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Rajarata University students protest against suspension

Dec 10 (CT) The students of the Rajarata University commenced a fast from this afternoon requesting to make void the suspension of 27 students of the University. The students charge that the plea to nullify the suspension of the 27 students has been requested from the University Administration for the last two months, but as no action was taken as yet they have commenced a fast. Meanwhile, when contacted the Vice Chancellor of the Rajarata University in this regard, more..

A service station opens of North Western naval command

Dec 10 (SLN) Fulfilling a long-felt need, a service station was declared open at SLNS Barana of the North Western Naval Command, by Commander North Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral NKD Nanayakkara on 05th Dec. A total number of 162 vehicles have been allocated to SLNS Barana and SLNS Therapuththa. But the only available service station located at SLNS Thambapanni is nearly 105 kilometres away from SLNS Therapuththa via the shortest route through Vilpaththu Sanctuary. more..

Video: 'Even China says SL govt. corrupt'

Dec 10 (DM) Even China, the country that provides the largest amount of loans to Sri Lanka had charged that the Sri Lankan government was corrupt, main Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a seminar held on the 2014 budget at the Jathika Sevaka Sangama Headquarters today. He said a Chinese national newspaper had highlighted that corruption in Sri Lanka, Malawi and Morocco government sectors was on the rise. more..

Bope Poddala PS budget defeated

Dec 10 (AD) The budget of the UPFA controlled Bope Poddala Pradeshiya Sabha has been defeated as well with five votes been cast for the budget and six against. The budget was presented to the Pradeshiya Sabha by its Chairman Chanaka Madugoda while it was defeated by one vote. The Bope Poddala PS consists of seven UPFA members, three UNP members and one JVP member. When the secret ballot for the budget was held today, two UPFA PS members had more..

Man takes poison demanding his wife be saved in Saudi Arabia

Dec 10 (Island) A man who visited the Foreign Employment Bureau at Battaramulla, demanding that his wife employed in Saudi Arabia be flown back to Sri Lanka as she was allegedly being ill-treated there swallowed poison. He was admitted to Colombo National Hospital, yesterday noon. Hospital sources said he was in a serious condition. He has been identified as Indika Prasad (40) of Puttalam. He had come to Battaramulla along with his four children and his sister. more..

Rs. 28.5b for new water PIPELINES in Colombo City

Dec 10 (DM) A new water pipeline network is to be set-up by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) in the Colombo metropolitan area with the aim of preventing the wastage of pipe-borne water by 50%. Minister Dinesh Gunawardana said the project which will also cover several suburban areas is to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 28.5 billion. “With the steady increase in the population over the years and more..

Used vehicle importers in a crisis: VIA

Dec 10 (DM) The Vehicle Importers Association (VIA) today alleged that the government had created a monopoly for Brand new vehicle importers through this year’s budget by scrapping the concessions which had been given to the used vehicle importers earlier. The Association Chairman Mahinda Sarathchandra said that the livelihood of more than 600 used vehicle importers and more than 100,000 employees who were benefited from these companies were in a crisis due to more..

Tribunal rules Sri Lankan govt guilty

Dec 10 (CG) The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) which concluded its second hearing on Sri Lanka in Bremen, Germany today, found the Government guilty of committing grave human rights abuses and also found that India, Britain and the US were complicit in those crimes. An eminent panel of jurors were assembled by the PPT to hear charges made against Sri Lanka by the International Human Rights Association (IMRV) in Bremen and the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL). more..

GMOA presents 12 proposals to tackle killer kidney disease

Dec 10 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) released to the media the 12 proposals it had submitted to the Health Minister for implementation to tackle the Chronic Kidney disease. About 13 kidney patients die daily for want of effective treatment. The treatment given to the patients was conventional, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya told a media conference at the association’s auditorium. more..

Litro and Laugfs Gas companies seek price hike

Dec 10 (CT) Litro and Laugf Gas companies formally requested the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to increase the price of the LP 12.5 kg gas cylinder by Rs 700 from the beginning of next year. The companies cite the rise in global gas prices as the reason for such a demand. An official of the Price Revision Committee of the CAA, said, "When companies submit a request to the committee to revise the price, we review it against their recent profit margins, the reasons given for more..

Public has a right to know about govt’s plan with EPF - UNP

Dec 10 (AD) The public has a right to know how the government is investing EPF funds, UNP MP Harsha de Silva said today. Currently there is around Rs.1.25 trillion in the EPF, he claimed while adding that these funds should not be used to invest in bankrupt institutions. He said that Sri Lankan Airlines spent Rs.173 billion on purchasing new airplanes while the govt spent only Rs.17.3 billion on bonuses for govt workers which is about the cost of one plane. more..

'No country in the world has promoted ethnic reconcialion like Sri Lanka'

Dec 10 (GDI) "No country in the world has done so much work for promoting and strenghtening the ethnic reconciliation like Sri Lanka, within a short period of four years after the end of a brutal and prolonged war", said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to Yasushi Akashi. Yasushi Akashi, the representative of the Japanese govt to Sri Lanka on Monday called on Minister de Silva and discussion a range of bilateral issues. more..

Sumanthiran comes within slapping distance

Dec 11 (NS) ‘Moderate’ is a subjective tag. The TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran may call himself a moderate but not everyone will go along with his self-perception. The same holds for any moderate, self-labeled or labeled as such by others. Politicians, in particular, are notorious for self-labeling and crafting speech with particular audience in mind. Despite all these truisms and some contentious assertions Sumanthiran’s intervention in the budget debate has to be labeled ‘brave’. more..

The world loses its elder statesman

Dec 11 (NS) The film “Mandela: Long walk to freedom” based on the autobiography of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, premiered in London last Thursday. Among the attendees were Prince William and his wife Princess Kate. One of Mandela’s daughters, Zindzi Mandela, was also present. On the way to the theater, she was asked about her father’s health and she replied, “my father is fine.” By the time the film ended, he was no more. As the final credits began, the audience more..

Sri Lanka a hot spot for gold smuggling

Dec 11 (NS) Gold smuggling to India has increased recently, where gold prices have seen a drastic increase. Methods of smuggling gold to India vary from swallowing it, using drug couriers, stashing gold in imported vehicles to hiding it and in natural orifices.To curb this trend Sri Lanka Customs recently imposed restrictions on the amount of gold jewelery a passenger can carry. According to the regulations no individual leaving the country more..

Decadent signs of power reappearing!

Dec 11 (CT) In the period between 1970 and 1977, when the SLFP-led centre-left coalition governed the country and especially after they passed the new 1972 Republican Constitution, it asserted full 'power of the people' so mandated to them at the landslide victory of the '70 General Elections and a few of the Cabinet Ministers started behaving like drunken sailors. Some took permanent residence in the hill-country Rest Houses, operated their offices from the rest house rooms and more..

Reality check dawns for Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (CT) It is definitely a very positive development that one of Sri Lanka's current greats Mahela Jayawardena has been nominated for the ICC spirit of cricket award. At a time when the game is embroiled in controversy it can do without, to have a Sri Lankan recognised for upholding the values of the game is definitely commendable. Mahela Jayawardena since his entry to the National team has always maintained very high standards both as a player and also as captain and more..

Appalling scheduling hurts Sri Lankans

Dec 11 (Island) Last year when Colombo hosted the ICC Awards night, star batsman Kumar Sangakkara walked away with literally all the major awards. At Water’s Edge, Sanga took home Sir Garfied Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, ICC Test Cricketer of the Year Award and Peoples’ Player of the Year Award. Truly it was a remarkable night. Sanga hasn’t looked back since. He has been truly phenomenal in all 3 formats of the game more..

Obscenity, profanity, epithets, and great novels

Dec 11 (CT) Our diction—the words that we choose to communicate with others—say a lot about our attitude towards others, our state of mind, and our depth of spirituality. When I was a student in Ukraine, I realized that every male in the former USSR used the Russian word “blayath” (whore) so often; they are still using the word “blayath” as if it were a punctuation mark—comma or period—in every phrase or sentence that they utter. We all know that the racial slur “nigger” more..

Slippage in corruption perception: Should Sri Lankans take note of it?

Dec 11 (CT) Berlin based international civil society organisation, Transparency International, has been putting out, since 1995, a global index placing world’s nations on a public sector corruption perception map based on surveys conducted in each of the countries under examination. In this index, the cleanest country can score 100 and the most corrupt 0. In the 2013 Corruption Perception Index just released, Sri Lanka’s total score has slipped from 40 in 2012 to 37 in 2013. more..

The mystery of the ‘ghost’ railway engine

Dec 11 (SO) An unmanned lone engine had taken to the rails exactly a 100 years ago. It was Dec 1913 to be exact. The engine had begun its lone journey at that time from the Maligawatte rail yard. The time it took to the rails was almost close to the time the shunting engine was found moving this time around, a hundred years later- in December 2013. Is it a spooky coincidence? The mystery of the ‘ghost railway engine’ that travelled nearly more..

Editorial: Woes of deserving children

Dec 11 (Island) Some of the students who scored high marks at the last Grade Five Scholarship Exam (GFSE) cannot be admitted to popular schools as all Grade Six classes therein are overflowing with children including those who have gained admission with the help of politicians, Minister Bandula Gunawardena has revealed. This is only one instance of gross injustice done to the children of ordinary people. State has, over the years, created 2 categories of schools, privileged and more..

England and Sri Lanka’s problem – IV

Dec 11 (Island) There are so many things we have to learn from England in dealing with the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. It is not so much connected to acts such as destroying the documents related to wars and appointing commissions then sending one or two ‘war criminals’ to the prison with all the facilities (luxuries), and giving them a pardon after a few months. Sri Lanka has not committed any war crimes and there is nothing to learn from England in this regard. more..

Agriculture debate in P’ment gets muddy

Dec 11 (FT) Govt and Opposition MPs clashed over the defunct pension scheme for farmers and insufficient support provided to develop the agriculture sector in the country. UNP MP P. Harrison accused the Govt of providing tax concessions for pet food instead of giving relief to farmers. “Govisetha lottery was established to provide a support to the farmers’ pension scheme. What happened to Govisetha lottery funds? more..

Usman Khan added to Pakistan T20 squad

Dec 11 (CI) Pakistan have added the uncapped left-arm seamer Usman Khan to the T20 squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka in the UAE, beginning on Wednesday. In his maiden season, the 19-year-old took 5 for 9 to help Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) beat Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for departments in December. He was also the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 11 wickets in six games. "I wasn't really expecting more..

Preview: Sri Lanka out to protect top ranking

Dec 11 (CI) During the last 14 months, Sri Lanka's Twenty20 matches have had a little more edge to them than most. They have been the top-ranked side since last year's World Twenty20, and with the next global tournament approaching, it is a psychological fillip the captain Dinesh Chandimal is intent on protecting. A 0-2 loss will result in losing the top spot to Pakistan; a 1-1 result will lead to a reduction of a ranking point but Sri Lanka will stay No.1; and a 2-0 win will bolster their position. more..

Marsh receives settlement from SLC

Dec 11 (CI) Geoff Marsh, the former Australia vice-captain, has reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Sri Lanka over his sacking as coach of the national team in January 2012. Marsh was relieved of his duties only four months into his tenure as head coach following the tour of South Africa, where Sri Lanka won one of three Tests - their first victory in the country. His exit coincided with a number of changes more..

Father remanded till end of daughter’s exam

Dec 11 (DM) A father who was arrested on charges of having repeatedly assaulted his wife and being cruel to his 16-year-old daughter who was sitting the GEC O/L examination was today ordered to be remanded until the examination ends on December 20. In a complaint to the Slave Island police, the suspect’s wife said her husband who was often under the influence of liquor assaulted her and subjected their daughter to acts of cruelty in a way that hamperd her studies. more..

Kelaniya Uni wins Unilever talent hunt

Dec 11 (LBT) The team from the University of Kelaniya won the recently held Unilever Challenge-Lipton Talent Hunt, an initiative launched by Unilever Sri Lanka towards empowering Sri Lankan youth in business practices and sound business ideas generation. The Lipton Talent Hunt saw an enthusiastic participation from some of the country’s leading private and public universities. “Unilever is committed to investing in young and talented Sri Lankans who form the ranks of more..

Sri Lankan CEO aims for Chinese market

Dec 11 (SD) Kapila Chandrasena, 48, says the two nations, with very ancient cultures, have a lot in common. He believes Chinese visitors will make the island nation a popular destination once they learn about its beauty, its people and its culture, as well as the airline’s services. While Sri Lankan Airlines has boomed in the Chinese market in recent years, its CEO Kapila Chandrasena is not content with the status quo. more..

Leo Burnett wins Rest of South Asia Agency of the Year

Dec 11 (FT) Leo Burnett Solutions (LBSI) has yet again created history in the annals of the Sri Lankan communications industry, bagging three coveted awards at Campaign Asia’s prestigious South Asia Agency of the Year Awards 2013. LBSI was named as the ‘Rest of South Asia Creative Agency of the Year’ for the second consecutive year whilst its media solutions arm, Starcom Worldwide Sri Lanka walked away with the Gold award for the ‘Rest of South Asia Media Agency of the Year’. more..

Milco launches new products after import tax on dairy items

Dec 11 (ST) Just days after the imposition of import taxes on cheese, curd and increasing special commodity levy on yoghurt, butter, and margarine in the 2014 budget, Sri Lanka’s state-owned dairy Milco (Pvt) Ltd has launched four new dairy products. They are processed cheese, spiced processed cheese, cheese spread and cooking milk while a 150 ML sachet of plain milk which could be kept for 36 days without refrigeration was also introduced to promote local dairy. more..

Ranjan Ramanayake slams export of Lankan women for work

Dec 11 (FT) UNP slammed govt plans to bridge a widening budget deficit using the remittances of Sri Lankan migrant workers and accused the regime of exploiting women to run the economy. Opposition MP Ranjan Ramanayake said the country was surviving today on this “respectable” slave labour of 1.8 million Sri Lankans who work overseas and send $ 6 billion to keep the economy running back home each year. more..

BOC awards 2,000 scholarships to highflyers at year five scholarship

Dec 11 (Island) Bank of Ceylon believes that education is one of the prime rights for the children of this country. Banks sustainability programme i.e strategic corporate social responsibility (strategic CSR) is focusing on education to give our children better chance for a brighter future. With that aim in mind the bank facilitates 2,000 scholarships for highflyers of the year five scholarship examination every year to empower the younger generation to have a sustainable education. more..

'Trains sans drivers best solution for strikes'

Dec 11 (DN) The key of the engine that plied from the Dematagoda Railway yard to Ratmalana without a driver last week, has been found in the tool room, Minister Kumara Welgama said. He said that an unseen power might have been involved in the nocturnal run by the engine from Dematagoda Railway yard to Ratmalana without a driver. He said this is not the first time that this type of incident took place and trains plying without drivers might become 'the best solution for strikes too in the future'. more..

Departure for foreign employment up 7.7%

Dec 11 (Island) Foreign employment continued to record a steady growth during the first half of this year. Departure for foreign jobs increased 7.7% during the period to 150,408 from 139,685 recorded in the corresponding period last year. While the male migration increased 22.4%, female migration fell 7%. "Foreign employment has continued to record a steady increase over the years contributing to foreign exchange earnings more..

BJP says India soft on Lanka

Dec 11 (CG) The Indian opposition BJP says the ruling Indian UPA govt at the Centre should explain how it continued to train Sri Lankan armed forces despite repeated objections expressed by the people and govt of Tamil Nadu. “When Vajpayee was the PM, he had refused to give Sri Lanka any arms or training facilities even if they were paying for it. But the Manmohan Singh govt continues to extend defence cooperation even though it should know better as it amounts to helping more..

Central Bank Directors’ symposium today

Dec 11 (ST) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will hold its annual Bank Directors’ Symposium today at the bank auditorium on the theme ““Beyond a Ten Trillion Banking Sector”. The CB said the symposium will be attended by over 200 Directors and Chief Executive Officers of 24 licensed commercial banks and nine licensed specialised banks. “This is the sixth consecutive symposium to be held with a view to updating and sharing the new developments in the economy more..

'Govt. can’t pay back Sooriyawewa stadium loans'

Dec 11 (FT) Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium at Sooriyawewa became the subject of heated debate in Parliament after the UNP charged that Govt had stopped repaying loans borrowed to construct what he called a white elephant stadium. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said four mega development projects in Hambantota opened amid much fanfare had provided Sri Lanka very little benefit. more..

President attends memorial service for Mandela

Dec 11 (FT) President Rajapaksa, now in South Africa to pay his last respects to the former South African President Nelson Mandela, yesterday attended the State Memorial Service for the late President that took place in Johannesburg. A large gathering of state leaders and dignitaries were present at the memorial service. Today President Rajapaksa will go to Pretoria to pay homage to President Mandela’s remains that are lying in state at the Union Buildings. more..