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WCF: Higher education sphere to benefit

Apr 21 (DN) The country’s higher education sphere will benefit when Sri Lanka hosts the World Conference on Youth 2014 (WCY) in May, UGC Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama said. She said this conference, being held in an Asian country for the first time, is a valuable opportunity to attract more international students to our universities. Hirimburegama said the youth participants from various parts of the world could be made aware on the opportunities they have more..

High-powered military delegation from Pakistan in town

Apr 21 (FT) A 21 member’s delegation of the National Defence University (NDU) Pakistan, headed by Major General Noel Israel Khokhar, HI(M) will be arriving in Sri Lanka today on a weeklong visit. The visit aims to gain overview of the defence, economic, domestic and foreign policies of Sri Lanka. It will also help in exploring areas of mutual interest for enhancing mutual cooperation in various spheres. more..

Sri Lanka participates in Malaysia International Tea & Coffee Expo 2014

Apr 21 (AT) The High Commission of Sri Lanka participated in the inaugural Malaysia International Tea & Coffee Expo 2014 (MITCE 2014) which was held in Kuala Lumpur from 27 to 31 March. The Fair was a unique tea and coffee promotional event in Malaysia, co- organised by the Tea Trade Association of Malaysia, Malaysia Muslim Restaurant Owners' Association and Perstauan Pengusaha Serbuk Kopi & Teh Selangor & W.P with the support of the diplomatic missions of more..

Cinderella Community of Isle

Apr 21 (ENS) In the heated debate relating to ethnic conflict between SL Tamils and Sinhalese-dominated govt, the problems and aspirations of Malaiha Tamils (hill country Tamils of Indian origin) do not find any mention. This subject is of vital importance, because Sri Lankan Tamils, mainly the diaspora, are keen to mobilise the support of 80 million Tamils spread across the globe. At the same time, they are reluctant to make common cause with their Tamil brethren in the hill country. more..

TNA insists Tamils want autonomy

Apr 21 (CG) TNA says the Tamils in Sri Lanka want autonomy and welcomed a call to this effect made by the National Peace Council (NPC). TNA leader R. Sampanthan says the best way the govt can avoid international pressure following the adoption of the recent resolution at the UNHRC is to agree to give Tamils autonomy. The NPC had last week urged the govt and other political parties in the country to urgently set up institutions to more..

All constructions within 500 m of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi precinct to be halted

Apr 21 (DN) President Rajapaksa has instructed the Anuradhapura Mayor to halt all constructions within 500 metres of the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi precinct. The President also advised him to not to permit any construction that would be a threat to the sacred bo-tree. This decision has been taken following certain media reports that highlighted a possible danger posed to the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree from a car park which is being constructed near the bo-tree. more..

Sajith denies any involvement in attack on UNP MPs

Apr 21 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa whose name cropped up over the attack on five UNP MPs visiting the Mattala International Airport and Magampura Harbour denied all allegations made against him by certain interested parties. He said that those were stupid allegations and even ludicrous and atrocious if the people were to believe them. In the first instance, he was never invited to join the five UNP MPs Ajith Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, Nalin Bandara, more..

Asgiriya Committee member defends BBS

Apr 21 (CT) Committee member of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thera, defended the intervention of the General Secretary of BBS, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, who stormed a press conference jointly organized by Muslim clergy and Buddhist monks. Instead, Thera blamed Minister Rishad Bathiudeen who he said was 'completely responsible for the destruction of the forests belonging to more..

Quack specialists in private hospitals?

Apr 21 (Island) Health Ministry and the GMOA have pointed to the govt the danger involved in the patient care at private hospitals due to non-maintenance of specialist registries. As some private hospitals did not maintain a specialist registry, some foreign doctors were practicing medicine as consultants in those hospitals, the GMOA alleged. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that for want of specialist registry the private sector hospitals were a law unto themselves. more..

Police quiz UNP MPs

Apr 21 (CT) Acting Opposition leader John Amaratunga said a special UNP Parliamentary group meeting will take place today, to discuss the future course of action, in the wake of the recent attack on a group of UNP MPs in Hambantota. Subsequent to the meeting, Party MPs would decide on what course of action they should resort to as MPs. He also said details of the attack would be conveyed to the Inter Parliamentary Union, as the international community should be made more..

'No room for extremism'

Apr 21 (CG) The Govt says there is no room for extremism in the country and any attempt to promote extremism will be thwarted. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that a small group of people were attempting to promote extremism in the country. While refusing to name any group, he said that the public will decide who are extremists and who are genuine. “Whoever the extremists are they are a threat to national reconciliation. more..

The horror of the ‘Hambantota doctrine’

Apr 21 (DM) If further evidence was required of the breakdown of the rule of law and the politicisation of the Police Department, it came live with television footage when five UNP MPs—elected representatives of the sovereign people visited the Rajapaksa homebase of Hambantota for a first-hand official infection of the controversial MRIA and the MMRP. Opposition leaders and most independent analysts are describing it as the 'Hambantota doctrine' more than 40 years after more..

The challenge of creating social citizenship

Apr 21 (DM) There are not many societies in the world that are socially and culturally uniform. This is particularly so in societies that attracted migrants from other territories. America attracted and accommodated a wide range of ethno-religious groups into its fold. The process of accommodation of diverse communities there was guided by the dominant idea of a melting pot; the incoming groups and individuals were expected to adapt to the dominant ideas and values of the country of more..

'Uva election is an opportunity to project UNP unity'

Apr 21 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando, a vocal member of the opposition, at an interview with Daily Mirror expressed his views on the UNP crisis, the election results and the way forward for the ‘grand old party’. Below are texcerpts from the interview. Q: There is this notion that people like you, who support or are propping up the present UNP hierarchy, should be held responsible for its decay. Isn’t that notion justified? more..

Explore investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, urges envoy

Apr 21 (Bernama) Sri Lanka offers immense opportunities for Malaysian investors, especially in infrastructure development, Malaysia's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin said. The Sri Lanka govt is determined to attract investments to the country after the end of the 30-year-long civil war in 2009, he said. "Malaysian companies have always been here, even during the war, especially in more..

For protesting students, cause is bigger than Avurudu

Apr 21 (ST) Every year, April brings about a cheery and festive mood to Ishara’s residence. The National New Year celebrations are extra festive in her family as it is her birthday too. But this year was different. Her parents were alone during the New Year and celebrations were on low key because Ishara, a first year Allied Health Sciences student at the University of Ruhuna did not come home for Avurudu. more..

From conspiracy to counter conspiracy theories

Apr 21 (SL) The theory of an international conspiracy is gaining ground within the govt. The state media is giving considerable attention to the Canadian decision to stop funding the Commonwealth during the tenure of President Rajapaksa as its Chairman. Canada was also one of two countries that officially boycotted the CHOGM in November 2013 because it was being held in Sri Lanka. The Canadian position is that more..

Chaos threatens to engulf Sri Lanka again

Apr 21 (CI) For almost 18 years, there was hardly a better time to be a Sri Lanka cricket fan than the past two weeks. The WT20 party hurtled seamlessly into the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in one uninterrupted sequence of exploding firecrackers, and the nation drew deep from the taste and noise of success. But two weeks is all you get. As the head coach contemplates jumping ship, euphoria has begun to dissolve with more..

I did what MR wanted says Solheim

Apr 21 (CG) Former Norwegian Minister and special peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, says he conveyed to the LTTE leadership the messages which the Govt wanted conveyed. Solheim was responding to allegations that he had several contacts with the LTTE during his time as special envoy to Sri Lanka during the war. “(President) Mahinda asked me to convey numerous messages to (LTTE leader) Prabhakaran. more..

Pakistan working closely with SL to thwart heroin smuggling – HC official

Apr 21 (Island) The govt of Pakistan was working closely with Sri Lanka to thwart attempts to smuggle in heroin into Sri Lanka, a spokesperson for the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo said. The official was responding to a query in the wake of Sri Lankan authorities arresting a 53-year-old Pakistan national along with a Canadian passport holder of Sri Lankan origin, following the seizure of 36 kgs of heroin more..

Negombo business community calls for cohesive security plan

Apr 21 (Island) A deeply concerned Negombo business community is pushing the police to review security measures in the wake of a second major armed robbery this year at a jewellery shop on the main street last Thursday at 7.30 pm. Deputy Minister Sarath Gunaratne said that business community as well as the political leadership in the area wanted law enforcement authorities to take tangible action to neutralise more..

Dengue forces closure of three schools

Apr 21 (DM) Homagama Zonal Education Office today announced the closure of three schools in the Seethaawaka Divisional Secretariat Division for three days as a result of a Dengue outbreak in the area. The schools closed were -- Hanwella Rajasinghe Central College; Pahathgama Roman Catholic College and the Hanwella Mayadunne College. Dengue was reported to be spreading rapidly and that a student had died more..

'PSC becomes redundant'

Apr 21 (CT) Senior Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana who was not included in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) expressed his disenchantment with the govt's handling of the political solution, and said there is no point summoning the TNA to the PSC if the govt does not have a genuine commitment to address matters pertaining to the country's national issue. He said the TNA had decided to boycott the PSC because more..

Making asses of the masses

Apr 21 (CT) The crushing cost of living, which has come under criticism constantly over the last few years it's something the govt has not given any serious thought to except providing the people with some relief by bringing in price controls or reducing taxes on certain commodities, resulting in the prices of those commodities coming down in the short-term. This has been a phenomenon observed when elections are around. But with the euphoria following the winning of the elections, more..


Apr 21 (CT) Aminal al-Filali was fifteen when she was raped. According to Morocco’s penal-code, a rapist could escape prosecution if he married his victim. Amina did not want to marry her rapist; but the rapist was willing, her parents were willing and the judge was willing. After several months of abusive marriage, Amina drank rat-poison. She was just sixteen. Amina’s suicide caused a national uproar against the country’s ‘rape marriage law’. In January 2014, Morocco’s parliament more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

Apr 21 (LBO) Stocks close higher Monday with index heavy stocks gaining amid net foreign buying on the exchange. All Share Price Index closed 6.27 points higher at 6,187.03 up 0.1%. The S&P SL20 closed 6.92 points higher at 3,394.94, up 0.2%. Turnover was 816.06 million rupees, up from 664.12 million rupees last Thursday with 89 stocks close positive against 87 negative. Royal Ceramics Lanka closed 6.40 rupees higher at 95.20 rupees with market transactions of 247.39 million rupees more..

'Ceding Katchathivu Root Cause of Fishermen Woes'

Apr 21 (ENS) Launching a blistering attack on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, AIADMK supreme and CM J Jayalalithaa said the root cause of the problems and hardships faced by TN fishermen was the ceding of Katchathivu to Sri Lanka by former PM Indira Gandhi through the accords signed in 1974 and 1976 when DMK chief M Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister. Recalling that the Congress-led govt, in its counter affidavit filed against her petition on retrieval of Katchatheevu, more..

'Sri Lankan fans embrace the team, not just icon players'

Apr 21 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and defeat. After the 2012 World T20 final, you had had four finals losses in a row. Had the feelings surrounding those disappointments compounded? Mahela Jayawardene: Yes, they had. The toughest ones were the 2011 and 2012 finals, because more..

'H’tota mayor adding insult to injury'

Apr 21 (Island) Mayor of the Hambantota Municipal Council Eraj Fernando instead of damage control was further discrediting the Govt and was a joker to say that he was only carrying a toy weapon when the video footage and photographs in the newspapers proved otherwise, declared leader of the DPF Mano Ganeshan on the attack on the UNP MPs who visited the Airport in Mattala and the Magampura Harbour built by the Govt which he too charged were white elephants. more..

Crackdown on unhygienic ice cubes

Apr 21 (Island) Most of the wayside stalls near markets, bus stands and schools are alleged to have used unhygienic ice cubes (ice cubes used for preserving fish) for making sherbet and various kinds of fruit juices. These ice cubes were made of impure water and people were liable to contract hepatitis, dysentery and diarrhoea, the Health Ministry said. Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said that the Health Ministry’s Food Control Unit had received more..

Ethanol smuggling racket is a Customs inside operation with govt politicians

Apr 21 (CT) The much talked ethanol smuggling racket, that denied the govt billions of tax revenue is clearly an ‘inside’ operation carried out with the collusion of some Sri Lanka customs officials, holding very high profile office in the revenue fraud Preventive Directorate and govt politicians, the CT can reveal. Overwhelming evidence presented to the corruption commission in this regard recently (7th April) includes a phone call record, more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends tad firmer on corporate dlr sales; seen stable

Apr 21 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee edged up on Monday due to dollar sales by a corporate after a long holiday and ahead of the central bank's policy rate announcement, while dealers expect the currency to remain steady at the current level. The spot rupee ended at 130.60/62 per dollar, slightly firmer from Thursday's close of 130.60/65. Markets were closed on Friday for a public holiday. "There was dollar selling pressure in the latter part of the day and a corporate sold dollars," more..

Central bank seen keeping key rates at multi-year lows on Tuesday

Apr 21 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to keep its key policy rates steady on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, in a sign it expects private sector credit growth to recover after rates were slashed to multi-year lows at the start of the year. Central bank has cut the repurchase rate by 125 basis points (bps) and reverse repurchase rate by 175 bps between Dec 2012 and Jan 2014 to stimulate economic growth, which picked up to 7.3% last year from 6.3% in the previous year. more..

CEA launches Guidelines for Livestock Farming

Apr 21 (GDI) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) launched 3 books containing guidelines on Piggery, Poultry and goat and cattle farms, at a ceremony held with the participation of Minister Susil Premajayantha. In Sri Lanka animal husbandry can be seen in large scale and at domestic level. This has created many environmental issues such as odor problems. Contamination of water sources from more..

CAA seize 37000 kerosene mixed water bottles

Apr 21 (DN) Following a tip off, the Consumer Affairs Authority officials seized 37000 bottles of water which had been diluted with kerosene from a manufacturing plant at Kelaniya today. “The raid was at the Mount Springs factory cum company based in Dalugama, Kelaniya,” said an official of the CAA. “We found that they had mixed Kerosene with water and had already filled 37000 bottles both 1.5 liters and 500 ml with the fluid for dispatch.” Official added that due to concerns over the safety of more..

Sri Lanka First Lady attends international Autism seminar in Malaysia

Apr 21 (Bernama) More first ladies and key world social advocators arrived here today to attend the inaugural International Seminar on Autism 2014 to be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on April 22 and 23. First Lady of Albania, Odeta Nishani, was welcomed on arrival by Minister in the PM's Department, Nancy Shukri. First Lady of Morocco, Nabila Benkirane, and the Bangladesh PM's daughter, Saima Wazed Hossain are expected to arrive later today. more..

Rahul assures fishermen a solution

Apr 21 (CG) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi says Congress is aware of the problems faced by the fishermen with Sri Lanka and that it will address the issue. He said that it is mentioned in the election manifesto of the Congress to make a separate and dedicated ministry for the fishermen in India. “We are aware of the problems faced by the fishermen with SL. We are committed to finding a solution to this problem as soon as possible,” more..

Man assaults army officer in civvies

Apr 21 (DM) A man had assaulted an army officer who was in civvies in Maharagama when the officer asked him to move his motorcycle as he was wearing a full face helmet today. The police had deployed police and army personals in civvies near banks and jewelry shops to stem robberies and other criminal activities from taking place due to the New Year festival. The army officer and two police officers had been deployed near a private bank in Maharagama in civvies as per the plan. more..

Over 6000 officials retire during the first three months

Apr 21 (DN) Over 6000 Govt employees have retired during the first three months of this year, Pensions Director General S. H. Hettiarachchi has said. He said that this was the highest number of retirement recorded in the recent years. There has been a drastic increase in the number of retirement when compared to the corresponding period of previous years. He had also stated that the increase of the country’s elderly population has led to the increase in the number of persons going on retirement more..