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Quality check laws on Higher Ed. from 2014

Aug 30 (DM) Legislation concerning accreditation and quality standards for higher education institutes operating in Sri Lanka is nearing completion and will be opened to the public by early next year, according to UGC Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama. Titled as a Quality Assurance Accreditation Qualification Framework Act, she stated that the legislation would encompass all higher education service providers, more..

PC candidate’s firecrackers injure two

Aug 30 (Island) Two women passengers were injured when firecrackers, thrown by supporters of a provincial council candidate, fell into a moving bus at Nawalapitiya yesterday. The victims were admitted to the Nawalapitiya and Gampola hospitals. Party supporters had been lighting fire crackers to welcome the candidate campaigning in the town when the accident happened. The victims suffered burn injuries on the face and shoulders. They were first admitted to the Nawalapitiya Hospital. more..

Army Chief warns troops

Aug 30 (CG) Army Commander Daya Ratnayake warned that soldiers who engage in the most serious disciplinary violations will be expelled from the army. He said that the Military Police must attempt to lead others in the correct path or ensure that they are transferred out to serve another Regiment. “You must be the most disciplined person in the whole of the country and should never commit any undisciplined act since everything in the Army depends on strict discipline,” more..

Bangladesh looks at monk’s death

Aug 30 (CG) Bangladesh is to gather information into the death of a Bangladeshi Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka after he was reportedly assaulted in Rajagiriya. The monk remained hospitalised for about a week and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. “I heard yesterday that the monk had died Tuesday night at a hospital,” Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Md Sufiur Rahman said. more..

'Federalism‚ enemy of secession'

Aug 30 (HT) Rohan Edrisinha, a constitutional expert of Sri Lanka, today said federalism is the biggest enemy of secession, but conservative forces wrongly believe that federalism could lead to secession. Addressing an interaction on ‘Tamil nationalist movement, constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka and lessons for Nepal’, Edrisinha said extremism for separate Tamil homeland grew mainly because of majority Sinhalese chauvinistic approach vis-a-vis minority Tamils of the country. more..

Korea to share its expertise on environment with Lanka

Aug 30 (DN) Visiting South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hongwon yesterday said Korea was ready share her own experiences in the field of environment as Sri Lanka is heading towards economic development. "Korea wishes to share its own trials and errors and expand the cooperation in the field of environment, with Sri Lanka," the Prime Minister said. He was speaking at the inauguration of the Korea - Sri Lanka Environmental Cooperation Forum at Kingsbury Hotel yesterday. more..

Break-in at journalist’s house: Mastermind of robbery identified – Senior DIG

Aug 30 (Island) The identity of the mastermind of Saturday’s break-in, at The Sunday Leader Associate Editor, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema’s residence, had been revealed by one of the suspects in custody and action had been taken to track him down, Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake said yesterday. There was absolutely no doubt that the intruders had broken into her house to rob valuables, more..

Can the UN get Sri Lanka to tell theTruth?

Aug 30 (AI) People who have suffered human rights abuses in Sri Lanka have been feeling nervous lately. So have the activists supporting them. They’ve been preparing for a groundbreaking visit by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which began on 25 August. This is the Commisioner’s first official visit since Sri Lanka’s armed conflict between government forces and an armed separatist group known as the Tamil Tigers ended in 2009. more..

'If we have arms, it's federalism and beyond'

Aug 30 (DN) TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the Tamil people can begin talks on a federal solution only if 'we have weapons.' "We can talk going even beyond that. If we don't have weapons we will get nothing," he added. He said this at the maiden election rally of the TNA in the campaign for the NPC poll, held at the Mannar public esplanade with the participation of all TNA candidates contesting for the NPC, including NPC Chief Ministerial candidate C.V. Vigneswaran. more..

Train service to K’chchi to resume after 23 years

Aug 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Railways would officially recommence the train service on the Northern line, up to Kilinochchi, after a lapse of 23 years, on Sept 14. Currently, the trains operate only up to Omanthai, 10 km north of Vavuniya. The Northern Line, from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai, was destroyed by the Tiger terrorists during the three-decade-long war and the train service to Kilinochchi came to a halt in July 1990. more..

MEA opposes DMK debate on Katchatheevu island pact with Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (ET) The Ministry of External Affairs has opposed DMK's attempt to force a discussion on the sensitive issue of India's agreement with Sri Lanka on the Katchatheevu island. India had recognised the territorial rights of Sri Lanka over the island in 1974, which was a disputed land until then. In a letter to the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker, MEA said the matter DMK sought to raise in the House, "is already settled between the two countries. Discussions of these matters on the more..

Weliweriya shooting: Gampaha SP called the Army

Aug 30 (CT) During proceedings held at the Gampaha Chief Magistrate's Court on the Rathupaswala incident yesterday, it was revealed that the Superintendent of Police (SP) for Gampaha, had called the Army to disperse the protesters, who were engaged in a demonstration, demanding pure drinking water. President of the BASL, Upul Jayasuriya, who appeared on behalf of the aggrieved party, told the Chief Magistrate, that it had not been revealed as to who had called the more..

Cabinet approves measures to ensure food safety

Aug 30 (CT) A Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed by the Cabinet to examine issues related to certain brands of milk powders and the alleged dicyandiamide (DCD) and whey protein content in them, headed by the Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera and comprising six other ministers, submitted its report to Cabinet yesterday. The report has made the following recommendations which were approved by the Cabinet. more..

Enlightened, undiluted patriotism

Aug 30 (DM) Electricity and water are among the crucial issues that have hit the headlines and provoked widespread public protests in recent months. On the electricity issue, millions of people – struggling for survival because of the soaring cost of living - were given a blackout blow in April when the bankrupt and corrupt Ceylon Electricity Board announced that electricity rates would be almost doubled from May 1. Cynically if not sadistically, the announcement was made just before more..

Morality of Navi Pillay's visit

Aug 30 (DM) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navineetham Pillay is now in Sri Lanka. For Tamil separatists and the opposition, she is the saviour. Some ministers have rushed to make announcements expressing their confidence in the High Commissioner for her impartiality. However, nationalists are against her visit for several reasons. It is our duty to place the rationale for our protest before the public as well as Pillay. Pillay is the Chief Executive of the UNHRC which more..

Sri Lanka upset by U.N. treatment

Aug 30 (WSJ) The Sri Lankan govt said it has received unfair treatment from the UNHRC as the head of the group neared the end of a weeklong official visit to the country. “There is a perception in the country about the lack of objectivity and fairness in the treatment meted out to Sri Lanka,” Minister G.L. Peiris told Navanethem Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to a statement on the MEA’s website. more..

Digiliya: A village that politicos forgot

Aug 30 (SL) While millions of rupees are being wasted on posters, banners and other election propaganda paraphernalia in the Kurunegala district, there are still areas that have not seen any development and do not even have the most basic human requirement, water. While according to government estimates an average family needs over Rs 20,000, most of these residents barely survive on incomes earned more..

Samurdhi officers sent North makes JVP smell a rat

Aug 30 (Island) The JVP-backed All Ceylon Samurdhi Officers’ Union (ACSOU) said it smelt a rat in the govt’s sudden decision to send six teams of Samurdhi officers to five districts in the Northern Province. ACSOU General Secretary Chamara Maddumakaluge said that though the govt claimed that the officers were sent to the North, on an inspection tour, as it intended to establish Samurdhi Bank branches there, more..

Jayasuriya confirms Malinga will miss Zimbabwe tour

Aug 30 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka Cricket's chief selector, has confirmed that Lasith Malinga will miss the tour of Zimbabwe, which begins in the first week of October. Malinga had requested permission from SLC to skip the tour, stating that he wanted to be with his wife and family, as they expect their second child late in September. He has already made himself unavailable for the Champions League T20 tournament. more..

Bishops take up burning issues with President

Aug 30 (Island) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has urged President Rajapaksa to duly punish all those who perpetrated violence against the civilians at Weliweriya. Stressing that steps should be aken to ensure that such acts will not be repeated, the bishops have requested the President to publish the relevant commission reports, without delay. A press release from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference said. more..

Sangakkara slams SLC while choosing Kandurata

Aug 30 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has slammed SLC for "creating" a narrative that brought his loyalty into question, even as he confirmed he will play for Kandurata over Hyderabad in the Champions League. He said he is ultimately happy to represent his home province, but was perturbed by the manner in which the board publically framed his situation, which he does not believe ever entailed a question of country loyalty. more..

Govt. gazettes 170 ancient monuments

Aug 30 (ST) The Govt has gazetted as ancient monuments 83 archaeological buildings and remains in the North, with many of them being ruins of Buddhist temples. These were among 170 monuments countrywide that were gazetted by the Ministry of National Heritage last week. It is the largest listing of archaeological monuments from the Northern Province since the end of the war and follows a months-long more..

'Sri Lanka overreacted to milk contamination'

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka has probably overreacted in its response to stories of contaminated milk imported from abroad, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. Sri Lanka stopped the import of milk from New Zealand after discovering trace amounts of dicyanamide (DCD) a fertilizer additive, in four batches of milk sold by several firms including from New Zealand based Fonterra had stopped the use of the chemical in fields. more..

Sri Lanka tightens rules on car imports amid currency pressure

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka has imposed a 100% cash margin on letters of credit to import cars to slow the imports of cars, the Central Bank said as the rupee came under pressure in forex markets. The central bank said currencies of several trading partners have weakened against the Sri Lanka rupees as both the Indian rupee and the Japanese yen fell. "As a consequence, there has been a growing possibility that the more..

Weliweriya incident: Top army officers relieved from posts

Aug 30 (DM) Army Commander Daya Rathnayake has ordered to relieve a Brigadier and three Lieutenant Colonels from their appointments to facilitate the further inquiries on the Weliweriya incident as recommended by the Court of Inquiry, the army announced. Military Spokesman said that those officers have been placed under respective regimental centres pending further disciplinary proceedings. more..

Culture vultures bark at dogs

Aug 30 (CT) Somebody once remarked that the worst thing a man could do to a dog is to compare it to a man or the other way around. The remark could be interpreted in many ways depending on how we so-called human beings look at dogs and dogs look at their so-called masters. While dogs know of a thing called gratitude, humans know of a thing called gratuity, and may be this difference is what has caused a storm over some dogs being married the human way. more..

Colombo Telegraph ban: It’s time to reverse idiocy

Aug 30 (CT) Govts do idiotic acts from time to time and the Rajapaksa regime is no exception. One of its recent idiotic acts is to block Colombo Telegraph, widely popular website among Sri Lankan readers, not only in Sri Lanka, but also across the world. The reason for the blocking is obscure, but not beyond comprehension. The think tank of the govt might have assumed that some of the articles carried it Colombo Telegraph “posed a threat to national security and the territorial integrity of SL”. more..

Tuition class ban before exams has its pros and cons

Aug 30 (ST) Parents, students and teachers have expressed mixed feelings over a Govt decision to ban tuition classes five days prior to public examinations, including the Year 5 scholarship exam. A section of the students said they believe the move would enable students prepare for the exams in a relaxed frame of mind, while others said that students from certain segments of society would be at a disadvantage. more..

CMC on fire over ‘cremated’ documents

Aug 30 (Island) Pandemonium reigned at the Colombo Municipal Council’s monthly meeting yesterday as councilors resorted to profane language and disturbances in a debate on the recent burning of thousands of CMC files at the Borella cemetery. Tension prevailed as the councilors, both UPFA and UNP, hurled verbal abuse at one another, demanding explanations on the findings of the probe into the burning of around 6,000 municipal files. The uproar started with Opposition members more..

Over 150 complaints on the media

Aug 30 (CG) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the media industry’s self-regulatory body received 176 complaints against the country’s print media last year. This includes 87 complaints against Sinhala language newspapers, 42 against the Tamil press and 29 against the English media with 18 outside the print media. The Sinhala language media comprise 44% of the total print media publications, while the Tamil comprise 26% and English 28%. more..

World's largest floating book fair returns to the island

Aug 30 (ST) Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair, will soon be back in Sri Lanka. The ship will open to the public on August 30 to allow visitors the opportunity to purchase books and meet crew members. Logos Hope offers an expanded selection of over 5,000 titles at affordable prices. They cover a range of subjects including science, sports, hobbies, and family life. With children’s titles, academic texts, dictionaries, atlases and more..

Rs. 100 mn for conservation of Kandy’s cultural sites

Aug 30 (Island) The Ministry of Culture and Arts would allocate a sum of Rs. 100 million to Kandy’s World Heritage City Committee for the conservation of cultural sites, Minister T. B. Ekanayaka said. He was speaking at a special meeting of the World Heritage City Committee. Chairman of the Committee, the Mayor of Kandy, chaired the meeting. He told the Heritage Committee that the allocation could be utilised for the conservation of five historic buildings in the city. more..

Audio: Police will not be militarized

Aug 30 (CG) Law and Order Ministry Secretary Major General (Retired) Nanda Mallawarachchi says the police service will not be militarized. He said that he will not get his past career involved with his new role as the Secretary as he is a retired military officer. He also said that he has a theme under which he will be working and that theme will be to maintain a good relationship between the police and public. He said that he wants to create a situation where the public will have confidence in more..

Audio: Fresh tensions in Weliweriya

Aug 30 (CG) Fresh tensions have been reported from Rathupaswala, Weliweriya after a group of villagers led by the venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero launched a protest against the gloves factory which was at the center of controversy early this month. The venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero said that he had launched a fast from today aginst the factory continuing to operate in the area. more..

Alarm sounded over untreated service station effluents

Aug 30 (Island) The Toxicology and National Poison Information Centre (TNPIC), of the National Hospital, warned that harmful chemicals were being released to the environment and ground water through untreated waste released from most vehicle service stations countrywide. TNPIC Head, Consultant Physician Dr. Waruna Gunathilake said that a severe threat was posed to the environment by service stations set up near wetlands, paddy fields and other agricultural lands. more..

Archaeological site with intricate cave drawings discovered

Aug 30 (AD) An archeological site containing various intricate cave drawings, the likes of which has never been seen before in Sri Lanka, has been discovered at a mountaintop in the Karandagolla area in Ella, Uva Province. The site was discovered during an expedition for the TV Derana programme ‘Hela Wanshaya’ – in search for hidden treasures of the country’s history- following a 5-hour trek through the thick forest. The drawings, depicting large winged creatures and forms of reptiles, more..

NZ help to make SL self-sufficient in Milk

Aug 30 (GDI) The New Zealand Govt has offered all assistance to make Sri Lanka self–sufficient in milk production by 2016. NZ Prime Minister John Key and Sri Lanka’s President are expected to sign an agreement to this effect when PM Key visits Sri Lanka to attend the CHOGM on November 10-17. This follows a discussion between the visiting NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday. more..

The collapse of the Plantation Raj

Aug 30 (Island) The Vice Chairman of the Medadumbara Pradeshiya Sabha S. Mohan said that plantations in the Medadumbara area such as Rangala, Gonawala, Harold Falls, Kotaganga, Nangappuwa, Liyangahawala and Bond Side owned by the State Plantations Corporation were making losses and the employees were facing a lot of hardships. He said that thousands of casual employees both Sinhala and Tamil were working on those plantations and they didn’t get work for more..

Soldiers at your service

Aug 30 (Slate) Visitors to Thalsevana Holiday Resort are greeted a couple of miles from the hotel itself, at an army checkpoint. A courteous officer, flanked by several machine gun-toting grunts, emerges from a guard station to check guests’ passports and ensure they have a reservation. If everything is in order, guests are then cleared to enter the Kankesanthurai High Security Zone. Along the road are buildings whose condition reflects the violent history of the area: Offices of the Special Investigations more..

Over 100 kg heroin seized in Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (Xinhua) At least 100 kg of heroin was seized from a container truck which had arrived in Sri Lanka from Pakistan. Customs Director Mali Piyasena said that the containers were seized on suspicion and it was sent to a container yard to be checked. The documentation on the container indicates that it contained tins with grease. However when the tins were checked customs officers found at least 100 kg of heroin inside. more..