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'Narcotics proliferation in Baddegama destroying younger generation'

June 20 (Island) The threat posed to the people, especially students, as a result of the proliferation of narcotics in the southern town of Baddegama, was recently highlighted by a prominent Buddhist monk from the area. Provincial Councillor Ven. Baddegama Samitha thera, a former parliamentarian, said that drugs had even been surreptitiously introduced to some schools and many students have become addicts. more..

UNP must renew itself as a party and take on the dictatorial Rajapakse regime

June 20 (TC) Politics is a dynamic process, so political parties cannot afford to be stagnant. Whether we win or lose, parties need to renew themselves periodically because the needs and desires of the electorate keep changing. The human mind is not constant, as the Buddha said; it can be rational or emotional; calm or agitated. Any district or country consists of millions of human minds which keep shifting according to external situations and personal experiences. more..

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

June 20 (Island) Sri Lanka belatedly celebrated the first anniversary of the ending of the war with a national holiday and a victory parade on Friday. To do anything right seems to be out of character for the Opposition and especially the UNP. Key figures in the main Opposition party boycotted the victory parade on the grounds that they were expressing protest against General Sarath Fonseka not being invited for the ceremony. more..

Sri Lanka’s finest join hands to fight cancer

June 20 (Island) Six of Sri Lanka’s best known leaders, the crème de la crème of the business, sports and administrative arenas in the country, came together on June 11, 2010, to share insights on the paths they took towards exceptional leadership. The ‘Talk Leadership. Fight Cancer’ Leadership’ Seminar was attended by over 300 delegates from 60 top corporates in Sri Lanka. The seminar was organized by the Colours of Courage Trust, an organization founded in 2008 to more..

Pascoe fiasco dampens V-Day

June 20 (ST) The rosy media accounts enriched by glossy spin failed to hide what was clearly a major diplomatic disaster for Sri Lanka in recent decades. That it came in a week when the nation was celebrating the first anniversary of the military victory over Tiger guerrillas added insult to injury and spawned humiliation. Lyn Pascoe, Under-Secretary General, used Colombo as the venue for an important official announcement. more..

Bank manager to be grilled over Rs.25m mystery

June 20 (NS) The Mt. Lavinia Police want to question a private bank manager who was abducted at Soysapura on Wednesday and later released in Erewwala after one of the abductors, now in custody, had alleged that the bank executive had cheated on Rs.25 million. Investigations have led Police to suspect that the Rs.25m is a mystery loot. The main suspect in the abduction had been arrested in Galle by a special team of the Mt. Lavinia Police on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka state bank bad loans climbs to 55.9-pct

June 20 (LBO) Lankaputhra Development Bank, a state bank set up to fulfill an election promise, has increased its bad loans to 55.9 percent in 2009, from 19.2 percent a year earlier, a government report has revealed. Lankaputhra or 'sons of the Lanka' bank was set up to fill a supposed lack of credit to small and medium enterprises after in 2005 after state development banks were put under private management in the late 1990s. more..

Radio station for fishermen

June 20 (LP) A new radio station will be on air especially for the fisherman said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. This channel would be on air from 12.00 midnight till 04.00 am in the morning while the radio station also enables the fisherman to communicate with their families via the station said the Minister. Through the new channel the fishermen would be able to share their experiences, listen to their favourite songs and so on. more..

Govt. silent now, but Rambukwella hits out

June 20 (ST) The Government will give its response after an official statement is made on the UN Secretary General’s appointment of an experts panel to advise him on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Ministry said yesterday – but a senior minister described the move as a plot with a hidden hand behind it. “The government will respond only after the UN makes an official statement in this regard. As of now it is only a statement made to the media,” more..

No international war crimes investigation against Sri Lanka for now

June 20 (TC) The Tamil diaspora is likely to be livid. International human rights groups like Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group and Amnesty International will not be happy. And this certainly was not what Navi Pillai, the UN high commissioner for human rights, had hoped for. Nevertheless, the Sri Lanka Government seems to have pulled it off–if the public statements of several visiting envoys last week are to be believed, more..

Vehicle sales moving into top gear

June 20 (ST) Sales of imported vehicles have gone up dramatically after the government’s overnight decision to slash the duty on vehicle imports. On June 1, the government cut duty on a number of imported items by 50 per cent. The idea is part of a plan to make Sri Lanka a shopping destination. The 50 per cent reduction comes at a time when the international motor vehicle industry is suffering serious setbacks. more..

Freed Sri Lankan journalist Tissainayagam arrives in U.S.

June 20 (TC) The Committee to Protect Journalist welcomes the arrival in the United States of Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who arrived at Washington’s Dulles International Airport on Saturday morning. He was met there by friends. According to CPJ representative Kamel Labidi, who was on hand to meet Tissa, “He was all smiles, and said to thank everyone who helped him gain his freedom.” more..

Medhananda Thera resigns, Omalpe Thera is JHU new leader

June 20 (CT) Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera has resigned as leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, saying he wanted to devote more time to archaeological research, said its national organizer. The prelate, an expert archeologist turned politician, announced his resignation at the JHU's seventh national convention at New Town Hall premises in Colombo this evening (June 19). more..

JVP says Army obstructed its members visiting areas away from A9

June 20 (Island) Accusing the Defence Ministry of obstructing a recent visit to the Vanni by a JVP delegation, the Marxist party says it does not need approval from the Defence Ministry to meet people in the once LTTE-held areas. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe alleged that the army had hindered their movements in areas away from the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road for want of Defence Ministry approval. more..

Lanka and UN Chief in open battle

June 20 (ST) An Indonesian and an Austrian are to form the panel of experts to advise UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues relating to the last stages of the separatist war in May last year. The move, a prelude to a possible UN investigation into alleged war crimes, both by troops and Tiger guerrillas, is to be announced in New York in the coming week. more..

Senior Tamil rebel to 'assist' Sri Lanka govt

June 20 (AFP) A senior leader of Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels has agreed to help the government in its post-war reconstruction efforts, a state-run newspaper reported Sunday. The Sunday Observer said Selvarasa Pathmanathan, formerly the chief arms smuggler for the rebels, had already been working to convince Tiger sympathisers abroad that the fight for an independent Tamil homeland was over. more..

Japan backs UN war crimes probe into Sri Lanka war

June 20 (AFP) A visiting Japanese envoy said Sunday his country backed efforts by the United Nations to investigate alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the final months of its ethnic conflict. Yasushi Akashi, whose country is a major donor to Sri Lanka, ended a five-day visit saying he detected a "lack of flexibility and openness" in the government's attempts to promote reconciliation on the island. more..

Japan says UN panel should 'not interfere' with Sri Lanka's probe into alleged rights abuses

June 20 (AP) A planned U.N.'s panel look into alleged rights abuses committed during Sri Lanka's quarter-century civil war should not interfere with the government's internal investigation, a Japanese envoy said Sunday. A U.N. panel to be announced next week will advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "on the way forward on accountability issues" related to Sri Lanka's conflict that killed more than 80,000 people. more..

Karunanidhi welcomes LTTE's praise of world Tamil conference

June 21 (PTI) Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi on Sunday welcomed outlawed LTTE's lauding of the World Tamil Classical conference at Coimbatore but said its remark that Tamils of the state have not taken steps to protect them will create a "needless controversy". In a statement here, Karunanidhi said he did not have differences over LTTE's remarks that the conference would deliberate on steps for speedier development of the language and help unify Tamils. more..

Why I owe Ranil Wickremesinghe an apology

June 21 (LG) I owe the UNP leader, the Leader of the Opposition and ex-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe an apology and an unqualified one. As a political scientist and analyst-commentator I had gravely underestimated his achievement as a political leader and his contribution to the political history of contemporary Sri Lanka. Since I have been a public critic of Mr Wickremesinghe’s leadership, it is only fair that I tender this apology in public and in print. more..

'Raavanan' faces protests in Sri Lanka, theatre torched

June 21 (PTI) A cinema hall planning to screen 'Raavanan' was torched here amidst protests against the film owing to it's star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and director Mani Ratnam's decision to stay away from the IIFA awards held in Sri Lanka. An unidentified group in Eastern Sri Lanka has called on theatre owners in the country to boycott Tamil movies and the bi-lingual film, starring Abhishek Bachchan in more..

Three LTTE cadre held

June 21 (Hindu) Three cadre of the LTTE were arrested by the ‘Q' Branch police in the city on Sunday. Large quantities of ordinary and electric detonators were seized from them. Siva alias Mahindan alias Ilaiya Mahindan (33) and Tamil alias Tamilselvan alias Sathish (38), both said to be members of the intelligence wing of the LTTE, and Selvam alias Painter Selvam (40), a LTTE cadre, were arrested when they assembled here for a meeting. more..

‘Door is not shut on Jayasuriya’

June 21 (DC) The last time Australia went home without the World Cup was way back in 1996 and it was the enigmatic legend of Aravinda de Silva that spoilt the party for Mark Taylor and Co. As Sri Lanka commence their journey to regain the title, Aravinda is wearing a crucial hat that of the chairman of the selection committee. The maverick batsman settled for a elucidate chat. Excerpts: Q: Asian teams have not been able to recreate the magic after winning the World Cup. more..

Chief Minister's response to statement on Sri Lankan Tamils

June 21 (Hindu) Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday said he had no difference of opinion with the proposition that the organisers of the Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore had the responsibility of securing justice for the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Chief Minister's statement came in the context of a statement issued on the website purportedly by the headquarters of the now militarily defunct LTTE. more..

Jayalalithaa urges implementation of an 18 point plan to alleviate Tamils' plight

June 21 (TC) AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa on Saturday June 19th listed an 18 point request to help Tamils in Sri Lanka. "The Centre and the Tamil Nadu governments must ensure that the Lankan government fulfills these promises and resettles the Tamils," she said in a statement released in Chennai. Ms. Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu Gov. conducting Tamil Classical Conference in Coimbatore under the present circumastaneces is totally unnecessary, and more..

Journey to Jaffna: hopes for reconstruction, amidst past and current violence

June 21 (AN) After decades of civil war, the Sri Lankan government is concerned about the development of Jaffna. But not its human development. Residents of Jaffna, mostly victims of war, accuse the government led by the Sinhalese victors "have destroyed our education system and economy." They are asking Colombo to correct the many mistakes that have destroyed thousands of lives and property. "You have done this". more..

Cargo ship passenger wanted in Sri Lanka for terrorism

June 21 (VS) One of the 76 migrants who arrived off the British Columbia coast in a cargo ship last weekend is wanted in Sri Lanka for terrorism, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. The sources said the man was Kartheepan Manickavasagar, a 26-year-old who is the subject of an Interpol notice issued by Sri Lankan authorities. He is wanted for an unspecified terrorism offence. more..

Jaffna should know sentiments of the Vanni people

June 21 (LG) I am really surprised that the People’s Kalari Dramatic Troupe is organizing a festival of Drama and Music for a period of 17 days commencing from the 21st of June. When the Vanni people are still mourning for the death of their dear ones and for the other losses and have not yet recovered from the shock, it is highly deplorable for the Jaffna people to engage themselves in merry making. more..

Setting fire to Tamil silver screen in Sri Lanka

June 21 (LP) A fresh terrorist organization calling themselves ‘Democratic Tamil People’ sent warning letters to the cinemas in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka banning screening Indian Tamil movies in the cinemas anywhere in the two Tamil speaking Provinces. Meanwhile, an unknown group believed to belong to the same ‘Democratic Tamil People’ set fire to a screen of a cinema in Eastern town Kaththankudi. more..

No bus fare hike, private bus owners decide

June 21 (LP) Private bus owners decided to continue with the existing bus fares. At a meeting, they decided against revising the fares, said of the Private Bus Owners Association president Gamunu Wijeratne. Previously, private bus owners had called for a 5.7 per cent hike from next month. They warned they would go ahead with an increase irrespective of whatever decision the National Transport Commission would take. more..

Talks on reopening Ruhuna University

June 21 (NS) The Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University Professor Susirith Mendis will hold discussions with Deans, Department Heads, and other officials to decide when to reopen the four faculties that were closed yesterday following unrest involving students, police and outsiders. “All students were asked to leave the faculties of Science, Fisheries and Marine Technology, Management and Finance, Humanities and Social Science by noon on Friday. more..

IUSF volunteers to rebuild school in the North

June 21 (CT) The Inter University Students Federation has asked for permission by the Education Ministry to renovate and rebuild the Periyakulam School in Kanagarayakulam in the North. IUSF Convener Udul Premaratne, speaking to 'Colombo Today', said even a year after the war has ended, children at this school had not been provided with any facilities. They conduct their studies in makeshift huts, as the main school buildings have been severely damaged by the war, he said. more..

9:20 AM. 2004

Teenager dies in water battle at school

June 21 (ST) A dispute over potable water has claimed the life of a 17-year-old student at a rural school in Puttalam district. A student allegedly involved in the incident has also been remanded, according to residents. The tragedy happened last week at the Mahkumbukkadawala, Punapitiya Junior School in Andigama, Anamaduwa. The dead student has been identified as Pathum Maduwantha. “He may be the first student to die in a water dispute at a school,” said a resident. more..

Prison cesspit flows into town

June 21 (SL) Diverting the Mahara Prison cesspit outflow to an open drain that flows through a village has caused an uproar. Ragama Watta is a small hamlet adjoining the Mahara Prison where more than 60 families live and the open drain that carries the prison sewer over the years has not only made a big stink in the area but also become a health hazard. “The recent floods that ravaged the Gampaha District was a fine example when suffered due to the overflow of this particular drain. more..

'My role changed after war ended'

June 21 (ST) The Queen of Sri Lanka’s cinema and one of Asia’s 25 all-time best screen stars, Malani Fonseka tells her story in her own words. She writes about her humble beginnings, her greatest moments on the screen, her vision as a parliamentarian and her last goal Forty years ago, I had a dream. I was sitting the Senior School Certificate (SSC) examination from Gurukula Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya. more..

Economics of Unreason

June 21 (LG) Until a few months ago, Greece was a lavish spender with defence expenditure topping its bloated budget. Using its cold war with neighbouring Turkey as justification, Greece spent more of its GDP on defence than any other European nation. Spending far beyond its means, and borrowing to finance the consequent mountainous deficits, Greece gradually became ensnared in a classic debt trap. ‘Greece borrowed too much’, diagnosed the more..

Sri Lankan History and the Tamil Problem

June 21 (LG) Many renowned Sinhalese and Tamil Historians, Archaeologists, Geologists, Epigraphists, Genealogists, Anthropologists, etymologists and Linguistic Scholars as well as Indian, American and British Scholars have engaged in research, on the ancient history of Sri Lanka for more than 30 years, conducting Archaeological excavations. The latest Archeological and Genealogical discoveries in Sri Lanka using modern technology show that more..

'Weerawansa downright hypocrite'

June 21 (LB) Those who watch the hit US medical Drama House MD are familiar with the brilliant diagnosticians and their oft repeated phrase ‘people don’t change.’ But I think they would have changed their opinion if they were presented with MP Wimal Weerawansa. Two years after his departure from the JVP, the Colombo district MP has not only become the biggest critic of the party in which he was a member for nearly 20 years, more..

When will the government relive the guns from the paramilitary groups and the goons?

June 21 (LG) The President Rajapakse’s entourage to India recently consisted of some violent men associated with the President. Notable of them were the paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda and the President’s buddy Sajin Vas Gunawardena. Gun carrying Sajin and Douglas chat whilst the Foreign Minister Prof G L Pieris enjoy their conversation on the far right. The LTTE has been eliminated and more..