No decision to reopen until after Thaipongal - Jaffna University

The decision of when to resume operations at the University of Jaffna will be taken after Thaipongal, reports Uthayan . The university's Faculty of Arts concluded that too many 'complications' would arise, should teaching go on as normal while students were being held under anti-terrorism laws, and so a date to reopen will be decided after the festival of Thaipongal. The Faculty of Sciences is also due to meet soon to discuss the issue.

Sri Lanka’s army to receive more international training

The Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya, extended his New Year wishes to the armed forces. Jayasuriya, in a speech at the army headquarters , expressed his pride in the dedication his forces had shown to development projects in the country. The General also pledged that more training, both domestically and internationally, would be provided for the army. “One of our prioritized objectives during this year is the enhancement of training opportunities at local and international levels.” Jayasuriya said.

Mahinda smells same rat as Gota

The Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has joined his brother in accusing foreign conspiracies for bringing the country into disrepute. Speaking at the opening ceremony of a building, he also claimed that all Sri Lankans are now living in harmony. “This is the country of our birth. So, the responsibility of protecting peace and harmony lies in our hands, “Sri Lanka is making giant strides in all spheres. All Sri Lankans are living in harmony and working for the country’s benefit. We can strengthen national unity by learning all three languages, “The country enjoys the dividends of peace...

Gota offers training to Indian Army

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has offered his services to India’s army, proposing to train their armed forces in ‘counter insurgency’. Rajapaksa made the proposal to share Sri Lanka’s expertise in the field, (dubbed “ the Sri Lanka option ”), when the head of the Indian Army came to visit Sri Lanka earlier this month. Speaking to the head of the third largest active armed forces in the world, Rajapaksa said , “When I met Gen Bikram Singh, I renewed our offer to train Indian forces in counter-insurgency. We have designed courses in this field and have offered them to other...

Still no signs of de-militarisation

The military has no intention of withdrawing army camps in Jaffna despite intense pressure exerted by the international community and Tamil political parties, reported The Sunday Leader . The Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathursinghe defended the excessive military presence, alleging that the LTTE is still active. “The army is aware of this and remains vigilant,” Hathursinghe told The Sunday Leader. Hathursinghe went on to imply that, the building of new military camps on ‘government land’ were, in fact, aiding resettlement as the military could move out of occupied...

British murder victim's brother disheartened

The brother of Khuram Shaikh, the British man murdered in Sri Lanka on Christmas day last year has spoken out about the lack of action with the case. Nasser Shaikh told BBC Breakfast that the stalled case was "disheartening" and "gives out the wrong message". Matt Baker, parliamentary aide for Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, who has taken up the case said: " There is some concern that political interference is playing a part, particularly as one of the suspects is a prominent politician with ties to the president ." "One year on from the murder all the suspects have been released on bail, no...

Doctor arrested by SL military

A Tamil doctor has been arrested by the Sri Lankan military and detained at the military base in Kokkaavil, reports Uthayan. The doctor, Dr. E. Sivasankar, was detained after visiting the Kokkaavil military base to secure the release of a Tamil women who had been recently enlisted into the Sri Lankan military but wished to leave. According to Uthayan, the woman, believed to be from Kilinochchi originally was on her way home to sit an exam, when she was instructed by the military to report to the Kokkaavil military base. On learning that the woman wanted to leave the army, her parents asked Dr...

Charity starts at home..

Visiting Matale district, which was one of those affected by recent floods and landslides, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse promised to provide 'alternative lands' to those living in areas at risk of landslides or other natural disasters. The President also pledged financial assistance to the 94 families affected with each receiving 50,000 rupees as well as food rations, garments etc. Those whose houses had been damaged would recieve 100,000 rupees each. Matale is in the Sinhala heartland. But o n Friday, the government's own Disaster Management Centre reported that the areas most...

Paramilitary builds football stadium in Jaffna

A football stadium and training centre, a project run by paramilitary leader, Douglas Devananda, is nearing completion, reports Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence (and Urban Development). According to the 'Department of Government information', the stadium has been built using funds from the 'West German Republic and World Football Federation' and costs over Rs 50 million.

Foreign conspiracies cause for judiciary trouble – Gotabhaya

The Sri Lankan defence secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse claims that foreign and local elements are attempting to use the judiciary to destabilise the country. Speaking at an exhibition in Kurunegala, Gota said that a conspiracy was being hatched abroad to topple his brother and president, Mahinda Rajapakse. Gothabaya Rajapakse and Kandyan tribal dancers at the exhibition He said that an attempt to use university teachers and students to cause unrest had failed. “When carrying out his work the President has been faced with various challenges. Everyone knows that school children, university...

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