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HRCSL stops irrigation interview

Dec 26 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued a directive to stop the interview process at the Irrigation Department after the letters calling applicants for interviews was issued only in the Sinhala language. HRCSL said the Irrigation Department had issued letters calling applicants for interviews for the posts of Lab Assistants only in the Sinhala Language. The Commission said that the move had placed Tamil applicants in difficulty and was also more..

Video: Queen comments on CHOGM

Dec 26 (CG) Queen Elizabeth II made a reference to the Commonwealth summit held in Sri Lanka in her traditional Christmas day message broadcast in London and across the Commonwealth. The Queen recalled that Prince Charles, in his speech at the Sri Lanka summit, spoke of the Commonwealth’s “family ties” that are a source of encouragement to many. She said that while like any family there can be differences of opinion more..

Tsunami victim says lucky to be alive

Dec 26 (DN) Eranga Mendis of Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda was among the thousands of Sri Lankan children who managed to escape the 2004 tsunami, when tidal waves hit the coast six metres away from her house. The tsunami claimed over 30,000 lives in Sri Lanka. It occurred on Dec 26, nine years ago. Eranga says she is lucky to be alive and gets frightened when she recalls the tsunami. She says she and her family were lucky to escape the tidal waves on that fateful day. more..

Lankan falls off ship in Lisbon

Dec 26 (CG) A crew member of a ship carrying a Sri Lankan flag has been reported missing after he fell overboard near Lisbon in Portugal, media reported. The report said that the incident had occurred on Tuesday but despite a search operation launched at the time he is yet to be found. According to the Portugal navy, the accident had occurred near the entrance to the Lisbon port. The captain of the ship had raised the alarm when the man fell off the ship and the Air Force, using a rescue helicopter, more..

Rift between Wigneswaran, Governor deepens

Dec 26 (ENS) The conflict between the Governor and the Chief Minister of Northern Province is escalating with Governor Maj Gen G A Chandrasiri asking the police to investigate telephonic threats to Chief Secretary R Vijayalakshmi, who he had appointed in the teeth of opposition from Chief Minister C A Wigneswaran. On his part, Wigneswaran has been saying publicly that the Lankan govt is commissioning a more..

Christmas with Niko heralds joy, love and kindness into season

Dec 26 (FT) What better Christmas gift to have than an adorable puppy in your Christmas stocking this Christmas? That’s exactly what happened at Odel on 22 December, when Odel’s celebrity pooch, Niko hosted Christmas with Niko to coincide with Christmas Adoption Day, giving pooch lovers a day of seasonal cheer, fun and excitement, with a chance to Adopt-a-Pooch as part of the festivities. The flagship store at Alexandra Place was agog with many seasonal shoppers, more..

Dambakolapatuna Pilgrims Rest in Jaffna declared open

Dec 26 (GDI) Fulfilling a long- felt need a pilgrims rest was declared open in Madagal, by Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage on 23rd December 2013. The newly constructed two storied building "Dambakolapatuna Pilgrims Rest" provides comfortable, and affordable accommodation for local and foreign pilgrims who visit the Jaffna peninsula mainly on pilgrimages to Nagadeepa Viharaya and Dambakolapatuna Sangamitta temple. more..

Starvation cited as reason for anaconda to swallow mate

Dec 26 (Island) A female anaconda swallowed its mate, at the Dehiwela Zoo recently, because the animals had not been fed for more than two weeks, insiders said. Acting Zoo Supervisor Premasiri Peries has told officials that there was a lapse on their part. However, even in their wildest dreams they had not thought that it would cost them the male anaconda. Question remains why a diet of 15 chickens, fed once in two weeks, more..

NGJA warns public to be vigilant of fake items

Dec 26 (CT) The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) warned the general public to be extra vigilant when buying gold and gem-studded jewellery in the local market, given the rapidly decreasing price of gold. Consultant of the Jewellery Assaying Laboratory, NGJA, S.C. Edirisinghe, said, there is a growing tendency on the part of jewellers to degrade the gold content in jewellery with the intention of making a huge profit. He added that the NGJA had been informed of more..

AL re-correction: submit applications before January 20

Dec 26 (DN) Applications for the re-correction of GCE A/L 2013 results should be submitted before January 20 next year, Examinations Commissioner General W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara said. He added that school candidates should forward their applications through the school Principal along with the results sheet and the re-scrutiny appeal application. The Examinations Department will send the re-scrutiny appeal application forms together with the results sheets to all schools. more..

Sri Lanka remembers tsunami victims today

Dec 26 (GDI) Sri Lanka will commemorate today, the 9th anniversary of tsunami and the 7th anniversary of National Safety Day. National event on the theme "Line up to eradicate Disasters" will be held at the Kalutara District Secretariat premises from 9 a.m. with PM D.M. Jayaratne as the Chief Guest on the invitation of Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Deputy Minister Dulip Wijesekara. more..

Doc on the mat over toilet camera

Dec 26 (Island) A doctor attached to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital has been suspended for allegedly installing a micro-camera on the towel rack of the staff toilet, in the hospital, sources said. Two investigations regarding the incident have commenced. When contacted, Anuradhapura Teaching hospital Director Dr. W. Atapattu said that a few days back a camera had been found installed in one of the common toilets. A preliminary investigations had revealed that more..

Divi Neguma Dept to begins operations

Dec 26 (DN) The Divi Neguma Department, established to uplift the living standards of 1.8 million families and thereby benefit five million persons, will commence operations from Jan 3. Religious ceremonies island-wide will mark the occasion. The department's main objective is to make Sri Lanka a poverty-free country for which food security will be ensured and micro finance, physical and social infrastructure facilities provided to strengthen livelihoods and development at more..

'Sri Lanka war dead count improper'

Dec 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party said a census to ascertain the number of dead and disappeared in the country's nearly three-decade-long civil war was not being conducted properly. "We feel that the census is not being properly conducted," said TNA MP M A Sumanthiran. TNA's grassroots representatives in the former conflict zone were of the opinion that the census was not being done in the right manner, he said. more..

Cooking the books to please whom?

Dec 26 (DM) Another state-agency appears to have lost credibility. It was reported a couple of days back that the economic growth rates of the country were likely to have been tampered with by the Census and Statistics Department. According to many analysts, the suspicion has been there for some time about the recent statistics presented by a number of state agencies. But there was no material available to prove such allegations. But it seems that this time, there will be more..

Testing times for grade 5 scholaship Exam

Dec 26 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardena is in the news again with yet another proposal that is likely to create controversy: a plan to scrap the Grade Five scholarship exam, popularly known as the ‘sishyathvey’ among school children and parents. Gunawardena plans to abolish the test from 2016, which essentially means that there will be only two more scholarship exams. Already, the proposal has generated much discussion and the issue is likely to gain more momentum as more..

Jayalalithaa to announce meeting between TN & Lanka fishers in Chennai

Dec 26 (TOI) A crucial and much-awaited meeting between representatives of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen will finally take place in Chennai soon. Sources said the state govt would facilitate the meeting and chief minister J Jayalalithaa is likely to make an announcement about it in a day or two. "The Centre has asked the state about a possible date for the meeting, the venue, the names of representatives of fishermen's associations that will more..

JVP tells Edu. Minister to stop playing blame game

Dec 26 (Island) The JVP-led Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) urged Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena to take action against those who admit students to primary classes of popular schools through the back door, causing classes therein to be overcrowded. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that Minister Gunawardena blamed politicians for admitting students through influence from Grade Two to Five, but more..

UNP slams govt’s ‘backwards decision’ on scholarship exam

Dec 26 (AD) The UNP today stated that the closure of the government hospital in Baduraliya, a rural village in the Kalutara District, is a great example of the current state of the country’s public administration. UNP MP Ajith P. Perera stated that it has been 6 days since the hospital, which has served thousands of innocent patients in the area, was closed down, due to a disagreement between the hospital staff and the residents in the area. more..

Patients in jeopardy at Kandy Hospital

Dec 26 (SL) Although politicians boast that Sri Lanka is no longer a third world country, any person who visits the Kandy General (Teaching) Hospital either for treatment or to visit a patient, would wonder whether the country is now a developing country or could be rated below the third world rank. The appalling state of the Kandy General (Teaching) Hospital, the second largest after the Colombo National Hospital, raises eyebrows as more..

Maruti looking at plant in Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (ACI) Maruti Suzuki India is undertaking a feasibility study for setting up an assembly facility in Sri Lanka. At present, some of its exports are headed to this market. A few sites around Colombo are being investigated for economic viability, according to R C Bhargava, chairman, who told our sister magazine, Autocar Professional that certain issues are involved that had to be streamlined. more..

Asia Cup organisers mull Bangladesh switch

Dec 26 (AFP) Organisers of cricket's Asia Cup will hold talks next month to decide whether to move February's tournament out of violence-plagued Bangladesh, a top official said on Thursday. Asian Cricket Council chief executive Syed Ashraful Haque said the council would meet in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on January 4 to discuss alternative venues in light of the growing unrest in Bangladesh. more..

Seafood imports from Japan indicate radiation contamination

Dec 26 (Island) Sri Lanka is not subject to any direct impact on its marine environment due to radioactive releases from the Fukushima accident, according to a comprehensive study. But radiation levels, particularly in seafood items imported from Japan, had noticeably increased an expert said. Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) National Project Coordinator, Director Life Sciences Head Wijeya Waduge said the study had been carried out with more..

'Adopt nano technology, instead of casinos'

Dec 26 (Island) The govt should use the advances of Nano technology without bringing useless casinos to the country to boost its economy and become a real wonder of Asia, Senior Minister and LSSP leader, Prof. Tissa Vitarana said. He stressed that Sri Lanka would not be able to compete with international products unless it adopted Nano technology. He also noted that the Nano technology would affect all types of industry in the future, be it more..

MILCO suspects outside influence in sabotaging its existence

Dec 26 (Island) Underworld influence has been blamed for the on-going problems at the MILCO (Pvt) Limited. A senior official said that underworld characters in the company had often taken the upper hand during the previous management. However, the present management had taken the initiative to put an end to it by giving prominence to milk farmers and preventing the benefits going into the hands of goons, he said. more..

Video: Hospital closure creates history: UNP

Dec 26 (DM) UNP MP Ajith P. Perera today said a hospital had been shut down for five days for the first time in history due to poor administration of the government. “Baduraliya Hospital which is in a remote area has been closed for five days because of the government’s poor administration. It is the responsibility of the government and Western Provincial Council to take steps to reopen the hospital and ensure the security of the hospital staff. more..

Santa deliberates on the distribution of goodies

Dec 27 (NS) Kids are easy. Uncomplicated. Direct. They know exactly what they want and even if they go overboard at times, they quickly adapt to reality. Politicians are the worst. They not only want heaven on earth, but will grumble and pout when expectations are not met. The other trouble with politicians is that each one has a distinct wish list. Kids on the other hand seem to have insider info; most of them are keyed into what’s chic in the market at any given time. more..

Brought to Sihaladipa and put into Sihalabhasa

Dec 27 (NS) The author of “The Numbers Game”, probably the most informed study of the death toll for the last stages of the Eelam war was telling me, that once in 2008, he was so appalled by the ignorance displayed by H L Seneviratne in a newspaper article that he immediately started digging for authoritative sources on the subjects HL was making fast and loose with and discovered James. W. Gair, K.R Norman and Richard Salomon. When I read HL subsequently, I too was at first appalled. more..

A meaningful Christmas

Dec 27 (SO) Every year, around this time, most people’s thoughts turn to Christmas. It is the time when professing Christians are supposed to focus on Jesus Christ. After all, it is the ‘Christ-mass’ season! Traditionally, Christmas is thought to be a wonderful time, with its focus on giving, family togetherness, beautiful music and decorations, feasting on special foods and singing Christmas carols. These all bring warm feelings to more..

Wanted: Code of Conduct for MPs

Dec 27 (ST) If the nagging questions over his marital strife which he said was shared by 95 per cent of this country’s people were not enough for him to handle for one week then questions as to his financial affairs raised in the same week concerning his purchases of many valuable properties were enough to make the Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage come out of his corner charging furiously into the attack. In reply to a question raised in Parliament last week he told more..

Improve trade balance to strengthen external finances

Dec 27 (ST) The recent improvement in export earnings provides an opportunity to strengthen external finances and reduce debt obligations. However, careful management of the trade and services account of the balance of payments is needed to not fritter away the gains of the improving export performance. These gains could be used to improve the long-term stability in external finances. The export performance in the second half of the year, especially in September and October, more..

Sri Lanka: Chidambaram’s Brave Bid to Clear Congress of anti-Tamil Image

Dec 27 (Hindu) Rarely does one openly witness the dilemma of a govt's defence of itself unfolding as a counter-perspective, as was seen over the recent historical narrative about the travails of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka and India's response to it. When P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu, sprung a surprise in Chennai on Nov 30 with a pro-active leap to pull his party out more..

Beyani’s Report: A Trojan Horse?

Dec 27 (CT) I looked at UN Rights Specialist Chaloka Beyani’s statement after a friend’s inquiry whether it is a Trojan Horse! Beyani is an academic from London School of Economics; independent expert. His studies mainly focus on human rights, IDPs, refugee women’s rights, legalities for protection of rights etc. He did same in Sri Lanka too. Being essentially a human rights exponent his reporting will be rights oriented. His statement was happily quoted by State Media on more..

Mahavamsa: An insult to the Buddha!

Dec 27 (CT) Caution- The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass! Wonder if ours might have been a wiser, and a more ‘humane’ society, had our ‘ancient’ history, been based on Aesop’s Fables, instead of the Mahavamsa. For if not for the Mahavamsa, the Sinhalese may not have been endowed, with the reputation, of “Sinhalaya Modaya (The Sinhalese are Fools)”! In this “wonderland” called Sri Lanka, and in this day and age, more..

Boston Lanka: December 26, 2013

Peace dividend helps celebrate New Year more vibrantly

Dec 27 (Island) M.Shathikumar, Director Operations, Ramada Colombo and President City Hotels Association said that the ‘peace’ dividend has helped people celebrate the Christmas peaceful manner and the New Year revellers to celebrate the dawn of the New year in a more vibrant manner. "From what is evident, this year would be the most vibrant of all, following the end of the civil strife people have planned to celebrate the New Year with their families more enthusiasm look forward more..

Editorial: Mates as food

Dec 27 (Island) Why a female anaconda swallowed her mate at the Dehiwala zoo the other day is now known. She had been starving and unbearable hunger pangs caused her to make a meal of her poor partner according to a zoo employee who spoke to this newspaper, on condition of anonymity, on Wednesday. If so, why did she disgorge him? She must have found regurgitating her better half much more painful than delivering her tiny babies. Is it that she felt sorry for him afterwards or more..

SLC calls for manager’s report

Dec 27 (CT) President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Jayantha Dharmadasa says that he has told manager of the Sri Lanka team Michael de Zoysa to compile a detailed report concerning the struggles of Angelo Mathews' team in the on-going international cricket series against Pakistan in the Gulf. Pakistan took an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the on-going five-match series following Wednesday's crushing eight-wicket win in Abu Dhabi. more..

Afridi returns home from the UAE

Dec 27 (CI) Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has returned home to be with his unwell daughter and will miss the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka in the UAE. He had also withdrawn from his contract with South African franchise Knights last week for the same reason. Afridi was set to fly to Pakistan on Thursday, and has a two-month gap until his next international assignment - Pakistan have no limited-over cricket until the Asia Cup in February, followed by World Twenty20 in March. more..

Sri Lanka seek boost ahead of Tests

Dec 27 (CI) A series that at one stage seemed competitive has all of a sudden begun to feel like a one-sided one. Pakistan have been terrific with the bat all series before reclaiming their prowess with the ball, while Sri Lanka have allowed all areas of their game to slip. An eight-wicket drubbing to follow a 113-run loss does not bode well for the visitors in the final match. On Christmas Day, Sri Lanka were ailed by largely the same issues that have troubled them in the previous matches. more..