Thursday, May 31, 2012

Unprecedented unity among educational sector trade unions of Sri Lanka

A newly formed Collective of Educational Administration, Principal and Teacher services of Sri Lanka holding a press conference yesterday protested the moves by the government to hand over the administrative work of the educational offices to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service officials.

So far the administration of the educational offices were conducted entirely by the officials of the Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service.

The secretary of the Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service Union Premasiri Epa said that the moves are ahead to appoint Sri Lanka Administrative Service officials to the posts of the Additional Zonal Educational Director (Admin) and Additional Provincial Education Director (Admin).

An unprecedented unity of 15 trade unions of the educational sector is witnessed before this minor matter.

Teachers say that the educational sector trade unions have never joined together like this to fight for the rights oft he teachers.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The statement of R. Sambanthan, the leader of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachi (ITAK) after 14th convention

Photo: Sambanthan waving Sri Lanka flag at 2012 May Day of joint opposition in Jaffna. The incident caused controversy. Tamil nationalists say the flag was placed in the hand of the Tamil National Alliance leader's hand fraudulently.
The statement made by R. Sambanthan, the leader of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (IATK), the major constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) after its 14th convention held in Batticaloa recently. Adapted from News First 

"Dear honourable Sinhalese people, our political aspiration, to obtain our rightful political rights and to administer our own political, social, economic and cultural affairs, is a very reasonable one. It is a fundamental right," Sampanthan said.

"The solutions we present to further our political aspirations will not in any way impact the sovereignty of any other group. A solution within a unitary Sri Lanka is our clear request. We will be in expectation of such a solution. The solution should be reasonable. One that is acceptable to us, is practical, and permanent. we are prepared to work with and support any party that is willing to come up with such a solution. It can be observed by the manner in which the war was conducted and related incidents, that human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law took place."

"The international community has accepted that a fair and impartial investigation should be held and the truth uncovered and divulged," said the Leader of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, R. Sampanthan.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Over 100 young men fleeing 'Wonder of Asia' arrested by Sri Lanka police

Sri Lanka police nabbed around 119 persons who attempted to migrate illegally to a foreign country.

Police say a set of racketeers who were involved in the trafficking have also been arrested.

The arrested persons included six who handled the trafficking 'racket'. The others were young men who had paid around Rs. 200,000 to them to go abroad.

Rs. 200,000 does not rationalize the use of the word 'racket' and it is not unfair to consider it as social service in the point of view of the 'victims' of the 'racket'.

They were arrested at Galle Face in Colombo and at Negambo. Police also arrested seven vans and a lorry that were transporting the individuals to a coastal area from where they were to be transferred into a vessel.

Police suspect the youth were attempted to be trafficked to Australia via sea.

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Sri Lanka Minister slams UNHRC, US, EU and India while another blames Sinhala chauvinists for abetting Tamil Diaspora

The Minister kissing an Iran official
Sri Lanka Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka said to a local Sinhala language radio, Hiru FM, that the service extension granted to UNHRC Chairman Navanithan Pillai was the next move of the actions by US, European Union and India pertaining to Sri Lanka.

The Minister stated that the US has already pointed that the LLRC was not inadequate and an international investigation needed.

The Minister said that the Western countries were aiming to surround the country socially, economically and politically and to create an anarchy.

He urged all to unite irrespective of petit differences to oppose these moves.

The relevant audio can be found here

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion Dilan Perera said that the Sinhala chauvinists active around the country are assisting Tamil Diaspora to win their aims of achieving a separate Ealam state.

Addressing a meeting in Haliela, in his electorate, the Minister said that the Sinhala chauvinists assist Tamil racists by spreading anti-Tamil ideas country wide.

He pointed out that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) has not killed any Sinhala chauvinist due to this understanding. He said no leader of the People's Liberation Front (JVP) was ever killed by LTTE. The Minister added that he would not declare the other names since he would have to face disciplinary action.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sri Lanka opposition MP to be arrested for attacking a man

Sri Lanka police say that they will arrest opposition MP of United National Party Dunesh Gankanda for allegedly injuring a persons.

The MP is alleged of assaulting an individual and biting his nose.

According to Police Media Spokesperson , the incident has taken in a hotel in Colombo 03. The victim has been admitted to Colombo National Hospital. He is a 41 year old businessman.

Colpetty police is conducting investigations pertaining to the incident.
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Sri Lanka Planetarium, an astronomical marvel in an astrology worshipping land

Still, school children visit Colombo planetarium as a regular place of their visit to the capital city. I visited it once when I was a school boy and due to nostalgia I went there once again as a young man. It was not as exciting as it was in the earlier visit. As well, it was not as big as it was in the eye of a small boy. Both shows were alike despite the scope of time. There were jam fruit trees in the garden bent with tasty berries, I should not forget to mention.

Government sources say that the planetarium was built by German engineers according to a plan of  renowned civil engineer A.N.S. Kulasinghe targeting a technical exhibition held in 1965.

500 can sit in it and view the sky in different points of view.

It is good the government has decided to upgrade the Colombo planetarium which provides knowledge on astronomy in which astrology is venerated.

Under a proposal of Minster of Technology and Research, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the cabinet has granted approval to install a Full Dome Project System. The technological upgrade takes place on the recommendation of Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee with a view to increase the facilities in Planetarium. Government is to spend US $ 1.2 million for the upgrade.

This is the first time I heard the cabinet portfolio of Ms. Pavithra Wanniarachahi. I thought the planetarium belonged to the Ministry of Science and Technology. Perhaps, it can be the only asset of  Pavithra's Ministry, what a pity! But how lucky we are, if we have a separate Minister for planetarium! But I am wrong. The President has not downgraded Pavithra lower to Minister Thissa Vitharana. She is given some good institutes like Arthur C. Clerk Institute for Modern Technology.

The Ministry has a blog, a funny one with real nonsense. Believe, it was last updated November 30, 1999. I think it is the oldest un-updated blog of Sri Lanka!

Await! I have found more funny stuff regarding Sri Lanka's science and technology.

Visit planetarium website.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sri Lanka Sports Ministry to ban administration for 10 years for officials that submitted false information to AAA

Sri Lanka Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage said in the parliament yesterday that a 10 year ban on administration would be imposed on the two former administrative officials who are suspected of providing false information to the Asian Athletics Association (AAA).

Answering a query raised by the United National Party (UNP) MP Sajith Premadasa, the Minister of Sports said that a committee has been appointed under the chairmanship of specialist doctor Maiya Gunasekara to probe the incident.

The Minister further stated that the secretary of the AAA Morris Nicolas will arrive in Sri Lanka again to look into the organizing of the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships 2012.

AAA has given the green light for Sri Lanka to host the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships 2012, as scheduled from June 09 to June 12 at Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. Earlier, it was announced by the Secretary of the Asian Athletic Association Maurice R. Nicholas that the event was cancelled indefinitely due to a petition received by the AAA from several former officials of Sri Lanka Athletic Association (SLAA) stating that the SLAA election which was held early this month was not free and fair.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asian Athletics Association decided to go ahead with Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Colombo

Sri Lanka Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage says that the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) has changed the decision to cancel the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championship 2012.

The sports event is scheduled to be held from June 9 to 12 in Sugathadasa National Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

AAA changed the decision within 24 hours due to the engagement of the Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage and the officials of Sri Lanka Athletics Association, the Minister said.

He further said that the persons who submitted wrong information to the AAA would be penalized.

A total of 850 athletes, coaches, and trainers from 43 countries are to participate in the event.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sri Lanka fails to host sian Junior Athletics Championship; bid to host the 2017 Asian Youth Games

Asian Athletics Association cancelled 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championship 2012 that was scheduled to be held from June 9 to 12 in Sugathadasa National Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka due to the incompletion of Sugathadasa Stadium where the events were to be held.

While the country fails to host the Asian Junior Athletics Championship, Sri Lanka Olympic Committee is planning to place a bid to host the 2017 Asian Youth Games in Hambantota at the meeting of the Asian Olympic Committee to be held in Kuwait on May 24

Sri Lanka is likely to win the rights to host the games as no other bids have materialized yet, according to Colombo Page.

Sri Lanka also bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota but lost to Gold Coast, Australia.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Public money spent in Sri Lanka to develop infrastructure for private sea plane business

Sri Lanka Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayarathna said at the beginning of this month that the state owned Sri Lankan airline would terminate its loss making sea plane operations within four months as the current lease agreements of sea planes would also end.

But the government will declare open a new sea plane landing airport in Dandugamoya in close proximity to the Katunayaka Bandaranaike International Airport tomorrow (May 21)  with a teak pier, passenger lounge and parking facility for tourist vehicles.

Further, the government has plans to increase the number of sea plane points of the island from 10 to 20 within this year.

All these infrastructure development is conducted with public money for the benefit of a private company that is to launch a sea plane service shortly. It is in addition to the loss born by public for the launch of the new business venture in this country.

Sources say that this business is also linked to the ruling family.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Release of Sri Lanka's former Army Commander form jail is more controversial than sending him to jail

Source: Albert Bigelow Paine, Thomas Nast: His Period and His Pictures, 1904 
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa's media spokesman Bandula Jayasekara says that the cabinet has granted approval to release Sarath Fonseka.

The proposal in this regard has been moved by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the spokesman says.

However, the cabinet spokesman Acting Minister of Communication and Media Lakshaman Yapa Anewardhana today denied discussing anything regarding release of Sarath Fonseka at the cabinet meeting held yesterday evening.

Media were speculating on the possible release of Fonseka in near future.

Democratic National Alliance (NDA) MP Tiran Alles yesterday held talks with the President regarding the release of the NDA leader Sarath Fonseka.

This shows that the imprisonment of Sarath Fonseka was entirely an act of the government for which the system of justice was manipulated. Yet, we do not know if Fonseka was jailed through a decision of the cabinet.

If Sri Lanka's judiciary is independent and if Fonseka's case is entirely legal, why should the cabinet decide to release Fonseka?

The release of Fonseka will raise more issues than the imprisonment of him. It will be a public lifting of the back curtain to show the anal where the rule of law intercourses with the political authorities.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sri Lankan politician distributing sarees with funds for increasing nutrition

The government Councillors of the Southern Provincial Council of Sri Lanka accuse that the Chief Minister Shan Vijayalal de Silva is using funds available for the development work to activities like distributing sarees.

Southern Provincial Councillor Ajith Prasanna charges that the Chief Minister is distributing 16,000 sarees to the mothers using Rs. 20 million of Provincial Council funds.

He said that the fund needed to go for projects that increase the nutrition of the mothers.

However, the Chief Minister explained that the project of distribution of sarees commenced on a request of the Mothers' Health Societies of the three districts of the Southern Province.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Packaging exhibition in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Packaging Industry exhibition, named as ‘LANKAPACK 2012’ is scheduled to be held from 25th to 28th of May.

Nearly 150 exhibitors are expected to take part in it.

40 international exhibitors, representing companies from countries including India, China, Malaysia and Taiwan will also take part in the exhibition.

Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging organizes the event that is held in Bandaranaike International Conference Hall.

An international packaging conference which will be addressed by both local and international speakers of repute will also be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.

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Sri Lanka opposition MP wants state media head summoned to parliamentary privileges committee

Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) MP Anoma Gamage has written to the speaker of parliament, Chamal Rajapaksa, requesting the Chairman of state-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Hudson Samarasinghe summoned before the parliamentary privileges committee.

The MP stated that a speech delivered by her on February 08 at the adjournment debate of the parliament on the import and export (control) act was distorted maliciously by the SLBC Chairman to criticize and insult her in a radio programme called ‘Dasa Desin Rata Yana Atha.’ on February 21, March 22 and several other days.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Sri Lanka doctors strike today

The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA)executive committee has decided to strike work today demanding the arrears of the Rs. 29,000 allowance that was granted in 2008.

A spokesman of the GMOA said that the allowance paid so far is Rs. 15,000 and they were fighting for none months to win the rest and the arrears.

The spokesman said that the strike would be island wide sans several major sections of hospitals where strike will not be held on humanitarian grounds.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena said that he held a discussion with the GMOA this morning as well and steps will be initiated to settle the issue through negotiations.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sri Lanka opposition forms a joint committee to protest against government

Sri Lanka opposition has appointed a joint committee to carry forward the joint opposition programmes.

This committee met yesterday after holding the joint opposition May Day in Jaffna.

Major opposition United National Party, major Tamil constituent Tamil National Alliance, Democratic People's Front, Left Front and Nawa Sihala Urumaya are in this joint opposition committee.

The committee has decided to organize protest against the government on themes of rising cost of living, democracy and human rights.

The committee has also decided to broaden the joint opposition alliance attracting other parties and groups as well.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Tamara Kumamayakam, the weeping Sri Lankan Tamil woman in diplomatic service

Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva is crying.

Her tone has changed to the tone similar to other Tamils, the Diaspora Tamils, the LTTE Tamils or the other disgruntled Tamils. 

Listen to Tamara! She says, “Removing one of the very few Tamils heading diplomatic missions abroad will allow questioning of the bona fides of the Government’s commitment to reconciliation, will reinforce extremist elements on all sides, and validate the argument that mine was only a token appointment.”

Why does she have highlight that very few Tamils are in diplomatic missions? This is the country's ethnic problem what she tried to show as the government is managing well amidst international pressure to resolve it through reforms. 

This is the ethnic problem that legitimized the Tigers' brutal armed struggle in Tamil polity which led to counter measures that amount to war crimes, another threat she helps the government to face. 

Finally, she herself laments saying Tamils are victims of discriminations. What a pity! Again to the beginning after a full circle. 

This is how Dayan Jayathilaka described Tamara Kunanayakam in an article to Sri Lanka Guardian in August 2011 by the time she assumed the post now she is asked to vacate. 

She is not only the best read, politically literate, most intellectual and probably the most intelligent among our diplomats today (her last book on the political economy of global development was favorably reviewed in the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique), she is also perhaps the clearest and most committed among our DPLs on the crucial matter of defending sovereignty from neo-colonialism, imperialism, hegemonism and external intervention.
Of Tamil ethnicity, she is completely Sri Lankan, and is above all, a progressive, a broad internationalist and a Third Worldist. She is immune as Lakshman Kadirgamar was, to narrow ethnocentric loyalties and what he called ‘tribalism’. It is the duty of all patriotic Sri Lankans to fully support Ambassador Kunanayakam.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Sri Lanka imposes new import tax on milk powder

Sri Lanka government has increased the import tax of the milk powder with immediate effect.

Accordingly, an import tax of 15% or Rs. 92 is to be imposed on a kilo of imported milk powder.

Government sources say that the aim of the tax is to discourage use of imported milk powder and give a boost to local milk food production. 

Earlier the government had imposed a 30% or Rs. 125 per kilo import tax for milk powder. But the government removed the tax to prevent the increase of the milk powder prices in the market.

However, the government did not explain how it aimed to popularize locally produced liquid milk instead of imported milk powder. Similar Cess taxes imposed for various purposes such as discard the batteries of the mobile phones environment friendly are also under questioning and the critics say that the government made use of dairy farmers' protests to levy taxes from the people.

Meanwhile, People's Liberation Front (JVP) MP Anura Kumara Disanayaka charged that the government was trying to privatize the state-owned milk food company Milco with recently imported milk powder machines as well. 

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Four Sri Lankans arrested for smuggling diamonds from Greece

A stock of diamonds and jewellery attempted to be smuggled to Sri Lanka has been arrested by the customs.

Three Sri Lankans were arrested under suspicion of attempting to smuggle these items hidden in computers.
They have been sent to Sri Lanka from Greece.

Customs took the container of items into custody following an information of the Interpol, said police spokesman Ajith Rohana.

He further said that the assistance of the Interpol would be sought to identify the smuggled items and the suspects.
Customs sources say that the stock of diamonds and jewelleries arrested worth over Rs. 50 million.

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Sri Lanka police treasure hunting in Anuradhapura

A senior police official of the North Central Province of Sri Lanka said that an investigation was under way regarding an incident of police Special Task Force (STF) wngaging in treasure hunting in Mahawilachchiya area of the province.

Several villagers were injured yesterday as they clashed with a group of armed STF personnel who were treasure hunting in a reservoir bank using machinery.

Villagers say that the personnel in guard said to them they were looking for hidden weapons and attacked them with weapons as they protested.

Villagers accuse area police for not arresting the persons that were treasure hunting.

A back-haw has been arrested and the operator of the machine claims he and the machine were brought at gun point.
Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana yesterday said that the STF went there to arrest persons that were treasure hunting.

However, the villagers contradicted the statement saying the STF personnel were from far away Colombo.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sri Lanka's former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka severely ill

A website in Sri Lanka reported today that the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is suffering from a severe bronchitis.

Fonseka who is jailed now was admitted into Nawaloka private hospital last week following a court order due to serious illness.

Fonseka has been provided with nebulizer treatment every four hours, sources close to his family said to media.
Hospital sources say that Fonseka will have to stay in hospital for a number of days. The website reported that his lawyers will submit his medical report to court this week.

Fonseka's wife Anoma Fonseka said that Fonseka had been given equipment for nebulizing in his prison cell but it had not been carried out properly.

Fonseka sustained serious lung injuries in a suicide attack of the Tamil terrorists as he was serving as the Army Commander.

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Sri Lanka wildlife officials withdrawn from duties related to wild elephants

All Sri Lanka Association of Wildlife Officials says that it has withdrawn from duties pertaining to wild elephants.

The wildlife officials came to this decision after a group of villagers attacked them as they were attempting to rescue a wild elephant who had fallen into a farm well in Ambanpola in Kurunegala district.

A driver of the Wildlife Department was hospitalized in the incident. A vehicle was also damaged.

The Association says that no person engaged in the assault has been arrested so far.

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