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SA mediation offers way out for govt

Apr 20 (ST) Whilst Sri Lankans were observing the National New Year last week, the Govt of South African President Jacob Zuma set in motion a broad initiative towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka. It came when Pretoria’s special envoy Cyril Ramaphosa, widely regarded as a future President, took the first step of holding talks with a delegation from the TNA. He will arrive in Sri Lanka to continue the dialogue with President Rajapaksa and more..

UNP complains to IPU, UN on attack

Apr 20 (CG) UNP has lodged a complaint with the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) in Geneva over the attack on a group of UNP MPs at Hambantota last week. Acting opposition leader John Amaratunge commenting on the attack said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had raised the issue with the IPU and the UN. The complaints have been lodged for violating the parliamentary privileges of MP’s, Amaratunge said adding that on the 24th of this month the UNP plans to ask more..

Hero of ’96 expects another World Cup win

Apr 20 (NS) The hero of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph Aravinda de Silva expects the present team to ride on their recent World T20 victory and go and win the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. “The 2015 fifty-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is another great opportunity for our side to go and win considering the amount of confidence they have gained by winning the World T20,” said De Silva in an exclusive interview with The Nation. more..

BBC journalist’s visa extended, not denied

Apr 20 (NS) External Affairs Ministry refuted reports that it had denied visa to BBC journalist Charles Haviland adding that his Visa was actually extended. Media reports yesterday stated that Haviland was denied visa extension by Sri Lankan authorities. A spokesperson said that Haviland’s visa was, in fact, extended by three months, contrary to reports. Official said that Haviland had completed five years in SL more..

Postal officials help Customs to prevent smuggling contraband by post

Apr 20 (Island) The postal authorities are assisting Customs officials to take to task businessmen who misuse the parcel post facility to smuggle in contraband such as shoes, cigarettes, perfumes from some countries such as Dubai and South Korea. More information on this racket was not immediately available most officials are on leave for the New Year. Post Master General (PMG) Rohana Abeyaratne confirmed that some detections were made last week. more..

'No change in number of elected MPs from Jaffna'

Apr 20 (NS) Refuting reports of reduction in Parliamentary representation in Jaffna, the Elections Department says that Jaffna representation was unchanged. Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said there was no truth in reports of reduction of MPs elected from Jaffna. “The number remains unchanged,” he said. Reports were published earlier stating that the number of MPs representing Jaffna would be reduced from nine to six. He further stated that more..

President declares open Manmunai Bridge linking Batticaloa and Ampara Districts

Apr 20 (IL) President Rajapaksa declared open the newly constructed Manmunai Bridge in Batticaloa today (19) marking another milestone in the country’s development. It connects the Batticaloa and Ampara Districts. This new bridge across Batticaloa lagoon on Colombo-Batticaloa A4 road via Pothuvil has been constructed at a cost of 1,870 million rupees fulfilling a long felt need of the people in the EP. more..

Mannar fishermen bury their catch as collection trucks observe New Year

Apr 20 (ST) Mannar Island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar is well known for its fishing industry and in addition to providing fresh fish to the market, it is a common sight to see dried fish being made on the beaches. These fishermen are not in possession of modern storage facilities in the form of ice rooms. Every morning they go fishing and return with their catch, which they hand over to the trucks that come from all around the island to collect their fish. They were never in need of cold storage or more..

Electric bikes seen replacing bicycles

Apr 20 (ST) Electric bikes could replace bicycles, the popular mode of transport of the common man, with the entry of automotive companies committed for environmental conservation. E lanka Automotive Pvt Ltd has stepped in to sell a range of electric bikes as Sri Lanka’s future automobile sector is seen shifting towards a green-focused market. The company plans to import more electric bikes due to its increasing demand in urban and rural areas, a spokesman of the company said. more..

Vasu wants BBS banned

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakara, is of the opinion that the BBS should be proscribed by law, as it is disrupting religious harmony in the country. He said there were several Buddhist as well as Islamic extremist religious groups, operating in the country, which should be banned. "The BBS is in no way an organization that can be called Buddhist. It consists of terrorists who are disguised as Buddhists. more..

Govt. mulls setting up ‘Palms Village’ near Passekudah Bay

Apr 20 (Island) Govt is contemplating setting up a ‘Palms Village’ opposite the world- renowned Passekudah Bay in Batticaloa to provide a host of services to attract more domestic and foreign tourists who throng to enjoy the sea, surf and sun, Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said. "We will be tying up with the Economic Development Ministry to create this 236- acre coconut palm plantation", he said. "We have earmarked 26 acres as an exclusive enclave, where any domestic or foreign more..

CMC’s 60 million-rupee vehicle deal in double trouble

Apr 20 (ST) Colombo Municipal Council’s General Council Meeting where a controversial vehicle deal worth over Rs. 60 million was to be passed for the second time was postponed this week due to the lack of quorum. Council Member Mahendra de Silva said a majority of the members who opposed the fresh bid to pass the deal avoided the meeting. The notice sent to the MMCs by the Municipal Secretary stated that the previous meeting was ‘deferred and unfinished’ due to not adopting more..

SLC tells cricketers: Sign the contract and earn US$ 500,000 a year

Apr 20 (ST) SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga says national cricketers who are in a standoff with the authorities will have to sign their annual central contracts on offered terms, even though they are on a high winning the T-20 World Cup. As the standoff between the players and the authorities continues into the third month with cricketers demanding a 12% share of the US$ 8.9 million ICC guarantee money more..

Jesus died for the sins of man and even in death he sought

Apr 20 (NS) Men, women and children had flocked to a hill in Galilee, where a man was teaching his disciples. He says to them, “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them”. Some called him the Son of God, as he was born of a virgin. A man of many names, from his miraculous birth, up till his death on the cross he lived a remarkable life. He cured the sick, taught people about charity, love for one’s enemies, kindness, and most importantly more..

Ministerial Macaws and Kitul tree answers

Apr 20 (SL) President Rajapaksa, as usual, spent his New Year holidays at the Carlton Residence in Tangalle with his family members. It is a known fact that the President is a strict follower of New Year rituals and this year too he engaged in New Year activities with great enthusiasm and excitement. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife Ayoma too visited the Carlton Residence in Tangalle on April 14 to take part in New Year celebrations with President and his family. more..

Easter should reinvigorate us all

Apr 20 (Island) Once again Easter is here. Those who celebrate Easter with meaning are those who have with Christ and like Christ, in a consistent manner in their own lives, striven to overcome evil with good, unrighteousness with righteousness, injustice with justice, cruelty with kindness, hatred with love, lies with truth, sin with forgiveness  and have experienced the joy of victory over self and over evil. more..

Touchwood’s bogus address cons CSE, investors

Apr 20 (ST) The Touchwood company crisis has spread outside the shores of Sri Lanka with investors in Thailand suing the company there while in Colombo an attempt to deceive investors has been bared in a Business Times investigation. The ‘new’ address of the Touchwood Lanka office as intimated to the Colombo Stock Exchange on February 28 is a bogus one. The address given as No. 220, Nawala Road, Nawala belongs to the wife of Kapila Ariyananda who when contacted more..

Should redistribution of incomes precede high growth policy?

Apr 20 (Island) In the immediate post-Independence era our political leaders gave priority for State  expenditure on social welfare such as free education, free health care and other such expenditure instead of growth producing investment in physical infrastructure and in increasing the productive capacity of the economy so that it could produce more goods and services. They gave subsidized rice (and even free rice at one point of time) to the people until world price of rice more..

Attempt to acquire a finance company using Mahapola funds revealed

Apr 20 (ST) Financial misappropriation and irregularities allegedly committed in thesetting up of a private company called National Wealth Corporation Ltd in 2003 to manage the funds of Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund came to light again following a new move of this company to a acquire a finance or leasing company adopting a similar tactic after almost 10 years. This move was not in accordance with the Central Bank’s more..

Parents suspect foul play over Jaffna girl’s death

Apr 20 (NS) Police are yet to receive statements from the alleged two Catholic priests over the murder of the 22-year-old girl in Jaffna. Jeron Consoleeta (22), a resident of Adappan Street in Gurunagar, Jaffna was found dead on April 14 and her body was found in a well. The parents and the relatives of the deceased complained that they are suspicious of two priests to whom she had gone for her missionary education. They alleged that there must be an involvement of two catholic more..

Clarke backstabs Sri Lankan cricket

Apr 20 (Island) In Jackie Chan’s suspense thriller movie Rush Hour, the character Thomas Griffin played by actor Tom Wilkinson falls from grace dramatically. Griffin, a close aide of Chinese Counsel Solon Han, gives him the assurance that he will do everything within his means to save Counsel Han’s daughter, who had been kidnapped by the notorious gang led by Juntao. The climax of the movie is when spellbound viewers realize that Griffin is in fact Juntao and was responsible for more..

'BBS cannot be compared to the LTTE'

Apr 20 (SL) Recent actions of the BBS have increased fears of extremist groups continuing to terrorize religious minorities violating democracy and breaking law and order in the country. While the govt denies encouraging such extremist groups, many feel that there is an invisible hand that is helping spread extremism in the country. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that there is sufficient evidence to suspect that more..

An offering of rotten fruits

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, participated in an offering at Munneswaram Kovil of Chilaw recently. He bought a basket of fruits for Rs 1,500 from a stall outside and offered it to the Kovil. The priest at the Kovil came across a strong odour when he was clearing the basket. The reason was the fruits at the bottom of the basket were rotten. Priest promptly complained to the police and taught a lesson to the unscrupulous vendor. UNP was in near bankruptcy in recent times. more..

Failing to learn from mistakes

Apr 20 (NS) Five UNP MPs are planning to raise privilege issues when Parliament meets on April 24. They are Ajith P Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, R. Yogarajan, Ajith Mannapperuma and Nalin Bandara. Their grievance is that they had been obstructed when visiting Mattala airport and Hambantota harbor by people. Their grievance has also been fuelled by police failing to ensure a safe passage for them while on the tour. As known to everybody the five MPs had been booed out and hit with more..

'Truth is on our side, we believe in social justice'

Apr 20 (SL) BBS has come under the limelight regarding the events that transpired in Wilpattu. Many believe that the BBS is acting in this manner due to the backing of a powerful politician. There are others who believe that there is a certain service that is being done by this group of monks and others raising these issues. The CEO of the BBS Dilantha Withanage said that, even if they were killed or criticised by anyone, more..

Singer expects to be market leader in furniture

Apr 20 (Island) Singer (Sri Lanka) expects to be the national category leader in furniture in the not too distant future, company’s Chairman, Hemaka Amarasuriya has said in the company’s annual report which is themed this year on "Furnishing Results." "Furniture is the category that blends the household durables offer together, commanding space in every room of the modern home. Singer is the style and quality leader and we predict that as distribution unfolds island-wide, more..

India: Vibrant democracy, but no Pancha Seela

Apr 20 (ST) India — the ‘biggest democracy on planet Earth’ is now voting to elect a new Govt. There is no hint of vote rigging. There is no abuse of State machinery, and even if there was, a truly independent Elections Commission with ‘teeth’ to prosecute the high and mighty can impose strictures. These are elections where the Elections Commission is above board and suspicion and the chief does not go missing for hours on polling day only to surface later and complain that more..

Boston Lanka: April 20, 2014

The know-all Presidential peththappu

Apr 20 (ST) My Dear Peththappus, I was greatly distressed to hear that you had escaped from Mahinda maama’s bird cages, sparking a nationwide hunt for the four of you. I know many people are criticising this and asking why the Police are so keen on locating you, when they should have been looking for ‘Nediyavan’ or ‘Vinayagam’. You must pardon all these people who are criticising the efforts being made to locate you, my dear ‘Peththappus. They do not know that because you live more..

Modi & Sri Lanka: Good news and bad news

Apr 20 (Island) As everything went into hibernation in Sri Lanka for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, events were moving fast elsewhere. The Tamil Nadu leg of the Indian general election will be held on April 24. All threats to Sri Lanka throughout history have emanated from across the Palk Straits and even in the 21st century, nothing has changed.  The poll in Tamil Nadu should be closely observed by all Lankans. In this regard, there is both good news and bad news. more..

'Gopi incident was not staged'

Apr 20 (SL) Last week three local leaders in the attempted resurgence of the LTTE were killed in a shootout during a search operation conducted by the Army in the off Padaviya on April 11. Those killed were identified as Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan (who was involved in aerial attacks on Anuradhapura Air Base and Kollonnawa Petroleum Storage in year 2007), Kajeepan alias Gobi, and Navaneethan alias Appan. more..

Smokes and booze: Walking the tightrope

Apr 20 (Island) We had a phone call from a young lady from an advertising agency handling the Ceylon Tobacco account asking us who wrote our business page story off the CTC annual report a couple of weeks ago. She said that they wanted to call the writer and thank him/her for the article because CTC was pleased about it. We gave her an answer of sorts but there was no thank you call! Perhaps CTC did owe us a word of thanks because we did not sock the information in the report as more..

One heck of a nation

Apr 20 (NS) Eraj Ravindra Fernando is one heck of a politician. Following the incident in Hambantota where a set of UNP MPs were attacked by a mob, Fernando, captured on camera with pistol in hand made a series of statements. First he said he didn’t have a gun and that he had come to protect the said parliamentarians. Then he said it was a toy gun that he carried. Finally, he said he was instructed to go to Magampura, where it all happened, by UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa. more..

'Hard won peace must be preserved'

Apr 20 (SO) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said laws under the UN system have been drafted to intervene in disputes between countries. He said that as far as he is aware, there is no provision to intervene in a situation where one party is a state and the other is a non-entity. Even in a court of law, the technicalities of the process have to be gone into by them first. The UN has to see whether proper systems are more..

Of renewal and life restored

Apr 20 (CT) Today is Easter, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar that will see the more than two billion Christians the world over celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and give thanks for the eternal life granted to all those who believe in Him. The day is not only a powerful reminder of renewal and of life restored but also about the value and importance of tolerance, a vanishing component in today's world of religious bigotry and growing prejudices. more..

Military presence in North, a sine qua non

Apr 20 (SO) Sri Lanka achieved the near impossible almost five years ago when its valiant Security Forces militarily crushed the world's most ruthless terrorist organisation - the LTTE, and vanquished its leadership at the Nandikadal lagoon. The crushing of the LTTE outfit by May 18, 2009 ushered in peace to the country and people breathed a sigh of relief after three decades of terrorism which inflicted untold misery on a 21 million people. Govt gave top priority to development in the North and East more..

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