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Root causes and reconciliation

Dec 30 (LG) The strangest polarisation is taking place in perspectives on Sri Lanka’s recent conflict and the way forward, as reflected in submissions to the Lessons Learnt Panel and the debate surrounding them. One the one hand there are those who say that the roots of the conflict have to be dug up and addressed, if not for which the conflict would recur or reconciliation would not be effected. This school of thought can be identified by their slogan or cliché, more..

Interview: Ex- Prisons Commissioner speaks out

Dec 30 (LG) Q: Please introduce yourself, briefly. A: I am Lionel Weerasinghe, Correctional Professional Commissioner. I retired after serving 34 years in Prison Department. My retiring position was Commissioner of Prisons (Welfare). I am a University Graduate and did my Post Graduate studies at Sri Jayawardenapura University, in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Q: What is your opinion about Women’s Wards in prisons and Women’s Detention Centers? more..

Remarkable increase of visitors to Jaffna in 2010

Dec 30 (Cimic) A recorded number of visitors from the south have arrived in Jaffna during this year, shows the statistics being maintained on the entry to the peninsula across the Elephant Pass (EPS) gateway. The total number of people entered Jaffna via EPS is reported approximately 3 million by the 28th December. The number includes majority pilgrims, ministers and MPs, investors, Sri Lankan expatriates living abroad, more..

A whistle-blower forced into hiding

Dec 30 (LG) A law student at the Sri Lanka Law College learned that one of the question papers for the final exams had been leaked. He learned this when one of his fellow students came to another and explained the question that would come up in the exam to be held that day. The student who knew the question gave details of the paper which could not have just been guessed. Having learned about the leakage of the paper, Thushara Jayarathne informed the invigilator for more..

Democratic Debates in 2011

Dec 30 (GV) I am not aware of another county in the UN’s 200 odd membership that debates on its national anthem some 62 years after independence from colonial rule. Since we all agree that Sri Lanka is a unique state in many ways this is not a surprising development. What creates an abysmal level of inquisitive disappointment is that the decisions the country’s top executive body makes on this issue and the rationale put forward for such. more..

Embark: The good, the bad and the truth

Dec 30 (SL) Following last week’s article on Odel’s project Embark, The Sunday Leader received a barrage of letters and phone calls – mostly from people very supportive of this initiative by Otara Gunewardena. Unfortunately though, while we at this newspaper are more than open to constructive criticism (and in fact have proved this repeatedly by publishing mail critical of some of the stories we choose to highlight) more..

Avirodha: a must-cultivate for the effective and benevolent rule

Dec 30 (DM) A few months ago, I began a series that sought to elaborate on and contextualize what to me is the most succinct and yet comprehensive document on the issue of good governance, the Dasa Raja Dharma, the ten-point guideline that Budun Wahanse advocated fo rulers. It was not a straight, ‘From No.1 to No. 10’ series, strictly speaking. There were pieces that focused on what I believed were important political moments that I believed warranted immediate comment. more..

It is devolution and not decentralization that is good for Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (DM) Two issues have been anathema for discussion. These are the Police and Lands powers. The critics say that if Police powers are given it will be separation! Then did Chief Ministers Kumaratunga and Mahindasoma wish to separate from the south when they asked for police powers from President Wijetunge? President Kumaratunga not sharing police powers as the President for eleven years gives another clue for this reluctance. more..

Project Honeybee

Dec 30 (SL) The battle between man and beast is as old as time. With the population explosion, more wildlife homelands are being encroached upon. This explains the large number of species which are endangered or extinct, worldwide. However, some animals don’t give up their territory without a fight. The so-called human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka has killed many people over the years, and hundreds of elephants. more..

SL Tamils’ issue : Singh’s exit, Rahul’s entry

Dec 30 (DM) When Rahul Gandhi visited the Tamil Nadu recently, he declared ‘Sri Lanka (SL) is not doing enough for the Tamils’. The Government of SL cannot dismiss this statement as another of those of the Indian Congress Govt. on the ground that it is an announcement of Gandhi to please the Tamil voters in Tamil Nadu. Despite Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister echoing the same sentiment, and the Indian Foreign Minister as well as the more..

Terror campaign in Jaffna: abducted youth tortured and beheaded

Dec 30 (TN) Mahendran Thiruvarudchelvam, known as Chelvam, abducted 9 days ago was tortured and beheaded as evidenced by his remains reaching Jaffna Teaching Hospital. Even though initial reports said that he had been abducted for a ransom of 8 million, his background and prevailing terror campaign in the SL-military-occupied Jaffna point to deeper motives behind his killing, human rights activists in Jaffna said. Mr. Chelvam, 28-year-old, and father of a child, more..

Mini coconut triangle set up in H'tota

Dec 30 (DN) A mini coconut triangle has been set up in Hambantota district parallel to the existing coconut triangle said Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa at the Magampura Waruna community service at Bolana, Ambalantota. The speaker said the mini coconut triangle was set up several years ago along with a coconut research centre at Middeniya. "People speak of the ever rising prices of coconuts now a days. more..

Domestic airports to be commercialized

Dec 30 (N360) Sri Lanka says, work towards transforming several domestic airports to commercial airports is now underway. Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation Ranjith de Silva said, among those airports ranks Palaly, Trincomalee, Ampara and Ratmalana. He said, the commercialization of the above Airports will be carried out under the basis of public – private partnerships. According to De Silva, already a private party has forwarded a proposal showing more..

Editorial: Crack down on the underworld!

Dec 30 (Island) On Sunday the police averted disaster. They shot dead a criminal and arrested another when an armed gang tried to rob a pawn broker’s shop in Maharagama. One suspect managed to run away. Luckily, the police had received prior information of the planned heist and been there prepared. Else, they would have been in harm’s way like the police officers who died at the hands of a group of armed robbers in Warakapola early this month. more..

Cricket Chief and Secretary involved in heated argument

Dec 30 (Island) The noose seems to be tightening on controversial Cricket Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga after an internal power struggle resulted in his authority being questioned at the cricket board’s decision making level. Although employees at Sri Lanka Cricket, including former cricketers, had loathed Nishantha Ranatunga’s conduct as the secretary, he had survived thanks to his political clout, but more..

Editorial: People must act with intelligence if politicians can’t

Dec 30 (DM) The government yesterday announced its decision to dissolve all Local Councils, including Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas, by January to facilitate holding elections in March next year. At a time when the local councils are proving a failure in the greater system of things, it becomes imperative that we question the relevance of the local bodies to the growth of the nation. more..

Eleven treasure hunters arrested

Dec 30 (Island) Panwila police at dawn yesterday (Wednesday 29) arrested eleven persons, including a yellow robed (cheevaradhariya), allegedly digging the ground for treasure in Unanagala Estate in the Panwila Pradeshiya Sabha Division. Police also took into custody a luxury high-roof Nissan van and articles used to dig for treasure. Police suspect that another vehicle, which arrived at the site, had been driven away. more..

108 cameras to monitor entire Colombo city

Dec 30 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa officially commenced operations of the much awaited closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras yesterday which will closely monitor the entire Colombo city. 108 CCTV cameras in 28 locations will monitor the city and a special division to administrate the system has also been set up by the police and will operate from the Mounted Police Division building situated in Olcott Mawatha. more..

CPC recruits 178 to public service

Dec 30 (Island) One hundred and seventy-eight youth received appointments as Management Assistants, in the public service of the Central Provincial Council, yesterday Wednesday 29. The letters of appointment were handed over to the young men and women by the Central Provincial Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa at a meeting. The recruits were chosen through a competitive examination. At least 8,000 candidates sat the examination conducted more..

CMC to act against dengue mossy encouragers

Dec 30 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council warned government institutions and schools that from next year it would not stop at warning or sending notices but would take direct legal action under the Mosquito Borne diseases Act. Chief of the Public Health Department, CMC, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said on Wednesday that that those institutions and schools have been given enough warning and they had adequate staff to carry out regular cleaning campaigns. more..

'Govt. should reveal truth about UN Panel’s visit to SL'

Dec 30 (Island) The government, without dilly dallying, should clarify through parliament, reports that a UN Panel would be visiting Sri Lanka, to investigate allegations of war crimes against the security forces, during the last stages of the battle against the LTTE, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, by not denying allegations that it had granted entry visas to the UN Panel, more..

Nuts to be checked for disease

Dec 30 (DM) The Internal Trade Ministry assured it would take precautionary steps to prevent any disease being spread to Sri Lankan coconut cultivations from the nuts to be imported from Kerala, India. The Treasury has already given approval to open the Letter of Credit to import coconut from India through Sathosa. However, concerns have been raised whether an infectious coconut disease called ‘Kerala wilt’ would be spread to Sri Lanka through imports. more..

Jewellery prices pick up

Dec 30 (DM) The demand for jewellery had seen a gradual increase due to the opening up of the markets in the Northern and Eastern Provinces where Tamil people were traditionally interested in investing in gold more than any other community was, jewellers said yesterday. President of the Sri Lanka Jewellers Association K. Radhakrishnan told Daily Mirror that businesses could increase further in future. more..

Boston Lanka News: Dec. 28, 2010

Close shave for UPFA at Atanagalla

Dec 30 (ST) The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance underwent some serious anxious moments at the Budget Vote in the Attanagala Pradeshiya Sabha on Tuesday after the Government’s group leader threatened to resign in disgust over the non-implementation of pre-election promises. UPFA member Dr. T.M.S. Tenakoon told the meeting that he had already informed the party General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena on his decision. more..

Healthy bag at unhealthy prices

Dec 30 (ST) The introduction of a new school bag bearing a logo approved by the Education Ministry and meant to reduce the strain of a heavy book-load that students have to carry, has come in for criticism by the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), who allege that unscrupulous traders are abusing the Education authorities approval of the bag, by selling it at various prices. The bag was designed by the Health Ministry, conforming to medical recommendations and more..

Police release name of store clerk gunned down in robbery

Dec 30 (KC) Kansas City police today identified a gas station clerk fatally shot during an ambush robbery Tuesday as 25-year-old Sujendra Amarasingham. The Ad Hoc Group Against Crime is sponsoring a prayer vigil at 5 p.m. today for Amarasingham at the scene of the crime. Amarasingham was working at Inner City Oil at 59th Street and Swope Parkway when he was shot by a gunman about 4:40 a.m. The gunman waited for Amarasingham to come outside from more..

Over 5 billion rupees raised through IPOs this year

Dec 30 (Island) With bank credit to the private sector slow to pick up during the year, Sri Lankan companies have raised finances for expansion and retirement of debt amounting to over Rs. 5.3 billion through IPOs in 2010. Around 10 companies have listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange this year; raising more than Rs. 5,342.9 million. Laugfs Gas IPO for Rs. 2.5 billion was the highest public offering while Ceylon Tea Brokers’ IPO for Rs. 28 million was the lowest. more..

Ferial rejects appointment by Bandula

Dec 30 (DM) Former minister Ferial Ashraff yesterday rejected her purported appointment to the seven member board of the National Institute of Education (NIE) and said that it had been done by Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena without her consent. Mrs. Ashraff said that she never expected this kind of position. The Education Ministry has not informed me officially of any appointment and Mr. Gunawardane has appointed me without my consent, she said. more..

Food situation in northern Sri Lanka improves: WFP

Dec 30 (Hindu) The food security situation in northern Sri Lanka has improved compared to what it was in March 2010, the World Food Programme has said. But the next four months will be crucial, the organisation warned. Asked about the situation in the north, given the assertion by some international non-governmental organisations that food was expensive and hence access was an issue for the rehabilitated, more..

No inside help in Rs. 70 m heist - HSBC

Dec 30 (Island) A spokesperson for the HSBC on Wednesday (Dec. 29) told The Island that the police investigating the Rs. 70 million robbery at Thelagapatha, Wattala, hadn’t arrested any bank employee. The spokesperson said that no employee had been implicated in the robbery, though recent media reports suggested that the police suspected inside help. The official said as per the discussions it had with the Police, the investigations were still on-going and more..

English a must for university entrants

Dec 30 (Island) All students gaining admission to universities will, beginning next year, have to follow a special English Language course, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. Currently, despite an English paper being made available at the GCE A-Level, students avoid it and gain entry to the universities, he told Ministry officials. He said in future all students, who sit the A level examination, should offer English language as a subject. more..

India-Lanka sea lane pact to ease China's grip

Dec 30 (EB) The agreement between India and Sri Lanka to jointly safeguard the sea lanes in the region, which was reached at a meeting between the Indian and Lankan Defence Secretaries here on Monday, is significant for two reasons. First of all, it represents a realisation in the two countries that their navies will have to collaborate to stem attempt by pirates or terrorists to disrupt shipping in the vital sea lanes more..

Sri Lanka's Shrinking Payoff

Dec 30 (WSJ) Sri Lanka's post-war economic boom is only just beginning. Have investors already missed the boat? In the 19 months since the nation's civil war ended, stock prices are up nearly 250% and the rupee up 6%. Government debt is also in high demand: The difference between yields on a Sri Lankan dollar-denominated bond due in 2012 and similar U.S. Treasurys is just 3.5 percentage points, data from Barclays Capital show. more..

Govt. denies NfR allegation on the killing of Jaffna Education Director

Dec 30 (GDI) Our attention is drawn to a statement by Networking for Rights (NfR - Sri Lanka) on 28.12.2010 titled "Sri Lanka: Director Education in Jaffna shot dead for speaking out" The allegations in this statement which refers to the killing by unknown persons of the Deputy Director of Education, Valikamam zone of the Jaffna district, are wholly false. The statement alleges that the killing of Mr. Markandu Sivalingam, the Deputy Director of Education referred to, more..

SLFP to take action against LG bodies that lost budget vote

Dec 30 (DM) The SLFP has decided to take disciplinary action against the mayors of the municipal councils and the chairmen of the Pradeshiya Sabha where the ruling party lost the budget vote. Disciplinary action is also to be taken against UPFA members who voted against the budget. SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said that explanations would be called for from those concerned. more..

Land approved for Shavendra Silva

Dec 30 (DM) The Cabinet yesterday granted approval for the gifting of a plot of land in Battaramulla, to Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York, who commanded the 58 Division of the Army in the fight against the LTTE, political sources said. The Defence Ministry had submitted a Cabinet paper seeking approval to gift a land 24 perches in extent to Maj. Gen. Silva. more..

'Better health service possible if Docs & nurses unite'

Dec 30 (Island) Healthcare Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that if doctors and nurses could resolve their differences, the country would enjoy a better health service. "Due to conflicts between nurses and doctors, some sectors of the health service get crippled. The image of the two professions has to be protected," he said at the opening of units at the Ampara Teaching hospital recently. more..

Maldivian Coastguard gears for joint naval ops with Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (HNS) The Maldivian Coastguard along with Sri Lankan Navy is making arrangements to join hands in a bid to eradicate piracy, drug trafficking and human smuggling that has plagued the Indian Ocean region. The move for both the Sri Lanka Navy and the Maldivian Coastguard to join hands in strengthening the security in the region comes in the light of the recently concluded naval symposium held in Colombo. more..

Slain clerk had been sent to US to escape violence in his homeland of Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (KC) Sujendra Amarasingham escaped the violence in his homeland of Sri Lanka only to find it lurking in the parking lot of a gas station in Kansas City. His parents sent him to the United States to get him away from a decades-long civil war that killed more than 70,000 people, friends said. “They sent him here to be safe,” said Jonathan Williams, a classmate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. more..