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Road map for a tourist paradise

Dec 25 (LG) Tourism is an act of travel for the purpose of recreation, education, sight-seeing, exploration and various other purposes and reasons. It is human animal and animal extinct to explore to change territories for food and various other purposes. Today, the world has developed so much due to technology especially information technology that the world has become small and news travel instantaneously with the click of a button. more..

How many Harshis do we need before remand prisoners get justice?

Dec 25 (LG) Human rights activist Harshi C. Perera continues to highlight in Sri Lanka Guardian the abyssmal treatment of prisoners in Lankan jails and the insouciance of the judiciary and the police in turning a blind eye to remand prisoners and detention of prisoners for long periods without being produced in Court. Her voice is but a cry in the wilderness and yet it keeps reverberating. Her narratives are full of horrendous injustices more..

Island’s editorial misses the wood for trees; coconuts and custard

Dec 25 (LG) Coconut is now sold at Rs 40 or more and the Island editorial places the blame on hoarders and diseases afflicting the coconut plantation. Does the editor remember the devastation caused in the North and East by the protracted war where many hectares of coconut and palmyrah plantations were decimated in the name of hounding out the LTTE rebels so they could not hide behind coconut and palm groves and conduct their guerrilla warfare? more..

'The 13th Amendment to the çonstitution must be properly implemented'

Dec 25 (TC) With the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in May 2009 the situation facing the Tamil population is still dominated by genuine concerns for the future, perhaps most notably in the political arena. In this context, the views expressed by Dharmalingam Siddharthan, the leader of the moderate PLOTE, which has a support base in the Vanni and the Jaffna Peninsula, are of much interest. more..

History is whose story?

Dec 25 (LG) Writers of history come in two varieties: those who fashion history by making it, and those who describe the process later. Here, as is so often the case, metaphor clothes the spirit or higher sense, while the literal sense serves only to fix the particulars. In this, we maintain, lies the key not only to the meaningful interpretation of traditional epic histories, but also to the faithful rendition of raw events into popular history. more..

Diplomatic disaster in British soil – a shame to Rajapaksa and his failed State

Dec 25 (LG) With the illusion of selling his dismal image of a racist war criminal desperately wanting to sell an angelic image to the Western world, president Mahinda Rajapaksa, with a 40-member delegation, left Sri Lanka and landed on November 29, 2010, at the London Heathrow International Airport, something like the fabled first Sinhalese King, Vijaya, landing on the shores of Sri Lanka with his followers said to have been blessed by Lord Buddha. more..

Era of Sri Lanka’s President: from Mullivaikal to Oxford Union

Dec 25 (GV) President Rajapakse, the man who tamed the Tamil Tigers faced his first “Political Waterloo” since he came to the power. Rajapakse and his family have portrayed themselves as an undefeated regime in the region until the President faced the fiasco in London in early December. This development transpired as outrageous war crimes and crime against humanity evidence have been revealed in the wake of submission to more..

Sri Lanka universities live up to their billing: Reject PhDs and hire non-PhDs

Dec 25 (LBO) In a recent column on the failure of Sri Lankan universities, I said that: Faculty select their successors.Poor-quality faculty will select more poor-quality academics. Because they want to be the big dogs in the pound (link) they admit only weaker animals. The big dogs retire, and the weaklings replace them. They apply the same logic, admitting even weaker dogs, and so on. We have a spiral of declining quality. more..

Different forms of terrorism

Dec 25 (GV) LTTE terrorism ended with the death of its leader Prabakaran in May 2009. But other forms of terrorism seem to have erupted in the country to keep the government busy waging many more wars on terror. One such war was declared on narcotics, alcohol and cigarettes and we are told it has been a success, in the case of cigarettes. Now, there is a kind of terrorism in the Universities. A vice chancellor has been assaulted and a minister has been jeered at. more..

Navies of the World unite at SLN Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Dec 25 (SLN) Navigating beyond the reefs and shallows with understanding and interest, Navies of the World were able to strike common ground and share experiences to better themselves to face threats to mankind at the Sri Lanka Navy’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations. These sentiments were expressed by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe when he presided over the press briefing more..

Christmas message from the JVP

Dec 25 (LT) Today (25th) is Christmas, the day Christians all over the world commemorate with devotion and joy the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. We make this an opportunity to send our greetings to Christian devotees in Sri Lanka and all over the world who commemorate Christmas. Christmas is known as the day the message of peace was brought. Lord Jesus Christ taught people to love each other and live with goodwill and in peace. more..

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s X’mas message

Dec 25 (LT) Peace is the message that is shared among everyone on Christmas Day as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We celebrate this year’s Christmas at an extremely important time as everyone in this world is yearning for peace at this hour. True Christmas exemplifies the holy message of Jesus Christ that enables us to find solace and redemption from all the anguish that we go through everyday. more..

Christmas message by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, the Bishop of Colombo

Dec 25 (TC) Jesus was born in a cattle shed. A census required by the then political regime created this situation. When Mary was ready to give birth there was no room for them amongst their own; even her vulnerability made little difference. The celebration of Christmas today compels us to address the anxieties of those who have no room amongst their own; whose vulnerability seems to make little difference. more..

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s X’mas message

Dec 25 (LT) “I wish a happy Christmas to all Sri Lankans and citizens of the world who celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas. “The purpose of celebrating Christmas is to enshrine the message of peace and love in one’s heart. It is especially a time to spread the message of love and compassion towards the poor and peace among all peoples. “Our great commitment in the recent past to promote solidarity among communities, is in keeping with more..

Editorial: Some Christmas thoughts

Dec 25 (Island) Christmas is being celebrated this year while people are undergoing untold hardships. Prices of essential commodities have shot through the roof and consumers are struggling for survival while the super rich including the ruling elite who have all the luck are indulging in profligacy and dissipation as if there were no tomorrow. Legendary Catholic priest, brilliant writer and poet, Rev. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody, who became an icon of religious harmony more..

The message of Christmas is the liberation of the oppressed

Dec 25 (Island) Christmas is by now a Christian annual festival well known to the world. Indeed at Christmas the whole world takes on a festive air. However, in a highly secular culture such as today, many unfortunately tend to sideline the more profound message and meaning of Christmas. Christmas stands for the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the very incarnation of God, God walking this earth. The Bible says that more..

Editorial: Everyone is born to live while Jesus was born to die

Dec 25 (DM) Today the whole world celebrates Christmas the birth of Jesus Christ. Who is this man and what is His continued influence over a large population of our world? This is the same enigmatic question that was raised by Napoleon Bonaparte at his deathbed, exiled on an island off South America. He said, “I raised an army, marched into Russia and dominated most of Europe, but I saw my empire crumble before my eyes, yet Christ raised no army and more..

Ashok Leyland introduce its new bus to the President

Dec 25 (N360) India’s Ashok Leyland today introduced its newly manufactured bus to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning. The introduction was done by its Chairman R. J. Shani who was here in the country today. The Indian firm has a stake in Lanka Ashok Leyland which is engaged in the importation of Ashok Leyland commercial vehicles to the country. Lanka Ashok Leyland a listed firm in the CSE is also involved more..

We did not apologize, Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs

Dec 25 (TN) Spokesperson for the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs, Bandula Jayasekara said talking to Daily Mirror that reports which claimed that Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera had apologized for on behalf of Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris’s for claiming that Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav had requested Sri Lankan assistance in their internal affairs is a ‘fictitious tale’. more..

Sri Lanka creates management entity for state firms ahead of listing

Dec 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka has set up a management company to manage several defunct state enterprises prior to a listing of a partial stake on the Colombo stock exchange, a senior finance ministry official said. Six state-owned enterprises are to be brought under the newly established State Resource Management Company, B M S Batagoda, director-general of the state enterprise department of the finance ministry told, our sister news website. more..

Injustice in SLAS exams, says Union

Dec 25 (DM) The postponement of the promotional exam for the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) had caused many problems as it was postponed from October to January, the Public Service Management Assistants Union (PSMAU) yesterday said. The PSMAU said that the examination was to be held on January 1 and 2 and that this created many problems. “Most of those who were eligible for the examination don’t have leave as we have to close all financial accounts on December, 31,” more..

Sri Lanka's 'Highway of Death' becomes tourist hot spot

Dec 25 (Time) Elephantpass, a narrow causeway linking the northern Jaffna Peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka, was the site of many bloody battles during the island's quarter-century civil war. Now it's the site of nation's most famous bulldozer. Covered in iron meshing and armour plating, the mean-looking machine sits on a pedestal, a testament to the over 25 years of conflict that ended in May 2009, and more..

Christmas concert aids retired music teachers

Dec 25 (UCAN) A Sri Lankan musician has organized a Christmas concert to raise funds for retired music teachers. Bridget Halpe, a Catholic who holds a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music and who has been choral director of the Peradeniya Singers for more than 50 years, organized the concert last weekend at the St. Paul the Apostle Anglican church in Colombo. Most missionary-period musicians are retired and are no longer able to more..

Christmas fund aims to pay prisoners’ fines

Dec 25 (UCAN) Colombo’s Catholic Prison Ministry has launched a fundraising campaign to assist poor prisoners who are in jail because they cannot pay small fines. Up to 7,000 prisoners are held in Sri Lankan prisons because they are unable to pay small fines of 1,000 to 3000 rupees (US$10-13), usually for minor offenses such as street fighting or selling illicit alcohol. Nirmalee Fernando, a mother of two, was forced to close her tea stall after her husband was imprisoned for being unable to pay a 2,000 rupees fine for public drunkenness. more..

Mega team from SL participates at festival – No one to speak on behalf of govt!

Dec 25 (LT) 180 including ministers and MPs representing the government participated at the 17th Festival and Youth held in South Africa spending public money states IUSF. Despite a mega team including Duminda Dissanayake, Duminda Silva, Namal Rajapakse, Anarkali Akarsha, Nishanthe Warnasinghe and Anurudhdha Pradeep participated in the festival representing the govt, no one had come forward to deliver a speech on behalf of the government more..

BoC to expand electronic card services, targets rural population

Dec 25 (Island) State-owned banking giant, Bank of Ceylon (BoC), is in the process of expanding its electronic card services and is planning to reach out to the rural sector, a senior official of the bank said. "At present the bank has delivered 80,000 credit cards throughout the country to customers and our target is to increase the number up-to 700,000 (which would include debit cards as well) before the end of next year," more..

Mahanayakes’ Aramayas to be taken over by the Govt.

Dec 25 (Island) Cultural and Art Affairs Minister T. B. Ekanayake, calling of the Maha Nayaka Theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya, said that steps would be taken to take over all official Aramayas (official residences) of Mahanayaka Theros, including those of the Malwatta and Asgiriya. The intension, the Minister said was to ensure better maintenance of the Aramayas of the Mahanayake Theros. Most Ven. Tibbatuwawa Sri Siddhartha Sumangala (Malwatta) and more..

SB stopped from delivering lecture

Dec 25 (DM) Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake was stopped from delivering a lecture at the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students held in South Africa, Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) convener Udul Premaratne said yesterday. “We rallied other students around the world and they helped to spearhead a protest against S.B. Dissanayake which stopped him from attending to lecture at the festival,” Mr. Premaratne said. more..

No special favours to any race or creed – PM

Dec 25 (Island) "The Government is not anyway ready to give special favours or discriminate against any race or religion by reason of their nationality, belief, language, culture or tradition" says PM D. M. Jayaratne. The Premier point out the government has discharged its duties upholding the value of humanity just for the sake of future prospects of the people and not with the ulterior motive of swindling them politically. more..

Vasu urges all ethnic groups to be involved in State affairs

Dec 25 (Island) All ethnic groups should be represented in the task of organizing State affairs and public administration, suggested Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara. This would not make the minority ethnic groups feel that they are treated as second class citizens, he said. He said that this lapse of not unifying all communities from the very beginning led to the civil war and untold hardship to all communities. more..

Illegal vehicle imports: Govt crackdown soon

Dec 25 (DN) The Government will introduce a special program soon to nab vehicles imported illegally, a release issued by the Presidential Secretariat said yesterday. The Transport Ministry jointly with the Department of Motor Traffic, Finance Ministry, Sri Lanka Customs and the Police will soon develop this mechanism to net these vehicle importers who resort to a number of ploys to import vehicles illegally to evade import duty. more..

'India to build homes for displaced Tamils, repair only few'

Dec 25 (HT) Majority of the 50000 houses India had pledged to build for the war-affected in North Sri Lanka will be new ones. Only a small number of IDPs will be handed over renovated houses. A Sri Lankan government statement had claimed earlier this week that India would actually build only 5000 houses and repair the remaining 45000. Existing houses only for a smaller number of IDPs would be repaired if they so wish, the High Commission of India clarified more..

Rains hold up Indian chicken, eggs

Dec 25 (Island) The delayed shipment of 500 tons of chicken and two million eggs from India was scheduled to arrive in the port of Colombo on Friday (Dec. 24) night. The Media Secretary of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Nipun Ekanayake told The Island that due to heavy rains in India the shipment had been delayed. He said that the first consignment of 500 tons of chicken would be stored for three days and more..

630 corruption cases shelved

Dec 25 (DM) In a startling revelation it has been found that more than 600 cases involving corruption had to be shelved and suspects freed, due to lapses on the part of the police. A senior police official said such a situation had arisen due to discrepancies and contradictions in statements submitted to courts by prosecuting police officer. He said some 700 officers ranging from Chief Police Inspectors down to police constables had been largely responsible for more..

Court refuses to issue injunction against UNP

Dec 25 (DM) Colombo District Court has refused to issue injunctions restraining the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and its General Secretary Tissa Attanayake against arbitrarily removal of an Ambagomuwa Pradeshiya Sabha member from UNP membership. The petitioner Hennayake Mudiyanselage Madduma Bandara, a UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member of Ambagomuwa Pradeshiya Sabha filed his petition through his registered Attorney–at–Law Ms. Poornima Gunasekera seeking more..

Floods cause displacement in eastern Sri Lanka

Dec 25 (Xinhua) Flash floods in eastern Sri Lanka have left over 30,000 people marooned, relief officials said Saturday. Pradeep Kodippily, a top disaster management official said that more than 17,000 families have been affected in Eastern Province. "We run six camps with relief services maintained throughout", Kodippily said. Rains lashed the province as heavy monsoons fell upon most parts of the island. more..

Sajith tells Mahanayakes the reason for change in the UNP

Dec 25 (Island) The worst war crimes were committed by the LTTE. Prabhakaran was responsible for a large number of deaths, Hambantota district UNP parliamentarian and UNP leadership aspirant Sajith Premadasa told the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayaka Thero of Asgiriya. He said Prabhakaran’s armed men shot dead the people who were escaping to the area occupied by the armed forces. more..

Post-war recovery: Lanka rejects Rahul’s govt ‘not doing enough’ charge

Dec 25 (Island) The Sri Lankan government says there is absolutely no basis for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the country’s rehabilitation, reconstruction and re-settlement efforts in the post-war era. Citing latest available data regarding ongoing projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, senior government officials alleged that a recent statement attributed to Gandhi was nothing but a blatant lie. more..

Govt. scared of ward system: UNP

Dec 25 (DM) The UNP challenged the government to hold the local council elections under the new system as proposed by the Local Government Electoral Reforms Bill, which will be presented in parliament on January 4. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said that government was reluctant to hold the elections just yet because of such burning issues as the soaring cost of living and said the government was planning to more..

CMC line up new projects for 2011

Dec 25 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has lined up several projects to be implemented next year (2011), including revamping of the drainage system which is over a century old, sewerage system, establishment of a solid waste management centre and a dumping site. CMC Special Commissioner Omar Kamil told The Island that the drainage system will cost about Rs. 60 million, while Rs. 88 million has been allocated for the sewerage system more..