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Govt. finally abides by SC ruling on ‘Z-score’ issue

Feb 22 (Island) Students who were affected by the Z-score fiasco in 2011 will be permitted to sit the GCE A/L Exam for a fourth and final time this year the govt said yesterday. The decision which flows from a ruling by a Supreme Court Bench, headed by the former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, has been approved by the Cabinet. Media Minister Keheliya Ramukwella said that on a joint proposal. submitted by Ministers Bandula Gunawardena and S.B. Dissanayake, the Cabinet resolved more..

Rs 600 M missing from Education Cooperative Fund

Feb 22 (CT) A sum of Rs 600 million, deposited in a State bank by the Education Employees' Cooperative, Thrift and Credit Society Limited has gone missing, the Coalition Against Corruption alleged. As a result, around 150,000 members of the society are unable to obtain loans and other facilities. The media release stated: The membership of the Society, which was established in 1930 comprises mainly teachers and other more..

Tamil Brahmi and Sinhala Brahmi made easy

Feb 23 (NS) Today the vast majority of common people in Sri Lanka can distinguish between a language and its script. They may not be able to articulate what the difference is, but instinctively they know. I surmise that this instinctive knowledge came with their exposure to European languages, where the Latin script is used to write a multitude of different languages. If their experience had been limited to the two local languages that have their own specific scripts, the Sri Lankan more..

Life and Times of W.Karunajeewa

Feb 23 (NS) It’s weeks since ‘Karu’ departed and the vacuum he left still remains hollow and empty; unfair by any successor at People’s Bank or People’s Leasing or any institution he chaired, for such was his effervescent character any substitute will pale into insignificance in being a mere caricature: any comparison is uncharitable. The many anecdotes or snippets exchanged fondly by the multitude of mourners seated under hurriedly erected tents on a tarred lane whilst his body more..

An arduous trek to Bambaragasthalawa Cave

Feb 23 (SO) The destination was Bambaragasthalawa in Kumana. I was part of a five-member group on this journey. After a hectic nine-hour drive from Colombo, in our Mitsubishi 4DR5 jeep, we approached the Kumana National Park. The sound of a bell was heard in the distance, coming from the famous Okanda Devala. The journey was tiring, but the morning breeze blowing across the rock boulder of the Devala soothed our weary bodies on more..

Video: Geneva 2013 by M.A. Sumanthiran MP

Feb 23 (DBS) Platform for Freedom conducted a Press Briefing on the forthcoming Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva, to be be held in March 2013, on the 20th of February 2013 from 3:00 p.m onwards at the CEPA Auditorium. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, Dr. Nimalka Fernando of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, Attorney at law Sudarshana Gunawardana of Rights Now – Collective for Democracy, Brito Fernando more..

Prabhakaran’s son was killed on May 19th 2009 according to metadata of photographs

Feb 23 (DBS) Scientifically authenticated fresh and exclusive photographic evidence has shown that Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year old son Balachandran was alive in Sri Lankan military custody, barely a couple of hours before he was found executed on the final day of the bloody war. These photographs, obtained by the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) have been used in the upcoming documentary film “No Fire Zone” (NFZ) directed by Callum Macrae for more..

The return of Darusman: Navi Pillay’s report on Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (Island) Given the reassuring and conciliatory noises that had emerged from the foreign policy establishment in recent months, including statements that it had no intention of criticising Navi Pillay countering the then Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva,1 it is likely that the establishment was rudely awoken from its deep coma by the vehemence of the High Commissioner’s report and the almost more..

Contradictions and disconnects; Will Vipakshayé Virodaya threaten Rajapaksa ?

Feb 23 (CT) Another seemingly new “alliance” launched on February 11 Monday, has some “throw away” politicians also on board and make the same stale statements as before. For how long would the people keep listening to such statements, that in effect are only statements ? Will the people take seriously, any statement to the effect that the Rajapaksa regime would be overthrown soon ? This in fact is not the first time Wickramasinghe had said, he would topple the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Now, Hambantota to have international tennis

Feb 23 (Island) The game of tennis in Sri Lanka will not be the same as the emerging sports city in Hambantota is to feature a fully-fledged tennis centre that is to hold its first international tournaments in year 2014, it was announced at a ceremony held on Thursday, in Colombo. In what could be the biggest happening in the local tennis scene in recent history, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Pro Circuit Tour tournaments, aptly named Hambantota Open, will be held at more..

Kindling the fires of extremism

Feb 23 (FT) The ancient Sufi shrine of Jailani lies off the beaten track in the village of Kuragela, in the Ratnapura District. Sufi scholars say the hermitage shrine is believed to be where Sufi Saint Sheikh Muhiyadeen Abdul Qadir Jilani meditated for 12 years after making a pilgrimage to Adam’s Peak, the sacred mountain revered by Buddhists, Muslims and Christians alike. Dennis B. McGilvray in a published paper more..

Two cheers for Nanda Godage

Feb 23 (CT) I was pleased to read Nanda Godage’s most perceptive piece titled “Let’s be diplomatic’. It is a relief to see Ambassador Godage’s return to his true colours and best lights. Long may he continue to reside therein. Do good sense and practical thinking mean anything these days to those of our politicians and public servants responsible for the conduct of our international relations? Judging by the little of the subject that is in the public domain, it is apparent that the above-referenced more..

Evolutionary decline and ascent of human resilience

Feb 23 (Island) The weeks leading to Independence Day on Feb 4 were filled with intense debate on the legality and morality of the impeachment of the CJ. The debate centred on the interpretation of the law and the political motives behind it. The govt finally had its way and the CJ was impeached. The beginning of Lent, (Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13) followed close on these events. Since Lent is a time for inner scrutiny, repentance and a return to integrity amidst amidst the harsh realities more..

Dilrukshi Handunnetti

Editorial: Pork pie and pork curry

Feb 23 (Island) One of the country’s biggest problems has been solved at long last. Our honourable representatives toiling day and night for us had been starving all these years, but thankfully they could now enjoy culinary delights at the parliamentary canteen. Some MPs were rather resentful that beef and pork had been removed from the parliamentary restaurant menu. They were cursing former Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara for that. UNP MP John Amaratunga had been more..

Australia, UNICEF open new school

Feb 23 (DN) Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie opened Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam at a ceremony recently. The school has 2,000 students. The school was funded by Australia and built in partnership with UNICEF. Australia is contributing Rs 1 billion to rebuild 23 schools in the Northern Province. The new schools will serve up to 12,000 children. Addressing the gathering the High Commissioner said: "The Australian govt is pleased to be able to make such a significant more..

Banks seen raising funds for govt

Feb 23 (DM) The govt appears to be using both state and private sector banks to raise funds on its behalf to fulfill funding needs, without directly accessing international capital markets. According to a recent research report by JP Morgan, National Savings Bank (NSB), a quasi sovereign is expected to raise issue a US $ 1 billion bond with several other private banks to follow suit, as the govt is not inclined to issue a new more..

North gets two new drinking water projects

Feb 23 (FT) People in the north will have drinking water from two newly-completed projects from next month. Minister Basil Rajapaksa initiated the projects under the Economic Development Ministry’s ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ (Northern Spring) Emergency Northern Recovery Project to solve the drinking water problem that faced civilians who returned to their homes after the end of the war. The National Water Supplies and Drainages Board undertook the work utilising the funds allocated by more..

Indian High Commissioner to attend St. Anthony’s feast

Feb 23 (FT) High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha will be on a two-day visit to the Northern Province on 23 and 24 Feb 2013. Besides participating in various events in Jaffna and Vavuniya during his visit, Kantha will also attend the annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church at Kachchativu Island. The annual feast on Kachchativu Island recommenced in 2010, after a gap of 26 years. Since then, the feast has been conducted every year with the participation of a large number of more..

Acid attack: 'A person eyeing my husband’s post threw acid at him'

Feb 23 (Island) Two unidentified persons, early yesterday morning, carried out an acid attack on the Ayurvedic Commissioner of the North-Central Province Dr. Chandrakumar Alwis, causing burn injuries to his face and eyes. The 52-year-old Commissioner was attacked at his official residence in Anuradhapura. The Commissioner’s wife, Champika Ranasinghe, said the attack had been carried out on a contract given by more..

Holcim, Faculty of Engineering University of Moratuwa in tie-up

Feb 23 (Island) Holcim Lanka Limited (HLL) has reached an agreement with the University of Moratuwato support the Faculty of Engineering in the advancement of knowledge in cement, concrete and sustainable construction practices. The agreement was signed by HLL’s CEO Stefan Huber and Prof. A.K.W. Jayawardane - Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa on the 15th of February 2013 at the Holcim Lanka Head Office. The gathering of officials included more..

Dulith Herath of bags top Asia Pacific Young Entrepreneur Award

Feb 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s visionary entrepreneur Dulith Herath and founder of the much celebrated online store was recently conferred top honours at the highly respected Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) by bagging the coveted young entrepreneur award. Commanding unparalleled success in the field of e-commerce, Herath introduced Sri Lanka to the online shopping concept exactly ten years ago when he launched which is to date Sri Lanka’s more..

Rs 6.4 B fraud at RMV

Feb 23 (CT) Minister Kumar Welgama admitted in Parliament yesterday a fraud to the tune of Rs 6.4 billion had taken place at the Department of Motor Traffic, due to the registering of assembled vehicles. Welgama said the fraud was highlighted in the 2010 annual report of the Auditor General, and added it had been committed by a group of vehicle importers, who had imported chassis of vehicles citing them as spare parts. more..

Fresh bid to boost trade with Iraq

Feb 23 (Island) As bilateral trade volumes crossed ten-fold growth in 2102, Iraq, the biggest Pure Ceylon Tea user in the world, wants to import more products and boost trade with Sri Lanka. "We want to increase imports from Sri Lanka, especially Ceylon Tea. We need to take new initiatives to develop our bilateral trade. It is time to set up direct air-links between Baghdad and Colombo," said Kheer- allah Hassan babaker Muhammad, Iraqi Minister of Trade on 21 Feb, as quoted by more..

EPC member assaulted by chairman’s son

Feb 23 (Island) A member of the Eastern Provincial Council is said to be in a critical condition following an attack on him by the son of the Council’s chairman. Priyantha Pathirana was admitted to the Trincomalee hospital, following the assault and was transferred to the National Hospital Thursday night, police said. As his condition was very serious, he had to be air-lifted to Colombo, Police said. He is receiving treatment in the ICU after having sustained injuries to his head, more..

'Seized African ivory in Customs warehouse'

Feb 23 (CT) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said a stock of 359 tusks worth around Rs 4,000 million seized by Sri Lankan Customs while in the process of being smuggled from Kenya to Dubai through Sri Lanka has not been removed from the Customs. Replying to a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition, who alleged there were serious doubts pertaining to the end point of the stock of ivory, the Minister said the said more..

Lankan envoy says pics are handiwork of ‘fringe groups’

Feb 23 (DH) The recent allegations against the Sri Lankan army and their Govt for human rights violations, with pictures of 12-year-old Balachandran Prabhakaran being executed, released in the media appears to have been repeatedly deflected by the island nation stating they were morphed. Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, OL Ameerajwad said that his country was being targeted by “fringe groups”. “These people are taking pictures, which in this modern day more..

Prince Charles appoints Dr. Nonis, Ambani to Advisory Councils of British Asian Trust

Feb 23 (FT) The Prince of Wales, President of the British Asian Trust, announced the new appointments to the British Asian Trust’s Advisory Councils, at the fifth anniversary dinner of the Trust, held at Windsor Castle recently. Managing Director and Chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani was appointed to head the Trust’s India Advisory Council and Chairman of the Mackwoods Group and Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK Dr. Chris Nonis was appointed to head more..

Norochcholai Power Plant US$ 300 M ‘pocketed in commission’

Feb 23 (CT) UNP has accused that the govt's estimated cost of US$ 1,300 million for the construction of the Phase 1 of Norochcholai Power Plant, included US$ 300 million 'pocketed in commission'. They alleged the actual construction cost was US$ 1,000 million, sans commissions. "The cost of Phase 1 of Norochcholai has now been estimated to be US$ 1,300 million. The excess US$300 million had been pocketed as more..

Commonwealth Business Forum to be held on CHOGM sidelines

Feb 23 (DN) Members of the Chambers of Commerce in Sri Lanka participated in a meeting at the External Affairs Ministry on Wednesday to make detailed arrangements for the Commonwealth Business Forum which will be held on the sidelines of the CHOGM in November this year. Mahendra Amarasuriya who with External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, functions as Co-Chair of the Organising Committee, was present, together with representatives of the CCC more..

President Rajapaksa sends message of good wishes to Pope

Feb 23 (DN) President Rajapaksa sent a message expressing his gratitude and good wishes to Pope Benedict XVI, following the announcement of the Pope’s resignation, states a release from the Office of the Presidential Spokesman. “I join the prayers of the Catholics of Sri Lanka and the good wishes of all other people of our country, for your good health and many more years of blessings,” President Rajapaksa said in the message delivered yesterday. “President expressed his gratefulness to more..

'Govt. to buy new Airbus and Boeing for SriLankan and Mihin'

Feb 23 (Island) The Govt will lease purchase six new A-330 aircraft for the national carrier before the end of the year, making it the biggest aircraft purchase since President Premadasa ordered five new aircraft from Airbus Industrie in France just before he was assassinated in May 1993. Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said that SriLankan was going through a phase of modernisation and it would gradually phase more..

'Govt. politicians openly violating the law'

Feb 23 (DM) UNP Vice President Lakshman Kiriella, who referred to the controversial transfer of Moneragala District DIG M.R. Latheef said govt politicians were openly violating the law and pointed out that the repeal of the 17th Amendment had resulted in the police service losing its independence. “Even in the case of the brutal killing of the monk at Egodauyana, political pressure from politicians had prevented the police from acting on the several complaints made by the monk. more..

Halal separation not practical: JHU

Feb 23 (DM) While commending the statement made by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) to separate Halal and non Halal certificated goods, the JHU today said such a separation would not work in practice. Pointing out the facts in the standard operation procedure for Halal Certification published for the Product Sector, JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said that ACJU guideline showed whole procedure of Halal certification should not blend together more..

When the no fire zone became a killing field

Feb 23 (Hindu) A week before its official launch in the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival, the capital on Friday caught a 20-minute preview of the film ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,’ which included footage of the alleged cold-blooded killing of LTTE chief V. Prabakaran’s minor son. “It was a culmination of three years of journalistic investigation on war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said director Macrae more..

Ban Ki Moon gets ‘counter report’

Feb 23 (FT) Ambassador to the UN in New York Palitha Kohona and the permanent representatives of four other member states yesterday handed a report on Sri Lanka over to global body’s Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The submission, which ICP says is believed to be a ‘contrary’ report was handed over to the UN Secretary General by Ambassador Kohona and Japan’s Permanent Representative Tsuneo Nishida, and Permanent Representatives Abulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh and more..

No compromise on more powers for Sri Lankan Tamils, Manmohan tells MPs

Feb 23 (Hindu) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday reportedly stressed that there would be no compromise on Colombo’s promise to implement the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution which provides more powers to Tamil areas in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces. Dr. Singh thus assured a delegation of Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu in Parliament House on Friday. According to Congress Lok Sabha member from Cuddalore K.S. Alagiri, who was present more..

Fishermen hope for a peaceful Katchatheevu fest

Feb 23 (TOI) Despite mounting tension over the alleged execution of LTTE chief Prabakaran's son and the subsequent denial by Tamil Nadu govt to host the Asian Athletics meet in Chennai, Rameswaram fishermen are optimistic that the annual St Antony's festival in Sri Lanka-controlled Katchatheevu islet would pass-off smoothly. While more than 3,000 fishermen from Tamil Nadu are expected to leave for more..

A green light plan to ease traffic jams

Feb 23 (DM) The Daily Mirror this week highlighted the problems that motorists face on a daily basis at the ubiquitous roundabouts that occupy our city's streets at various strategic junctions, which invariably cause traffic jams. These roundabouts were good at the time they were first constructed shortly after World War II in the late 40's when traffic density was less than five percent of what it is today. They were supposed to replace the traffic police officer in the quaint beat. more..

Towering Role for a Thinking Captain

Feb 23 (DM) Thirteen may be considered an unlucky number in the biblical sense and in popular culture but Angelo Mathews may not see it that way: he was appointed as Sri Lanka’s thirteenth test cricket captain last week and wasn’t complaining. Angelo Davis Mathews is only twenty five years old. That makes him the youngest Sri Lankan captain in Sri Lanka’s three decades long test cricket history. Even the great Arjuna Ranatunga was a year older than him when the captaincy of the country’s more..