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'Do not eat food given by strangers'

June 17 (NF) Several reports have emerged of bus commuters on the Colombo Gampola route being robbed of their valuables after making them unconscious. The most recent such incident was reported yesterday. Two commuters, who were travelling home on buses plying between Colombo and Gampola last morning and evening, were robbed of their valuables and money in this manner. They had become unconscious after consuming food given to them by a person who had befriended them during their journey. more..

UN diplomat visits Mullaitivu

June 17 (BBC) Senior foreign diplomats are continuing their visits to Sri Lanka in which they are learning about the post-war challenges the country is facing. The United Nations’ head of political affairs, Lynn Pascoe, has paid a rare diplomatic visit to the district where the government finally crushed the Tamil Tiger separatists just over a year ago. In the north of Sri Lanka, tens of thousands of Tamil people displaced by war continue to more..

Vehicle emissions blamed for 60pc of island's air pollution

June 17 (CT) Emissions by motor vehicles are blamed for almost 60 per cent of the air pollution in Sri Lanka, said the ministry of environment. The country has 714,058 motor vehicles that are more than 20 years old and emit excessive amounts of harmful chemicals. A motor vehicle emits 14,730 million carbon particles per square metre to the environment each year. The ministry says that a vehicle emission test can reduce more..

Poverty down in nine districts

June 17 (PRIU) In keeping with the trend of reduction in poverty in Sri Lanka, the average income levels in nine districts in six provinces exceeded the poverty line of Rs. 3072, in May 2010. According to the Department of Census and Statistics the poverty line at national level is the minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs. Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts in the Western Province rank highest above the poverty line more..

'Floodlights a handicap for chasing side'

June 17 (CI) The Asia Cup got off to just the sort of cracking start the organisers would have wanted - a tight, topsy-turvy match littered with classy batting and bowling efforts, and ending with victory for the home side. One cause for concern, though, is the quality of the floodlights at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium, which held its first day-night match in nearly three years. Eight floodlight towers were installed in 2003, but more..

ICC clears Pakistan of match-fixing in Dambulla

June 17 (CI) The ICC and PCB have clarified speculation emerging from Tuesday's Asia Cup opener between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Dambulla about a Pakistan player possibly using a cell phone in the dressing room. Pakistani TV channels picked up on footage from the game which showed Mohammad Aamer sitting in the dressing room balcony with a helmet on, with one hand to his right ear, speaking to someone while waiting to bat. more..

New Tamil arrests in Netherlands

June 17 (RNW) The Dutch authorities have again arrested a number of Tamils as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal activities of the LTTE movement in the Netherlands. The organisation, which seeks to establish an independent Tamil state in northeast Sri Lanka, was placed on the EU list of terrorist organisations in 2006.A spokesperson for the Public Prosecutors' Office has announced that four suspects have been arrested in Breda, Rotterdam, Heemskerk and Heerlen. more..

Rajapaksa for ever? Sri Lankan ruling party wants presidential limit lifted

June 17 (National) Sri Lanka’s ruling majority is planning to push forward constitutional amendments that would allow for unlimited presidential terms, sparking an outcry from opposition groups and left-leaning members of its own coalition. Debate is growing over plans by the president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP-led coalition to bring in amendments that would allow Mr Rajapaksa to run for an unprecedented third term in 2016. more..

Police murders and Sri Lankan media responsibility

June 17 (LG) It was recently reported (May 24th) that another man, age 33, a father of two young children, had died in Kottawa police custody. Relatives and friends claim he died as a result of a brutal police assault. According to the police, the suspect, a wanted criminal, died of a heart attack. This raises several issues. How could the police claim the victim died of a heat attack before a post-mortem had been performed? more..

India’s continued insisting on 13th Amendment

June 17 (LG) According to the Joint Declaration issued following the State visit of President Mahind Rajapaksa to India, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has emphasized that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. In addition to the various agreements said to have been reached, mainly granting of loans (to payback with interest and within a specified period by the people of Sri Lanka more..

Wheels move for Madhu Talaimannar railway reconstruction

June 17 (MoD) The Railway Department will begin reconstruction of the Madu-Talaimannar railway line shortly. IRCON International Limited (Ministry of Railways, India) has undertaken the contract to reconstruct the section between Madu and Talaimannar which was signed during the President Mahinda Rajapaksa's official visit to India recently. The total estimated cost for the project is US $150 million. more..

Sri Lanka 'A' found wanting searching for short balls in Australia

June 17 (IC) The Sri Lanka 'A' cricket team currently touring Australia have lost their opening game of the tour. The three day practise match which ended on the 15th of June against the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) side at the Allan Border field in Brisbane, ended with Sri Lanka 'A' loosing by just one wicket. AIS skipper Ben Dunk won the toss and had no hesitation in putting the Sri Lankan batsman into bat. more..

Sri Lankan doctor reveals abuse cases

June 17 (UCAN) A doctor in Sri Lanka revealed yesterday that six girls below the age of 10 have been brought to his hospital recently, all of them raped by their fathers. He said that no family’s home in the country can be considered safe from child abuse. Doctor H.M.P. Herath made the revelation to a conference on child abuse, sexual harassment and drug abuse, in Marawila, Sri Lanka on June 15. more..

Sri Lanka opens doors to tourists

June 17 (MT) Nawalage Bennet Cooray, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the Philippines, said that the doors of his country are now open to charm and attract travelers from all corners of the world. Cooray, during an exclusive roundtable with editors and reporters of The Manila Times on Tuesday, cited Colombo’s recent success in wiping out the separatist LTTE. “We [the people] want to live together in peace and harmony. more..

Forget Singapore, be the best Sri Lanka we can be

June 17 (NS) Lee Kwan Yew (LKY) says something nasty about Sri Lanka every two decades or so. That’s not bad. I mean, Navi Pillai, Louise Arbour, Chris Patten and the crooks who feed them information, can’t seem to say Sri Lanka without spitting venom. Years ago, LKY, who clearly has no clue about the Language Act or the full dimensions of meaning embedded in the date ‘Nineteen Fifty Six’, threw the Snooty Book at S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. more..

Crossovers – A bane of democracy

June 17 (NS) The other day at a city restaurant I chanced upon a friend whom I had not met for the last 15 years. I was having my lunch when he chose by sheer accident the same table to have his lunch. It was a pleasant surprise for both of us. We were alone and we could freely chat on any subject under the sun. Pleasantries over, our mutual interest turned to politics and topical political issues. I knew my friend, a Muslim from the city was an ardent supporter of the UNP and more..

M.I.A.: New album was inspired by death threats to my son, Ikhyd

June 17 (NYD) There's a reason M.I.A. is so angry. The controversial musician reveals that the recording of "/\/\/\Y/\" (a funky way of writing M.I.A.s real name, Maya) was influenced by death threats to her son, Ikhyd, reports the Huffington Post. The threats came after M.I.A. criticized the government in her native Sri Lanka. "People would write on Twitter and YouTube, 'Your baby is going to die,' more..

India’s gross betrayal of the Tamil people

June 17 (DM) A few days after President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka following his Indian tour, a bomb explosion occurred on a railway track in Tamil Nadu. This marked a red alert and signified a grave portent to New Delhi. This signal apparently appeared to be a reminder that Congress government. and the Sri Lankan government. together would not be allowed to share the peace dividends over the graveyard of the Tamil Tigers. more..

A little bit of India - to have, to hold!

June 17 (ST) My Dear Manmohan, I thought I must write to you because Mahinda maama also dropped in to see you this week-and also because the hot topic of discussion in our country these days is nothing but India. Last week of course, it was all about India because your country’s film awards were held here-and I daresay it was a damp squib. That was because most of your top artistes kept away saying that some people in Tamil Nadu had threatened them. more..

Education Ministry learns lessons, changes course

June 17 (ST) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena defends the new Grade 1 admission policy that gives a greater say to principals, saying it will keep politicians and ministry officials out of the process. In a wide-ranging interview with Damith Wickremasekara, he explains the ministry’s plans to reform the Grade 5, O/L and A/L examinations and formulate a national education policy. more..

Buddhism, Science and Modern Science

June 17 (LG) Intuitive knowledge is acquired when one completely quietens the conscious mind stops the rational stream from functioning and allows knowledge to freely flow in through the subconscious mind. Since this stream of knowledge is not based on the sense organs it is not limited to the visualizable aspects the universe. Intuitive knowledge is holistic and when one develops his/her mind to a stage where he/she can completely stop the rational stream, more..

Private sector jobs for ex-LTTEs

June 17 (MoD) The Rehabilitation Commissioner's Department will employ rehabilitated former female LTTE combatants in the private sector. A batch of former combatants will join Tri Star Apparels Ltd staff today. The company will provide training in the apparel industry. A monthly salary of 12,000 rupees will be paid to each employee. They will also receive medical, accommodation and other benefits enjoyed by other employees officials said. more..

STF, police in Eastern Province continue to harass people

June 17 (TN) People travelling from Batticaloa to Paduvaankarai complain that the Special Task Force (STF) commandos and police subject them to harassment and restrictions in the check-posts located on Karuththa Paalam (Black Bridge), Vavu’natheevu and Kiraan Bridge. STF and police order the travelers to get down from their vehicles and walk to the check-posts with their baggage and children besides being made to wait for long in the hot sun, more..

President visits India to improve relations

June 17 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse visited India for four days last week in a bid to repair relations that were strained last year in the final months of Colombo’s war against the separatist LTTE. Rajapakse was making his first state visit since winning a second term of office in January. He was accompanied by External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris and met with Indian President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi. more..

IIFA expenditure –rewarding

June 17 (LP) Sri Lankan Government spent Rs 850 million for the IIFA award which was held in Sri Lanka recently. This was revealed at meeting of the Cabinet Ministers as a result of the allegations which were forwarded by the Opposition party UNP saying that the Government’s expenditure on IFFA was unnecessary. Accordingly Rs 400 Million was spent on reconstructing and renovation of the Sugathadasa Stadium as the stadium needed to be renovated to fit the international standards. more..

Women in Parliament

Dimensioning of giant and dwarf in art and literature

June 17 (DN) I once overheard a conversation between two undergraduates. One of them had the dubious reputation of being a conscientious non-bather. He stank. The other complained about the stench one day. The stinker responded philosophically, ‘ganda...mokadda ganda kiyanne? ganda kiyanne suwande avasaana avasthaava’ (stench...what is stench? It is the lowest aspect of perfume). It is all relative, isn’t it? more..

JVP leader fails to present a specific political solution for ethnic issue, in Jaffna

June 17 (TN) Somawanse Amarasinghe, leader of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and parliamentarian, was unable to deliver an unambiguous answer to questions raised by media persons who wanted to know the position of his party in finding a political solution for the ethnic issue, in a press meet held in Jaffna town Wednesday evening. more..

'Educational qualifications should be looked into when appointing people to leadership posts'

June 17 (LNW) UNP Gampaha District MP Jayalath Jayawardena has informed the party’s Reforms Committee that if an election is held to choose individuals for high positions in the party, their educational qualifications should also be taken in to consideration. He had said that basic criteria should be formulated on the educational qualifications required by individuals trying to contest for positions in the party. more..

Van falls into precipice killing one, injuring six

June 17 (NF) One person was killed after a van fell into a precipice at Newveliwatta in Norwood – Maskeliya main road yesterday. Police said that the six others who had sustained injuries had been admitted to Dickoya district hospital. The accident occurred while the group, residents of Kuda Maskeliya, was returning after participating in a medical clinic at the Nuwara Eliya base hospital. The van had fallen into a 300-foot deep precipice, adjacent to the Castlereigh Reservoir. more..

Memorial monument for war victims unveiled in Vanni

June 17 (TN) The Catholic clergy and people of Uruththirapuram in Ki’linochchi in Vanni recently opened a monument in memory of the thousands of Vanni people killed in the war. The monument is erected in Uruththirapuram Catholic church premise along with the memorial monument earlier erected in memory of Rev. Mariampillai Sathejus Sarath Jeevan called Jeeva who had continued to serve the people even during the war and more..

High demand for Lankan skilled workers in Canada

June 17 (LNP) The demand for Sri Lankan migrant workers in Canada is at a high level, due to their smartness in executing jobs, innovativeness and good work ethics. The biggest handicap of Sri Lankans who seek employment abroad is the lack of English knowledge. The demand for Asian people, especially Sri Lankans for skilled jobs such as electricians, masons, plumbers, vocational instructors, accountants and nurses are at a high level. more..

SL High Commission in Norway states the assault was a result of personal animosities

June 17 (LeN) The SL High Commission in Norway has informed Lanka e news that the assault on a low rung employee of the High Commission had nothing to do with politics , and it was a result of an altercation stemming from personal embitterment between the parties. The Norway office has made this intimation with reference to an article titled ‘a henchman of a LTTE leader of its intelligence unit demonstrates his power in Norway’ posted in the Lanka e news website on the 15th. more..

GSP Plus and International Community

Summary of Cabinet decisions

June 17 (GDI) Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Keheliya addressing the Media Conference on Cabinet Decisions held this morning announced the following decisions taken by the Cabinet which met under the Chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. 1. Acquisition of Majority Shares in the Shell Gas Company. 2. Recruit 3,174 graduates as Aesthetic Teachers to fill vacancies existing for Aesthetic Teachers. This decision was taken based on a proposal submitted by the Minister of Education. more..

Sri Lanka Army intelligence unit conducts an ‘operation’ at Slave Island Muslim mosques

June 17 (LeN) A group of officers of the Army intelligence unit has visited the mosques at Slave Island, Colombo and conducted a survey purportedly to elicit information about the Muslim visitors to the mosques and the mosque incumbents regarding the sources of income and their assets . The Muslim population of Slave Island following this episode are having strong suspicions that the mosques are also going to be demolished more..

War Heroes honoured with a Public Holiday

June 17 (LP) War Heroes are honoured with a Public Holiday tomorrow, Friday 18th June. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government has declared tomorrow a special public and bank holiday to mark the Victory Day commemoration. The Victory Day Celebrations are scheduled to be held tomorrow at the Galle Face Green. The commemoration initially scheduled to be held on May 18 was postponed due to bad weather conditions.

'Govt. has failed to provide basic needs of the people in the North'

June 17 (LT) The government has failed to provide even basic needs of the masses in the North in spite of the fact that one year has passed since the end of the war says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. Speaking at a press conference held in Jaffna town yesterday after ending a three day fact finding visit to the North Mr. Amarasinghe said, “We were able to visit Jaffna one year after the war has ended. more..

General gets permission to attend the funeral

June 17 (LT) Detained former commander and MP General Sarath Fonseka sought permission to pay his last respects to mother-in-law, today morning. Defense Ministry has decided to grant permission to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral, DNA announced short while ago. Late Mrs. A. E. Munasinghe's funeral will take place today on 6PM at Borella Cemetery. Sources close to her family told she loved General Sarath Fonseka very much and until the last moment she didn't know about the arrest.

GSP plus and the apparel export industry