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Editorial: Ranil's army

Oct 24 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's thinking seems to have undergone a radical change recently. While former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka is doing his damnedest to recast himself as civilian leader, Ranil is beginning to sound like a military commander! He insists that the UNP should be transformed into an army of sorts if it is to enhance its performance and win future elections. He has promised to dislodge the Rajapaksa government in 2014! more..

The mad march of the ravening megalomaniacs

Oct 24 (SL) We know him as Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’. The Interpol knows him as Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam. He is on the Interpol’s wanted list for a variety of crimes starting with terrorism. Unsurprisingly; for decades he was a senior Tiger leader, a trusted confidant of Vellupillai Pirapaharan and the LTTE’s chief arms-procurer. In a lawful land, when it came to charging ‘KP’, the problem more..

Executive presidency the root of all evil: Are they preparing to lynch the CJ?

Oct 24 (CT) A fortnight ago several senior Ministers were told to hold a pres conference and con the public that the govt was not after the blood of the CJ. In Lanka, in these times, people know this means they are planning to do exactly the opposite of what they say! They told us they would abolish the Executive Presidency, but they enacted the 18-th Amendment which aims to impose it in perpetuity; they told us they would not privatise state assets, but they alienated every inch of more..

Why 13A should be repealed - I

Oct 24 (Island) The 13th amendment is in the limelight again. Soon after the Supreme Court decided that the Divineguma Bill should be approved by the Provincial Councils the writer in his column in The Island of Sept called for the abolition of the 13th amendment. A campaign for repealing it has gathered momentum after the Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa demanded that 13A be abolished. The thirteenth amendment serves no purpose for the people; it is only a source of income for the Chief Ministers, Ministers and the more..

Connections | October 22, 2012

Kalawanchikudi Hospital to be upgraded with JICA assistance

Oct 24 (DN) The Health Ministry has decided to upgrade the Kalawanchikudi Hospital to a base hospital with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Health Ministry spokesman said, yesterday. "JICA has already agreed to spend Rs.500 million on this development project which is to be launched to upgrade the Kalawanchikudi Hospital," he added. The basic discussion to develop the Kalawanchikudi more..

Pension scheme for indigenous physicians

Oct 24 (DN) Introducing a pension Scheme for the benefit of indigenous physicians in the Sabaragamuwa Province for the first time is a key and a novel proposal, Sabaragamuwa Governor W.J.M. Lokubandara said. He was reading out the Five Year Policy (2013 -2017) of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council, yesterday, opening at the Sixth Session of the Council. The other salient points of the policv statement included the strict application of the law to put an end to more..

Advanced bookings for mobile tented safaris lost in the wild!

Oct 24 (FT) The order by President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for the removal of all private campsites inside national parks over the weekend has left mobile tented safari operators in a quandary, with advanced bookings and the country’s reputation as a wildlife tourism hotspot hanging in the balance. The three operators – Leopard Safaris, Kulu Safaris, and Mahoora Safari Camps – have already confirmed bookings for many months more..

Malinga Bandara Cricket Academy opens at Kalutara

Oct 24 (Island) The Malinga Bandara Cricket Academy was declared open at the Kalutara Vidyalaya grounds last Sunday, for the purpose of developing cricket in the Kalutara District. Sunil Saluwadana, one of the most prominent school cricket coaches in the island, will be the chief instructor of this academy which will be conducted under total supervision by former Test player Bandara, a product of Kalutara Vidyalaya. The special feature of this cricket academy will be more..

Harsha Rajapaksha of Rahula College takes ten wickets in an innings

Oct 24 (Island) Left-arm paceman Harsha Rajapaksha of Rahula College, Matara has taken all ten wickets in an innings, in a spell of ten overs, to restrict Devapathiraja College, Ratgama to a paltry 23 runs on day one of their Under-19 cricket encounter at Uyanwatta Stadium, Matara yesterday. Rajapaksha has given away just eight runs in his 9.3 overs which also included four maidens, according to his school officials who confirmed the more..

Another 1,000 buses to 'Sisu Seriya' fleet

Oct 24 (DN) Minister C.B. Ratnayake said 1,000 new buses would be added to the fleet of the 'Sisu Seriya' school bus fleet shortly. He said the Private Transport Ministry has planned to extend the Sisu Seriya school bus service to the nine provinces to provide a special school bus service exclusively for school children and teachers to enable them to attend schools safely, economically and without physical or mental harassment during travel more..

Capital market welcomes pre-Budget talks with Dr. PB as ‘very positive’

Oct 24 (FT) Capital market stakeholders yesterday welcomed the pre-Budget meeting with Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and his team as ‘very positive,’ given the spirit of pragmatism and immediacy reflected. Almost all stakeholders who were associated with the mid-July forum with President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attended yesterday’s meeting under the aegis of the National Council for Economic more..

More petitions against Divi Neguma Bill

Oct 24 (FT) Supreme Court has received a total of 12 petitions filed against the controversial Divi Neguma Bill, confirmed Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday at Parliament. “There are eight new petitions,” he confirmed. In addition to the three determinations of the Supreme Court on Divi Neguma Bill, it cited violation of functions attributed to the Speaker by the Constitution and failure to follow due compliance last week. The Divi Neguma Bill was presented to more..

Central Bank optimistic!

Oct 24 (Island) A policy u-turn by the Central Bank earlier this year is bearing fruit with credit growth easing and the balance of payments reporting a surplus, an optimistic Central Bank said in its monthly monetary policy review yesterday, downplaying the impact of the global economic crisis and surging govt borrowings. The Central Bank announced it would keep key policy interest rates tight to contain inflation with private sector more..

UPFA CPC member in ‘chairtop’ protest

Oct 24 (Island) Ruling party UPFA member Gunatillake Rajapaksa, stood on his chair, during the Central Provincial Council meeting yesterday and vehemently protested against the re-appointment of former chairman of the Central Province Passenger Transport Authority. Rajapaksa protested against the former chairman being re-appointed after being enlarged on bail from remand for allegedly accepting a bribe from private coach operator in Kandy. He was arrested by the more..

Sajith demands appointment of Wildlife DG, criticizes new elephant orphanage

Oct 24 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday urged the govt to appoint a qualified person as Director-General of the Wildlife Department. The MP said that the post had remained vacant for 14 months. He pointed out the absurdity in the govt proposing regulations to protect sea mammals while keeping the post of DG Wildlife vacant. Speaking during the debate on new regulations under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, which dealt with strict guidelines more..

Opposition asks if match-fixing cause of losses in cricket finals

Oct 24 (Island) The UNP queried whether it was mutual dislike among team members towards a person of authority in the team that motivates them to fix matches. UNP MP John Amaratunga raised this query when moving the adjournment motion in Parliament. He also noted that the Sri Lankan team’s continuous losses in finals of cricket tournaments were not due to failure, but some other reasons, including match fixing. more..

Benefits cheat jailed for claiming while in Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (NS) A benefits cheat fraudulently claimed almost £9,000 while in Sri Lanka. Sepalika Dondeenu, aged 43, of Ravensleigh Gardens, Bromley, has admitted claiming £4,344 in housing and council tax benefits from Bromley Council and £4,502 from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in income support. A referral to the council fraud team triggered an investigation showing Dondeenu was in Sri Lanka during the period more..

Sri Lankan legends to assist Blacks Caps

Oct 24 (Stuff) The New Zealand Cricket team won't be throwing new bowling coach Shane Bond into the deep end during their tour of Sri Lanka, they're calling in the local cavalry. Bond will be ably assisted by easily Sri Lanka's most successful international bowlers, Muttiah Muralidharan and Chaminda Vaas. Head coach Mike Hesson today announced Muralidharan would be involved before the management team departed Christchurch this morning, but Vaas' involvement was meant more..

Sri Lanka more vulnerable to earthquakes

Oct 24 (DN) Sri Lanka can no longer be considered isolated from the effects of seismic activities, said chairman of the Sub Committee on Developing Building Guidelines for Earthquake Resistant Designs, of the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) K.L.S. Sahabandu. Addressing the Terms of Reference of Knowledge and Experience Seminar on Disaster Management, the chairman said recent geological studies have identified that the more..

Disciplinary action against 7 SLMC EPC members

Oct 24 (Island) The SLMC has initiated disciplinary action against seven of its members elected to the Eastern Provincial Council for not carrying out a party decision on the ‘Divi Neguma’ Bill. The sources said that the letters summoning them for a disciplinary inquiry had been sent to the seven SLMC EPC members. Party Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem, speaking on the phone from USA, had requested the elected members of the SLMC more..

Indian aid to Sri Lanka: For better or for worse?

Oct 24 (NC) The 26 years long civil war in Sri Lanka caused extensive damage to a progressive and promising economy. The war may have put an end to armed hostilities between state military and the now-defunct LTTE, but it left most of the northern and eastern portions of the teardrop island in ruins. Moreover, it caused the internal displacement of nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians. India has promised to be a partner in the redevelopment, rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-affected more..

Leadership training programme: Academics'views to be sought

Oct 24 (DN) The Higher Education Ministry will seek the university academics' and Vice Chancellors' views on the on-going leadership training and positive abilities development programme conducted for freshers. "This can be considered as a fruitful measure to create a perfect programme," Minister S B Dissanayake said. The ministry will make appropriate changes to the leadership and positive abilities development more..

Sheikha Fatima receives Sri Lanka's first lady

Oct 24 (WAM) Cooperation between women unions in the UAE and Sri Lanka and women's issues were discussed today by Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women's Union (GWU), Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Sri Lankan President's wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa. Efforts by the UAE to promote development and welfare of women, mothers and children as well as its more..

‘Probe French role in Gaddafi killing’

Oct 24 (Island) Attorney-at-law Gomin Dayasri said that those pursuing international war crimes inquiry, targeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa, couldn’t turn a blind eye to claims that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the French secret service to assassinate ousted Libyan President Colonel Gaddafi. Former US Ambassador Patricia Butenis called President Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka and more..

Abortions with restrictions to be legalized

Oct 24 (CT) Minister of Children’s Development and Women’s Affairs, Tissa Karalliyadda, said the act providing the legalizing of abortions, with certain restrictions, has already been drafted. When underage girls and women with mental disorders are impregnated, or the baby to be born is found to be deformed, and also if it is diagnosed the mother is at risk at the confinement, an abortion can be done, the minister told Ceylon Today more..

Principal appointing powers withdrawn from PSC

Oct 24 (Island) The Education Ministry has decided to withdraw the powers vested in the Public Service Commission to appoint principals to national schools. The Ministry plans to have a new set of proposals for appointing principals with Cabinet approval. Until approval is obtained for the new system, the Ministry has suspended the filling of vacancies in 92 schools. The Education Ministry took this step following allegations by MPs more..

Reid Avenue turned into battlefield

Oct 24 (Island) 8 students and a policeman were injured when students of the Royal and Thurstan Colleges clashed, at Reid Avenue, near the Racecourse grounds yesterday afternoon. 5 students were arrested for unleashing violence. They were subsequently released following the intervention of school authorities. The constable got injured while attempting to disperse students who were disrupting traffic and pelting stones at each other. In the wake of clashes, Education more..

Double standards

Oct 24 (CT) The Tamil detainees at the Magazine Prison, while insisting on their early release, criticized the govt saying that hardcore LTTE members such as Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), and several others have been treated lavishly with many privileges. The views were expressed by around 80 Tamil political prisoners, who met Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, at the J-block of the prison on Monday. TNA MPs, Suresh more..

Editorial: Clean suit for the City, empty pocket

Oct 24 (DM) Servant leadership with sincere, selfless and sacrificial service to the people appears to be out of stock in the political scene, and a rare virtue even in other spheres including religion. A religious leader has said that anyone who wants to be great and take leadership must be ready to be the servant of all and even give his or her life for others. Those who seek and gain publicity are mostly the self–righteous, the hypocrites and sanctimonious humbugs, and more..

Divineguma Bill: Can it be made applicable to the Northern Province?

Oct 24 (DM) The Bill bearing the title ‘Divineguma’ which was published in the Govt Gazette on 27th July 2012 and placed in the Order Paper of Parliament was challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121(1) of the Constitution. The Bill intends to repeal the Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka Act No. 30 of 1995, Southern Development Authority Act, No. 18 of 1996 and the Udarata Development Authority Act, No. 26 of 2005, in order to form one Department more..

A/L students languishing sans admission to uni

Oct 24 (LB) The A/L students who sat for the exam last year have still not been admitted to universities due to the spate of problems that the higher education sector has had to face. The major problems university authorities have faced is the non-availability of adequate facilities at universities to cater to the massive intake. Initially, the admission of students to universities were hampered due to the conflicts that arose regarding the Z-score more..

The Galle Fort: A city within a city

Oct 24 (SL) Recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the Galle Fort is today busy with activity with shops, restaurants, mini hotels, places of worship, a courts complex, museum and many more, all operating within the old Fort walls. Seen by many as a ‘city within a city’ the Fort has largely preserved its historic look, mostly as a result of the recognition and restoration efforts of UNESCO and the Archeological Department of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 18% in September

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 18.1% to 71,111 in September 2012 from a year earlier, with arrivals during the nine months up 16% to 693,772 data from the Indian Ocean island's tourist promotion office showed. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 15.1% to 22,327 with German arrivals surging 46 percent to 4,942 and top generating market Britain rising 9.1% after showing disappointing performance so far this year. more..

SL, Indian sex workers face police/military harassment: UN

Oct 24 (DM) The United Nations said Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh were among countries where sex workers were often the target of police or military harassment. “Incidents involving sexual assaults by police or military have been reported from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Kiribati, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka,” the UNDP and the UN Population Fund, more..

U.S. Ambassador opens two schools in Batticaloa

Oct 24 (USE) Over 1,200 rural students in the East can now enjoy improved educational facilities thanks to financial support from the United States. Funds from the USAID and the U.S. Pacific Command built and renovated classrooms, teachers’ quarters, and lavatories. On a visit to Batticaloa, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison opened the Kalumunthanveli General more..

UGC’s failure to withdraw circulars irks FUTA

Oct 24 (Island) The FUTA yesterday accused the UGC of failing to withdraw several controversial circulars issued during its 99-day strike, though Minister Basil Rajapaksa had promised to have them withdrawn immediately. The FUTA suspended its strike on Oct. 11. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that in line with the agreement between FUTA and Minister Rajapaksa, all circulars, which interfered with more..

Bill won’t prevent CB supervising Divineguma banks – Counsel

Oct 24 (Island) The Central Bank could supervise the Divineguma Banks once the ‘Divineguma’ Bill was made law, President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva told the Supreme Court yesterday. The Bill did not seek to bar the Central Bank from supervising and examining Divineguma accounts, he said, adding that the Bill would lift the living standards of the very poor people. Counsel de Silva was supporting the intervenient petition more..

Cancer-stricken Greig thanks Sri Lankan fans for their prayers

Oct 24 (E24|7) England cricket great Tony Greig has thanked Sri Lankans for their prayers and support ever since he has been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer. "It's a very special feeling in the heart of someone to know that there is a nation of cricket lovers like the Sri Lankans who care about an individual like myself," said the former England skipper speaking exlusively to a Sri Lankan television channel 'News 1st'. more..

13-A: SLMC flays call for referendum

Oct 24 (Island) The SLMC will oppose any attempt by the govt to hold a national referendum with a view to repealing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, SLMC General Secretary M. T. Hassen Ali, MP, said. He said: "Just because the govt could not pass one Bill, it should not try to do away with the whole amendment. We will defend the 13th Amendment. It is unethical to hold a referendum at national level as the majority community would vote en-bloc in more..