after her telephone number had been listed in a book for journalists as that of the mobile number of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The 32 year old woman said that she had been receiving nuisance calls for the past two years with callers asking to speak to the UNP leader. “Sometimes the telephone calls put me in an embarrassing situation with the journalists asking who I am and If I’m related to the UNP more..

WikiLeaks: The international community should not try to isolate Rajapaksa – Akashi

Oct 21 (SL) “Akashi agreed that the All Parties process is a “slender hope that should not be discounted” and urged the Co-Chairs to press President Rajapaksa to use all his energies to bolster the process and sell its final proposal. Akashi said the international community should not try to isolate Rajapaksa, but rather capitalize on whatever positive actions emerge. Although Akashi felt more..