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Grade Five Scholarship Exam: What Next?

mar 15 (Island) Obviously as a grand finale to the multitude of recent statements on the Grade Five Scholarship Exam (GFSE) made by the Minister of Education, he has now announced that his Ministry recommendations on this subject will be submitted to the President shortly. He has also indicated that his Ministry is not in agreement with some of the recommendations made by the National Education Services Commission on this issue. Over the weeks, the entire country witnessed the wide more..

Geneva, India, and American Imperialism

mar 15 (Island) It should be obvious that the Govt has scored a tremendous victory in Geneva. Of course the final vote on the US draft Resolution is yet to come, but I don’t expect any serious reversals. The crucial facts are these: there will be no setting up of a mechanism for international investigations into war crimes and there will be no sanctions against Sri Lanka, both of which had been widely and confidently anticipated. The Tamil diaspora has rejected the draft Resolution, more..

Round the clock service from SriLankan’s FlySmiLes at BIA

Mar 15 (FT) SriLankan Airlines’, Frequent Flyer Programme, FlySmiLes, opened its exclusive service counter at the Departure Terminal of BIA on Wednesday. The counter, open 24 hours, will be facilitating and assisting FlySmiLes’ top-tier members to enjoy pre-departure benefits granted by SriLankan Airlines to its frequent flyers. Chairman Airport and Aviation Services Prasanna Wickramasuriya and Chairman SriLankan more..

UNHRC puts ‘LTTE Rehabilitees’ too in harm’s way?

Mar 15 (SL) If the ‘leaked’ draft of the proposed Anglo-American resolution on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC is any indication, the Tamils will have to ask themselves if the ‘international community’ was any more their friends as they had believed. This does not mean that the Sri Lankan Government has got off the hook straight. Instead, the current draft if carried further in a similar vein could at best become the bargaining-chip for the West to negotiate whatever they otherwise may more..

‘Kesbewa will be brought to order’

Mar 15 (CT) Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, said the Kesbewa electorate, which had turned into a violent zone, would be brought to order before the upcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. Deshapriya said that he had given this assurance to the secretaries of the political Parties, who met him, at the Elections Office yesterday, to express their concern at the escalating violence related to the upcoming elections, especially in the Kesbewa area. more..

'Investment in public transport negligible'

Mar 15 (Island) Nearly 70% of the people were using public transport, but investment in that vital sector was negligible when compared to the massive sums expended on road development, the UNP said. UNP MP, Eran Wickremeratne said that considering the high percentage of commuters who travelled by buses and trains, the priority was to develop both the public and private sector transport systems. This was buttressed by the fact more..

President instructs officials to formulate plan for drought relief

Mar 15 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the officials of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resource Management to formulate an immediate program to solve the problems that may arise due to prolonged drought in order to provide relief to public. President Rajapaksa held a meeting yesterday at Temple Trees with the Minister of Irrigation and Water Management and the officials of the Ministry to discuss the development activities of the Ministry. more..

CIMA-SLASSCOM come together in identifying talent management

Mar 15 (CT) After winning the award for the prestigious Off-shoring Destination of the Year (2013) at the National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) held at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London, talent management for world-class performance in overseas business service centres has been one of the best practices in Sri Lanka. As a joint effort by Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Association for Software & Service Companies (SLASSCOM) more..

Bombay Velvet to be used by Sri Lankan tourism

Mar 15 (TOI) Bombay Velvet is a romantic story set against the backdrop of Bombay in the 50s and the 60s. Since there seemed to be no Sri Lankan connection to the film, we wondered what made the filmmakers re-create Bombay in Sri Lanka and spoke to the director Anurag Kashyap and the production head Vivek Aggarwal on the Anurag said, "We came to Sri Lanka as this is the only country where we could have made the more..

President to open Weligama Muhiyaddeen Jumma Masjid today

Mar 15 (FT) The opening ceremony of the Weligama Kapuwatta Muhiyaddeen Jumma Masjid after reconstructions will be held on 15 March 2014 at 9:30 a.m. It will be held under the patronage of His Holiness Rifai Moulana. President Rajapaksa will be the chief guest at the ceremony along with Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasiruya, ministers, MPs and diplomats. The Kapuwatta Jumma Mosque in Weligama, located in the southern part of Sri Lanka, was re-built in 1887 by more..

Diplomats briefed in New Delhi on World Conference on Youth 2014

Mar 15 (AT) Representatives of over 100 diplomatic missions in New Delhi met on 11th March 2014 at a briefing on the World Conference on Youth which will be held in Sri Lanka this year in May. The conference will come to Asia for the first time and the focus will be on young people’s role in the creation and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Govt of Sri Lanka will convene the conference to bring together over 1500 people including 2 young people from each country more..

Minister Bathiudeen apologises for threatening magistrate

Mar 15 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, in the Court of Appeal, apologised to the members of the judiciary for the telephone registered under his name being used for calls which threatened the Mannar Magistrate A. Judeson, in respect of a judicial order, made by the judge. Minister in the apology tendered to court added that he had the highest respect for the members of the judiciary and condemned more..

NCE and ILO work towards joining North with South

Mar 15 (Island) The Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) Project, which has been in operation in the Northern Province since 2011, is an initiative of the International Labour Organisation(ILO) funded by Australian govt. The project has gained recognition with govt as well as producers and manufacturers in the province, through its business development initiatives for stimulating successful local economic development. The new business model has created more..

Nalanda student’s research findings handed over to govt.

Mar 15 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that Nalanda College Student Rakitha Malawane had won international accolades for his research which has proved that Sri Lankan tea was capable of preventing leukemia. The Health Ministry had allocated more than Rs. 300 million for any type of research. With the help of funding from the Health Ministry, Malawane conducted a research on Sri Lankan tea. Medical Research Institute (MRI) had accepted the research as scientifically valid. more..

'Be alert as Mervyn has opened his mouth'

Mar 15 (DM) Minister Rauff Hakeem cautioned media personnel to keep an eye on their camera equipment because Minister Mervyn Silva, has now begun talking after remaining silent for some time. “My friend, Kelaniya SLFP organiser remained silent for the past few months claiming that planetary movements are not in his favour. But he seems to have found his voice again and it is an indication for journalists to be on the alert more..

Sri Lanka offers help to locate plane

Mar 15 (CG) Sri Lanka says it is ready to assist investigations into the Malaysian passenger plane which went missing last weekend, the External Affairs Ministry said. A spokesman at the Ministry said that if a request is made for any assistance into the investigations then Sri Lanka is ready to provide such assistance. There were no Sri Lankans on Malaysian Airlines MH370 which went missing with 239 passengers on board last Saturday while heading to China from Malaysia. more..

Thatta Cement suspends project in Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (Dawn) The work on Thatta Cement project in Sri Lanka has come to a screeching halt. The project envisaged cement grinding, storing and bagging plant. The company informed investors on Friday that the project was ‘temporarily suspended’ as the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had not executed the Land Lease Agreement (LLA), despite the fact that basic engineering of the project was completed by the Thatta Cement Company Limited, a subsidiary of Thatta Cement Company. more..

Southern Expressway to Matara opens today

Mar 15 (SO) As Minister Dullas Alahapperuma mentioned at a press conference this week, Sri Lanka which gained independence along with other South and South East Asian countries, has taken 63 years to experience its first expressway dream while other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand had this experience much ahead. Truly speaking, even a decade ago, construction of expressways in Sri Lanka more..

Mahinda says Chandrika never asked for a meeting

Mar 15 (CT) President Rajapaksa has denied that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had, at any given point, sent him a letter requesting for a meeting. He had said this during a meeting with several Cabinet ministers at Temple Trees. There was widespread speculation in the media that former President Kumaratunga had written to President Rajapaksa, requesting an appointment. When questioned during the meeting in this regard, President Rajapaksa had forwarded the more..

Land-grabbers squeeze Kandy Hospital services

Mar 15 (ST) Kandy (Teaching) Hospital is fighting a losing battle to regain more than 40 acres of its land and expand badly-needed services to care for the thousands of patients coming in for treatment from all over the country. As a result of encroachment by hundreds of private dwellings the hospital has only been left with 19 of the 59 acres it was originally deeded to care for the sick- restricting it from expanding and modernising its services. Second largest medical institution in the country, more..

Geneva: Now, US named and shamed for HR violations

Mar 15 (Island) The US spearheading a resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva drew heavy flak on Thursday for grave human rights abuses. US was accused of systematic human rights violations both on its soil and abroad. The Guardian has revealed that the US was censured on March 13, at the beginning of a two-day examination of the US human rights record by the UNHRC more..

Kachchativu Feast begins today with Sri Lanka Navy assistance

Mar 15 (GDI) The annual Kachchativu Feast will start today and will end on Sunday. Navy Spokesman said all arrangements have been made to hold the annual feast of St. Anthony's Church in Kachchativu Island, Jaffna on March 15th and 16th. He said that the Navy has made arrangements to hold this annual festival on a grand scale under the direction of Defence and Urban Development Ministry and supervision of Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. more..

Polls Chief seeks IGP’s assistance to curb violence

Mar 15 (CT) Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has sought the assistance of IGP, N. K. Illangakoon, to curb election violence in the Western and Southern Provinces, where PC elections are scheduled to be held on 29 March. Deshapriya told Ceylon Today that the Party leaders, who met him on Thursday, had expressed concern over the increasing number of violent incidents reported during the campaigning process and he had assured them that immediate action would be taken to more..

Mother tongue, religion, history compulsory in int’l schools

Mar 15 (DM) The Cabinet has endorsed a proposal to teach the mother tongue, religion and history as compulsory subjects for local students from next year at private and international schools operating in the country. Obtained Cabinet approval for his proposal and that he would issue the necessary gazette notification next week. Minister Bandula Gunawardane said he had obtained Cabinet approval for his proposal more..

The death of a drug mafia?

Mar 15 (DM) After many years of delays, dillydallying and mysterious disappearances of draft legislation or gazette notifications, the govt now appears to have launched an all-out war on what Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena describes as a powerful drug mafia, comprising transnational drug corporations, pharmacies, some medical specialists and health ministry officials. Last Monday, in a significant move to mark Health Week, Minister Sirisena handed over to President Rajapaksa more..

Has democracy gone missing in Sri Lanka?

Mar 15 (DM) A front page news item by Sandun Jayasekera in today’s Daily Mirror states that the UPFA wants to change election laws but on reading the report it turns out that the intention of the petitioners related to matters such as canvassing near pooling booths and displaying of posters, etc. (Canvassing near polling stations was made illegal to prevent intimidation of voters.) If we wish to re-establish true participatory democracy in this country, it is essential to address more..

Ashraff Nagar residents seek HRC solution

Mar 15 (SL) Three residents of Kasankeni, now known as Ashraff Nagar in Oluvil, Ampara is to submit a Fundamental Rights application to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the Army for allegedly causing continuous torture and harassment to remove them from their huts. The affected residents have already informed the Human Rights Commission in Kalmunai, who had not been more..

Crime points to lawlessness in schools

Mar 15 (ST) The arrests of three students suspected of carrying out serial robberies of mobile phone shops have raised questions among educationists over the increasing lawlessness and lack of respect for moral values in schools. The three A/L students, who targeted mobile phone shops in the Kottawa and Maharagama areas were arrested and released on bail of Rs. 50,000 each by the Nugegoda Magistrate last Sunday (2). more..

'Factory girls taking to prostitution after losing jobs'

Mar 15 (Island) In the Gampaha district about 60% of factories had been closed down and about 8,000 young people had lost their jobs, UNP candidate Dr. Kavinda Jayawardana contesting the Western Provincial Council elections says. Dr. Jayawardana, who organises the Negombo electorate for the UNP, said that some of the girls who had lost their jobs, unable to return to their villages, had taken to prostitution. more..

Hambantota port industries to be powered by LNG

Mar 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ports Authority is in discussions with an Australia based firm to set up a liquefied natural facility to drive an industrial zone in Hambantota instead of coal, an official said. SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said several heavy industries in the port initially planned to use coal, which could involve burning up to 300 metric tonnes of the fossil fuel per day. Wickrama said discussions were on with Energy World, more..

Chandimal upbeat about SL's prospects

Mar 15 (CI) Top-ranked in the format for 17 months, exultant and exalted after the Asia Cup win, all after six loss-less weeks in Bangladesh - if World Twenty20 has a favourite, it must be the Sri Lanka team. There is the small matter of final-phobia, seemingly induced by pressure, but captain Dinesh Chandimal is not a man to back away from a challenge, even when he is outmatched. As the team prepares to leave for Bangladesh, more..

Army dismisses claims on arrest

Mar 15 (CG) The military says Balendran Jayakumari is being dealt with under the law and that she was arrested for harboring an armed criminal wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation. Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that a team of law enforcement officers conducting an investigation into recent distribution of hand bills in the north by LTTE propagandists with a message detrimental to national unity had more..

G.L and C4 trade views on video

Mar 15 (CG) External Affairs Minister, Professor G L Peiris and Channel 4 television, yesterday exchanged views at a press briefing, on the controversial war video on Sri Lanka aired by the British TV channel. The views on the video, which has already been rejected by the Government, took place at a press briefing in London following the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting. more..

Sharma rejects claims on Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has rejected the view that the Commonwealth is not doing anything on the Sri Lankan issue. Speaking to reporters after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in London, Sharma said that CMAG has empowered and encouraged the Secretary-General to engage in his good offices with Sri Lanka, which is what he is doing. more..

'When accusations of human right are brought in, govt breaks heads of artistes'

Mar 15 (LT) “While government goons carry on attacks against the ordinary people the main topic in the country has become human rights debated in Geneva. Their main accusation against the govt is there is no justice or fair play in our country. The police and courts do not act impartially. While such accusations are brought in Geneva, govt is breaking the heads of artistes,” said Member of the Political Bureau of JVP more..

TNA claim of French support for US resolution: Embassy won’t comment

Mar 15 (Island) French Embassy in Colombo declined to comment on a recent claim by the TNA that France would throw its weight behind the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing session of the UNHRC. European Union member, France, represents the group categorised as the Western Europe and other states in the 47-member UN body. External Affairs Ministry sources said that the EU members in the UNHCR would vote more..

Chandrika’s timely advice

Mar 15 (CT) Geneva, which is generally known as the city of tolerance and peace for being a location for several US institutions, including the UNHRC, has come under a siege of pro-LTTE groups, who have encamped outside the UNHRC building in support of the proposed US resolution on Sri Lanka. According to sources, Tamil groups have arrived in Geneva by coaches and trains from Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and the UK, carrying the LTTE flags in yellow and red colours. more..

Elephants belong in the wild

Mar 15 (CT) During his military campaign to take over the Vijithapura Fortress of King Elara, the Sinhalese King Dutugemunu had his troops held up by the fierce counteroffensive of the defending forces. Dutugemunu's two giants, Nandimitra and Suranimala, whose battalions were assigned to break open the South Gate of the fortress, were taking heavy casualties. Dutugemunu knew that the only living thing that could break open the gate was his royal elephant Kandula, whom he more..

TNA’s call for an international probe into abuses by both sides

Mar 15 (DBS) The TNA regarded as the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils issued a public statement last week after “careful consideration to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka proposed at the sessions of UNHRC by the US, UK, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius”. TNA statement jointly signed by its Parliamentary Group Leader R Sampanthan M.P. and Northern Province CM CV Wigneswaran more..

Flawed (Western) objectivity and the long journey back to self

Mar 15 (CT) Both colonial and post colonial structures of thinking and action for ‘educating and governing’ a captive population relied on a brand of objectivity and reason that dominated or excluded subjectivities and emotions. As Portia said in The Merchant of Venice, “The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree; such a hare is madness the youth, to skip over the meshes of good counsel the cripple.” This basic flaw in the application of ideas related to more..