Sunday, September 30, 2007

SLIIT Helps for Building your future

Set forth with the mission of ensuring availability of a rich pool of professionals in the IT industry, The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology has turned out to be the pioneers in visualizing the industry needs and in making the largest contribution of experts required by the IT industry. In an era when Information Technology has become an increasingly sought after field of education, SLIIT plays an integral role in educating and training individuals, promoting research development, providing consultancy and software services and nurturing IT ventures. SLIIT stands as the largest IT Degree awarding Institute in Sri Lanka. Managing Director/CEO Prof. Lalith Gamage said, “Our Institute offers students a range of pathways in Tertiary IT Education. SLIIT serves the national interest in producing skilled professionals sufficient to meet 40 per cent of the annual IT workforce demand in the country.”, continued Prof. Gamage. This is made possible by courses designed to meet industry requirements.
As an institution approved by the Sri Lanka University Grants Commission, SLIIT looks for 3 G.C.E. Advanced Level (Sri Lanka/London) subject passes in any stream achieved at one sitting as the basic course entry requirement. In addition, students are made to take an Aptitude Test conducted by SLIIT in order to enroll for a course of study. Students awaiting A/L results are also encouraged to apply, given that required A/L standards are obtained prior to commencement of semester.
Prior to starting the degree program, all entering students are provided with Foundation Courses designed to improve communication, mathematical and computer skills. The course in communication skills improves English proficiency in areas such as reading, writing and listening. An online English program and an English Help Desk are also available. SLIIT is the only IT Institute that offers such extensive language support.
SLIIT offers programs of studies leading to B.Sc. Special Honours degrees, B.Sc degrees, M.Sc degrees and postgraduate diplomas in Information Technology, Computer Systems & Networking, Information Systems and related fields. Apart from these, a number of industry certified programs are conducted in partnership with Microsoft, IBM and CISCO Systems. Business Management has been the latest addition to the educational pathway available at SLIIT.
Whichever path is chosen, students are made to profit from the flexible Bachelor’s degree programs, which allow them to continue studies towards the degree while earning additional educational and professional qualifications. Students are free to exit the program with an Associate Diploma, a Diploma, an Advanced Diploma, a B. Sc. Degree or proceed to the B.Sc. Special Honours Degree. Candidates who exit the program at various levels are free to rejoin and make their way towards final graduation. Students also have the option of either completing their Degrees in SLIIT or transferring to one of the overseas partner Universities in Australia or UK, after one or two years of education at SLIIT. The Institute intervenes and coordinates affairs, to support the students’ success in obtaining the necessary visas.
A wide range of career opportunities are open to SLIIT Degree holders, since the Institute has direct links with the local and foreign IT industry. SLIIT qualified individuals are highly recognized within the corporate world and are willingly absorbed into organisations in need of skilled IT professionals. Many entrepreneurs in the IT field have also gained expertise through SLIIT. Speaking of recent SLIIT achievements, Prof. Gamage was proud to highlight that the Institute came 1st runner-ups in this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup competition. The victory was obtained competing against 5 other short listed entries from leading IT educational institutes in Sri Lanka.
This success contributes to the excellence seen in every aspect associated with education at SLIIT. The world class curriculum is one such factor. Validated by the University Grants Commission, it also conforms to IEEE and ACM curriculum standards. SLIIT has a highly qualified and dedicated in-house staff including a large number of PhD qualified lecturers to ensure academic excellence in students. Nevertheless, Prof. Gamage says “ We are putting a lot of effort into continuous quality improvement of curriculum, staff and educational infrastructure.”
SLIIT students also have the rare opportunity of maneuvering acquired skills through Research and Development Facilities powered by the Sri Lanka Incubator located in the Malabe Campus. Also known as ‘Concept’, the incubator creates access to business and technical expertise, financial resources, international industry contacts, business advice and business plan development to promote and improve IT enterprises, innovators and IT start-up companies.
The Institute funds student research and provides performance based financial assistance. Full tuition scholarships are awarded to best performers, under the sponsorship of leading IT companies. Students are also offered extensive internship with stipend and employment in foreign Universities after successful completion of studies at home.
In addition to IT training, SLIIT has a Software Engineering Service Division that undertakes Computer Hardware, Computer Networking and Software Development projects and works as Consultants/ Project Managers in overall computerization tasks.
Apart from classroom support, candidates are facilitated to discuss academic and personal queries through online forums integrated into the system. Each undergraduate student is provided with an e-mail account that will help them get in touch with colleagues.
SLIIT Campuses are built to suit state-of-the art IT infrastructure standards. Every inch of space is Wi-Fi enabled and over 1000 computers with 20 servers in 16 laboratories are maintained to facilitate technological requirements of the 3500 student base. The Institute provides laboratorial assistance in multi-media, data-communication, software development, UNIX and bio-technology. Project laboratories and postgraduate laboratories are also available. SLIIT libraries own a wide collection of books and periodicals that encompasses the entire sphere of studies. All students are free to access the Internet through computer laboratories. Private male and female accommodation facilities are offered at close proximity to the SLIIT Malabe Campus. Sports, clubs and societies are also made part of student life, to ensure a pleasing, friendly and interactive learning environment.
To ensure island wide participation in gathering manpower as required by the IT industry, SLIIT has set up Centres in Kandy and Matara, in addition to the Malabe and Metropolitan Campuses. “SLIIT is working with the Board of Investment to develop an IT park opposite the Malabe Campus.”, said Prof. Gamage. Also known as techno parks, a similar space is already developed in close proximity to the Malabe Campus, with the participation of Business Process Outsourcing companies and giant IT firms. The planned IT park is among the many development plans SLIIT holds for the future.
By Thamara Nissanka
SLIIT Website

'KP' triggers fresh dispute

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday accused the UNP of undermining the battle against terrorism as part a wider campaign targeting the government.

"A section of the UNP seems to be hell-bent on weakening the government," the retired Colonel said, "Unfortunately, in their haste to grab power they are playing pandu with the war effort."

Dismissing the latest allegation that the Rajapaksa administration had facilitated the release of an LTTE frontliner in Thai custody under a pre-presidential poll deal between his brother Mahinda and the terrorist group, he said this was nothing more than a 'sick' joke.

"There's absolutely no truth in this. This is a figment of somebody's imagination," he said.

UNP spokesman Lakshman Kiriella, MP, Wednesday accused the government of facilitating the release of Tharmalingam Shanmughan alias Kumaran Padmanathan (KP) from Thai custody. Kiriella claimed that Thailand had released KP after the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry leaked the arrest to local press.

Rajapaksa said that the Defence Ministry posted a report on KP's arrest on its website only after international wire services reported his seizure. The UNP derived a sadistic pleasure by mocking security forces, he said. They levelled a spate of allegations against security forces. At first, forces were accused of taking over the East with the LTTE's tactical understanding and then allowing hundreds of enemy fighters to leave for the Vanni with their arms, he said. Then on the other hand, forces are accused of indiscriminate arrests, killings and extra judicial activity.

Rajapaksa asked whether the government seized two dozen artillery pieces, heavy mortars and a mini-multi barrel rocket launcher, a sizeable quantity of an assortment of ammunition, destroyed over a half a dozen floating arsenals on the high seas, bombed LTTE bases, killed over 1,000 cadres as part of the Rajapaksa-LTTE deal. Then, may be they had dropped bombs on Colombo and Katunayake and the EU proscribed them also as part of this deal, he said.

Rajapaksa asserted that their triumph over the LTTE had even forced the UNP to abandon its long standing policy on a negotiated settlement based on a Federal concept. The government had everything possible to weaken the LTTE, he said, highlighting the recent repatriation of three LTTE cadres arrested in March 2004 while engaged in the procurement of armaments in Thailand.

The recent arrest of LTTE cadres overseas including the US where the FBI had cracked a major arms procurement ring which dealt a massive blow to the enemy was evidence that the government had the support of the international community to cripple the LTTE.

"The UNP must be jealous and upset over the prospect of a defeated LTTE," he said, emphasizing that the government would go all out to destroy the LTTE as long as it held arms.

Thailand's decision to disown the arrest of KP prevented Sri Lanka from unravelling the LTTE's vast global procurement network built on, what a security forces officer called, "a foundation laid by India.''

KP's network had ensured that that the LTTE shipping fleet was kept busy in moving artillery pieces, aircraft, boats, surface to air missiles, considerable stocks of various types of ammunition and communication equipment among other items.

courtesy: The Island

Friday, September 28, 2007

SLT – ACCA HighQ quiz to be the catalyst in broadening horizons in education

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the nation’s number one and only integrated communication service provider and The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), the world’s largest and fastest growing accounting body have come together once again, to bring the nation’s premier quiz programme ‘SLT – ACCA HighQ’ to the youth of the country.

Speaking on the Sri Lanka’s premier Quiz program, Mr. Shoji Takahashi, CEO of SLT said “‘Education is nourishment to the brain’, We are proud to conduct the SLT-ACCA HighQ Quiz Programme for the second time. This is yet another extension of our commitment to uplift the standard of education in Sri Lanka. This quiz programme, which is endorsed by the Ministry of Education, will feature segments that encourage confidence building, the ability to face challenges, teamwork as well as interactive skills. The quiz programme is aimed at enhancing the knowledge of school children. Knowledge is the foundation by which life itself is based and is necessary and vital in day to day affairs. We hope that everyone watching would not only learn something new but will also enjoy themselves.

Mr. P. N. E Abayasekara, Chief Corporate Officer of SLT said “SLT values today’s youth which is an asset to our country. In fact, SLT takes education as one of the major aspects of our corporate social responsibility programmes. We decided to conduct the SLT-ACCA HighQ Programme in association with ACCA in order to make Sri Lankan youth the most knowledgeable in South East Asia”

The collaboration between SLT and ACCA is based on a shared vision, which gives the opportunity to encourage students to further aspire in their goals. The partnership between SLT and the ACCA Sri Lanka is very natural when looked at from a professional angle, with SLT being a valued strategic partner who has been extremely proactive to work with. Both organisations share a common ideology, as they are equally passionate of being a catalyst in broadening horizons in education.

Speaking on the significance of having a programme of this nature Aruni Rajakarier, Country Manager, ACCA Sri Lanka said: “The reason we are having this quiz programme is because we want it to broaden students’ learning horizon and their minds. They have to enjoy the learning process. We want them to look outside the curriculum. They must have general knowledge and the love of acquiring knowledge, which will spur their later achievements. The younger generation needs to know what’s happening around the world, whether it’s politics, finance, economics, culture and arts in order to have an intelligent conversation. This creates the impression that you are a well read and articulate individual. We believe in creating a love of learning outside our school curricula and this quiz programme will help us to attain this objective.”

Schools are invited to nominate a student, who will be called for a test. If the numbers are vast, the tests will be held at regional centres. After the test, 60 candidates, who have the highest marks, will be selected to go to the televised round. The broad structure of the programme comprises of a challenge round, the semi finals and the final round. The challenge round will comprise of 60 students, who will be split up into 12 groups of five each. The winner from these 12 groups will go to the semi finals where they will compete against each other. There will be two semi finals, with six students each and the winner as well as the runner up will go into the final round, which will comprise of four contestants. It will be telecast weekly on Channel Eye, with the repeat on ETV.

The selection criterion is focused purely on general knowledge with the target group being 16 years and above. The test is based on a question bank, which itself is drawn from a number of resource persons who are experts in their relevant fields. Based on that the regional papers will be set up, which would be different from region to region but of the same standard. The winner will receive a grand prize of Rs250,000 and the runners up gets 100,000. The winners of the semi final round get Rs50, 000 and Rs25, 000 for the winner of the challenge round. The winner will also receive a trophy while participants and winners will get certificates.

03 LTTE boats destroyed and over dozen terrorists killed- Pulmoddai

The elite sea borne squadron of the Sri Lanka Navy yesterday (27), in seas off Pulmoddai foiled an LTTE attempt to evacuate its trapped cadres in Peraru and Kumpurupiddi jungles, in a fierce, sea battle destroying three LTTE boats and killing over a dozen sea tigers, security sources revealed.

Clashes erupted at about 11.p.m, when naval patrol craft intercepted a cluster of 20 LTTE boats proceeding from Nayaru towards Pulmoddai, naval sources said.

It has been revealed through intercepted LTTE communication that a self-styled LTTE "Lieutenant Colonel" Nishanthan was also among the killed. Reports also confirmed that a sailor was killed while another sustained injuries during the confrontation.

Defence sources said that small groups of terrorists are still wandering in the jungles in Peraru looking for an opportunity to cross over to Wanni. However, both army and navy have been able to establish effective blockades over the possible escape routes and so far have been able to foil many such attempts made by the LTTE.

More information will follow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tamil civilian shot dead by alleged LTTE gunmen- Jaffna

Alleged LTTE gunmen shot dead a Tamil civilian yesterday (26), at Kondavil north in Jaffna district. The victim was identified as Sokkalingam Nagendran, 36, a resident in Kondavil area.

The bullet riddled body was found on investigations, following an inquiry made by Nagendran's wife that her husband was intimidated and abducted by unidentified Tamil speaking gunmen around 9.30p.m, Police source said.

The gunmen in civilian attire have also threatened her to switch off lights and remain silent. Minutes later several gunshots were heard from a close distance, she has related in inquires made.

Kopay Police are conducting further investigations.

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