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'SB is not fit to be even a herdsman'

Sept 16 (LT) The portfolio of higher education has been handed over to a minister who is not fit to be even a herdsman says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He was speaking at a seminar under the theme ‘Crisis in education & future of our children’. It is a seminar of a series the JVP has organized to be held throughout the island. Speaking He said, “We know there are several questions that are being discussed in the society today. more..

Sri Lanka navy rescues 52 illegal migrants

Sept 16 (DPA) The Sri Lanka navy rescued 52 migrants on Sunday who were stranded without food and drinking water off the southern coast of the country, an official said. The group of men mostly from the northern part of the country had been abandoned after the trawler developed engine failure en route to Australia, navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. They were brought to a southern harbour and at least four of them were taken to a hospital for emergency treatment. more..

Wanted drug kingpin in police net

Sept 16 (SO) The second most wanted drug dealer who had been evading arrest for several years was apprehended on Friday night by a team of policemen led by the OIC, Inspector Duminda Balasuriya of the Walana Vice Squad at Panadura, On the direction of SSP, Walana Vice Squad, Palitha Fernando, the Vice Squad surrounded his house on Friday evening. The 32-year-old drug kingpin, the brother of the notorious drug dealer Wele Sudha, who is believed to have fled the country was arrested more..

'Wu's coming visit enhances Sri Lanka-China ties'

Sept 16 (Xinhua) The forthcoming visit by China's top legislator Wu Bangguo will help enhance the relationship between Sri Lanka and China, said Chamal Rajapaksa, speaker of the parliament. He said he met Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), during his China tour in June and invited him to visit Sri Lanka, more..

TNA and SLMC hold fresh discussions

Sept 16 (CG) The TNA met the SLMC again today to obtain support to form the govt in the eastern province. TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran told the Colombo Gazette that following the discussions the SLMC had said that it will take into consideration the points made by the TNA when taking a final decision on the eastern provincial council. SLMC leader Rauf Hakeen and TNA leader R. Sampanthan headed the delegations at the talks today but Sumanthiran said that there was still no breakthrough. more..

Over 1000 charged for drunk driving

Sept 16 (CG) Over 1000 people have been charged with drunk driving since September 11 this year. The police said that legal action had been filed against the drunk drivers after the police began special operations to curb drunk driving. According to statistics 1056 drunk drivers were charged since September 11 and this included 912 three wheel drivers and motorbike riders. The police had filed action against 9 bus drivers during this period for driving under the influence of liquor. more..

Millionaires vs part-timers shows World Twenty20 divide

Sept 16 (AFP) At the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, IPL millionaires will rub shoulders with struggling part-timers, illustrating the wealth gap opened up by cricket's most contentious format. On one hand will be wealthy Twenty20 stars such as India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir, and West Indian Chris Gayle, who have amassed considerable personal fortunes in the glitzy IPL. more..

Lara meets President Rajapaksa

Sept 16 (CG) West Indies cricketing great Brian Lara met President Mahinda Rajapaksa today, the President’s media unit said. Lara, who was is Sri Lanka to attend the ICC Cricket Awards last night, exchanged pleasantries with the President at the meeting. The Cricket world record holder was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night at the ICC awards. The Trinidadian mustered 11,953 runs from 131 Tests with 34 centuries and still holds the record for the highest Test and first class scores.

'We are prepared to expose the police in court'

Sept 16 (LT) Taking him before a court would give him a good opportunity to expose the CID and the police says the General Secretary of the Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe. He said this when asked regarding a report in a weekend newspaper that legal action was to be taken against him alleging that he had presented false information regarding the leakage of Grade five scholarship exam. more..

Police hunt for Malaka as Army probes major’s conduct

Sept 16 (ST) Two special teams were deployed yesterday by the Colombo Crimes Division to arrest Malaka Silva, son of Minister Mervyn Silva. This is over allegations that he together with Rehan Wijeratne, son of late MP Mano Wijeratne, allegedly assaulted Major Chandana Pradeep, an officer attached to the Military Intelligence Corps. The incident is said to have taken place around 2.30 a.m. on Monday more..

Buried drugs being unearthed at Nugegoda

Sept 16 (SL) The Cosmetic Devices & Drugs Control Authority (CD&DCA) found a large cache of pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetics buried in a compound belonging to a leading pharmaceutical importing company, last week. It is learnt that the cache, which consists of food supplements, vitamins, pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetics have been buried behind a store-house in Nugegoda. A team from the CD&DCA had been sent to Nugegoda on a tip off from a neighbour. more..

‘Diamond’ gobbler in court tomorrow

Sept 16 (ST) The Chinese national, arrested for a bizarre diamond heist at the recent gem and jewellery exhibition in Colombo, will be produced at the Colombo Magistrate’s court tomorrow while the main accomplice is still at large, the police said. Three days after the suspect swallowed what was initially believed to be a Rs. 1.8 million worth diamond, doctors at the National Hospital last week succeeded in retrieving it by administering laxatives. He is still receiving treatment more..

Sri Lanka the Colour of a Culture

Cup Venues: A Gathering Storm

Sept 17 (SL) AS of yet, all that the SLRFU has confirmed about the 2012 Clifford Cup Knockout tournament is: the competition begins on Friday, September 28 and ends Sunday, October 7. But just where the matches are to be played remains in the realm of the unknown, which, with the event barely a fortnight away, is pretty much, an all-dressed-up-and-no-place-to-go state of affairs. It is an open secret that the delay in declaring the venues is due to disputes among some clubs over more..

Has this lot gone “over the top?” In terms of outright arrogance?

Sept 17 (SL) Recent news reports about the performance of this government, collectively and its separate elements up to and including the Chief Executive, makes one shake one’s head in puzzlement. That puzzlement does NOT stem from the disorientation that might come from having spent better than three decades in an “orthodox” democratic country before returning to the Miracle of Asia. You have a man, Thilak Karunaratne, more..

Tourism promoted through botanical garden concept

Sept 17 (SO) People need nature to thrive. Sri Lankans are lucky in that sense living in a world renowned biodiversity hot spot. Yet, people seemed to have missed the golden fact of conserving nature for the future generation to thrive. Thus, it has become mandatory for a Govt to be responsible for the conservation of the nature. Many steps are taken, and establishing Botanical Gardens is one key factor in conserving the floral gene more..

FUTA strike action and trade unionism at Jaffna University

Sept 17 (DBS) With the university teachers on strike for over two months, what has been most impressive about this struggle is its national character and independence from party politics. The public debate created by the breadth and commitment of this struggle provides great hope for rethinking our political culture and people’s participation in shaping post-war Sri Lanka. What began as a public debates on issues relating to universities and education are now resonating with larger political and more..

Did outraged mistress kill Casanova?

Sept 17 (SO) It was not a surprise at all to note the sudden surge in domestic violence that had spilled out of control in recent times owing to many factors. Such violence has resulted in the deaths of many people who had been brutally killed in the past for no fault of theirs. Many such cases have surfaced in the recent few months from different parts of the country that have sent shock waves us. It was only three weeks ago that a man was arrested by the police for killing his father, mother and sister by more..

Return of the tarantula

Sept 17 (ST) It is not the attractive “charismatic” creatures such as the sleek leopard or the majestic elephant that lured them, but the small, neglected and unsung creature many would crush under their feet. Their arduous search into numerous nights, going into weeks, months and a year, however, has not only brought the tarantula under the torchlight but also the research team into the limelight. While looking for tarantulas in more..

Mahinda, The master of trickery

Sept 17 (CT) The voter turnout at the recent PC elections was less than 65%, according to the data. Voter apathy prevailed mainly in Sinhala areas as the election was marked by an all-time low voter turnout in recent times. Only in the bogus election conducted under the façade of a referendum, that polling went down to such a low figure. Election observers in the East report that Tamils and Muslims voted enthusiastically, but even there the turnout by the Sinhala had been lukewarm. more..

Mervin’s son and Keheliya’s Kehelmal*

Sept 17 (CT) Malaka Silva, son of Minister Mervin Silva, is a thug. He is rumored to be involved in drug trafficking but rumor is not fact. If indeed he is, there is either a lack of information to warrant investigation or there’s pressure from above to keep things quiet or the investigation is being carried out in hush-hush ways. It is rumored that the Army officer who was assaulted by Malaka and his thugs and who is known to be attached to to the Army’s Intelligence Unit, was actually on duty investigating more..

Connections | September 10, 2012

Skewed democracy enables defeated UPFA to form govt in the East

Sept 17 (DBS) The Tamil People of this country have one big complaint. They’ve had it for over sixty years. The ‘democracy’ that is practised in this country since ‘independence’ in 1948 is nothing but majoritarianism. When the colonial masters left, we were handed over to the Sinhalese to rule over us. Not even the purported protection in Section 29(2) of the Soulbury Constitution could prevent the disenfranchisement of the Tamils of recent Indian origin in 1949 and the passage of more..

Are we heading towards a balance of payments crisis?

Sept 17 (ST) Last year’s massive trade deficit of US$ 9.8 billion led the country to a serious balance of payments crisis. Indications are that this year’s trade deficit would exceed it, unless some drastic measures are taken or there is an unexpected favourable upturn in the global economy. With only three and a half months to the end of the year, a global upturn favourable to the country’s trade is unlikely, and too optimistic to expect. However, the inflow of worker remittances, more..

Slowdown in economy, revenue and expenditure will contain fiscal deficit?

Sept 17 (Island) The govt is confident of containing the budget deficit to 6.2% of GDP this year despite the economy slowing down, as both revenue and expenditure growth are expected to ease as well, a senior Treasury official said. For the first six months of this year, the budget deficit has already reached 4.03% of GDP and UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said the deficit would more likely reach 8% of GDP by the year’s end. more..

Editorial: Let's look for Kekille's sword

Sept 17 (Island) All Sri Lankans have presumably heard of King Kekille, in whose court trials always led to the wrongdoer being released and the innocent party punished. One day he found a newly-built wall around his palace warped and decided to punish the builder. The poor man, hauled up before a fuming king, claimed he had been distracted by a buxom woman going past the palace hither and thither while work was in progress and she was therefore responsible for his lapse. more..

Brokers more positive after meeting with SEC

Sept 17 (FT) Broking firms described the first dialogue with new Chairman of the SEC Dr. Nalaka Godahewa last Friday as “very positive”. Almost all brokers – members of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) and non-members – attended the meeting, which involved two other SEC Commissioners, Acting and Deputy Director Generals and other Directors. A host of issues had been highlighted by the brokers, more..

Minister laments cowboy behaviour of colleagues on highways

Sept 17 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama lambasted the manner in which his ministerial colleagues used the highways. He said that those who drove while talking on the phone and speeding VIP security vehicles had become a major threat to other road users. He said that some VIP security vehicles did not follow the Highway Code and had become a law unto themselves. He was speaking at a the launch of a book, more..

TK’s firm sells: A case of cashing-in on bull run or severing links in disgust?

Sept 17 (FT) The former Chairman of the SEC Tilak Karunaratne could be still very vocal about market’s ills and term the unprecedented rebound since he left as a fake, or worse, manipulated, but his firm Multiform Chemicals appears to have nevertheless cashed in thanks to the bull run. His company divested some shares from its investment portfolio last week and the sale could also be even a case of exiting from or not wanting to be part of a highly manipulative market under a new regime as more..

SriLankan flights to Rome and Milan

Sept 17 (FT) SriLankan Airlines said that from Sunday the National Carrier will continue to fly to Rome and Milan. The operations between Rome and Milan will be SriLankan Airlines codeshare flight No. UL2028, in association with Alitalia Airlines. Last month SriLankan signed a codeshare agreement with Royal Jordanian Airlines, which was the sixth partner of the national carrier under the Oneworld membership. SriLankan will sell on the Jordanian carrier on their three weekly flights between Colombo and Amman. more..

Pricing formula for petroleum from next year

Sept 17 (NS) Responding to recent calls by the stake holders in the Petroleum sector for a pricing mechanism which reflects the fluctuations in the international prices, a cost reflective formula is finally expected to be adopted for pricing petro products once full regulatory authority is given to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) by early next year. “We expect to bring about economic viability to this sector while safeguarding more..

Wildlife Department tells all camp operators to follow regulations

Sept 17 (FT) The Wildlife Department visited the camp sites of all three tented mobile safari operators – Mahoora Safari Camps, Kulu Safaris, and Leopard Safaris – over the weekend at the Yala National Park, following which one operator was instructed to make certain changes in its mode of operations and revert within two weeks. A Senior Official of Wildlife Department Visitor Service Management, Ecotourism and Community Outreach told the Daily FT yesterday that more..

CEPA: It is like ‘If you cannot beat them, join them’

Sept 17 (Island) For years there had been an acrimonious debate between those who were for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Sri Lanka and India and those who opposed it. The latter felt that it would lead to economic capitulation. They opined that Indian trade and industry would enter the Sri Lankan market on a big way. This would only not only pave the way for dominance over the local industry but also other sectors crucial to us. more..

Malaka, Rehan and the assault on an Army Major: What really happened?

Sept 17 (DBS) Rehan Wijeratne was the first to arrive at Apartment 15/03 at the JAIC Hilton on Saturday September 8. The time was around 6 p.m. The apartment had been rented for a day by his best friend and buddy Malaka Silva. The two boys have told their friends that they had done so in order to watch the election results of the three provinces where polling had concluded that day – Wayamba, North Central and the Eastern Provinces. more..

Attempt to create a Guinness Record

Sept 17 (DN) The "YMCA World Challenge" will be conducted on October 13, 2012 as a part of a global celebration to tell the YMCA story to the world by mobilizing five million people on one day. This day is going to be a day to show to the communities and the world, how the YMCA is empowering young people and transforming communities using culture, sports, education, exchange programmes and many other tools and activities. This is also a day for members of the YMCAs family to get to know more about ourselves as a global organization and more..

NARA sets new QC system at fish market

Sept 17 (DN) All sectors attached to the fisheries industry directly as well as indirectly, have a responsibility to provide fresh and nutritious fish resources to the public to enable them make their day to day meals nutritious and the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has a vital role to play in this effort, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The minister made this statement during a meeting following the opening ceremony of a Quality Control Research more..

Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights here tomorrow

Sept 17 (DN) Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from tomorrow at the invitation of Minister Prof G L Peiris. Dolgov will meet Minister Peiris and other high ranking govt officials. Ambassador Dolgov’s visit takes place as a result of bilateral discussions between Minister Peiris and his more..

Govt. to appoint a dentist per MOH area

Sept 17 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday announced that a dentist would be appointed to each MOH area in the country soon. The Cabinet had approved a proposal made by the Ministry in this regard. Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said that in 2005, only 600 dentists and dental surgeons had served the country. But, at present about 1,300 dentists and dental surgeons were serving the country. The govt was spending Rs. 50 million for the dental services more..

Israeli, Japanese help for agriculture

Sept 17 (Island) Israel had pledged support to enhance agricultural development in Sri Lanka, the Agriculture Ministry announced. It said, at a recent meeting with an Israeli delegation, an agreement had been reached to obtain support to introduce a micro agricultural water management system, cultivating crops in safe houses and methods to obtain an optimum crop during the droughts by resorting to different water management systems. The ministry said that those methods more..

'Govt. needs to be more transparent'

Sept 17 (DM) Dr. Roberta Blackman-Woods who led the British delegation to the Common wealth Parliamentary Association Conference on Friday called for greater transparency on the part of the govt with regard to issues of re-development and reconciliation. “I think the govt needs to be more open and transparent about what has been done and what is left to be done and be more confident in their own ability to deliver,” more..