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'No interference by the President'

June 20 (SL) Minister of Fisheries, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne is a colourful politician who made a name for himself with his powerful oratory and performances in public agitation platforms. He played a key role in the crossover phenomenon when a large number of UNP members crossed over and joined President Rajapaksa. Recently appointed as Minister of Fisheries, Dr. Senaratne took time off to speak exclusively to more..

Monkeys or politicians: Take your pick!

June 20 (SL) The tableau depicting “See no evil”, “Hear no evil” and “Speak no evil” has, without exception and throughout the years, featured three monkeys depicting each of those human behavioural choices. I believe this is apt because humans, politicians in particular, have displayed a monumental capacity to display all the symptoms of denial in the matter of speaking to matters of evil, listening to evidence of evil or accepting the existence of evil when it is right before their eyes. more..

In a Nutshell

June 20 (SL) Rani Soap Or what eh?: And so corner tree and his attractive better half were all smiles at a poruwa where mahindeer was also in attendance. The mrs meanwhile was in for an ego boost. Cause no sooner the prez spotted her he exclaimed at her beauty. She thanked him gracefully. The prez however was not done. Suddenly asking “what soap do you use?” to which ms corner tree could only blush a beetroot red! more..

A Birthday tribute to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

June 20 (IL) "Born great" has two possible meanings: either being born to a great position, such as that of an hereditary monarch, or possessing natural talents and/or virtues of an exceptional kind. Clearly not everyone born to a great position is worthy of it, and relatively few have the qualities of a great leader. The greatness of certain offices can rub off on their occupants, who may not otherwise have qualities out of the ordinary. more..

Editorial: Double standards of transparency

June 20 (LB) Does the administration consider CEPA to be of more lasting concern to the country, than the constitution? Policy initiatives curiously point in this direction. There is some level of transparency on CEPA. Placard carrying businessmen were ushered into Temple Trees, and given an audience, and we are of course told that this was not a pre-planned exercise but was an act of spontaneous grievance ventilation. more..

Mafia controlling vegetable prices

June 20 (LB) Retail prices of vegetables have gone up by 100%, in the recent past, according to the Dambulla special economic centre sources. But the government blames the vegetable sellers and the large scale vegetable cultivators for adopting fraudulent strategies to keep the vegetable prices steep. According to the Dambulla special economic centre, the price of a kilogram of vegetables has gone up as follows: green chillies-Rs.300, capsicum-Rs.250, knol-khol-Rs.100, more..

Discover Deniyaya: Where the wicked redeem themselves

June 20 (LB) With a sudden boost in tourists’ numbers filling up every hotel, and boutique villas now costing boutique prices, how about going back to Sri Lanka’s roots and taking a holiday for a fraction of the price, in an old tea bungalow, in one of Sri Lanka’s lesser known provinces. Deniyaya, is “the gateway to the Sinharaja rain forest”, and one of Sri Lanka’s most interesting cow boy towns, more..

Why you are fleeced for Petrol: 500m worth evaporates

June 20 (LB) A staggering Rs.500 million worth of petrol and diesel evaporates annually as a result of steps not being taken to renovate oil storage tanks in Kolonnawa, a very relaible CPC inside source told LAKBIMAnEWS. “The CPC can provide free petrol any day to all fuel consumers in the country if they can stop this wastage”, he noted. He said that so far the CPC management has not taken any effort to reduce this massive wastage. more..

Can’t stop MP Fonseka - DNA

June 20 (LB) The DNA plans to inform the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU) Secretary General about the government’s attempts to prevent General Sarath Fonseka from attending the CPU conference to be held in Kenya. He added that the government has no right to prevent Fonseka from travelling to Nairobi since the Speaker has given the greenlight. “The Speaker gave permission and parliament is the supreme institution. more..

Names named for Lanka UN panel

June 20 (LB) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky, indicated that the Secretary General had already selected his special panel to probe into human rights violations in Sri Lanka which is likely to be announced next week. During the media briefing on Friday, he said that the group has been selected and all systems were in place to begin the probe. more..

Editorial: Groggy and pathetic on constitutional reforms

June 20 (SL) The multitudes backing the government of the Rajapaksas no doubt believe that they are on a glorious march and have visions of the golden ages of Dutu Gemunu and Parakrama Bahu materialising. There are also sceptics and very many foreigners, who do not envision such bountiful scenarios materialising and are naturally condemned in the fiercest of patriotic rhetoric. While the raban playing with kiributh and kavun ceremonies to celebrate the victory and more..

India's win sets up Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka

June 20 (Reuters) India pulled off a thrilling three-wicket win over Pakistan with a ball to spare at the four-nation Asia Cup in Dambulla on Saturday. The victory means India will now meet hosts Sri Lanka in Thursday's final. Chasing Pakistan's 267 all out, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team scraped home in the final over after Harbhajan Singh hoisted Mohammad Aamer for a mid-wicket six. more..

President tells younger generation: Change your attitude first

June 20 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called upon the younger generation to work hard with the objective of developing their motherland, which will enable all citizens to live in peace and harmony under one flag. The President made these remarks at the awards ceremony of the ‘Mother Sri Lanka’ schools program held at “Temple Trees” yesterday. Over 3,500 children selected as finalists from 41 schools received their certificates and awards at yesterday’s event. more..

Prices of essential items could drop with Govt intervention- Johnston

June 20 (SO) The Government should intervene in the import of essential items as prices could be reduced by about 15 percent, said Cooperatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando. The cutoff point of the prices should be decided on by the public sector and it should not continue to be the monopoly of the private sector. “Sathosa, the government’s main trading arm should take over the import of food items”, he said. more..

Boston Lanka News Edition

Centres to rehabilitate drug addicts

June 20 (SO) Meduma and Pathuma drug addict rehabilitation centres at Nayakakanda, Hendala run by the Archdiocese of Colombo help people to overcome addiction and intergrtate into society. The Apostolate for Drugs and Alcohol Demand Reduction Service was launched by Rev. Fr. Boniface Mendis in 1998 and during the past 10 years several drug and alcohol addicts who have been completely rehabilitated have returned to their homes. more..

Electricity tariff to be reduced from January - Minister Ranawaka

June 20 (SO) Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka had his early education at Takshila College, Horana. An electrical engineer by profession, he graduated from the University of Moratuwa. After his university career he was attached to the Ceylon Electricity Board before entering active politics. He began his political career during the latter part of 2004 and entered the Parliament subsequently. more..

Wilpattu National Park springs to life

June 20 (SO) It was May 14, 1985. The day began as usual at Wilpattu. And so did the work for the team of Wildlife Department employees working at the Wilpattu National Park. Teams of workers, doing routine work in the park, were totally unaware of the massacre at the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura that had taken place a few hours earlier. They would never have guessed even in their wildest dream that they would be more..

Ade Meyler, summa debate, zero-dishung, theriya?

June 20 (LG) I’m amused by the claim being made these days that there is an ongoing “debate’’ on the use and abuse of Sri Lankan English. It’s funnier that the suddhas insist on telling us this. Micheal Meyler has been screaming from the top of his roof for all to hear. Now Gillian Westaway the British Council Sri Lanka director tells us at a launch event that there is such a debate. Outside, somebody mentions in passing “machang, that lady —— absolutely thundering size no?" more..

Govt: Stay out of business

June 20 (LG) The government move to buy back a 51 % stake owned by Shell Int. in the local Shell Gas Co will no doubt be viewed with dismay by economists, planners and those who strongly believe the state should stay out of business. What is the rationale in these purchases? The same argument applies in the buy-back of the stake held by Emirates in SriLankan Airlines. Are we going back to the era of nationalisation? Most readers would laugh at this suggestion, knowing very well this won’t happen. more..

Tamil intellectuals, ex-militant sympathisers to assist Govt

JJune 20 (SO) A group of nine Tamil intellectuals including former prominent militant sympathisers who had been operating internationally for the militant outfit along with Pathmanathan (Kumaran), the former head of the LTTE’s activities abroad said they would assist in the post conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the country. The delegation of sympathisers of former militants domiciled in more..

Bringing the moon down to earth

June 20 (LG) The day after the military victory over the LTTE last May, the street down which I live was fluttering with national flags hoisted atop each and every conceivable point. Certainly, the mood was euphoric, somewhat along the lines of what we saw decades back when the militant leader of the JVP was captured and killed by government forces in much the contentious circumstances surrounding the killing of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Why must the so called LTTE martyrs cemeteries and memorials be cleared?

June 20 (LG) I see certain furor in some ‘DREALAM’ supportive websites (or in the Drealam media) about pulling down of the ‘statues’ and ‘clearing’ of the ‘cemeteries of so-called Martyrs’ of Tamil Drealam. First of all, I fail to understand how Tamil ‘terrorists’ are called or identified as ‘martyrs’, after all, when they commit suicide. In legitimate or lawful militaries in the world when a Soldier commits suicide he or she is not ‘even’ entitled to more..

Lanka’s ‘Crown Princes’ Still Playing The Power Game

June 20 (LG) The rise and fall of ‘crown princes’ has been very much a part of contemporary history of Sri Lanka. Right now there are two such ‘princes’ attempting to climb the ladder but let’s begin at the beginning. With independence and D.S. Senanayake as Ceylon’s (as Sri Lanka was then known) first prime minister, it was apparent that his son Dudley, was being groomed for premiership by his father. more..

National Reconciliation begins when the pause after war drives a nation to Its senses

June 20 (TC) It is now a year since the civil war has ended in our beloved Sri Lanka and sadly national reconciliation continues to elude us. In these circumstances the CR de Silva Commission on "lessons learnt and reconciliation" is timely and welcome. It is yet another chance to learn from mistakes of the past and to humbly declare the truth that brings reconciliation. The mere end of war does not simply bring reconciliation. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil held in Chennai

June 20 (PTI) A Colombo-bound Sri Lankan Tamil who managed to escape after security officials discovered a brick concealed in the baggage at the airport here on Friday has been arrested, police said today. Abdul Hamid (42) had come to the airport on Friday alongwith another person, Mohammed Bashir, to board a flight to Colombo. Both were detained by the CISF personnel for questioning after the brick was found in one of their suitcases during a scan of the baggage. more..

NDB Bank empowers the developing SME Sector in Jaffna

June 20 (Island) Over the years, small and medium scale financing has been an integral component of NDB Bank’s portfolio. It is a proven tool for enabling up-and-coming entrepreneurs to gain financial stability while changing their lives positively. The Bank believes in making positive change in Sri Lankan lives, by providing entrepreneurs with knowledge, and capital to develop businesses and grow the local economy. more..

Explosions heard from SLN base in the islets of Jaffna

June 20 (TN) People in Jaffna peninsula were startled to hear intermittent explosions Saturday evening from the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Kaarainakar base in the islets of Jaffna for nearly half an hour, sources in Jaffna said. Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopters were seen circling above the SLN base and unconfirmed sources said that a joint military exercise was the cause of the deafening explosions. more..

‘We won’t back out’ says Laugfs

June 20 (NS) Laugfs Gas Lanka Friday said it is still interested in buying the operations of its local rival, Shell Gas, despite plans by the Sri Lankan government to buy back the Royal Dutch Shell company’s (RDS) local gas unit. According to Laugfs Chairman, W.K.H. Wegapitiya the firm is to continue negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) to acquire the 51 percent stake, the multinational owns in Shell Gas Lanka. more..

Turncoats can keep seats

June 20 (NS) Government has decided to amend the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance to safeguard the seats of the members of the local government bodies who defected to the government at the last Presidential and Parliamentary General elections. The decision taken in this regard is a sequel to a Cabinet paper presented by Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister A.L.M. Athaulla last week proposing that the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance be amended more..

Editorial: Diplomatic offensive continues

June 20 (NS) It was just over a year ago, when the Armed Forces were in the throes of the final battle with the LTTE - that Sri Lanka was a haven for the diplomatic tourist: Many an overseas dignitary came calling, trying to arm-twist the country and its government into calling off the military offensive, ostensibly because of the high number of civilians caught up in the conflict. In what must be a sense of déjà vu for the government, more..

Will allies fall out over constitution?

June 20 (NS) The focus of attention in political circles shifted last week to New Delhi, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa was undertaking a three-day State visit- and not without reason too. Even before the visit began, there were many events that sparked controversy: Agitation in Tamil Nadu about Colombo’s handling of the post-war period, speculation that India was attempting to impose a political solution styled on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, more..

Editorial: Concerted effort to counter war crimes charge

June 20 (ST) When one reads this week's debate on Sri Lanka in Britain's House of Commons, one is sent in a virtual time capsule to a bygone era when Andrew Bonar Law was the British Secretary of State for the Colonies informing the Honourable Members of the 'Mother Parliament' of developments in Ceylon, one of its many colonies at the time. In those days, the 'Commons' would discuss such things as the 1915 riots in Ceylon when British soldiers squashed an uprising of 'natives' with impunity and more..

No rules for bus cowboys of East

June 20 (NS) Commuters complain that the private bus owners of the coastal areas of the Batticaloa and the Ampara districts are not bound by the rules binding the bus operators in other parts of Sri Lanka due to lack of competition from the CTB. The bus owners here charge as much as they can from commuters and the passengers meekly pay up as they have no other alternative. more..

IIFA row hits Batti in dramatic scene

June 20 (ST) An unidentified group has called on theatre owners in Batticaloa to refrain from screening movies produced in Tamil Nadu in a move to hit back at Indian film stars who boycotted the recent IIFA awards ceremony in Colombo. The group in Sinhala and Tamil hand bills sent to cinema owners has told them to stop the screening of South Indian movies from Friday till the end of this month. The hand bill says the boycott by the Indian artistes of the IIFA event had more..

Sri Lanka - Egypt enters in to MOU

June 20 (LP) The visiting Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt His Excellency Ahmed Amin Fathallah held wide-ranging discussions with the dignitaries of the Government of Sri Lanka as well as other officials during his stay in Colombo from 14 to 18 June 2010. He had carried a special message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt to the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, congratulating the Government of Sri Lanka on more..

Nawaloka Mudalali reaches 90

June 20 (N360) Sri Lanka’s one of the oldest and most successful entrepreneurs Deshmanaya H.K. Dharmadasa celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday in Colombo. The event also marked the 25th Silver Jubilee of the Nawaloka hospital a unit of the Nawaloka Group, which Dharmadasa found following his humble beginnings many decades ago. Celebrations took place amidst a distinguished gathering with President Mahinda Rajapaksa taking part as the Chief Guest of the occasion. more..

Jayalalithaa slams holding of Tamil meet

June 20 (Hindu) AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Saturday criticised the World Classical Tamil Conference and said it was ridiculous to hold it when Sri Lankan Tamils were in distress. In a statement here, she wanted implementation of 18 charters of demands of the Sri Lankan Tamils before the conference. The demands included rehabilitation of one lakh Tamils in camps in the north, relief for those resettled, rehabilitation of agricultural lands and water bodies, more..

Northern Tamil building contractors forced to pay commission

June 20 (TN) Northern Tamil Contractors Union (NTCU) in Jaffna complains that a man introducing himself as ‘School Engineer’ is engaged in obtaining five to ten percent commission from building contractors in Jaffna to be passed on to Northern Province Governor, Major General G. A. Chandrasiri. Meanwhile, it is alleged that the Governor has instructed the officials of the Northern Province Council to allocate contracts for more..

Editorial: India’s role in the region

June 20 (Island) We are not exactly back to ‘India bashing’ but the recent vociferous reactions in some quarters in this country to the perceived implications of the CEPA between India and Sri Lanka, which, we are told, is still being drafted, would certainly have taken some local minds back to the bad old days of the mid-eighties when Indo-Lanka relations were in a tail-spin over what was termed as India’s big brotherly attitude towards Sri Lanka. more..