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In the country of the entitled: Education vs. Jogging paths

Jan 13 (CT) Free education was introduced to the country in 1947, after the second world war ended, when European and American bourgeoisie were recovering from political and economic chaos, that included war, fascism, many attempted proletarian revolutions that failed and one that succeeded. It was not without a struggle that the Free Education Act was passed into law, even if it was the most favourable time for the welfare state, with Keynesian economic reforms revitalizing more..

One year after CJ's impeachment

Don’t violate the fundamental postulates of Public Administration

Jan 13 (Island) I refer to the dispute between the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council Mr. Wigneswaran and the District Secretary. The latter has said that she is co-operating with the Chief Minister but that she has to act in accordance with the law. But she has not given instances where there have arisen such conflicts of law and the expressed wishes of the Chief Minister. But the Chief Minister cannot claim an exclusive right to appoint the District Secretary. more..

Warning: Vicious debt trap ahead!

Jan 13 (ST) In spite of the Central Bank announcing that gGross Official Reserves increased to US$ 7.1 billion (provisional) by end 2013, the Govt intends to borrow US$ 1.5 billion this year from international financial sources. External finances have been improving owing to increased export earnings, large amount of workersf remittances and higher tourist earnings. Despite these favourable developments, the Govt continues to borrow mainly to meet this year's large debt servicing obligations more..

Mathews hails fighting spirit

Jan 13 (CI) Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews hailed his side's ability to keep fighting after they chased down 137 to win an attritional Test in Dubai in which the scoring rate in every innings failed to exceed three runs an over. "That's what cricket is about - you need to keep fighting," Mathews said. "I thought we did exactly that in the first Test. We managed to draw the first one and hang in there. more..

Geneva: Elephant in the room

Jan 13 (Island) The US is at it again. While carrying out indiscriminate drone strikes, adductions and assassinations in a bid to neutralise terrorist threats it has begun crusading for human rights in time for the Geneva summit. Ambassador-at-large Stephen Rapp was here to prepare the ground for another UNHRC resolution against this country. He wasted his time and energy by coming all the way here, pretending to be on a fact finding mission; Washington is determined to go ahead more..

A game of Booruwa was his doom

Jan 13 (SO) Niroshana and Sisira spent their leisure time playing booruwa (cards). They were good friends and were always seen together. One would not do anything without informing the other. Niroshan was a well-built handsome lad, but he had a weakness for gambling. His favourite pastime was cards. He was so adept at it that he could read any card in the pack even with his eyes closed. Niroshana resided in Kamburugamuwa. He was the owner of a hotel in the area but more..

Sri Lanka earn victory by respecting their limitations

Jan 13 (CI) "I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing," goes a common misappropriation of a Socratic quote. It was originally intended to reveal something of the nature of knowledge itself, but has lately been used to advance the thought that awareness of personal limitation is wisdom. The world of sport often charges in the opposite direction to this sentiment. Self-belief is deemed a pre-requisite for more..

Merger rules raise fresh fears among finance firms

Jan 13 (ST) The recent directive by the Central Bank for smaller finance companies to merge with one another or larger ones and licensed banks to acquire finance companies has created an air of uncertainty and fears in the industry with divided opinion amongst key players, industry sources said. While acknowledging that at least 10 companies are struggling to meet strict CB guidelines on minimum capital requirements, members of the Finance House Association of Sri Lanka, more..

DFCC, NDB shares in sharp rise over pending merger

Jan 13 (FT) Share prices of both DFCC Bank and NDB last week gained sharply ahead of the pending merger over which the two institutions issued a preliminary statement on Friday saying talks will begin shortly. Though the joint announcement came after the market was closed and timeline for merger proposal was announced on 2 Jan by the Central Bank via its 2014 Road Map, the gain in share price last week was significant. Whereas in the week ended 3 Jan, DFCC Bank share dipped by more..

'Fashion Capital status coming soon for Colombo'

Jan 13 (Island) 'Seven years of sustained fashion and emerging directions in the fashion world would garner designer trends that could help capture for Sri Lanka an identity which would, in turn, command attention internationally, said President HSBC Colombo Fashion Week, Ajai V. Singh. He said designers and fashion design progressed and although Colombo is not currently a fashion center that commanded more..

Hard biz sense needed in acting- Jacqueline

Jan 13 (Island) A hard business sense is an essential requirement if one is to make it big in show business, Lankan-born Bollywood actress and leading screen and fashion personality, Jacqueline Fernandez said. She also said that she is 'in a strong position in Bollywood' and that a 'move to Hollywood could come but not just yet. Q: How would you relate to a business situation? A: I am an actor. It's not just about acting. It's also being business - minded. It's so competitive. more..

Loss exposes Pakistan frailties

Jan 13 (CI) Pakistan entered day five amid prediction of heavy rain in Dubai and although thick clouds prevailed over the stadium all day, the rain never came down. Pakistan may have considered themselves unfortunate, but they were out-batted and out-bowled by an efficient Sri Lankan team that beat them by nine wickets - their biggest win in terms of wickets, against Pakistan. The home team may have walked out with positives after the draw in Abu Dhabi, however, the loss in Dubai, more..

Harsha corrects CB on 'nauseatingly one-sided propaganda attempt' remark

Jan 13 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva issued a statement through which he corrects Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal over a specific remark at the launch of 2014 Road Map recently. Full statement: It has been brought to my attention that the Governor of the CB has been repeatedly attacking my comment ‘nauseatingly one-sided propaganda attempt’ where I criticised one of his Monetary Policy Roadmaps. more..

Geneva 2009 and 2012 and 2014: A seminar discussion

Jan 13 (CT) The Liberal Party is deeply concerned about the efforts being made to target Sri Lanka at the forthcoming session in Geneva of the UNHRC. These worries have been exacerbated by the recent condemnation by the US Embassy in Sri Lanka of the Sri Lankan forces by its categorical claim about the 'Site of January 2009 killing of hundreds of families by Army shelling'. The Liberal Party is even more concerned though about the failure of the Executive branch of the Sri Lankan Govt more..

Selectors surprise junior cricket circles

Jan 13 (Island) National selectors headed by Sanath Jayasuriya have surprised many including members of the Sri Lanka Under-19 World Cup pool by selecting former Sri Lanka cricketer Champaka Ramanayake’s son Hashen, in the country’s Under-19 team for the ICC Youth World Cup yesterday. The team management announced the World Cup team to the squad members at Hambantota. Royal College speedster Hashen Ramanayake who has not been a part of any previous U-19 teams more..

President to test popularity with local polls

Jan 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Sunday called snap local elections seen as a gauge of President Rajapakse’s popularity ahead of national polls expected to be held later this year, officials said. The southern and western provincial councils, the highest level of local govt, have been dissolved, clearing the way for local elections almost a year before they were due. “The election dates will be announced by the elections commissioner, more..

Rainfall below average

Jan 13 (DN) The rainfall from the North East monsoon period this year is far below the average rainfall the country normally experiences, Meteorology Department Director General Lalith Chandrapala told the Daily News yesterday. He said the North East monsoon extending from December to February usually brings in more rains, but this year considerable rainfall could not be expected until the beginning of the inter monsoonal conditions from March to April. more..

UNP moots 'No faith' motion against PM

Jan 13 (CT) The UNP is mooting a No Confidence motion against beleaguered PM, D.M. Jayaratne, over the allegations that his office had issued a letter to secure a duty waiver for a container, which had South Asia's largest heroin haul concealed within. UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe said he would propose a No Confidence motion against the PM, during the next Parliament group meeting of the UNP. He said the UNP expects the support of other political parties for the resolution. more..

India-SL joint meet in Chennai on Jan 20

Jan 13 (PTI) Indian and Sri Lankan officials, along with representatives of fishermen, will meet to discuss the issues related to fishermen of TN and Puducherry on Jan 20 in Chennai, Union Minister V. Narayanasamy said. Centre has already taken steps to work out solutions to end problems of fishermen of TN and Puducherry facing assault by naval forces and coast guard units of Sri Lanka and also seizure of their fishing vessels, he said. more..

Release fishermen before talks: Karunanidhi

Jan 13 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday said Sri Lanka should release all Indian fishermen who had been languishing in the prisons before the proposed talks between the fishermen of both countries. Referring to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s announcement that the talks between fishermen would be held on January 20 and the captive fishermen would be released in a day or two, Mr. Karunanidhi said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already told a delegation led by more..

Pepper exports hit a record

Jan 13 (FT) Pepper exports from Sri Lanka has reached an all time high as confirmed by preliminary data for last year with industry association hailing the development. According to Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders Association (SAPPTA) pepper exports in the first ten months of 2013 were a record 18,500 tons as against 10,500 tons for the entire 2012. “On this basis we should end up exporting around 20,000 tons in 2013 thereby doubling our export which is a more..

Saudi Arabia, SL to sign labor pact today

Jan 13 (AN) Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka will sign a landmark labor pact today in a renewed bid to regulate hiring of domestic workers from the island nation and to ensure protection to all domestic help already employed in the Kingdom. Labor agreement will be signed by Dr. Ahmed F. Al-Fahaid, deputy labor minister for international affairs on behalf of the Kingdom and the Sri Lankan Minister Dilan Perera. more..

Over 100 Scholarships awarded for Jaffna students

Jan 13 (MoD) Over 100 schoolchildren residing at Konapulam open welfare centre (muham) had the opportunity to receive an allowance worth of Rs. 500/= for a period of one year as an encouragement to continue with their education under the patronage of the Commander security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Udaya Perera, at a function held at the Mallakam, Jaffna on 10th Jan. During the event SF-J Commander handed over the relevant bank passbooks to the beneficiaries more..

Railways substitute employees on a path of struggle

Jan 13 (LT) More than 2000 employees have been recruited to the Department of Railways by former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma and the present Minister of Transport Kumar Welgama on several occasions on a substitute basis. Despite their period of employment has exceeded four years, they have not been made permanent in the service jeopardizing their employment and livelihood. When they entered the Department on a substitute basis they had been already employed but more..

Release our fishermen first, says Sri Lanka

Jan 13 (Hindu) A day after TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that Sri Lanka had agreed to release Indian fishermen in its jails starting Monday, raising hopes for their return home in time for Pongal, SL has said the 275 Indian fishermen in its custody will be released only after India sends back all its fishermen, including 34 in Andhra Pradesh. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said: “Our FM G.L. Peiris is talking to India more..

Police report to court on church attack

Jan 13 (CG) Hikkaduwa police will submit a report to court tomorrow on today’s mob attack on two Christian churches in the area. A mob led by monks carried out the attack on Calvary Church and Assembly of God (AOG) church this morning. Eyewitnesses at Calvary Church said that the mob stormed the premises while a Sunday mass was underway, threatened the worshipers and damaged church property. The mob had accused the church of operating without proper authorization. more..

JVP preparing impeachment motion against CIABOC Chief

Jan 13 (CT) With the Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) yet to probe its Chairman, Jagath Balapatabendi, as it had not directed its Director-General to do so, JVP said it is in the process of drafting an impeachment motion to be presented to Parliament soon. JVP MP Vijitha Herath, said a team of attorneys, including Party lawyer Sunil Watagala, is drafting the initial impeachment motion, while pointing out that there were provisions in the CIABOC Act to more..

'Catholic Bishops’ Conference won’t support move'

Jan 13 (Island) Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka wouldn’t endorse the allegations made by Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph and Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Saundranayagam that Sri Lankan forces had used cluster bombs as well as chemical weapons during the last phase of eelam war IV. Bishop was responding to a query more..

The politics of Kudu: Whither Sri Lanka?

Jan 13 (DM) Sri Lanka moved into 2014 with ruling party politicians having high hopes for the two provincial council elections to be held in March and possibly a presidential election late this year. They are also repeating the boast that the country will become the miracle or hub of Asia soon. Yet this dream appears like a delusion because 2014 has started with the worst-ever heroin crisis in Sri Lanka’s history. At the centre of the controversy is the elderly and ailing PM D. M. Jayaratne more..

Who is King: Consumer or the Company?

Jan 13 (DM) A severe milk powder shortage was reported during the past few days with consumers complaining that some of the vendors were hoarding large stocks of milk powder anticipating a price hike so that they could be sold at a higher price. Many well-known brands in the market are in short supply with the workers at the Milco factory launching a strike demanding the removal of a Company Director. It is questionable whether these companies expect to create a marketing wonder. more..

'Nutrition, parental love and care in menu for national progress'

Jan 13 (DM) Q: Though Sri Lanka ranks first in the Human Development Index (HDI) in South Asia, much ahead of many other countries in the region in health indicators, malnutrition has become a worrisome health issue. How and Why? A: The HDI is a composite index combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income. Sri Lanka has done extremely well in these areas especially in literacy and more..

Amendments coming to bar illegal activity by mineral exploration licensees: Ministry

Jan 13 (ST) The Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy said this week that amendments will be brought to the relevant laws and regulations to prevent illegal activity by licence holders of mineral explorations. The letter from R.P. Perera, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy, is pursuant to an article in the Sunday Times that said the Govt has introduced new rules for mining but more..

Landowners without land

Jan 13 (SL) Land and resettlement of displaced during the war, have been two major topics of concern after the war that devastated the North ended. While the govt claims that the resettlement of all those who were displaced during the war is complete. There are still many who languish in temporary shelters, unable to return to their original villages or lands, which are currently occupied by the military. more..

UNP rebels in limbo

Jan 13 (Island) UNP has not yet restored the membership of two of their rebel MPs from the Kurunegala and Chilaw after their membership was cancelled in 2012. Sources close to these two MPs (Ashok Abeysinghe and Palitha Range Bandara) said that their membership would be restored with the former being appointed Organiser for Kurunegala electorate and latter as Organiser for the Anamaduwa electorate. more..

GL speaks of radical changes in the education sector

Jan 13 (Island) Addressing meetings at the Kirama Dhammananda Maha Vidyalaya and the Walgammulla Maha Vidyalaya in Mulkirigala following a site visit to the Shangri-La Hotel project in Hambantota, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, accompanied by Namal Rajapaksa, M.P., addressed issues relating to the vast strides made by rural schools and the ongoing construction of the Shangri-La Hotel. more..

Secretary Defence visits Jaffna and Kilinochchi

Jan 13 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa visiting the North took part in a series of events today (8). Mr. Rajapaksa opened a new facility for children at the Harmony Centre in Kilinochchi. Fulfilling a long felt need the 'Kids Corner' will allow children who accompany the hundreds who patronize the 'Harmony Center' daily, a place to play and learn. more..

Jayalalithaa wanted joint meet, says Narayanasamy

Jan 13 (DC) Union Minister of State for PMO V. Naraya­na­samy said Sunday that a joint meeting of officials of Central government, Sri Lankan govt and govt of Tamil Nadu is likely to be held on January 20 to discuss the issues concerning fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in Puducherry. He said that over the last two months the Centre had been taking active steps to put an end to the problems faced by more..

Video: 8 Buddhist monks among 24 identified in attack on prayer center

Jan 13 (AD) The police have identified 24 persons who were involved in yesterday’s attack on a Christian place of worship in Hikkaduwa including eight Buddhist monks. The police have compiled a report on the attack and have submitted the list of identified suspects to the courts. Yesterday, a mob which included a number of Buddhist monks attacked a Christian place of worship in Hikkaduwa while claiming it was more..

Sri Lanka releases 20 jailed Indian fishermen

Jan 13 (IBN) The External Affairs Ministry today announced that India and Sri Lanka had begun the process of releasing fishermen trapped in Lankan jails. MEA spokesperson tweeted to say that 20 fishermen had been released today. "India-Srilanka begin process of release of fishermen. 1st batch of 20 released," he wrote. TN Chief Minister Jayalalitha had written to PM Manmohan Singh earlier requesting him to more..