HUNDREDS of shocked international students will attend a crisis meeting today after private training provider Melbourne International College went into voluntary administration.
The King Street-based college offered qualifications in welfare and English as a second language to about 350 international students. It was investigated by the State Government in 2007 following claims it let students who paid extra pass even if they skipped classes. The outcome of that audit was not made public.
One of its former directors, Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, 35, was arrested by the Australian Federal Police last year at the request of the FBI over alleged terrorism offences in the US relating to the Tamil Tigers.
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority director Lynn Glover said students would be able to transfer to another provider following cancellation of the college's education licence today.
Students would not have to pay extra to transfer and all students would be given private training places in Melbourne, Ms Glover said.
The Age revealed last year that some Melbourne training colleges were offering certificates and upgrades to international students for up to $9000.
Students use the documents to apply for permanent residency.
Ms Glover said that Melbourne International College was not one of 17 colleges being audited by the state and the Commonwealth for suspected exploitation of students, migration fraud and breaches of education law.
The VRQA is responsible for registering and monitoring Victorian training organisations.
When The Age called the Melbourne International College, a recorded message said the phone was unattended.
Students will attend a meeting at the Dallas Brooks Centre in East Melbourne at 3pm.
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Friday, July 17, 2009
Posted by media at 8:04 PM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had won the war against the LTTE and its terrorism, and can now win the peace. His enormous talent should help solve the long drawn out issue in Sri Lanka permanently, said Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the Sri Lankan President yesterday.
These sentiments were expressed when the two national leaders of India and Sri Lanka met for bi-lateral discussions shortly after the conclusion of the 15th Non Aligned Summit at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, yesterday (16).
The Indian Prime Minister said he had the highest confidence in President Rajapaksa’s capability in resolving the tasks presented in the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka, as he had a clear vision of what had to be done in the current situation.
The discussions between the two leaders covered a wide range of issues of mutual interest such as the IDPS in the North, proposals for devolution of power and a political solution in Sri Lanka, the issue of fishermen in the waters north of Sri Lanka, the current Development in the North and East, and continued cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa assured the Indian Prime Minister that the Government was taking all steps to keep to its target of re-settling the IDPs in 180 days, which programme was first announced to the high level Indian officials who visited Sri Lanka for exchange of views shortly after the defeat of the LTTE. The government was keen to expedite the process of resettlement and rehabilitation, but had to also be conscious of the need to ensure the safety of these citizens, especially from land mines and other dangers, as well as provide them with the necessary infra-structure facilities and new livelihood opportunities.
He also explained the priority being given by the government to development activities in the North and East, with special impetus on development of the North, in the context of the enormous losses suffered by the people of the North under terrorism, and the lack of any progress in development activity in areas that were once held by the LTTE.
Sri Lanka saw both the North and East as new areas for economic development, with the many opportunities available for investment, now that they had been cleared of the grip of terrorism. The possibility of Indian investment in these areas, mutually beneficial to the two countries, was discussed with the objective of further exploring the opportunities that are now being worked out.
Both leaders were agreed on the need to prevent conflict involving the fishermen of the two countries in the waters North of Sri Lanka, and the need for humanitarian approaches in dealing with this matter.
On the issue of a political solution to the current issued in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa restated in Lanka’s policy of moving ahead with implementing of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which had not been fully implemented so far, mainly due to the obstacles placed by the LTTE, although it had at first agreed to its provisions. The government was looking forward, with a great degree of confidence, to obtaining consensus among all sections on the proposals envisaged in this regard.
In discussing the need for reconciliation among the communities in Sri Lanka, after the separatist terrorist war that lasted thirty years, President Rajapaksa said moves had already been initiated in this regard with his calling an All Party Committee on Development and Reconciliation. He expressed satisfaction that this committee had a very large representation, including that of the Tamil National Alliance, whose representatives had said they are now prepared to be partners in the progress of Sri Lanka. The process of reconciliation was being actively pursued on many fronts, with the need for inclusive policies for political an economic development.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India would continue to give all support to ensure the early resettlement and rehabilitation of the IDPs in the North.
President Rajapaksa thanked India for the understanding it had shown in the need to defeat the terrorism of the LTTE, the assistance it had already given in bringing relief to the IDPs, the offer of continued support in this regard, and for the strong support extended to Sri Lanka in the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
It was also agreed that both countries continue with the periodic contacts at a high level to ensure good understanding between the two countries on matters of mutual interest.
The Indian Prime Minister invited President Rajapaksa to visit New Delhi at the earliest opportunity for the further strengthening of good relations between the two countries, which invitation was reciprocated by President Rajapaksa to Dr. Manmohan Singh.
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Posted by media at 7:00 PM
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Posted by media at 7:35 AM
Sri Lanka Calgary Welfare Foundation which has been established by Sri Lankans in Canada with the intention of uplifting the living standard of our war heroes who fought valiantly to bring the peace for the whole island, made a donation of 7500 Canadian Dollar for the welfare of residential war heroes in Ragama Ranaviru Sevana yesterday (July 14 ).
The representative of Sri Lanka Calgary Welfare Foundation Mr. Kapila Nissanka handed over the cheque to Lieutenant Ariyapala, an official of Ragama Ranaviru Sevana. under the guidance of the chairperson of Seva Vanitha Unit , Defence Ministry Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa at the Ministry premises.
A few other members of Seva Vanitha Unit were also present for the occasion
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Posted by media at 4:33 AM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed special police teams assisted by the army to tackle the potent threat posed by underworld criminal gangs and drug dealers who have become a menace to society and peace-loving people, police officials said.
With the crackdown taking off the ground, many underworld kingpins and notorious criminal and extortion gang leaders are believed to have gone underground, the sources said.
"We have information that some of these Mafia-style leaders are even trying to flee the country to escape arrest", they said.
The President had warned that he will not tolerate any political interference to stall the ongoing operations against these criminal elements.
The President has said that the support of members of civil society is important to wipe out the twin menace of underworld criminal activity and drug peddling, which are a growing menace, the sources said.
Some of these gangs were involved in extorting money from businessman as well as politicians of all hues, as it came to light recently. One of these gang leaders had demanded Rs 300,000 from veteran Trade Unionist and Governor of the Western Province Alavi Mowlana. This gang leader was shot dead by the police later.
These gangs are known to carry out contract killings, murder, rape, assault, intimidation, throwing acid, eviction or throwing out of persons from lands and buildings. Their slogan is ‘if the price is right we will do anything you name’, police sources said.
Operations are being conducted under the instructions of DIG (Crimes and Organized Crimes) Anura Senanayake who has identified six underworld gangs and their members involved in various crimes including extortion and drug trafficking.
With the recent abduction and murder of underworld gang leader Anamalu imitiaz in the Maligawatte area by unidentified persons, many other gang leaders in Colombo, Modera, Borella, Dematagoda and Nugegoda and their henchmen are said to have gone underground.
Police have received reliable information that an underworld leader Olcott from the Borella area had escaped to Italy with the support of a musical group who were scheduled to perform in Rome
Investigators also have information that these organized criminal gang leaders and drug dealers have enjoyed the support of certain Police personnel who were in their payroll. These officers had always tipped off the gang members whenever operations were mounted against them and this has led to the inability of apprehending these criminals.
Posted by media at 12:24 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
For 27 long years my people were gripped by mortal fear. A great sigh of relief has now swept across the entire nation being finally released from the grip of the fear of terrorism. The Sri Lankan Nation now looks to the future with renewed hope and enthusiasm. We have faith that all our friends who stood by us in our hour of need will continue to stand by us and walk with us in our journey to develop Sri Lanka for the benefit of all our people, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his statement at the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt today July 15.
"I am proud to announce that my country has succeeded in eliminating one of the most brutal terrorist groups in the world. This group was not a liberation movement but an anti-national separatist cult that glorified violence. Sadly they were able to propagate their cult of violence and hatred in some countries which, for understandable but unjustifiable political reasons, seemed less than forthright in their opposition to terrorism that did not seem to threaten them", the President added.
"Our Government is aware that defeating a terrorist group does not solve the underlying grievances of our people. We are therefore now dealing with these issues. First and foremost, we are engaged in attending to the needs of the 287,000 civilians who were held hostage by the terrorists and liberated by our Security Forces. Our goal is to quickly return the displaced to their homes and to restore their livelihoods.
The needs of the displaced are substantial, and we welcome and thank all those in the international community who have offered us assistance. I take this opportunity to thank the United Nations, and the Secretary General in particular who visited Sri Lanka and extended UN assistance. I also thank those countries that have given generously to benefit our people who suffered for so long with no one to speak for them when under terrorist domination", the President added.
Referring to the world financial and economic crises, President Rajapaksa said: "The world is today confronted by a crisis that is essentially the creation of the financial markets of certain developed countries. As a consequence of his financial crisis, our development agenda is challenged; our exports are crippled; our industries are suffering from a lack of confidence; and we face an externally induced liquidity shortfall. It is unfortunate that many countries of the developing world, which largely with their own resources climbed up the ladder of development, are adversely affected and even penalized in this manner due to the global financial crisis which was not of their own making".
Here is the text of President's statement:
It is with great pleasure that I address you today in this historic land of a great civilization and a fountain-head of the Non-Aligned Movement. Let me thank the Egyptian authorities for the wonderful hospitality extended to me and my delegation. I also wish to thank President Raul Castro for his efficient and inspiring stewardship of our Movement, through challenging times.
Representing a founding nation of our Movement, I am honored to speak today on several current issues of relevance to us. I note some of the useful suggestions made by H. E. Muammar Ghaddafi.
I am proud to announce that my country has succeeded in eliminating one of the most brutal terrorist groups in the world. This group was not a liberation movement but an anti-national separatist cult that glorified violence. Sadly they were able to propagate their cult of violence and hatred in some countries which, for understandable but unjustifiable political reasons, seemed less than forthright in their opposition to terrorism that did not seem to threaten them.
Terrorism threatens and diminishes all of us, so we are grateful to our friends, especially in the Non-Aligned Movement, who helped and stood by us consistently through our most difficult times. Sri Lanka has consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms and therefore we are happy at our success in defeating terrorism on our soil, and hope that the world, like our principled friends here will rejoice with us and not begrudge a victory they should hope will be repeated elsewhere.
For 27 long years my people were gripped by mortal fear. A great sigh of relief has now swept across the entire nation being finally released from the grip of the fear of terrorism. The Sri Lankan Nation now looks to the future with renewed hope and enthusiasm. We have faith that all our friends who stood by us in our hour of need will continue to stand by us and walk with us in our journey to develop Sri Lanka for the benefit of all our people.
Our Government is aware that defeating a terrorist group does not solve the underlying grievances of our people. We are therefore now dealing with these issues. First and foremost, we are engaged in attending to the needs of the 287,000 civilians who were held hostage by the terrorists and liberated by our Security Forces. Our goal is to quickly return the displaced to their homes and to restore their livelihoods.
The needs of the displaced are substantial, and we welcome and thank all those in the international community who have offered us assistance. I take this opportunity to thank the United Nations, and the Secretary General in particular who visited Sri Lanka and extended UN assistance. I also thank those countries that have given generously to benefit our people who suffered for so long with no one to speak for them when under terrorist domination.
Our society is a caring society, and people from all parts of the country have come forward to assist those who were displaced. We are confident that our Government, together with our civil society, and with the support of our international friends, will ensure that all displaced persons resume their normal lives very soon, and partake fully in the social, political and economic development on which my government has embarked. We have noted the comments made by our colleagues with regard to the use of sanctions against individual countries. Sanctions, whatever the cause, only punish the people of that country. Punishing a people must never be endorsed by the international community.
The world is today confronted by a crisis that is essentially the creation of the financial markets of certain developed countries. As a consequence of his financial crisis, our development agenda is challenged; our exports are crippled; our industries are suffering from a lack of confidence; and we face an externally induced liquidity shortfall. It is unfortunate that many countries of the developing world, which largely with their own resources climbed up the ladder of development, are adversely affected and even penalized in this manner due to the global financial crisis which was not of their own making.
The rescue packages currently being implemented seem to focus essentially on helping the economies of developed countries. This is short-sighted, as the world today is inter-linked and inter-dependent as never before. There cannot be a satisfactory outcome to this crisis unless these packages are designed to help developing country economies as well. Among other measures, we urge the consideration of temporary deferment of debt repayment as an essential short-term initiative to overcome current difficulties of the affected developing countries.
We believe in self-help and solidarity which are hallmarks of our movement as well. In this spirit, I would like to propose that we combine our substantial collective resources to establish an Emergency Financing Facility which could be accessed in situations of the current sort. For far too long, global financial institutions have been dominated by traditional economies.
Today the world economy is different. We must not be bound by a framework that is outdated and ineffective. The global financial architecture must reflect current circumstances, be democratic and, until such time, it would be sensible to establish a Reserve Facility of our own to assist fellow developing country in emergency situations.
We have another serious problem affecting our home, the Planet Earth. Human activity is causing the global climate to heat-up at an alarming rate. This will have far-reaching consequences for animal and plant life and for human civilization. In our own region, South Asia, sea-level rise resulting from climate change will bring serious consequences to a number of countries, including the inundation of coastal lowlands and the contamination of fresh water sources. Again, our own region will be affected by prolonged droughts, shortages of drinking water and, in some areas, unseasonal rains and glacier melting.
All this will result in serious adverse implications for agriculture, fisheries and related industries. There is a clear possibility of environment-related issues becoming a challenge to our region. We must address this difficult problem in a pragmatic manner. I continue to believe that those who polluted our Planet through rapid and indiscriminate industrialization, and who continue to pollute in disproportionate quantities, must bear the primary burden in addressing this problem.
Of course developing countries must play their role in addressing the threat of climate change; but this should not be done in a manner where we would have to make unfair sacrifices, compromising progress towards poverty alleviation and the prosperity of our people. It is vital in particular that, in an era of increasing concern for human rights, we address the consequences for the poor of pollution, and ensure mechanisms for compensation when basic rights, for life, for health, for development, are violated.
Developing countries must be assisted technologically and financially to follow a different development model from the ones which have resulted in damage to our Planet. There must be recognition of the carbon debt owed by developed countries to developing countries, and the low per capita carbon emission rate of developing countries. Those countries which have managed to preserve their tree cover that is now acting as an Earth Lung should be given credit for what they have preserved and continue to nature.
As the current Chair of SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Sri Lanka has taken the lead in mobilizing our region to address the most acute challenges that currently face our region, namely terrorism and the impact of the global financial crisis. Our collective vision has since resonated in many international fora. SAARC which is a small group of countries has a permanent Secretariat of their own. Unfortunately, the Non –aligned Movement though existing for over five decades has not been able to establish a permanent Secretariat so far. I strongly proposed that we the leaders of Non-aligned countries come together to establish a permanent Secretariat for our movement.
Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this occasion, let us re-dedicate our selves to work in solidarity towards;
Peace and security of societies where any manifestation of terrorism will never be allowed, and the sovereignty of our nation is promoted and reserved;
A financial architecture and facilities that are specifically focused on the needs of developing countries; and
A green planet with equity best responsibilities and benefits.
May the Noble Triple Gem Bless You all.
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Posted by media at 10:33 PM
President commends ICTA, Microsoft for removing
language barriers in computer applications with the launch
of Sinhala interface pack
Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday expressed his optimism that Sri Lanka “is poised for greater economic growth and development” and expressed the global giant’s support since much of future prosperity would be fueled by the use of software and the power of IT.
Positive sentiments by Gates, one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs, were conveyed to none other than President Mahinda Rajapakse via a special audio visual message at a ceremony to handover a plaque incorporating the first copy of the Sinhala Language Interface Pack (LIP), from Microsoft and ICTA, paving the way towards making significant progress in Rural ICT adoption in Sri Lanka.
The presentation was part of Microsoft and ICTA efforts to mark the “Year of English and IT Services” this year.
Gates said he was “very excited to learn about plans for the year which have a clear focus on IT, because this initiative demonstrates” that President Rajapaksa, and his government recognize the extraordinary potential that information technology has to dramatically improve people’s lives in the country.
“Sri Lanka has an advantage though, with a government that’s committed to investing further in IT, as outlined in President Rajapaksa’s vision statement. Like President Rajapaksa, I am optimistic that the country is poised for greater economic growth and development and much of that will be fueled by the use of software and the power of IT. Sri Lanka’s high literacy rate, at over 90%, and its high standards of education and healthcare give it a strong economic foundation. The country’s IT literacy rate is nearing 20%, which represents a significant jump from 8% only a few years ago. English language speaking skills are also a crucial part of the foundation for future growth. I am pleased to see that the government has identified the importance of English language skills by declaring 2009 the Year of English and IT Services,” Gates said in his message.
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Posted by media at 4:05 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
A clash between two groups resulted in the death of a Tamil youth in east-end Toronto over the weekend, the Canadian police said on Monday adding that the incident was a "senseless occurrence" that never should have happened.
Kristian Thanapalan died of a blunt force injury to his head after he was beaten by a group armed with baseball and cricket bats early Saturday, police said.
Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Savas Kyriacou says the 22-year-old and his friends were swarmed after they finished playing a game of volleyball in a park late at night.
Thanapalan and five other young men had gathered earlier in the evening at an east-end park, where they bumped a volleyball around until sunset.
Wanting to continue the game, the group of friends moved to a lit field at a public school nearby.
Kyriacou said they formed a circle, keeping the volleyball up without nets. "It was just a bunch of friends getting together to spend an evening together."
Another group of 15 to 20 young men were playing baseball or cricket at a nearby baseball field. When the lights went out around 11 p.m., both games ended.
The two groups went to a parking lot, where Thanapalan and his friends continued playing volleyball and the others entered vehicles.
"During that time, we believe there was an exchange of words," Kyriacou said.
Police don't know what was said, but the vehicles left and returned a number of times to circle a nearby cul de sac.
As Thanapalan and his friends left the parking lot around 12:15 a.m., a group of about eight males approached them, Kyriacou said.
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Posted by media at 10:35 AM
The reconstruction of the northern railway track has been accelerated to expedite the process beyond Thandikulam, ,railway sources said.
The first phase up to Thandikulam was completed on schedule, they said.
Work on the Thandikulam –Omanthiai has already begun, railway sources further added.
The southern people from Matara and Hambanthota have agreed to help fond the reconstruction work of the Kilinochchi railway station, sources said.
Railway expects to complete the northern rail track project on schedule.
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Posted by media at 7:30 AM
COLOMBO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- No group would be allowed to carry arms in the run-up to the local council election next month in the Northern Province in Sri Lanka, the police said on Monday.
The Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban Council are to go to polls on Aug. 8, the first elections since the government's elimination of the Tamil Tiger rebels in May.
"No one would be permitted to carry arms. If anyone wants security we will provide them with security," the deputy inspector general in charge of the Northern Province, Nimal Leuke told reporters Monday.
He said the police would ensure the upholding of law and order in the province.
Some of the political parties contesting the election had raised fears of armed groups carrying out intimidation of their activists.
The last Municipal Council election was held in Jaffna in 1998.
Elections were not possible since then due to the security situation.
However, with the end to the armed challenge by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May, the government says it is keen to re-establish democracy in the areas ravaged by the three-decade-old conflict.
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Posted by media at 7:24 AM
COLOMBO, July 13 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government on Monday launched a $26 million microfinance loan programme to spur local agriculture and business in the former northern war zone, part of the president's plan to resettle 300,000 displaced people.
Dubbed the "Awakening North", the Central Bank said the 3 billion rupee ($26.12 million) loan plan will support "the resumption of economic activities in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, micro and small enterprises."
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has staked reconciling Sri Lanka after a 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists on rebuilding the economy in the north and resettling the 300,000 members of the Tamil minority from there who are now in camps.
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Posted by media at 7:20 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
National Security Advisor: Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda
New Commanders :
Army: Major General Jagath Jayasuriya
Navy: Rear Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe
In recognition of the services rendered to the Motherland in eliminating terrorsim from the Sri Lankan soil by Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka and Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda in the war against terrorism, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday promoted General Fonseka as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Admiral Karannagoda as the National Security Advisor with effect from July 15.
On the same day, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya is to take over as the Army Commander and Rear Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe as the Navy Commander.
Posted by media at 8:11 AM
* Constructed with technological know-how of local expertise, support of local work force of around 1,000
* Set up building a dam across Menik Ganga to store water which flows into sea
* Will release 8.5 cubic metres of water per second
* Will provide water to cultivate 25,000 acres of paddy in Yala and Maha seasons
* Reservoir is the third largest project of its kind
President Mahinda Rajapaksa releasing the first waters of the Weheragala reservoir (built using 100 percent local talent) on Saturday, emphasized that the country’s future development thrust would be built on the pillars of indigenous know-how, expertise and resources.
The President held up Weheragala as ample testimony to the existing local talent, expertise and resources and identified the effort as being reminiscent with the renowned engineering marvels of the country’s historical past. The reservoir commissioned by the President on Saturday was constructed using the technological know-how of local expertise with a support local work force of around 1,000.
The Weheragala reservoir has been set up by building a dam across Manik Ganga to store water which flows into the sea without being used for a fruitful purpose.
The dam is set up in the Yala National Park on the Buttala - Kataragama road and the water of Menik Ganga will be taken 23 kilometers away to Lunugamvehera through a channel.
The reservoir will release 8.5 cubic metres of water per second through its southern sluice-gate additionally providing 60 million cubic metres of water to the Kirindi- Oya project annually.
This move will benefit around 6,000 families who are dependent on the Kirindi- Oya waters.
The Weheragala Reservoir Project will provide water to cultivate 25,000 acres of paddy in both Yala and Maha seasons for farmers in Kataragama, Tissamaharama, Lunug-amwehera and adjoining areas. Waters released is expected to help in alleviating the scarcity of drinking water especially in the sacred city of Kataragama.
The reservoir is the third largest project of its kind after the Mahaweli and Kirindi-Oya mega development projects. The project has been completed utilizing less than the total estimated cost of Rs. 1,900 million
President Rajapaksa noted that he was not only impressed with the local talent and expertise when building the reservoir but also was very impressed by their commitment. He said it was brought to his notice by the military chief of the area some time back, an incident which took place involving the chief engineer of the project, at a time when the area was constantly under threat due to terrorist activities, which portrayed his commitment to the cause.
According to the President, when the area military chief had visited the engineers’ lodgings, his sub-ordinates had informed the officer that their leader had gone missing. Fearing the worst, the military officer with his men had gone in search of the engineer in the rain.
Finally he had found the engineer near one of the spill gates of the reservoir trying to drag out a fallen log single handedly in the rain which was blocking the gate. Citing this selfless act as one which portrayed the commitment by the whole of the local staff in building the re4reservoir under adverse conditions, the President said: “All politicians and state workers who are paid servants of the public should display such commitment in serving the masses and taking the country forward”.
The President also claimed that such commitment coupled with the vision of the present Government would pave way for equity in development.
“I would ensure that equal opportunities and facilities are enjoyed by all Sri Lankans irrespective of where they live. Terms such as border and underdeveloped villages would not exist in the Sri Lankan map in the future,” he added.
Ports, Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management Minister Chamal Rajapaksa addressing the gathering said that Weheragala was languishing behind where there was an acute need for an alternative water supply route to Lunugamwehera after the project failed to store expected water levels at it’s inception in 1980. He said farmers of Weerawila, Debarawewa, Thanamalwila and Pannegamuwa will be able to cultivate both Yala and Maha seasons with the project coming into being.
There is an acute shortage of drinking water during the Kataragama pilgrimage season. The reservoir project will be a solution for that, he added.
He added that another mega irrigation project-Uma Oya, which is in its planning stage would be completed within four years and this would help alleviate water related problems experienced in all the Grama Sevaka divisions in Wellawaya.
Saturday’s commissioning ceremony was witnessed by more than 5,000 local farmers of the area who braved the scorching heat and rugged terrain to witness the historic occasion.
The ceremony was also attended by the Maha Sangha. Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senarathna, Nation Building Minister Jagath Pushpakumara, Ministers Jayatissa Ranaweera, Mahinda Amaraweera, Geethanjana Gunawardana, Basnayake Nilame of Ruhunu-Kataragama Maha Devalaya and leader of the UPFA team for Uva Province Sashindra Rajapaksa, Irrigation officials and others attended the ceremony.
Posted by media at 8:10 AM
The present Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka was today appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff. He took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Janadhipathi Mandiraya today.
This appointment, effective July 15, 2009, is made in accordance with the powers vested in the President by the Chief of Defence Staff Act No. 35 of 2009.
Consequent to this appointment, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya was appointed as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, effective July 15, 2009.
The present Commander of the Navy Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda was appointed as the National Security Advisor to the President, from July 15, 2009.
The present Chief of Navy Staff Rear Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe has accordingly been appointed as Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, effective July 15, 2009.
The current Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and Competent Authority for the Internally Displaced Persons in the North, Major General G. A. Chandrasiri took his oaths as the new Governor for the Northern Province today - July 12, 2009. Accordingly, Mr. Dixon Dela who was Governor of the Northern Province was appointed as the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the Maldives, effective today - July 12, 2009.
Posted by media at 8:05 AM
Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd, publishers of the Sunday Leader newspaper was charged with Contempt of Court for publishing an article comparing Secretary of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was responsible for the death and destruction of over 100,000 civilians, despite extending an assurance in Court not to publish any defamatory content in reference to the Secretary Defence and the Sri Lanka Forces. The article in question was published minus a by line, which is a rarity in professional journalism.
Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd was given time to show cause and the case was heard yesterday 9 July 2009 at the Mt. Lavinia Courts before the Additional District Judge Mohammed Macky. The original Defence team had voluntarily resigned from handling the case citing it was against their ethical and moral standing to oppose a national hero like the Secretary of Defence, with whose unwavering commitment and focus Sri Lanka is a free country today.
A new team comprising of some who have a history of appearing for and defending LTTE suspects in the past, namely Srinath Perera, Upul Jayasuriya, S. Sumanthiran, Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea, Attorney-at-Law instructed by Athula Ranagala,Attorney-at-Law appeared for Leader Publications.
It was the observation of some senior independent Lawyers who were present in court that day, that this team of Lawyers share a common anti-patriotic sentiment fired by pro UNP activism and following. One such Lawyer speaking to the media mentioned his disbelief and shock at the manner in which these Lawyers had banded together in the face of prima facie proof of Contempt of Court. As a respected senior member of the legal fraternity, he opined that the behaviour of these Lawyers was an insult to the whole profession and totally unacceptable at a time when Sri Lanka is enjoying its veritable independence after 30 long years. He went to the extent of branding these Lawyers as traitors of the nation.
Posted by media at 5:06 AM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is planning to start operating its upcoming Port in Hambantota by November 2010, said Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrema.
The construction work of the Port in the Deep South is “5 months ahead of the scheduled completion date” and will see the completion of the 1st phase construction
by 2009 October, he said.
Wickrema also said “ we have completed more than 50% key wall, 40% Excavation work, 100% of the Breakwater construction” while added that once completed the 1st phase will consist of 2 general purpose berths, one Bunkering berth and a small Craft berth which will be 120 meters long."
SLPA is planning to call Requests for proposals during next month from willing investors to invest in projects such as Cement Bagging & Grinding, Fertilizer Bagging, warehousing, Bulk Transshipment, Car Transshipment and Car assembling projects, a BOI press release issued on July 9 said.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:26 AM
Microsoft Windows Vista was officially launched in Sri Lanka this week amidst a dazzling spectacle of lights, an array of colourfully costumed dancers and even elephants at the BMICH, truly fitting one of the most anticipated products in the IT world. It is being described as the biggest and most strategic launch in the history of Microsoft.
Three products were introduced to the public, those being Windows Vista, Microsoft 2007 Office and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.
Microsoft Country Manager, Sriyan De Silva Wijeyaratne made the historic announcement that Windows Vista comes with inbuilt Sinhala. "This is a dream which many people in this country have been working towards," he said.
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Posted by media at 10:11 AM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Inspector General of Police to take tangible and tough measures to curb child pornography in Sri Lanka, including capture and posting on the internet photographs and video clips of unsuspecting persons, especially minors and women.
The President issued this directive after it was brought to his notice that there were many websites containing such material, much of it obtained in clear violation of the law and moreover antithetical to accepted norms in Sri Lankan society.
The Government is strongly and unconditionally committed to creating an environment where children can grow up without their dignity being violated in any manner.
The Government has identified numerous websites hosted in foreign countries that are been uploaded with obscene video clips and images featuring underage local children. Child pornography being readily available in the international market indicates that a significant number of children are being sexually exploited through this medium, it was noted.
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Posted by media at 9:10 AM