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FUTA struggle: Who 'Ruins the chances of reconciliation?'

Sept 29 (CT) This refers to The Island editorial yesterday (26) on basically the same title without the question: Who? It may be in order to caution the FUTA of any possible deviation or adventure, given the subtle machinations that the govt and more particularly the Minister in charge are hatching with the hope of crushing the legitimate demands of the academics which are the concerns of the general public at large on education and higher education. But it is entirely a different thing to blame more..

Sri Lankan Tamils to be deported on Saturday

Sept 29 (Hindu) Fifteen Sri Lankan Tamils arrested by the Kollam police on June 3 after busting a human trafficking racket and later released from judicial custody on August 17 will be deported to Sri Lanka from the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Saturday morning. Though they were released from judicial custody, the court had made it clear that they were not free and would be lodged at Gandhi Bhavan, a charity home at Pathanapuram, more..

T20 ENG v NZ: Wright guides England to victory

Sept 29 (CI) Luke Wright produced a superbly-paced 76 to keep England alive in their title defence with a six-wicket victory against New Zealand. He and Eoin Morgan combined in the crucial stand, adding 89 for the third wicket in 10 overs, after New Zealand's spinners had started to cause a few problems. They increased the scoring rate with a measured assault and started clearing the boundary regularly in the latter part of the run chase as England won with 7 balls to spare. more..

SriLankan Airlines to trim Europe flights, focus on Asia, Middle East

Sept 29 (LBO) SriLankan airline will trim loss-making flights to recession-hit Europe and focus on profitable routes closer to home, top officials told shareholders, as the airline lost money for the fourth straight year. Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said due to recession in Europe and competition from other airlines yields from European destinations was less than satisfactory and benefits from cabin upgrades were yet to come. Chief executive Kapila Chandrasena said more..

'University teachers are like sleeping giants'

Sept 29 (LT) University teachers are like sleeping giants says Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri. He further said the struggle launched under the theme ‘Protect State Education’ is going forward in leaps and bounds and university teachers steadfastly give leadership to this struggle. Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, the President of FUTA made these observations addressing the rally held after concluding the ‘March’ that continued for five days at Hyde Park yesterday. more..

The annual bilateral consultations between Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan

Sept 29 (GDI) The first round of annual bilateral consultations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Kazakhstan took place in Colombo on 25th September 2012 at the Ministry of External Affairs. The Kazakhstan delegation was led by Mr. Aidarbek Tumatov, Director General, Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and included senior officials from the Ministry of Industry and New Technology, Tourism and Economic Development. more..

High court orders Exchange Controller to produce classified files

Sept 29 (NF) Colombo High Court Judge Kumuduni Wickremesinghe ordered the Exchange Controller to produce before court nine classified files which are in his possession. The order was made when the case filed against parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake alleging that he had breached the exchange control act, was taken up in court yesterday. At a previous hearing, legal counsel representing MP Ravi Karunanayake, President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne, more..

T20 SL v WI: Varied, unorthodox Sri Lanka hammer West Indies

Sept 29 (CI) A delightfully unorthodox Sri Lankan attack working at close to its best handcuffed a power-packed West Indies line-up, conceding just 129 runs even though they took only five wickets in the 20 overs. The Sri Lankan top three made light work of the target, the lowest-ever challenge in Pallekele, taking a big step towards the semi-final courtesy of a hefty net run-rate bonus from the win with 28 balls to more..

Editorial: World leaders must translate words into action

Sept 30 (SO) US President Barack Obama last week called upon global leaders to rally against extremism. In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Obama said that it was the obligation of all leaders to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. In his speech with reference to the US ambassador murdered in Libya recently, Obama called for worldwide efforts to eradicate global terrorism. more..

Editorial: President Rajapaksa’s Dilemma

Sept 30 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday denied allegations that he had attempted to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary and declared that as a lawyer who had practised his profession for nearly two decades, he was an ardent advocate of the independence of the judiciary. President Rajapaksa assured media heads he had invited to Temple Trees that safeguarding the independence of the judiciary by the chief executive of a country is axiomatic in any genuine democracy. more..

'Electoral system needs extensive reforms'

Sept 30 (SO) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said it is high time to change the present PR system and have a MP for each electorate who will be responsible to the people. The Minister said that the businessmen have become the number one candidates in elections as they spend hundreds of millions of rupees to enter Parliament. They are not politicians at all but mere businessmen. When they are elected to Parliament, they try to earn more..

Editorial: India’s Kudankulam Doosra

Sept 30 (NS) Despite assurances issued by the Indian central govt regarding safety, villagers around the Kundakulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu continue to agitate against what they feel threatens their lives and livelihoods. Over 1500 are reported to have buried themselves neck-deep in sand at Idinthakarai. Two weeks ago when around 10,000 villagers marched to the plant, they were greeted by tear gas and a baton charge, which prompted the protestors to lay siege to more..

Editorial: The National Security State

Sept 30 (LB) The National Security State reigns supreme even three and a half years after the end of the war. A military camp erected in a remote hamlet of Keppapulavu in Mullaitivu has prevented 110 families among the last batch of IDP, who were released from Menik Farm from returning to their original village. This misguided decision, which betrays the current regime’s over-reliance on the doctrine of national security state, has now landed the very govt in a more..

'FUTA vacillates; hidden agenda exposed'

Sept 30 (LB) Minister S.B. Dissanayake told LAKBIMAnEWS that the government has given university lecturers more than they had bargained for. “Look at the demands they have sought from us. They are seeking an allowance to pay their rent, they are seeking a petrol allowance, and also a telephone allowance. They are also demanding an allowance to enable at least two of their children to study in private schools.” Excerpts: more..

Editorial: The FUTA Protest

Sept 30 (Island) FUTA put up a good show on Friday, as well it might, given the support it drew from disparate opposition forces hoping that the long-drawn struggle of university academics would be the incubus of regime change. Many motorists and other commuters in the city cursed the disruption and the traffic jams caused as a result of the several processions converging on Colombo from different directions. The police unsuccessfully sought a court order to ban a procession in the interest of more..

Editorial: Agriculture in poison hole

Sept 30 (ST) For more than 2,500 years agriculture and the farmer have played a vital part not only in Sri Lanka’s economy but also in our hallowed civilisation with festivals like the National New Year and Thai Pongal being linked to the harvesting season. The internationally famous Robert Knox in a historical 17th century book on life in Sri Lanka said the farmer, when the mud was washed off his back, was fit to be a king. But most of that appears to have gone with more..

Diaspora Tamils want negotiated peace, says GTF spokesman

Sept 30 (LB) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is on an ‘intense campaign’ to highlight the ‘ever deteriorating’ conditions for Tamils in Sri Lanka. The GTF and the United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) welcomed last week 31 US lawmakers who called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to stay engaged in Sri Lanka to ensure that the country complies with the UN Human Rights Council resolution. more..

Govt-JSC lock horns

Sept 30 (LB) The govt, which until recently, enjoyed a jolly ride in local politics is now being faced with a two-pronged challenge posed by two powerful entities, both representing traditional social political elites in the country: The Judiciary, and university dons; the latter have now been joined by the chaotic students unions and a plethora of political parties, including the main opposition UNP. The conflict between the govt and the judiciary came to the surface after a statement, more..

Govt unfazed despite FUTA’s marches and hard talk

Sept 30 (NS) The week began with the closure of Menik Farm, one of the largest camps accommodating IDPs following the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. The move thereby marked the end of the long process of resettlement. Security Forces Commander Boniface Perera, who is the Competent Authority for IDPs in the northern region proudly announced that there were no more IDPs in the country and added that a total of 1,186 people from 361 families, the last of a group of more..

Sri Lanka’s loss, Myanmar’s gain

Sept 30 (ST) Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), hard on the heels of second hand car market dealers setting up business in Myanmar, is also considering venturing into the former Burmese nation to trade in vehicles. The country is attracting second hand and new car dealers alike from Sri Lanka, which is grappling with a sales crisis. Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman and Managing Director DIMO told the Business Times that the company is considering more..

Transparency issue in FUTA funding

Sept 30 (Island) University dons are not necessarily media savvy and that was to be seen last week in the marches organised by FUTA last week. When TV crews of private news channels covered what was supposed to be a university dons’ march, the cameras cut from one political leader to the next instead of from one professor to the next. We saw UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa, Rosy Senanayake, Wickremabahu Karunaratne, Somawansa Amarasinghe, more..

A nation tied up in constitutional knots

Sept 30 (Island) The declaration by the Supreme Court that the Divineguma Bill should be presented to all PCs for approval prior to ratification has brought into sharp focus the 13th Amendment and issues of governance arising from it. The judiciary should be thanked for bringing to public attention a danger that has lurked under the surface for nearly a quarter of a century. It’s only now that stories of a system thrown into chaos have begun to surface from the cellars of the bureaucracy. more..

SLMC activists want Hakeem to return to ‘sort out issues’

Sept 30 (Island) A section of the SLMC is pushing Minister Rauff Hakeem who is now on an official visit to the USA to return early to sort out various issues connected with the Eastern Provincial Council, SLMC sources said. They said that they want Hakeem whose US visit is due to end on Oct 6 to return before that date and have a meeting of the party’s high command, abruptly adjourned on Sept 13 summoned to sort more..

Wisdom of judiciary should be respected

Sept 30 (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. The Supreme Court ruled that more..

Another nut loose in a faulty system

Sept 30 (ST) My Dear Malaka, I didn’t think I would have to write to you so soon after writing to your distinguished father last week but I felt I must, especially since you are now almost a free man, with all those charges against you being withdrawn by those who made the ‘major’ accusations. The reason why I want to write to you urgently was after hearing that your ambition was to become Sri Lanka’s next Minister of Education and that you propose to leave for the United States to more..

Min Secs and Corp Heads before COPE again

Sept 30 (NS) Ministry Secretaries and Heads of State institutions are to be summoned again to appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to reply to queries on respective institutions that would be raised on the findings made by COPE with regard to activities of this year. Chairman of COPE, Minister DEW Gunasekara said that an interim report on the findings would be submitted to Parliament shortly, followed by a final report more..

PC poll ghosts continue to haunt govt, SLMC

Sept 30 (SL) The govt and its ally the SLMC continue to face the repercussions of the provincial council elections held earlier this month. Weeks after the conclusion of the elections, the govt and the SLMC are still trying to patch up the issues caused by the elections in the North Central and Eastern Provinces. The issue of appointing a chief minister to the North Central Province that even resulted in a drama where UPFA National List MP Malini Fonseka handed in her resignation from parliament, more..

Gayle doesn't feel like dancing

Sept 30 (CI) Gangnam Style, a 2012 song by the Korean rapper PSY, which has turned into a global dance sensation, has been adopted by Chris Gayle when he does something special on the field. That had not escaped the Sri Lankan DJ at Pallakele who gave a quick burst of the track when he was dismissed. Gangnam Style also figured when Jeevan Mendis (should that be Jiving Mendis?) took the wicket of Dwayne Bravo and broke into his own version of the dance. Gayle, sat in the West Indies dressing room more..

Military Base in Menik Farm?

Sept 30 (SL) The TNA says the military is to set up a base in the Menik Farm land that formerly housed IDPs from the North. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the authorities had demolished all the temporary shelters in Menik Farm and had cleared the land while the military has requested to use the land to set up a military base. “The army is now trying to set up a camp in the Menik Farm land,” he said. According to Premachandran, there’s already more..

England, Sri Lanka fined for slow over rate in World T20

Sept 30 (AFP) England and Sri Lanka were fined for slow over rates during their Super Eights group one matches in the World Twenty20 on Saturday. The ICC said that England were found one over short during their six-wicket win over New Zealand, while Sri Lanka also fell short by the same margin in their nine-wicket win against the West Indies. "Match referee Javagal Srinath imposed the fines after both England and Sri Lanka were ruled to be one over short of their targets at more..

Miscarriage of Justice

Sept 30 (CT) A police constable attached to the Mount Lavinia police has lodged a complaint against Appellate Court Judge Sarath De Abrew, stating the judge has allegedly assaulted him while he was on guard duty at the judge’s residence at Attidiya, Mt Lavinia, police sources said. The constable had lodged the complaint with the Mt-Lavinia police on Thursday. The constable in his complaint has mentioned the judicial officer had scolded him in indecent language and slapped his face more..

Top ministers on the mat

Sept 30 (NS) A number of top ministers are on the mat for reportedly enlarging their assets through unscrupulous methods and such acquisitions are now being probed by the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption, well informed sources disclosed. Authoritative sources disclosed that it received complaints against a number of top ministers over the past two years. ‘We referred such allegations to the CID more..

CPC loses Rs50 Bn from Jan-July 2012

Sept 30 (LB) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has incurred a loss of Rs50bn within the first seven months of the year, while a loss of Rs94bn was posted last year, sources said. “The loss was due to power generation, selling diesel and oil at half the cost, and providing kerosene subsidies for the fishing community.” Arabian light crude that is being used at the refinery is not only producing low quality petrol but also contributing to more financial losses to CPC, LAKBIMAnEWS learns. more..

Investigations found Dayasiri did not meet president

Sept 30 (LB) UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake has handed over a report to the party’s Disciplinary Committee on the alleged meeting between Dayasiri Jayasekera and President Rajapaksa, and comments alleged to have been made at the said meeting by Jayasekera. However, the report states that investigations conducted have not found strong evidence to prove that Jayasekera has met the president but the report states that his behaviour is suspicious. more..

Massive loan from China to rebuild roads

Sept 30 (ST) China will provide Sri Lanka a loan of US$ 500 million (Rs. 64.6 billion) for the second phase of the Govt’s Priority Roads Project in the north and the south. As a prelude to the project getting under way, the Government will obtain consultancy services. The Cabinet last Wednesday approved a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Minister of Ports and Highways, to award two local firms multi million rupee contracts for such services. more..

Inaugural session of Eastern PC tomorrow

Sept 30 (Island) The maiden sessions of the newly-elected Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) will be inaugurated under the leadership of the Chief Minister Najeeb A. Majeed at the auspicious time of 11.05 am tomorrow (1), Senior Information Secretary to the CM Ahamed Kabeer said yesterday. Governor of the Eastern Provincial Council Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema is scheduled to presided over the day’s activities during the inaugural sessions, Council sources said. more..

TNA will oppose Divi Naguma Bill

Sept 30 (Island) TNA Leader R. Sambandan said the party would oppose the Draft of the Divi Naguma Bill when it is presented for approval in the Eastern Provincial Council, as the proposed law "eclipses the little power given to the Provincial Councils". The govt and the international community need to recognize the democratic mandate given by the people of the East the TNA. A permanent political solution should be evolved and if the government continues to dilly dally, more..

The long march for education isn’t over

Sept 30 (ST) The long march, conducted over five days by academics and teachers from state universities across the country, climaxed when the protestors converged on Colombo on Friday evening. Joining the university teachers in a show of strength and support were hundreds representing student unions, trade unions, political parties and clergy. The protestors and their supporters, who set out from Galle and Kandy on Sept 24, marched under the slogan more..

Transfer scheme for police officers still being prepared: Spokesman

Sept 30 (ST) Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the police are still in the process of formulating a transfer scheme. For this purpose, IGP N.K.Illangakoon is now working out a new transfer policy in consultation with all stakeholders such as the Junior Officers’ Association, the Inspectors’ Association, the Senior Police Officers’ Association and relevant authorities, he said. He denied that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has recommended that police officers more..

SB happy if removed from portfolio

Sept 30 (NS) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake expressed satisfaction if removed from his current cabinet portfolio but was happy with the work executed by him so far towards the higher education sector. Dissanayake made this observation in an exclusive interview with our sister paper Rivira in answer to speculation that he would be removed from his portfolio in the next cabinet reshuffle on the cards. Commenting on Opposition members joining the march conducted by more..