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|More Headline News|
Sri Lanka president to meet Emirates team on national carrier deal
Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 9:53 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka government and Emirates airlines would soon have discussions on extending Srilankan Airlines` management deal with the Dubai based carrier, a top official said.
`A team is coming to meet the President on this,` Finance Ministry Secretary P B Jayasundera told LBO Friday.
Dubai government-owned Emirates has a 10-year contract ending in March 2008, to manage SriLankan Airlines which is Sri Lanka`s national carrier.
Emirates also has a 43 percent equity stake in the airline.
Emirates top official in Sri Lanka, Srilankan Chief Executive Peter Hill said earlier that a delay in finalizing deal was affecting forward planning at the airline.
However, Emirates President Tim Clark was quoted in March as saying that it was up to the Sri Lankan government, struggling to cope with the intensifying Tamil Tiger separatist war, to persuade the Middle Eastern airline to continue the arrangement.
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Jaffna students allege discrimination in University Admissions
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 8:30 PM SL Time
Nine Tamil students from Jaffna district have filed separate petitions in the Sri Lanka`s Court of Appeal seeking the court to order the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka to admit them to medical faculties in universities for the current academic year. The petitioners state in their suits that they have failed to gain admission due to continuous discrimination and unjust policies adopted by the UGC in granting admission to Tamil students, legal sources said.
The petitioners, S. Abeyalayan, T.Mahiba, J.Abiram, V.Gajanthan, P.Nirshanthini, K.Abirami, K.Karthiga, K.Rasakanthan, and S.Janathana state all of them have passed the GCE Advanced level examination with `qualifying` grades.
Mr.Mohan Balendra, Senior Counsel filed these petitions on behalf of the students in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday citing the Chairman of the UGC as the respondent.
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Britain approves humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:04 AM SL Time
Britain said it has approved 1 million pounds (US$1.9 million; 1.5 million) to help tens of thousands of people displaced by Sri Lanka`s separatist conflict, and called for a halt to the violence.
The funds will be divided between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to help those who have lost livelihoods and homes, the British High Commission or embassy said Thursday.
`Recent fighting, particularly in the east of Sri Lanka, has displaced tens of thousands of innocent civilians,` said a statement from British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott.
Humanitarian groups say violence between government forces and the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas has displaced 150,000 island country`s east.
Britain announced earlier this month that it has suspended about US$3 million (2.2 million) it had promised to Sri Lanka to help pay down its debts to the World Bank, citing heavy violence and deteriorating human rights.
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More Headline News
|Security Security Forum|
More alarm bells over telecom deal: Maxis eyeing even Govt. shares
Sunday, 27 May 2007 - 7:43 AM SL Time
Malaysian firm Maxis is aiming for a bigger slice of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to get substantial control of the telecommunications giant but overcoming a huge public outcry and Defence Ministry clearance are major roadblocks it is facing, industry analysts said.
Public condemnation that almost led to a parliamentary debate this week on an allegedly corrupt deal that is shrouded in secrecy has also put the government into a defensive mode, they said.
`We have very reliable information that Maxis is negotiating through a VIP official for a 50 percent or more stake inclusive of the 25 percent stake held by Japan`s NTT,` one analyst said, adding, `The brokerage (commission) got higher from US$ 5 million to US$ 8-10 million when the Malaysian party asked for majority control of the company ? not only the NTT stake.`
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Corrupt divisional secretaries in for trouble
Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 10:01 AM SL Time
The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry is planning to take disciplinary action against Divisional Secretaries who, in cahoots with Politicians, had been involved in various malpractices.
Speaking at the Government Agents and District Secretaries Conference on Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that disciplinary action will be taken against all such officers with charges pending, irrespective of their political affiliations.
`The Divisional Secretaries shouldn`t function as private secretaries of politicians,` the Minister said.
He said that political connections of the public servants should not affect the public`s expectations of them and they should take just and reasonable decisions.
`Unlike in bygone days, the Civil Society is much stronger today and the citizens are aware of their rights,` the Minister said.
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SLT deal could be threat to security, says UNP
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:07 AM SL Time
The UNP said yesterday that the SLT shares deal could be a threat to national security and charged that the company was to be sold out to a Malaysian company violating `Mahinda Chintanaya` which is opposed to privatization.
UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera told a press conference that the government has given permits to Global Telecom which bought 25% stake of SLT to run a TV channel, a radio channel and a 3G channel which is a highly advanced communication technology available today.
`Why is the government giving such facilities to this company and does the government know what the company intends to do with these facilities?,` he asked. He explained that the company can do certain things which might jeopardise the security of the country with the advanced technology available to them
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|Politics Political News Forum|
CMC fate in the balance
Sunday, 27 May 2007 - 7:44 AM SL Time
Colombo`s Mayor Uvais Mohamed Imthiyaz has submitted his reply to the charge-sheet served by Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray. Chief Minister Cooray said the mayor`s explanation was being studied and a decision on the fate of the council would be taken soon.
The Mayor handed over his reply just hours before the 14-day deadline expired on Friday, his chief coordinating officer Sham Nawaz said.
He said they hoped the council would be cleared of all charges as they had given detailed explanation to every allegation on the charge-sheet.
Deputy Mayor S. Rajendran said there was nothing illegal in council dealings. Asked about the award of a solid waste management contract to a private company outside the tender procedure, he said what the council did was to extend the contract with the company.
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US says will work with Govt. towards peace
Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 9:54 AM SL Time
The United States yesterday, referring to the latest round of LTTE attacks, said the ongoing violence was unfortunate. It urged both, the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to find a political solution to the conflict, agency reports said.
An agency news report filed from Washington DC said: `Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman for the State Department in his daily press briefing said that the US will continue to work with the Sri Lankan government and donor co-chairs to encourage the parties to achieve a peaceful solution.
`We`re going to keep working with Sri Lanka Government officials as well as the Norwegians and the other co-chair partners to be able to encourage a peaceful resolution to this conflict. And I know we`ll be conveying messages to them again on this subject, but it is a situation that is a difficult one,` he said.
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Homeguard kills 4 including wife
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:09 AM SL Time
In another tragedy that sent shock waves through the Kebitigollewa area, a home guard who went berserk shot dead his estranged wife and three others at Ranchakepuwewa early yesterday.
The suspect assailant P.B. Ranaweera, a resident from the same area had allegedly used his service firearm, to gun down the four victims.
The victims were identified as the suspect`s wife Sunethra Kanthi (25), his mother-in-law Seelawathie (50), sister-in-law Anoma Kanthi (23) and a neighbour M. Suraweera (38).
Eight-year-old Nuwan Sanjeewa, son of Anoma who received serious gun shot injuries is undergoing treatment at the Anuradhapura General hospital, Kebitigollewa ASP Lionel Gunatillake said.
The suspect`s wife Sunethra Kanthi had left the husband`s house and taken up residence with her married sister following a domestic dispute, police said.
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|Business / Economy News Business News Forum|
Dialog Telekom sponsors Audiology Centre for the deaf
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:12 AM SL Time
Some children are born totally deaf. Many with hearing and sight impediments. The World Bank says 98% disabled children including deaf and blind in developing countries do not attend schools. Also 40 million such disabled children at primary school age do not receive any education at all.
This group of children will be socially neglected underprivileged and marginalized. They would need training and integration into society with communication skills and other capabilities. The Deaf and Blind School was established at Rathmalana under the patronage of Christian missionaries. Children at the school have so far been trained without the latest equipment.
Realising the situation, Dialog Telekom donated an audiology centre equipped with sophisticated electronic equipment. Children hearing impediments could be tested to identify the nature of such defects with reference to treatment, training and finally getting them into mainstream society. However, the centre will not belong to the school, although it would be located within its precincts.
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Parliamentary Select Committee on Prevention of Motor Accidents
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:08 AM SL Time
A Parliamentary Select Committee on Prevention of Motor Accidents has been appointed on a request by Enterprise Development Minister Mano Wijeratne. The 21 member Committee will be headed by Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.
The Committee will probe the adequacy of road network, adherence to highway code by drivers, jay walking by pedestrians, police action on drivers and penalties imposed on errant drivers.
The primary objective of the Select Committee will be to find ways and means to minimize road accidents which have registered an upward trend in the recent past Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 1 )
State Bank defaults a hotel owner in Arugambay
Thursday, 24 May 2007 - 4:53 AM SL Time
Owner of the Siam View Hotel [SVH] of Arugambay , Dr. Fred Miller complains the Arugambay branch office of a state owned bank terminated their services and defaulted rent payments one month after the tsunami.
The Bank was located at the premises of the Siam Hotel , Arugambay and provided ample service for the area businessmen and the tourists .
Dr.Miller, served as an Engineer and the Hotel Owner who loves surfing in the Potuvil area said the Bank`s Management has still not answered his official letters regarding the monthly rent.
`The SVH, itself the hardest hit hotel for miles around, has been politely asking for the rent due ever since. Nothing at all was paid until a letter arrived a week ago informing them that the Bank has `No intention to re-open the Arugambay Extention office, said Dr. Miller.
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|Editorial News Editorial News Forum|
Read the Riot Act to the bus Mafia!
Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 10:05 AM SL Time
The private bus operators are in a mighty hurry to jack up bus fares. They say they cannot wait any longer as fuel prices and the cost of living have gone up. Given the increasing dependence of the commuting pubic on private buses and the attendant bargaining power of the operators, the Minister will have to give in sooner or later, as has always been the experience of his predecessors. However, the Minister need not lose heart. There is more than one way to skin a cat, they say.
Private bus owners and their workers don`t give a tinker`s damn about the law and the obligations on their part. Most of the metal contraptions that pass for buses on our roads are not roadworthy. Their tyres are as bald as a cue ball; brake systems don`t function properly; seats are rickety; there is hardly any ventilation due to overloading and bus crews behave like Neanderthals.
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Wild swings of veda beri Tarzans
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:16 AM SL Time
If there are good politicians, they must be either dead or in the Opposition. The media is full of friends in the Opposition. Out of power, politicians behave themselves and champion various causes including media freedom. Those ruling party politicians who stand accused of trying to suppress media freedom today were the very defenders of the press when they were in the Opposition. Politicians languishing in the Opposition are like the proverbial cat that pretended to be observing sil and lured unsuspecting mice to lower their guard. The true faces of politicians are laid bare, only after they are voted to power. But, there are instances where even Opposition politicians show their true colours unwittingly.
The Free Media Movement (FMM) has locked horns with the Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over the latter`s statement that editors should be summoned to Parliament to be questioned under the Parliamentary Privileges Act. The FMM says Mr. Wickremesinghe has said this `as part of a larger statement critical of newspapers that did not publish vital remarks, as he saw them, made by Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle on a Supreme court decision limiting security provided to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.`
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Some Indian models worthy of adoption
Thursday, 24 May 2007 - 4:45 AM SL Time
India has been a vast reservoir of inspiration for this country since time immemorial. At present, there is a school of thought that Sri Lanka should adopt the Indian devolution model to resolve her conflict. However, the adoption of foreign models may not always be easy or feasible. It was only the other day that we quoted Dr. Thilokasundari Kariyawasam blaming the high rate of failure at the GCE (O/L) examination on the adoption of the British examinations system. But, the fact remains that we will benefit tremendously, if, in trying to solve our problems, we learn from other nations on a case by case basis.
One of the biggest problems besetting this country is corruption. Politicians and their lackeys are helping themselves to public funds and/or lining their pockets through other malpractices such as bribery. They don`t care two hoots about the law that demands the submission of their asset declarations before elections.
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|Sports News Sports News Forum|
Kandy SC meets SL Army
Sunday, 27 May 2007 - 7:45 AM SL Time
Defending Champions Kandy Sports Club who recorded formidable 77-0 win against Old Zahirinas in the curtain raiser of the Caltex inter Club `A` Division Rugby league game last week will host Sri Lanka Army today at Nittwela, while Havelocks sports Club who came down to Police last week by 12-16 will lock horns against Old Zahirians SC at Longden Place with both matches set to kick off at 4.30 pm today.
Kandy Sports Club will go out as the strong favourites to record another victory in their own den. The soldiers who came out with some good performance against last week should come out with an exceptional performance to contain the home team. Kandy that comprises 11 national players in their outfit cannot take the Soldiers lightly since they are capable of firing back at any given stage with some talented players.
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I leave with happy memories - Moody
Saturday, 26 May 2007 - 10:08 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka`s cricket coach Tom Moody left the island yesterday afternoon to take over a new coaching position with Western Australia. The former Australian all-rounder, who coached Sri Lanka for two years, speaking to `The Island` said that he was leaving with happy memories.
`These two years have been a very enjoyable period of my life. We worked hard as a unit and reaching the final of the World Cup was the result of all the hard work that we put in. I am certainly leaving Colombo with a lot of happy memories,` Moody told `The Island` just before he left his Cinnamon Grand luxury apartment.
`Leaving Sri Lanka has not been an easy decision. It`s been very tough, but I had to make that decision because of my family,` Moody added.
`Now I am looking forward to the new role in Perth. The state has not won any title in recent times. Furthermore, there are fresh challenges which I have to face. My family will be moving to Perth from England and it`ll be great to spend time with the kids again after constant travelling during the last two years,` Moody surmised.
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Sri Lanka women cagers for Korea
Friday, 25 May 2007 - 7:18 AM SL Time
The Sri Lanka women`s Basketball team, led by G.G.D. Kumarin de Silva of Hatton National Bank comprising of seventeen members including twelve players and five officials will leave for Korea on June 1 to take part in the twenty second FIBA Asia Basketball Championship for women conducted by the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) which will be staged in Incheon, Korea from June 3 to 10.
The other countries vying for honours in this event are neighbouring India, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, host country Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
Sri Lanka team will take part in level two along with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Vietnam while China will be competing in level one with Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Malaysia.
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