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Summary of Cabinet decisions

June 25 (GDI) The Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella announced the following decisions taken at the Cabinet Meeting held yesterday (23) under the chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapakse. 1) Approved the implementation of the stage 2 of the e-Sri Lanka project. E-Sri Lanka Project is a multifaceted project for the promotion of the use of information and communication technology the public and private sectors and in civil socity in Sri Lanka. more..

'Release student LTTE suspects before apologizing to LTTE leaders'

June 25 (LT) Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) is insisting the government to release young girls and boys who have been imprisoned, before giving apology to LTTE leaders who had recruited young people in north and east by force while hanging cyanide capsules around their necks. In regarding this issue the Convener of IUSF Mr. Udul Premarathne expressed his views as follows. more..

Jaffna, where women weep

June 25 (AN) Tens of thousands of women lost their husbands, innocent victims of the civil war. The government however appears indifferent to their fate, and even Tamil society is keen on marginalising them. The correspondent of AsiaNews continues to cover the aftermath of the long and disastrous civil war. Anyone who visits Jaffna for pleasure is in for an agreeable time these days. The Jaffna Peninsula is a pretty place, and is slowly modernising, both in the city of Jaffna and along the A9 Roadway. more..

The UN Panel, the lessons learned and a political solution

June 25 (DM) UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon has ended months of speculation and finalized the appointment of a Panel of Experts, headed by former Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman and comprising of a South African and a US national, both legal experts in the fields of human rights and international law respectively. Their rather broad and indeed somewhat vague mandate is to advise the UN General Secretary on the issues that arise from Sri Lanka’s concluded civil conflict. more..

Paradise Revisited

June 25 (NS) Neville and Sybil’s history of creative life is hard to trace, because they have been passionately obsessed with drawing and painting since the earliest days of their memory. Their contribution to the ’43 Group is indisputably immense. As Neville relates, after Sri Lanka became a British colony in 1815, painting became an evening habit of the British colonial lords. Subsequently, an Art Club was established, but it became an exclusive space for the British elitism. more..

Hiding dogs and beggars from Bollywood stars

June 25 (Island) Thankfully, there is at least one department we know in the public sector that does not have to resort to sweeping things under the carpet whenever high powered delegates and celebrities are due to arrive in the country at the invitation of the State. We refer to the Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipality, which has amongst other functions that of controlling the city’s large dog population and preventing the spread of rabies. The more..

SriLankan Airlines introduces Shanghai Special

June 25 (Island) As SriLankan Airlines proudly launches its maiden flight to Shanghai in China, ‘FlySmiLes’, its frequent flyer programme brings this newest destination closer to you with its "Cash + Miles" promotion. Not only does it make travelling to Shanghai easier and exciting for all FlySmiLes members and their nominees, but also very economical too. Valid from 01 July now on until 31 July 2010, all you need to do is to combine a mere 15,000 of your FlySmiLes Miles with a Rs. 30,000/- more..

Ranil will prevaIl : S.B

June 25 (DM) Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayaka spoke to the Daily Mirror on his plans to rejuvenate the higher educational system in the country by bringing down foreign universities and putting in place a better monitoring mechanism. Q: As the new Minister of education what areas of the Higher Education system do you plan to primarily focusing your attention ? A: There are a number of shortfalls in Universities; more..

Lessons learnt or have we learnt?

June 25 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes as the Rajapaksa administration touches cloud nine after the glorious Victory Day ceremony at Galle Face Green – though some were unable to face it while to others it apparently tasted like gall. Whether it was coincidence or otherwise, it was on the eve of this ceremony that Sri Lanka was hit by political Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) from more..

Jaffna youths overlooked in International Olympics Day celebration

June 25 (TN) Young men and women athletes in Jaffna peninsula complained that they were not given due place in the International Olympics Day celebration held Wednesday in Jaffna Duraiappa Stadium presided by the Minister of Sports, C.B. Ratnayake. They were not invited to participate in time while hundreds of young men and women who had been brought from South were given prominence in the events, they further said. Invitation to local youths to participate in the above event was sent only at the last minute and more..

‘The media ruined Ranil’

June 25 (NS) Q: Elections, many believe is a way of ensuring democracy. But you have openly opposed to a proposed election within the UNP to elect leaders. Why do you say that there should not be an election to appoint a Party Leader? A: As far as I know J.R. Jayewardene appointed a ten member committee consisting of the most popular people in the party in view of the general election in the 1977. This was merely to handle and maintain the UNP’s election campaign. more..

Kollywood: Politics, Pretense and Perversion - 2

June 25 (LG) As Eelam War–IV was on in full swing in 2008, the PMK was the first to start the ‘show’ with a protest demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission on 30 September 2008. PMK’s protest was followed by a one-day hunger fast organised by the CPI. Other parties like CPM, DMDK, MDMK, VCK and other smaller ones joined the fast, on 3 October. AIADMK, which was supposed to attend the demonstration, pulled out at the last minute due to the overwhelming presence of actor Vijayakanth’s DMDK. more..

Mullivaikal Last Stages

June 25 (LG) It is said that the LTTE was agreeable to USA’s direct involvement, but they were not agreeable to locking the weapons. The USA had also started preparing for the Mullivaikal operation. Accordingly, PACOM’s Naval unit, Marine Expediency Brigade, will land at the Mullaithivu shores; and the Navy and the Air Force of PACOM will also join in this operation. The Indian Foreign Secretary of that time, Sivshankar Menon, went to the USA during the first week of March 2009. more..

The 15 EU conditions and the Govt.'s response

June 25 (TC) Here are the 15 conditions spelt out by the European Commission for renewal of GSP+ and followed by response from the Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka: 1. Reduction of the number of derogations to the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). 2. Take steps to ensure that the key objective of the 17th Amendment to Constitution, namely to provide for independent impartial appointments to key public positions, is fully safeguarded, more..

Soaring costs spark call for new anti-rabies strategy

June 25 (ST) Health officials are calling for a change of strategy in fighting hydrophobia (rabies) in a bid to cut costs. Authorities spend around Rs. 600 million annually to protect people from the killer disease, North Western Province Health Minister Asoka Wadigamangawa told a recent meeting. The anti-rabies serum injection that costs Rs. 22,000 contributes to the higher expenditure, he pointed out. more..

Consumers hit hard in the stomach

June 25 (ST) Consumers are astounded by the prices they are paying these days for vegetables, with some grocery items almost double the price they were a month back. Adverse weather conditions, accompanied by floods, and the re-imposition of an import tax on consumer items are the main reasons for the high prices. Traders warn that prices could go up even further. Carrots have gone up from Rs. 140 a kilogram a month ago to Rs. 240; capsicum chillies are up from Rs 160 a kilo to Rs. 320, and more..

'We lost it in the first 15 overs'

June 25 (CI) Following Sri Lanka's comprehensive 81-run defeat in the Asia Cup final, the captain Kumar Sangakkara said the target of 269 was achievable but his batsmen lost the advantage when five wickets fell in the first 15 overs. He added that the fielding was not up to the mark especially in an important game like this. "Unfortunately, our batting style wasn't probably apt for the conditions. Maybe it would have been a bit tighter and more..

Duty to Protect Rule of law and Economic Wellbeing

June 25 (LG) Can a sovereign in a democratic state claim the right to deny the protection of the rule of law to its citizens? This is the core issue that has come to the forefront over the dispute with the international community and Sri Lanka in terms of the GSP+ issue as well as the appointment of a panel to advise the UN Secretary General on matters relating to human rights in the latter part of the conflict with the LTTE. more..

An appeal to Dialog Telekom from the residents of Elie House Road

June 25 (EH) Dear Dr. Wijesuriya, We are concerned that your company has started constructing a mobile phone transmission antenna at 94/3 Elie House Road, Mutuwal, Modera, Colombo 15 in the midst of our houses in this dense residential area. All of us who sign below have many concerns with regard to the possible impact of this intrusion on our lives and those of our loved ones – our children , the elderly and the sick, our neighbours and the environment, more..

In Sri Lanka, war victor may be a loser

June 25 (NST) Sri Lanka has entered the world record books in spheres that range from politics to sport. It produced the world's first woman prime minister and the highest wicket-taker in international cricket. Now a small section of the international community wants to impose an unusual record on the island nation. For the first time since World War 2, the victor in war is to be chastised for alleged war crimes and other offences. more..

Sri Lanka celebrates victory anniversary with foreign VIPs: Tamils still victims of State terrorism

June 25 (LG) Last week was a remarkable one for the Sri Lankan government. They celebrated the first year of victory over the Tamils, what Sri Lanka is calling peace and reconciliation celebrations. The envoys from the U.S. and Japan, as well as the UN, made a surprise visit to the island last week. Although Sri Lanka announced its victory in the war against the LTTE in May last year, more..

Buddhism encourages happiness

June 25 (LG) The essence of Buddhism is in the four Noble Truths, namely, Dukkha, the cause of Dukkha the cessation of Dukkha and the Path leading to the cessation of Dukkha. Thus, all four truths deal with Dukkha. The Buddha Himself declared as follows. " This do I teach and this alone, Dukkha and the cessation of Dukkha". Dukkha, a word in Pali, the language of Theravada Buddhism is often translated into English as suffering and this has caused some confusion. more..

First coordinating meeting with UN agencies and INGOs working in health cluster

June 25 (NPC) Hon. Governor, Northern Province GA Chandrasiri chaired the meeting with UN Agencies and International Non Governmental Organizations who are providing health care services for the IDPs and the re-settlers in the province. The meeting was held at the Provincial Auditorium, NPC head quarters in Trincomalee on 22 June 2010 at 3.00pm. At the outset of the meeting Hon. Governor welcomed the participants and more..

Dim lights on home disadvantage

June 25 (IC) So it wasn’t meant to be. After being the best side in the games before the final, brushing all three teams aside and looking the razor-sharp favourites to claim a hat-trick of victories and win it for a ground-breaking fifth time, a horribly one-sided final panned out in front of an agonized home crowd in Dambulla. While it is always sad when your country loses, it is amplified to devastation if you are a player. more..

Understand your customer: Economist

June 25 (N360) A leading Economist says many Sri Lankan firms who apply to be the “Best Corporate Citizen of the year” don’t have systems in place to identify customer needs and customer satisfaction. This was stated by Dr. Saman Kelegama, who is the Chairman of the evaluation panel appointed by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to judge its annual “Best Corporate Citizen award” competition. more..

Private equity key to business growth

June 25 (SL) ‘Young and developing economies like Sri Lanka should seriously explore private equity in order to fast track growth’ said Lee Oon Yew from investment bank Kuwait Finance House at the CIMA/ RAM Ratings CEO Forum held recently. The forum which was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside on Tuesday the 22nd of June featured many industry leaders, educators, officials and intellectuals of note. Private Equity is a form of investment where a more..

Let us work towards a renaissance in Buddhism – PM

June 25 (LP) It is with great joy that I extend my wishes on this memorable occasion when we commemorate the arrival of Arahath Mihindu Thero to Sri Lanka. As we celebrate the 2318th year marking the Poson festival together with the arrival of Arahath Mahinda Thero, we also celebrate the religious, cultural and artistic revival following the advent of Arahath Mihindu Thero. Similarly it must be reminded that Hon. President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave leadership to more..

East Wadamarachchi mine Clearance process accelerated

June 25 (LP) Heavily-mined LTTE Forward Defence Line (FDL) at Wadamarachchi east is being fenced by the troops of the Sri Lanka Engineers Regiment deployed under 55 Division denying access for civilians re-settled in adjacent villages to ensure the safety of those civilians. Engineer troops laid barbed wire along the FDLs for the safety of wanderers and would soon commence removing land mines and Unexploded Ordnance heavily buried by the LTTE terrorists during their presence in these areas. more..

Trade boost as Lanka banks on Chinese investors

June 25 (ST) China is stepping up its trade and investment projects in Sri Lanka, according to senior officials from the Commerce Department and the Board of Investment (BOI). BOI official Dilip S. Samarasinghe said deals announced through the board this year had made China the biggest investor in Sri Lanka. This year’s investments comprised $145 million from China and $40 million from Hong Kong. more..

Special unit to check carbon emission

June 25 (LB) The Ministry of Transport will soon set up a special unit to conduct raids to nab motorists whose vehicles emit carbon above the permitted levels. From the fines generated from such raids, the ministry expects to develop projects to reduce the green-house effect, Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake said. He also stated that a single vehicle emits 14730 million units of carbon in one cubic metre of air, per year. more..

Tsunami scare: eastern coast vulnerable

June 25 (LB) Geologists warn that there is a possibility of another tsunami impact on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. With last week’s resurrected tsunami scare, renowned geologist Dr. Wilbert Kehelpannala says that there is a possibility of another tsunami impact on the eastern coast. An earthquake of 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale was reported between the Nicobar and Andaman islands and its impact was experienced almost everywhere in the island. more..

No Polythene to Anuradhapura

June 25 (AD) Buddhist devotees visiting Anuradhapura for Poson celebrations have been urged by the Central Environmental Authority to refrain from bringing any form of Polythene to the historical region. The CEA has pointed out that the polythene and plastic items disposed in the area by devotees has badly affected the ecosystem of Anuradhapura where Poson celebrations are held annually. However as large numbers of devotees are expected to visit Anuradhapura today more..

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

June 25 (SL) The recent BBC series of hard talk programmes on Sri Lanka presented by Stephen Sackur was well-received globally. This telecasting has shown the good, bad and ugly sides of Sri Lanka. The true stories about the return of the internally displaced people – IDPs, the present feelings of the Tamils, the reporting on demining, views expressed by the Defence Secretary, more..

PS chairman arrested for abduction of Indian businessman

June 25 (ST) The chairman of the Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) and two of his associates who were arrested by the Chilaw police for allegedly abducting and assaulting the Indian partner of a BOI-approved coir factory, have been ordered to appear before the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court on July 27. Two weeks after few of the workers had complained to the Arachchikattuwa Pradeshya Sabha chairman Jagath Samantha, of a labour dispute he and few of his associates allegedly threatened the more..

Bank intruder floored by‘karate kid’ security guard

June 25 (ST) It was 8.20 a.m. on Monday when the security guard of a private bank, opened the door for the bank manager. The bank, on the second floor of a building on Galle Road in Kalutara, was still not open for business, when the door swung open and a stranger walked up to the security guard and sought information of an employee. Before the unarmed guard could reply, the stranger pulled out a hand gun and ordered him against the wall with more..

GSP+ and the apparel export industry

Will the buying of Shell be another lumber on public?

June 25 (NS) The Government has decided to buy the 51% stake in Shell Gas owned by the Shell Co., making it a 100% government owned business in future. The price is to be negotiated by a team of bureaucrats. The Government of President Chandrika Bandaranaike privatised the former Colombo Gas Company in 1995 and sold its assets for $37 million. Shell which bought it was also given a five-year monopoly which led to much public criticism. more..

Mental stress takes its toll on Tamil refugees

June 25 (UCAN) Priests serving war refugees in northern Sri Lanka say they are concerned about the psychological impact on these people the longer they stay in their camps. “They should be allowed to unite with their families,” said Father Emilianuspillai Santhiapillai, head of Vavuniya deanery. A protracted stay in refugee camps could create “further psychological problems” for these people, said Father Santhiapillai, more..

Russia questions UN panel on Sri Lanka

June 25 (SL) Russia has expressed caution about the UN Panel set to investigate Sri Lanka’s war. In a press release, their Foriegn Ministry said “The UN Secretary-General as chief administrative officer of the United Nations should apparently have asked the opinion of the Security Council or the General Assembly on this matter. But this has not happened. What also makes us cautious is the fact that more..

Govt. to implement IMF conditions – massive taxes on masses

June 25 (LT) The government, on an agreement it reached with IMF to get the third tranche under the US$2.6 billion aid package, is getting ready to reduce the deficit of the budget it is scheduled to present on 29th June to 7% of the GNP. However, the Central Bank has stated the budget deficit in relation to the first quarter of this year had increased to 10%. Hence, the only way the government could reduce the budget deficit is to increase its income and cut down on expenditure. more..