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No Madam! we’d rather not!

Nov 9 (CT) Universities around the country will be closed during the whole of next week and the purpose of this sudden decision according to the Chairwoman of UGC, Kshanika Hirimburegama, is to allow the students the opportunity to experience the CHOGM that is scheduled to be held next week. Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo cajoles, the students that this is in fact a great chance to learn and gain knowledge and asks them to study, the event (from home) and prepare more..

When the treasure fleet sailed into Galle

Nov 9 (CT) Zheng He, and perhaps Nelson (whose fame belonged to a different genus), were the two greatest admirals to sail the seas. The Treasure Fleet visited Ceylon on five of Zheng’s seven voyages to South and South East Asia, the Malabar Coast, Arabia and as far as the east coast of Africa. All this was between 1406 and 1431; the first voyage some 80+ years before Columbus reached San Salvador Island (Bahamas), or Gama, Calicut. Despite awesome naval and military power more..

Enabling disability inclusive local services in the Eastern Province

Nov 9 (WB) North East Local Service Improvement Project (NELSIP) was approved in 2010 to improve the delivery of services by the local authorities in the northern and eastern provinces in a responsive and accountable manner. The project has passed the midterm life line. While results achieved to date are significant and appreciated by stakeholders, one of the grievances identified during the project implementation is the problem more..

Lankan public enterprises need an urgent solution

Nov 9 (ST) The number of State-Owned Enterprises (SOES) in Sri Lanka, rose from 28 in 1958 to 107 by 1977. Despite the economic liberalisation in 1977, the share of public sector in the economy remained high in the 1980s. In the mid 1980s there were over 280 public enterprises out of which 165 were identified as commercial, industrial and financial enterprises. By this time (mid 1980s) public enterprises were facing many problems such as; Operational inefficiency resulting in more..

Message to Commonwealth leaders: Stand up for Sri Lanka’s media

Nov 9 (GV) Editors note: Earlier this year, I was asked to give a presentation on the post-war media landscape in Sri Lanka at the 20th World Editors Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. When subsequently put online, the presentation was viewed by thousands. A new Campaign by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) seeks to shed light on this context, leveraging the spotlight the country will be under, at least for a few days, in the lead up to and during the CHOGM. more..

The Commonwealth Resounds! brings international musicians to Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (FT) The largest-ever group of international musicians will be arriving at Sri Lanka as part of The Commonwealth Resounds!, an event that has been connecting musical cultures, and running cross-cultural projects, partnerships and performances since 2005. As part of the festivities and events held in conjunction with CHOGM 2013, the commonwealth musicians arriving in the island will share their skills with the community, more..

Mills confident of youngsters stepping up

Nov 9 (CI) Successive ODI series losses in Bangladesh might stretch the optimism of even the most seasoned international captain, but ahead of his first full series at the helm of a youthful side in Sri Lanka, Kyle Mills found cause for positivity in New Zealand's 0-3 result. Leading the New Zealand team in the absence of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, who have been ruled out by either injury or selectors' discretion, Mills said that individual performances more..

Editorial: Squandering opportunities

Nov 9 (Island) Close on the heels of the issuance of visas to Channel Four to cover Nov. 15-17 CHOGM in Colombo has come disturbing news that a high-level delegation of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has been denied entry. The group has accused the Sri Lankan government of having revoked visas in spite of a public assurance by Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London that IBAHRI members would be able to visit Colombo. more..

NZ in SL: Clouds loom over odd encounter

Nov 9 (CI) It is a fortunate thing that, by this stage in 2013, Sri Lanka fans have developed a sense of humour as a means of coping with their team's schedule. Two Tests in the West Indies were canned to accommodate the IPL, in which Sri Lanka players almost universally bombed, then the biggest incoming Test tour in years, featuring No. 1-ranked South Africa, was postponed to accommodate an SLPL that flopped in more..

'Win series first, blood youth later'

Nov 9 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said his team would aim to secure the three-match ODI series against a depleted New Zealand before entertaining the prospect of blooding young players, despite his team's continuing quest for regeneration. One of the senior batsmen had been rested for each match of the most recent Twenty20 series against South Africa, in order to free a space up for a young player, but Mathews quelled notions a similar strategy would be employed against NZ. more..

Fiji Island appoints Parakrama as the Hony. Consul in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (ST) Parakrama Dissanayake, Director of Aitken Spence, has been appointed as Fiji’s first Honorary Consul General in Sri Lanka. The presentation of the appointment was made by Yogesh Karan, High Commissioner of Fiji on behalf of the Fijian government at a reception held recently in Colombo. Speaking at this event the Fijian High Commissioner said that Fiji Islands and Sri Lanka established its formal diplomatic relations in September 1972 and during its 41 years of more..

World Bank funded city development to begin soon

Nov 9 (DM) The second phase of the World Bank funded Colombo City development project will include the extension of the Marine Drive to Roxy Theatre, to construct two beach parks in Crow Island and Marine Drive while constructing two fly overs for Pedestrians in Kollupitiya. The Rs.400 million project which is set to begin soon will completely change the face of Colombo with better infrastructure facilities. more..

NADRA wins Sri Lanka ID Card project

Nov 9 (BR) The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has won the Sri Lanka ID Card project. Various International IT firms participated in this international competitive bidding process. The mega project shall involve data collection of all eligible citizens' biometric, biographic and digitization of the same; thus transforming it into a National Persons Registry (NPR). This data will be scanned and converted into digital format to be uploaded to the National Persons Registry. more..

Head to Lanka, Mr PM

Nov 9 (IE) In his recent address at the Annual Conclave of Indian Ambassadors/High Commissioners Abroad in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh outlined what he believed were the five principles that have come to define Indian foreign policy. While acknowledging the attempts made to fundamentally reset Indian foreign policy over the last nine years, he emphasised the need to base it on India's role and destiny in world affairs. Seen in this light, Indian foreign policy in more..

'Sri Lanka's been my toughest walk yet, but I'm already planning the next one'

Nov 9 (Mirror) It was a proud moment yesterday when we made it to Seenigama at the end of the final leg of my walk across Sri Lanka. I was first here shortly after the terrible tsunami of 2004 and realised how important it was to help the Sri Lankan people. Thousands lost their lives, families were destroyed and communities devastated, with little hope for the future. One woman I met had to choose which child to save as she clung on more..

Dhammika says for tax revenue bigger net is corporate, not individuals

Nov 9 (FT) The success of increasing tax revenue via corporates and employees is greater than the focus on individuals, according to top business leader Dhammika Perera. This facet was emphasised with data by Dhammika during his speech at the packed Business Today Top 25 awards ceremony at the Hilton Colombo attended by Ministers, MPs and captains of the private sector. “It is not feasible to enhance Govt revenue simply by increasing the number of individual income tax payers, more..

PCB owes $30,000 to Sri Lanka Cricket

Nov 9 (ET) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to pay a sum of $30,000 to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for hiring a chartered plane after an armed attack on their team back in 2009. The Sri Lanka team bus was attacked while on their way to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, leaving six policemen and two civilians injured while a few Sri Lankan players also sustained injuries. Instantly, the Lahore Test was called off and the tour was cancelled, while the travelling side was taken to a safe airbase. more..

24,000 students to be admitted to Uni.

Nov 9 (CT) A total of 22,943 students will be taken into the universities for the 2012/2013 academic year, Chairperson of the UGC, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, said. The cut-off marks for university entrance have been released and the students can obtain the information from the UGC website: The number 22,943 does not include the students taken into universities under the special intake category. more..

No fuel shortage even if refinery shutdown

Nov 9 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) says there will be no shortage in fuel supply even if the Sapugaskanda refinery may have to be closed for a few days if the expected tanker does not arrive by Nov 10. A trade union affiliated to the oil sector has warned earlier this week that the country’s only oil refinery at Sapugaskanda may have to be shut down by the 10th due to the lack of stocks. The current crude oil stock is expected to last only till the 10th of this month. more..

Cyril Dharmawardana passes away

Nov 9 (DM) Veteran actor and former Southern Provincial Council member Cyril Dharmawardana (67) passed away today (8) at the Melbourne Peter Mac Hospital in Australia after battling cancer for the past couple of years. Cyril Jayatissa Dharmawardana who studied at Richmond College, Galle made his debut as an actor in Henry Jayasena’s play ‘Manaranjana Weda Warjana’. He later acted in stage plays like Makara, Apata Puthe Magak Nethe, Diriya Mawa, Duwili etc. more..

SL rejects sanction-busting Iranian oil

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka announced Friday it had rejected a shipment of Iranian crude oil it said may have been supplied in violation of US sanctions against the Islamic state. CPC said the cargo had been due to be delivered late last month but it had refused the shipment over worries it might be violating US sanctions. "The CPC refused the shipment due on Oct 27 because of suspicion it was oil that had been subjected to US sanctions more..

CCC urges businesses to make use of CBF

Nov 9 (DM) The Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) to be held from November 12 to 14 in Colombo within the ambit of CHOGM, would definitely provide the Sri Lankan businesses the prospect of harnessing new as well as expanding their existing business dealings to a greater level, a media statement by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) stated. It further said that for the 600 local businessmen accredited to participate in the CBF, it is the most opportune more..

DP polls petition: Notice issued on Polls Chief, others

Nov 9 (Island) The Court of Appeal issued notice, returnable on Jan 31, 2014, on the Elections Commissioner, Assistant Elections Commissioner, the Assistant Returning Officer, both for Kandy and several other respondents. The notice was pertaining to the Writ Application filed by the defeated candidates from the Democratic Party led by General Sarath Fonseka, who contested from the Kandy District at the PC polls. Petitioners are Herath Banda and eight others from more..

Video: Tamils 'raped and tortured' by Sri Lankan security forces

Nov 9 (BBC) As David Cameron and other world leaders prepare to meet in Sri Lanka for the CHOGM, allegations of rape and torture by the country's security forces have emerged - some of which date from earlier this year. Four years ago the Tamil Tiger rebels were crushed by the Sri Lankan army and allegations emerged of abuses against Tamil civilians in the closing days of the war. BBC's Frances Harrison spoke to 12 people more..

Commonwealth row 'may blight Games'

Nov 9 (BT) The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow risk being overshadowed by a human rights row if Sri Lanka's president is allowed to become chair of the 53-nation organisation, Labour has said. Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander called on David Cameron to push for a review of whether Mahinda Rajapaksa should be granted the position when he meets fellow leaders this week. The PM is resisting pressure to boycott the CHOGM, being hosted by the island next week, over war crimes and more..

22 Rameswaram fishermen released

Nov 9 (TOI) Twenty-two fishermen from Rameswaram who were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy in October arrived at the Mandapam coast on Friday after they were released by a court there. Though the fishermen were relieved at being released, their woes did not end as their boats were still in the custody of Lanka. Soon after landing at Mandapam, the fishermen narrated their sufferings at the hands of the Lankan navy and demanded the Centre to help get their boats back. more..

Mistress and 3 others arrested over killing of commando

Nov 9 (Island) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), investigating the disappearance of a former Inspector attached to the Police Special Task Force, yesterday arrested four suspects on suspicion of murder. Police said that among those arrested was a wealthy woman who resided in Kollupitiya. Another suspect was due to be arrested last night. The 38-year-old unmarried victim was a former inspector attached to STF. more..

Portable horns, hooters banned at cricket venues

Nov 9 (CG) Sri Lanka Cricket announced that it has taken a decision to ban ‘Portable Horns’ / “Hooters” to be brought in by spectators at cricket venues with immediate effect. SLC arrived at this decision to generally safeguard spectator comfort inside spectator areas of the stadium. This does not mean that the papare bands are banned. These are individual horns brought in by the spectators. The rule will be implemented from Tuesday. The general public are warned that the Security Personnel more..

SriLankan, official carrier of the Commonwealth Business Forum

Nov 9 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka has been appointed the official airline of the Commonwealth Business Forum, an integral segment of the CHOGM 2013 to be held in Colombo. The MICE Department of SriLankan Airlines, having been in the forefront of attracting and facilitating events of high calibre, will be playing a pivotal role at the Forum, offering discounted airfares for the participants arriving from SriLankan’s online destinations and complimentary air tickets more..

Gotabhaya on war crimes allegations: ‘Produce evidence or shut up’

Nov 9 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the UK-based LTTE rump had been engaged in an expensive project to embarrass Sri Lanka ahead of the CHOGM. Rajapaksa was reacting to representatives of three organisations, Global Tamil Forum (GTF), British Tamil Forum (BTF) and Tamils against Genocide meeting British PM David Cameron on Thursday to pressure Britain to boycott the CHOGM more..

How to save your heart from your cardiologist

Nov 9 (DM) The govt with another big loan from China is to build a state-of-the-art Out Patients Department (OPD) at the National Hospital in Colombo. Despite all these ultra-modern buildings or renovations and the marvels of modern medical technology, more people are falling sick more often in Sri Lanka. So much so that public hospitals and the OPDs of private hospitals are crowded like market places while private hospitals have also become one of the biggest profiteering more..

Can Karu usher victory for UNP?

Nov 9 (DM) Wittingly or unwittingly Karu Jayasuriya has walked into a storm of controversy within the United National Party (UNP) where he was appointed as head of the newly carved ‘Leadership Council’ in a bid to resolve the festering internal crisis in the party. Rather than getting down to work on the herculean task of resurrecting the UNP, Jayasuriya now has to resolve a mutiny within with followers of the Sajith Premadasa camp calling him a traitor for accepting the position. more..

Family of murdered pizza driver thank public for support

Nov 9 (YP) THE family of Sri Lankan pizza delivery man murdered in Sheffield on his last shift before starting a new job have thanked the police and local residents for their support. Thavisha Peiris, 25, was found slumped in his car with fatal stab wounds last month after going out on his final day at work at a branch of Domino’s Pizza in the city. In a statement issued after arriving in South Yorkshire from Sri Lanka to speak to police, more..

Couple sets world record with 126 bridesmaids in wedding party

Nov 9 (HP) Sri Lankan couple Nisansala and Nalin tied the knot on Friday in a world-record-breaking ceremony. The pair beat the previous Guinness World Record holder for most number of bridesmaids at a wedding ceremony with a whopping 126 'maids. The previous record was 96 bridesmaids at a wedding in Thailand. Champi Siriwardana -- one of Sri Lanka's leading wedding planners and dress designers more..

Paddy farming starved of water

Nov 9 (SL) Paddy farmers in the country claim that they are facing a bleak future as the Irrigation Department is using the water in the irrigation tanks for tourism purposes depriving them water for paddy cultivation purposes. National Organizer of the All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation said, “Our ancestors had constructed over 30,000 tanks, reservoirs and dams. Today only around 12,000 of them are usable". more..

Sex in the city: Legalise or not?

Nov 9 (ST) As the controversy over the govt’s decision to introduce a casino zone in Colombo rages on, a govt minister ruled out the possibility of legalising the sex trade in the face of calls from a section of womens’ rights activists who believe the casino boom would increase prostitution in the country. Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said legalising the sex trade would be an insult to women in the country. more..

Guaranteed price for potato farmers

Nov 9 (Island) Potato cultivators have been promised a guaranteed price to protect the local farmers and make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in potatoes by next year. Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that about 25,000 farmers were engaged in potato cultivation, in the Nuwara Eliya and Badulla Districts and 250,000 persons depended directly and indirectly on potato cultivation, though the country currently produced only 40% of of the more..

CBK meets UNP reformists

Nov 9 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is reported to have met a group of UNP members, who are of the view that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should step down from the Party leadership. According to sources, former President had also discussed with the participants, who included MPs and members of Pradeshiya Sabhas and Provincial Councils, the future political situation of the country. more..

CPC throttles K’pitiya power plant on eve of CHOGM

Nov 9 (Island) The 300MW Kerawalapitiya Plant has fuel for only three days to run at full capacity. This is despite the plant management pleading for stocks of fuel from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) highlighting the fact that the country was gearing for the prestigious international conference, starting next week and they should be ready in case of a major breakdown in other plants. An official at the plant said that more..

Govt should take forthright position on human rights issue:CPI

Nov 9 (PTI) CPI, which has been opposing PM Manmohan Singh's visit to Colombo to attend the CHOGM meet, today asked the govt to take a forthright position on alleged human rights violation in Sri Lanka by condemning it and raising it at the international fora. "It is being speculated that the PM may not go (to Colombo) though the govt is yet to make a formal announcement. Even if such an announcement is made, it is too late. more..