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Gotabhaya abhors exclusivity for any race anywhere

June 19 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the Northern Province should be opened up for all communities to live in without further delay. That would be of pivotal importance to promote bonding among the people in the post-war era. He emphasised that the Sinhalese shouldn’t be deprived of their right to buy land in any part of the country, including the Northern Province comprising the administrative districts of more..

Editorial: At last a political goon is brought to his knees

June 19 (DM) The shocking news of the ruling UPFA’s North-Western Provincial Council member forcing a female teacher to kneel before him and her students has set off crisis in the education sector, and is being seen as another sign that the rule of law is breaking down totally. According to reports, PC member Ananda Sarath Kumara had allegedly stormed into the Navodhya Maha Vidyalaya at Nawagaththegama and forced the female teacher to kneel after abusing her in filthy language. more..

Balance of forces lie against - anti-devolution elements

June 19 (DM) Mahinda is conducting a difficult battle for anti-devolution because he has already made a commitment both locally and internationally to implement the 13th Amendment and to go even beyond it while also giving an assurance to implement the LLRC recommendations. However, such assurances given by the President would not give him much comfort as he also has to satisfy the demands of his chauvinist battalions who are so dear to him. Often he identifies with more..

EPC Chief Minister facing the axe?

June 19 (Island) The Chief Minister of the Eastern Province is likely to be replaced soon, according to informed sources. The ruling UPFA members of the of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), including the Board of Ministers, had defied a government directive to participate in the council’s proceedings, when it re-commenced sessions at the EPC Secretariat in Trincomalee, yesterday morning, the sources said. more..

Milk production in a quandary?

June 19 (SL) Sri Lanka is heavily dependent on imported milk, as the domestic production of milk is only around 25 to 30% of the total national requirement. Although the govt has elaborate plans to increase national production and attain a higher degree of self-sufficiency in milk by 2016, the efforts seem to have encountered several snags. SL spends around US$ 400 million a year on the importation of more..

Shiral and Maithri to continue campaign against Ranil

June 19 (DM) Provincial Councilors Shiral Lakthilaka and Maithri Gunaratne vowed today to continue their campaign against UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe until he was removed from the leadership. The duo said so at a media briefing held to inform the media about their political careers after they were expelled from the UNP. Mr. Gunaratne accused some members of the party of removing them from the party membership. more..

Coalition against corruption says schools 2nd on corruption list

June 19 (Island) The Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) lashed out at the Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane over his statement that collecting around Rs. 250 for school development activities was acceptable. The CAC urged the Minister to take immediate action against corruption which it alleged was rampant in govt schools. They said that currently, the Education Ministry was the second major institution more..

CCTV cameras homed in over 10,000 crimes during last 15 months

June 19 (DN) The Police Department has succeeded in identifying over 10,000 crimes including traffic offences during the last 15 months with the help of CCTV cameras which have been installed in the Colombo city. 30 such crimes have been of a very serious nature including burglaries and abductions. A large number of offenders could have gone scot-free in the absence of CCTV surveillance cameras in the Colombo city. more..

CEB loses Rs. 30 mn in power per day by not running all turbines

June 19 (Island) Despite high storage levels in the catchments, the CEB is missing the opportunity to generate maximum power output from the Kukule and Victoria hydro power stations, thereby losing more than 30 million rupees worth of hydro power per day, a senior official said. The Island learns that since early this month the Board has wasted the opportunity of producing more than Rs. 300 million worth of hydro electricity. more..

'No political party has the right to punish teachers'

June 19 (GDI) The Education Ministry has the right to inquire into any complaints reported against teachers but no political party has the right to mete out punishments to teachers said Minister Bandula Gunawardena and added that the Ministry does not approve student participation in protests. The minister was addressing the ‘Arts Competition 2012’ certificate awarding ceremony at Isurupaya Tuesdy (18). more..

Commitment for ending AIDS in Sri Lanka confirmed at highest level

June 19 (GDI) The President has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to be “a champion in the AIDS response” towards the vision of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Meeting with the UNAids Deputy Executive Director Luiz Loures, President Rajapaksha highlighted inclusive approaches for and with people living with HIV and an increased focus on more..

SL calls for Tamil refugees to return home

June 19 (Age) Sri Lanka's external affairs minister has pleaded with Tamil refugees in Australia who fled the nation's bloody civil war to come home – having quietly slipped into Canberra for talks on combating people smugglers. G.L. Peiris told Fairfax Media in an exclusive interview Sri Lanka is now perfectly stable, with an economic boom in the once devastated northern Tamil regions running at three-times the national average. more..

'Proposed media code threatens free speech'

June 19 (HRW) A new media code proposed by the Sri Lankan govt contains overbroad and vague language that could have a severe and chilling effect on free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 17, 2013, the Ministry of Mass Media and Information officially proposed a Code of Media Ethics that would apply to print and electronic media, including the Internet. The proposed code comes at a time when more..

Crude, rude and loutish

June 19 (CT) In the prevailing culture of impunity, repeated high-handed acts by politicos and their henchmen are contagious. Failure on the part of the govt hierarchy to take appropriate action against the perpetrators, tantamount to tacitly condoning the crude and often violent acts, instilling the belief that 'might is indeed right' and the right political connections place the politicos above the law. The sham investigations often carried out into the more serious transgressions do not help more..

Italy gifts milk processing plant to Peradeniya University

June 19 (Island) The milk processing factory gifted by the people of Italy is yet another step towards strengthening the mutual understanding and relationship between Sri Lanka and Italy, said Deputy Ambassador for Italy in Sri Lanka Giavdomenico Milano. He was speaking on the occasion of opening the university milk processing factory at the Mawalawatta farm. The Deputy Ambassador recalled the mutual exchange of assistance between Sri Lanka and Italy more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Move against DGM, Lakvijaya: Clarification

June 19 (Island) Apropos our page 2 news item headlined Electrical engineers launch work to rule to oust DGM with the strap line CEB electrical, mechanical engineers at loggerheads published carried on June 11, Ceylon Electricity Board Independent Engineers’ Association has sent the following statement: "There has not been a single complaint against the DGM of Lakvijaya Power Plant at Norochcholai by anyone to his immediate superior or the CEB management. more..

SriLankan Airlines starts mobile check-in

June 19 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said it is offering mobile check-in and access to its loyalty program and other services for customers with smartphones. A mobile application developed with Virtusa Corporation, a software firm, allows passengers to select their seats and check up to two hours before departure. "Customers are increasingly accepting high-tech travel options," SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena said. "Global customer surveys indicate a demand for opportunities, more..

80 Sri Lankans detained while attempting to illegally migrate to Australia

June 19 (Xinhua) Eighty Sri Lankans were detained by the navy on Wednesday for attempting to illegally migrate to Australia. The trawler was intercepted by the navy and then handed over to the Police. The number of arrests made has risen due to the navy increasing the number of boats patrolling the shores of Sri Lanka. On 30 May, 52 others were also similarly detained. They were brought to Modera fisheries harbor and handed over to more..

Country’s under the yoke of ‘ornamenting terrorism'

June 19 (LT) “The whole culture of this country has an issue regarding decisions being taken and implementing them. The present govt depends on a new kind of terrorism. It is ornamenting terrorism. Everything is sacrificed for this. Everything is carried out according to the whims and fancies of the govt on the pretext of urban development,” said Senior Lecturer Chandraguptha Thenuwara. This was stated by Thenuwara at a media conference held by the Society for Socialist Art more..

Film producers appeal to Court against discrimination

June 19 (Island) The film Producers’ Association of Sri Lanka has complained to the Court of Appeal that 55 copies of the film ‘Siriparakum’ are being displayed, while normally the number of copies allowed for display, by the State Film Corporation, is only 35. The writ application had claimed that the producer of that film had arbitrarily obtained the permission of the Minister of Information, for the public display of 55 copies. The petition had asked the Court to direct the Film Corporation to more..

Sri Lankan-Australian wins Australia's top literary prize

June 19 (Xinhua) Michelle de Kretser has been laureled 2013 Miles Franklin Award which is recognized as Australia's most prestigious literary prize for her novel Questions of Travel, a media release said. Simon Lewis, Head of Community and Philanthropy at The Trust Company said that this was the first time in the history of the award to have all female nominees in the shortlist. "It has stimulated great discussion and debate," more..

Racists abhor breathing space for Tamils

June 19 (CT) There’s no need to hold the punches, let’s say it straight. Vermin who gladly enjoyed and exploited the Provincial Council system for 25 years, JHU, JVP, SLFP and an assortment of Councils included, are now up in arms at the thought of Tamils in the Northern Province having an elected council of their own for the first time since 13A was enacted! What is the mental makeup of these rats? I do not hold back in declaring them racists. If you belong in this bunch of bigots that want to more..

Keells to sign $640 mln hotel deal next week

June 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's top conglomerate, John Keells Holdings, will sign a $640 million deal to establish an integrated hotel complex in the capital of Colombo, three sources told Reuters. Keells, the heavyweight of the $18.5 billion Colombo Stock Exchange with a $1.77 billion market cap, will sign the deal with a company from outside the country, the sources who have the direct knowledge on the deal told Reuters. "This will be the biggest deal by a local company. more..

Colombo Uni. landscape to blend with beautified 'surrounds'

June 19 (DN) The Colombo University has joined up with the Sri Lanka Army to transform the landscape of the university premises to suit the surrounding area which is being developed by the govt under the Colombo beautification programme. According to Colombo University VC Dr. Kumara Hiriburegama, the entire area adjacent to the university has completely changed except the university. more..

UNP MP says MoD informed him that Ekneligoda abducted by organized gang

June 19 (Island) UNP MP Ajith P. Perera told Parliament that he had been informed by the Ministry of Defence that there was evidence to prove that Prageeth Ekneligoda had been abducted by an organized group. He said that he had also been informed by the ministry that the abductors of Eknaligoda had not been identified as yet. The MP tabled a letter he had received from the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The letter dated June 12, 2013, has been signed by more..

Sri Lanka's fee-levying higher education sector look to maintain quality, manage costs

June 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's fee-levying higher education institutes are drawing on technology and cost management strategies to make services affordable to students and maintain quality, officials said. "Quality always comes at a cost, but institutions can adopt strategies to be innovative and bring down costs," Athula Pitigala-Arachchi, head of Asia Pacific Institute of Information Tecnology (APPIIT), an affiliated college said. "Using technology to bring down costs with more..

Gen Fonseka vows to make DP the second political force

June 19 (Island) Democratic Party leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka vowed to make his party the second force in the local political arena, claiming that it had already taken third place. Addressing a gathering, after presenting appointment letter to his party’s electoral organisers and candidates for the forthcoming provincial council elections, the former army commander said that more than the govt, it was the Opposition which feared his party. more..

C’bo University to probe girl’s death plunge

June 19 (Island) Colombo University said that it would conduct a separate investigation into the death of first year Science Faculty student Randimali Gunawardena, who is said to have jumped off the fifth floor of a building within university premises on Monday. She succumbed to her injuries at the National Hospital, Colombo in the early hours of yesterday. Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama said that he would appoint a committee to handle the investigation while more..

'TNA trying to achieve democratically'

June 19 (CT) Inviting the TNA to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) with their concerns regarding the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ruling party MP and Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, said the government cannot “allow the TNA to achieve democratically what the LTTE tried to achieve with guns.” Minister Abeywardane said, “The TNA does nothing but procrastinate on the matter, which is harmful to the collective Tamil population in the country. more..

13A a White Elephant says Lalith

June 19 (CG) The govt says administratively the 13th Amendment to the constitution is a “white elephant” and past experiences have proven this. In a live Twitter interview today, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said that the 13th Amendment must be viewed from the angle of the citizen. “It’s no secret that administratively it’s a white elephant. President Rajapaksa will always honour the Constitution. more..

India prepare quietly ahead of big clash

June 19 (CI) Relaxed. That is what the Indian team are feeling at the moment. In fact, that seems to have been their state of mind throughout the tournament. Their progress might have caught the cynics off guard, especially back home, but MS Dhoni and his team could not care less. Although Dhoni did point out on the eve of the first warm-up match that it was surprising not to see numerous Indian TV channels, who had boycotted the event, unhappy with the terms and conditions more..

Now a political brat assaults principal: but case settled with apology

June 19 (Island) On top of UPFA North Western Provincial Council member forcing a teacher to go down on her knees over advising his daughter to lengthen her school uniform, the son of a Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA member had allegedly assaulted the Principal of the Niwanthaka Chethiya Maha Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura yesterday. President of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Priyantha Fernando said that later in the day, the Pradeshiya Sabha member gone to the school and more..

Ranil blasts govt. over its reaction to lives lost at sea

June 19 (Island) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the govt, which has money for night racing and launching rockets into the space, should pay compensation of more than Rs 100,000 for each of the fishermen lost in the recent storms. Making a special statement in Parliament, he said the govt should take full responsibility for the loss of lives. "We cannot be content at all with the payment, in installments, more..

Video: Female lecturer stabbed by student

June 19 (DM) A female lecturer of the Nawala Open University Law Faculty was in a critical condition after she was repeatedly stabbed by a law faculty student a short while ago. She was admitted to a private hospital while the suspect is being held inside a room and a tense situation is reportedly prevailing in the university premises. Police personnel arrived at the scene of the tragedy a short while ago and are bringing the situation under control. The victim is identified as more..

NOAC says no dispute with India

June 19 (CG) The National Ocean Affairs Committee, (NOAC) says Sri Lanka is not in dispute with India to refer any matter pertaining to the oceans to ITLOS, which is a body set up within the UN for resolution of disputes. Chris Dharmakirti, Chairman of the National Ocean Affairs Committee, said that at the present moment, only Bangladesh, Myanmar and India have declared disputes in the Bay of Bengal basin, and the resolution of those disputes have been brought before more..

Former war-zone agri produce on show

June 19 (LBO) Farmers in Sri Lanka's former war zones in the North and East are cultivating more land but need modern technology to improve yields, officials who are organizing a trade show to link them to buyers said. "After the disturbances, very recently we have opened a large long area from north and the east from our country which is our food basket in Sri Lanka," Sunil Govinnage, a director at agricultural ministry more..

Dominant England cruise into final

June 19 (CI) England and South Africa had not met in a major ICC semi-final since the World Cup in Sydney in 1992, a match which AB de Villiers admitted before the start of play ended with him "crying myself to sleep." Grown man now or not, after the mess South Africa made of this tie, he could be forgiven for repeating the experience. De Villiers is no longer an innocent child, he is captain of a South Africa one-day side which throughout his lifetime has repeatedly flattered to more..

Revenge doesn't motivate Mathews

June 19 (PA) Sri Lanka were denied the global 50-over title in 2011 when India claimed a six-wicket victory in Mumbai, and have lost seven of the 10 one-day internationals the teams have played since. But Mathews said: "There's no room for revenge in sport, but if we can beat the Indians, I think it'll be a great achievement for the whole team," He added: "We still have thoughts about the World Cup final, and the recent history against them is not very good for Sri Lanka. "But I think the past is the past more..

Wimal says India aiding separatist forces

June 19 (PTI) A key nationalist ally in the Sri Lankan govt slammed India for aiding separatist forces in the country and backed President Rajapaksa's plan to go ahead with tinkering the 13th amendment. "It was no secret that India aided the separatist forces in Sri Lanka," Wimal Weerawansa, the NFF leader and minister of housing, told reporters. The NFF was piqued by the New Delhi's invitation to the TNA, more..