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A new, Tamil diocese on Sri Lanka's eastern seashore

Sept 25 (AN) The first bishop of the new diocese of Batticaloa, Mgr Joseph Ponniah, made his official entry (pictured), joyfully welcomed by his new flock. Established in July by Benedict XVI, the new diocese was carved out of the old Diocese of Trincomalee-Batticaloa, which included most of the eastern part of the island. Once under Tamil Tiger control, the predominantly Tamil region still carries the bloody signs of 16 years of civil war. Mgr Joseph Ponniah knows the more..

Internet freedom in Sri Lanka at risk says report

Sept 25 (CG) Internet freedom in Sri Lanka is at risk, according to a mew study by a U.S based research and advocacy group. The Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media report by Freedom House says in Sri Lanka although internet penetration remains at around 15 percent of the population, since 2007 there has been an incremental growth in the influence and use of online news sites and social-media tools for civic and political mobilization. more..

ATM failure creates chaos

Sept 25 (DM) An island wide ‘Software Failure’ on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of a leading state commercial bank on Monday put thousands of clients in difficulty as they could not draw cash from the ATMs. The Daily Mirror was inundated with complaints from clients of the bank that they could not draw cash from their accounts using ATMs. The situation was further aggravated as Monday and Monday was a monthly pay day in state and private sector institutions. more..

HSTU defends maligned top health bureaucrat

Sept 25 (Island) The Health Service Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) would meet with the Health Minister today (25) to discuss the recent scandal in the govt health service surrounding accusations of fraud levelled against a senior health official who served in the Ministry. Co-President of the HSTUC, Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday that the allied trade unions would explain the true situation surrounding the maligning campaign against the health official, prior to his retirement, to more..

It can be Ranil, Sajith, Karu or Fonseka, says Dayasiri

Sept 25 (NF) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera states that in order to establish a strong opposition in the future, a strong policy framework should be drawn up. He expressed this view while attending a meeting to establish a party office in the Panduwasnuwara area. "We should let various people work. If Sarath Fonseka wants to establish a party and carry out his work or start a private business he should be given the opportunity to do so. more..

Cricket: Sri Lanka water firm boils over stomach bug

Sept 25 (AFP) A local drinking water supplier strongly defended its product Tuesday even as World Twenty20 organisers jettisoned their bottled water after several players went down with stomach flu. LAUGFS Aqua System said they had asked the ICC for samples of suspect bottles of water, but got no immediate response except a statement that their product was off the table. "We have done our own tests and confirmed that there is nothing more..

Kandy’s street kids not that unfortunate

Sept 26 (NS) Walking among those racks filled with food, looking for the needful, I came across a few kids who were cuddling toys while others were scouting through the food items. Well, there were faces filled with smiles. They would run to their parents with the hope they might get either one of the items they picked. Not everyone is lucky. Some of them have their way, thanks to the immense love their parents show. Parents make the purchase to stop their offspring from throwing a tantrum. more..

The Constitution of Sri Lanka – (Part five)

Sept 26 (NS) The whole world including us is admiringly discussing the greatness of King Asoka. Earlier in this article some reference was made to him and his rule. Reference was also made to our rulers who were as great and comparable to King Asoka. But we said they are lost in the off and flow of history. The gift that King Asoka gave is Buddhism. He sent his son Mahinda and daughter Sangamitta with the message of Buddha to this country and this country found a new image. more..

Screaming for Jaffna’s ice cream

Sept 26 (NS) Jaffna, the northern town with a unique flavor of Sri Lanka, has many features that only she can boast of. Thousands flock to this town just to get the feel of the culture, the people, and her exquisite cuisine. The taste has just got better with the addition of its very own ice cream flavors, under the brand name Rio. No. This has nothing to do with the international conference on climate change. But it does help you chill amidst all the heat of the outside world. more..

Sinhalese politicians oppose devolution for fear of losing power and control

Sept 26 (DBS) The official language refers to the language in which records are maintained in official records. British colonial rulers used English as the Official Language, and Court proceedings were recorded in English even when witnesses spoke in Sinhala and Tamil. Lawyers too spoke in English. It was the same in government offices – both at headquarters and in district and field offices. Govt employees knew English and were able to record their views in the form of minutes. more..

Govt has adversely affected all Sri Lankans by diminishing their quality of life

Sept 26 (DBS) For many persons of Sri Lanka, survival is daily struggle. In Mullaitivu fishermen aren’t allowed to fish. In Kilinochchi, homemakers and housewives are displaced from their homes and houses; In Kanguveli farmers are denied access to their farms. It is easy to recognize this coerced decay of livelihood. Because Govt abuse is most conspicuous in these areas, we trace our communal dissatisfaction to pigeonholed problems in the North and East. more..

Time has come for silence of the good people to come to an end

Sept 26 (DBS) The onslaught on this country’s democratic establishments and rule of law institutions by the incumbent regime, warrants attention and unreserved condemnation by all those who aspire to higher democratic standards. It is with grave concern, therefore, that we note recent developments regarding alleged interference by the executive on the affairs of the judiciary and the appalling intimidation and more..

‘Neither justice nor peace’, how prophetic!

Sept 26 (CT) Writing on the Malaka fiasco you recently referred editorially, to the famous judgments of King Kekille. The latest turn of events where the complainant Major Pradeep is reported to have filed an affidavit in courts withdrawing his complaint against Malaka and others, seem to subvert the present Criminal Justice System to head towards the Kekille system. At this rate it might end up hanging the JAIC Hilton Hotel manager for running a casino in his hotel! more..

The gravity of the law

Sept 26 (CT) We have moved a fair distance from Newtonian Physics, but in the necessarily context-bound universes that we inhabit, what goes up still comes down. Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point pass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Gravitation is responsible for keeping the Earth and the other planets more..

Connections | September 24, 2012

Editorial: Manape - Barking up the wrong tree

Sept 26 (Island) Having settled an acrimonious dispute over the chief ministerial post in the North Central Province, President on Monday made no bones about his govt's desire to do away with the preferential voting system widely considered the mother of all intra-party battles. The general consensus seems to be that if it is abolished, elections will be peaceful. The President also stressed that preferential votes polled by candidates would not be considered the sole criterion for appointing chief ministers in the future. more..

T20 PAK v BAN: Nazir takes Pakistan to Super Eights with super chase

Sept 26 (CI) Pakistan's celebrated bowling unit's rare off day put a latch on it, but their batsmen smashed through the qualification door by chasing down 176 - their highest successful chase - with eight balls to spare. To progress in the tournament, Bangladesh needed to not only post their first win over Pakistan in 13 years, but win by at least 36 runs. On a true pitch, Shakib Al Hasan posted the highest score by a Bangladesh batsman to facilitate their second-highest total, but more..

The bizarreness of Rajapaksa justice

Sept 26 (SL) The king can do no wrong’ was a foundational premise of absolute monarchy. The Rajapaksas have taken this anti-democratic concept to the nethermost extreme. In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka the President – and his kith and kin – can do no wrong. Minister Mervyn Silva occupies an outstanding position amongst Rajapaksa kith. When his son got into trouble with the law, again, it was a foregone conclusion that the Rajapaksas would ride to the rescue. more..

Balance India, China relations effectively, urge analysts

Sept 26 (ST) Encircled by two global powers with India not wanting to lose its influence in the Indian Ocean and China asserting its presence regionally, political and shipping industry analysts believe Sri Lanka stands to gain without any “dramatic repercussion” if authorities tactfully balance these ties for its benefit. The growing presence of China’s entry into Sri Lanka has become a concern for India that Colombo University Political Science Department and Public Policy more..

Sri Lanka-Poland Biz Council to boost bilateral ties

Sept 26 (FT) The Sri Lanka-Poland Business Council (SLPBC) has made significant progress this year, not only in terms of business awareness amongst the business community, but also strengthened relationships with the Polish Embassy in New Delhi and Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Poland. Even though there was no exchange of business delegations between the two countries, total exports from Sri Lanka to Poland increased from $ 25.7 million to $ 39.9 million during 2011, more..

Economic growth to rebound in 2013: SCB

Sept 26 (FT) Global giant Standard Chartered Bank tips Sri Lanka’s economic growth to rebound in 2013, after contracting this year from 2011. It is forecasting economy to grow by 7.5% in 2013 and by 7.7% in 2014 from 6.8% this year. However, forecasts for the next two years are lower in comparison to record 8.3% growth achieved last year. This estimate as well as key achievements in the recent past and salient existing and emerging challenges for Sri Lanka is contained in more..

'Striking academics doing private consultations'

Sept 26 (DN) The Sri Lanka Freedom Students Organization (SLFSO) requested university lectures to call off their strike or carry out their trade union activities as a struggle to win their professional rights without engaging in private consultations. The SLFSO alleged that a majority of the university lecturers were engaging in private consultations at various private educational institutes. What they want is to see the collapse of the free education system and earn more more..

Local dealers setting up car sales centre in Myanmar

Sept 26 (ST) Sri Lanka vehicle importers are setting up a company in Myanmar with a showroom dealing in the car business taking advantage of tax benefits and other facilities given to importers, vehicle importers said. Keerthi Gunawardene, Secretary of the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka told the Business Times that preliminary arrangements to set up this company were finalised following the visit to Myanmar by a delegation led by association President Sampath Merenchige on more..

Nalaka goes to Arittha for insights to current SEC Act, regulations

Sept 26 (FT) Former Director General Arittha R. Wikramanayake last week shared his insights on the current SEC Act as well as existing regulations on an invitation from new Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa. The move by Godahewa was to better understand the SEC Act, its strengths as well as weaknesses and what is required for effective and pragmatic regulation. During a presentation that lasted nearly two hours, more..

Sri Palee College celebrates Tagore Day

Sept 26 (AT) High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha visited Sri Palee College in Horana to attend Tagore Day celebrations. The foundation stone of Sri Palee College, modelled after Santiniketan, was laid by Gurudev Tagore himself on his third and last visit to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) on 20th May 1934. Today's Tagore Day celebration at Sri Palee College - coming after more than a year of celebrations in Sri Lanka marked by various events to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of more..

Sri Lanka targets France, South Korea to expand post-war tourism boom

Sept 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's booming post-war tourism industry is trying to expand its market in France and South Korea by participating in travel fairs and organizing events through embassies, the External Affairs Ministry said. Eighteen Sri Lankan tour operators took part in the International French Travel Market in Paris last week and gained positive results as it had aroused interest from French travel agents to expand operations in Sri Lanka, more..

Grade V Scholarship Exam: Kisara, Anjali score 196 out of 200

Sept 26 (Island) Kisara Sandaluka Kodituwakku of Richmond College Galle and Anjali Upeksha Madhuwanthi of Thalathuoya Junior School have scored the highest marks at the 2012 Grade 5 scholarship exam. The students have obtained 196 each out of 200 marks. Sachith Adithya Bandara Wickramasinghe of Seventh Day Adventist High School in Kandana had been placed second with 195 marks, more..

Editorial: Economic partnership in Sri Lanka

Sept 26 (VoA) The United States has long-standing ties with Sri Lanka. On a recent visit there, U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake said the U.S. looks forward to helping Sri Lanka pursue a better future following the end of the 26-year civil war. A strong economic partnership with the United States will be an important part of achieving that vision. Since Sri Lanka’s independence, the United States has worked through the USAID, to provide over $2 billion in assistance, including in response to more..

Lankan couple attacked by family friend in Dubai

Sept 26 (E24|7) Early at 5.30am, a Sri Lankan couple woke up to hear someone smashing open the door of their bedroom and see a man holding a wooden rod rushing towards their bed, the Dubai Criminal Court heard. The attacker was a Sri Lankan family friend identified as PKD, 37. He hit the husband VNS, 42, driver, with the bar several times on his head and body. VNS sustained fractures in his arm while defending himself. When the wife, AJ, 34, shouted at the attacker and asked him more..

Pillayan says he is not interested in entering parliament

Sept 26 (Island) Former Eastern Province Chief Minister and TMVP Leader S Chandrakanthan (aka Pillayan) said yesterday that he was not interested in entering Parliament right now but would consider it at a future date at the time of a general election. However, the former chief minister said some of his party members might be interested in entering Parliament right now, he told a hastily arranged news conference more..

Kelaniya lecturers refute claim they returned to work

Sept 26 (CT) Refuting govt’s claim that Kelaniya University dons have reported to work, academics of the University said they are ‘very much’ involved in the ongoing strike. The FUTA spokesperson Dr. Mahim Mendis pointed out the medical faculties of universities did not join the strike action; yet the Higher Education Ministry authorities continued to highlight the fact that medical faculty academics of the Kelaniya University more..

Asian Tribune Editor summoned by the CID

Sept 26 (AT) K.T. Rajasingham, Editor, Asian Tribune was recently summoned by the CID to the 4th Floor to record statement regarding two news items that appeared in the Asian Tribune. He was summoned to the 4th floor when he was recently in Sri Lanka for a fact finding mission on some of the projects he was presently working. According to Rajasingham when he was in his house in Chunnakam, he received a call from the CID and accordingly he presented himself in the more..

Docs threaten more damaging strike in Galle district

Sept 26 (Island) More than 1000 doctors attached to the GMOA branch unions in the Galle district hospitals, including the Mahamodara and Karapitiya Teaching hospitals will launch 24-hour token strike tomorrow commencing at 8.00 a.m. This is to protest against the police failure to arrest Galle mayor Methsiri de Silva who they accuse of obstructing the duties and abusing Medical Officer of Health Dr. Venura Singararchchi on more..

Active credit cards surge over 50,000 by end - July

Sept 26 (DM) The total active credit cards within Sri Lanka increased by 55,864 between December 2011 and July of this year, according to figures from the Central Bank. Currently, a total of 918,216 credit cards are active in Sri Lanka, of which, 60,766 are only accepted locally, whilst a further 857,750 are accepted globally. The total outstanding balance on active credit cards in Sri Lanka, as at July 31 was recorded at Rs.40.5 billion, as compared with Rs.37.6 billion at the end of last year. more..

Malani to be sworn in again on Oct. 09

Sept 26 (Island) Malini Fonseka will once again be sworn in before Speaker on October 9 as a UPFA National List MP. She resigned from Parliament on Monday and copies of her letter of resignation were sent to the President, Secretary General of Parliament and Elections Commissioner. However, the President refused to accept it. But as both Secretary General of Parliament and Elections Commissioner accepted the resignation she is now considered a resigned MP. more..

Govt-JSC clash to intensify

Sept 26 (CT) The battle between the govt and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is likely to intensify, in the wake of certain decisions taken at an emergency meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa had with several ministers and presidential advisors on Monday. One of the recommendations made at the meeting was for the President to take stern action against certain JSC officials, using the powers vested in him constitutionally. more..

Prison cell phone haul activates authorities to do more

Sept 26 (Island) Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that an investigation would be done immediately to find out how a haul of illegal items were smuggled into Welikada prison complex. This came to light, when the Prison Intelligence unit and the police Special Task Force personnel conducted a joint raid inside the prison cells, on Monday, from 1. 45 p.m. to late at night. During the search, they found 126 mobile phones, 55 sim cards, 44 phone more..

Mendis on the mend for Super Eights

Sept 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka hope spinner Ajantha Mendis can be fit for the opening World Twenty20 Super Eight match with New Zealand on Thursday after he returned to the nets following a side strain. He suffered the injury during the hosts' opening win against Zimbabwe last week and was left out of the rain-curtailed group defeat against South Africa on Saturday. "We took an MRI scan on his left side and it showed a slight tear," Sri Lanka manager Charith Senanayake told reporters. more..

Wimal wants anti-Islam film banned locally

Sept 26 (Xinhua) Following strong protests by Sri Lankan Muslims, a Cabinet Minister called for the controversial anti-Islam film to be banned in the country. Minister Wimal Weerawansa, who is also the leader of the NFF party aligned with the govt, said that access to the film "Innocence of Muslims" should be banned for locals. He called on Google to censor its availability so that it could not be accessed by the Sri Lankan public. more..

Girl who kept her promise to dead father

Sept 26 (Island) Udeshi de Silva, the girl whose father died of a heart attack, on hearing that his daughter had done extremely well at the Grade Five Scholarship exam, passed the exam with flying colours as she had obtained 173 marks, the highest in her school, Indipalegoda Maha Vidyalaya, Elpitiya. She said, "My father promised me a gift of a laptop if I passed the exam but he died soon after I told him that I did the exam very well. Now, I have passed the exam. I share this joyful moment more..