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Let’s rethink and renew our ‘social contract’ as academics

Sept 7 (CT) Last two months have been educational for me as, I am sure, they have been for all of you. During our trade union action last year, many of us in our generation, those of us who are mid-career academics in this university, learned from our seniors how to stand up for our rights. This time it is our generation that has had to take up leadership in this trade union action though we did have the invaluable support of our teachers at every step. more..

Doing what politics cannot

Sept 7 (DM) A growing number of sports persons and organisations have sought to intervene in conflict zones to encourage reconciliation between estranged communities. The international community unanimously declared the year 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, serving as formal recognition of the added value of sport as a peace-building factor. Contemporaneously, in several regions of the world, the fundamental values of sport and play have been acknowledged as important contributors in the building of a stronger civil society more..

Editorial: A land like no other!

Sept 7 (Island) A foreigner who swallowed a diamond at a gem and jewellery exhibition in Colombo has got into the soup. When in Rome, it is said, do as Romans do. So, he may be forgiven for choosing to do as Sri Lankans do when in Sri Lanka, where there are many who specialise in swallowing things from ships––yes, we mean those sea-going vessels––to agro chemicals. This is in addition to huge amounts of stones (found in rice) and bricks (crushed and mixed with chilli powder) they gobble up day in day out. more..

Economy succumbs to over enthusiasm

Sept 7 (Island) Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena says the 2011/12 financial year brought mixed emotions after the economy fared well during the first half only to succumb to over enthusiasm thereafter. "I look back on a year comprised of mixed emotions; it is one that began with much expectation and anticipation - whether stemming from the hope that the global economy would see a turnaround or whether, from a Sri Lankan macro perspective, more..

CSE turns a real market!

Sept 7 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is turning to become a real market of producing a dip and a gain within a day, showing early signs of maturity though some remain sceptical overall. Having appreciated by nearly 11% in 12 market days, there was quick profit taking in early morning trading yesterday. This saw the ASI dip by 1% but there was a rebound as retailers reinvested gains, a redeeming feature which the Daily FT has been highlighting. Given the lacklustre performance in the recent past, the “down and up” scenario was more..

HP secures Commercial High Court ruling against Tech-Zone

Sept 7 (FT) Hewlett-Packard (Hong Kong) AP has won a landmark decision in a case against Tech Information Solutions Ltd., also known as ‘Tech-Zone,’ of Unity Plaza Colombo 4. The Commercial High Court of the Western Province held that Tech-Zone was acting according to unfair business practice in importing and selling HP computers and related products that are not suitable for the local market and moreover holding out to the general public that it was carrying out such acts more..

පළාත් තුනක පැවැත්වෙන ඡන්දය සාධාරණද?

Tee off in Sri Lanka!

Sept 7 (Hindu) SriLankan Airlines Golf Classic, the signature corporate sports event of the airline, will take place from October 17 to 19, at the 19-hole Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC). The RCGC is the oldest golf club in Sri Lanka, and the second oldest Royal Golf Club outside the UK. Established in 1880, it was bestowed with the prefix ‘Royal’ by King George V in the 1920s. With its lush landscape and tranquil atmosphere, it is an ideal place to swing a club, while the colonial-style clubhouse will provide a welcome getaway after a day on the green. more..

Sri Lanka mulls low-cost units to compete with Bangladesh

Sept 7 (JS) Sri Lanka's apparel industry is trying to compete with neighbouring Bangladesh by setting up no-frills, low cost, apparel manufacturing units in rural parts of the country. The local apparel industry estimates that it loses around US$1bn worth of export orders to Bangladesh annually, due to higher manufacturing costs in Sri Lanka - and hopes the supplementary manufacturing facilities will help capture some of these losses. The govt has already initiated talks with the ADB to more..

LPBOA refuses Green tests

Sept 7 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) said they will stay away from Vehicle Emission Testing programmes unless the Petroleum Ministry takes steps to provide low sulphur diesel. LPBOA Chairman, Gamunu Wijeratne said at present they have to use diesel with high sulphur levels which causes a number of issues for buses. “According to the gazette number issued in 2003, the sulphur level in diesel should be 500 parts per million (ppm), more..

AG decides to release remand prisoner

Sept 7 (DN) Wasantha Perera State Counsel representing the Attorney General informed the Panadura Magistrate R.S.A. Dissanayaka that the investigation report conducted into the complaint against the policemen of the Panadura Police Station was submitted to the Attorney General, who on consideration of the report decided to release the accused Ukwattage Padmasiri from remand custody. He informed the magistrate that instructions to the effect would be forwarded to more..

One road death every four hours in Sri Lanka

Sept 7 (DN) One road death occurs every four hours in Sri Lanka due to motor accidents and 100-110 road accidents occur each day in Sri Lanka, Traffic Administration and Road Safety Director Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) K. Arasaratnam told the Daily News, recently. "At present, there are over 4.5 million registered vehicles in the country and half of them are motor cycles and they are the reason for most of motor accidents which occur in Sri Lanka," he added. more..

US keen to increase trade with Sri Lanka

Sept 7 (FT) Sri Lanka’s single largest trading partner, the USA, is keen to increase more FDI flows to Sri Lanka as well as see an increase in Sri Lankan exports to the USA in the coming years. Having a trade balance of US$ 1,048.7 million by end June this year, exports to USA were recorded at US$ 109.7, while imports from the US were at US$ 1,158.4 during the period. In 2011, Sri Lanka exported US$ 302.7 million worth of goods to the country while bringing in goods valued at more..

Sajith defends absence

Sept 7 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday defended his decision to skip the 66th anniversary celebrations of the party at ‘Sirikotha’. Asked whether he boycotted the meeting over his differences with the leadership, the Hambantota District MP said that he couldn’t attend the function as he was busy campaigning in the provinces for the forthcoming PC polls in North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces. An irate Premadasa alleged that some persons had launched a campaign to more..

'Butcher’s licence needed for slaughter'

Sept 7 (Island) The Butchers’ Ordinance was in operation to ensure that wholesome meat was sold to the public and when meat based food was given to people at traditional festivals, where animals were killed without a butcher’s licence, the wholesomeness of the meat could not be guaranteed," President’s Counsel C. R. de Silva said in the Court of Appeal yesterday. He was appearing for the Jathika Sangha Sammaelanaya and several other petitioners, who had complained of more..

Ranil promises radical reforms

Sept 7 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that the next party convention due to be held later this year would see the introduction of radical changes to ensure stability and lay the foundation for a return to power. He was addressing the UNP’s 66th anniversary celebration after declaring open the renovated party headquarter, Srikotha, in Pitakotte, which was damaged in a stone throwing attack by more..

'Efficient workforce, need of the hour'

Sept 7 (DN) A proper procedure to recruit a skilled and efficient workforce to the govt service is needed to provide a productive service to the public, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Participating at the MoU signing ceremony between the Department of Technical Education and Training and the CEB to conduct a special electrician training course, the minister said as mentioned in the Mahinda Chintana Vision for the future, President aims to develop Sri Lanka as an energy and knowledge hub more..

Amnesty’s appeal to TN govt

Sept 7 (Hindu) Amnesty International (AI), India, on Thursday urged the Tamil Nadu govt to protect Sri Lankans visiting or living in the State. “The authorities in Tamil Nadu must immediately put in place measures to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans visiting and living in India. They must promptly launch investigations into the attacks, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials,” AI India’s Chief Executive G. Ananthapadmanabhan said in a statement. more..

Greek bonds case: SC orders CB to file foreign reserve guidelines

Sept 7 (FT) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Central Bank to file the Foreign Reserve Management Rules (Guidelines) to Court sequent to the Fundamental Rights violation petition challenging the investment on the controversial Greek bonds, which resulted in a loss of Rs. 2.14 billion of public funds to the State. The Deputy Solicitor General moved for time to file it and the Bench granted three weeks’ time to file more..

Unions pledge support to FUTA

Sept 7 (CT) Several trade unions from various sectors have expressed solidarity with the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA), despite the govt’s announcement on reopening the universities, yesterday. Addressing a media briefing, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin, said they would not stop the strike despite the decision of Minister S.B. Disanayake, to reopen the universities without resolving the issues brought up by FUTA. more..

Difference of opinion hindering relations, says Karat

Sept 7 (TOI) It is unfortunate that difference of opinion between two governments on the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka was affecting the relationship of the people in the two countries, CPM general secretary, Prakash Karat has said. He was answering a question at the 14th All India Conference of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) in Madurai on Thursday. Karat said, "There may be difference of opinion over the issue between the two countries, but that should not more..

Tamil outfit protests against hotel employing Lankans

Sept 7 (TOI) Even as the attack on Sri Lankan tourists in Thanjavur two days back came in for widespread condemnation, a group of cadres of Naam Tamilar Katchi staged a protest in front of a private hotel in Madurai on Thursday alleging that Sri Lankans were employed there in large numbers. The protestors also attempted to barge into the hotel but were arrested by the police. Meanwhile, the hotel authorities had clarified that only more..

Incident in Tamil Nadu ‘storm in a tea cup’ – Keheliya

Sept 7 (Island) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that the incidents that had taken place in Chennai, where a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims were attacked by a politically motivated mob early this week, was a ‘storm in a tea cup’. He added that he firmly believed that the issue would be resolved sooner than later. He said, "These issues are connected to the forthcoming elections in India and some Tamil Nadu politicians are resorting to gimmicks." more..

S M Krishna misses debate on Sri Lanka, apologizes

Sept 7 (TOI) External affairs minister S M Krishna apologized in Rajya Sabha on Thursday for being absent from the House when a 'calling attention motion' on the "situation arising out of repeated attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lanka navy" came up at noon. The minister was held up in a meeting with the Fijian prime minister and according to sources, reached the House when protests over Coalgate resulted in an adjournment. He soon after spoke to to AIADMK MP V Maitreyan more..

Chinese man speaks out: 'It was an imitation diamond'

Sept 7 (DM) The Chinese national who was arrested for allegedly stealing and swallowing a diamond at the international gem and jewellery exhibition at the BMICH has told the police that he had only swallowed an imitation diamond. The suspect has not revealed the reason for his swallowing the diamond. The suspect was admitted to the National Hospital, Colombo in order that the diamond could be collected. The X-ray image more..

Monitors: UPFA bribing voters

Sept 7 (Island) The Elections Secretariat had ordered that all polls campaigns be concluded at midnight on Wednesday but the UPFA continued to campaign in certain areas, the Network for Election Monitoring Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEMIHR) said. Dr. Uditha Gunasekera of NEMIHR said that vehicle had been used for propaganda activities at 8.30 a.m. yesterday, in the Mihintale, town on behalf of UPFA candidates. That incident had been reported to the Deputy Elections Commissioner in Anuradhapura, he said, more..

Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference gets off ground

Sept 7 (DN) The Sri Lankan branch delegate’s entitlement is increased this year with eight delegates, one executive committee member, one CWP member, one branch secretary and one regional secretary given the opportunity to take part in the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference that will be held at the BMICH, Colombo from today to September 15. The branch leaders will make contributions at the workshops which deal with a variety of topics arranged on September 12 providing delegates with opportunities for more..

Sri Lankans stage anti-India protests after attacks

Sept 7 (CT) More than 3,000 protesters, most of them of Indian origin, staged a massive protest opposite the Indian High Commission in Colombo yesterday, condemning the attack against Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu early this week. Various organizations representing traders in Colombo condemned the attack as malicious and urged the Tamil Nadu Government to take action against the attackers and to prevent such attacks in the future. more..

JSS claims India dancing to Jayalalitha’s tune

Sept 7 (Island) The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS) yesterday blamed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa for the attacks on visiting Sri Lankan pilgrims in the southern state of Tamil Nadu early this week. Addressing the media yesterday (06) at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, National Organiser of the JSS Passaramulle Dayawansha Thera said that India should assure the security of Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu and it should be implemented on the ground. more..

Renowned Sri Lankan artistes performing in India

Sept 7 (Island) Three renowned Sri Lankan artistes are giving three performances in India this week. They are the singing de Lanerolle Brothers Rohan and Ishan, and Pianist Rohan De Silva of the Juilliard School of New York. They performed on Wednesday evening at New Delhi’s prestigious Kamani Auditorium, which was packed with an informed and appreciative audience of music lovers and diplomats from across the globe. The artistes were given a standing ovation by the more..

Yet another tele-actress on the mat

Sept 7 (LB) An incident that became a hot topic of conversation in the city last week was the raid carried out by the Central Corruption Unit (CCU) in Walana, Panadura, (attached to the Police Department) on a brothel that has been in operatin for sometime at a hotel in Moratuwa by a well-known local tele-drama actress. Though this actress is said to be well-known she has not been seen on the big screen or on TV. more..

Cement shortage looming?

Sept 7 (DM) Sri Lanka’s construction sector is likely to experience a cement shortage in the near future, with certain cement importers and dealers trying to hoard cement in the wake of a possible price hike, Mirror Business learns. Sources at the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) confirmed that the large-scale importers of cement have requested for a price increase, though it was not clear about the percentage of the increase. more..

Mangled in Yala

Sept 7 (SL) Camp Operators in Yala National Park have come under attack from jeep drivers in the presence of foreign tourists bringing into focus a new dimension in the country’s hospitality industry. Eight employees attached to the Kulu Safari, Leopard Safari and Mahoora Safari have come under severe attack by the Independent Jeep Services (IJS) drivers, who have claimed that they have the backing of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa according to the victims. more..

'Diaspora unable to cope with LTTE’s defeat'

Sept 7 (CT) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, expressed his regret that unfortunately sections of the Diaspora cannot accept the military defeat of the LTTE is now conducting a campaign to vilify Sri Lanka and harm it economically by trying to disrupt tourism and trade. Prof. Peiris while addressing three separate groups of British parliamentarians on Wednesday urged them to visit Sri Lanka and form their own judgments of post-war developments. more..

Museum mystery heightens

Sept 7 (LB) Media spokesman, JHU, Nishantha Warnasinghe says that the investigations carried out by the police into the Colombo Museum robbery and the subsequent revelation of a drug addict being its mastermind is nothing but a drama being enacted by the police to deceive the masses. He said: “This unprecedented robbery took place on March 16 this year. From then on the police have been conducting investigations and more..

NSF funding boosts Vanderbilt climate change studies in Sri Lanka

Sept 7 (VU) Sri Lanka exemplifies some of the worst conditions and best responses to the world’s environmental challenges. In 2010, the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment (VIEE) began a unique interdisciplinary study of agricultural adaptation to water scarcity in Sri Lanka’s Mahaweli River Watershed (MRW). Now a five-year, $3.7M grant from the NSF, more..

Scholarship exam, refinery shutdown: UPFA alleges Opp. propagating lies

Sept 7 (Island) The govt on Wednesday said that the JVP and the UNP were behind the recent abortive bid to trigger countrywide protests over the alleged leak of Year-Five Scholarship question papers. Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that a teacher trade union, affiliated to the JVP and the UNP, had tried to inspire protests ahead of forthcoming Provincial Council elections. more..

Several players yet to be paid for Sri Lanka Premier League

Sept 7 (IC) Several overseas players are still awaiting payment for their participation in the recently concluded Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) despite the organisers of the tournament claiming otherwise. Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), said that the Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV), the event management company more..

Sri Lanka suspends power cuts on rains, possible power plant resumption

Sept 7 (Xinhua) Govt on Friday suspended three hour daily power cuts due to increased monsoon rains and possible resumption of operations at a Chinese-built coal power plant. Ongoing rains have resulted in hydro-power reaching 24% from a lowly 12% earlier this month, the statement said noting that the increase had reduced pressure on the country's thermal power plants that provide the bulk of electricity. more..

President to discuss Tamil Nadu issue with India

Sept 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa hopes to raise the recent incidents which occurred in south India targeting Sri Lankans, when he undertakes a visit to India later this month. During a meeting with local newspaper editors on Friday, Rajapaksa said he was satisfied with a response given by the Indian government following the incidents which took place in Tamil Nadu. more..