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'Education, poverty eradication plans on top gear'

Jan 30 (DN) President Rajapsksa said his govt has put into motion every plan drawn up to fight against poverty and reduce unemployment in the country. The govt allocated Rs 306 billion for education aiming to enrich the younger generation with knowledge, skills and special abilities. Under this scheme, the people especially the younger generation have been given the opportunity to equip themselves with the latest knowledge. more..

Basil claims over 80% foreign funds used for development

Jan 30 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said that over 80% of foreign funds were channeled to the development projects in the North and the East though the UPFA was defeated in a number of elections in those areas. He said that the Govt provides assistance to all segments of society around the country without any discrimination. Massive development was taking place in the area adjacent to the Galle Face green, he said more..

'Our support for local NGOs is quite transparent'

Jan 30 (ST) The United States’ support for non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Sri Lanka is “quite transparent”, said U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison, responding to allegations that NGOs funded by Western govts were conspiring to topple the regime in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Sison added that the U.S. stands by concerns it raised in recent weeks, including the impeachment of CJ Dr Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

SF not satisfied with Polls Chief’s explanation

Jan 30 (Island) Leader of the DNA Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who met Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday, to discuss the stock of marked ballot papers from the last presidential election on the main road at Kalagedihena recently, said he was not satisfied with the explanation trotted out by the polls chief. He said that the Commissioner’s explanation that it was from a bundle of 500 ballot papers that more..

HR vetting for Lankan military to undergo US training

Jan 30 (Island) All security forces personnel opting for military training programmes in the US are expected to undergo ‘human rights vetting’ by the US defense authorities. Those against whom ‘credible reports of human rights violations’ have been filed would not be in a position to obtain such training, the local media were told on Monday, at a ‘round table’ discussion with a group of visiting top US govt officials. more..

NDT to be relocated at Homagama

Jan 30 (DM) The Moratuwa University said it would relocate the National Diploma in Technology (NDT) programme to a new location in Homagama. This step is being taken to prevent further friction between student groups in the university following a recent attack which left some students critically injured and university facilities severely damaged. Some 700 NDT students are alleged to have attacked students of the Moratuwa Uni more..

Rs.400 mn monthly to sustain new ministers

Jan 30 (DM) The people will have to bear an additional cost of Rs.400 million a month as a result of Monday’s increase in the number of Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers without any rationale behind it, political parties said. According to a set of documents recently tabled in Parliament in response to a question asked by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, at least Rs.32 million is spent monthly on a minister and his staff more..

Ranil's decree and Sajith's political progress

Jan 30 (CT) The unthinkable seems to be happening. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the UNP has issued his latest decree: banning UNP MPs from engaging in any social service activities outside the official purview of the Party. Though generalized and overtly meant for all Party members, the gauntlet was thrown at only one person, because there is only one such parliamentarian who is currently involved in such a scheme. Sajith Premadasa, the Deputy more..

Changing facets of electoral politics in Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (CT) When I was reading a recent journalistic rendition on the politics of Sri Lanka, I was reminded how crucial facets and moments in our recent turbulent past which many of us have lived through and become victims of have been taken for granted by many of us. More often and even more sadly, we have also allowed ourselves to lapse into a sense of structural amnesia without reference to that not so distant past and its consequences in the present. In some cases we meet people more..

WikiLeaks: PM Mahinda described president Chandrika as 'very confident'

Jan 30 (CT) “In a Sept 15 meeting with the Ambassador, Prime Minister Rajapakse described President Chandrika Kumaratunga as “very confident” that she can soon restart talks with the LTTE. He offered several reasons for this assessment.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. A Leaked ‘Confidential’ US diplomatic cable, dated Sept 15, 2004, updated the Secretary of State regarding and a more..

Armed robber shot dead by police in Minuwangoda

Jan 30 (DM) A 33 year old man succumbed to gunshot injuries in a shootout with the Police in Minuwangoda this morning, the Police media spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody said. The incident had occurred when four armed men had assaulted and attempted to rob two youths pasting posters in the area. The Police had arrived at the scene during the ensuing commotion when the armed men had opened fire at the Police, and attempted to flee the scene. more..

Sri Lanka ship fuel suppliers lobby against tax

Jan 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan suppliers of fuel to ships could be pushed out of business if a new tax is implemented, shipping officials and tax experts have warned. The trade has begun lobbying for the withdrawal of the 5% Ports and Airports Development Levy, (PAL) which they say could force them to raise prices which are already above rival bunkering centres, making them uncompetitive. The PAL was to have come into effect in January but its implementation has been held back, more..

Australian opposition visits Sri Lanka's north, east

Jan 30 (Xinhua) An Australian opposition parliamentary delegation visited the north and east to look at the post war developments in those areas, an official at the Australian High Commission in Colombo said. The opposition parliamentary delegation was in the eastern town of Trincomalee on Wednesday for talks with local officials. Earlier this week the delegation visited the northern town of Jaffna and had talks with the TNA, more..

State officials directed to suspend illegal land deals

Jan 30 (DN) Prime Minister D M Jayaratne directed state officials to suspend the sale of state land to the Private Sector through undue means. He issued this directive when he presided over the Doluwa Development Committee meeting recently. The Prime Minister who said that an instance where a 10 acre plot of land in Haloya in Gampola is to be sold to the private sector through unscrupulous means had been brought to his notice added that he would bring this matter to the notice of more..

Bowser driver masters fuel robbery

Jan 30 (Island) An owner of a filling station at Wariyagoda in Alawwa, who allegedly purchased 13,200 litres of fuel, valued at Rs. 1,080,000, belonging to another fuel station in Horawapathana, from a crooked bowser driver, was remanded till Feb 8, when he was produced before the Wariyapola Magistrate. According to informed sources, the driver, after selling the fuel, had abandoned the bowser at Nawinna in Kurunegala and had then been attempting to leave the country. more..

President disregards me – Muthuhettigama

Jan 30 (LT) The voters of Galle sent him to Parliament with more than hundred thousand preferential votes making him number one in the list of MPs elected from Galle district and he expected at least a deputy ministerial post said Galle District UPFA MP Nishanthe Muthuhettigama. However, the President has disregarded him lamented Mr. Muthuhettigama. He said the people in Galle have been unjustly treated at the reshuffle of the more..

Sri Lanka trade press for simpler taxes

Jan 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan trade and tax experts have pressed for further simplification of tax systems, saying that it will help generate more businesses, bringing greater tax revenues for the state and reduce disputes. Sudden changes in taxes were not good for business and quick relief was required in tax disputes to prevent cargo being stuck in port, incurring demurrage and other charges that could serve to discourage investors, they said. "Sri Lanka is trying to improve its position in the ease more..

CMC PHD orders closure of Indian restaurant

Jan 30 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) said it had to shut down an Indian restaurant along the Wellawatta- Kollupitya (Marine Drive) route during their inspections on Monday evening. PHD chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that the unhygienic conditions of the kitchen, which was the basement of the building, was the main reason for the closure order. He said they had inspected 18 eateries during raids and found that more..

ETV Debrief News - 30 01 2013

Former DAP members lodge report with MACC over Sri Lanka War

Jan 30 (Bernama) Several former members of DAP today lodged a report at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) pertaining the money collected since 2009 under the party's Sri Lanka War Victims' Fund. Former Sungai Pelek DAP chief Tan Tuan Tat said they lodged the report to enable the MACC to investigate the actual amount collected under the fund and where the money was channeled. "This is our own initiative and we are not told to do this by any quarters. more..

Sri Lanka stocks edge up on large caps

Jan 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market recovered from a two-week low on Wednesday led by large caps including John Keells Holdings PLC Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Nestle Lanka PLC. The main share index closed 0.43%, or 25.15 points firmer, at 5,825.9, edging up from its lowest close since Jan 16. Commercial Bank gained 0.86 percent to 105.80 rupees, while John Keells rose 2.04% to 229.70 rupees before it posted 8% gain in its December quarter earnings. more..

Returns to Sri Lanka halt boats: Bowen

Jan 30 (MSN) Returning people to Sri Lanka is reducing the number of asylum seekers from the Asian nation arriving by boat in Australia, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says. "We have returned around 700 people involuntarily to Sri Lanka, and we have seen the number of people coming from Sri Lanka fall to a trickle," Mr Bowen said. The federal govt began returning Sri Lankans last August as part of its suite of measures more..

US delegation in key talks with Basil and G.L.

Jan 30 (CG) A visiting US State Department delegation has had key discussions with Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris today, the External Affairs Ministry said. An official at the Ministry told the Colombo Gazette that the meetings, one which was held in the morning and the other in the afternoon, touched on the progress on implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LRRC). more..

Indian man & Sri Lankan woman eat Gold

Jan 30 (AT) Police have arrested an unidentified couple — an Indian man and a Sri Lankan woman — for attempting to steal jewelry from a shop in Mubarakiya. A security source said the pair asked the Indian salesman to show them some rings and chains. The suspects then allegedly stole the rings and all attempts by the salesman to find the rings on their person failed, he called the police. The pair denied stealing the rings and the salesman insisted the rings were missing. more..

Amputated Achala determined to pursue studies

Jan 30 (DM) The final-year law student Achala Priyadharashini, who lost an arm due to medical negligence, told Daily Mirror today that she wanted to pursue her career in law and that she had to make many sacrifices to gain admission to the university. Achala lost her left arm due to alleged medical negligence by her surgeon. She was initially admitted to the Matara hospital for treatment to an injury on the wrist. more..

Skills development should be part of school curriculum – UN Expert

Jan 30 (Island) Skills development should be included in the school’s curriculum from Grade I, Youth Development Expert, attached to the United Nations, Ravi Karkara said yesterday. Karkara who is on a short visit to Sri Lanka, yesterday met officials of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Developmen including the Chairman of National Institute of Business Management and Vice Chancellor of the University of Vocational Technology, Working Director of the National more..

China influenced Champika’s removal?

Jan 30 (SM) There have been claims by politicians that Champika Ranawaka had been removed as minister of power and energy to appease India, but a senior engineer of the CEB alleges the Chinese firm CEMEC had been the main campaigner for his removal. The Chinese company, which constructed the Norochcholai power plant, had demanded is shares to match the commercial loan that had gone towards its construction. Through that the govt had planned to obtain a 500 million dollar more..

Hemantha resigns, Hashan new selector

Jan 30 (CG) Hemantha Wickremeratne has resigned as selector of the national cricket team and Hashan Tillakaratne has been appointed in his place, the Sports Ministry announced today. The Ministry of Sports had on Monday approved the appointed of a new selection panel for cricket headed by former cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya. Former cricketers Pramodaya Wickremesinghe, Hemantha Wickremeratne, Chaminda Mendis more..

Sri Lanka's Black January: Year two

Jan 30 (CPJ) Black January commemorations in Colombo have become an annual event. Tuesday's demonstration was the second. The protest aims to recall the series of killings and attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka in recent years, many of them occurring in Januaries past. All of them have gone untried and unpunished, sustaining the country's perfect record of impunity for those who want to silence media by murder. The demonstrations are not huge, but still an annoyance for the govt. more..

Sri Lanka's Treasuries yields drop at auction

Jan 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Treasuries yields dropped at Wednesday's auction with the 3-month yield dropping as much as 16 basis points to 9.47%. The 6-month yield dropped 13 basis points to 10.28% and the 12 month yield dropped 14 basis points to 11.11%. The yields are quoted net of a 10 percent withholding tax on interest. The debt office said it sold 35 billion rupees of bills after offering 20 billion for rollover at the auction, including 30.8 billion rupees in 12-motn bills. more..

U.S. supports demining through Cricket bat donations

Jan 30 (USE) On January 27, U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison distributed cricket bats to students at the American Corner in Jaffna with the message “Mines Destroy Lives” in Tamil and Sinhala. Joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman, Ambassador Sison explained to members of more..

Fabricated assurance by Minister: Resettlement will be within three months

Jan 30 (OU) Assurances were given that some Grama Sevama divisions located in the Waligamam northern divisional secretariat unit will be released within three months period, but still it is in the clutches of military is according to people's reports. Last September month such assurance was given by Minister Douglas Devananda at the Coordination Committee meeting, but still the said localities are not released as it is coming under the high security zone. People, who have registered for more..

Counsel claims threat to life

Jan 30 (CT) A Counsel for a petitioner, who has filed a Fundamental Rights case where newly-appointed CJ, Mohan Pieris is a respondent, said in courts yesterday that he is under tremendous pressure to withdraw from the case. Naganada Kodituwakku, Counsel for the petitioner of the Fundamental Rights Petition No. 536/2010, in which the former Attorney General and present CJ, as well as Treasury Secretary, P.B. Jayasundera, are cited as respondents, filed a motion before SC more..

Transcript of Press Event by Tri-DAS

Jan 30 (USE) Transcript of Press Event by Deputy Assistant Secretary James R. Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary Vikram Singh and Deputy Assistant Secretary Jane Zimmerman. DAS Moore: Thank you, Chris. Thank you all for coming. It’s really great to be back in Sri Lanka. It’s also a privilege to travel with two Washington colleagues who follow Sri Lanka quite closely -- Jane Zimmerman, our Deputy Assistant more..

Restoring the dignity and honor of the Nation

Jan 31 (NS) The following is an extract from the address delivered by Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara at the launch of Edward Gunawardena’s book ‘Memorable Tidbits Including the Jafna Library Fire’ In bringing out this work, the primary intention of the author, Edward Gunawardena, I believe, was to speak out his heart on a matter which had been weighing heavily on his conscience. The choice of the sub-title ‘The Jaffna Library Fire’ makes it amply evident. As such, let me straight away affirm more..

A spot of fun to distract the mind

Jan 31 (Island) A Polish girl told me many years ago that when they were liberated from the iron booted USSR, they felt a spasm of regret that all the secretive fun enjoyed in conspiratorial groups was over; the barbed anti Soviet jokes outdated. So since it’s unpatriotic to point out what many discern as huge blots of political and govt mistakes, I decided to close my mind and try and have a laugh or two. A friend helped me by emailing a song on UTube, which is titled with a particular word more..

The wetland wonder at Nugegoda

Jan 31 (SO) An exceedingly charming and functionally well-conceived, designed and planned park was built and donated to the townsfolk of Nugegoda by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) a few days ago. It’s aptly named Nugegoda Wetland Park (NWP). When entering the park from the Nawala Road, the first thought that strikes one is what a rich potential the wet landscapes of our country possess as more..

No substitute for a strong opposition

Jan 31 (CT) The appearance of a national crisis over the impeachment is fast beginning to recede and become like another episode in the past. Most of those who opposed the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake appear to have given up their resistance. Even today a small group of lawyers in the Lawyers Collective continue to object to the outcome of the impeachment. They rose up for a national cause in which there was an asymmetry of power. more..

Govt can easily exist without law, but law cannot exist without govt

Jan 31 (CT) A rational person (whether natural or juristic) is deemed to intend the logical consequences of his/her/its acts. Any other person who refers to such acts without express disapproval is also deemed to endorse such intentions. The dire consequences of the clearly unjust acts being perpetrated at will, do not permit us to sit back and leisurely enjoy the “free entertainment” provided by the strenuous efforts being made by usually sensible Sri Lankans. Many of them are falling more..

Code of ethics for media: Coming colour not good

Jan 31 (SL) There are at least two codes of ethics for journalists in the print media but there appears to be none for journalists in the electronic media – i.e. radio and TV. The first code for journalists in newspapers came in 1973 when the United Front Govt under the pretence of ensuring greater freedom for journalists shackled them with the Press Council Law and a Code of Ethics which was approved by parliament. more..