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Dalit Federation opposes SC tag to Sri Lankan repatriates

Jan 17 (Hindu) The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Dalita Sanghatanegala Okkuta has objected the move of the State Government to issue Scheduled Caste (SC) certificates to Sri Lankan repatriates settled in Sullia and Puttur. Talking to reporters here on Thursday, C.H. Bhaskar, a member of the Okkuta, said the move of the State Govt would be contrary to apex court ruling that states the criterion for identification of repatriates entitled for the certificates. The apex court ruling (1990) more..

‘Biggest challenge to president is Gnanasara Thera’

Jan 17 (SM) The biggest challenge to president Rajapaksa today comes from Bodu Bala Sena general secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, said former member of the southern provincial council Ajith Prasanna. He made the remark during V FM’s ‘Siddhamulla’ programme this morning. The ex-councilor was responding to BBS CEO Dilanthe Vithanage who joined in over the phone and replied to a reference to the Thera. Vithanage said the councilor’s admission more..

Day 2: Mathews and Perera tire Pakistan

Jan 17 (CI) Sri Lanka's prospects of winning their first away series since 1999-00 (excluding those in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) improved significantly after their captain Angelo Mathews and debutant Dilruwan Perera, picked primarily for his offspin, batted vast periods of time on the second day in Sharjah. Both batsmen were dismissed in the 90s, and because of their slow run rate Sri Lanka scored only 428 despite more..

Rupee weaker on importer dlr demand

Jan 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee traded slightly weaker on Friday due to importer dollar demand, but the market expects the local currency to strengthen in the near future due to inflows from a sovereign bond sale. Some dealers said investors awaiting to see the impact of the expected inflows from a $1 billion sovereign bond issue. Spot rupee was traded at 130.65/72 per dollar at 0545 GMT, weaker from Thursday's close of 130.60/67. "The rupee is weaker as few payments went out more..

Foreign funds only for development activities - President

Jan 17 (DN) Funds obtained from foreign loans will be utilised only for development activities, President Rajapaksa said. He said so at the commissioning of the newly constructed Veyangoda flyover. The Veyangoda flyover was constructed as a remedy to the long-standing traffic congestion at the Veyangoda level crossing under the Sundara Gampaha program of the govt's Mahinda Chinthana future vision. The flyover is the 4th in the Gampaha District and more..

'Favouritism led to closure of neglected rural schools'

Jan 17 (Island) Providing facilities only for selected schools under previous govts had resulted in rural schools being neglected and many being closed down during the last two decades, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. Addressing the national ceremony to admit children to Grade 01 at the Niyandagala Vidyalaya in Homagama, he said that Rajapaksa govt was able to re-open 327 schools countrywide more..

Embilipitiya stinks, people protest

Jan 17 (LT) People in 14 Gramaseva Divisions in Embilipitiya engaged in an agitation protesting against the authorities for not having a proper place to dump garbage, dumping garbage at various places in the town which has resulted in feces and other matter blocking the network of drains in the town. The whole town stinks and is overflowing with germs complain agitators. The agitators have burnt tyres at various points in the town in protest and businessmen have closed more..

Australia helps arrest people-smugglers

Jan 17 (CG) Alleged people-smugglers have been arrested in Vietnam and Sri Lanka with the help of Australian intelligence, Sky News reported. Information provided to Vietnamese national police led to the arrest of a Vietnamese national in Southern Vietnam over a number of people-smuggling ventures, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says. Sri Lankan authorities have also arrested three people in Sri Lanka for alleged involvement in people-smuggling. more..

Video: SF targets 25 seats at PC polls

Jan 17 (DM) Democratic Party (DP) Leader Sarath Fonseka said that his party was targeting at least 25 seats at the upcoming Western and Southern provincial Council elections. He said this while speaking at a meeting where organisers were appointed to 12 electorates. “The DP has come to this stage through a difficult path, and I will not allow the party to collapse at all. If at least 25 members are elected to the two councils, more..

Census report to UNHRC

Jan 17 (CG) The data collected from census carried out in the North and East will be presented to the UNHRC in March. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, said that the data will prove wrong claims that over 40,000 civilians were killed during the final stages of the war. The census department is currently carrying out the census in the North and East. Minister alleged the 40,000 death toll figure was being used to promote a book written by a UN official. “No one could go and count how many more..

Rubasinghe appointed SLRC Chairman

Jan 17 (SM) Wimal Rubasinghe has been appointed the Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). Rubasinghe has also served as the Secretary to the Ministry of Culture and the Arts. He was appointed following the former chairman Mohan Samaranayake resigned as the chairman from Jan 1. After tendering his resignation as chairman of SLRC, Mohan Samaranayake stressed to SLRC employees that he had been expelled for opposing corruption and fraud in the institution. more..

US to be taken to task over Tweet

Jan 17 (DM) Following the controversial 'tweet' by the US Embassy in Colombo that hundreds of civilians were killed by the army during the last stages of the war, the govt is to make representations to several heads of foreign govts on what it called a 'gross travesty of fairness', characterising the tweet. Earlier a photo was posted on social media to the effect that US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison and more..

A reverenced cathedral of the human race

Jan 18 (NS) A few hundred steps into the Sri Pada pilgrimage route the path steepens. I stick to the far left as I go up, greatly outnumbered by the flood of people coming down. An elderly woman in an all-white sari hobbles down the crumbling stone steps locked arm-in-arm with her teenage grandson. A woman in her third trimester descends just as slowly, her patient husband dutifully clutching her by the arm as he negotiates every irregular step for them. Countless parents lug their more..

On the ‘fast track’ to self destruction

Jan 18 (NS) The last time I was driving through Rajagiriya, what snatched my eyes was the newly opened “Burger King”. The restaurant was populated with old grandmas, middle-aged men and kids. Two days back, I came across the sub headlines of a newspaper which said, “Subway to make Lankan entry in 2014”. I knew they were coming. Sri Lanka will be a land of fast- food eventually. Good for all brand marketers to increase their profits. But pity those hearts without arteries, more..

Norochcholai in need of power

Jan 18 (NS) The dismal performance of the Lakvijaya Power Plant in Norochcholai since it was first commissioned in March 2011 implied that it had no staying power. The sporadic breakdowns, 24 times in the last three years to be exact, have only sparked off further controversy regarding its viability. While CEB engineers begin the process of oiling the gears at Norochcholai Power plant for to startup Phase II, more..

Editorial: Pamper poachers, promote plunder

Jan 18 (Island) Illegal fishing is a problem both India and Sri Lanka have mishandled all these years. There have been many attempts by senior diplomats and political leaders to evolve a solution, but in vain. Their ill-advised, half-hearted efforts have only legitimised poaching in that both countries rush to the rescue of offenders who get into trouble and encourage their illegal operations in the process. One of the Sri Lankan fishermen who visited India recently for talks on the fishing issue more..

Who is really gunning for Dimu Jayaratne?

Jan 18 (CT) The JHU, its leader Omalpe Sobitha, the monks of Sinhala Ravana and many other odd-bods known to be bigots and chauvinists, are out for the blood of Minister of Buddha Sasana and PM, DM Jayaratne. Conversely, UNP stalwart Mangala Samaraweera speaks in stout defence of the beleaguered PM and the party’s high command keeps a studied semi-silence on the matter. JVP takes a principled stand, demanding that the PM step-down as a precondition for an more..

Anarkali takes on Nadeesha

Jan 18 (CT) Southern Provincial Councillor, Anarkali Akarsha, says that she will contest the next PC election and nobody would pose a challenge to her, even though actress Nadeesha Hemamali contests from the UNP. Q: What is happening in your life these days? A: I have started work for 2014, wishing the year to be a good one. I hope to carry on my political, art and personal affairs successfully this year. more..

UK war crimes under spotlight ahead of Geneva session 2014

Jan 18 (Island) A prominent British law firm, Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) on Friday (10) lodged an unprecedented formal complaint with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It dealt extensively with atrocities committed by British forces between 2003 and 2008 in Iraq. Alleging that the UK had failed to investigate and prosecute high ranking civilian and military leaders more..

Alleged killer Kamalendran refuses to quit NPC posts

Jan 18 (ST) EPDP member and Northern Provincial Council Opposition Leader Kandasamy Kamalendran has rejected a request by his party boss Minister Douglas Devananda to resign from his office as a councillor and as NPC opposition leader. Mr. Kamalendran, now in remand custody, has said he wants to remain in office and asked his leader to arrange for him to be escorted to attend meetings of the council. He made the same request through his lawyers to Kayts Magistrate Lenin Kumar. more..

නැතිබැරි දක්ෂ දරුවන්ට අතහිත

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the lure of populism

Jan 18 (CT) Because Aam Aadmi postured moral high ground and flaunted a leaning towards a clean image, it received a remarkable confidence vote to be elected the second largest party in Delhi, the National Capital Region. However its first infraction of principle was brought about by the party itself. Its claim to election was its portrayal of Congress as a party perceived to be tainted. Yet, after the Congress was rejected on that score it forged an alliance with that very party in order to more..

More on Geneva Again

Jan 18 (Island) My article Geneva Again in The Island of January 11 had a very limited focus: to establish that the call for international investigations on war crimes was the text, while the sub-text was to push the Sri Lanka Govt towards a political solution of the Tamil ethnic problem. It is essentially the same case that I made out in my article The Ban Ki-moon Conspiracy in The Island of May 2, 2011. In the two years and eight months that have elapsed since then, there have however been more..

Sri Lanka take comfort from new heroes

Jan 18 (CI) Bowlers bowling well, batsmen batting better, Pakistan toiling, Sri Lanka staying patient, earnest line-and-length, flat pitches and attrition. Day two in Sharjah has mimicked so many others in an abrasive series, but for the visitors, there was something new to cheer for. If Sri Lanka's strategy in dry pitches such as this could be summed up in a phrase, it is probably- bat first, bat big and let the spinners loose. more..

Talha, Junaid shine on dull day

Jan 18 (CI) Pakistan bowlers may have started the second day optimistic about their chances of ending Sri Lanka's resistance but had little success as the visitors reached an imposing 428 for 9. While Pakistan's bowlers contained the Sri Lanka batsmen well - conceding only 208 runs in the day - they could grab wickets only after the batting side had managed to build themselves into a position of strength. However, there were positives for Pakistan on the second day, specially more..

Know Ye the truth, but not from Mannar

Jan 18 (Island) There is a figure in the Mannar District that gives it a reputation for uncanny opinions that can cause consternation in other parts of the country. The source of this is the personality of Raiyappoo Yusey, who has a lordly prefix, associated with those whose garb includes a white robe with a wide purple waist band, and a matching purple skull cap. It seems natural that with so much purple, that is associated with princedom in the Catholic Church, this oft spoken person more..

'Partnership key to transforming ICT education in Sri Lanka'

Jan 18 (DN) A digital - education partnership can bring about significant results in transforming the ICT education landscape in Sri Lanka, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. Speaking as the Chief Guest at an education workshop, he spoke of the changes to be introduced to the local higher education delivery system, particularly in terms of promoting a student-centred learning structure that involves digital technologies as opposed to more..

Two dry ports in Peliyagoda and Thelangapatha

Jan 18 (FT) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority is planning to set up two dry ports at Peliyagoda and Thelangapatha and has identified 100 acres for the Dry Port Zone, of which 30 acres will be developed initially. An inland port has a level of integration with the maritime terminal and supports a more efficient access to the inland market both for inbound and outbound traffic. The Cabinet has granted approval for the proposal made by the President, in his capacity as the Highways, more..

SLIM launches first National Level Mentor Programme

Jan 18 (Island) Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) presents the SLIM Mentor Programme, the first-ever national level mentor programme designed to enable young and budding marketers to reach their full potential and mould them for success in the marketing field. Five top marketers will act as mentors in this project to 20 young marketers, who will be chosen by a special selection panel based on the submission of entries. The mentors are Gerald De Seram – Managing Director CIC paints, more..

India awards Mahatma Gandhi scholarships to 150 Sri Lankan students

Jan 18 (HCI) At a ceremony organized at the Ministry of Education on 16 Jan, 150 meritorious students were awarded the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship in the presence of Minister Bandula Gunawardena and High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha. The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the Education Ministry, principals of leading schools and parents of selected students. more..

Fourth Estate ‘left out in the cold’

Jan 18 (Island) The much talked-of ‘First international investment forum of Eastern Sri Lanka’, reportedly held at the Taj Samudra yesterday, turned out to be a ‘damp squib’ as far as the press of this country was concerned. This is because the organizers of the event, whoever they may be, lacked the basic courtesy of providing accommodation in the front rows of seats at the venue for our reporter from The Island and some other media persons, who looked forward to more..

Australians visiting Lanka cautioned

Jan 18 (CG) Australians visiting Sri Lanka have been advised to exercise a high degree of caution. The Australian Foreign Ministry warned that travellers risk deportation if they engage in activities outside their visa conditions. It has also warned that all regions in Sri Lanka experience outbreaks of the mosquito-borne dengue fever. The travel note says almost half of the dengue related cases in 2013 were reported in the Western Province, where Colombo is located. more..

'Finance plan has hidden agenda'

Jan 18 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva slammed the new Central Bank Master Plan on Consolidation of the Finance Sector as containing a “hidden agenda”. He told the Weekend FT that the sudden focus of the Central Bank in urging the sector to consolidate by mergers and takeovers should be seen in the light of chequered reputations of certain finance companies that were involved in controversial deals as that between more..

'Milk powder hoarders hold govt to ransom'

Jan 18 (Island) Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Rumy Marzook accused powdered milk importers of holding the govt to ransom and attempting to make maximum profit. He admitted that there was a shortage of milk powder in the country and the importers were engaged in hoarding and causing much inconvenience to consumers. But the CAA would continue with its raids and bring to book unscrupulous traders who were hoarding powdered milk. more..

Korean Congressmen here to enhance assistance

Jan 18 (Island) A group of Korean congressmen visited Sri Lanka this week. The three-day visit was undertaken to enhance the Korean Official Development Assistance (ODA) by understanding the various development needs of the country and to search for a cooperative relationship. The delegation consisted of four high ranking government officials, Mr. YOO Ki-Jun, Mr. KIM Do-Eup, Ms. KIM Hee-Jung, and Ms. MIN Byung-Joo. During their stay, the delegation paid a courtesy call on more..

'CPC’s heavy losses rule out fuel price reduction'

Jan 18 (Island) In the wake of trade unions urging the govt to reduce fuel prices instead of increasing fuel standards, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that local fuel prices couldn’t be reduced as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was still incurring heavy losses. He said that fuel prices in the international market had not gone down though some people were shouting about the need for price reductions. more..

OCH third phase to begin soon

Jan 18 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate construction work of the third phase of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kadawatha to Kerawalapitiya this month. The estimated cost of this 9.3 km highway is Rs.66 billion, Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said. Once completed, the OCH will be connected to the Katunayake Expressway enabling motorists on the Southern Expressway to proceed towards Katunayake bypassing the Colombo city. more..

One dead and 68 injured in bus accident

Jan 18 (CT) Two private buses have collided head-on in Pasyala. A correspondent at the Nittambuwa Police said the accident had happened around 3:40 p.m. One bus had been travelling from Nittambuwa to Maduruwela while the other was travelling from Kurunagala to Colombo. The injured are being treated at the Wathupitiwala Hospital. Sixty eight persons were injured while one succumbed to the injuries, Director of the Wathupitiwala Hospital, Dr. Sisira Wijesundara said. more..

Central Bank sketches new road for finance companies

Jan 18 (FT) Aiming for a prosperous future, Central Bank yesterday unveiled its Master Plan on Consolidation of the Financial Sector grouping the existing 58 finance companies into three categories and giving a timeline for the mergers to take place. The hefty closed-door presentation was delivered by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal, with it being posted on Central Bank website shortly afterwards. more..

Global meet of writers to take Tamil to Gen Next

Jan 18 (Hindu) The Center for Tamil Culture will organise a three-day meeting of eminent Tamil writers and scholars across the globe in the city from January 20 to 22. Titled ‘Thayagam Kadantha Tamil’, the international conference will see the participation of 35 experts from all over the world, said Nalla G. Palaniswami, founder-chairman of the Center, here on Friday. The experts include R. Karthickesu from Malaysia, Cheran and A. Muthulingam from Canada, more..