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Dengue incidence down

Nov 9 (Island) The number of dengue patients, reported from around the country, so far this year, had decreased when compared to that of last year. Last year there had been over 38,000 patients by the second week of November. However, this year the number reported from January to the second week of November had been 26,805. 180 deaths had been reported last year, however this year the number had declined to about 70, more..

No decision yet on PM attending CHOGM

Nov 9 (PTI) Amid indication that PM Manmohan Singh is unlikely to attend the CHOGM summit in Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Ministry today said no decision has been taken on the visit which has been opposed by parties in Tamil Nadu as well as a section in Congress. Spokesperson in the MEA Syed Akbaruddin said govt was yet to communicate to Sri Lanka who will lead the Indian delegation at the CHOGM Summit more..

Whither higher education?

Nov 9 (CT) Crisis is a strong word that I prefer to avoid using although many tend to use it to describe any dis-equilibrium. When a situation is in a crisis, it means the direction towards which the situation would develop may not be predicted. This seems to be similar to a situation when medical practitioners describe ‘critical’. Nonetheless, social systems may go through a prolonged period of crisis with no radical transformation for multiple reasons. I believe the SL education is in a prolonged crisis. more..

A sad day for Sri Lankan police!

Nov 9 (CT) The recent transfer of 23 experienced cops from the Crime Investigation Division of the Police Headquarters, within hours after they raided an exclusive gambling den in Colombo smacks a witch-hunt, the farcical statement issued by the police spokesman, notwithstanding. The officers were transferred within barely 24 hours after they arrested 45 well-to-do punters, following the raid of an elite gambling den located in a high-profile restaurant in Colombo. more..

'US had limited access to war zone'

Nov 9 (CT) “(SBU) S/WCI Amb. Clint Williamson met July 9 in separate meetings with Jacque de Maio, ICRC Head of Operations for South Asia, Kwang-wha Kang, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and Pascale Moreau, UNHCR Acting Director for Asia. He was accompanied by S/WCI Shaun Coughlin, RMA Counselor and PSA Counselor. In all the meetings, Amb. Williamson outlined the Congressional language more..

Committing war crimes and hosting CHOGM

Nov 9 (CT) The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that were once mostly colonies of the former British Empire. The Commonwealth operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states, organised through the Commonwealth Secretariat, and NGOs, organised through the Commonwealth Foundation. It was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which established the member states as “free and equal” more..

Pakistani heroin smuggling mastermind to be handed over to Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (Island) Believed to be the mastermind of the smuggling attempt of the largest ever haul of heroin detected by the Sri Lankan Customs, Sardhan Khan, who was arrested recently in Pakistan controlled Kashmir, was expected to be handed over to Sri Lanka soon, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said. The Pakistan national who allegedly came to Sri Lanka as the shipment arrived here and fled the country before being arrested had been taken into custody by more..

To whitewash regime’s sins UGC arbitrary decides to close universities

Nov 9 (CT) “We are extremely displeased with the arbitrary decision of the UGC to announce a ‘vacation’ for universities during the CHOGM. We are not at all convinced by the reasons provided by the UGC Chair for this sudden decision.” says the President of the FUTA, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri. Issuing a statement he says; “There is no justification for disrupting the academic activities of several thousand students in this way. more..

Pakistani PM to attend Commonwealth summit next week

Nov 9 (Xinhua) Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif will attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka next week, state media reported Saturday. The 23rd CHOGM is scheduled to be held in Colombo on Nov. 15-17. Prime Minister Sharif is scheduled to leave for Colombo on Nov. 14, Radio Pakistan reported. On the sidelines of the Commonwealth meeting, the prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with other heads of states including the president of Sri Lanka on the promotion of bilateral trade. more..

CEB clears its entire CPC debt

Nov 9 (Island) Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has repaid Rs. 8 billion it owed the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). CEB earlier paid the CPC a sum of Rs. 21 billion. The CEB is no more in debt to the CPC. Although the CEB initially refused to pay the interest on the outstanding debt, CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala said that there should be no misunderstandings among two state-run institutions. "We have now cleared all debts and outstanding interest to the CPC," he added. more..

Video: JVP decides to boycott CHOGM

Nov 9 (LT) JVP has decided to boycott CHOGM. Despite the JVP receiving an invitation from the govt to participate at the CHOGM, the party decided yesterday not to participate as it is a hollow and a buffoonery summit held spending billions of people’s money to commemorate colonialism said JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka. He said the summit is held in Sri Lanka with the sole intention for an individual more..

Sri Lanka's crowning glory

Nov 9 (Express) Tourism is in its infancy on Sri Lanka's east coast, home to white-sand beaches and unspoilt fishing villages. Unlike the far more popular west coast, Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall won't be hassled here by trinket sellers or excursion touts. Trincomalee is an overgrown fishing village on a peninsula with a superb natural harbour. The important pilgrimage temple of Koneswaram sits on a hill and is reached through an old Dutch Fort. Inland is wild peacock and elephant territory, more..

Perkasa tells Najib to boycott CHOGM

Nov 9 (MC) Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali today hit out at critics including online news portals for alleging that his organisation was racist. "Accusations have been made against Perkasa claiming that we are a racist organisation. These are all lies and falsehoods spread by irresponsible quarters trying to divide the nation," he said. "I do not understand why certain online news portals carry statements issued by other parties against Perkasa. Perhaps they get more hits when they more..

Video: Govt. wasting billions while poor are ignored

Nov 9 (DM) UNP Western Provincial Councillor Harshana Rajakaruna said the govt was spending billions of rupees for the CHOGM while turning a blind eye to the plight of the poor, who were badly in need of relief. “The Govt has imported 54 luxury Mercedes-Benz cars worth more than Rs.1.6 billion for delegates. It has allocated Rs.800 million for the media room; Rs.50 million for the opening ceremony; Rs.5 million for the carnival more..

Sri Lanka becoming throbbing hub of commercial activity – GL

Nov 9 (Island) The inaugural launch of the Commonwealth Association of Accountants (CAA) took place at the Galadari Hotel yesterday. Minister G.L. Peiris attended the occasion as Chief Guest and delivered an address highlighting the importance of Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth at this momentous occasion. Prof Lakshman Watawala, Convenor of the CAA welcomed the participants and delivered an introductory address of the planned work of the Association. more..

Keheliya hopes Callum will change

Nov 9 (CG) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says he hopes controversial producer Callum Macrae will get a different picture about Sri Lanka following his visit to the country for the Commonwealth summit. He said that Macrae will be visiting the country together with some 30 other British journalists and they are likely to accompany British PM David Cameron to the North. Minister said that despite India refusing to grant Callum Macrae a visa to attend the premier of a Sri Lanka war crimes video, more..

SLINEX 2013 successfully completed

Nov 9 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Sagara and Indian Naval Frigate INS “Talwar” successfully completed the joint maritime fleet exercise, “SLINEX 2013”, conducted in the seas off Goa in India from 4th to 7th Nov. Director General Operation of the Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro participated as the senior officer representing Sri Lanka and he was joined by Defence Advisor to the Sri Lankan more..

Appointment letters for 6,025 new nursing students

Nov 9 (DN) President Rajapaksa will present appointment letters to 6,025 new nursing students at a ceremony to be held tomorrow at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. This is the largest single batch ever to be recruited to the Sri Lankan Nursing Service. President Rajapaksa will hand them letters in connection with their recruitment for training. Another 3,500 trained nurses will also be given appointment letters during more..

Fake Rs.2,000 notes: Police seek help in arresting another suspect

Nov 9 (AD) The CID today sought the public’s assistance to arrest another suspect involved in the recent counterfeit money printing racket, uncovered after police recovered fake Rs 2,000 notes amounting to Rs 7 million from a press in Malabe. The CID is in search of Kammalgoda Liyanage Bandula Kumara who had been living at No. 973/16, Pothuarawa Road, Malabe. He is said to be the owner of the house where the main suspect in the case, Dimudu Nuwan Kumara, had been more..

No visas to meet VIP’s or for conferneces during CHOGM

Nov 9 (DM) The Govt will not provide visas to any foreigner to attend conferences or meetings with Govt officials in November except to those attending the scheduled events of the CHOGM. The decision was communicated to all Lankan missions and to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Ministry said. Ministry Secretary Karunathilake Amunugama said that it was in this context that entry to Sri Lanka was denied to participants more..

No decision on Kalmunai deputy

Nov 9 (CG) The SLMC is yet to decide on the appointment of a new Deputy Mayor for Kalmunai. An SLMC spokesman said that SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem will decide on the appointment after consulting the party in due course. The Kalmunai Mayor Shiraz Meerasahib resigned from his post yesterday as the two year term approved by the party lapsed at the end of last month. SLMC member Nizam Kariapper has been appointed as the acting Mayor of Kalmunai until more..

Court orders Sakvithi sent for psychiatric treatment

Nov 9 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Devika Tennakoon ordered the Director of Prisons to subject accused Sakvithi Ranasinghe to psychiatric treatment at the National Mental Hospital, Kandy as recommended by Dr. Neil Fernando the Head of the Judicial Psychiatric Unit at the Angoda Hospital. Sakvithi was produced before the High Court, as an accused in the alleged molesting of an underage girl, whom he later married. Counsel Ravindra Senarath appeared for Sakvithi. more..

PM to skip CHOGM summit, Khurshid to head Indian team

Nov 9 (PTI) Minister Salman Khurshid will head the Indian delegation at the CHOGM Summit to be held in Sri Lanka with PM Manmohan Singh deciding against undertaking the visit in view of the opposition by parties in Tamil Nadu as well as a section in Congress. The decision on level of Indian representation and Singh skipping the meet will be communicated to the Lankan govt by tomorrow, regarding his decision," more..

Unexpected support for 'scissor-hand'

Nov 9 (DM) Students of the Denipitiya Maha Vidyalaya in Weligama and their parents staged a protest against the transfer of the lady teacher who cut the long pair of trousers of a student (she considered was too tight) as a punishment. More than 500 people participated. The teacher concerned had been transferred with immediate effect to another school in the district after a preliminary inquiry into the complaint made against her. A mother of one of the students more..

Chandrika-UNP group meeting, a blatant lie

Nov 9 (SM) The report in an anti-Ranil English newspaper stating that, the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has met ' reformists' in UNP and heavily criticized the leadership of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, is a blatant lie, reports say. An officer at Chandrika Kumaratunga's office speaking to ' Sri Lanka Mirror' stated that the report has caught the attention of the former President and she has already taken steps to take legal action regarding it. more..

Sharma arrives for CHOGM 2013

Nov 9 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma arrived in Colombo this afternoon to attend the CHOGM. Sharma arrived with officials from the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Commonwealth Youth Forum begins in Hambantota tomorrow while the People’s Forum and Business Forum will begin ahead of the main summit featuring the heads of govts. Sharma has come under severe criticism by some more..

Vaiko asks traders to shut shops on Nov 12

Nov 9 (IBN) As protests continued in TN demanding India's boycott of Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next week, MDMK leader Vaiko on Saturday urged traders to shut shops on Nov 12 pressing among others expulsion of the island nation from the 53-member grouping. Opposing Sri Lanka hosting the CHOGM, he urged the trading community to close down shops unmindful of the losses in the interest of Tamils. The closure call was aimed at stressing for expulsion of Sri Lanka from more..

PM not attending Commonwealth summit is some consolation for us: Karunanidhi

Nov 9 (PTI) DMK President M Karunanidhi today welcomed PM Manmohan Singh's decision not to take part in the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka in view of opposition by political parties in Tamil Nadu and said it came as "some consolation". However, Karunanidhi, who has been against India's participation in the CHOGM being held in Colombo next week citing the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, dubbed as 'debatable' Minister Salman Khurshid leading the Indian delegation. more..

President declared open Sri Lanka’s first Computer Manufacturing Plant

Nov 9 (GDI) President Rajapaksa Friday officially declared open Sri Lanka's first PC computer manufacturing plant in the southern port city of Hambantota. Microsoft OEM partner, EWIS Computer Assembly Plant at Sooriyaweva in Hambantota is expected to bring the country another step closer to its goal of becoming the IT hub of Asia as outlined in the Mahinda Chintana policy. The 25,000 sqft facility spread over a three-acre more..

All eyes on Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (SO) Sri Lanka will be the cynosure of all eyes when Colombo hosts the CHOGM from Friday. It will be undoubtedly a memorable occasion for Sri Lanka as Heads of State, Foreign Ministers, Foreign Secretaries and other top-notch delegates from 53 countries of the Commonwealth will wing their way to Sri Lanka for the eagerly looked-forward to meeting held once in two years. The Commonwealth Summit will be the biggest ever assembly of Heads of Govt in Sri Lanka after the more..

Some thoughts on CHOGM

Nov 10 (Island) By the time next Sunday comes round, CHOGM would be ending and Sri Lanka and Lankans will be catching their collective breath. There is no doubt that the govt has spent a colossal amount of money in hosting this extravaganza. Whether this will be recouped with foreign investment that the Business Forum was intended to drum-up, and an enhancing of the country’s somewhat tattered image in global eyes as propagandists supporting/defending holding more..

'Adopt new methods in fishing industry'

Nov 10 (SO) Minister of Fisheries of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Balasubramaniyam Deneeswaran spoke to the Sunday Observer on crucial issues relating to the development of the fisheries sector in the province and the measures initiated to address the livelihood problems of the fishermen. Since assuming office as PC Minister, he visited many fishing areas in the province and met the fishermen and their representatives. more..

The truth will set you free

Nov 10 (NS) There is a lot of irony in the Govt mulling the setting up of a Truth Commission on the lines of the model adopted by post-apartheid South Africa just days after the Chairman of the LLRC, former Attorney General C.R. De Silva passed away. The LLRC was maligned even before it began sittings by many who were virulently opposed to the Government. Its independence was questioned, its mandate found fault with and the value of conclusions pre-judged. more..

Getting ready for the next budget

Nov 10 (NS) Parliament met for one day – Tuesday last week. After the question time when the House was moved for the second item of the day at the commencement of public business, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva got up and presented three motions to set time, dates and provisions for the consideration of the Appropriation Bill process that had been described fully in The Nation’s lobby column last Sunday. It was evident that the process and allocations the House agreed upon more..

'The demise of the UNP will be inevitable'

Nov 10 (SL) The United Bhikkhu Front (UBF) played a critical and seemingly successful role as mediator in resolving a long standing leadership issue in the UNP. As part of the mediatory role the monks put forward a set of proposals on how the party can move forward. Among the proposals was having a leadership council which will have most of the powers enjoyed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. more..

CHOGM challenges at conference and after

Nov 10 (SL) Much heat and sound which has little to do with the Commonwealth heads of state conference to be held in Colombo was generated even months before the commencement of the conference. In Sri Lanka this conference became a political issue due to no fault of ours but due to attempts made to hold the conference to ransom and even shift the venue away to penalise this country. Sri Lanka has withstood all that and now the challenge is to hold this CHOGM meeting more..

CHOGM 2013 as a gathering of ‘war criminals’

Nov 10 (Island) As CHOGM 2013 nears, the talk about war crimes and accountability has intensified. The British PM David Cameron, under siege from the Tamil diaspora and the Labour Party over his decision to attend the CHOGM, has said that once he gets to SL he will be demanding that Sri Lanka investigate allegations of war crimes. Meanwhile an international human rights NGO has called on Indian PM Manmohan Singh to attend CHOGM in order to press for a war crimes investigation. more..

'Global opinion can swing towards SL'

Nov 10 (SO) Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that CHOGM has provided the ideal opportunity to showcase our achievements, particularly the peace efforts. He said that delegates, political leaders and media personnel can see for themselves and evaluate what is good and bad, so that they can make up their minds as to whether a fair judgment has been made regarding what has gone on in Sri Lanka up to now. more..

CHOGM agenda; who has final say?

Nov 10 (ST) It’s ‘All Systems Go’ for CHOGM 2013. The Govt has shooed away all those wanting to have conferences during this period, held its rehearsals and is furiously overseeing the last-minute dressing up of the city of Colombo for the CHOGM this week. The preparations are akin to a village wedding ceremony where the bridal party is beautifully adorned, the invitations sent out and the caterers booked, with only the bills to be paid later. This phenomenon is quite common in Sri Lanka more..

Karu’s conundrum

Nov 10 (ST) My Dear Karu, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you have been appointed to head what is called a ‘Leadership Council’ for the Greens. I know that they haven’t been doing awfully well under one leader, so now they have more leaders-but don’t you think that too many cooks will spoil the soup? I say so because even before this so called ‘Leadership Council’ could swing into action, you have encountered problems with the ‘young man in a hurry’ crying foul and more..