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Corruption is also a rights violation

Dec 20 (CT) It is certainly not a co-incidence that the International Human Rights Day (10) comes on the heels of the International Anti-Corruption Day (9). The two issues are inextricably linked, and in the Sri Lankan context, it couldn't have been more apt, given the rampant corruption pervading the country and the increased impact it has on the people who continue to be deprived of their democratic rights on numerous fronts. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights more..

Sri Lanka stocks close weaker

Dec 20 (LBO) Stocks close down Friday with diversified and insurance sector stocks falling. All Share Price Index closed 9.64 points lower at 5,857.36, down 0.16%. The S&P SL20 closed 3.71 points higher at 3,228.17, up 0.12%. Turnover was 1.05 billion rupees, up from 567.36 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 75 firms closing in the red against 88 gainers. Aitken Spence topped the turnover list with market transactions of 344 million rupees contributing to 32% of total turnover. more..

WikiLeaks: 'Diaspora funding intended for Tamil people goes to LTTE'

Dec 20 (CT) “Money collected by the LTTE among the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. is allowing LTTE-sponsored violence to continue, FM Bogollagama emphasized. ‘We want to de-escalate the violence so that the political agenda gets out,’ but money raised in Europe, Canada and the U.S. is used to purchase arms and ‘hit us at home,’ he stated. Without the sources of foreign funds, the LTTE would be isolated among its own more..

Sri Lanka will have to reverse de-liberalization for growth: Razeen Sally

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka will have to reverse a recent trend of de-liberalization to spur growth to high levels and work towards greater macro-stability, which has been a chronic problem, a top international economist said. Sri Lanka benefitted from a post-war bounce allowing 8.0% plus growth, but reforms are needed to allow economic activities to continue at high levels, Razeen Sally from the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy said. The ex-London School of Economics professor said more..

Grand X’mas celebrations in Kilinochchi

Dec 20 (Island) A mega Christmas celebration will be held in Kilinochchi from Dec 20 to 22 for the second consecutive year. It is organized by the Security Forces. The main attraction of this year’s Christmas celebrations would be the tallest and largest Christmas tree in Asia to be erected there. As per the records, it is the tallest with a height of 116 feet. It is worth remembering that in the year 2012 the Security Forces in Kilinochchi installed the tallest Christmas tree in the Island more..

'Appointing new nurses has not solved shortage in CMC'

Dec 20 (Island) More than 1,880 nurses have recently received their letters of appointment from the Health Ministry, but the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council faces a severe dearth of trained nurses at its six maternity homes and health clinics. PHD Chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that there was a grave shortage of nurses in the PHD, which provided healthcare services within the city. more..

'Turtle sanctuaries illegal'

Dec 20 (CT) All turtle conservation centres including the centre in Kosgoda, where the theft of an Albino turtle took place on Tuesday are illegal, the Director General of the Department of Wild Life Conservation said. An albino turtle from a rare species worth Rs 35 million that was kept in the Turtle Conservation Centre in Kosgoda was allegedly stolen. There are around 20 turtle conservation centres in the Island and all the centres have not been legally registered. He said that some conservation centres have more..

TNA meets to decide future course of action

Dec 20 (Island) TNA members of parliament and provincial councils, in the North and East, would be meeting next Tuesday at the Town Hall in Vavuniya, to decide their future course of political action. The decision to hold this meeting was taken at the TNA parliamentary group meeting. Accordingly, 13 TNA MPs, 30 councillors, including the Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran and 11 councillors, in the opposition of the Eastern Provincial Council, would participate in the Dec 24 meeting, more..

Sorry, we are only protecting ourselves- SL Navy Chief to Karuna

Dec 20 (DM) While claiming that the Sri Lanka Navy will continue arresting Indian fishermen, who are entering Sri Lankan waters for poaching, Navy Commander Jayanath Colombage today said Sri Lanka Navy only protecting themselves. “The only deterrent for poaching we came across so far is arresting and we are doing it, of course Mr. Karunanidhi came up with the statement that Sri Lanka Navy trying to more..

A high-level delegation from Open University visits Al Ghurair university, Dubai

Dec 20 (Zawya) Dr. Vijitha Nanayakkara, Vice Chancellor and Mr. Shenal Basnayake, Director, International Academic Relations Division, the Open University, along with Mr. Abdul Raheem, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai, visited Al Ghurair University (AGU), Dubai and had discussions with Professor Abdelrahim Mohammed Al Ameen, President, AGU. "In the present-day globalized world, the universities cannot afford to confine themselves to the boundaries of their more..

No disciplinary action for not voting

Dec 20 (Island) No disciplinary action has been contemplated against seven UPFA members, of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), who failed to vote on the Budget on Tuesday. The Budget, of the UNP controlled CMC, was approved by a majority of 40 votes with the UPFA too voting for it. The single dissenting vote was by Sunil Watagala of the JVP. Leader of the UPFA Group, Ajantha Liyanage, said that the Budget debate was earlier scheduled for two days (17 and 18), but more..

Iran’s 28th fleet docks at Sri Colombo port

Dec 20 (PT) Iranian Navy’s 28th fleet of war vessels, which includes the nation's first super-heavy submarine, has docked at Sri Lanka’s port of Colombo, says a top commander. “The Navy’s 28th flotilla comprising Alborz destroyer, Bandar Abbas auxiliary ship, Younes submarine and a Bell 212 Twin Huey helicopter docked at port of Colombo this morning after [calling at India’s] port city of Mumbai as part of its mission in the Far East,” more..

Trade chambers should be more vocal in policy issues: Mathai

Dec 20 (DM) All Sri Lankan trade and business chambers must work together to foster improved standards of debate and discussion around economic and even social policy according to outgoing IMF Resident Representative to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Koshy Mathai. “In my time in Sri Lanka I have noticed that there is a great reluctance on the part of Sri Lankan society to discuss and debate ideas. We don’t see much discussion happening and while I’m not sure more..

Three u’grads get suspended jail terms for ragging

Dec 20 (Island) Three undergraduates of the Peradeniya University, who pleaded guilty to the six charges of severely ragging a fresher were yesterday given suspended sentences by Central Province High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilaka. They were also ordered to pay compensation to the victim. The accused were charged with six counts including ragging in a severe manner and perpetrating a sexual attack on a fresher, on Oct. 26 or 27 or on a near date in 2011. more..

Video: Anura strips bare the budget fraud

Dec 20 (LT) The statistics and data forwarded by the govt regarding economic development and inflation are distorted and what exists today is a blown up economy based on distorted data says JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka. He said this participating in the committee stage debate of the budget today. Mr. Dissanayaka further said those in the govt are a gang of statistics thieves who distort statistics and data and jeopardize the masses more..

Religious tensions continue

Dec 20 (CG) The United States has noted that in Sri Lanka, religious tensions continue to be a problem, and Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist communities often distrust one another. In a report submitted to the Congress on the estimated number of refugees the US will seek to assist next year, the US Govt says incidents such as sporadic attacks against the Christian community and the destruction of a Muslim shrine by Buddhist monks in late 2011 exacerbate religious tensions in Sri Lanka. more..

'SL Coast Guard to be independent unit'

Dec 20 (DM) The Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) which is currently functioning under one umbrella with the Sri Lanka Navy will in future function as an independent department, Navy Commander Jayanath Colombage revealed. Addressing the Marine Conservation Conference 2013 at the BMICH recently, the Navy Chief also said, “tThe Coast Guard will be focusing more on preventing maritime pollution, coastal conservation and rescuing of life at sea. more..

Farbrace named as Sri Lanka coach

Dec 20 (CI) Paul Farbrace, the former Sri Lanka assistant coach, has been appointed the new Sri Lanka coach on a two-year contract, starting on January 1. Farbrace, who will shortly finish his tenure with Yorkshire's second XI, had been one of the original 11 applicants for the job, before withdrawing, then renewing his interest in the role. He takes the job ahead of current assistant coach Marvan Atapattu and Sussex club coach more..

Muslim MPs demand urgent action

Dec 20 (CG) Muslim MPs met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, who is also the Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, this afternoon and raised concerns over attempts to close three Mosques in the Dehiwala area. Ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen and Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha as well as MPs Hassan Ali were among those present at today’s meeting. The police had initially ordered that the three Mosques be closed down more..

JVP meets President of Ecuador

Dec 20 (LT) A meeting between representatives of youths’ associations and the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa was held on the side lines of the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students. The JVP was represented at this meeting by its Member of the Central Committee Wasantha Samarasinghe who had a special discussion later with the President of Ecuador. The 18th World Festival of Youth and Students held by the World Federation of Democratic Youth took place in Ecuador more..

Sri Lanka passes 2014 budget, aims to cut deficit to 36-yr low

Dec 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's parliament passed the 2014 budget by a 95-vote majority on Friday, approving a plan to reduce its fiscal deficit to a 36-year low of 5.2% of gross domestic product amid opposition allegations of economic data manipulation. The budget was passed with 155 votes for and 60 against in the legislature in which President Rajapaksa's ruling party has a more than a two-thirds majority. more..

'Prove there is a Keheliya Rambukwella Foundation and I will resign'

Dec 20 (GDI) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella referring to a disgraceful, malicious, comment made by UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake on 17th Dec, in parliament said that he will resign from his Ministerial portfolio if Ramanayake could proove even through a receipt that there is a foundation by the name of Keheliya Rambukwella under him. Minister Rambukwella said so making a special statement in Parliament today (20) before the final budget debate. more..

Health budget has increased four fold since 2005 - President

Dec 20 (Island) President Rajapaksa said on Tuesday that when he came to power in 2005, the budget allocation for the health sector had been only Rs. 38 billion. But, the govt had allocated about Rs.155 billion for 2014. In 2005, around 13,000 nurses had been employed in the health sector, but today Sri Lanka had about 36,000 nurses, he said. The President was speaking at the ceremony, at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, where letters of appointment were handed over to 1,821 more..

Drug dealers in P'ment: JHU urges Mangala to name names

Dec 20 (DM) The JHU today urged UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera to name and identify the parliamentarians who are involved in drug trafficking to protect the dignity of the Parliament. “For a long time now this drug problem has been prevailing in Sri Lanka. Even the police are unable to stop this due to the political security this trade is receiving. However now these political forces behind drugs are being exposed gradually. more..

What makes some animals more equal

Dec 21 (CT) There is this interesting case surrounding an Indian diplomat now being played out in New York and New Delhi. The diplomat concerned is 39-year-old Devyani Khobragade, India's Deputy Consul General in New York, who has been charged with visa fraud over her treatment of her housekeeper, another Indian female national named Richard. Khobragade who was arrested by US marshals last week after dropping her daughter at her school, pleaded not guilty and more..

Son kills father under sudden provocation

Dec 21 (SO) 'Son kills father' ran the headline in a local daily. A heinous crime unimaginable. What kind of son is capable of such an atrocity against his own father? What kind of a situation would lead to such a violent end for a father? Looking beyond society's alarming trend reveals society's most alarming undercurrent: These are neglected and abused children whose options are limited--children who honestly think they have no other way out. In this instance too a son thought his more..

My father, my critic

Dec 21 (CI) "My father, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had," says Roald Dahl's Danny, in Danny, the Champion of the World. Almost everyone who remembers their father can recollect a time growing up when he stood at the centre of their universe. Kumar Sangakkara does too. When he was a child, his father, Kshema, would throw him balls and instruct him on technique more..

Commerical Sea Fishing at Vakarai

Dec 21 (Island) Those of my vintage and earlier remember Vakarai with nostalgia of the great times we had there. This was in an era now long gone. Many, including planters, used to go to places like Arugam Bay, Passikudah, Panichankerni, Vakarai and Verugal, all of which are on the east coast, for a period of rest and relaxation and to also indulge in shooting, fishing and sea bathing. These places were wild and undeveloped and offered a totally different environment and atmosphere more..

Jaffna attracts massive crowd for football finals

Dec 21 (Island) A crowd of nearly 7,000 witnessed proceedings as St. Mary’s College emerged champions over St. Anthony’s College at the Milo Football Tournament finals held at the Jaffna Duraiappa Stadium held earlier this week. Jaffna’s most anticipated and most popular sporting event attracted 24 teams competing against each other. St. Mary’s College captained by Mariyadas Nirojan and St. Anthony’s College captained by B. Gajanan fiercely competed for the ultimate title and more..

'Beauty industry has grown by leaps and bounds'

Dec 21 (IR) She established the Sri Lanka Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians (SLAHAB) in 1996, is the member and president of OMC (Organisation Mondiale Coiffure) Asia Zone and also runs her own salon. Salon India reveals the various facets of the global beauty expert Nayana Karunaratne. I realised to opt hairdressing as the career post schooling and started travelling out of Sri Lanka to more..

Forced sterilization and Northern Tamils

Dec 21 (CT) After 2009 in Northern Province forced sterilization has implemented by the Ministry of Health. It is a part of continuous genocide. Facilities were obtained from WHO and UNICEF under the name of Family Planning. But now there are evidence that they have put contraceptive method for widows and mothers with their husband abroad and even pregnant mothers. Fatal incidents have been highlighted by media, but Ministry of Health Northern Province made by invalid report. more..

From UNHRC to UPA, and back?

Dec 21 (SL) Addressing the Sri Lankan Parliament recently, TNA member M. A. Sumanthiran offered the party’s support if the Govt made a “honest attempt to address the issue with an open mind and work with the international community, including India and the US and learn from the South African experience”. As was forewarned when the post-war talks with the Govt collapsed, the TNA too has been talking more about ‘accountability issues’ than ‘power-devolution’, which is the spirit of more..

Day in the life of the bus conductor

Dec 21 (SL) Public transport is one of the cheaper ways to go around in SL. It is sometimes the fastest way to get to places as well. Buses play a huge role in public transport. Apart from the driver who drives the bus, a usual bus would also have a conductor. Moment we say a bus conductor we remember a man who walks up and down the bus however much crowded it is, collecting money and issuing tickets for the passengers. more..

Editorial: Schools as no paan zones

Dec 21 (Island) The govt decision to ban the sale of wheat flour based products and aerated sugary drinks in school cafeterias is to be highly commended. The incidence of obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes is extremely high among schoolchildren owing to their addiction to aggressively marketed fast food items and soft drinks. This ban should have been imposed years ago but better late than never. It is not only at school that children get tempted to consume more..

Mandela etc

Dec 21 (Island) A colossus has passed away, the mourning has been worldwide and so have been the encomiums, and it has to be expected according to established form that after some time there will be a process of debunking to show that the colossus really had clay feet. The debunking process has already begun in Sri Lanka with some comments in our State media. That is meet and proper because we all know that if Mandela had been a Sri Lankan – of a few years ago – he would have been more..

Sri Lanka win with two balls to spare

Dec 21 (CI) Angelo Mathews has not often lived up to his finisher's tag in recent months, but he brought together all the qualities that make fine international captains, as he led Sri Lanka to the biggest successful chase in Dubai. Mathews' hand brimmed with poise, skill and fighting nous and though he did not see out the win, he had helped bring the equation down to four off five deliveries. Pakistan believed they were still in the match more..

Adverse effects of Ratha Gaaya

Dec 21 (Island) ‘Ratha Gaaya’ being a medical term in our indigenous medicine to identify an illness affecting particularly children, it is humorously used taunting those affected by a mania for vehicles. The misuse of vehicles has reached such devastating proportions in this country that the number of vehicular accidents have notched up a new high causing loss of lives of innocent people. It is the excessive use of the accelerator in flights of temptation that has proved in more..

Shehzad's sold a dummy

Dec 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan had run Kusal Perera out earlier in the innings, and the universe contrived to ensure he would suffer the same fate as penance, when it placed a soft clod of dirt exactly in the spot where Dilshan grounded his bat when attempting another quick single. Dilshan hit the ball to midwicket in the 15th over and called his partner through immediately, and though he expected to comfortably make his ground, his bat hit a soft spot in the earth just centimetres from the more..

Mathews lauds Sri Lanka's spirit

Dec 21 (CI) Angelo Mathews said his team's two-wicket win over Pakistan in Dubai was borne of spirit, after Sri Lanka chased down 286 with two balls and two wickets to spare. Sri Lanka's chase was the highest second-innings score at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, and the second-highest overall. Mathews, Sangakkara, Dilshan and Chandimal all crossed 40 in the chase, and Kulasekara also contributed 32 from 26 balls more..

Misbah frustrated by bowling effort

Dec 21 (CI) Misbah-ul-Haq laid the blame for Pakistan's two-wicket loss in Dubai at the feet of his bowlers, although he admitted his team could perhaps have scored 15 more runs. Pakistan's 284 for 4 was the second-highest total at the stadium, but they conceded defeat with two balls to spare. "Looking at the pitch, it was a good total and they were still needing around 50 runs, seven wickets down. We should have won that if we bowled according to the field. more..