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No jail, but rehabilitation for drug addicts

Oct 23 (ST) People found guilty of violating some narcotics or excise laws will not be sent to jail, but to community-based correction centres for rehabilitation from next year, Prisons Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said. He said the main objective was to reduce overcrowding of prisons where nearly 60 per cent of inmates were held in connection with narcotics or excise offences. Minister said amendments to the Prisons more..

Govt. allies want 13-A scrapped

Oct 23 (DM) Several allies of the ruling UPFA have decided to continue their campaign to pressure President Mahinda Rajapaksa to abrogate the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, by using the two-thirds majority in Parliament, Daily Mirror learns. The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) have started a public campaign against the 13th Amendment. more..

Payments for Ecosystem Services mooted

Oct 23 (DN) The govt anticipates to establish and operationalize a scheme of Payments for Ecosystem Services next year, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Addressing the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on Thursday in Hyderabad in India, the minister noted an innovative project titled ‘Pricing the Biodiversity of the Island’ more..

Govt’s pro-poor education policy yet to be implemented

Oct 23 (SL) The Appropriations Bill for the year 2013 was presented to parliament by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. During the coming weeks, The Sunday Leader will take a detailed look at spending patterns on key subject areas, and attempt to set them in a historical context. This week, we focus on how the spending would work for primary and secondary education. Sri Lanka has an adult literacy rate of 91.9%. Primary school more..

GMOA locks horns with Provincial Health Director

Oct 23 (Island) The Colombo district GMOA Branch Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge yesterday denounced the negative attitude shown by the Western Province Health Director Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva in making public the contents of the interim report on the Sept 9 assault on Lunawa DMO by a nurse and her husband. The Colombo district GMOA Branch with the support of the GMOA mother union would take a final decision tomorrow more..

'13A abolition debate to divert attention from CoL etc'

Oct 23 (Island) The govt had triggered a pseudo patriotic debate over the abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, purely to divert attention from the real issues confronting the country, including the economic mess it had created despite making public statements to the contrary, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that with the budget round the corner and all state revenue being used more..

Gotabaya gets Delhi invite ahead of UNHRC session

Oct 23 (NIP) The Indian govt has invited Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to New Delhi for talks, ahead of next month’s session of the UNHRC in Geneva, according to informed sources. The visit is expected to take place in the next few days because Sri Lanka’s case is to be taken by the UNHRC on Nov 1, under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheme. India is in the three-nation panel which will oversee more..

Colombo denies negotiations with Saudi government on Rizana Nafeek’s case

Oct 23 (AN) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo refuted newspapers reports in Colombo about a meeting between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, in Kuwait last week on the release of death sentenced housemaid Rizana Nafeek. The news report stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa met on Oct. 17 with Prince Salman on the sidelines more..

Tamil asylum seekers try for 11th hour block on deportation

Oct 23 (Guardian) Dozens of Tamil asylum seekers have lodged emergency appeals in the high court to stop their deportation to Sri Lanka for fear they will be tortured on their return. Solicitors acting for clients due to be removed on Tuesday on a special charter flight for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) have issued judges with case files in 11th hour appeals in London. Citing previous evidence of torture for Tamils who have returned to more..

Cops help build house for destitute family

Oct 23 (Island) The Kantale police last week, in a magnanimous gesture, helped a destitute family in the area by building a house for them with the help and contributions from some of those in the police station, Divisional Secretariat, staff and students of Seevali Vidyalaya, Rajaela and Civil Defence Force personnel in the area. W. Keertiratne (40) was a differently abled man who was unable to speak. The ancestral home he lived in had collapsed during the floods and he was forced to live in the kitchen more..

Sri Lankans transferred to Nauru

Oct 23 (ABC) A group of 25 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been transferred from Darwin to the detention centre on Nauru, the Immigration Department says. The group is the latest to be sent to Nauru as part of the Federal Govt's offshore processing policy. Most have been flown from Christmas Island to Nauru, but some have also been taken from detention in Darwin. The Department says transfers to Nauru will happen regularly as part of the Govt's new policy. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Moves to fill 3,500 GN vacancies

Oct 23 (DN) Arrangements are being made to fill 3,500 Grama Niladhari vacancies in the country from among the 14,022 Grama Niladhari divisions through a competitive examination as published in the Govt Gazette of October 5. An Information Department release said persons in the age group of 21 to 30 on the closing date of applications are eligible to apply. Applicants should have resided in the respective divisions for at least three years during the last six year period. more..

Weliamuna appears for Wele Suda’s wife’s Fundamental Rights petition

Oct 23 (DN) Piliduwa Bogahawattage Gayani alias Sujie, wife of well-known underworld gang leader Wele Suda was arrested by the CID at the Bandaranaike International Airport recently. Attorney J C Weliamuna appeared for her in a Fundamental Rights petition filed by her against the Maligakanda magistrate’s refusal to issue documents pertaining to her bail application. The Supreme Court which considered the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sujie, wife of Wele Suda stated that since documents more..

WikiLeaks: A convicted Norwegian murderer is supported by the GoSL

Oct 23 (CT) “Bjotveit believes that Rovik is supported by the GSL, and receives funding from Sri Lankan hard-liners. For example, the GSL Ministry of Defense recently posted an op-ed from Rovik and its website also previously advertised one of Rovik’s speaking engagements.” the US Embassy Oslo informed Washington. A Leaked US diplomatic cable, dated May 02, 2007, recounts the details of a meeting the US Embassy officials has more..

Sri Lanka willing to work with China to boost development

Oct 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will continue to engage with China in key development sectors, particularly tourism, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody told a delegation of Chinese officials here on Monday. Weerakkody made the remarks at a meeting with the delegation led by Zhao Qizheng, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body. more..

JVP launches fresh campaign to demand 6% GDP to education

Oct 23 (Island) Pro–JVP trade unions will launch a fresh protest campaign today from Colombo to force the govt to allocate 6% of the GDP to the education sector. Convener of the National Trade Union Centre Samantha Koralearachchi said that they would start the campaign from Fort Railway Station today with the presence of former JVP MP its trade union leader K. D. Lalkantha. He said that members of the National Trade Union Centre, more..

KP enjoying ‘diplomatic privileges’ - UNP

Oct 23 (AD) The United National Party (UNP) today accused the govt of treating the senior most surviving Tamil Tiger leader as “a pet” and providing him with “diplomatic privileges” while pocketing LTTE money in return. Immediately after the arrest of Kumaran Pathmanathan, alias ‘KP’, the govt declared him as the chief arms procurer, international fund raiser and current leader of the LTTE, UNP MP Tissa Attanayake said. more..

Attempt on SF’s life: bomber’s aide sentenced

Oct 23 (DM) Kegalle High Court today sentenced an accused to 35 years rigorous imprisonment for aiding and abetting a female LTTE suicide cadre who attempted to assassinate former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on April 26, 2006. High Court judge Ms. Menaka Wijesundara convicted Shanmugalingum Sooriyakumar alias Suri in four counts including escorting the suicide bomber Manjula Devi from Kilinochchi and harbouring more..

Divi Neguma 4th stage seeds distribution commences

Oct 23 (GDI) Distribution of seeds among five million families on district level, under the the fourth stage of the Divi Neguma development programme commenced on Monday. Functions were held throughout the country in which Ministers, MPs and political leaders distributed seed packages consisting of ten vegetable varieties. The Economic Development Ministry has decided to distribute 7 million fruit plants,3000 cows and 5000 goats to the people in the rural areas of more..

The Business Today recognizes the Top Twenty Five Companies

Oct 23 (GDI) The Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE awards ceremony was held on Monday (22) at the Hilton Colombo with the distinguished patronage of Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development. Business Today recognized the TOP TWENTY FIVE companies this year to acknowledge and encourage the new entrants, while appreciating those who have kept the ship – the Sri Lankan economy – afloat. more..

Stocks recover from six-week low; rupee down

Oct 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks recovered from six-week lows with top fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom jumping 7% in thin trade on Tuesday, dealers said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index edged 0.05% or 2.88 points up at 5,556.77, from its lowest close since Sept 7. "Market moved on some block deals while many were awaiting to see the direction specially ahead of the budget," said a stockbroker on condition of anonymity. more..

Over 5,000 PSM members strike tomorrow

Oct 23 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned that they would stage a two-hour strike tomorrow, in hospitals countrywide, demanding increases in overtime and on call allowances. PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekara said that the union would also commence a protest walk at lunch time, from the National Hospital and stage a protest opposite the Health Ministry. Jayasekara said that PSM had not received increments in on-call and overtime more..

Ex-Petroleum Secretary charged with corruption

Oct 23 (AD) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has filed action against the former secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Industries, Titus Jayawardena and a CPC official for alleged corruption in import of substandard petrol. The case has been filed at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court regarding the calling of a tender for importing of a consignment of petrol between May 3, 2011 and April 28, more..

Royal, Thurstan students clash; policeman injured

Oct 23 (AD) A tense situation has been reported in Reid Avenue in Colombo 07 due to a clash between two groups of students from Royal College and Thurstan College, police said. Traffic on Reid Avenue in front of the University of Colombo has been obstructed due to the prevailing situation, police added. Meanwhile a police officer attached to Cinnamon Garden Police has also been injured during the clash and has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. more..

No classes for upper school students at Royal and Thurstan

Oct 23 (AD) The classes of Grade 10,11,12 and 13 of Royal College and Thurstan College will be closed from tomorrow until Oct 29, the Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated. A tense situation was reported earlier today in Reid Avenue in Colombo 7 due to a clash between two groups of students from Royal College and Thurstan College, police said. Traffic on Reid Avenue in front of the University of Colombo was obstructed due to more..

Central Bank keeps policy rates steady on declining trade deficit

Oct 23 (Xinhua) Central Bank has decided to keep its policy rates steady on declining inflation and trade gap, the organization said on Tuesday. Monetary Board of the Central Bank has decided that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate. Accordingly, the Repurchase rate and the Reverse Repurchase rate would remain at 7.75% and 9.75%, respectively. The statement also noted that more..

Lightning strikes Sigiriya rock

Oct 23 (DM) A portion of the wall near the Lion’s Paw in the Siriya Rock has reportedly broken following a lightning strike. The section of wall collapsed due to the force created by a lighting strike at around 2.30pm today. A portion around 10 feet wide had fallen off from the wall near the Lion’s Paw flanking the entrance to the historic rock. Heavy rain is currently being experienced in the area. There were no reports of injuries to anyone following the incident. more..

The landslide alert lifted

Oct 23 (Island) The landslide alert, in some areas of the Kandy district, was withdrawn yesterday by the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO), but people were told to be vigilant for rock slides and earth slips as inter monsoon rains were continuing. Head of the Landslide Research Division of the NBRO R.M.S. Bandara said that the situation was becoming calm in the District, but heavy rains had lashed landslide threatened areas of the Kalutara District during the 24 hours that more..

Karunanidhi decries war memorial

Oct 23 (PTI) Slamming the building of a victory memorial in northern Sri Lanka as an "uncivilised act" by the island govt to "deliberately hurt" sentiments of Tamils, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said such memorials would not help the peace efforts claimed to have been taken up by Colombo. "The memorial and war museum are uncivilised act of the Sri Lankan Govt. These are not helpful to the peace efforts said to have been undertaken more..

Delay in release of Z-score cut off points

Oct 23 (DM) The Z-score cut off points will not be released till such time the universities finish their aptitude tests for 28 degree programmes, officials said yesterday. University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Gamini Samaranayake said that even though the cut off points were released early, the universities would not be able to admit students until they completed academic and administrative work that had been delayed because of the strike by lecturers and non-academics. more..

Flotilla of tiny asylum boats arrives on our shore

Oct 23 (DT) Almost a third of illegal boat arrivals in the past two weeks carried fewer than a dozen people as desperate asylum seekers clamber to board any vessel available. The 24th boat to arrive in the past fortnight had just 11 people on board, according to Customs and Border Protection.Six other boats have arrived, each carrying between five and nine asylum seekers, since October 10. Customs officials denied there was a trend appearing but said there were occasional more..

Sri Lankan asylum seekers' deportation halted at last minute

Oct 23 (Guardian) The high court has ordered that the imminent deportation to Sri Lanka of a number of Tamils be halted amid claims they may be tortured on their return. Three solicitors' firms have confirmed to the Guardian that a number of their clients had been given last-minute reprieves and would no longer be flown out of the country on a specially chartered UK Border Agency (UKBA) flight that was expected to be leave on more..

Corporate social responsibility and the underprivileged

Oct 24 (NS) The general perception in Sri Lanka is that the alleviation of rural poverty is in the hands of the government and that the corporate sector has no direct role in that. This govt-only policy has been proven wrong all over the world; but some countries like Sri Lanka still cling on to the idea to the detriment of the greater good of the country. How can the corporate sector engage in poverty alleviation in Sri Lanka? There are myriad ways and endless opportunities. more..

Democratisation as a precondition for reconciliation

Oct 24 (DBS) ”… if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…” With that simple yet elegant phrase the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights captures the essence of a timeless truism. As I survey the political debates and events unfolding in post-war Sri Lanka, the wisdom of those words constantly comes to mind. Where the human spirit can soar more..

Trishaw fare meters not fair by commuters

Oct 24 (SO) For a majority of the city dwellers three wheelers have become a popular mode of transport in their day-to-day activities and the three wheelers fixed with fare meters came handy not only for their purses but also to relieve them from unwanted arguments with three wheeler drivers over the fares. But it has turned out to be a short lived happiness for many commuters who opt to board a three-wheeler fixed with a fare meter. more..

Statement by Dr. Sarath Amunugama

Oct 24 (NS) Mr. Chairman, Fellow Governors, Ladies and Gentlemen, The weakened economic position in advanced economies has posed daunting challenges to the entire international community. Intensification of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area, continued sluggish growth in advanced economies, and weakened domestic demand in emerging market economies is clearly seen. It is also important to ensure that strategies adopted to stimulate these economies more..

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment

Oct 24 (DBS) The Union of Burma became an independent nation in 1948. It was a former British colony, which joined the Commonwealth of Nations. The British had administered Burma as separate units, Lower Burma, Upper Burma and the Frontier Areas. The Panglong Agreement, which was negotiated by national hero General Aung San, who fought in World War II and negotiated Burma’s freedom from Britain, combined these areas into one nation. General Aung San was later more..

The A9 deity

Oct 24 (CT) Nary a bus or private vehicle will pass through on the way to Jaffna without one important stopover: Murugandy. On the long journey north, stopovers are needed but why at that particular point? Because a certain unassuming deity has been sitting there under a tree from time immemorial. And travellers up that path, dating from the time of bullock carts, have held to the belief that he is their guardian deity and more..

Grievances, Please?

Oct 24 (CT) Leader of the TNA, veteran politician R. Sampanthan, has stated that his reservations about joining the Parliamentary Select Committee stems from a long history of promises and assurances, made and given respectively, and consequently broken. In short, he doesn’t trust the Sri Lankan Government (just has he and other Tamil leaders have not trusted previous Govts). Someone can easily say ‘you are one to talk!’ make a long list of actions and statements by Sampanthan, more..