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Road accident in Kurunegala leaves six dead

June 27 (LP) Six people were killed in an road accident which occurred in the Kiriwawula area in the Deduru Oya area in Kurunegala early this morning. The accident occurred when a van heading to Kurunegala from Jaffna collided with a lorry transporting fertiliser from Colombo to Batticaloa. The injured were admitted to the Kurunegla hospital while 03 people who were critical were transferred to the Colombo General Hospital. more..

Chief Minister of Madhaya Pradesh India meets President

June 27 (LP) Chief Minister of Madhaya Pradesh India Shivaraj Singh Chouhan met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning (27). Minister Singh mentioned that he was very happy to tour Sri Lanka in the time of Poson, when Arahat Mahinda Thero visited Sri Lanka and that he was pleased to mention that Sanchi, the birth place of Arahat Mahinda is situated in his electoral district. more..

Funds going down the drain in this water supply scheme!

June 27 (NF) The Suriyawewa and Viharagala joint water supply scheme is the country's biggest such venture constructed with the contribution of the public. The government spent Rs. 19,000 per family for the construction of this water supply scheme which is supposed to provide drinking wager to 15,000 families. “The people suffered for six years for this project. The President declared the project open a few months back at a grand function,” more..

JVP is against Govt’s disregard for human rights: Tilvin

June 27 (AD) If the JVP supports the Government at the current juncture, it will be tantamount to supporting its anti human rights actions, says the party General Secretary Tilvin Silva. It is 13 months since the war ended. If the Government is unable to uphold the human rights of the masses even after this long period, then it is a serious problem which the Government has to take the responsibility, said Mr. Silva more..

Complying with EU conditions will actually enhance citizens sovereignty

June 27 (TC) I do not think that there is a thinking person among us who will deny that international criminal justice targeting egregious human rights violators across national boundaries, is more often arbitrary if not capricious. This is a fact of international realpolitik though international law may blissfully teach us otherwise. more..

Sri Lanka to import chicken after slapping twin controls on poultry farmers

June 27 (LBO) A state agency will import chicken to Sri Lanka a media report said, after government price controls created 'shortages' and production costs were pushed up by a policy to keep maize prices high. Sri Lanka imposed price controls on chicken and also increased import duties on maize dealing a double blow to a poultry industry that suffered from a slump in demand during an economic downturn that started in late 2008. more..

Health students and authorities lock horns

June 27 (SL) Medical students island wide continued this week, their protests against the time reduction (from four years to three) of the degree available to students of Allied Health Science. Beginning their spate of protests the week before, a large number of medical students from the country’s hospitals, had gathered outside the Ministry of Higher Education, the University Grants Commission and the Health Ministry, protesting a more..

Opposition, a house divided

June 27 (NS) The focus of Opposition politics has, until last week, been the major opposition party, the UNP, which is undergoing a bitter leadership crisis, with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe attempting to retain control of the party, and Sajith Premadasa emerging as a potential contender for the leadership. This has now become a long drawn out battle, and is likely to be fought until the end of this year. more..

Editorial: Akashi’s bold stand and dubious West

June 27 (NS) The much hyped appointment of a panel of experts to advise the United Nations (UN) Secretary General regarding the final stages of Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism, captured the headlines this week, but several other news reports, emanating from different parts of the world, did not appear to be evoking the interest they deserved. In Chennai, in neighbouring India, three men suspected to be cadres of the LTTE, were detained by Police. more..

UN staffer’s hubby in dock for theft of US DPL’s phone

June 27 (NS) An Indian, whose wife is an employee of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, was arrested and produced in court by the Kollupitiya Police for stealing the BlackBerry mobile phone of a diplomat attached to the US Embassy in Colombo, the police said yesterday. The suspect, who is a doctor and a non resident Indian, was arrested by the Kollupitiya Police Crimes Division on June 17 and was released on bail after producing before courts. more..

Sri Lanka rice autarkists urge food controls on the sick

June 27 (LBO) Interest groups backing 'domestic production' have urged the government restrict the types of food available for sick people in state hospitals as well as the military. A Gunadasa Amarasekera who represented a group called the Patriotic National Movement, wanted to discourage the "consumption of flour-based products at state institutions, particularly at hospitals and security forces bases." more..

Control on import and distribution of chemicals

June 27 (NS) The National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) is set to control the import and distribution of 23 common chemicals in Sri Lanka. An Executive Director of the NDDCB said that under the powers given to them they will start controlling the import and distribution of these seemingly harmless chemicals. Though the Executive Director was unwilling to reveal the complete list of chemicals saying that it might be harmful to their operation more..

British hotelier summoned for desecrating Buddha

June 27 (NS) The British owner of the Sakuri Villa Hotel in Metaramba, Unawatuna, which was found by police to be displaying Buddha statues in a degrading manner has been asked to return to Sri Lanka from Glasgow, Scotland immediately to answer charges. The hotel owner, who has been away for about one month, has been notified by fax, according to OIC Crimes, Galle police, Inspector Sarath Mendis. more..

Ranil fights on his terms

June 27 (NS) Besieged UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is far from ready to surrender to party rebel demands for him to step down, though the rebellion might be raging below the surface. In an interview with The Nation he answers some of the burning questions facing the country, while not all that forthcoming into the nitty-gritty of the fight within. Following are excerpts. more..

Q&A with the President of the Sri Lanka Library Association

June 27 (Island) The Sri Lanka Library Association (SLLA) celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year. Its annual general meeting and annual sessions are on the 30th June. In view of these I asked Mr. Upali Amarasiri some relevant questions; his answers are what constitute my column this week. Books, reading, libraries come second to only a couple of human activities in necessity, interest and time consumption, and more..

Editorial: Price pinch turning into major ache

June 27 (Island) We would probably be guilty of making the grossest of understatements by saying that the current round of price rises is beginning to ‘pinch’. In fact, it is triggering groans of helplessness and pain all around, except, of course, among the privileged and the power wielders who are well cushioned against these wrenching ill-winds of the economy. These price rises of essentials introduced by ‘mid-night gazette’ are a clear pointer to more..

After civil wars and tsunamis, Haputale's Wildflower Cottage is a haven

June 27 (DM) I am woken in the middle of the night by the silence. A world away from the all-night cabaret that is the bus stop outside our London flat, I have been disturbed by the absence of noise of any description. When I step on to the veranda, the night sky is crowded with stars, the moon is a sliver and the hills that surround our cottage are lost in darkness. They are back in the morning, edges blurred by early mist, more..

'As dengue claims a heavy toll, We will be sitting on a volcano if slum dwellers not relocated'

June 27 (Island) Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana said the government cannot wage a lone battle to eradicate the dengue menace, which has already claimed scores of lives. With President Mahinda Rajapaksa heading the Task Force on eradicating dengue, there has been much improvement in the collection and recycling of garbage, he said. UPFA Colombo district parliamentary group leader Minister Susil Premajayanth and more..

On national question: Tamil political leaders bury the hatchet

June 27 (Island) EPDP leader, Minister Douglas Devavanda has invited the TNA , TMVP and the ACTC to join other Tamil political parties to reach a common understanding on problems facing the Tamils, especially a political solution to the national problem. Tamil political sources said that many were taken by surprise after TULF leader V. Anandasangaree pushed aside his differences with the EPDP leader and sat down with him to more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 27 (ST) Kohona's role corners Lanka: Did UN officials in New York trap Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative in a ploy to embarrass Sri Lanka by asking him to serve as head of a three-member Special Committee on Israel's alleged human rights abuses in occupied territories? This has become the talking point in the corridors of the External Affairs Ministry after reports that Dr. Palitha Kohona did not consult Colombo before taking over the appointment. more..

Editorial: Long-term costs of long-term Presidency

June 27 (ST) The Government is on the verge of introducing some amendments to the Constitution, having seemingly opted to drop the idea of rooting for an entirely new Constitution. This may be a better option but it also revives the old joke about the Sri Lanka Constitution being available in a British bookstore under the 'periodicals' section due to the frequency of its amendments. That the Constitution has had to undergo regular changes is in itself not a bad thing. more..

Where goes post-conflict Sri Lanka?

June 27 (Island) When reflecting on warring Sri Lanka or post conflict Sri Lanka, the predominant thought that comes to mind is the need for harmonization of Sinhala Tamil relationship. What is it that is necessary to achieve this goal that has eluded this country for over six decades, a sad epitaph for our political leaders? Obviously our leaders we have had to date, were not able to provide solutions to a problem that would have been less complex had it been more..

Top EU man backs Lanka

June 27 (NS) Sri Lankan born Vice President of the Committee on Overseas Development of the European Parliament, Niranjan Deva-Aditya (Nirj Dev) yesterday condemned more than ten impossible conditions set by the EU to renew Sri Lanka’s GSP Plus facility as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Deva-Aditya told The Nation that it was up to the parliament, government and people of Sri Lanka to decide on more..

Sri Lankan speakers feel ignored at conference

June 27 (EB) Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speakers, who are the second largest linguistic group in the island nation, feel ignored by the organisers of the World Classical Tamil Conference now on at Coimbatore. A.H.M.Azwer, a veteran Muslim leader with a passion for Tamil, told Express here on Saturday, that though Prof.K.Sivathamby had been given a major role at the Coimbatore conclave, top leaders of Lanka’s Tamil-speaking communities were not invited. more..

Govt. says confident of narrowing budget gap

June 27 (ST) Sri Lanka's budget gap is expected to be narrowed with the recent increases in taxes and levies as well as through foreign and domestic borrowings. The total targeted revenue of around Rs. 830.8 billion for 2010 is insufficient to meet expenditure running at over Rs. 1.78 trillion, a senior Finance Ministry official said. The 2010 Budget will be presented in Parliament by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on Tuesday, more..

Victory on the rock: People power stops Sigiriya project

June 27 (ST) A labourer and a nature lover captured the attention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week to halt a controversial plan to set up a snack bar and sanitary facilities on top of the historic Sigiriya rock. Labourer W. M. Wijeratne, attached to the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) which oversees the Sigiriya, was backed by Deeman Ananda in the campaign. more..

Lanka defies UN, EU, US

June 27 (ST) On the international front woes for the Government continued for a second week. Despite the frenzied diplomatic efforts in the past year or so, the Government was not successful in its efforts to stall two major issues that have dogged it. One was the move by the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), Ban Ki-moon, to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on accountability issues in Sri Lanka. more..

'Surrender would have saved thousands of lives'

June 27 (ST) Norway which has welcomed the appointment of a United Nations panel said yesterday it had failed to persuade both the Government and the Tiger guerrillas to stop the fighting last year after the two sides had rejected its overtures. Former peace facilitator and Minister Erik Solheim told the Sunday Times in an interview, “We called upon the LTTE to come to an organized stop (or surrender). more..

Basil to visit India to discuss Rs. 142 bn aid package

June 27 (Island) India has emerged as Sri Lanka’s biggest helper by committing assistance worth a staggering US$1,250 million, or Rs 127.8 billion, to rebuild the country’s civil war-ravaged Northern and Eastern Provinces since the so-called Eelam War IV ended 13 months ago. Much of the assistance and the projects on which it is to be spent were finalized during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s talks with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and more..

EU gets tough; GSP Plus ends on Aug. 15

June 27 (ST) Sri Lanka will not receive any GSP Plus preferential tariffs for exports to the European Union from August 15, its envoy in Colombo said yesterday. “There will be no further extensions. Sri Lanka must meet its international obligations,” EU delegation chief Bernard Savage told the Sunday Times. He said the EU expected the Government to heed the 15 conditions placed before it. more..

Righting the balance: Learning politics from Robin Hood

June 28 (LG) I hope everyone saw Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe in the title role. The History channel backed it up with a two hour programme, piecing together the legend from historical fact and circumstance. It also revealed that Scott’s movie was based on wide historical research. Russell Crowe is interviewed on the programme and he says that the most important motivator for Robin Hood, the reason for the perseverance and popularity of the legend and more..

How Commanders and IGP could have avoided Pascoe Fiasco!

June 28 (LG) Bottom line up front (BLUF): By Protecting Critical Information and Practicing GOOD OPSEC (Operational Security) throughout the Force SAVE LIVES. I have provided elsewhere very thorough and comprehensive operational security measures a Force should have adopted, and must adopt. I request you to e-mail, mail or give this article to each and every one of your soldier friends in Sri Lanka, as a patriotic duty to protect the Force. more..

GSP+: Change the negotiators

June 28 (LG) Once again – for the upteenth time –, the GSP+ issue has come to the fore with another ultimatum by the European Union (EU) and a counter-dismissal by Sri Lankan ministers. The EU says it will extend the concessions for another six months if the government gives an undertaking to implement a series of measures including withdrawing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, releasing political prisoners and more..

'Stop this circus' says the clown

June 28 (LG) Shot to pieces by the multi-barreled fire targeting him from left, right and centre, Ranil Wickremesinghe has written a lengthy rigmarole in the Sunday Times titled, “Stop this circus: Fight the Rajapaksa dictatorship”. In the main, the “guest column” written under his name – obviously he has to do it all by himself probably because he can’t even find a worthy name to defend him these days — is a devious attempt to deflect attention from his one-man rule to more..

Elephant diplomacy between Korea and Sri Lanka

June 28 (KT) Sri Lanka, a haven for wild and domesticated elephants, is in an elephant-diplomacy with Korea. According to Lakshitha Ratnayake, charge d’affaires of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Seoul, two elephants, a male and female, from the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo, the capital, are getting ready to be shipped to Korea. “I am sure within the next two or three months, they will arrive in Korea,” Ratnayake told The Korea Times in a recent interview. more..

Indian navy chief in lanka, may visit IPKF memorial

June 28 (HT) In the first such high-profile visit since 2004, Indian navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma arrived in Colombo on Sunday for five-day official tour. Coinciding with his visit, a guided missile destroyer of the Indian navy, INS Delhi, one of the largest warships built in India, also reached Colombo port to take part in joint exercises. The last visit of an Indian navy chief was in September 2004 when more..

Terrific Australia A seal innings rout in three days

June 28 (CI) Australia A needed just three days to complete a comprehensive all-round performance and rout Sri Lanka A by an innings and 17 runs at Townsville. The Sri Lankans came up with a much-improved performance from their first-innings debacle of 78 by managing 307, but their backs were always against the wall as they needed to bat out close to two days to save the game. Resistance came from Chamara Silva, who more..

'Most university rules strangle students'

June 28 (NF) “Most of the regulations formulated by university grants institutions are designed not for the development of the students, but to strangle them,” said S. B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education yesterday. He said that all institutions attached to the university system should establish an administration that fulfills the aspirations of students rather than suppressing them. Minister Dissanayake was expressing these views at more..

India, Lanka to set up first int Buddhist varsity

June 28 (ZN) India and Sri Lanka will jointly set up the first international Buddhist University near Sanchi to boost cultural and educational ties. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the visiting Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, on Sunday met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the setting up of the university. "After my meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other leaders, more..

Indian Naval Ship 'INS Delhi' arrives at Port of Colombo

June 28 (SLN) In compliance with Indian Navy Chief’s visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Navy Ship “INS Delhi” arrived at Port of Colombo today (27) on a goodwill visit. Upon the arrival at the port, She was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy and the officials of the Government of Sri Lanka. “INS Delhi” is a destroyer with a displacement of 6900 tons and is 163 meters in length and 17 meters in breadth. more..