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Sri Lanka panel holds 1st meeting in NYC

July 20 (ICP) The UN Panel on Accountability in Sri Lanka began to meet on July 19, Inner City Press can report. This starts the four month time line for them to produce a report, at least on the compliance of Sri Lanka's “Lessons Learnt” panel with international standards for inquiries into war crimes. At 1:30 pm on July 19, panel members Marzuki Darusman, Yasmin Sooka and Steven Ratner met in the UN's North Lawn building. more..

Moon mulls over the Sri Lankan issue

July 20 (LG) Seated in his plush suite atop the glass tower housing the UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was in a foul mood. As a Korean, he that day, had an unusually dark pallor. He was telling an under secretary for the Third World: Why are you bothering me about a minister in Sri Lanka going on a hunger strike against my decision? What happens even if he dies? Wish him all the best! more..

Buddhism: having a sanguine attitude

July 20 (LG) It is un-Buddhist thing to accept even the teachings of the Buddha out of devotion. An argy-bargy of Buddhism that I have with my trusted friends around a dinner table is not an eristic argument; all disputants attain their objective in an open-hearted discussion. Just like most of you, I did not choose my religion. People categorize me as a Buddhist, because I was reared by a family who called themselves Buddhists. more..

Sri Lanka hotel room rates to be upped 20-pct in winter: official

July 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's leisure operators will push up room rates by about 20 percent in the coming winter season, amid a post-war tourism boom that has seen a near 50 percent jump in arrivals, officials said. "In the coming winter most of the hotels have increased rates in hard currency by over 20 percent," Jetwing chief Hiran Cooray told a forum in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka to invite investment for marina

July 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to call for tenders from investors to build a marina at a new tourist resort being developed on the island's north-western coast, a senior tourism official said. Tissa Sooriyagoda, project director at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said the Kalpitiya tourist resort covers a total of 5,000 acres which are available for development by investors. Two resorts have already been approved by the authority and more..

Sri Lanka domestic air services chased by 13 firms: official

July 20 (LBO) Thirteen firms that applied to start domestic air services in Sri Lanka after the end of a 30-year war are awaiting the final nod from the island's aviation ministry and the president's office, an official said. Director general of Sri Lanka's civil aviation authority H M C Nimalsiri said domestic, foreign and joint ventures between local and overseas firms had applied to fly within the island. more..

Boston Lanka News Edition: July 19, 2010

Attack on MTV offices: Police told to cut undue delay in filing charges

July 20 (NF) The Fort Magistrate today ordered the police not to unnecessarily delay filing charges against the suspects who are accused of attacking the head office of the MTV/MBC media network. The magistrate made this order when the fourteen suspects in the case appeared before the Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. The magistrate made warrants for the suspects who failed to appear before court today and noted that as the plaintiff had videoed the incident, more..

Bid to evict Mahaweli farmer family after 25 years

July 20 (NF) The Mahaweli Authority is singularly responsible to ensure that the 2nd and 3rd generation farmers of the Mahaweli colonies are provided with sufficient land to cultivate on. However, this Authority is now engaged in demarcating and providing land for large scale agricultural purposes and as a result neglected this responsibility and has even gone a step further by issuing permits for these low income families to carry out their farming activities. more..

Anguru: An exhibition of Charcoal drawings

July 20 (HA) Artists mostly use pencils, pen, ink, brushes, canvass, water colours, graphite, wax, colour pencils, crayons, chalk, pastels, markers, stylus or various metals like silverpoint to bring out their imagination into images. Anguru, an exhibition of Charcoal drawings was held at Lionel Wendt Gallery in Colombo from July 2nd 2010 to July 4th 2010. It was organized by the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA). more..

Sweet Grapes

July 20 (SL) I have changed from a harsh critic of Mahinda to a vague, respectful one. I like to think this is because of my own rationality, but I think it may just be rationalisation. I like this new life but I did not like the war. These are two somewhat opposite ideas and they cannot fit comfortably into a rational mind. Something must be rationalised away. There is a story of a fox who sees some grapes just out of reach. He decides he doesn’t want them anyway, reckoning that they are sour. more..

Sri Lanka Kotmale hit by milk powder import tax

July 20 (LBO) Sales at Sri Lankan diary firm Kotmale Holdings remained flat last year and profits improved only marginally as it was affected by high import tax on powdered milk, its annual accounts showed. Group net profit after tax increased 3.1 percent to 65.5 million rupees in the year ended March 31, 2010 from 63.5 million the year before. Group sales were stagnant at 1.35 billion rupees. Basic earnings per share were 2.09 rupees more..

Death threats to family of nurse killed in Veala’nai government hospital

July 20 (TN) The mother of Sravanai Tharsika, the family consultant nurse allegedly killed by a Sinhala doctor in the islets of Jaffna, complained in Oorkaavattu’rai magistrate court Monday that unidentified persons on motor cycles had come to her house several times and threatened her and her family with death if they pursue in any way with the case of Tharsika’s killing, sources in Oorkaavattu’rai said. more..

Susanthika gets the Silver medal forthe 200 meters event of the Sydney Olympics

July 20 (SLBC) The Silver medal of the women’s 200 meters event of the Sydney Olympics has been presented to Sri Lankan sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe. The official ceremony of presenting the medal to her took place under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa this evening at the Temple Trees. Ministers C.B. Rathnayake and Gamini Lokuge were also present on this occasion. more..

The miracle of Asia: An analysis of the Rajapakse project

July 20 (LG) The President Mahinda Rajapakse has pledged to develop Sri Lanka as the new miracle of Asia. Since this project concerns our collective destiny as a country, we should subject this project to a surgical analysis. Is this a wishful dream? A hypnotic self-delusion? Or, is it a deliberate illusion spun to deceive the people and perpetuate the power of the Rajapakse dynasty? Where will this path lead us? more..

Sri Lanka’s conflict: culture and lineages of the past

July 20 (LG) Walter Benjamin famously wrote, “History is the object of a construction whose place is formed not in homogenous and empty time, but in that which is fulfilled by the here-and-now.”1 Few would contest Benjamin’s critique of historicism and his argument that what is properly historical only reveals itself to a future generation capable of recognizing it–a generation possessing developers strong enough to fix an image never seen before and never to be seen again. more..

MR, RW, Constitution and the role of Clergy

July 20 (Island) A thought provoking letter titled, "MR & RW leave the constitution alone !….." by Fr J C Pieris of Galle, appeared in the Island of July 16, I made a scathing attack on the leadership of both ruling and opposition leadership for, leaving aside all the burning issues of the people which need to be addressed on priority basis, but working on personal agendas . more..

Tale of two alcoholics: From rags to riches, back to rags and lonely deaths

July 20 (LG) Monica and her husband were dead for three weeks before their bodies were discovered in their bedroom in North-West London. Yet there was not a single news item in the local papers. When I went to church yesterday the parish priest asked me if I knew about what happened to Monica and I drew a blank. Then he told it was perhaps months ago this happened. Let me begin at the beginning. I met Monica during Christmas in 2007 under very distressing circumstances. more..

Fasting sham: Justified buffoonery

July 20 (DM) Fasting is generally associated with a religious practice in the Islamic month of Ramadan where followers of that religion do not eat or drink anything from morning until night falls. Going without food occasionally is also recommended for reasons of health. Fasting is also taken to extreme forms to acquire what some individuals want from an authority that has promised something and not given it or ignored a certain situation detrimental to them. more..

Kotelawala era winds down

July 20 (SL) The business saga of the Kotelawalas once among the most powerful families in Sri Lanka, ended last week when a new chairman was appointed to Ceylinco Insurance, once the flagship unit of the failed Ceylinco Group. Lalith Kotelawala and his wife, Sicile, are under investigation over a plethora of financial irregularities at many former companies of the failed group. more..

The ruling party’s somersault to the Executive Premiership

July 20 (DM) Politicians are a clever lot who can justify anything and everything they say and do. For instance, the leaders of the government including NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa who promised before the last Presidential Election and the Parliamentary election that the Executive Presidential governing system would be abolished, calling it as a dictatorial system, wanted a third executive Presidential term for incumbent President Mahinda Rajapksa after those elections. more..

Govt.-UNP talks send hopeful message

July 20 (LG) The media images last week of opposition UNP leaders being greeted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior ministers of his government should send a reassuring message to the country and world at large. The message is that the politics of confrontation and acrimony may be coming to an end, and the time for a more liberal spirit of nation building after war is coming to the fore. This was in contrast to the sense of crisis and more..

SLT halts job cuts , aims to enhance productivity

July 20 (LG) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has abandoned plans to cut jobs and a recruitment freeze which was to have been done by shutting down unproductive divisions of the firm. The plan aimed at reducing staff to 3,500 from around 6,000 through its manpower restructuring method was introduced earlier in an effort to stem losses, a senior SLT official said. But the SLT Board of directors chaired by Nimal Welgama, more..

Army Special Forces praised for demining seabed

July 20 (MoD) Villagers and the fisherfolk of Mullaitivu praised the Special Forces of the Sri Lanka Army for having taken timely action to clear the seabed of mines and other ordinances, reports from Mullaitivu said yesterday. There was the possibility of these unexploded mines and artillery shells being washed ashore or getting entangled in nets posing a grave danger to civilians. The SF Commander in Mullaitivu Maj. Gen. Prasanna Silva said that more..

Search of temple: Chief Incumbent withdraws case

July 20 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday allowed to withdraw the fundamental rights application filed by Nugegoda Nalandaramaya Chief Incumbent Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera against the search of the temple by the Mirihana Police. Making the application counsel Dilshan Jayasuriya submitted that the petitioner no longer wanted to proceed with the application. The Court accordingly dismissed the application. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka De Silva, more..

Device to remove acidity in water

July 20 (LP) A group of Sri Lankans have been able to invent a equipment which could separate acidity (Kiwul) band chloride in water. Speaking to Lankapuvath a scientist at the Institute of Fundamental Studies in Kandy, J P Padmasiri said that the device can store up to 5litres of water and refine it. The device is being built as a household item and would be made available in market as soon as possible more..

Rathnasiri explains the importance of Co-operatives

July 20 (LP) It is a disappointment that provincial councils don’t make use of the Co-operative Services to which authority has been distributed in an equal basis by the 13th Amendment, said State Management and Reforms Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake. Minister Wickremanayake said that rapid development could be achieved in many fields in Sri Lanka if such materials are put to good use. Some co-operatives are strong economy-wise. more..

US$ 200m Korean loan to Lanka for post conflict development projects

July 20 (MoD) The Republic of Korea extended a US Dollars 200 million loan on concessionary terms to Sri Lanka to finance the post conflict development projects. This was after a discussion led by Finance and Planning Ministry Secretary, Dr P B Jayasundara. Dr Jayasundara visited Korea recently to discuss the development cooperation and to strengthen the ties between the two countries. more..

Shocked daughters tell of fateful ‘soccer SMS’

July 20 (ST) “I am watching the football match. You also watch.” This was the last SMS sent by Sri Lankan sales manager Ramaraja Krishnaraja to his daughters in Wattala, a few minutes before falling victim to a bomb blast in Uganda last Sunday. The SMS arrived on Sunday night while Krishnaraja’s daughters, Niroshini and Kirubashini, were fast asleep. The dad, 49, lost his life while watching the World Cup soccer more..

Upper Kothamale Hydro power plant expedited

July 20 (LP) Construction of the Upper Kothamale Hydro power plant has been expedited and will be completed by the end of this year said the Ministry of Power and Energy. Minister of Power and Energy Patalee Champika Ranawaka took part in a tour to inspect the progress of the construction recently. This is considered as Sri Lanka’s final and major power plant and is expected to add 150 MW to the national power grid. more..

Mystery of NCP kidney disease to be unravelled next Jan.

July 20 (Island) The results of the researches carried out to identify the causative factors of the Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu) will be known next January, Dr. Shanthi Mendis, Consultant to the World Health Organization, said at a press conference on Friday. Core studies in the National CKDu research programme include water and soil analysis, illicit brews, consumption of fresh water fish and the effect of cadmium and lead. more..

Tamils in North feel betrayed by Both the State and the LTTE

July 20 (TC) There is a universal sense of relief that the war is over. By all accounts it was brutal, unrelenting and intense. However, the post war environment contains many old and new issues that deny any sense of liberation or victory for the people. On the contrary, they feel betrayed both by the LTTE and the State, both of whom promised them liberation. more..

'Decision to elect UNP office bearers by consensus'

July 20 (NF) “We have accepted the report and have decided to carry on with the election of office bearers by consensus,” said Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today at a media briefing this evening subsequent to the working committee meeting. “We have had a long and exhaustive discussion and foremost in our minds were the party unity and there was strong opposition to the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. more..

The Federations turn a blind eye

July 20 (LP) The Sri Lanka Police Special Task Force (STF) commenced quite an unusual mission the day before yesterday (17th), which a programme to eradicate Dengue from the Colombo University premises. “The Special Task Force which proved to be instrumental in ridding our homeland from the threat of terrorism is ever ready to take initiative in a time of crisis. Thus we will be the spearhead in the fight against Dengue which is on the verge of being an epidemic in this country” the STF told media. more..

Panadura magistrate to inquire into alleged police assault

July 20 (DM) Panadura Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka decided to hold an inquiry into an assault committed by a senior police officer of the Panadura police headquarters on complainant M. Nishantha of Pallimulla, Panadura when he made a complaint regarding a money transaction to the Special Crime and Fraud Bureau. The magistrate who entertained the complaint with the plaint filed before court by Vajira Kavisinghe. more..

'Sinhala-Tamil must be taught from pre-school'

July 20 (MoD) Writers have a vital role to play in building friendship, faith and understanding among various communities in this country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said addressing Sinhala-Tamil Writers' Association (STWA) members at a ceremony at Temple Trees, Colombo, recently. The occasion was the presentation of a series of literary works published by the STWA in recent times to the President. more..

Ex-Indian FM set for ‘Dudley’ oration

July 20 (ST) Former Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha will deliver the 13th Dudley Senanayake memorial oration at 6pm on Thursday (July 22) in Colombo. The oration on ‘globalization and us’, marking the 99th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, will take place at the BMICH committee room. The Dudley Senanayake Memorial Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung are organising the event. more..

Editorial: Constitution making and the JVP

July 20 (LNP) The government and the UNF seem to have evinced a keen interest in changing the Constitution. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has extended an invitation to all parties including those representing minority communities to take part in talks on constitution making. The formulation of a new constitution must be a consensual and inclusive process if its end product is to be workable and acceptable to one and all. more..

'UNP in Rajapaksa trap re’reforms'

July 20 (LB) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva charged that the UPFA government was currently ‘enacting political comedies’ on a daily basis in an effort to detract from the burning issues concerning the country. In an interview with LAKBIMAnEWS, the JVP General Secretary charged that the UNP was also pandering to the wishes of the government by aligning with it, either wittingly or unwittingly. more..

Nishantha who traveled abroad 32 times in just 15 months prepares to send senior officers home

July 20 (LeN) The Senior employees of the Sri Lanka Cricket Association (SLCA) claim that the Secretary of the Sri Lanka interim administration Committee, Nishantha Ranatunge by abusing his powers and position is engaged in dismissing the former test cricketers associated with the administration from their posts. It is reported that Duleep Mendis who was functioning as the CEO of the SLCA for a long time, more..

Editorial: Eppawala murder and Anger management

July 20 (DM) A normal person in his or her proper senses would not have committed a mass murder the way that young criminal had done in Eppawala. To end the life of four close relatives in the gruesome manner that he has done one certainly has to be at one’s worst. Everyone hopes that his brutality would not inspire another frustrated person to commit a similar crime. The 21 year old drunkard had been constantly reprimanded by his uncle, more..

Ranjith calls for more Christianity teachers

July 20 (UCAN) Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has appealed to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to recruit more Catholic teachers to teach Christianity in government schools. Many rural schools lack even a single Catholic teacher, Archbishop Ranjith told President Rajapaksa at a July 15 meeting with priests involved in the education sector. more..

Novel system for O/L English

July 20 (DN) The Government will introduce English listening and speaking skills for Ordinary Level students from 2012 to evaluate the students’ competency in these two areas, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday. The National Evaluation and Testing Service of the Department of Exams has planned the evaluation of these skills through the School Based Assessment system. Listening and speaking skills will receive maximum 30 marks out of more..

Five year National Science and Technology Policy adopted

July 20 (DN) A five year National Science and Technology Policy for accelerating the country's development effort and making the Mahinda Chintana vision for the future objective of making Sri Lanka a Wonder of Asia was adopted at the 6th National Science and Technology Conference which concluded at the Hotel Suisse, Kandy yesterday. Minister Tissa Vitharana said over 200 scientists attended the conference organized by his Ministry's National Science and Technology Commission. more..

29 STF promotions revoked by IGP

July 20 (DM) The Inspector General of Police has cancelled the promotions of twenty nine Assistant Superintendents of Police attached to the Special Task Force with immediate effect, police sources said. Twenty nine chief inspectors of the STF had been promoted to ASPs, with effect from July 13. As the promotions have now been cancelled, they will revert to their former rank of chief inspector, more..

Special UDA, CEA, LRDC unit to remove illegal structures

July 20 (DN) The Urban Development Authority (UDA), the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation(LRDC) are forming a Special Unit to remove unauthorized structures and to stop illegal land reclamation works on the spot. The decision to set up the unit has come as a part of the government’s efforts to address the situation of flash floods, the Daily News reliably learns. more..

Six more former MPs still holding Summit

July 20 (DM) About six former Parliamentarians including former Ministers, who lost their seats at the last General Election, are still occupying the official residences in Summit Flats at Keppetipola Mawatha in Colombo, a Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry source said. The source said that stating various reasons they had sought permission to stay for a few more months. They had been given permission to remain in those apartments till the end of the next month, more..

Strong rupee weakens hearts

July 20 (Island) The Central Bank has applied the breaks to a further appreciation of the rupee against the dollar but dealers are concerned the currency is under pressure to appreciate in the medium term, which could make life difficult for exporters. Dealers said the rupee was under pressure to appreciate further last morning with exporters converting their dollar holdings. The dollar traded at Rs. 112.74/78 during the day more..

2,500 Acres destroyed by fire

July 20 (LP) 2,500 Acres of the Hurulu Forest Reserve, Habarana was destroyed due to a bush fire caused yesterday. Investigations are continuing as to the cause of the fire says the officers in charge of the Hurulu Forest Reserve. To control the fire which was spreading rapidly due to the strong winds, two helicopters from the near by Sigiriya Air Force and Civil Defence Force workforce was called. Around 2,500 Acres of the Reserve was completely destroyed. more..

Rescued university student escapes from hospital

July 20 (NF) The young woman, rescued from drowning in the Bambalapitiya sea and admitted to Kolubowila hospital yesterday, had disappeared in the evening. he nurses who visited the ward around 5pm yesterday to administer treatment to her had reported the the woman had gone missing. The hospital authorities had informed the police on the new development. Yesterday, a police constable who had noticed the 22-year-old struggling in the water, had acted swiftly to rescue her. more..