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Galle and International Trade in the Bygone Era discussed

May 2 (GDI) The Ministry of External Affairs, marking the historic call by the 'Jewel of Muscat' at the Port of Galle, held a seminar in Galle recently on the specific theme of "Galle and International Trade in the Bygone Era". The seminar which started with an introduction on trade and the role of Sri Lanka in international trade in the past was opened by Ambassador of Oman to Sri Lanka, more..

Editorial: Not quite off the beaten track

May 2 (LNP) One of the disquieting of ironies about May Day celebrations in this country, which has stabilized itself over the past two decades or more, is the near eclipsing of the worker in the heady goings-on of the day. This is another variation on the theme of playing Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Whereas the theoretical position is that May Day should belong to the worker and his concerns, what we essentially have in the name of more..

Police carelessness, cause of deterioration of law, order in Jaffna peninsula

May 2 (TN) Jaffna District Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Major Gen. Mahintha Kathurusinghe said that the carelessness of police authorities in the peninsula is responsible for the present deterioration of law and order while informing the local media Saturday that according to President Mahintha Rajapakse’s order SLA will not interfere in civil administration in the peninsula anymore, media sources in Jaffna said. more..

BOI signs 6 new agreements of US $ 7 million

May 2 (LP) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval for 6 ventures to commence operations under the BOI. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman / Director General signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificates of Registration to the investors. The new ventures will invest US $ 7 million and will create 700 employment opportunities. more..

Delegation of Pakistan National Defence University calls on the Commander of the Navy

May 2 (MoD) A Military delegation of Pakistan National Defence University (PNDU), who are in a educational tour in SAARC countries, called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe at the Naval Headquarters on 30th April 2010. The Delegation and the Commander of the Navy had a friendly discussion on mutual interests. The Commander of the Navy and the Head of the delegation exchanged mementos more..

Airmen passing out in SL Army Combat Training School Konduwatuwana

May 2 (MoD) Airmen passing out in SL Army Combat Training School Konduwatuwana A total of 483 recruits from the 144th Regular intake passed out on (30th April) at Sri Lanka Army Combat Training School at Konduwatuwana (Ampara) after completing 18 weeks of training. Their training focused on Drill, Weapon Training, Military Tactics, Field Craft, Map Reading, Air Force Organization & Administration, Fire Fighting, Explosive Handling, more..

JVP commemorates May Day to “Struggle for democracy, genuine national unity and people’s rights”

May 2 (LT) The May Day rally of the JVP under the theme “Struggle for democracy, genuine national unity and people’s rights” held at Campbell Park yesterday was attended by a very large crowd. All the leaders of the JVP participated in the rally. Revolutionary greetings were presented to the rally by Chameera Koswatte on behalf of Socialist Students Union, more..

'JVP never got bogged down in the past'

May 2 (LT) “While many political parties in Sri Lanka are bogged down without any progress, the JVP never got bogged down. We always have new slogans. Let’s take those new slogans to our hands,” said JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Speaking at the massive May Day rally of the JVP held at Campbel Park yesterday Mr. Amarasinghe said, “The JVP has always analyzed the new political situation correctly and more..

More ministers & deputy ministers

May 2 (LT) According to government sources the number of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers would go up to accommodate members elected from the UPFA from Kandy District, members from other parties and members expected to cross over from the UNP. Accordingly, cabinet posts will be given to Mr. Sarath Amunugama as the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. S.B. Dissanayake as the Minister of Higher Education and more..

Mangala asks for powers from Ranil to join UNP

May 2 (LeN) Mangala Samaraweera has unofficially informed the UNP leadership that if the SLFP (M) wing membership is to work within the UNP, they should be vested with powers without official positions. Samaraweera who had proposed to Ranil Wickremesinghe that the UNP ought to start its reorganization from the village level, had stated that if the UNP leadership and the party Secretaries give him permission he would take the responsibility to accomplish that task within 18 months. more..

Mega trade fair 'INTRAD-EXPO 2010' to be held In Sri Lanka

May 2 (NCC) The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) in association with Government Ministries will be organizing the International Trade Fair & Investor Forum INTRAD EXPO 2010 from 7 - 9 May 2010 at the BMICH, Colombo. This is the 7th INTRAD Exhibition organized by the National Chamber of Commerce. This mega 3 day International Trade Fair with the participation of local & foreign more..

Editorial: Onerous task of constitution making

May 2 (NS) Ever since the conclusion of the general elections, there has been speculation and some comment about constitutional reforms the government intends to enact following its emphatic wins at the presidential and parliamentary polls earlier this year. That is due in part because it campaigned for the general elections asking for a mandate for a two-thirds majority in Parliament that would enable the ruling party to more..

Nawalapitiya probe finds no culprits

May 2 (NS) Despite all the hullabaloo, none of the UPFA’s Kandy District candidates has been found guilty of being responsible for the alleged irregularities that led to the annulment of balloting at 37 polling divisions in Nawalapitiya at the April 8 general election. “The Disciplinary Committee appointed by the SLFP to probe the Nawalapitiya fiasco has not found incriminating evidence against any particular individual. more..

Now up to Police to prevent beggars in buses

May 2 (NS) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) requests the Police to extend their fullest support for their special campaign to bar beggars from entering buses. The LPBOA says that they have done all that they could to prevent beggars from begging in their buses and that the rest is up to the Police Department to implement the law. more..

SriLankan rub it in against its ex-pilots

May 2 (NS) In an unforgivable act of cruelty, the national carrier SriLankan advertised in the last week’s Sunday Observer for pilots in a quarter page prominent colour ad after it repeatedly rejected for more than a year the applications of half a dozen of its ex-pilots to rejoin it. Pilots said it was a way of the SriLankan management rubbing salt into their raw wounds of being rejected. more..

President’s unenviable task of appointing a cabinet

May 2 (NS) The dust is slowly but surely settling on the keenly fought recent elections and the focus last week shifted to the cabinet as over three dozen ministers took their oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a few more deputy ministers followed suit. For the President, it was an unenviable task. He had to contend with over a hundred parliamentarians who were used to enjoying ministerial privileges in the previous government. more..

Editorial: Strategic studies in foreign relations

May 2 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has just returned from the SAARC summit in Bhutan urging member-states to be wary of foreign influences and external solutions to local problems. Despite its otherwise lacklustre performance, SAARC has, however, maintained at least a semblance of regional unity where there was none before. But while the President's remarks targeted the Western nations given his experience with them in recent years, more..

Presidential decree to meet expenditure and raise

May 2 (Island) A presidential decree expected to be made over the weekend will sanction government expenditure and revenue raising up to July with a mini-budget covering the period August to December to be presented thereafter, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday. "That is permitted by the Constitution," he explained. The budget for 2011 will be presented after the president takes his oaths for his new term of office on Nov. 18. more..

Mervin greets foreign press with betel leaves

May 2 (Island) Controversial Deputy Media Minister Mervin Silva met foreign correspondents accredited to Sri Lanka at his private home at Park Road, Colombo-5, on Friday with betel leaves (the UPFA election symbol), giving each correspondent a single leaf explaining "this is the custom, the Sinhala custom." He promised the journalists that he would be freely accessible, distributed his old visiting card ("my new cards are not yet printed") and more..

'UNP at the moment needs another MR'

May 2 (NS) Ever since the conclusion of the general elections, there has been speculation and some comment about constitutional reforms the government intends to enact following its emphatic wins at the presidential and parliamentary polls earlier this year. That is due in part because it campaigned for the general elections asking for a mandate for a two-thirds majority in Parliament that would enable the ruling party to more..

Bread prices raised in Sri Lanka as wheat prices go up

May 2 (LP) The price of a loaf of bread will be increased with effect of midnight today (02). Accordingly the price of the bread will go up by a rupee said the all Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association. The Association in a meeting last night decided to increase the price of bread as the price of imported wheat flour was increased. The committee decided to increase the price of a loaf of bread by Rs. 1 after more..

DIG Nandana Munasinghe transferred again

May 2 (Island) Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nandana Munasinghe, who was suddenly moved out of the CID, was last week posted to the North Western Range. He assumed duties as DIG (Wayamba West) in his office at Puttalam on April 27, 2010. Munasinghe who served the CID as its DIG for just ten months was earlier transferred as ‘Additional DIG’ of the Organized Crime and Crime Investigation Division, more..

Netherlands committed to rebuilding war-shattered lives

May 2 (Island) Dutch Ambassador Leoni Cuelenaere Friday said that the Netherlands, as a country supported the rebuilding of lives shattered by war. It was also committed to work with the government to preserve historical elements of Sri Lanka. "The opportunity to share culture, trade and business is greater today than it has been in years," she said in a speech made on more..

U.S. Embassy Colombo to mark World Press Freedom Day

May 2 (Island) In honour of World Press Freedom Day, the US Embassy will hold two programs. First, it will screen a series of films at the American Center on Tuesday evenings. These films – including Network, Citizen Kane, All the President’s Men, and Being There – all examine the role of and threats to journalism in contemporary society. These screenings will be introduced by a Public Affairs officer of the American Embassy and then followed by a discussion. more..

All 3 languages to be taught to public servants

May 2 (GDI) The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration has taken steps to initiate a new program to teach Sinhala, Tamil and English to 1.2 million public servants, Newly appointed Minister of National Languages and Social Integration S.B. Nawinna said. He pointed out that measures will be taken to set up language training centers in each province with the assistance of Provincial Councils and more..

Empty Cabinets and furious losers

May 2 (ST) Early this week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told South Asian leaders that they should be bold enough to introspect. "We must take measures to improve the existing mechanisms through review, rationalisation and reinvigoration," he told the summit meeting of the SAARC in the mountain kingdom of Bhutan. Returning to Colombo yesterday after the event, where he ceded the regional body's chair to Bhutan's Prime Minister, Jigme Thinley, more..

226 apartments in Havelock City completed, Phase 2 begins

May 2 (Island) Phase I of the Havelock City project comprising two residential towers of 226 units, covered parking for 520 vehicles and approximately two acres of landscaped gardens has been successfully completed, Singapore tycoon S.P. Tao announced to shareholders of Overseas Realty in the company’s annual report for 2009. "Though sales were slow during the first half of the year, more..

Where do we go? What do we do? Pavement hawkers lament

May 2 (ST) While street hawkers and pavement vendors accuse authorities of denying them their livelihoods by removing their stalls from the roadsides during several raids last week, pedestrians in the busy streets of Colombo Fort and Nugegoda have welcomed the move. The vendors say their livelihoods have been snatched away due to the high handed actions of the authorities, who have failed to find them an alternative source of income. more..

Sri Lanka says ensuring continued free market access to seafood products a tangible way for Europe to help North-East economic recovery

May 2 (IL) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has said "ensuring continued free market access to Sri Lankan seafood products was a tangible way for Europe to help the economic recovery in the North & East of Sri Lanka". He noted that since the ending of LTTE terrorism that had dominated the region over the past 3 decades less than a year ago, more..

Sri Lanka top economists, poll, back IMF fiscal restraint: report

May 2 (LBO) Top Sri Lankan economists and a poll by an influential newspaper has backed the revival of a stalled International Monetary Fund deal to discipline government spending and preserve economic stability. A poll by Sri Lanka's by the Business Times, a part of Sri Lanka's The Sunday Times an influential English, weekly found overwhelming support for the government to continue with an IMF economic management deal. more..

Fonseka claims he has deeds

May 2 (ST) Former Army Commander and DNA leader Sarath Fonseka has hit out at the government for issuing a directive to take back the 20 perches of land he was gifted for winning the 30-year separatist war. Retired General Fonseka, now a parliamentarian from the Colombo District, told the Sunday Times in a telephone interview that the land at Kirimandala Mawatha in Colombo's Narahenpita area lawfully belonged to him and more..

Bribery, corruption complaints pile up

May 2 (ST) More than 500 complaints of bribery and corruption have piled up by last Thursday since the term of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption ended in March -- and the commission still remains deactivated. The commission's term ended on March 29 and a new three-member commission is still to be appointed in terms of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Total revision of education system

May 2 (ST) The country’s education system – from pre-school upwards – is to undergo extensive changes over the next 12 months, says the new Education Minister, Bandula Gunawardene. One of the first steps would be a proposal from Minister Gunawardene for the appointment of a parliamentary select committee to formulate a National Education Policy. more..

LTTE duping the Tamils again

May 3 (SLW) In recent months we have done extensive investigations in the North and East of Sri Lanka and came to the conclusion without an iota of doubt that the Tamils have done away with not only the LTTE but also the Tamil Diaspora in the western world and Down Under. Most people in the Diaspora who are in the forefront of the transnational farce have been identified as those who have criminal records in Sri Lanka, more..

The real UNP expose that was needed

May 3 (LG) Today, the Lakbima News newspaper breaks the story of the gathering perception among disgruntled former UNP MPs and other notables, that the UNP is being run by an impenetrable — no pun intended - decadent club of gays (homosexuals). Decadent, because there is nothing inherently decadent about homosexuality among consenting adults, but decadent because in this current UNP set-up, it seems increasingly clear that key positions and more..

Leader of the House re-appointed

May 3 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has re-appointed Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as the Leader of the House. The former Health minister and the minister in charge of Irrigation and Water Resource Development in the new Cabinet of Ministers held the same position in the previous parliament. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was also the head of the government delegation for the peace talks with the now defeated Tamil Tigers. more..

UNP cannot abandon its loyalty to the market economy

May 3 (LG) There is a serious debate within the UNP. It amplified to a verbal clash after the recent parliamentary elections. They all want to know the reason for the continuous decline in performance of the party. The majority view is that it is a problem connected with the organisation; hence they want to recondition the party and the leadership. None has raised the question of political programme and there is no discussion on political theory of the party. more..

IUSU demands detainees' names made public

May 3 (TN) Inter University Students Union (IUSU) has given ultimatum to the Sri Lanka government authority concerned to release the names of uprooted persons detained in internment camps enabling their relatives to identify their kith and kin who are reportedly missing during the war or later. In failing to do so relatives of those missing would hold demonstration in front of detention centres with victims’ photographs, more..

President accused of 'fiscal terrorism'

May 3 (BBC) A major opposition party in Sri Lanka has accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa of undermining the parliament's constitutional authority over controlling financial affairs. The JVP said that the president has resorted to 'fiscal terrorism' by taking over the financial regulation powers since Saturday. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said that the president can only take over the said power at a time when the parliament is dissolved. more..

How the rulers of Sri Lanka broke the promises given to working class during elections

May 3 (LP) The working class of Sri Lanka is facing the harsh reality of the rulers they secured in power even before a month passed after they swept Mahinda Rajapaksa regime into the parliament with a close to two third majority. The government has completely forgotten the promises to increase salaries of the 1.2 million public sector employees and 4.5 million private sector employees. more..

Under-pressure Sri Lanka face buoyant Zimbabwe

May 3 (CI) It's what Zimbabwe did in the warm-up games that have made this game a cracking prospect. They defeated both Australia and Pakistan to announce themselves in the Caribbean. All the pressure is now on Sri Lanka, for if they lose tomorrow, they will have to go back home. Only Mahela Jayawardene turned up in the first game. He sparkled as an opener in the IPL and promises to continue doing so here but it remains to be seen who steps up to support him. more..

Sri Lanka seek to avoid early exit

May 3 (CI) With Afghanistan, Ireland and Bangladesh unable to produce an upset in their opening World Twenty20 matches it is now down to Zimbabwe to shake up the established order. And if they do Sri Lanka, one of the favourites for the title and last year's finalists, will be on an early plane home or trying to find somewhere to hang around before the series against New Zealand in Florida. The idea of Zimbabwe beating Sri Lanka isn't as outlandish as it may sound. more..

Final nail on APRC's coffin

May 3 (TN) Professor Tissa Vitarane's omission from the ministerial list "reinforces the contention that the APRC [All Party Representative Committee] was set up for the sole purpose of placating the international community and India in particular," said Dr. Paikiyasothi Saravanamuttu, director of Colombo-based think-thank, in the Saturday edition of Daily Mirror, adding that the APRC was "never meant by the regime to be anything else." more..

Supreme Court reprimands 3 customs officers

May 3 (NF) Three Customs officers were reprimanded by the Supreme Court on Friday for not acting in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling. The Customs officials, who had not carried out the ruling by the Supremer Court ruling made 80 days ago, were severely warned by the Supreme Court and were informed that stern action would be taken against them if such a lapse took place again. The three-judge bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka N. Silva, and more..

Interview: Renton de Alwis

Workers must also help develop country: JHU

May 3 (NF) The JHU says that although trade unions are fighting for the rights of the working class, they must also lend a helping hand towards the development of the country. The JHU points out that there should be cooperation between trade unions and the ruling party in order to convert Sri Lanka into the Miracle of Asia. The JHU further noted that in the last 30 years, the workers commemorated May Day while the country was engulfed in terrorism. more..

Media and journalist conmen

May 3 (LB) Four years ago, this correspondent happened to be in Male to cover the controversial hearing of Mohammed Nasheed, popularly known as Anni, the then Maldivian opposition leader who was facing charges of terrorism and was detained in house arrest. One sunny morning when his case was taken up, massive crowds thronged the court and the narrow driveways of Male. Protestors were peaceful, but Police simply didn’t like their presence. more..

Nearly 50,000 widows in the east

May 3 (BBC) The Government says that around 50,000 widows are living in the eastern province alone. Deputy Minister for Women and Child welfare MLAM Hizbullah told the BBC Tamil Service that nearly forty percent of those were widowed as a result of the decades-long war between the government forces and the LTTE. Many of these widows are less than 40 years of age according to the statistical survey done more..

Ex Airman shoots student with air gun

May 3 (NF) A former member of the Air Force, taken into custody for shooting a student with an air gun on April 27, has been remanded until May 6. Police said that the incident had taken place when Sasanka Madhushanka, a grade 9 student of Hanwella Diddeniya Junior School, Awissawella had gone to a garden adjoining the school, along with a group of friends during school hours. “My friend plucked a mango and gave it to me. more..

Creativity at its best

May 3 (NS) Sri Lankan literature has been nourished by many ethnic groups and icons in the field of literature. English writers in Sri Lanka especially have even ventured out to the international arena with their talent and creativity. However, there has not been a significant platform for the English writers in Sri Lanka to bring out their works of thoughts to be appreciated or bring them out to the public until Michael Ondaatje formed the Gratiaen Trust with more..