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'The weight of the country'

Oct 3 (CI) Colombo, Sri Lanka. Last night, already in a haze from jet lag, cheap beer and the seething energy on the eve of a Pakistan-India match, I stood in a living room and listened to friends explain the Green Bay Packers to the head coach of Pakistan's cricket team. Andy and Melissa Heger live on a quiet lane in central Colombo, moving here after falling in love with it during a sailing trip around the world, somehow ending up in the more..

Viper Networks signs pilot project for LED street lights and indoor lighting

Oct 3 (GNW) Viper Networks, Inc, is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka's Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to commence a short-term pilot program by installing about 100 LED indoor lights and approximately one dozen street lights near the Ministry's administration building as a small size, short trial test period. The estimated 30 to 90 day pilot program has been agreed to as an more..

Stocks closed down 0.64 pct

Oct 3 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.64% Wednesday with some blue chip stocks losing ground. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,890.69 down 37.84 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 32.46 points lower at 3,189.94 down 1.01%. Turnover was 3,038 million rupees. Top contributors to the day's turnover were Sampath Bank with 1,690 million rupees, JKH with 326 million rupees and Aitken Spence with 246 million rupees. Index heavy John Keells Holdings slipped 3.40 rupees more..

Mystery spinners crack Twenty20 code

Oct 3 (Reuters) Modern bats and the crash-bang format of 20-over cricket may suggest otherwise but Ajantha Mendis and fellow practitioners of unorthodox spin bowling have proved they are not in the World Twenty20 just to play cannon-fodder. Field restrictions and the batsman's freedom stemming from the format's brevity make 20-over cricket indubitably the most batsman-biased of the game's three formats. Denied the luxury of more..

Sri Lanka's war displaced hope for better days

Oct 3 (PTI) Abdul Rafique was just 25 years old when he and his family left their land and belongings that they had in a small village in this northern Sri Lankan district in 1990 when the LTTE expelled Muslims from the region in an ethnic-cleansing drive. Having lived for 20 years in various government-run camps that lacked even basic facilities, Rafique returned to his native village of Periyamadhu in 2010 only to find vast tracts of empty land and more..

'We're in with a big shout of winning title'

Oct 3 (ES) If Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in tomorrow’s semi-final in Colombo, they have a 90 per cent chance of winning the World Twenty20 title. The home team have impressed me more than any other in the tournament and they should believe they can go on to take the trophy. Pakistan are the side who can give Sri Lanka the most trouble. They are used to the conditions, have good spinners and have won this competition before, in England in 2009, when they beat Sri Lanka in the final. more..

Take a lead in Sri Lankan Tamils welfare: DMK tells the Centre

Oct 3 (PTI) Hinting that India's rehabilitation efforts for Tamils in post civil war Sri Lanka were "not satisfactory," key UPA partner DMK today asked the govt to take the lead ahead of Colombo to ensure their welfare. India should also move a resolution in the UN, demanding its intervention to allow the Tamils to decide their rights, a meeting of the recently revived TESO, chaired by DMK chief M Karunanidhi said. more..

SriLankan Airlines to invest Rs200mn in flight kitchen

Oct 3 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines will invest 200 million rupees to build a flight kitchen at the second international airport which is being built in Hambantota in the island's south. "This flight kitchen will be much smaller than the one at Katunayake (International Airpot)," chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said. "It will have about 20 percent of the capacity." SriLankan's flight kitchen is a profitable unit which serves the airline and also third party airlines calling at Colombo. more..

Might make some tactical changes: Mahela

Oct 3 (WI) Saeed Ajmal and Ajantha Mendis are expected to play key roles in Thursday’s ICC World Twenty20 semifinal between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, given the element of intrigue they bring with them. Mahela Jayawardene, however, debunked the ‘mystery’ theory, saying both had been around long enough for the mystery to have disappeared. “Saeed Ajmal and Ajantha Mendis have been playing for five or six years now and I am not too sure whether there’s any mystery left,” more..

'No red light zone in Colombo'

Oct 3 (DM) The CMC had no plans to set up a red light area within Colombo City Limits, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said. He said the proposal submitted by UNP Councillor W.P. Malagamuwa that a red light area be set up within the Colombo City would not be acted upon because it was just the view of an individual. Earlier Mr. Malagamuwa said the benefits of his proposal would only be witnessed in years to come. more..

ICC elite umpires donate SLR 1 million to Chitra Lane charity

Oct 3 (PTI) The Elite Panel of ICC Umpires on Wednesday donated one million Sri Lanka Rupees to the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child and Children Resource Centre. The cheque was presented by the umpires during a visit of the centre where they also spent considerable time with under-privileged and disadvantaged children, as well as the dedicated staff. The Chitra Lane organisation is an approved charity which first started in more..

More assistance for 'Abhimansala ll' Project

Oct 3 (MoD) A stock of paint worth one million rupees intended for the use of the construction of 'Abhimansala ll' was handed over to Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Akzo Nobel Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd today at the Ministry premises. 'Abhimansala' is a wellness resort exclusively designed to house dependent War Heroes for the rest of their life-span. The first state of the art, 'Abimansala', built on the banks of the ancient Nuwara Wewa more..

'Bad management led to education crisis'

Oct 3 (DM) UPFA MP Rajiva Wijesinha addressing a forum on the future of free education in Sri Lanka said there was a massive crisis in education which was due to a crisis in management and lack of productivity, and added that union demands based on wage hikes and increases in govt spending were irrelevant. The forum panel consisted of Prof. Wijesinha and Federation of FUTA Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and was moderated more..

Govt hoping to resolve FUTA strike tomorrow

Oct 3 (AD) The govt is hoping to meet FUTA officials tomorrow to resolve the current university lecturers’ strike action, says Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake. The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) launched a strike action from 4th July, demanding an increase in Govt spending on state universities and education in general. The Department of Examinations had invited university lecturers for a special discussion regading A/L paper marking, more..

‘Divineguma’ act slashes rights of employees and beneficiaries – Chamara

Oct 3 (LT) Even if the ‘Divineguma act’ is adopted with the approval of provincial councils the illegal act would not solve grievances of employees and beneficiaries and they would have to take trade union action says the General Secretary of Samurdhi Development Officers Union Chamara Maddumakaluge. Despite an attempt to get the act adopted in Parliament, due to presence of clauses that connect it with provincial councils it is being adopted in provincial councils on more..

Expectations soar as Sri Lanka enter familiar territory

Oct 3 (CI) Something about major tournaments stokes Sri Lanka's fire. They have now reached their fifth semi-final in six competitions, second only to Pakistan who have a cleansweep since the 2007 World Cup. In between the major events, they are often underwhelming. Before defeating Pakistan in the home ODIs in June, Sri Lanka had failed to collect silverware in six limited-overs series over 10 months. more..

When diversity is made out to be divisive

Oct 4 (NS) A few weeks ago, an English language newspaper carried an article written by a Ms. Shenali Waduge, which, sadly, made (a) an incorrect and biased analysis of the status of those of the Tamil community, and (b) gave reason for the current political deadlock between the two ethnic communities at conflict; the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Ms. Waduge has judged all Tamils en masse failing to recognize the quiet and simple fact that each person that made up the more..

Wisdom of judiciary should be respected

Oct 4 (NS) In the midst of provincial elections and the antics of ministerial offspring, two significant recent events have “slipped under the radar”: the Supreme Court ruling that the ‘Divi Neguma’ Bill should be passed by provincial councils and an ominous warning by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). The‘Divi Neguma’ Bill seeks to establish an authority that oversees development in the Upcountry and Southern regions as well as the Samurdhi scheme. more..

It pays to enrich your bread

Oct 4 (SO) Bread is believed to be the basic food that supports life. However, with imported wheat flour and other chemicals going into the locally produced bread, is it still healthy for consumption? Taxing imported bread and wheat flour-based products to encourage the purchase of locally-made bread, has made people worry if the local flour products will be just as nutritious and energy-giving as the white bread. more..

The problem of 'Statism'

Oct 4 (DBS) Teachers and students across the island have succeeded in securing space in national discourse for Sri Lanka’s degenerate education system. They have raised fundamental concerns about the quality of education being provided and the quality of student being produced. For three months, nearly 5,000 university professors have been on strike forgoing their own pay, and all State universities in the country have been closed indefinitely. In this context, much of the more..

Unprecedented statement by Judicial Services Commission secretary is a cataclysmic event in our chequered history

Oct 4 (DBS) Harvey and Bather in their seminal publication on the British Constitution, begin the Chapter on the Separation of Powers (19) with an extract from a poem by the Nobel Laureate poet, Rudyard Kipling, who lived for decades in India and understood the South Asian temperament intimately. The poem is ‘My Father’s Chair’: ‘When your time comes to sit in my Chair, Remember your Father’s habits and rules. Sit on all four legs, fair and square, And never be tempted by one legged stools!’ more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – October 02, 2012

Six per cent? YES WE CAN!

Oct 4 (LB) Various folks have weighed in on the FUTA initiated demand, now taken on by the public at large (it’s not FUTA’s business anymore, it’s now we the people’s business), that 6% of GDP be budgeted by the State for education. Yes that’s right 6% of GDP, yes it’s 20% of govt expenditure as per the 2011 Estimates. I write this perfectly cognizant of the facts and figures. Aged, past their useful-shelf-life Central Bank bureaucrats and ill informed lesser persons please note that intelligent Lanka more..

Shadow boxing with the independence of the judiciary!

Oct 4 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s indignant retort to newspaper editors this week that he did not attempt to interfere with the independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary has all the hallmarks of the classic ‘swing and swerve’ tactics adopted by his administration. In other words, this refers to its now entrenched policy of swinging out at an individual or institution and then adroitly swerving sideways to avoid consequences while engaging in the more..

'I just don’t understand'

Oct 4 (CT) Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake has emerged the rather bumptious villain in the continuing saga of the university academics, their demands and their strike action, which is now in its third month. The minister has maintained the dons’ issue is a conspiracy cooked up by some alien forces and has termed both their demands and the strike action unfair, unreasonable and unwarranted. more..

Editorial: University crisis - Resume talks!

Oct 4 (Island) The FUTA is reported to have reiterated, at a meeting with the Maha Nayake Theras who have offered their services as mediators to resolve the university crisis, that it does not expect financial allocations for the education sector to be increased to 6% of the GDP overnight. It made its position clear at the very inception of its struggle. The govt propagandists, true to form, misinterpreted that demand in a bid to make it out to be a flight of fancy. What the university teachers have more..

FUTA and Free Education in Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (GV) The results of the so-called ‘mother’s examination’, or the year five scholarship examination of this year, have once again sturdily testified for the importance and significance of preservation and continuation of the free education system of this country. The two students who have achieved the first places hail from two divergently opposing social classes, but the duo being educated in the same, state sponsored, free education system. When the boy student from socially affluent strata, attending a high ranked school scored more..

Why FUTA demands University autonomy and end to politicization

Oct 4 (CT) Sri Lankan university system is dysfunctional since early July. The federation of university teachers associations, FUTA, is on a trade union action close to last three months. Among FUTA’s demands, allocation of 6% o GDP for education, stop politicization of universities, ensure autonomy of universities, are included to make sure the university system could function in its true spirit of intellectual capacity. more..

Construction of railway lines by IRCON on schedule

Oct 4 (DN) 65% of the construction work of the railway line from Medawachchiya to Madhu has been completed. The construction work on the Medawachchiya-Madhu segment is expected to be completed on schedule by March, 2013 minister Kumara Welgama said. He said that attention has been focussed to complete its construction expeditiously. Fully mechanical sleeper installations and laying of tracks between Medawachchiya and Madhu were begun yesterday. more..

Over Rs 780 m in Southern Expressway toll charges

Oct 4 (DN) The govt has earned over Rs 780 million, by way of toll charges, since the Southern Expressway opened on Nov 27, 2011, Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said. "Over 2.7 million vehicles had used the highway since then, at an average of 7,000 vehicles per day," the Deputy Minister said. He said the Expressway had enabled people to travel the 95 kilometre stretch of road between Kottawa and Galle within 55 minutes and enabled motorists to save on two thirds of more..

How the envisaged GDP 6% allocation for education could be utilized concretely

Oct 4 (DBS) The demand made by the FUTA for increased allocation of annual govt expenditure on education has now emerged as a national policy slogan, with many sectors of society adopting it as their own demand. This is a key achievement made by the FUTA in its 3-month long struggle. Some, even those in the govt, are now asking how this 6% of GDP allocation should be spent. Understandably, govt ministers in more..

Scramble for 5% Sampath stake

Oct 4 (FT) There was a scramble for a 5% stake in Sampath Bank, sold by an in-house employee fund for Rs. 1.7 yesterday. In total 8 million shares or 5% stake of Sampath traded for Rs. 1.69 billion, accounting for 56% of the day’s turnover. Of that a stake held by employees via Account Number 2 amounting to 7.6 million shares was divested at Rs. 210 each. The move was to raise cash for the employees fund as well as boost liquidity. The block in Sampath, majority shareholder of which is business leader Dhammika Perera, had more..

Foreign inflow tops Rs. 32 billion mark

Oct 4 (FT) Foreign investors continue to be bullish on select Lankan blue chips with further buying seeing the year-to-date inflow topping the Rs. 32 billion mark. Non-nationals were responsible for Rs. 1.23 billion worth of buying and sales were Rs. 553 million , resulting in a net inflow of Rs. 683 million. The year-to-date inflow now stands at Rs. 32.5 billion, an all-time and significant figure given the record outflows of Rs. 26 billion in 2010 and Rs. 19 billion in 2011. more..

Mekala creates history as first lady rubber auctioneer

Oct 4 (FT) John Keells Plc has made history setting yet another important trend in the industry, when for the first time in 112 years a lady took to the rostrum and sold a catalogue at the rubber auction held on 25 Sept 2012. Since its inception on 4 Nov 1910, rubber auctioneers have always been males. Mekala Wanigasuriya of John Keells sold the RSS catalogue at the above auction more..

ADB cuts growth forecast yet Sri Lanka above rest of South Asia

Oct 4 (FT) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cut growth forecast for Sri Lanka in this year and 2013 as part of an overall downgrade for the entire South Asian region and elsewhere owing to external factors. In its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Update, ADB is forecasting Sri Lanka’s GDP to grow by 6.5% this year, down from 7% projection earlier and by 7% next year, lower in comparison to 8% forecast previously. ADB also significantly downgraded the revision for more..

TNA moves to restrain Northern Governor on Divi Neguma Bill

Oct 4 (FT) The TNA which has come out strongly against the Divi Neguma bill filed action in the Court of Appeal yesterday, in an attempt to restrain the Governor of the Northern Province from sanctioning the proposed legislation in the absence of a constituted provincial council in the north. The case filed by TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah seeks to prohibit the Governor from deciding on the Divi Neguma Bill and to make ineffective any decisions made by him in that regard, more..

ICT boon for Lanka: Chosen as one of five beneficiary countries

Oct 4 (DN) The govt’s efforts to enable equity of access to ICT for all have been further boosted by the decision of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to choose Sri Lanka as one of the five beneficiary countries to receive assistance under their programme ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative‘. The ITU decided to choose Sri Lanka following its success in implementing a preliminary project to connect more..

Sri Lanka keen to shed eternal bridesmaid tag

Oct 4 (Hindu) In a hall, located on the first floor of the Sinhalese Sports Club Stadium in the heart of Colombo, a cup gleams alone under the light. It is the biggest affirmation of Sri Lanka’s cricketing prowess and it is not just another cup, it is the World Cup that Arjuna Ranatunga held aloft at Lahore on March 16, 1996. Sri Lanka has progressed well since that special day but there is one glitch that has affected it all these years — being the eternal bridesmaid in ICC tournaments. more..

Bus goes out control, injuring 37 persons including 19 children

Oct 4 (Island) Thirty seven passengers, including 19 students, were injured yesterday morning, when a bus they were travelling in collided with several vehicles and came to a halt after crashing into the rear of a stationary private bus at the Katubedde traffic lights in the Moratuwa area.The driver had lost control of the vehicle on entering the main road, the police said. According to the driver, a fault in the brake system had led to the mishap. The accident had occurred around 6.50 a.m. and more..

Karu says rule of law, democracy deteriorating

Oct 4 (FT) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday reiterated that rule of law is further deteriorating in the country and urged masses to rally to restore democracy. Following is the statement issued by Jayasuriya: We witness that the Govt is behaving dictatorially at present without paying heed to public opinion or democratic principles. When it becomes a daily occurrence, we are unable to remain silent any longer. more..