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All tuition connected to OL exam banned

Dec 3 (DN) All tuition classes for the forthcoming GCE O/L Exam will be banned from midnight today, Examinations Commissioner General W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara said. He said that conducting of revision classes, seminars, discussing model papers, distribution of question papers and other material targeting the GCE O/L Exam will be completely prohibited from midnight today until Dec 20. The prohibition will be implemented under the powers vested in the Education Minister more..

Master Blaster’s SUV kills wild boar on EO1

Dec 3 (Island) Postal Services Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya’s SUV knocked down and killed a wild boar on the Southern Expressway on Monday night. The accident happened when Jayasuriya’s driver attempted to overtake a vehicle near the 92nd mile post at Pinnaduwa. Jayasuriya had escaped unhurt as the driver had managed to avoid a possible crash into the railings after the vehicle knocked down the wild boar that was crossing the road, police said. more..

'Education, health budgets slashed, loss making SriLankan, Mihin Air get more'

Dec 3 (Island) Instead of reducing the skyrocketing cost of living and increasing the education and health budgets, the govt had jacked up taxes to fund white elephants such as SriLankan and Mihin Lanka. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said that the Rajapaksa regime was living in a world of its own and under the mistaken notion that it was more important to maintain huge loss making status symbols such as Mihin Air, than more..

SriLankan & Mihin prepare for reservation system upgrade to AMADEUS

Dec 3 (FT) SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka will be upgrading to a new passenger reservations and inventory control system, during the weekend of 7 and 8 Dec. The AMADEUS Altéa Suite will enable SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka to become a more ‘customer centric’ carrier. The cutover is important for the expansion of SriLankan Airlines and for its induction into the oneworld alliance early 2014. The Amadeus Altéa Suite is the common IT platform used by several airlines more..

BBC Sinhala investigations against its head continues; disgraced Fernando is back

Dec 3 (CT) The BBC probe into all aspects of its Sinhala Service’s activities is still proceeding. The BBC Sinhala Service journalists are being asked by the BBC to participate in the ongoing investigation accompanied by lawyers or trade union representatives if they wish. Following the suspension of BBC Sinhala Service Editor Priyath Liyange – and, while a rigorous investigation into all Sandeshaya producers’ activities is in progress in London - the BBC has stopped more..

IMF’s Koshy Mathai departs with praise and precaution

Dec 3 (FT) Delivering his last evaluation of the Sri Lankan economy as the Resident Representative for the IMF Dr. Koshy Mathai balanced out praise with precaution yesterday, insisting Govt revenue expansion, realistic growth projections and fine handling of monetary policy remain crucial. Dr. Mathai, while noting that the overall prognosis for the economy was “alright,” mentioned that the Govt’s revenue envelope more..

J’pura undergrads complain of many woes

Dec 3 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sri Jayewardenepura University staged a Satyagraha opposite the institution’s main entrance yesterday over several demands. Spokesman for the Students’ Council, M.K.R. Rajapaksha said that they had earlier planned to hold a protest march from the university to Wijerama Junction, but it had been cancelled. He said they had held the protest march within the university premises and ended it with a Satyagraha at the main entrance. more..

Karu pacifies UNP’s CPC members

Dec 3 (Island) UNP Central Provincial Councilors from Matale, Rohana Bandaranayake and Sanjeewa Kaviratne, have decided to withdraw their decision to go as independent members after meeting Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya at Sirikotha last week. Councilor Bandaranayake said that he had decided to remain independent over the appointment of Ranjith Aluvihare as the Opposition Leader of the CPC. "When the party decided to appoint Aluvihare more..

'Military presence is the main problem'

Dec 3 (DM) The biggest problem faced by the Northern Province residents was the presence of the army, which was pivotal in creating other problems, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had told the visiting UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Chaloka Beyani. The UN Special Envoy, who visited Jaffna today had meetings with the Northern Province Governor Major General (Rtd) G.A. Chandrasiri more..

Education sector tops corruption list

Dec 3 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption received 3,167 complaints last year with the highest number of complaints made against the education sector (440) followed by the Police (318). The Commission has received 2,310 complaints up to November this year with the highest number of complaints (369) once again made against those in the education sector followed by the Police (225). Complaints were also made against District and DSs (170), more..

'KP with Govt'

Dec 3 (CT) TNA Leader, R. Sampathan, alleged that Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, was now with the govt and not with the TNA. "Where is KP now? Isn't he with you? He is not with us. We have no connections with the LTTE. He is the one who helped you to win the war since 2005," Sampanthan said in Parliament. "Where is KP now? Isn't he with you? He is not with us. We have no connections with the LTTE. He is the one who helped you to win the war since 2005," Sampanthan said more..

US: Patience with Sri Lanka could 'wear thin'

Dec 3 (AP) International patience could wear thin with Sri Lanka unless it takes action to address allegations of atrocities during the island nation's civil war, the top U.S. diplomat for South Asia said Tuesday. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal stopped short of endorsing a deadline set last month by British PM David Cameron, who said he would call for a U.N.-backed inquiry into allegations of war crimes unless there was progress on more..

Snap naval ties with Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi

Dec 3 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged the Centre to annul the agreement with Sri Lanka for naval cooperation to control piracy and terrorists in the Indian Ocean. Reacting to the report in The Hindu, ‘Despite strains, India, Sri Lanka deepen naval ties,’ he accused the Centre of showing scant regard for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils and the voice of Tamils in Tamil Nadu. “There is an impression among the people of Tamil Nadu that the Indian govt always goes more..

Majority public petitions from Govt. MPs

Dec 3 (CT) Between 1 May 2012 and 30 April 2013, a large number of MPs from the UPFA had submitted petitions on behalf of citizens to Parliament, as compared to MPs of the Opposition, according to research conducted by, a parliamentary monitoring website. The research shows that, '26% of the MPs (59 of 225 MPs) used their exclusive right to facilitate petitioning Parliament. Within the governing UPFA coalition, 45 MPs (28%) had filed petitions, more..

Rapporteur 'really happy' on resettlement!

Dec 3 (DN) The visiting UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of the IDPs Dr Chaloka Beyani, has been impressed with overall progress made in the resettlement of IDPs in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Resettlement Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said the UN Rapporteur was also positive and glad about the govt's post-war reconstruction and development process. Dr Beyani is currently in Jaffna to more..

'MCNS abolished since 1 Nov'

Dec 3 (CT) Spokesman for the President's Media Unit, Mohan Samaranayake, said the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), coming under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, had been abolished since 1 November, according to a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sources said the MCNS which was instituted during the time of the conflict in the North and the East, in order to report on aspects of the war, had now served its purpose. more..

JVP lashes out at govt over Hulugalle affair

Dec 3 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament that the country’s law, judiciary and police had been used by officials to cover up their Casanova lives. "Newspapers today reported that the Media Centre for National Security had been dissolved from Nov. 01. Does it mean only the crimes the Director General of the MCNS, Lakshman Hulugalle committed after Nov 01 could be called crimes and wrong doings? How would you describe what he did prior to that?" more..

PM denies link to heroin haul

Dec 3 (Island) PM D.M. Jayaratne told Parliament that he had ordered his staff and secretaries not to issue letters, on his behalf, hereafter. A large number of people come to him for official purposes every day and it was impossible for him to issue letters himself to all of them thus he had given powers to his secretaries to write on his behalf, he said. PM Jayaratne, responding to questions, raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, more..

Extravagance or simplicity?

Dec 4 (DM) As we enter a season which a market driven world has turned into a shopping and spending spree with displays of extravagance, thought should also be given by those who have time, to reflect on the fast vanishing simple and humble lifestyles. This is in contrast to the current consumerist global economy driven by supply and demand and the creation of unlimited wants. The experience and the events in the recent past show that we cannot expect much in terms of more..

Hypocritical protagonists of Commonwealth principles

Dec 4 (DM) The controversial CHOGM meeting has drawn to a close and we have heard ad nauseam, the term `Commonwealth Principles/values’ and of the alleged need for us to change our ways and abide by them. Among the most vociferous of these ‘holier than thou’ protagonists of the Commonwealth principles/values are the formerly `Great’ Britain, Canada, India and Mauritius. Lately, two Sri Lankans of the UNP namely Mangala Samaraweera and Tissa Attanayake have jumped on to more..

Murderer or Hero?

Dec 4 (SL) Sri Lanka remains an exceptionally myopic land quite like no other. And at times, it is abundantly possible to understand the conundrum that President Rajapaksa and his crew face in governing this nation of some twenty million or thereabouts. The pronouncement that ‘Prabhakaran is a Hero’ led to howls of protests and quite rightly so. The conundrum is not only the preserve of Mr Rajapaksa – it is so for more..

The Budget and Me

Dec 4 (DM) As the second reading of the Budget for 2014 was passed and the third reading was pending in Parliament, the Daily Mirror spoke to a cross-section of people at the bottom line who are going to be benefited or affected by the decisions made by their political representatives. “The Budget and Me” will showcase the views of the general public and their aspirations, hopes and disappointments as to how the govt more..

Devananda extends invitation to Wigneswaran again

Dec 4 (Island) EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devavnada yesterday said he expected the TNA to attend the District Development Council (DDC) meetings in Jaffna and Killinochchi in the New Year, though it had boycotted recent meetings. He said that the Govt Agents in Jaffna and Killinochchi would consult Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to explore the possibility of having DDC meetings after Thaipongal. more..

Up, up and away … new taxes send prices sky-high

Dec 4 (ST) Consumers are set to face more increases in the prices of food, clothing, hardware items and toiletries. Imported food items such as sprats, canned fish, chicken, beef and dairy products will become more expensive as new taxes are imposed on them. Most other consumer products such as oils, coffee, tea, vinegar, bakery products and cut flowers will also be subjected to the increased Customs taxes, more..

Suicides down, attempts up

Dec 4 (Island) The suicide rate is rapidly increasing around the world but in Sri Lanka it has come down from 47 per 100,000 population in 1995 to 18.07 in 2011, according to Sri Lanka Sumithrayo. Although the decrease gave reason to be pleased, the rate was still high, and yet more disturbing was the number of suicide attempts steadily on the rise, Sumithrayo, Rural Programme Director, Lakshmi Ratnayeke said. more..

UK maintains deadline for Lanka

Dec 4 (CG) The British Government says the March 2014 deadline issued for Sri Lanka to show progress on addressing alleged human rights issues still stands. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons that if the Sri Lankan Govt does not show progress by the time the Human Rights Council meets in March next year Britain will favour an international inquiry that is independent, credible and thorough. more..

'Govt. changing Colombo demography for political gain'

Dec 4 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera accused the govt of changing Colombo’s demography for its political gain. Samaraweera, commencing the third reading stage debate, on Budget 2014, under the headings of Ministries of Defence and Urban Development, said lands in the city were being acquired on the pretext of development. People in Slave Island had been rendered homeless. more..

Indian Navy Chief Admiral plays down training to Lanka Navy

Dec 4 (ENS) With a political storm raging in Tamil Nadu over India’s military ties with Sri Lanka, Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi on Tuesday clarified that there was “no scaling up of any activity” with the island nation, but added a rider that training the neighbouring country’s military personnel was to India’s advantage. “There is no scaling up of any activity with Sri Lanka, or indeed with any neighbouring country,” more..

Sri Lanka calls for the need to find collective solutions for migrant workers issues

Dec 4 (MEA) The “Asia – Gulf States Regional Dialogue on Standard Terms of Employment for Migrant Domestic Workers” was held at the Cinnamon Grand from 3-4 Dec sponsored by UNWomen and the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare. Over 15 countries from the Asian and Gulf region participated at the meeting. Minister G.L. Peiris, addressed the participants at the opening ceremony as Chief Guest. more..

CID reveal scandal behind murder of Delft PS Chairman

Dec 4 (AD) The motives behind the murder of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Daniel Rexian have now been linked to an illegitimate relationship between Rexian’s wife and the lead suspect, Kandasamy Kamalendran, the CID revealed. The Chairman of the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha, Daniel Rexian was shot and killed by an unknown group while his body was found on November 27 in his home in Punkudutivu. more..

An all round education for monks

Dec 4 (CT) In an unusually scholarly discourse recently, President Rajapaksa emphasized the significance of a well-rounded education for Buddhist monks, accentuating that the members of the Buddhist clergy should not only learn Pali and Sanskrit but other subjects and disciplines such as languages, literature, technology, art and medicine as well. This, he said, was essential to keep abreast with other developed nations. He drew as examples the endeavours of Ven. Ananda Maithriya more..

Emulating South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Dec 4 (CT) Just after the CHOGM, South African President Jacob Zuma had proposed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for Sri Lanka. He was to discuss it with the TNA. Though there had been several Truth Commissions globally, the South African TRC is the best mind-booster when post-conflict justice and reconciliation are considered. Already there are some who project the Govt of Sri Lanka grabbing this proposal in good faith. Another presents GOSL’s ulterior motives as more..

Video: PC Minister should apologise to all SL Artistes: SLASA

Nov 4 (DM) The Provincial Council minister who assaulted popular singer Saman de Silva should apologise to the entire school of artistes in the country, Sri Lanka Singers Association (SLASA) Joint Secretary Madumadhawa Aravinda said. Speaking at a news conference convened to brief the media regarding the alleged assault on the popular singer Saman de Silva by the SPC Minister Bindu Weerasinghe during a musical show more..

Sri Lanka stocks closer higher

Nov 4 (LBO) Stocks closed higher Wednesday with diversified stocks gaining amid foreign buying ending two days of losses, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 9.80 points higher at 5,782.92, up 0.17%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.11 points lower at 3,165.05, up 0.13%. Turnover was 794.49 million rupees, down from 960.76 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 72 firms closing in the red against 74 gainers. Commercial Leasing and Finance closed 10 cents lower at 3.80 rupees more..

'Health Ministry disciplinary unit inefficient'

Nov 4 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday alleged that the disciplinary unit of the Health Ministry served no purpose because the officers assigned to conduct inquiries were untrained and uninformed. GMOA President Dr. Anuraddha Padeniya said there had been a backlog of inquiries against doctors for the last five to 10 years. The inability of the officers responsible for conducting inquiries, had caused numerous problems, he said. more..

Video: Law and Order Ministry declared open

Nov 4 (AD) The office of the Ministry of Law and Order which was established by President on Aug 16 was officially declared open today. The Department of Police and the Special Task Force come under the purview of the Ministry. The new office is situated at 13th floor, ‘Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla and was declared open by the Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne. Major General (Retd) Nanda Mallawaarachchi VSV assumed more..

Bindu surrenders over assault

Nov 4 (CG) Southern Province Minister Bindu Weerasinghe surrendered to the Borella police today over the assault on popular singer Saman De Silva. Weerasinghe had been accused of assaulting the singer at a musical show recently held near the Welikada prison to entertain prison guards and officers. A prison official was also reported assaulted by the Provincial Minister and his supporters. The Sri Lanka Singers Association had yesterday demanded a public apology from more..

US built hospital opens in Sri Lanka's North

Nov 4 (LBO) A 24-bed hospital built with support from the United Sates has been opened in Palai, Northern Sri Lanka, the USAID said. The 69 million rupee hospital will also have an emergency treatment unit, maternity ward, delivery room and a pharmacy. Sri Lanka's north emerged from a 30-year civil war in 2009. "This new hospital will have a significant impact on thousands of people living in the surrounding communities by offering accessible, quality healthcare," more..

Protests by undergrads demanding increases in Mahapola and bursary payments

Nov 4 (Island) Undergraduates of universities countrywide are demanding the doubling of the Mahapola and bursary payments as they had not been increased during the last eight years. Convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that at present, Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 2,000 were paid monthly as Mahapola and bursary payments respectively. He said that the ‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ policy document promised to increase the more..

Who pockets out this Rs.24 million – Harsha

Nov 4 (LT) UNP Parliamentarian Harsha de Silva participating in a political talk show held yesterday (3rd) posed a question regarding Rs.24million allocated from the budget 2014 for the Media Center for National Security (MCNS). He said the MCNS has been dissolved on an order from President Mahinda Rajapaksa but Rs.24 million was allocated for it from the budget that was presented to Parliament by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 21st November. more..