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Editorial: Your children are learning from you

Jan 29 (DM) What we need to bequeath to our children are the high moral and spiritual values that will help them to face the future and the challenges of the world. Most believe that giving the best education or endowing them with material possessions alone would suffice. This is a misconception. Many are the stories of the rich and powerful messing up not only their personal lives, but those of others as well. Not surprising then, there exists a majority called the victims of more..

Surviving an unsurpassable tragedy

Jan 29 (DM) “When am I going to return home mother? When will I be able to sit with my family for a meal once more? . . .” a quivering voice at the other end of the phone line had inquired Rafeena on December 12 last year. Although her daughter’s questions caused grief and helplessness, they had been overshadowed by the joy of hearing from her daughter after several months of silence from Saudi Arabia. Little then, did Rafeena knew that it would also be the last conversation she would more..

'I was ill-treated by bribery officials'

Jan 29 (SL) Following the arrest of Kanagasabai Ranjan, Director (Preventive), Prevention Division Directorate, Sri Lanka Customs on Jan 3 for an alleged bribery charge of accepting Rs.1 million to release five containers of full car units, he was given bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli on Jan 24. Kanagasabai was to be appointed as an Additional Director General of Customs on Jan 11, more..

Mango under the microscope

Jan 29 (ST) The luscious but humble mango found in many a home garden will be the centre of attention as three scientific research teams from different parts of the world gather in Colombo tomorrow. With the mango at the centre, the three collaborative teams from the University of Guelph, Ontario in Canada; the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore in India; and the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) in Sri Lanka are more..

Students in the dark about aptitude tests

Jan 29 (CT) Students who had qualified to enter university are deprived of the opportunity to do so as the universities are yet to inform them of the aptitude examinations that are conducted prior to them being admitted, and sitting this exam is a prerequisite to university admission, teachers' and students' unions claimed yesterday. The Ceylon Teachers' Service Union (CTSU) said students who are hoping to join the more..

Environmentalists cry foul over envoy’s attempted jumbo export

Jan 29 (Island) The country’s environmentalists accused Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan, Retired Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, of making moves to have six Lankan elephants sent to Japan. Environmentalists claimed that Admiral Karannagoda had made the request on several occasions and had allegedly demanded that Director of the National Zoological Gardens release six elephants to the Japanese Zoo. more..

Awareness Programme for Slave Island housing project beneficiaries

Jan 29 (MoD) An awareness programme was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development for the beneficiary families of the proposed housing complex at Slave Island today (28). The event was held at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre in Colombo this evening. The programme was organized under the direction of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the more..

Amputation of Law student’s forearm: Ministry calls for bed head ticket

Jan 29 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala has issued instructions to the Matara General Hospital (MGH) Director Dr. Samindi Samarakoon to obtain the bed head ticket (BHT) of the final year law student, whose left forearm was amputated due to alleged medical negligence at the hospital. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that Dr. Mahipala was of the opinion that more..

'Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan still essential for test team'

Jan 29 (DM) Sri Lankan cricket icon Sanath Jayasuriya who was appointed the new chairman of National Selectors said that senior players including former captains Mahela, Sangakkara and Dilshan were very much a major part of his plans for the next few years for the Sri Lanka national team. “Seniors like Mahela, Kumar and Dilshan are the players who kept the Sri Lanka team competitive and lifted it up during the difficult period. more..

Ceypetco buys nearly 3 mln bbls of oil products from PetroChina

Jan 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) has finalised a term contract for the purchase of nearly 3 million barrels of oil products for delivery over a six-month period from PetroChina, industry sources said on Monday. While PetroChina has sold spot barrels to Ceypetco in the past, this is the first time China's top oil and gas producer will supply term barrels to the Sri Lankan state-owned company, more..

UNP’s two million membership drive to precede Independence Day

Jan 29 (Island) A campaign to recruit two million new members to the UNP, would commence from Galle on Feb. 2 and 3. MP Gayantha Karunathillake, addressing the media in Colombo, said that the campaign would be led by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe with the participation of parliamentarians, Provincial, Municipal and Pradeshiya Sabha Councillors. "We intend to attract 100,000 new members from Galle alone," more..

Bodu Bala Sena regrets acts committed by others in its name

Jan 29 (Island) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation said that an organised group of extremists, with the intention of tarnishing its name, had carried out attacks on Muslims at several places in the country. "We want to ensure the harmony of Sri Lanka’s traditional Muslim and Sinhala people, but an organised small group is trying to tarnish our image by committing provocative acts in the name of the Bodu more..

Editorial : If 'Black January' were not to repeat

Jan 29 (CT) Media practitioners will stage a protest at Lipton Circus today, to mark what has become an increasingly uncomfortable month for journalists in Sri Lanka. Black January, as the month has established itself since the brutal murder of Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga on 8 January 2009, has had a number of black days in the ensuing years, delivering body blows to media freedom and fearing free expression in the process. Disturbingly, the perpetrators of more..

Pillay and Kshenuka statements: National and international interventions

Jan 29 (CT) Last week the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, issued a critical statement by Sri Lanka. Unusually for the Ministry of External Affairs, there was a forceful rebuttal of this, written by the Acting Secretary, Ms Kshenuka Seneviratne. I have been a strong proponent of prompt rebuttals of unfair criticism, but the Ministry had seemed to disapprove of this position. Often through former diplomats, as well as journalists connected to more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - .28.01.2013

Docs threaten strike over school admissions

Jan 29 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday threatened trade union action if the govt failed to make immediate arrangements to admit approximately 400 doctors’ children to the schools of their choice. GMOA spokesman Dr. Navin de Soyza said those doctors were entitled to get their children admitted to the schools every four years. If that problem was not solved, the GMOA would have no alternative but to take strong trade union action soon, he said. more..

Army probe on war continues

Jan 29 (CG) An army court of inquiry is continuing its investigations into allegations raised against the military over its conduct during the final stages of the war. Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya told the Colombo Gazette that the Commission is expected to complete its proceedings soon. An army board appointed by Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasooriya had recently handed over a report on some of the recommendations of the LLRC. more..

Sri Lanka prepares to respond to US resolution

Jan 29 (Xinhua) The govt on Tuesday said it was prepared to respond to a United States resolution expected to be submitted at the UNHRC sessions scheduled to begin in Geneva next month. Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said that the govt has done a lot to address post war issues in the country and has also briefed the international community on its progress. The United States on Monday more..

Industries using salt ordered to register with the food authority

Jan 29 (Island) All industries which use salt would have to register with the Director General Health Services (DGHS), who is the food authority. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that all industries which use salt would have to register under section 32 of Act 26 of 1980 and section number 08 of the 2005 regulations. The spokesman said an industry would only be provided with authorisation certification to import, purchase and transport salt after registration. more..

Stocks close down 0.9%, rupee stronger

Jan 29 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.9% Tuesday with retailers and foreign investors taking profits, while the rupee gained with foreign inflows. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,800 points down 54 points and the S&P SL20 Index close down 8.9 points at 3,185.76 down 0.28%. Turnover was 1.35 billion rupees. In forex markets the rupee strengthened to as much as 126.50/60 levels against the US dollar in the spot market from 127.10/15 levels with foreign inflows coming more..

Sri Lanka hotel occupancy rates down

Jan 29 (LBO) Occupancy rates at Sri Lanka's hotels had slipped across star categories in Nov 2012 from a year earlier, worsening from Oct despite arrivals going up. The average occupancy rates of hotels tracked by the state tourism office fell to 76.2% in Nov 2012 from 90.3% a year earlier. In Oct occupancy fell to 73.2% from 80.8%. The number of hotels tracked by the tourist board rose to 269 from 252 in 2011, more..

Nimal Siripala warns racism could be Lanka’s undoing

Jan 29 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said last week that racism was an unpleasant thing which would lead the nation towards degeneration of human qualities and destruction. It would neither pay good dividends nor bring prosperity to the nation. The ultimate goal of racism would be complete segregation of the communities and cause hostility among them. If the country was devoid of racism, all the communities would be able live in harmony and peaceful co-existence could be achieved, more..

Arjuna Ranatunga yet to decide on contesting for SLC election

Jan 29 (N360) Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga says, a decision on contesting the upcoming SLC elections, will be made by the end of this week. Ranatunga said, he is currently discussing with several former players and cricket administrators on fielding a team to contest the upcoming elections. The former captain said, large number of former players and cricket clubs located in and outside Colombo has requested from him to contest the upcoming elections. more..

Sri Lankan asylum boat sinks off Java

Jan 29 (AAP) At least two Sri Lankan asylum seekers have died and a third is missing after their boat smashed into rocks off the coast of Central Java as they made their way to Australia. Twenty survivors, including a four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were on Tuesday being held on the island of Nusa Kambangan near the coastal town of Cilacap. Another two survivors had been taken to a hospital in Cilacap for treatment. more..

'Discovered ballot papers cause for concern'

Jan 29 (CT) The discovery of 430 valid ballot papers in the vicinity of a school in the Gampaha district, used in the 2010 Presidential election, is a cause for great concern, especially since these ballot papers belong to the Nuwara Eliya District, former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, stated. He said, “We also have in our possession 64 ballot papers that were found in a canal near the Technical College, Ratnapura, adding the ballot papers that have been burned in several places more..

Motorcycle cowboys remanded for assault

Jan 29 (Island) Six suspects, who allegedly assaulted a traffic policeman and two teenagers without any reason on Sunday, during a Perahara at Madampe, were remanded till Feb 1, when they were produced before the Chilaw Magistrate yesterday. The police officer, attached to the Chilaw Special Traffic Division, was assaulted around 8.30 p.m. near Galahitiyawa junction, in Madampe, as he was performing his duty while the annual Punchi Kataragama Perahara was in progress. more..

Vaas, Murali lined up for SL coaching roles

Jan 29 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket is considering Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas for spin and fast bowling coaching positions respectively, SLC chief executive Ajit Jayasekara said. Neither have undergone formal coaching training but are the nation's highest wicket-takers in Tests and ODIs by a distance. Jayasekara said SLC were not working to a concrete time frame on the potential appointments but discussions more..

US sent deputies to spy on us: Wimal

Jan 29 (DM) The true intention of the three deputies of US President Barack Obama visiting the country was to collect information to use them against Sri Lanka in the global forums, Minister Wimal Weerawansa charged. He stressed that the goal of the three US officials’ was to show the world that law and order had collapsed and therefore the allegations of war crimes during the humanitarian operation have to be probed before an international tribunal. “Mr. Obama has sent his three more..

'A smaller delegation to UNHRC'

Jan 29 (CT) The Sri Lankan delegation to the UNHRC would be a smaller group compared to the number that went last year, said External Affairs Ministry Secretary, K. Amunugama. He, however, added the govt has not as yet decided on the composition of the delegation to Geneva to represent SL at the UNHRC sessions in March. Sri Lanka has addressed many of the LLRC recommendations and will address more of them in the coming weeks, before the Geneva more..

SF raises ballot paper issue with polls chief

Jan 29 (DM) DNA Sarath Fonseka today raised issue with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya regarding the 500 ballot papers found discarded near Kalagedihena. Mr. Fonseka also asked Mr. Deshapriya about the non-registration of his party and said it was the Elections Commissioner who should ensure democracy in the country by permitting the DNA to be registered as political party. more..

People's Bank Chairman passes away

Jan 29 (GDI) Chairman of the People’s Bank, W. Karunajeewa has passed away at a private hospital this morning. He was 67 years of age at the time of his death. Karunajeewa assumed duties as Chairman to the People’s Bank Group in May 2007 and was reappointed in 2010. He was also the Chairman of People’s Leasing Company Ltd, People’s Leasing Finance, People’s Fleet Management Ltd, People’s Property Development Ltd and People’s Insurance Ltd. Prior to this, more..

Four NDT students identified over attack on engineering faculty hostel

Jan 29 (Island) Four students following the NDT course were yesterday indentified at an identification parade held over the attack carried out on the engineering students’ hostel of the Moratuwa University on Jan 16. The Moratuwa Magistrate ordered the remanding of four students of the University’s Institute of Technology until Feb 1, when they were produced before him after the identification. Inspector Chammika Sampath said that four students were arrested last week more..

A reshuffle brought to give positions to lackeys of Rajapaksa family – JVP

Jan 29 (LT) The reshuffle of ministers carried out yesterday was solely a move to present ministerial portfolios to those lackeys who served Rajapaksa family but not with any scientific basis or one that targeted development of the economy of the country says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. He said, “Normally cabinet appointments are made targeting economic development of a country. Also, a scientific method is used in making more..

'JHU ready to give up PC posts'

Jan 29 (CT) The government's constituent party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) says its provincial councillors are ready to resign their portfolios should the government abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. National Organizer of the JHU, Nishantha Sri Warnasingha, said at a political meeting held in Galle that, JHU Provincial Councillors are prepared to relinquish their portfolios and support the government if it goes ahead with the abolition of the 13th Amendment. more..

'India's role crucial to save SL at UNHRC'

Jan 29 (CT) India's role will be crucial to Sri Lanka when it comes to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 and the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva in March, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, speaking to Ceylon Today, said. "It is very likely that there will be another resolution in March, (in Geneva), and with strong language in these circumstances. Once again, India's role will be important," he said. more..

India trains 1,400 SL security forces personnel amidst increasing western boycott

Jan 29 (Island) Amidst some western countries curtailing training opportunities for Sri Lankan security forces personnel, India says that it has offered Colombo maximum exposure. Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha responding to a query by The Island said that around 1,400 Lankan armed forces personnel were trained annually by his country which was bigger than what any one provided. When asked if India more..

Sri Lanka mulls rail hauling city waste to limestone pits

Jan 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka is mulling a plan to haul solid waste from Colombo to open pit limestone mines in the northwest of the island by rail as part of a plan to modernize the fast expanding metropolis. Disposing of solid waste in Colombo has become a problem city authorities running out of landfill sites. One of the plans being consider is to take rubbish to Puttalam, more than 130 km north of Colombo where large pits from which limestone had been mined for cement manufacture could be filled. more..

Women's World Cup warm-up: Weerakkody guides Sri Lanka to victory

Jan 29 (CW) Sripali Weerakkody scored an unbeaten century to guide Sri Lanka Women to a fine two-wicket win over South Africa Women in their final warm-up match ahead of the Women's World Cup. Set 165 after South Africa were dismissed for 164, Sri Lanka were struggling at 66 for six before Weerakkody's innings handed Sri Lanka a rare victory. When the two sides met in a One-Day International in Fatullah in 2011, Sri Lanka won in similar circumstances, batting second more..

Media persons in Sri Lanka stage 'Black January' protest

Jan 29 (PTI) Sri Lankan media persons staged a "Black January" protest here today, condemning the govt for failing to punish the culprits for attacks on journalists. The Alliance for Media Organisations highlighted the murders of at least two leading editors and media workers. 'Killers not found' was marked on the portraits of Lasantha Wickramatunga, the outspoken editor of the Sunday Leader and Dharmaratnam Sivaram, the more..

With eternal mourning to somewhere bright!

Jan 30 (NS) As the tragic story of the barbaric beheading of the 23-year-old Rizana Nafeek casts an eternal shadow over the sleepy town of Muttur, lives of her five-member family including her parents continues like a flickering flame at cajan-thatched poor home two miles away from the town. Not a word about Rizana and that harrowing past is mentioned to the bereaved family by the people visiting the place from Rizana’s uncle Mujith who has taken on the role of leading the family more..