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Sri Lanka Debrief news: 08 02 2013

Japanese encephalitis epidemic scare engulfs Sabaragamuwa

Feb 8 (Island) Medical Officer of Health, in the Ratnapura District, commenced vaccinating infants and children, between the ages of nine months and ten years, for Japanese encephalitis (JE), following a steep increase in Japanese encephalitis cases since last December. Additional Media Secretary for the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council, Leelananda Perera said that the disease had claimed 11 lives, while there were over 40 patients with JE reported in the District already. more..

Aussie cows highly productive

Feb 8 (CT) Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, recently visited Bopathalawa and Menikpalama Farms to see first-hand 2,000 dairy cattle that had been imported from Australia over the past year by the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) for milk production and breeding purposes. The cattle have been imported as part of a joint project between a leading Australian cattle exporter, Wellard Rural Exports and the NLDB, under the auspices of the Ministry of more..

NZ Women thrash Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (CI) New Zealand began their Super Six campaign with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Their seamers set the stage for a big win after Sri Lanka were put in to bat and were dismissed for 103 in 42 overs. In four matches, this is the third time New Zealand have dismissed their opposition for a low score, after bowling South Africa out for 170 and more..

Corruption in Sri Lanka has many facets

Feb 8 (CT) The existing system of law and order in the country, and the Constitution itself must be torn into bits, and rebuilt from the grassroots, if the dying principles of democracy in this country are to be saved, speakers at an event organized by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), said. Dr. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Lecturer on Political Economy, University of Peradeniya, said, “The gravest problem faced by this nation lies with the fact that the Constitution of SL is invalid.” more..

Five held over O/L exam leak allowed bail

Feb 8 (Island) Five suspects, held in remand over leaking some questions of the O/L science paper, on the day prior to the exam in 2012, were released on a cash bail in Rs. 15,000 and sureties in Rs. 200,000 when they were produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate yesterday, police said. The suspects were ordered to be present before Court on the day of the next hearing, March 28. The CID, conducting investigations, arrested a tuition master and four suspects on information they more..

Rajapaksa visit: Vaiko held in Delhi, Karunanidhi leads protests in Chennai

Feb 8 (IE) MDMK chief Vaiko and his supporters were today detained when they tried to march towards the PM's residence in protest against the visit of President Rajapaksa to the country. Vaiko and scores of his supporters have been protesting at Jantar Mantar here since morning demanding that India close down the SL High Commission. "We will not forgive the Manmohan Singh govt for supporting Sri Lanka in its war against Tamils," more..

TN people’s concern on Sri Lankan Tamils legitimate: Tewari

Feb 8 (PTI) Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the Central Government was in no way “insensitive” to Lankan Tamil issues and the protest was in “sync” with the people’s concern in Tamil Nadu. “We understand the sensitivities which are involved with regard to the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, especially in Tamil Nadu. We are absolutely in sync with some of the concerns which have been articulated...”, Mr. Tewari told reporters on Friday. more..

Elections to Sports bodies before March 31

Feb 8 (DM) The Ministry of Sports has ordered to hold annual General Meetings to elect office bearers for the coming year according to the New Sports Act. According to the new reforms, nominations should be forwarded to the Director of Sports 30 days prior to elections. All governing bodies should elect their respective officials on or before March 31. The Heads of Sports Associations have informed that it is difficult to hold election before the stipulated date March 31 and requested a more..

Meteorite fragments at Battaramulla?

Feb 8 (DM) Several fragments suspected to be from a meteorite have fallen into a home garden near parliament at Battaramulla this morning, an official said. Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, who visited the site, said that these objects had been removed from the spot, where they were originally believed to have fallen. “Most of the evidence has been destroyed as the residents had put these objects into the garbage dump,” more..

Jayalalithaa blames PM for US going soft on Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Friday blamed PM Manmohan Singh for the watered down US resolution at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka last year. Replying to a debate in the assembly, she said: "Last year, the US brought a strong resolution against Sri Lanka. The Indian govt voted in favour of the resolution at my continued insistence." In support of her charge, Jayalalithaa said Manmohan Singh wrote to President Rajapaksa later: "You would be aware that we spared no more..

Army turns conservator as WCU counts crocs in North

Feb 8 (Island) The Jaffna Peninsula might have one of the healthiest mugger crocodile populations in the country, reveals a Red List Assessment survey done in line with the forthcoming World Crocodile Conference to be held here. Army has joined leading herpetologist Anslem de Silva to protect crocs, particularly in the once war-torn northern peninsula. Yesterday, the Army put up two special check points to monitor and protect the reptiles particularly, the ‘muggers’ in the area. more..

Economic Ministry builds strong North-South ties

Feb 8 (GDI) Over 1,825 persons have been trained under second Community Development and Livelihood improvement Project launched under the Economic Development Ministry’s special programme to strengthen mutual understanding and build friendship between the North and South. The project commenced in May 2012 under which 2000 people were brought from the South to the North. more..

‘There is a conspiracy to pit Muslims against the govt.’ – Nimal

Feb 8 (Island) The govet would not let anyone impose halal certification on others as it was the personal choice of the people to accept or reject it, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva told Parliament. Replying to a series of questions raised, the previous day, by the Leader of Opposition, the Minister said: "The Sri Lankan govt has not accepted this organization and there is no such need for the govt to give its approval for this, since obtaining halal food certification is voluntary. more..

Australia and World Vision in AUD 3.8 million partnership for sustainable development

Feb 8 (CT) Australia and World Vision are partnering in an AUD 3.8 million water and sanitation programme for children and their communities in the Nuwara Eliya District. The partnership is in collaboration with the central and local govts, plantation management and community based organizations. The most recently completed water and sanitation project was launched in Elgin Estate on Tuesday. It was attended by Robyn Mudie, High Commissioner for Australia in Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka phone-smuggling prisoner caught when butt rang

Feb 8 (AFP) A Sri Lankan prisoner who tried to hide his mobile phone during a search of his cell was caught out when guards heard ring tones from his rear-end, a hospital official said on Friday. The 58-year-old convict had to be admitted to the national hospital in Colombo where doctors later retrieved the handset from his rectum. "The man had concealed the phone inside his person," the official said, asking not to be named. more..

Sri Lanka needs time, space to recover: gov't

Feb 8 (Xinhua) The govt said on Friday it needs more time to return to normalcy after nearly three decades of terrorism and secessionist war. Minister G.L. Peiris said that reconciliation and rehabilitation is a slow process as other countries that have gone through similar experiences will understand and appreciate. "These challenges cannot be answered and resolved overnight. They take time and a nation needs space to do so. Sri Lanka is urging that it be given the time and space," the minister said. more..

India mum on Chennai attack

Feb 8 (CG) The Indian govt remained silent today over the attack on the Bank of Ceylon office in Chennai with the Indian External Affairs Ministry saying there is no statement on the issue so far. When the Colombo Gazette contacted the official spokesperson and joint secretary of the Indian External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin, he said there was no comment or statement on the attack at this moment. MeanwhileMinister Manish Tewari today said the engagement with Colombo in more..

Terrorist financing amendment bill passed

Feb 8 (CG) Parliament today passed the bill to revise legislation on terrorist financing. The draft bill to amend the Convention on Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act No 25 of 2005 was presented to parliament by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva this week. Speaking on the Draft Bill in parliament this week Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said the objective of the Bill is to prevent collection of funds for terrorist organizations. more..

Australia know what we can do: SL skipper

Feb 8 (FP) Despite the 8-wicket loss against New Zealand, Sri Lanka skipper Shashikala Siriwardene is not fazed by the prospect of facing Australia — a team which has emerged as favourites to win the ICC Women’s World Cup. “I don’t really have to send any message to Australia. They know what we can do. They know that we have beaten teams like India and England.” But even though she exudes a lot of confidence and there is a constant smile that dances on her lips, Siriwardene is a more..

Sri Lanka issues rule for money brokers

Feb 8 (LBO) Central bank has issued new regulations covering the money broking industry requiring them to be certified, set up reporting requirements and internal policies and procedures. Money brokers provide bid and offers in money and forex markets while protecting the anonymity of their clients. "The regulations are expected to give credence to the operations of MBs and provide confidence for financial institutions that use their broking services," the Central Bank said. more..

'Psychology war against media by govt'

Feb 8 (OU) Thinakural press was scorched and once again activities advanced to crush the voice of democracy. In this manner, the press distributor was attacked and wounded. The elements which desire that democracy atmosphere and media freedom should not exist in the country were engaged in this task. Peninsula is in the entire control of the forces, and the continuous attacks against the Media, Hathurusinghe the more..

All prepared food is graded and governed by Health Laws

Feb 9 (NS) Man and survival are neatly tied in a knot. Basic needs keep moving like a wagon wheel behind every human being. Survival does not just happen. An effort has to be made to cope with the increasing demand and that is exactly what our ancestors did. There seems to be no difference today. ‘Feeding the stomach’ and ‘quenching the thirst’ as many would put it, happens to be priorities in the battle for survival. Food is one need that scarcely leaves the mind of a man. more..

Thamils should not lose heart, but fight back peacefully

Feb 9 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is holding Sri Lanka’s 65th independence anniversary celebration with pomp and gaiety in Trincomalee this year. The choice of Trincomalee, a once predominantly Thamil dominated district as the venue should not be lost in the cry for justice. At the time of independence in 1948 the Thamils constituted 44.51 (33,795) of the population in Trincomalee as compared to Muslims 30.58 (23,219) and Sinhalese 15.29 (11,606) but more..

‘Except for the beer I have wonderful memories’

Feb 9 (ST) The silver badge in his palm is one of George Davies’ most prized possessions. He keeps it gleaming – embedded upon the little shield is a sinking shark, speared by a marline spike. In the background, a fishing net traps two enemy mines. Designed to honour the service of minesweepers during WWII, the badge was called for by no less than the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill himself. For George, more..

Overcoming inadequacies without inflicting them on others

Feb 9 (DBS) One of the most depressing features of the authorities is the readiness with which transfers are used to solve problems. At the Education Consultative Committee in Parliament, some of my colleagues pointed out what seemed to them grave faults in Principals or Zonal Directors of Education, and recommended that they should be transferred at once. They were startled when I said that would be wrong, but then acknowledged that, if the officials concerned were unsatisfactory, more..

A Requiem for the Galle Literary Festival

Feb 9 (DBS) The 2013 Galle Literary Festival is not being held. Certainly, not yet – and there has been an official announcement that the organizers will be suspending the event for one year, something which some keen observers say, is tantamount to a kiss of death. The official reason that has been given is the fact that many of the participants did not confirm attendance, which necessitated a postponement by a full year. But various types of speculation abounds. Some say that the founder of more..

Swapping books for begging

Feb 9 (CT) As the traffic light turns red, they appear between the rows of stalled vehicles, tapping at the shutters and begging for a few rupees. The sight is all too familiar on the streets of Colombo as beggars appeal to the faint of heart, displaying their gnarled limbs or documents to prove they are in need of expensive medical care. Some of the beggars carry infants in their arms. Their little dirt smudged faces exposed to the scorching more..

Editorial : Blood ivory and holy places

Feb 9 (Island) The govt has, in its infinite wisdom, decided to donate a consignment of ivory confiscated by the Customs to the Sri Dalada Maligawa and other places of Buddhist worship, according to media reports. Some members of the Maha Sangha and animal rights activists have taken exception to the govt decision. Some of them went public with their views the other day in Colombo. The govt has, no doubt, offered the blood ivory to temples in good faith. There have been more..

Sybil Nenda’s Kuda Hora performance

Feb 9 (NS) An interactive performance of Sybil Wettasinghe’s classic, Kuda Hora (Umbrella Thief) conducted by Sulochana Dissanayake will be held on Saturday February 9 at 10.30am in the Expographic Bookstore located at Pelawatta. Love Sybil Wettasinghe’s classics? Join Sulochana Dissanayake to watch the timeless stories spring to life with puppets, dialogue, music and movement. These interactive dramatic narrations are for all who are young at heart to experience the more..

Mysterious lights at Buddhist places of worship: Are they Devata Eli?

Feb 9 (Island) Devata Eli (Divine radiance) is not something really new to the Sri Lankan Buddhists. Numerous references to such phenomena are found in Buddhist literature. Devas (Gods) while radiating light are said to have come to Lord Buddha around midnight for Dhamma discussions. Not all of us are fortunate enough to see such Divine radiance with our naked eyes. Occasionally, there have been reports more..

Case against Mohan Pieris: A tragic day for justice

Feb 9 (CT) Those who attended Court No 403 on 1st February 2013 and witnessed the Counsel for the Petitioner single-handedly fighting the case (FR/536/2010), filed against Mohan Peiris, would agree that the Counsel was under tremendous pressure by the obviously biased Judges and the AG’s Department, the integrity of which is at stake. It was obvious that there was a concerted effort to stop the case from proceeding any further, challenging the dishonesty and gross more..

A re-reshuffle of all Cabinet portfolios in the offing

Feb 9 (SL) The Cabinet reshuffle was on top of the agenda when the two old school pals of the Forward School for Backward Boys met for their monthly pow-wow at their Waterhole. On ordering the traditional refreshments with ice and soda and exchange of usual greetings: ‘So-So, how- how?’ and ‘What for the telling-laughing also coming and going’ they got down to the main business for the day: What do you think of the Cabinet reshuffle? Sudath, the strong supporter of the Rajapaksa regime said more..

සංවර්ධන සටහන් | Development Diaries

Sri Lankan women make the nation proud

Feb 9 (Island) Sri Lankan women’s cricket team was an unknown quantity until recently. Names like Eshani Kaushalya and Shashikala Siriwardene have become house hold names overnight not only in Sri Lanka, but in other cricket playing nations like England and India. All this euphoria came about after our lissom lasses beat the English and Indian women teams in the Women’s World Cup 2013 now being held in Mumbai, India. Those wins enabled them to get through to the Super Six stage more..

Nilwala Ganga banks cleaned up

Feb 9 (DN) The lack of proper maintenance of the Nilwala Ganga banks caused severe floods during heavy rains in recent times because the smooth flow of water is obstructed by trees and other matter fallen in the river. Such flood situations did not occur 36 years ago as cleaning of the river banks was undertaken regularly, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. The ministers said so at a meeting at Akuressa to mark the launching of a cleaning up programme along the Nilwala Ganga banks more..

Paradise Lost

Feb 9 (CT) I doubt the heading will have any appeal or meaning to the present generation, unless for those as myself who have seen both worlds. I was born in the ‘40s and the vestiges of the British rule and systems continued even till the mid ‘50s after the country have been granted Independence. Prior to the advent of the British where the whole country came under the British Monarch, only the coastal areas were under the Dutch and the more..

Permits for madal fishermen soon

Feb 9 (DN) The Fisheries Department will issue permits to fishermen for madal fishing in the near future. A Gazette notification will be issued in this regard, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He was speaking at the 35th Annual General Meeting of the All- Island Madal Fishermen Society at the Community Hall in Udappuwa recently. All- Island Madal Fishermen Society President Rev Fr. Lester Joseph Nonis was present. "No broker fees need to be paid to obtain permits to carry out madal more..

Sangakkara arrives in Bahrain

Feb 9 (GDN) Sri Lankan cricket legend and one of the all-time greats Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara arrived in Bahrain last night on a two-day trip, his first to the kingdom. The former Sri Lanka captain was greeted by hundreds of his fans, officials from various Sri Lankan organisations in Bahrain and dignitaries from Nonoo Exchange Company at Bahrain International Airport. "It's a pleasure for us to welcome Sangakkara to Bahrain and we appreciate the efforts of Nations Trust Bank more..

Tamils bear brunt of anti-Sinhala attacks

Feb 9 (TOI) Every time pro-Tamil activists attack a SL govt or civil establishment in Tamil Nadu, the victims are either Sri Lankan or Indian Tamils. On Thursday, when masked men protesting against President Rajapaksa's visit to India, attacked Bank of Ceylon, the employees injured were Tamils. Both Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils working in Sri Lankan establishments are increasingly bearing the brunt of attacks by more..