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Teachers complain of heavy load

June 25 (Island) Teachers claimed that the Education Ministry had burdened them with Health Ministry’s duties apart from regular tutorial work. In a letter to Minister Bandula Gunawardena, the JVP affiliated Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) asked him to stop assigning teachers to different tasks not relevant to teaching. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that currently teachers had been more..

'Powerless PCs like guns without bullets'

June 25 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara spoke about his stance on the 13th Amendment and shared his thoughts on the future of Provincial Councils. Q: When the JHU presented its Bill titled ‘21st Amendment to the Constitution,’ which sought to repeal the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, you were the one who seconded it. Can you tell me your reasons for doing so? A: Well, first of all I must say it doesn’t matter who more..

Country losing 150MW of cheap power daily

June 25 (Island) The country continues to lose nearly 150 MW of low cost hydro power daily and this trend would continue with the possibility of repairs to a Kukule Ganga turbine taking about one year, engineers warned. Additional General Manager, Generation, M.C. Wickramasekara said that both plants at Kukule, which contributed 75 MW to the national grid, were out of order due to different reasons. more..

Former DIG remanded until July 9

June 25 (AD) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena was further remanded until July 9 by the Colombo Magistrate Court after he was arrested in connection with the murder of a businessman in Dompe. The wife of the former DIG was also asked to appear before court on July 9 for allegedly threatening and intimidating witnesses. Bambalapitiya-based businessman Mohamed Siyam was abducted and murdered in the Dompe more..

'At some point we'll need to regulate the media'

June 25 (CT) The recently prepared draft Code of Ethics for the print, electronic and online media by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information had sparked outrage among media circles. The draft contains strong provisions that for instance prohibit 'criticism affecting foreign relations,' and 'publications containing material against the integrity of the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary.' It is the broad mandate of the more..

Bogus law-enforcement callers alleging terrorist links extort money

June 25 (ST) Retired Agriculture Director Suranimala Rajapaksa of Kandy, recently received a telephone call. The caller identifying himself as Nishantha Wijesinghe from the Batticaloa police told Mr. Rajapaksa that he was wanted for questioning in connection with links to terrorists. The ‘caller’ went on to tell Mr. Rajapaksa that a former LTTEer, ‘Rajanayagam’, had been arrested while trying to flee to Australia and under questioning, more..

Family background report mandatory for females seeking overseas jobs

June 25 (Island) It would be made compulsory for female workers to submit a report on their family background before leaving for overseas jobs, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said yesterday. SLBFE Deputy General Manager and Media Spokesman Mangala Randeniya told The Island that the female workers should submit a report on their family background, which should be certified by the more..

Tamil Police Sub Inspectors complete training

June 25 (MoD) 44 Tamil Police Sub Inspectors and 110 Woman Sub Inspectors joined active service when they passed out from the Police Training School at a ceremonially Passing Out Parade held on 17th June. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the chief guest. In addition to the officers a batch of 215 Woman Police Constables also passed out at the ceremony after completing training at the PTS in more..

Acid test for India and Lanka

June 25 (CT) India has usually not wasted its National Security Adviser's time and energy on innocuous matters. Therefore, when Shiv Shankar Menon arrives in the island early next month, he would really mean business. Though the Tsars at the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry and their political masters in Colombo would say the visit was previously scheduled, Menon is clearly not coming here to enjoy the breeze wafting across the Galle Face Green and to do some regular more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 1%

June 25 (LBO) Stocks closed down 1.03% Tuesday with the heavy index stocks continuing to slide while an equities research house forecasted the stock market to gain from mid 2012. All Share Index closed 63.16 points lower at 6,086.22 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 39.24 points lower at 3,433.06 down 1.13%. Turnover was 455 million rupees up from 77 million on Monday. Foreigners brought 83 million rupees worth shares while selling 122 million rupees in a day that 49 stocks advanced more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Is Indo-Sri Lanka accord a path to accountability and reconciliation?

June 25 (CT) The accord between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India and the President of Sri Lanka J R Jayawardene was signed on 29th July 1987 to end the on going conflict between Sinhala and Tamil Nations, which started almost four decades ago with gaining of independence in 1948. A few of the key events which led to worsening of conflict and inevitable intervention of India are: disenfranchisement of Indian Tamils in 1948 brought by British to work in plantation sector, more..

'Make Peace Education mandatory'

June 25 (Island) Peace education should be made mandatory for all students and universities should start a course on peace education without further delay, former Supreme Court Judge and former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice C. G. Weeramantry said. Delivering a speech titled ‘Universal Need for Peace Education’, at the National Conference on the Role of Higher Education in Reconciliation, jointly organised by the UGC and Jaffna University, more..

SL army turns down Indian offer of training

June 25 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan army said on Tuesday it had turned down an offer by India to train two Sri Lankan army officers at a new location after they had to be pulled out from a training college in southern India. The two officers who were following the Defence Services Staff Course (DSSC) in Wellington of India returned to Sri Lanka on Tuesday prematurely following stiff opposition in Tamil Nadu to the training given to them. more..

Puttalam teachers planning to fall sick

June 25 (Island) Teachers in the Puttalam Education Zone will stage a sick note campaign on Thursday in protest against an incident, where a North Western Provincial Council member forced a teacher, at the Nawagattegama Issuru school to kneel down for asking his daughter to lengthen her school uniform. Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union general secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that most of the schools in the area came under the purview of the provincial education ministry, but teachers from more..

SLJTU and Keheliya discuss code

June 25 (CG) The newly formed Sri Lanka Journalists Trade Union (SLJTU) has had discussions with Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on the proposed media code of ethics. President of the SLJTU Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema said that the right to information was also discussed at the meeting with the Minister. Addressing the media today, Abeywickrema said that it was agreed a broad discussion needs to take place on the topic before it is implemented. more..

Russian company to build eight hotels in SL

June 25 (Island) Bilateral relations between Russia and Sri Lanka have moved from traditional spheres to new areas, with a Moscow based company agreeing to build a chain of eight hotels in various parts of Sri Lanka. The Russian Ambassador, Alexander Karchava, addressing a reception in Colombo last week, to celebrate his country’s National Day, said that bilateral ties, which commenced 56 years ago, more..

SL bond yields move up on US Fed plans

June 25 (Island) Selective intervention saw the rupee close unchanged from last week and bond yields picked up as foreign investors continue to sell down their long term holdings in Treasury bonds and enter shorter term Treasury bills so as to hedge their risks as US Treasury yields reach new highs, dealers said. The rupee closed flat against the US dollar on Monday at Rs. 128.90/95, unchanged from Friday’s close. "We saw some selective intervention in the foreign exchange market more..

War displaced urged to register

June 25 (CG) The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) has urged war displaced people living in the North East who were displaced due to war and internal conflicts to register as voters to secure their voting rights. The Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon, said that there is now an opportunity for the displaced people to ensure their voting rights and to make out whose names were in the Voters Registry in any Electoral Division until 2009 or whose names were more..

'Govt is overlooking the Matale mass grave'

June 25 (CT) JVP alleged that the govt is trying to evade taking action on the Matale mass grave, by diverting public attention towards the appointment of a Presidential Commission to carry out investigations on the issue. In a statement, JVP pointed out that the President Rajapaksa appointed the Presidential Commission for the mass grave investigation, when an inquiry is already in progress at the Matale Magistrate Court. more..

BJP slams Indian policy on Lanka

June 25 (CG) India’s main opposition BJP today slammed the Indian central govt over its foreign policy with Sri Lanka. BJP leader Jaswant Singh said that India’s poor foreign policy had led to relations with Sri Lanka deteriorating, the Press Trust of India reported. “Also the experiment of Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka to fight against LTTE, whom India had promoted, is an example of our bad experience.” The former External Affairs Minister was addressing more..

GMOA NHSL docs cry foul

June 25 (Island) A group of 63 members attached to the NHSL branch of the GMOA accused the parent union of flagrantly violating the Association’s constitution in the conduct of postal voting. They alleged that the GMOA election committee was biased towards the current office bearers. They claimed that in accordance with the GMOA constitution, the postal vote ballot papers should be sent to each doctor by registered post and it was illegal to openly distribute the ballot papers. more..

A Sri Lanka summit discredits the Commonwealth

June 25 (FT) The world is so busy cheering on the emergence of democracy in Myanmar that it is in danger of averting its eyes from the assault on democracy in another Asian state – Sri Lanka. In fact, the sins of the Sri Lankan govt are not merely being ignored. They are about to be rewarded. This November Colombo is set to play host to the prestigious CHOGM. So far, of the 54 Commonwealth countries – more than a more..

Angelo Mathews upbeat about Sri Lanka's chances in tri-series

June 25 (IBN) After their semi-final exit at the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka will continue to play good cricket in the upcoming tri-series involving host West Indies and India, says their ODI captain Angelo Mathews. Sri Lanka and West Indies will lock horns in tournament's opener on Friday at the Sabina Park and Mathews said his team had been playing good cricket and the upcoming series will be no different. "We have played some really good cricket in more..

Sri Lanka's large homes charged highest electricity tariff in the region

June 25 (LBO) Larger households in Sri Lanka are charged the highest tariff in the region for electricity, but industrial and commercial charges are lower than some key countries in South and East Asia, analysis of published rates has shown. In Sri Lanka, very large households using 600 kiloWatt hours charged about 50.23 rupees on average and those above 180 unit a month 29.63 rupees a unit. The next highest for very large households was South Korea with 34.69 rupees for more..

Sri Lanka seeks unrestricted market access from India

June 25 (MFP) The official talks between the govts of Sri Lanka and India on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation was held on 24-25 June 2013 in Colombo, co-chaired by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary of Finance and Planning of Sri Lanka and Sri S R Rao, Secretary of Commerce of India. At these discussions both sides agreed to build on the existing economic relationship to achieve the shared goals of more..

LECO top rung on joy ride?

June 25 (Island) Several LECO (Lanka Electricity Company) top rung managers are visiting China on the pretext of holding a board meeting of the ANTE-LECO Meter Company. The two-week junket is scheduled to commence tomorrow, according to well placed sources. LECO owns 70% of the shares of ANTE-LECO Company, while the balance 30% is held by its Chinese partner. LECTO is owned by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the Treasury and several other state ventures. more..

Sanity of doc who hacked don to be tested

June 25 (Island) Medical doctor cum law student, Sivagnanasundaram Surendrajith, who alleged stabbed the Open University Legal Studies Department Head, has been transferred, from the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, to the National Mental Health Institute in Angoda to obtain a report on his mental condition. Deputy Director of the Kalubowila hospital Dr. Lionel Muhandiramge said that the suspect had regained consciousness and was able to speak. more..

Video: No seminars, workshops or classes 5 days from exams

June 25 (AD) The govt has issued a special gazette notification prohibiting the conducting of seminars, workshops, lectures or private classes targeting a certain general exam in the country from 5 days prior to the commencing of the exam. Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated that according to the special gazette, issued on June 21, conducting of such activities will be deemed as an offence and punished more..

Sri Lanka to lobby against ‘high risk’ classification

June 25 (DM) The Govt will lobby against Sri Lankans being categorized as ‘high risk’, at a high level discussion which is set to take place soon between the Ministry of External affairs and the British High Commissioner John Rankin. The British High Commission said recently it would charge a bond of 3000 pounds sterling from selected applicants applying from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. “We will not require all visitors from the selected more..

Men accused of murder blame each other

June 25 (NZH) Canterbury dairy farmer Sameera Chandrasena Battelage was brutally murdered after an eight-month affair, a court heard today. And the two men jointly charged with cutting his throat and setting his body on fire both blame each other for the murder. On the opening day of the High Court trial in Christchurch, Viraj Alahakoon, 34, and Thuvan Prawesh Sawal, 24, admitted visiting the cricket-loving Mr Battelage at his rented farmhouse on Domain Rd, just outside Oxford more..

'Govt attempting political gamble with 13A'

June 25 (AD) The UNP today said that internal split within the ruling coalition over the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is in fact a “political gamble” by the govt targeting votes in the Northern Province. Asked about the UNP’s stance on the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated that currently no such proposal has been submitted to the Parliament. more..

Crusader of the downtrodden

June 26 (NS) R Premadasa was a common man’s friend and no argument on it. His idea to provide each and every citizen of the country a shelter and his ‘Gam Udawa’ project to develop backward villages in far-flung areas were appreciated by all. He was not from a known political family, though he invaded the political arena with his own ability and climbed up to the peak. He assisted the poor folk of the country via Jana Saviya - an initiative which made their day-to-day life a bit easier. more..

A river for Jaffna

June 26 (CT) Jaffna Peninsula has an area of 1000 square km and being flat has no rivers and is totally dependent on the annual rainfall of about 1270 mm, of which about 87% falls during the north-east monsoon from October to December, for recharge of the water table in the underground aquifer. In the past, water was drawn from wells for domestic and agricultural use by well sweeps, but from the 1950’s onwards pumps have been used to draw water from these wells. There are nearly 100,000 wells more..

Iranamadu-the crown jewel in Lanka's conquest to prosperity

June 26 (SO) With its history dating back to the 5th Century, the Iranamadu tank and its surrounding zone herald the dawn of a new age. Once a segment of a seemingly endless ocean of scrub jungle, once the spawning ground of ruthless terrorism, this relatively uninhabited patch of land a few kilometres away from the town of Kilinochchi sets ready on its starting blocks awaiting the call for take-off. Only a few years ago having held more..

The return of rajakariya with the return to a mediaeval monarchy

June 26 (CT) The slower descent of the penny in one’s thinking processes is a reality of the ageing process and I can only blame it for the fact that I didn’t observe something right before my eyes: an emerging and clear pattern of events heralding a return to mediaeval systems and methods of governance in Sri Lanka. However, in self-defence I can also say that those constantly claiming erudition in all matters Sri Lankan had also failed to perceive what was happening in the cold light of day! more..

Rendered an exceptional service to Mother Lanka

June 26 (NS) Late Colonel, HPR Handunpathirana, who disappeared suddenly from our midst, has kept all of us distracted and shocked. We have tremendous memories about him. He joined the Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyathalawa as an Officer Cadet for Regular Intake. During military training, he was an exceptional cadet who performed almost all the subject excellently and became 2nd in order of merit. Having started his life in Kuliyapitiya, he received his education more..

The two siblings who changed the course of history

June 26 (ST) Poson is the time when we talk about the significance of Sangamitta Theri and Ven. Mihindu who were instrumental in introducing and consolidating Buddhism in Sri Lanka. We meet them at this time of the year when Poson is celebrated especially in the Anuradhapura District. When we study the history of Buddhism, we realise that the greatest blessing was the conversion of the Indian king Asoka to Buddhism. more..

Now Daya Master in Alfi's party!

June 26 (CT) Drohi Duraiappah (Traitor Duraiappah) was the popular slogan brandished by the Tamil politicians of the Federal Party in the early 70s, against the late Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, who remained a formidable political force in the North, as opposed to the more radical Tamil politicians. Duraiappah was an Attorney-at-Law, and his wife who was a medical doctor, was the niece of legal luminary, late G.G. Ponnambalam. Called 'Alfi' by his close friends, he was presented with more..

Editorial: Govt. as the opposition

June 26 (Island) Having usurped the powers of other state institutions and rendered them weak and malleable the govt is now encroaching on the Opposition turf, if how it is handling the issue of devolution is anything to go by. Time was when the J.R. Jayewardene govt defended devolution and went so far as to plunge the country into a blood bath to implement the provincial council system while the then SLFP-led Opposition was going full steam ahead to torpedo the 13th more..