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First multi-technological training institute opens today at Ananda College

Feb 11 (DN) Multi technological training institutes would be set up in schools for practical exercises for the newly introduced ‘Technology’ subject stream of the A/L Exam, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. The first ever multi technological training institute is to be opened in Ananda College, Colombo today. The minister observed these institutes would help to direct 40% of the school children to industrial education. He observed this move would be a successful solution for the unemployment more..

Opposition fires salvo against proposed referendum

Feb 11 (Island) Opposition parties have fired the first salvo against a speculated move by the govt to hold a referendum instead of the next general election. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena proposed the holding pf a referendum to extend the govt’s term without conducting a general election in 2016. He said that there was no need to hold an election as people wanted to continue the govt’s mega development projects. more..

Editorial: Adding Diesel to the fire of corruption

Feb 11 (DM) The breakdown of the rule of law, the apparent end of constitutional democracy and the lack of checks and balances after the independence of the Judiciary was subverted, have produced unprecedented corruption. Top govt leaders and powerful officials are alleged to be involved in a multitude of frauds and the plunder of public money with their deception and double dealing being covered up largely because they are close to the ruling family. In the latest case, more..

Ethno-Religious extremism requires a dual response

Feb 11 (DM) I want to begin by stating the obvious, mainly because the obvious is sometimes hardest to see, least acknowledged and easiest to overlook. The rise in ethno-religious extremism in general and the recent instances of anti-Muslim propaganda in particular is a reflection of the breakdown in trust between two communities that have lived together in amity for over thousand years. The growing insecurity is primarily due to misconceptions and misunderstanding of the other, more..

Canada acted against own interests in listed LTTE as terrorist group: Kenney

Feb 11 (IP) In a press conference with Tamil-Canadian media last month, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Canada acted against its own interests by listing the LTTE as a terrorist group in 2006.Kenney made the comments at a special media briefing limited to Tamil-Canadian media only in a Toronto, Ont. hotel Jan. 26, according to Canadian Tamil Congress national spokesman David Poopalapillai. more..

C’wealth Secretariat: No decision yet on early CMAG meeting

Feb 11 (ST) The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), the organisation’s political watchdog, has not yet planned an extraordinary meeting as requested by Canada to discuss the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s CJ, a spokesman said yesterday (9). Richard Uku, Commonwealth Secretariat’s Communications and Public Affairs Director, said “CMAG will make its own determination at the appropriate time”. more..

Central Bank refutes allegations by Kiriella

Feb 11 (GDI) The Central Bank has refuted the allegation made by the UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella that losses to security deposit holders of The Golden Key Credit Card Company (GKCL) could have been averted if the Central Bank had warned them not to invest in the GKCL, and therefore the Govt must assume the liabilities of the security deposit holders. The Central Bank in a statement in this connection says that on more..

JVP demands justice for executed comrades

Feb 11 (SL) The controversy surrounding the Matale mass grave took a new twist last week with the JVP breathing fire calling on the govt to hold a comprehensive inquiry into the largest mass grave to be excavated in the country. As of Friday, 149 skeletal remains were unearthed from the mass grave in Matale that was initially dug last November to commence a construction project of the adjacent Matale Hospital. more..

'UN report on high-handed US action couldn’t have come at a better time'

Feb 11 (Island) Minister Dullas Alahapepruma said that an explosive UN report on heavy-handed US military action causing deaths of hundreds of children in Afghanistan couldn’t have come at a better time as the world’s solitary superpower intensified pressure on Sri Lanka on the human rights front. The Minister pointed out that the US recently declared its intention to move a second resolution against Sri Lanka at the more..

Sri Lanka investments $150m in water project in Uganda

Feb 11 (NV) The Sri Lanka govt has earmarked $150m to provide safe water to the people of western Uganda. M/s VATech Wabag, one of the top five leading water solutions providers in the world, recently sent a three-man delegation from its Sri Lanka unit to explore Uganda’s potential in the water sector. The firm has offices in over 33 countries across the world and over 90 years of experience in providing water solutions and more..

SL team manager Charith Senanayake sacked, Michael de Zoysa appointed

Feb 11 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee decided on Saturday to sack Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake from his position with immediate effect and appoint former cricketer Michael de Zoysa in his place. SLC President Upali Dharmadasa confirmed that the Ex-Co has taken the decision, but said he cannot give more details as yet. Though De Zoysa has been approved by the Ex-Co, De Zoysa has more..

Sri Lanka 2012 trade gap narrows, growth may be hit

Feb 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit narrowed last year, central bank data showed on Monday, helped by a more flexible exchange rate, credit ceiling and tight monetary policy, though such measures likely took their toll on economic growth. The trade deficit narrowed 4.1% to $9.31 billion from a record $9.71 billion in 2011. The IMF delayed a tranche of a $2.6 billion loan in the second half of 2011 and the central bank was more..

GL stresses need for int’l empathy

Feb 11 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris stressed the need for empathy and goodwill on the part of the international community as Sri Lanka moved forward to consolidate the benefits of stability for all its people. Prof. Peiris made this comment during a discussion with Brazil’s External Relations Minister Antonio Patriota, in Brazil, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. At their bilateral discussions both the ministers noted that more..

'CHOGM in Sri Lanka as scheduled'

Feb 11 (CG) The Commonwealth summit will be held in Sri Lanka as scheduled, the official spokesperson and Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Richard Uku, said. He also denied reports that some countries had requested that the summit be shifted out of Sri Lanka over human rights allegations. “No member government of the Commonwealth has called for CHOGM 2013 to be moved from more..

Editorial : After 65 years of Independence…

Feb 11 (CT) It was only last week that we celebrated 65 years of independence with the President in his address referring to the struggle the country had to undergo to gain freedom from foreign rule and saluted those who had sacrificed their lives, their blood and sweat for the achievement of that freedom. He also highlighted the importance of unity among the people and stressed that as much as racism and religious differences bring about the destruction of the country, more..

The way of the global economy

Feb 11 (CT) The post war world has seen phenomenal changes since 1950. The global economy has displayed a capacity for unprecedented growth, apprehensions and misgivings notwithstanding. Human ingenuity has trounced the fringe of negative sentiment and secured the course for the economy to flourish. Changes have been in the spheres of education, medical facilities, infrastructure, scientific research and technological advances. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Police arrest hospital employee taking 5-day-old infant to sell

Feb 11 (Island) A female employee of the Avissawella Base Hospital was arrested by police yesterday while allegedly taking a five-day-old infant girl to be sold for Rs. 200,000. The Avissawella police took the hospital employee and the baby into custody on information given by the National Child Protection Authority. Investigations have revealed that the mother of the baby was an employee of the Sitawaka Industrial Zone and a resident of Deraniyagala. The arrested hospital more..

Sri Lankan migrant launches political party in Australia

Feb 11 (SBS) A Sri Lankan migrant has launched a political party that runs on an anti-multiculturalism platform. Rise Up Australia already boasts about 1,500 members and plans to run 65 candidates in the upcoming federal election. A Sri Lankan migrant has launched a political party that runs on an anti-multiculturalism platform. Rise Up Australia already boasts about 1,500 members and plans to run 65 candidates in the upcoming federal election. "Rise Up Australia Party, which is committed to more..

TNA discuss with Delhi to acquire Indian support

Feb 11 (OU) By originating a transformation in the diplomatic activities concerning Sri Lanka in Indian politics, to sustain Eelam Tamil support stance, discussions are advanced by the TNA in New Delhi. The policies of diaspora Tamils, patriotic activities with an objective will be a greatest assistance to establish Tamils rule in Tamils motherland by a significant political settlement was said by TNA MP Mawai more..

Sri Lankan woman run over, dies in Kuwait

Feb 11 (DM) A Sri Lankan woman in her 30s died when she was run over by a speeding vehicle on the Coastal Road near Mangaf. Reportedly, the victim was crossing the road when the accident occurred. Her corpse was referred to the Forensics Department and the motorist was referred to the police station for investigations. Meanwhile, a nine-year-old Kuwaiti youth died instantly when he was run over by a heavy vehicle while he was crossing a street in Ahmadi. more..

Prisons Dept. to be trilingual

Feb 11 (CT) The Prisons Department assured the Tamil speaking community who visit their family members at the Welikada Prison that they will no longer be inconvenienced by the language problem. Commissioner, Operations of the Department of Prisons, Welikada, G.B. Kulatunge said the Prisons Department will be trilingual in the near future. “According to the recent government circular, we are printing all our sign boards, name boards and documents in all three languages. more..

‘Z – Score’ cut off marks released

Feb 11 (Island) The much delayed ‘Z–score’ cut–off marks, for admission of students to universities, based on the GCE (A/L) exam 2011 results, were released online by the UGC on Saturday night. Secretary of the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Navaratne said that the cut-off marks had been released on the UGC website as it had already been delayed by one year. Normally, in previous years, the ‘Z-score’ cut–off marks more..

Where is the report?

Feb 11 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) demanded that the Examinations Department release the report of the ‘so called’ investigation carried out by them into the leaking of the GCE O/L Science paper in December 2012. Stating the Department had spoken of an internal probe into the matter, in addition to the investigation carried out by the CID, CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said, “A total of 21 free marks were given to the students as a result of this paper being leaked. more..

Cops confused on human trafficking

Feb 11 (Island) Human trafficking was one of the most lucrative criminal industries in the world, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Donglin Li said last week. According to the ILO estimates the annual profits generated from trafficking in human beings were as high as US$ 32 billion. He said that there were at least 2.4 million victims of trafficking and forced labour at any given point in time. Addressing the media at the launch of the more..

President Mahinda in Jaffna this evening

Feb 11 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to arrive in Jaffna this evening on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Minister Douglas Devananda. The official visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa will commence from tomorrow and he will be in Jaffna till the 13th to participate in number of official events and ceremonies. Earlier the President was to visit Jaffna on the 14th of Jan to participate in the more..

Lalith De Silva to head SLT Group sans Mobitel

Feb 11 (NS) Sri Lanka Telecom, today announced the appointment of Lalith De Silva as the new Group CEO with effect from 7th February 2013. De Silva’s position as the Group CEO will see him overlooking the SLT Group Companies excluding Mobitel. A veteran in IT & Telecommunications, Mr. De Silva has held the position of CEO of Mobitel (Pvt) Limited since 2011 and has also functioned as Director/CEO of Mobitel subsequent to Mobitel’s acquisition by SLT in 2002. more..

Manning Market to be re-established in Peliyagoda

Feb 11 (GDI) Plans are underway to shift the Manning Market Colombo to Peliyagoda where it will be re-established as a market complex with all facilities. The UDA is constructing the new market in a 25 acre-block of land near the Peliyagoda wholesale fish market on the advice of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. This market complex will meet the requirements of the farmer, consumer and the trader. It will comprise among other facilities 100 two storied-wholesale vegetable stalls more..

Sri Lanka Debrief news 11 02 2013

Opposition party request Jaffna UC to explain the system shops distributed

Feb 11 (OU) More than 100 shops belonging to Jaffna Urban Council were an illegal manner had been distributed and the permanent traders notify that their future is affected. Concerning this many complaints have increased, hence opposition party members have forwarded to the Urban Council to arrange a special meeting to debate this. A letter has been forwarded to Jaffna Urban Council Mayor, Deputy Urban Commissioner and Secretary. TNA Jaffna Urban Council opposition more..

'Sri Lanka rates may not change in Q1'

Feb 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank governor played down the chances of another cut in official interest rates in the first quarter of 2013 in an interview with Reuters on Monday, a day ahead of the bank's February announcement on policy. The bank surprised markets in December by cutting its main rates by 25 basis points for the first time in nearly two years. That brought official borrowing costs down from three-year highs in a bid to boost faltering economic growth. more..

Engage constructively with SL-Gota

Feb 11 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today asked western govts to engage constructively with Sri Lanka as international pressure especially by western nations misled by LTTE sympathisers would have an adverse impact on the country’s economy. “Instead of narrowing the scope of their engagement with Sri Lanka because of many misinterpretations and lobbying by special interest groups in their more..

UNP led Vipakshaye Virodhaya is the sole opposition-Ranil

Feb 11 (DM) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that there can’t be any other opposition movement other than the UNP-led ‘Vipakshaye Virodhaya’. He made this comment after signing an MOU to form a joint movement comprising nine political parties at the Town Hall, Colombo today. “We will be the center for all the people and parties who fight against the Rajapaksa regime. We may have our own views as different parties but now we are trying to start a new more..

Sri Lanka sugar refinery, power plant by Indian firm

Feb 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state run investment promotion agency which gives tax breaks to investors said it had signed a 220 million US dollar deal with India's Shree Renuka Sugars which will build a sugar refinery and power plant. The facility will be located in the Hambantota port. The plant will bring raw sugar from Brazil and refine it for sale in the domestic market at for export, the BOI said. At the moment Sri Lanka's domestic sugar mills are allowed extract get tax-arbitrage profits more..

TNA up to its usual tricks - Senior Minister

Feb 11 (DN) The stand taken by the TNA to present a case against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva is a mere continuation of their pattern of politics, said the leader of the country's oldest political party, the LSSP, Senior Minister, and former Chairman of APRC Prof Tissa Vitharana. He said that presenting cases against Sri Lanka at every UN session has been the practice of this political party for so many years. more..

TN parties for anti-Lanka motion

Feb 11 (NIP) With Parliamentary session all set to begin, the UPA Govt is girding up to withstand pressure from both the DMK and AIADMK to support a resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. The Centre is, however, keeping all options open. The US had announced last month that it would introduce a ‘procedural resolution’ during the next session of UNHRC. The resolution is expected to be put to vote before the session ends on March 22, when the Indian Parliament will also be more..

Forex reserves at US$6.8bn in Dec

Feb 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's official forex reserves rose by 387 million US dollars to 6,877 million US dollar by end Dec 2012 from 6,490 million US dollar a month earlier, the Central Bank said. Foreign reserves were up 15% from the December 2011 level of 5,957 US dollars. In order to build up foreign reserves Central Bank has to 'save' money by killing credit to prevent the proceeds of dollar inflows being spent by domestic economic agents, typically by sterilizing forex reserves. more..

Sub-standard fuel: Shipped to Trinco?

Feb 11 (CT) Trade unions of the CPC yesterday alleged that a ship carrying a consignment of 40,000 metric tonnes of sub-standard fuel imported by the LIOC from Singapore is heading towards the Trincomalee Harbour, and demanded that the ship be taken into custody, citing possible contamination of the entire stock of in the country. They alleged that the cargo ship is heading towards the Tricomalee Habour and expressed fears more..

A cause for grave concern

Feb 12 (NS) The discovery of a mass grave in Matale has elicited horror in certain circles. It is ‘no doubt’ a horrifying discovery. The horror is such that it is also natural for people to ask questions and demand answers. It all depends on who is asking, who is being asked and who ends up answering. In the West there is a word that is used in post-death or indeed post-anything situations: Closure. Investigations help, we are told, not just to bring perpetrator to book, but for the aggrieved more..

View from Ritigala

Feb 12 (NS) Speaking at a meeting in Polonnaruwa, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said he too was a victim of trickery during the recent floods in the country. A Divisional Secretary in the District, he said, tricked him by giving him wrong figures of those displaced by the floods, when giving roofing sheets. Maithripala, with all due respect, is not a stranger to trickery. He was tricked every now and then, as far as the premiership of the country was concerned. Although he never prepared more..