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No using of fishing boats for human smuggling activities - President

Jan 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday expressed hope that discussions with India over the fishermen’s issue will bring a viable solution. He added that the Govt provides multi - day fishing trawlers for fisheries communities for the development of the sector and some elements are using them for human smuggling activities. He said these activities using fishing boats would be ended soon. more..

Kili’s primary students ‘cry’ without teachers

Jan 24 (NS) Education was a sector that received the brunt of the 30 year old conflict; the backbone of the youth in any part of the country. However, majority of the children of the North were unfortunate to have been deprived of this basic right of a child. Thousands of children not only had to forego education, but had to take up arms to fight for the LTTE. Today the situation has changed for the better with students being allowed to focus on their education and career, without putting more..

Can the ‘China card’ trump America?

Jan 24 (DBS) “If the US withdrew the training programmes China would replace them.” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made this remark at an event at the National Chamber of Commerce recently. At a time when three US Deputy Assistant Secretaries are scheduled to visit the country, these remarks have assumed an added significance. It can be safely assumed from such signals emanating from the govt that it considers the departure of Hillary Clinton from the State Department and more..

CMC flexes its muscle to improve eateries in Colombo

Jan 24 (SO) Keeping the standards of the food supplied to Colombo city and the hygiene level of the food stuff sold in Colombo city is also vital in equal terms to the efforts made by the authorities to keep the city clean outwardly. There is no point in keeping city outwordly clean if people get affected by food poisoning and other diseases due to spoilt food stuff sold in markets, eateries, hotels and restaurants in the city. more..

The Army gets ready to take advantage of volatile situation - Part 10

Jan 24 (NS) Coup d’état: a sudden, forcible and illegal overthrow of a government, often by a group of military men, but not essentially, and setting up of some form of unconstitutional administration. In the previous articles of this serial the prevailing socio-political environment of the time and the circumstances that led the group of Army, Navy and Police senior and middle level officers, to make an attempt to safeguard their eroding status, loss of power and position, caused by transition of more..

A govt without a bureaucracy

Jan 24 (CT) The systems of govt in Asian countries may broadly be described under the following categories: Democratic – the govt structure is based on the liberal democratic structure, and the bureaucracy functions with basic laws and rules that are in conformity with this structure; Militaristic – where the basic structure is based on military command and the bureaucracy also functions under the same rules and command; Socialist – authoritarian, where the system is more..

The story of the weeping widows

Jan 24 (GV) It was a practical examination session for a training of gender trainers in the Jaffna district. The trainees had to conduct a day’s training on gender issues in a village called Thoppukkadu located in Karainagar. The participants were widows who were beneficiaries of a livelihood assistance project implemented by the UNDP. Watched by the keen eyes of the examiners, the trainees began their training session. more..

Ini Avan: Him, hereafter is not Iniavan, The sweet man him

Jan 24 (CT) “Ini Avan” the film has many firsts to its credit. It is the first Tamil film in post war Sri Lanka. The first post war film to be shot in Jaffna and entirely in location there. The first Tamil film by a Sinhala Director in post war Sri Lanka. The first Tamil film with an entire Tamil cast from Sri Lanka. “Ini Avan” also is, Asoka Handagama‘s first Tamil film. Definitely, camera director Channa Deshapriya’s first Tamil film too. The film has many serene and beautiful renditions that keeps the more..

The tragi-comedy of 'Last thing we do, let’s kill the judiciary'

Jan 24 (DBS) The guillotine is installed. It is to punish those who oppose injustice and to safeguard the political underworld thriving on injustice. It has been set up through a parliamentary process, using the 2/3 majority that the govt had obtained by hook or by crook. The process itself indicates the gravity of the crisis the govt had come to face. Now it has reached the limit and about to explode. It is not merely a crisis limited to the judiciary. Nor is it confined to the parliamentary legislature or more..

The wilderness of the Western Province

Jan 24 (Island) Last week, I discussed the campaign of a tiny fraction of the majority community against Muslims, and the way in which the Govt is creating space for them by neglecting sensitive issues like the allegations of interference in the Law College Entrance Exam. Some people claim that groups like the Bodu Bala Sena and the Sinhala Ravaya are only defending the interests of Sinhalese. more..

Editorial : Of that political beheading

Jan 24 (Island) In a turn of events rich in irony UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who stood by President R Premadasa troubled by an abortive impeachment motion and its fallout in the early 1990s, has ‘impeached’ his late leader’s son. Sajith Premadasa’s reappointment as UNP Deputy Leader has been suspended indefinitely on disciplinary grounds and speculation is rife in political circles that he may not get that position back. Sajith is now at the mercy of Ranil his ginger group more..

Permanent separation, answer to perennial clashes at Moratuwa Uni.

Jan 24 (Island) The Engineering Faculty and the Institute of Technology of the Moratuwa University being closed indefinitely a week ago following another clash between the engineering undergraduates and the National Diploma in Technology (NDT) students has been a problem that has been going on for many years. The solution to the perennial problem appears to be in shifting the IT to another location as early as possible. A location has already been identified at more..

Reconstructed road in Moothoor to be named after Rizana Nafeek

Jan 24 (DBS) The Govt is engaged in enacting a number of positive measures to honour the memory of Rizana Nafeek and to help uplift her poverty stricken family. The pathetic plight of Rizana Nafeek who went from Moothoor to Saudi Arabia in April 2005 at the age of 17 to work as a housemaid cum nanny and was unjustly executed there has aroused widespread grief and resentment among Muslims in particular more..

US$ 7.8mn Northern industrial push

Jan 24 (Island) In a new initiative to draw international investors to the surging Northern Province, four more new industrial zones are mulled by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. "The Ministry of Industry and Commerce being the key Ministry that facilitates regional industrial development has included to its 5 year plan the development of five new Regional Industrial Estates (zones) in the Northern Province. This initiative will support industrialisation of the Province and more..

Resetting India-Sri Lanka Relations

Jan 24 (Island) The Indo-Lanka Joint Study Group has been set up to initiate a discreet and informal dialogue process to jointly explore ways to strengthen the relationship between the two neighbours. This informal channel of dialogue will seek to generate innovative recommendations and complement official efforts at strengthening the bilateral relationship. India and Sri Lanka are separated by the narrow and shallow Palk Strait. However, Indo-Sri Lanka bilateral relations more..

ADB says committed to help develop Lanka’s capital market

Jan 24 (FT) The Asian Devel-opment Bank (ADB) on Tuesday expressed its willingness to help implement reforms to make Sri Lanka’s capital market vibrant and a catalyst to further economic progress in Sri Lanka. “We are committed to helping implement the capital market reforms to promote the development of equity and debt markets,” ADB Country Director Rita O’Sullivan told a capital markets conference organised by more..

Zarook PC did not get consent to deliver address: BASL

Jan 24 (FT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is to decide on whether to take action against the BOC Chairman and senior lawyer Razik Zarook, who delivered the address on behalf of the unofficial Bar at the Ceremonial Sitting for Chief Justice Mohan Peiris yesterday without the consent of the BASL. The Bar Association will decide on whether to pursue action against President’s Counsel Zarook when the Association’s Executive Committee next meets, BASL Secretary Sanjeewa Gamage more..

Citibank Asia Pacific Chief Economist in town

Jan 24 (FT) Citigroup Asia Pacific Chief Economist Johanna Chua along with a group of investors is in Sri Lanka on a familiarization visit. During the visit she and the investors will meet with top blue chip clientele of Citi in Sri Lanka and observe developments and see for new opportunities. Johanna is a Managing Director, Chief Asia Pacific Economist and Head of Asia Pacific Economic and Market Analysis at Citigroup. Based in Hong Kong since 2000, she oversees overall economic more..

Strategic development project in Fort receives Govt. approval

Jan 24 (FT) An order enabling a project to construct, build and operate a mixed utility complex including a luxury hotel at Colombo Fort, identified as a strategic development project received the Parliament approval last evening. According to Gazette Extraordinary No. 1782/82, the project will be conducted by Welcome Hotels Lanka Ltd., enjoying a 10-year tax holiday and subjected to special rates thereafter. more..

Legal action against eight unhygienic Bambalapitiya eateries

Jan 24 (Island) Legal action will be taken against eight night eateries, of the 15 raided in Bambalapitiya on Tuesday evening, by the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council. Food inspector for the Central Colombo MOH area Lal Kumara said yesterday that they had taken several samples of food for analysis, including unlabeled bottles of sauce. Kumara said that in majority of the places raided, the kitchen area had been unclean while the staff too was more..

Authorities baffled by increase in leprosy since 2007

Jan 24 (Island) The Health Ministry has been baffled by the gradual increase of leprosy patients since 2007. Around 2,000 new patients were detected per annum, with cases being reported from all 25 districts, Anti-Leprosy Campaign Director Dr. Ms. Nilanthi Fernando said yesterday. Speaking at the Health Education Bureau to announce the holding of the World Leprosy Day on January 27, she said most people were under the impression that leprosy patients should be segregated. more..

Defence Seminar – 2013 to focus on ‘Post-conflict SL: Challenges & regional stability’

Jan 24 (SLA) Initial planning and arrangements are underway to hold the 3rd Defence Seminar - 2013 under the theme ‘Post-Conflict Sri Lanka – Challenges & Regional Stability’ at Colombo Galadari Hotel during September 3-5, 2013, the Commander of the Army Jagath Jayasuriya said. This year’s comprehensive sessions while focusing on Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Social Integration, more..

Antony pooh-poohs Peiris comment on TN politicians

Jan 24 (Hindu) Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Wednesday pooh-poohed visiting Sri Lanka Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris’ comment that Tamil Nadu politicians were cynical in raising objections over training of Lankan security personnel in India by stating that “sentiments of the people of the State [TN] have to be respected.” Mr. Antony told journalists here: “I don’t subscribe to the view that objections or sentiments raised by TN leaders are cynical. Even now, the relief and more..

Registrar General quashes records destroyed rumours

Jan 24 (Island) Registrar General E.M. Gunasekera yesterday dismissed rumors, circulating amongst the public, that the fire at the Colombo District Secretariat had destroyed all records of births, marriages and deaths. He said anyone could obtain copies without any delay from the Colombo Divisional Secretariat at Dam Street, which was operating as usual. He said that the Divisional Secretariat at Visakha Road, Bambalapitiya had been shifted to Elvitigala Mawatha, more..

Sri Lanka's Rizana Nafeek: Mother forgives Saudi beheading

Jan 24 (BBC) The mother of a Sri Lankan domestic worker beheaded in Saudi Arabia has forgiven those who she says wanted her daughter executed. Rafeena Nafeek said her daughter, Rizana, was innocent and was wrongfully convicted of killing a baby in 2005. The Saudi govt said that she could not be pardoned because the baby's parents wanted the punishment. Documents show she was only 17 at the time of the killing and more..

Jailed fishermen in Sri Lanka yearning for release

Jan 24 (Hindu) The prospects of early release of five Thangachimadam fishermen, incarcerated in Welikada prison in Sri Lanka for more than a year, look bleak as the Colombo High court has adjourned the hearing to March 12 for examination of witnesses. When the case came up for hearing before Justice Soorasena in the fourth court of Colombo High Court, the judge fixed March 12, 14, 15, 22 and April 3 for examination of 12 witnesses in the case, according to U. Arulanandam, more..

UPFA A’pura MC member arrested for assaulting cops

Jan 24 (Island) A highly inebriated Municipal Council (UPFA) member of Anuradhapura, who assaulted two policemen on traffic duty on Tuesday night, was arrested by police and produced before the Anuradhapura Magistrate Ruwandika Marapana. He was remanded till February 5. The highly intoxicated politician had told the cops that he was a karate exponent and went on attacking the two constables mercilessly. The two injured cops have been admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital. more..

Bilingual national anthem proposal sent to President

Jan 24 (Island) The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration suggested the combining of the Sinhala and Tamil verses of the national anthem, when singing it at State functions. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said he has made the suggestion to President Rajapaksa. "The parliamentary advisory committee of the Ministry came up with this suggestion, in order to enhance social integration between the more..

All set for Independence Day celebrations in Trincomalee

Jan 24 (DN) All arrangements are in place to hold the 65th Independence Day celebrations themed ‘A Glorious Motherland - A Flourishing Tomorrow’ (Asirimath Mawubimak - Isurumath Heta Dinak) at Fort Frederick in Trincomalee on February 4, under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. Over 2,500 invitees including members of the diplomatic corps and foreign embassies will attend the event. Officers of the Three Forces including 55 disabled soldiers will also participate. more..

UNP moots no-faith motion against Speaker

Jan 24 (CT) The UNP is contemplating a no-confidence motion against Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, on his actions pertaining to the impeachment motion against ousted CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, sources said. However, despite a large number of UNP MPs have pledge support to the move, the leader of the party, has shown a lukewarm attitude towards the idea, sources added. Kandy District MP, Lakshman Kiriella, proposed to bring the no-confidence motion against the more..

Crimes galore in Kelaniya

Jan 24 (CT) A comprehensive investigation into a host of criminal activities, including drug peddling, intimidation, fraud, seizing land by force, unauthorized land filling, extortion and prostitution, carried out by persons with political patronage in the Kelaniya electorate, have been completed. Three separate investigations, carried out by the CID, the CCD and SIU of the police, under instructions from Police Headquarters, more..

Galle Mayor stripped of all posts

Jan 24 (Island) Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva has stripped Galle Mayor Methsiri De Silva of all posts, including his membership of the Galle Municipal Council. The Chief Minister has also signed the gazette notification in this regard. The Chief Minister said that the mayor had been dismissed following his receiving written complaints about the latter’s conduct from a group of UPFA Municipal Councillors and after a committee, headed by a more..

Recalled ambassador home by end of month

Jan 24 (Island) Deputy Minister Neomal Perera told Parliament that the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Saudi Arab would be summoned home by the end of the month. He was responding to a query raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, who demanded to know whether the ambassador who had been recalled by the govt had arrived in the country. Karunanayake also said that last year Sri Lanka experienced a defeat at the Geneva UNHCR sessions, where a resolution had been passed against more..

Army war probe report soon: Sri Lankan Army Commander

Jan 24 (Hindu) A Court of Inquiry [CoI], set up to probe if Sri Lankan forces committed any excesses during the last stages of the war, will submit its report “in a few days”. Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said here the report was almost ready and would take “a few more days”. “They [the CoI] will be handing over the report to me soon. After which, I will hand it over to the Defence Secretary more..

State patronage for Holy Prophet’s birthday celebrations in Trinco

Jan 24 (Island) The government has made arrangements to hold this year’s Meelad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet Mohammed’s birthday) celebrations with a series of events, over a period of three days, in the Trincomalee District. The Inauguration of celebrations will be held at the Muslim Central College auditorium in Kinniya on Friday at 9.00 a.m., Director General of Muslim Cultural and Religious affairs M.H.M. Zameel said yesterday. He said acting on the instructions of President more..

Out – mercury based medical, cosmetic products

Jan 24 (CT) The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Central Environment Authority (CEA) have instructed Provincial Councils and all hospitals countrywide, to phase out Mercury thermometers and blood pressure monitors. The Environmental and Occupational Health Director of MoH, Dr. Ananda Jayavilal said, as govt regulators, they have given clear instructions to hospitals and other relevant institutions to desist from purchasing medical equipment that contain mercury, more..

Champika flays Amunugama for CEB privatisation proposal

Jan 24 (Island) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday lashed out at Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama over the latter’s recent claim that the private sector should be allowed to hold stakes in the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). Ranawaka said that the CEB would not be privatized, but it would introduce certain management reforms to make it a profitable govt institution. more..

Editorial: Privatisation of the CEB – move towards a national catastrophe

Jan 24 (DM) Power has always been a delicate political subject and perhaps nowhere in the world it has become more evident than in the South Asian region where attempts to privatise electricity have played havoc with the lives of people. While daily break downs, disruptions and power cuts have become part and parcel of everyday life in rest of the region where privatization is being experimented, Sri Lanka continues to be the only country with 24/7 smooth supply of power. more..

Post impeachment scenario

Jan 24 (DM) According to the UNP, the govt impeached Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke in a clear attempt to gain full control of the Judiciary and to administer it according to its whims and fancies. Further it said that the removal of Dr. Bandaranayke from the post of Chief Justice was illegal and therefore Mohan Peiris could not be accepted as Lanka’s Chief Justice. UNP leaders announced publicly “Shirani Bandaranayake is still the Chief Justice of the country.” more..

Call for truth about cartoonist’s disappearance three years ago

Jan 24 (RSF) On the the third anniversary of the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, a freelance cartoonist and political analyst who worked for the Lanka-e-News website, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for justice and condemns the failure of the authorities to make any progress with the investigation. “Ekneligoda has been missing for three years and the investigation by the police and judicial authorities more..