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'I have not compromised'

Feb 6 (DM) Q: Despite being a part of the govt, you expressed a vocal opinion against the impeachment process; now that the process had taken its course, do you feel defeated? A: No, I don’t. We took a very principled position when the impeachment was presented. Every MP has a constitutional right to sign a petition calling for the appointment of a select committee; a member of our party signed it and I as General Secretary more..

Hangmen learn the ropes

Feb 6 (Island) In the wake of the Govt considering the re-implementation of capital punishment due to the alarming increase in incidents of grave crime, the Prisons Department recently recruited two executioners. Commissioner General of Prisons, P.W. Kodippili said that the two executioners, selected from 145 short-listed applicants, were undergoing a 14-day special training. He said that the training programme more..

Amendments in quota system. Jaffna students affected

Feb 6 (OU) Concerning students entry to universities, the district quota system which is in practice if amended, and according to the recent statistic taken for population in Jaffna, students selected from the Jaffna district to universities, the figures will drastically get affected is according to information. The district quota system amendment issue was submitted in parliament, and should be processed for the council approval. more..

'Spraying BTI stopped, Govt’s eradication process is a lie'

Feb 6 (LT) The use of BTI bacteria to eradicate mosquito menace has been abandoned by the Ministry of Health stating the scheme is not practical. The General Secretary of All Ceylon Health Services Union Gamini Kumarasinghe said a dengue eradicating week has been declared abruptly from today without any practical plan and moves by such hasty decisions would not help in eradicating mosquitoes. He said eradicating mosquitoes more..

UNP to appoint three deputy leaders

Feb 6 (Island) The UNP would appoint three Deputy Leaders representing the Sinhalese and the minorities, informed sources said yesterday. They told the The Island that besides Sajith Premadasa, a senior member from the Central Province and another also from the same province, but representing the minorities had been earmarked for appointment as deputy leaders. Asked if the party Constitution had to be amended to create the new posts, more..

U.S. '3C' trade mission to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (Xinhua) A multi-sector United States trade mission will visit Sri Lanka this week, the first such trade delegation to visit the country since the end of the country's civil conflict four years ago, the U.S. embassy in Colombo said on Wednesday. The delegation will arrive in Colombo after visiting Chennai and Cochin of India as a part of the so-called "3C" exploratory program. The 3C Trade Mission is comprised of companies in more..

Australian coalition to disclose details to Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (CG) The Australian opposition coalition says it would greatly enhance the intelligence-sharing arrangements with Sri Lanka if it comes to power, providing Colombo with more information on the backgrounds of arriving asylum-seekers. The coalition promise came as veteran nurse Marianne Evers — who worked in the Nauru regional processing centre for three weeks last year — likened the site to a concentration camp more..

International Bar Association concerned by concerned by govt's blocking of delegation

Feb 6 (IN) The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) expresses serious concern at the Sri Lankan govt’s decision to deny entry to Sri Lanka to senior international figures, including a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J S Verma. Dr Mark S Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association stated: ‘It is disappointing that the Sri Lankan authorities have missed the more..

Editorial : Are we really free?

Feb 6 (CT) After sixty-five years of Independence, the nagging question that reverberates in many a mind is: are we free? Sri Lanka did not go through the vagaries of a national struggle for independence, the likes of what India had to endure through nearly five long decades to gain Independence. Our leaders were not imprisoned nor were they harassed and tortured and deprived of basic comforts while being ostensibly engaged in an Independence struggle. Our road to freedom and more..

May 31-June 4 1981: Five days of state terror in Jaffna

Feb 6 (CT) Two years after the end of the war in Lanka, without a political solution in sight, it may be appropriate to look back at events that occurred 30 years ago. 31 May to 4 June 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of days of violence and arson in Jaffna that aggravated relations between the Tamils and Sinhalese majoritarian state and eventually led to prolonged warfare. Although mercifully loss of lives was minimal, the extensive damage to houses, shops and institutions was unprecedented more..

Sri Lanka Debrief: 06 02 2013

Sabaragamuwa to regulate private tuition classes

Feb 6 (DN) Draft legislation has been formulated to regulate private tuition classes in the Sabaragamuwa Province, Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mahinda Weerasuriya said. He disclosed this at a progress review meeting of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council's "Sadachara Sampanna Sabaragamuwak Godanagamu" programme held at the Provincial Council auditorium in Ratnapura recently. Sabaragamuwa Governor W J M Lokubandara and Chief Minister more..

Wanni resettled gets more assistance

Feb 6 (MoD) On par with the 65th National Independence Day celebrations Sri Lanka Army donated gift packs worth one million rupees to the people in Kelebogaswewa in Wanni at a function held in this regard on 03rd February. About 100 families were gifted with packs of dry ration during the function. More than 150 school children in the area were presented with gift packs including school bags, exercise books, school shoes and other schooling needs. more..

A problem of power

Feb 6 (Island) That MPs have lost interest in democracy was clear from the impeachment of the CJ. But even the rewards given to those who played important roles in that process reveal just what a state Parliament is in. Last week’s reshuffle was very limited in scope. The major changes were the elevation to the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources of Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who headed the more..

Ruhuna agri. U’grads piqued by Rs. 200 monthly hostel charge

Feb 6 (Island) Undergraduates of the Ruhuna University’s Agriculture Faculty have begun a struggle against the university administration’s decision to charge for their hostel accommodation and limit hostel facilities to two years per undergrad. President of the Students’ Union Sarath de Silva said that previously the administration charged only Rs. 600 per year. But now they have asked students to pay Rs. 200 per month, Silva said adding that it amounted to Rs. 2,400 per year. more..

65th independence commemorations in France

Feb 6 (GDI) Special religious ceremonies were held in several places in Paris, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence. The events commenced on Sunday, 3rd February 2013 with religious ceremonies at the International Buddhist Centre in La Bourget, under the guidance of the Chief Sangha Nayake of France, the Ven. Parawahera Chandraratne Thero, and in association with the Ven. Murugasyaye Gnanissara Thero, Chief Incumbent of the La Blanc Mesnil Temple more..

CBK government accused of helping US in torture program

Feb 6 (CG) The 2003 govt led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, has been accused of helping the United States in it’s torture program. A New York-based human rights organization said in a new report, that Sri Lanka was among 54 countries that have either hosted secret prisons or helped in the transport or torture of terrorist suspects as part of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rendition and black site torture programme. more..

HSBC appoints new chief for Sri Lanka, Maldives

Feb 6 (LBO) HSBC has appointed Patrick Gallagher as chief executive for Sri Lanka and Maldives replacing Nick Nicolaou. The new appointment will take effect from April 30, 2013, subject to regulatory approval, the firm said in a statement. Martin Tricaud, currently managing director, global head of multinationals, global banking and markets, will succeed Matthew Deakin as president and chief executive officer of HSBC Korea. Deakin will become CEO of HSBC Bahrain, more..

Moratuwa Mayor condemns monk’s killing

Feb 6 (Island) Moratuwa Mayor Saman Lal Fernando said that he vehemently condemned the killing of Ven. Metigahatenne Wimalawansa thera, who was hacked to death in his temple at Egodauyana. He said that the Deputy Mayor, now in police custody, was taken in only on suspicion for questioning. Mayorsaid that there was a difference between the services rendered by the public servant and govt servant. The govt servant had limits in rendering his or her services whereas the more..

Govt. gets Pillay’s draft report

Feb 6 (FT) The Govt of Sri Lanka is studying a draft of UN Human Rights Commissioner Navinetham Pillay’s report on Sri Lanka to be submitted to the 22nd Session of the UNHRC in Geneva, authoritative sources said yesterday. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will submit a report on Advice and Technical Assistance to the Govt of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka more..

Over 50,000 graduates to be made permanent

Feb 6 (DN) All graduates who received state sector appointments last year will be made permanent at the end of this year. The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry will make permanent over 50,000 graduates who were recruited to the state service last year. A ministry spokesman said that the ministry has recruited around 52,000 graduates to the govt service and will enroll them to the the permanent cadre by the end of this year. The first batch recruited last February will be made more..

More arrests over Moratuwa murder

Feb 6 (CG) The police have arrested another 7 suspects over the murder of a Buddhist monk in Moratuwa this week. According to the police media unit, the suspects were arrested by the Kalutara and Moratuwa police divisions. The seven suspects were handed over to the Colombo crimes division for more investigations. Earlier the Deputy Mayor of Moratuwa, Sujith Pushpakumara had also been arrested over the murder of the monk. The monk in Moratuwa was stabbed to death on Sunday more..

'Country needs knowledgeable and talented graduates'

Feb 6 (GDI) President Rajapakse said that it is his wish to see the emergence of knowledgeable, talented and capable graduates with correct attitudes to shoulder the future responsibilities of the country. The President said the long term plans for this objective have now been formulated, and Sri Lanka’s objective of becoming the Wonder Nation of Asia can be achieved only through these initiatives. more..

Student qualifies to enter uni after answering AL papers verbally

Feb 6 (Island) Thilina Nimeshika Jayatillake, a student of Ambanpitiya School for children with special needs, Kegalle is the first student in the country to provide answers to the A/L question papers verbally and qualify to enter the university. She urged the govt to open the doors for other students with special needs to pave the way to qualify for them to qualify higher studies. She answered the question papers at the O/L Exam also in the same manner and passed more..

DMK lambasts Sri Lankan President ruling out autonomy for Tamils

Feb 6 (PTI) DMK today strongly criticised Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for ruling out greater political autonomy for Tamils, saying India should at least “wake up” now and help secure their livelihood and democratic rights. “Rajapaksa has failed to honour the promise given to India and other global organisations for long on granting political autonomy with the latest announcement which should be condemned,” DMK chief M. Karunanidhi said in a statement. Addressing the island nation’s more..

UK to support US resolution against Sri Lanka on rights issue

Feb 6 (AIR) British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt has confirmed that the British govt will support a United States sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC session in Geneva later next month. Responding to questions on a solution to the ethnic issue Burt said UK will continue to urge the Sri Lankan Govt and the major Tamil party, TNA to make serious progress towards a political more..

Refugee claimants underwent 'survival of the fittest,' prosecutor tells hearing

Feb 6 (Province) Tamil refugee claimants detained after arriving in a ship off the B.C. coast in 2009 survived a "Darwinian" process during their travels, a prosecutor says. The 76 men aboard the MV Ocean Lady took various routes as they travelled from Sri Lanka to staging areas in Indonesia and Thailand, a bail hearing was told in 2011. "Many of the migrants said that numerous Sri Lankan Tamils were caught by authorities in Thailand or Indonesia and sent back to Sri Lanka," more..

Fonseka pledges to rescue people from oppression

Feb 6 (NF) Leader of the DNA, Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka pledged to rescue the people from oppression. A Bodhi Pooja to invoke blessings on war heroes, was held at the Bodhirukkarama Viharaya in Ilukewela, Mawathagama, concurrent to the 65th Independence Day. A group of MPs also participated at this event which was held on Monday. "In some instances when I think about whether the people of this country have more..

Sri Lanka dismisses Canada's threat

Feb 6 (Xinhua) The govt dismissed a threat from Canada regarding the island's human rights record. External Affairs Ministry said that the govt was well aware of the importance of securing the rights of its own people and was acting accordingly. "Sri Lanka's human rights record is much better than other countries. The govt knows its responsibility towards its own people and has been working on maintaining a good human rights more..

Stocks fall on telcos, banks; rupee firms

Feb 6 (Reuters) Shares ended lower for a fifth straight session on Wednesday as retail investors sold telecom shares while foreign interest, mainly in Hatton National Bank, boosted turnover, brokers said. The main share index fell 0.02%, or 1.21 points, to end at 5,780.09, its lowest since Jan. 15. Turnover was 1.17 billion rupees, almost equal to this year's daily average of 1.18 billion rupees. "Foreign activity boosted the day's turnover, but most of the foreign investors more..

Beware of bogus lottery SMS alerts

Feb 6 (DM) The Police have warned the general public to beware of bogus lotteries or lottery scams that are operated through SMS services. The Police in a statement said: “The general public is being made aware of a ruse adopted by certain private companies to dupe gullible individuals informing via SMS or by telephone calls that they had won valuable prizes and request them to deposit funds to a named account as initial costs and claim the winning prizes. “The police had uncovered more..

Ravi will take a decisive political decision

Feb 6 (SM) Senior UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that if the Deputy Leader post of the UNP was diluted by appointing several persons for that post, he will not be prepared to accept such a post and in such an event that he will have to take a clear political decision. He said that it has become a quandary for him to understand whether it is the “Radical” change of the UNP to treat both those who love the party and more..

Paroxysm on peace and harmony

Feb 7 (NS) Living in peace and harmony was the norm in Sri Lanka and goes back to ancient days, until the foreign influence cast its shadow on the beautiful island once known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was a myth that even the first human being Adam (Peace be upon him) had stepped into the serene part of the globe. So why is there a paroxysm on peace and harmony in this beautiful motherland of ours? People of Sri Lanka today and Ceylon were considered as a more..

Thilini Nimesha lifts the nation

Feb 7 (NS) Almost all Friday newspapers headlined the remarkable and coincidental story of students from the same school achieving the best A/L results in the various streams. Three girls from Devi Balika Vidyalaya and two from Weeraketiya were featured, smiling faces and all, on the front pages of these newspapers. The fact that over 8,000 students secured A’s in all the subjects was mentioned of course. They have worked hard and have been duly rewarded and applauded too. more..

Kuchchaveli fishermen appeal for help

Feb 7 (SO) The Kuchchaveli village is about 40 kilometres away from the Trincomalee town along the Trincomalee-Pulmuddai main road. Fishing is the main livelihood of the people living in the village. It is stunningly beautiful, but there is no connection between the environment and people's lives. Despite their attempts to improve the economy via the fisheries industry, the shortage of resources remains a barrier to achieve their goals. more..

The Muslim Factor: A new era?

Feb 7 (DBS) I believe that the Muslim factor in our politics is entering a new era because in the last few days developments of an epochal nature have been taking place. Suddenly, and totally unexpectedly, the following banner headline appeared in The Island of January 25; ‘Special PSC to look into racial, religious extremism”. The item stated that Minister Nimal Siripala de Siva had told Parliament on the previous day that a special Parliamentary Select Committee would be set up to address more..

He’d nail the coffin so we could create a new Lanka – post 2013

Feb 7 (CT) I was born to independent “Ceylon”. Never ever migrated to any country and never lived outside this country, even for a short spell. Now I sit reading about last minute preparations for the 65th Independence Day celebrations of “Sri Lanka”. This time in the Eastern port city of Trincomalee. Looking back, I wonder if this is the same country, we grew up in. In early post independent Ceylon, we went to school, played and fought together while growing up together, with Susils and Upuls, more..

Grand old Lady takes us back to that great day in 1948

Feb 7 (ST) 95 and a voracious reader, she sits each day among her beloved books and numerous news clippings. As Sri Lanka prepares for its 65th Independence Day celebrations in Trincomalee, the time leading up to February 4, 1948 with all the pomp and pageantry is still fresh in her memory. Mary Irene Chandraratne was 30 years old when the country gained independence, she tells the Sunday Times more..

The Garrison State Delusion

Feb 7 (LG) As an island, Sri Lanka’s history has been shaped by the dialectic of the internal and external, with the latter playing a decisive role for prolonged periods. These external forces and factors have primarily been the neighbouring powers and the colonial ones. Today, no three states have greater importance for SL’s future than India, China and the USA, though not in any inevitable order. What is alarming is that the SL policy makers seem to understand none of these powers. more..

The obsession with colonialism

Feb 7 (CT) A conspicuous Sinhala right wing preoccupation, both in an outside the govt, is to attribute all ills that beset Sri Lanka as being rooted in colonialism and its “exploitation”. Among most of these groups the condemnation of colonialism is harsh and expresses a deep-lying hatred and lust for revenge. The public expression of these strong negative emotions poison the receptive audiences, who most often are the under-privileged rural youth, who do not have the benefit of a proper more..