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India to focus on housing for plantation Tamils this year

Jan 10 (Hindu) The Indian govt, which is constructing 50,000 houses for the war-affected in Sri Lanka, will focus on building homes for plantation Tamils in 2014. Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha said that while the project sought to provide homes to internally displaced persons, it also included a component for plantation or Tamils of Indian-origin, who were brought to Sri Lanka by the British in the early 19th century. more..

Getting sleep child’s play for Mahela

Jan 10 (National) A turgid day of Test cricket between two contemptuously familiar rivals on a lifeless Dubai pitch may be just the antidote to the insomnia of the first-time parent. Unless they happen to be batting in the middle at the time, of course. When Mahela Jayawardene struck the boundary that completed his century, he punctuated it with a rock-the-baby celebration first made famous by Romario, Bebeto and Mazinho, all those years ago. This one, his 32nd in Tests, more..

52 ganja smokers from Kollupitiya fined

Jan 10 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate today imposed a fine of Rs.260, 000 on 52 youths who pleaded guilty to smoking ganja at several places in Kollupitiya. The youths - most of them aged between 18 and 21 -had been arrested by the Kollupitiya police and produced before Magistrate Thilina Gamage who ordered that each be fined Rs.5000. Police said most of the suspects were higher education students at private educational institutions. Meanwhile, a university student more..

Javelin pierces student’s eye: Marathon operation at National Hospital

Jan 10 (Island) A 19-year-old student of Panamure Maha Vidyalaya, Embilipitiya whose cheek was pierced by a javelin yesterday was operated on by five teams of surgeons at the Colombo National Hospital from yesterday evening. The student, Gayan Madushan had been rushed to the operating theatre by ENT, OMF, Vascular and General Surgeons to remove the head of the javelin that was four inches long while more..

Get nominations for Shiral and Maithri if UNP respects you

Jan 10 (CT) United Bhikkhu Peramuna (UBP) National Organizer Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera has addressed a letter to UBP Advisor Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera stating that as he holds sway over the UNP leadership and the UNP Leadership Council – and further, if the UNP Leadership Council is truly vested with powers – he must intervene and secure nominations for both Shiral Lakthilaka and Maithri Gunaratne. The letter goes on to state that if he cannot ensure this more..

Vass' bail cancelled

Jan 10 (CT) The bail order, issued by the Fort Magistrate, in favour of former DIG Vaas Gunawardena, in respect of charges against him arising from abusing and threatening CID officers, who carried out investigations into charges against him, was cancelled by Colombo High Court Judge Irangani Perera yesterday and the suspect ordered to be remanded till 31 March. The accused was produced in the High Court by prison officials. AG had indicted the accused on six charges more..

'Do or Die' situation for Krrish

Jan 10 (CT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Indian property developer, Krrish Group, has less than 36 months to complete the whole project, if not the govt would cancel the agreement. BoI agreement was signed on 30 August, 2012 and the MoU was signed with the UDA on 30 July, 2012. It's a 'Do or Die' situation for the Indian investor, who has paid nearly Rs 4.4 billion, an estimated 84%, to the UDA of the more..

Handicraft sales outlet and exhibition opens in Galle

Jan 10 (Island) An exhibition and sales outlet displaying Sri Lankan, Indian and European handicraft designs will be ceremonially opened in the Galle Town Hall on Friday, at 10 a.m. Available there will be high quality, traditionally designed garments including sarees, shirts and kurthas which can compete with products in the international market. Attorney Pushpa Rajapaksa, President of the Liya Abhiman Organisation introduced the creation of Sri Lankan and Indian handicraft more..

Police on the look for looters operating from BIA

Jan 10 (CT) Investigations have begun to track down a group of individuals operating in and around Katunayake BIA who robs money and valuables from migrant workers who are returning to the country. Police said the gang befriends migrant workers returning to the country, with the objective of robbery by to be taxi drivers. While transporting these returnees to their villages they intoxicate the passengers and rob their valuables once they become unconscious. more..

President Rajapaksa holds discussions with President Shimon Peres

Jan 10 (IL) A bilateral discussion between President Rajapaksa and his Israel counterpart Shimon Peres was held at the President’s Office in Jerusalem this morning (9). Sri Lankan President arrived in Jerusalem yesterday (8) as the final destination on his Middle East tour which began with a 2-day state visit to Jordan last Saturday. President stayed another 2 days in Palestine before he left for Israel. more..

Release of fishermen issue taken up with Ssri Lanka, Centre informs DMK

Jan 10 (PTI) Centre today informed DMK that it had taken up with Sri Lanka "in detail" the issue of release of arrested Indian fishermen lodged in jails in that country, party MP T R Baalu said. External Affairs Ministry informed him that it has been confirmed that the proposed talks between fishermen associations of both countries will be held in India on January 20, a release from the MP's office said here. Sanjay Sudhir, Joint Secretary in the Ministry, called up Baalu tonight more..

Democracy Sri Lankan style: Parliamentarian offsprings to contest en masse

Jan 10 (CT) The progeny of a large number of MPs – both in the govt and the Opposition – will be contesting at the upcoming Southern and Western Province elections. Representing the UPFA will be novices Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga's daughter Malsha Kumaratunga, Minister Kumara Welgama's son Senal Welgama, and Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena's son Pasinda Yapa Abeywardena. Also contesting will be Minister Piyasena Gamage's son Provincial Councillor Randima Gamage more..

U.S. embassy photo, tweet about civil war anger Sri Lanka military

Jan 10 (Reuters) The U.S. embassy in Colombo posted a photograph on Twitter on Thursday which it said showed a site where the Sri Lankan army killed hundreds of families towards the end of the civil war in 2009, prompting an angry response from the military. The final few months of the 26-year conflict were by far the bloodiest, and the govt and LTTE rebels blame each other for the deaths of tens of thousands of mainly Tamil civilians. more..

The politics of ‘Rapping’

Jan 10 (DM) No one wants a military base in his or her backyard. Communities struggling to recover from long drawn out armed conflicts in particular are sensitive to things military. ‘Demilitarize!’ is a natural demand. States that have standing armies, however, cannot de-mob at the drop of a hat. In Sri Lanka’s case, given the continuous growling by elements that have either cheered or directly supported an armed outfit which challenged the state, common sense says ‘err on the side of caution’. more..

Culture lost on degenerate society

Jan 10 (DM) Can we say that, what has become of Lanka today is the legacy of a “2600-year old culture”? Someone said if so, we should have been better off without any culture at all. One way or the other it is impossible to avoid the effect of culture, for any society. Culture, including technology decides the growth of civilisation. The effect of culture thus has a dialectical relationship to society today. As such, development obeys the rule of negation or in Buddha’s word uthpatha, thithi, banga. more..

'Religion in politics is a messy business'

Jan 10 (DM) Q: As of late, the frequency and strength of religious beliefs influencing the local political sphere has escalated. What reasons do you think has led to the existing crisis and what should be done to ease the tension? A: I think we have to separate law and order issues from religious disputes. One of the biggest concerns are incidents of violence committed against people and religious institutions such as churches or mosques by more..

Khat import scheme to widen curse of drug addiction

Jan 10 (ST) Moves are underway by the Police Narcotics Bureau to ban the import of khat, a plant with strongly narcotic properties that has already been barred in European countries. Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) Director, Senior SSP L.H.K.W.K. Silva said the recent detection of khat by Customs officers at BIA had triggered an islandwide police investigation of production, consumption and sale of the plant. more..

Farmers to hike prices sans fertilizer subsidy

Jan 10 (SL) Much to the detriment of Sri Lankan consumers – against a backdrop where telecommunication charges have shot up, milk powder prices have been increased and the prices of a number of imported food items have skyrocketed – paddy cultivators, too, warn that there might be a significant price hike towards March and April this year. Paddy farmers alleged that fertilizer supply had reduced by 25 to 30% over last few months more..

Sri Lanka targets US$2.5bn in FDI in 2014

Jan 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka is targeting 2.5 billion US dollars in foreign direct investors in 2014 with 2013 estimated to have drawn about 1.3 billion US dollars. Minister Lakshman Abeywardene said FDI inflows had reached 870 million US dollars by September and full year data was still being finalized, but it was estimated to be around 1.3 billion US dollars. Sri Lanka was initially expecting about 2.0 billion US dollars of FDI for 2013. more..

New Air Force Commander from Feb 28

Jan 10 (Island) Air Vice Marshal Kolitha Gunathilake has been appointed commander of the Air Force from Feb 28. Air Vice Marshal Kolitha Aravinda Gunatilleke, is currently the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air Force. He joined the SLAF in 1980 as an Officer Cadet of the 8th intake of Officer Cadets. He graduated from the Air Force Academy, China Bay in April 1982, and upon successful completion of basic and more..

C.V briefs NPC on meet with MR

Jan 10 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran briefed the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today on the recent meeting he had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Wigneswaran briefed the Council when it convened today for the first time in the new year. The Northern Province Chief Minister met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on January 2nd and discussed issues in the North. more..

'Tackle corruption in schools without trying to scrap scholarship exam'

Jan 10 (Island) What Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana should do at this moment was to save parents from being exploited by heads of schools collecting funds in numerous ways rather than trying to scrap the Grade Five Scholarship Exam and deprive the poor children of an opportunity to enter popular schools, President of the National Teachers’ Council, former MP Nimal Premawansa told a media conference more..

President Rajapaksa visits historic religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem

Jan 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady visited historic religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel on Wednesday afternoon (8). The historic Old City is home to a number of sites sacred for the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths. Islamic religious leaders have warmly welcomed President Rajapaksa to the Dome of the Rock, which is one of the most sacred sites for the world's Islamic community. more..

'Rs.1.3 bn in kickbacks acquired by some govt. members'

Jan 10 (Island) Over Rs.1.3 billion in kickbacks received by some powerful personalities in the govt had been deposited with several banks abroad over the last eight years, UNP MP Mangala Samraweera alleged. He said that they including leading politicians had benefitted from the illegal commissions they had extracted from various projects undertaken by the govt. "The Hambantota and Trincomalee ports and Hambantota more..

Dr Swamy to mediate Tamil fishermen arrest issue with Rajapaksa

Jan 10 (TD) Tamil fishermen in Sri Lankan jails would be the main agenda in the upcoming talks between the two countries’ fishermen representatives. NFF (National Fish Workers Federation) met Dr Subramanian Swamy in Chennai and gave him a memorandum, urging him to take up the Tamil fishermen issue and get them released. Dr Swamy is to visit Sri Lanka on an invitation from Rajapaksa govt. more..

Mathata Thitha has failed miserably

Jan 10 (CT) Mathata Thitha was one of the highlights of the Mahinda Chinthana programme, the much-publicized political philosophy and vision of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Promotion of abstinence from intoxications of all kinds does deserve the full support and backing from all quarters. However, when the govt undertakes such a promotional campaign and not only falls flat on the publicized goals, but is also accused of being complicit in what is being deemed as the burgeoning more..

Looking down the road

Jan 10 (CT) It was about 1916 when the freedom fighter, F.R. Senanayake began organizing a response to the wanton killing and displacement of traditional villages, living on the land that businessmen wanted. Agri-business was after land, the people who opposed them and supported the villagers, were accused of being subversive due their ‘public service work’. As the Hon D.S.Senanayake, the first leader of democratic Sri Lanka stated when taken into custody more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Merging Sri Lanka finance firms should not retrench staff: CB Governor

Jan 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's finance companies which are being encouraged to merge with one another should not retrench staff, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. The monetary board, the decision-making body of the Central Bank has decided on the move at a meeting Thursday. "In the event of a consolidation or merger there should be no retrenchment of staff and all staff members have to be part of the consolidated entity," Cabraal said. He said the sector was expected to more..

Postal ties to be developed between Vietnam, Sri Lanka

Jan 10 (Island) Plans are underway to further develop postal ties between Vietnam and Sri Lanka. A meeting was held between Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaranatunga and Vietnam Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh at the Ministry of Postal Services in Colombo. The duo discussed at length strengthening of postal services between the two countries and agreed to exchange know-how for the betterment of postal services in both countries. They also discussed the building of a more..

‘Have you ever addressed accountability issues in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan?’

Jan 10 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa alleged that the US was undermining the post-war reconciliation process by strengthening the hands of those who had been propagating unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka. The US had made common cause with them for some strange reason at the expense of US-Sri Lanka relations, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said. more..

Sri Lanka stocks end higher

Jan 10 (LBO) Stocks close up 0.23% for the fourth consecutive day with banking and property stocks gaining. All Share Price Index closed 13.80 points higher at 6,083.14, up 0.23%. The S&P SL20 closed 22.12 points higher at 3,384.51, up 0.66%. Turnover was 1.38 billion rupees, down from 1.57 billion rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 69 firms closing in the red against 123 gainers. Chevron Lubricants closed 1.00 rupee higher at 274.50 rupees with three off market transactions more..

UNP: Protest against PM organised by govt

Jan 10 (Island) The protest held opposite PM D. M. Jayaratne’s office on Flower Road, Colombo 7 on Wednesday, had been organised by certain powerful persons in the govt, the UNP alleged. UNP MP R. Yogarajan said that the Flower Road area leading up to Temple Trees was a high security zone and demonstrations were not permitted in that area, but a group of Buddhist monks had been allowed to protest opposite the Premier’s office demanding that he step down over accusations that more..

Ven. Omalpe Thera throws gauntlet at PM

Jan 10 (CT) Leader of the JHU, Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera, challenged the PM D.M. Jayaratne, to prove if he (Ven. Thera), had ever requested the PM for any special favours on behalf of a woman, verbally or in writing. Challenge was made yesterday. He said, if the PM so proves, he (Ven. Omalpe Thera) was prepared to resign from all the posts he holds in the Buddha Sasana, and also tender an unqualified apology to more..

University registration date extended

Jan 10 (Island) Higher Education Ministry announced that the date for university registration had been extended for students who are in the third batch of the leadership training programme. Secretary of the Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that the third batch would complete their leadership training programme on Feb 2. "With this extension students selected for the third batch could register with their respective universities within one week after ending the leadership training more..

SAARC chiefs of public and civil service commissions in Colombo

Jan 10 (Island) The 3rd Meeting of the Chiefs of Public/ Civil Service Commissions of SAARC Member States hosted by the Public Service Commission of Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held in Colombo from today to Sunday in Colombo, a press release said. The Chairmen and Secretaries of the Public/ Civil Service Commissions of all SAARC Member States will attend the said meeting. The Inauguration of this event will be held today at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo. more..

UAE made me 'a scapegoat': US man jailed for YouTube gag

Jan 10 (AFP) An American jailed for nine months in the UAE for making a spoof YouTube video mocking Dubai teenagers returned home Thursday, comparing the experience to being in a "cage." Being back on American soil "feels great," Shezanne Cassim, 29, told an impromptu press conference just a few minutes after arriving at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport following his deportation from Dubai. "There's a misconception that I broke a law. more..

Sri Lankan court extends detainment of 40 Indian fishermen ahead of talks

Jan 10 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan court has extended the custody of a group of 40 fishermen as the two countries are ready for talks next week, local media reported here on Friday. The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the 40 fishermen on two separate occasions, local media said. One group of 22 fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai District of Tamil Nadu was arrested for illegally fishing in the Northern seas off Delft Island on Dec 28 and six of their boats were seized. more..

Pyramid scheme in the guise of selling solar cells

Jan 10 (CT) A pyramid scheme is being conducted in several districts in the country, under the pretence of selling solar cells, sources said. The scheme is said to be rapidly spreading in the Districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam and Anuradhapura. An initial investment of Rs 10,000 has to be made to become a member of the scheme. A solar cell system consisting of four bulbs can be obtained after paying another sum of Rs 61,300 in four instalments. more..

Bookshop cancels import due to 'controversial content'

Jan 10 (CT) The only bookshop in Sri Lanka that had ordered the biography And Then They Came For Me – The Lasantha Wickrematunge Story, written by his ex-wife, journalist Raine Wickrematunge, has decided to refrain from confirming the order due to its controversial content. A bookshop official, when contacted sometime ago said, his Director, stationed in Australia had ordered 200 copies of the book a few months ago and more..