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The arrest of Sanjeewa Bandara marks a turning point

Sept 28 (CT) The arbitrary arrest by the CID of Sanjeewa Bandara, Convener Of The IUSF, on 19th September marks a critical turning point, not only in the evolution of the struggle to defend the right to equal opportunity for Education, but also in the political future of the country. The IUSF has been engaged in a protracted and pitched struggle against the State and the Mahinda Rajapakse Regime(MRR) to defend the right to equal opportunity for Education. more..

Boston Lanka News: September 28, 2012

Editorial: A tragic lesson

Sept 28 (Island) A heart-wrenching tragedy has been reported from Tabbowa. A bus driver ran over his little daughter on Wednesday when he drove off, unaware that she was crawling under the vehicle. Unable to bear the grief and shock he attempted suicide by swallowing kerosene. He is being treated in hospital. If the victim's mother had kept a watchful eye on her, she would not have died a painful death. However, accidents of that nature are not uncommon. During the last few years there more..

T20 WI v ENG: West Indies survive Morgan blast

Sept 28 (CI) A century opening stand between Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles powered West Indies to their first win of the 2012 World Twenty20 with a 16-run victory against England in their opening Super Eights match. Their top-order batsmen setting a daunting total of 179 for 5 and their quartet of slow bowlers suffocated the England batsmen as they started their reply. A remarkable fourth-wicket stand of 107 in 58 balls between Alex Hales, more..

Mahela hails his death-over expert

Sept 28 (CI) Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene extolled Lasith Malinga as the finest death bowler in world cricket after he bowled an imperturbable Super Over that finally killed off a persistent New Zealand challenge in their Super Eights tie in Pallakele. Sri Lanka, emotionally if not in actuality, felt as though they had to win the match twice. New Zealand had looked out of the contest, but they dragged it into the Super Over with more..

Taylor's fumble, Dilshan's catch

Sept 28 (CI) New Zealand's hopes were still alive after four balls in their Super Over, with eight runs required to win. A four would have kept them in the hunt, and a six would have turned it slightly in their favour. Martin Guptill got low and attempted a hoick off a full Lasith Malinga delivery, and though he got plenty on it, the ball ballooned high off the top half of the bat. It hung in the air for what seemed an eternity, but Tillakaratne Dilshan got under it at long off stretched his arms out and snatched more..

Sri Lanka concern lies in middle order

Sept 28 (CI) For both sides, the script for the Super Eights opener in Pallekele will be a familiar one, though it is difficult to imagine either team will have been involved in a 20-over match fired by so much drama. New Zealand first appeared to be flying towards 190 in the sixteenth over, before losing their way at the death against a Sri Lanka pace attack bowling with renewed vigour. Sri Lanka were then sauntering comfortably after a blazing opening stand, before Tim Southee's yorker barrage brought New Zealand howling back into the match. more..

Final stage of academics’ salary hike from Oct 1

Sept 28 (DN) The govt is always ready for cordial discussions with university academics, who have resorted to trade union action to avoid university students being victimised, Minister SB Dissanayake said. He said academic staff salaries have been increased a great deal from time to time within a short period disregarding the salaries of parallel services. “The academic staff have already been receiving a certain portion more..

'Lanka needs chopper carrying ships for better shore surveillance'

Sept 28 (DN) The Sri Lanka Navy seeks possibilities of equipping helicopter carrying ships for surveillance purposes in an area 200 nautical miles off the shores to prevent illegal activities and harness resources in the seas for the country's development in the govt's bid to transform the country into the Miracle of Asia, the new Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage said. He made this observation in response to a question raised by a media person at more..

SLFP Gen Sec to striking Dons: ‘Think about the future generations’

Sept 28 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to patriotic university lecturers and Dons not be deceived into taking part in anti-govt strikes and protests. He requested them to think of the country’s future and desist from destroying the education of the younger generation which has to take over responsibility for the country. Minister Sirisena in a statement issued yesterday said free education is a historic heritage of the SLFP. more..

Sri Lanka & the EU signs the Horizontal Air Services Agreement

Sept 28 (IL) Sri Lanka and the European Union today (27) signed the Agreement between the European Union and the Govt of Sri Lanka on Certain Aspects of Air Services, which is commonly known as the 'Horizontal' Air Services Agreement, at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium. Ambassador P.M. Amza, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the European Union signed the Agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka, more..

Israeli experts here to study flood protection measures

Sept 28 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that a team of Israeli irrigation experts were currently in Sri Lanka to study methods of flood protection in the Kalu Ganga. "This is a very sensitive issue. The Ratnapura and Kalutara Districts are prone to heavy floods with the Kalu Ganga gradient being very high. We have got down some Israeli experts. Mitigatory measures are being evaluated," he said. "It is tragic that there is resistance from residents more..

Police seek AG’s advice on Galle Mayor

Sept 28 (Island) Having met senior representatives of the Karapitiya Branch union of the GMOA yesterday, Senior DIG Southern Province Lalith Jayasinghe said that he would obtain the opinion of the Attorney General as regards the union’s demand for the arrest of Galle Mayor Methsiri de Silva. The Mayor is alleged to have obstructed and abused a Medical Officer of Health. The assurance was given by the top official after the GMOA strongly opposed the proposal to refer the issue to more..

'50% students fail GCE O/L'

Sept 28 (CT) The UNP alleged that nearly 50% of the students who sit the GCE O/L Exam fail due to the govt’s failure to allocate sufficient funds for education. UNP MP Rosy Senanayake said students are unable to perform well in the exams as they have not been provided enough facilities such as trained teachers and laboratory facilities. She pointed out that in the GCE O/L Exam, nearly 50% students fail Mathematics more..

Editorial: Plain speaking to Colombo

Sept 28 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi last week has helped clear some of the air on India-Sri Lanka relations. Since India’s vote for a resolution pulling up Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva in March this year, Colombo has nursed a sense of betrayal. Competitive politics in Tamil Nadu, which has seen leaders of the Dravidian parties aggressively stake out positions against the Sri Lankan govt, has only added to the island nation’s insecurities vis-à-vis India. more..

Long overdue NPC polls next year

Sept 28 (Island) The long overdue Northern Provincial Council Elections would be held next year, the govt said, but did not give a specific time frame. Asked, at yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, as to when the polls would be conducted, as it was over three years since the war had ended, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, with a twinkle in his eye, said "We are going to the polls almost every year." On the question being repeated, he replied that the elections would more..

Charge sheet against cobra woman

Sept 28 (DM) While claiming that the cobra found in the possession of a young woman at a Kollupitiya night club be released to the owner, the defence in this case argued that the charges could not be maintained against the suspect since no offence was committed by her. President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsakularatne appearing for the suspect Nirosha Wimalaratne alias Dilani argued that his client had not committed any offence under more..

Spain and Belgium loan Euro 24 m to Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (FT) Spain and Belgium are extending Euro 25 million worth of loans to Sri Lanka to build water supply schemes and reconstruct railway bridges, an official said yesterday. The two proposals were approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. Bank of Spain has agreed to loan the Government Euro 21 million under a buyer’s credit program to construct a water supply scheme in the town of Ratnapura more..

Buddhika to counter Mangala’s charges

Sept 28 (Island) Matara District UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana says he will counter all allegations levelled against him, by another Matara District UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, before Sunday. Samaraweera, a former SLFPer, who crossed over to the UNP after being sacked as External Affairs Minister by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has complained to the party hierarchy that Pathirana made some disparaging remarks about him. UNP Disciplinary Committee Secretary Asendra Siriwardene had written to Pathirana calling more..

Sri Lanka Cricket shines in the European Parliament

Sept 28 (IL) The ICC - Europe together with Syed Kamall, member of the European Parliament representing UK, Chairman of European Parliamentary Cricket Inter Group and the ICC hosted a two day event from 25 to 26 September at the European Parliament promoting the game of cricket within the European parliament and in Europe main land. A two day exhibition ‘Cricket-take Part’, a panel more..

Divi Neguma Bill: Govt. says will not violate Constitution

Sept 28 (Island) Amidst opposition allegations that the govt was planning to enact the Divi Neguma Bill in the absence of a duly elected Northern Provincial Council(NPC), by obtaining the Governor’s consent, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he was unaware of such a move. He said that the govt would not act unconstitutionally and would abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling that all Provincial Councils had to endorse the Divi Neguma more..

CIC heads for Africa with agri projects

Sept 28 (ST) CIC Holdings PLC is set to venture into the African continent with agricultural farming proposals by 2013, officials said. “We’re planning to go to Kenya and Ethiopia with such projects due to land limitations in Sri Lanka,” Samantha Ranatunga CEO CIC told the Business Times. He said this is at its preliminary stage and the company is trying to identify land in these countries. “We want to grow cereals and vegetables in these projects in both these places,” more..

President denies attempt to interfere in judicial affairs

Sept 28 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday denied that he had tried to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary. Addressing the media heads at Temple Trees, he said as a lawyer by profession who had practised for nearly two decades, he was an ardent advocate of an independent judiciary. "Never have I sought to meddle in the affairs of the judiciary contrary to what is being claimed in some quarters," more..

Dehiattakandiya PS members assaulted by CDF personnel

Sept 28 (CT) Several UPFA members of the Dehiattakandiya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), who were engaged in a protest against UPFA MP and former Director General of the Civil Defence Force (CDF), Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara, were allegedly assaulted by a group of CDF personnel yesterday. At least five PS members were assaulted by a group of nearly 15 CDF personnel during the protest, which was being staged inside the Dehiattakandiya PS premises around 11:30 in the morning. more..

Defence, Urban Dev. Budgetary share tops Rs. 290 bn

Sept 28 (DM) The Defence and Urban Development Ministry has received the biggest budgetary allocation for 2013 exceeding Rs. 290 billion for both recurrent and capital expenditure, according to the Appropriation Bill approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Cabinet approval was granted for the Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year 2013 submitted by President as Minister of Finance and Planning, after publishing it in the Govt more..

Student activists killed in crash: IUSF suspects foul play

Sept 28 (Island) Two undergraduates were killed on the spot when the motorcycle they were riding skidded and hit a lamp post at Embulgoda junction, along the Kandy-Colombo road, yesterday morning. Police believe the undergraduates, one studying at the Ruhuna and the other at the Kelaniya, had been speeding when the accident occurred. They said that they recovered two helmets, one badly more..

Talk of the Palk

Sept 28 (HT) There is no shortage of ferment in India’s relations with Sri Lanka. Some of it is manufactured, some of it is genuine and some of it is India’s fault. But compared to the mess it was during the civil war, bilateral relations at the govt level are arguably the best they have been since independence. This is not the impression you would get the ground level. Take a closer look at some of the present sources of friction. One are the supposed attacks on Indian Tamil fishermen. more..

Editorial : Where have all the leaders gone?

Sept 28 (DM) Leaders are called to be just stewards of those under their care. They are there to provide servant leadership and take care of the people’s needs and welfare. Sadly however, stewardship in our nation seems to be not for serving but to be served. One wonders, when such enthusiasm is shown subsequent to the local elections in the East, each party wants to hold the reins of power. Much horse trading went on among political parties for that end. A good leader is one who is not afraid to more..

No extension of the UNP leader’s term

Sept 28 (LB) UNP Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne said that the leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe had to backtrack from his attempt to illegally extend his tenure as the leader of the UNP due to young MPs of the party challenging such extension in Court. He said that they were forced to file a case against party leader Wickremesinghe for having extended his leadership by six years which was brazenly flouting the party’s Constitution. more..

Tropical Modernism in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (WSJ) For years, Channa and Ajit Gunewardene lived with her mother in a 1950s bungalow in the posh Cinnamon Gardens neighborhood of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. It was spacious and comfortingly familiar. But it had a serious flaw: Most of the rooms were interconnected, a design quirk that was becoming increasingly problematic as the couple's then-teenage sons grew older. "Our bedroom was like Clapham Junction," said Mrs. Gunewardene more..

Dambulla ‘sacred zone’ residents asked to leave

Sept 28 (CG) Residents living within the ‘sacred ‘zone’ in Dambulla have been asked to vacate their homes by the end of next month. Notice issued to the residents, which was made public by the Navamani newspaper, says the residents must leave in order to make way for development work. The notice which was issued by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) this week says selected property has been acquired by the government under existing laws. more..

Silent walk on Sunday to highlight extent of child abuses

Sept 28 (ST) There will be no placard-carrying or slogan-shouting, as thousands of white-clad men, women and children take to the streets, next Sunday, September 30, in major towns in all districts, in a ‘silent walk’ to bring into focus the grave issue of child abuse. In view of World Children’s Day falling on October 1, the main objectives of this walk will be to mobilize communities to collectively protect children and to send a clear message to more..

Officer-In-Charge of Kahawatta murder investigation transferred

Sept 28 (DM) The Officer-In-Charge of the special Colombo Crime Division (CCD) that had been appointed to probe a series of killings that had taken place in Kahawatta, had reportedly been transferred with effect from yesterday, days before the arrest of the main suspect in these killings, informed sources said. It is learnt that the transfer order had been served on the said officer, an Inspector of Police, asking more..

Displaced Tamil families 'left in jungle'

Sept 28 (BBC) Some Sri Lankan Tamils who left a vast displacement camp this week say they were "left in the jungle" with no means to rebuild their homes and lives. The final 1,160 residents of the Menik Farm camp left on Monday. But 110 families from one village, Keppapilavu, say they have been prevented from going home and were relocated to a patch of cleared jungle. Sri Lanka's army spokesman rejected the allegations, adding most people were "very happy" with the more..

New SLN Chief appreciates Australian action against bogus refugees

Sept 28 (Island) Navy Chief Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage yesterday said that tough action taken by Australia had deterred those Sri Lankans seeking political asylum there on the false pretext of being persecuted here. VA Colombage emphasised that the SLN had noticed a significant drop in the number of people trying to leave the country in fishing trawlers since the change of Australian attitude towards bogus refugees. more..

Luxury vehicles galore on permits

Sept 28 (DM) A shipment of 525 vehicles that was unloaded at the Hambantota Port last week had 312 super luxury vehicles which were mainly imported on duty free concession permits. Most of the super luxury vehicles imported were Montero Sport, KIA/Hyundai SUV, BMW X1, X3, 520D and Audi A 4 and A6. Recently the govt had increased the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of permits from the earlier 25,000 US dollars to 30,000 US dollars. more..

FUTA march reaches Colombo: All roads leading to Town Hall closed

Sept 28 (DM) All roads leading to Town Hall have been closed as the Inter-University Students protest march reached Town Hall, causing heavy traffic jam, reporters said. Two separate protest marches – one by the University lecturers and the other by the Inter University Students Federation are nearing Colombo causing heavy congestion along the Galle Road and the Baseline Road, our reporter said. The University lecturers are set to proceed to Hyde Park Corner more..

Intruder offers sex to Aussie cricket team in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (AFP) A Sri Lankan court has convicted a 21-year-old man who broke into the hotel rooms of two Australian cricketers and offered them sex during the ongoing World Twenty20, police said on Friday. The Sri Lankan, named as Abdul Karim, was fined 1,000 rupees and handed a one-month suspended jail term after he pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of breaking and entering. The man breached supposedly tight security last Monday at the Cinnamon Grand hotel more..

Sri Lanka suicide rate one of the world’s highest

Sept 28 (wsws) New official data shows that Sri Lanka still has one of highest suicide rates in the world, with almost 4,000 people killing themselves per year, or about 11 per day. Dr. Neil Fernando, who heads the country’s National Institute of Mental Health Promotion, released the figures in a Suicide Prevention Day seminar on Sept 10. The majority of victims, he reported, were aged 15 to 44. President Rajapakse claims that the island nation is “the emerging wonder of Asia.” more..

Lanka Sathosa to upgrade billing system

Sept 28 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday directed Lanka Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando to fully computerize the billing systems at all 267 outlets islandwide with immediate effect. Minister Fernando told The Island that he had issued those instructions as many outlets did not indicate what the consumer purchased, weight, price etc. He had received complaints to that effect and also had first hand experience on visits to certain outlets. more..