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Rent for occupancy during war

Nov 1 (NS) For a region that was out of the war zone since 1995, housing was not as serious as it was for the Wanni. However, issues pertaining to housing continued to prevail for 14 years while the war lasted, due to the security situation a few kilometers south of Jaffna. Jaffna faced the same destruction that ravaged the Wanni three years ago. But, it was already on the recovery path by the time the war ended. However, certain issues continued to go unaddressed until recently. more..

Self-sufficiency in milk production

Nov 1 (NS) The county is highly dependent on imported milk. The domestic production of milk has been around 25 to 30 percent of requirements. The attainment of a higher degree of self-sufficiency in milk is a desirable objective. However, the government’s target of being self-sufficient in milk around 2015 is quite unrealistic, as at present domestic milk production meets only about 30 percent of requirements. While per capita milk consumption will continue to increase, more..

Jaffna district comes alive with Govt projects

Nov 1 (SO) Northern civil administration authorities expressed optimism that the Jaffna district will regain what it had lost in development, due to the over three decades LTTE anarchy, on completion of the several ongoing projects of the UPFA govt, primarily in the spheres of infrastructure, rehabilitation, livelihood, agriculture and education. Train services up to Kankesanthurai, road transport on the A9 and more..

The need to keep the 13th Amendment

Nov 1 (DBS) It was freely reported over the media that several stakeholders of the government are lobbying for the repealing of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution through a further reform to that document. The Daily Mirror, for instance, in their Tuesday’s edition (October 23rd) had cited the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) among the pressure groups that are geared to push the reform in question. more..

Hyde Park rally – a turning point

Nov 1 (DBS) The rally held at Hyde Park in support of General Sarath Fonseka by the United Bhikku Front (UBF), the dissident Buddhist monks’ wing of the UNP, was a turning point. As we expected, the campaign for the removal of 13th Amendment surged forward with this event. True, the general did not put forward that slogan. Addressing the gathering, the former army commander said that mere changes of govts would not bring any solution to the problems which are currently faced by more..

Bitter cup of tea: Estate workers struggle to make ends

Nov 1 (DM) Pushparani was only 14 years old when she gave up school and started working as a tea-plucker. It was the sole option left in order for her to survive with her grandmother. Today, exactly 17 years later, this mother of five does not feel as if the wages, working conditions or the eternal struggle to put food on the table she experienced as a child, have changed for the better. Even with more..

Why not a referendum on Kashmir-Eelam?

Nov 1 (CT) I read Lucien Rajakarunanayake’s article, “Why not a referendum on Kashmir-Eelam?” published in the Sri Lankan govt media, the ‘Daily News’ of 28 April 2012. Even though it is late, I would like to write some brief comments about this article. In the past I have sent a few comments, replies and queries regarding some articles appearing in the ‘Daily News’. But they were neither published nor did I receive a reply. Therefore, I don’t want to waste time anymore in more..

Danger of ditching devolution for political reasons

Nov 1 (CT) The govt has apparently had second thoughts about abolishing the 13th Amendment that deals with devolution of power to the provinces. Its spokespersons now say that such an action is not contemplated at the present time. They even say that the govt is considering how to go ahead with President Rajapaksa’s war time promises of a political solution that is based on “13th Amendment Plus”. Whatever the President’s enigmatic more..

'I have been for 13-A right along'

Nov 1 (DM) Q: There are calls from various quarters in the ruling coalition for the abolition of the 13th Amendment. As an alliance partner of the govt, what are your views on this? A: I am for the 13th Amendment. Right from the beginning, I have taken that stand. Even President Rajapaksa said he was for the 13th Amendment plus. Also, I am fully supportive of the Divineguma Bill which seeks to deal with rural development and more..

Editorial: Africa’s Afghanistan in the making

Nov 1 (Island) Hardly a day passes without violent clashes reported from Libya, which was declared ‘free’ about a year ago. Libyan militias painted the town red after toppling Gaddafi, dragging him out of a culvert and bayoneting him to death in public. But, their euphoria was short-lived. Today, Libya is running red with human blood. Dead, Gaddafi has apparently become more problematic. His loyalists are still offering stiff resistance in some areas where pro-govt forces are more..

Why 13A should be repealed – II

Nov 1 (Island) The 13th Amendment was imposed by India on us following the infamous Indo-Lanka Accord signed by J R Jayewardene under duress amidst parippu drops. Rajiv Gandhi bullied Jayewardene with his gunboat diplomacy by using High Commissioner Dixit, who thought that he was the viceroy here. India did not act alone as it had the support of the West much to the disappointment of Jayewardene. India and west had been involved in training Sri Lanka’s terrorist groups. more..

Sri Lanka Economic Outlook 2013

Nov 1 (Island) Despite Sri Lanka’s stellar growth in recent years, global headwinds and policy measures to curb demand remain key considerations through the rest of 2012 and next year. As such, we have revised our GDP growth forecast to 6.5% for this year, followed by 7.0% in 2013 as a clearer resolution to the global crisis emerges. Risks remain largely unchanged. United States has been posting a modest recovery, more..

Net foreign inflow tops Rs. 34 b

Nov 1 (FT) Showing persistent confidence in select Lankan equities and future returns from them, net foreign inflow yesterday crossed the Rs. 34 billion mark. Foreigners yesterday bought Rs. 171 million worth of shares and sold only Rs. 7 million resulting in a net inflow of Rs. 164 million. The inflow brought the year to date net foreign inflow to Rs. 34.1 billion by yesterday. As continuously emphasised by the Daily FT, foreign investors see what most weak-hearted locals don’t. more..

Korean govt praised for helping SL's Buddhist revival

Nov 1 (DN) Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Acting Minister MKDS Gunawardena thanked the Korean Govt for coming forward to facilitate a Buddhist revival in Sri Lanka. He said this when he accepted a donation of 300 computers made by the International Council for the Revival of Buddhist Affairs in Sri Lanka and the Korean Govt, for use in temples and schools in difficult areas in the country. The donation made in response to a more..

President to knock-out conspiracies

Nov 1 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday said Sri Lankans will never allow his govt to face the fate that doomed all progressive govts in the past. President Rajapaksa said vicious elements destroyed all progressive govts which were in the forefront of bringing benefits to the people by nationalising many ventures such as the oil companies, Colombo Port and schools. Speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation more..

'Bogus claims made against education sector'

Nov 1 (DN) Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that certain elements were stating that the education sector is in jeopardy while a person with vested interests stated that the five year scholarship question paper had been leaked on the eve of the exam. "Some people say that the education system is in peril when one or two letters were missing in the A/L exam question papers. Yet these typographical errors were rectified by the Education Department, on the eve of the exam", more..

SriLankan, Mihin to operate via Mattala from next year

Nov 1 (DN) SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka would be re routing their European and Gulf flights via Lanka's second International Airport in Mattala from next year. “Mihin and SriLankan want to be the first two airlines to operate via Mattala,” said Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman SriLankan. He said that they would treat Mattala as a fully fledged international airport and traffic would be diverted there. “However we will not compromise Colombo operations and more..

'PC supporters should leave Govt.'

Nov 1 (CT) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday demanded those who are lobbying in favour of the Provincial Council (PC) system should leave the government instead of the patriots who supported the present party to form a government. JHU National Organizer, Nishantha Warnasinghe said that people who agree with the PC system, such as Ministers D.E.W. Gunasekara, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Tissa Vitarana should leave the government instead of them. more..

PSM warns of 48-hour strike

Nov 1 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned they would stage a 48-hour strike, commencing on Nov 6, if the Health Ministry fails to meet their demands for on call, over time and PSM promotions. General Secretary for the PSM Union, Saman Jayasekara said that the govt should at least increase the on call and overtime allowances in its budgetary proposals for 2013. He said the PSM had taken the decision during an executive committee meeting held last more..

Vehicle fumes kill 200 persons per year

Nov 1 (Island) In Sri Lanka alone automobile emissions kill up to 200 people per year, CMC Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ruwan Wijemuni said. He said that with the increase in the number of motor vehicles since 1977 there had been a steady increase in respiratory diseases, especially among the children, due to vehicle fumes containing sulphur dioxide. Diesel vehicles are responsible for 96-89% of sulfur dioxide and PM10 from the transportation sector. more..

Sri Lanka hampers legal redress for rights abuses: ICJ

Nov 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's govt has made it all but impossible for victims of human rights abuses to get justice, a Geneva-based human rights body that monitors legal matters said on Thursday. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), grouping 60 prominent judges and lawyers from around the world, said the judiciary in Sri Lanka was under increasing attack and its independence was threatened. "Victims and survivors of more..

13-year-old pregnant after being raped by married man

Nov 1 (Island) The Eheliyagoda police are looking for a man, who had raped a minor and fled after she became pregnant. Investigations have revealed that the suspect, a father of one, had lived in a line room at the Eheliyagoda Plantation with his wife. When his wife went to live with her mother for her confinement, the man had sexually abused the 13-year-old girl in the adjoining line room when her parents were away. Last week, the girl had complained of giddiness and when more..

Mahatma Gandhi Oration by Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

Nov 1 (AT) The Annual Mahatma Gandhi Oration organized by the Sri Lanka India Society was delivered by Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, renowned academic, lawyer, Human Rights advocate, former UN Special Repporteur on Violence against Women, former Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and author, at the Indian Cultural Centre on Tuesday, more..

UNP glad to join PSC probe against CJ

Nov 1 (Island) The UNP said that it would gladly join the proposed special Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to inquire into allegations against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, said that the UNP would definitely want to join the inquiry. Asked whether he was speaking for the party, he said that the decision making Working Committee on Tuesday evening had decided that the UNP should be represented in the PSC. more..

Doctors do not take commissions from patients

Nov 1 (CT) The Govt Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) claimed that a recent news report published in a national newspaper which highlighted fraudulent activities at the National Eye Hospital were false. GMOA General Committee Member, Dr. Nalinda Herath said such a news item had been published on 20 October and had mentioned that doctors advise patients to buy lenses only from private institutes suggested by them, and later collect commissions from those private institutes. more..

World Carrom Championships: Sri Lanka Women in doubles final

Nov 1 (DM) It was a day for Sri Lanka and India at the 6th World Carrom Championships which got underway at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo as Sri Lanka and India won their matches to reach the semis in both Men's and Women's double categories. Sri Lana's Yashika Rahubadda and Madushika beat India's Kavita Somanchi and Parimala Devi 2-0, (25/24, 25/20) and qualified to play in the women's doubles final. In the second semi final Joseph Roshitha and Chalani more..

Govt. wooing expat engineering brains

Nov 1 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said he was ready to recruit 200 senior expatriate engineers right now as there was a pressing need for expertise. The Ministry was working on a programme to make attractive offers to lure Sri Lanka engineers working overseas to return, he said. He said so in answer to a question by the media why the govt was employing foreign engineers to implement local projects while Sri Lankan engineers were more..

SC ruling on Divi Neguma bill delivered to Speaker

Nov 1 (FT) The Supreme Court’s determination on whether Northern Governor G.A. Chandrasiri can approve and endorse the controversial Divi Neguma bill in place of the Northern Provincial Council was delivered to the Speaker of Parliament yesterday, the Daily FT learns. Supreme Court adjourned after 12 minutes of sittings last morning, after the Justices said they had a special matter to attend and orders to finalize. Daily FT learns that the ruling on the Northern Governor was more..

New Indian FM to have talks with G.L.

Nov 1 (SL) Days after taking over as foreign minister, Salman Khurshid is poised for two days of intense diplomacy with virtually back-to-back meetings with the foreign ministers of Iran, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kenya, Madagascar and the Seychelles. During talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L Peiris, Khurshid is expected to push for fast-tracking political solution to the decades-old ethnic dispute in the island nation, a source of much concern in India, the IANS reported. more..

LTTE’s ‘KP’ questioned in Rajiv killing case

Nov 1 (IE) More than 21 years after the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, officers of the CBI and Indian intelligence agencies recently visited Sri Lanka and questioned former LTTE leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias ‘KP’, in connection with his suspected role in the crime. The CBI, as part of the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), is probing the larger conspiracy in the case and was allowed to more..

Counterfeit currency racket busted

Nov 1 (Island) The Hungama police had nabbed six persons, including a woman, running a counterfeit note racket and recovered 550 forged notes of Rs. 1,000 denomination, police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody said. Police also found two computers and other equipment used to print the counterfeit notes. The police had been able to nab the main suspects following the arrest of a person with 100 counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 on Tuesday at Hungama. A group of policemen on foot more..

NZ v SL: Weather holds key in series opener

Nov 1 (CI) Cricket fans in Sri Lanka must be fed up with the weather. Over the last few months, it has become a habit to keep one eye on the sky. When Pakistan arrived late May, the first two T20s in Hambantota went smoothly without a cloud around. It was hardly a sign of things to come as the teams made their way away from the dry zone for the rest of the series. The groundstaff were on their toes through the ODIs and Tests against Pakistan, the SLPL and the World Twenty20. more..

Sri Lanka: A tight grip on the controls

Nov 1 (FT) Sri Lanka has three commonly spoken languages: Sinhalese, Tamil and English. But anyone driving towards the soon-to-open Hambantota International Airport in the nation’s south could be forgiven for thinking a fourth had crept in, given the frequency of Chinese road signs. Set up to guide teams of immigrant labourers building new highways, these are far from the only harbingers of a newly arrived influence. more..

LECO comes up with protection equipment

Nov 1 (Island) In an effort to proffer a solution to the problem of lightning in the country, LECO Projects (Pvt.) Ltd. has introduced four kinds of electronic equipment to protect the electric and electronic appliances against lightning and thunder. LECO Projects Engineering Division Chief Narendra de Silva said that the threat was there even in mild weather conditions and all domestic electrical appliances should be used with care during lightning and thunder. more..

Cricket's kill for the thrill shocker: Sri Lanka dump Tests for IPL

Nov 1 (E24|7) Sri Lanka is contributing to the demise of Test cricket by "rescheduling" its Future Tours Programme listed Test matches to make way for Twenty20 windows, it has been reported. The drought starts in April-May next year in the Caribbean where Sri Lanka was scheduled play Two Test matches. Owing to their haste to keep the IPL window opened, the Lankans and the hosts have agreed to do away with the two scheduled Test matches, according to the Sunday Times. more..

All systems go for Lanka’s UPR today

Nov 1 (FT) 95 Member States are set to speak at the UNHRC in Geneva today, when Sri Lanka’s case is taken up for Universal Periodic Review. The UPR is a UNHRC mechanism to review the human rights records of all 192 UN member states once every four years. Each country will be allocated one minute and 20 seconds to question Sri Lanka during the review, which will be overseen by a troika of nations chaired by India and including Spain and Benin. more..

Stronger measures to ensure enforcement of HRC orders

Nov 1 (DN) Amendments would be introduced to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act shortly to strengthen the legal provisions of the Commission, enabling it to take effective action in the event of Human Rights violations, Human Rights Commission chairman Retired Supreme Court Judge Priyantha Perera said. He said the amendments would grant sanction to the Commission to report to the High Court in the more..

Editorial: Remembering democracy

Nov 1 (DM) The Sri Lankan citizenry wakes up to a day to find the country’s democracy feebly drawing its last few breaths; or perhaps, it was already dead, though the people were too busy basking in the threadbare glory of war victory to notice the demise. It died on the day people stood in endless queues to wave Lion Flags in support of the draconian 18th Amendment; was it the day the Right to Information Bill was defeated in Parliament or when the crucial 17th Amendment was put on more..

Will wells be taxed?

Nov 1 (LB) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena last week denied reports that the govt was mooting a legislation to levy a tax on wells. However, president, Sri Lanka Soba Group and People’s Movement for Water Rights, Tilak Kariyawasam said that when the Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva is silent, the Minister of Water Supply and Drainage, Dinesh Gunawardena, making certain statements in Parliament is not surprising. more..

East coast alive with dead fish

Nov 1 (ST) Hordes of fish being swept onto the eastern shores will be a daily sight for the next two to three weeks, till the inter-monsoonal period ends, according to oceanographers. Last week, shoals of fish were found some dead, some alive, along the east coast, from Samanthurai to Lanka Patuna. They were predominantly sardines and skip jack tunas, with big fish like eel and mullet (gal maalu) also in significant quantities. more..