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Bandara flies in to begin Kent stay

May 24 (KN) Malinga Bandara arrives in the country today (Sunday) as he prepares to take over from Makhaya Ntini as Kent’s overseas player for the rest of the season. The 31-year-old cannot make his debut until the opening Friends Provident t20 game against Essex on June 2, but has arrived early to give him time to adjust to English conditions. Bandara has been playing provincial cricket in his native Sri Lanka on more..

Tiran Alles and his unwavering loyalty

May 24 (SL) The eldest son of well-known educationist and founder principal of D.S. Senanayake College, R.I.T. Alles, Tiran Alles is a businessman who stumbled into politics more through a character trait than by design. Loyal to a fault, he stuck by former minister Mangala Samaraweera even when the latter fell out with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, facing the brunt of revenge politics that saw both him and more..

State capitalism to overcome cyclic crisis

May 24 (LG) The global crisis, which we are experiencing right now is the deepest and the most widespread crisis, since the 1930s by any reckoning. It has changed the attitude of pundits of global capital. The glory days of free market are gone with the crisis. Then, we were told by writers, artists and academics that “Greed or desire is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” more..

Sri Lanka: Emerging encirclement, slow siege

May 24 (LG) Lanka stands indicted for waging that unavoidable and the necessary war of self defence; a war we did not start. Did any of our critics call for Sri Lanka to be given the satellite intelligence and equipment that would have allowed us to prevail more surgically? Do these critics take into account that armed forces with far greater sophistication, such as the use of drones, have been unable to avoid civilian casualties? more..

Rainforest Expedition, Sri Lanka

UNP economics Greek to Sri Lankans

May 24 (LG) Besieged UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, to his acolytes (Samaneravaru) is a man who even if he cannot win elections, could do other wonderful things.They say, after all, he can run the economy, and knows history, geography, and Erskine May like the back of his hand. At this point in time, however, he hardly has any acolytes at all, so therefore, it appears that some of these earlier assumptions about the UNP leader’s abilities merit a reappraisal. more..

What is there to celebrate? Rumblings of a Jaffna Tamil

May 24 (GV) The question that I have been repeatedly asked by people outside Jaffna is whether we Tamils are not happy that the war is over. An immediate follow up question is whether we are not happy that the LTTE is defeated and the prescription that the defeat of the LTTE should not be considered a defeat of the Tamils, because as they say, clearly both are distinct. The first question is one that is supposed to ‘trick us over’ more..

Minister Peiris to meet US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton

May 24 (LP) The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris left for the USA on an official visit last evening (22) at the invitation of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. This will be the first bilateral visit undertaken by Minister Peiris since assuming duties as Minister of External Affairs. During his visit, the Minister is scheduled to meet Mrs. H Clinton on 28th May for talks in Washington D.C. more..

Challenges today: Weevils in the mind

May 24 (GV) Daya Somasundaram was in Jaffna town in late 1995 when the Sri Lankan army advanced south and eastwards from Palaly. As the LTTE decided upon a strategic withdrawal, they insisted that all the Tamil people should move with them. This enforcement was termed an “Exodus” by some Tamils versed in biblical themes. As Somasundaram relates the tale, many people resented this specific LTTE writ. more..

Duvaliers of Haiti and Rajapakses of Sri Lanka

May 24 (TC) The Rajapakse approach to constitution making is symbiotic of Rajapakse governance; piecemeal changes, one amendment at a time, until any and all factors impeding the Dynastic project are removed. No constitutional upheaval, no controversial referendum; just a gradual process of transformation until quantity turns into quality and the Jayewardene Constitution becomes the Rajapakse Constitution. more..

'Tamil population of this country must truly feel that they are part of this country'

May 24 (TC) I have been asked by the editor of this esteemed newspaper to pen some thoughts on the current political developments and trends in our country. My life has been associated with politics for such a long period of time and I have seen political events at such close quarters that I think I am well up to the task. As a professional the abstract concepts about politics and more..

Same song, only the change of tune

May 24 (LG) While the Sri Lankan civil war was in full swing the diaspora Tamils began to protest against the killings of Tamils. The Western governments, including the UN were for the most part played the cryptic game of "Read my lips." As the Tamil Tigers were getting hammered and hemmed-in, both the US and the UK governments sang from the same hymn sheet. The gist of their rhetoric was, 'We want to see terrorism wiped out of Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka says UN report late

May 24 (DM) The government says a UN report which, in a section on Sri Lanka, mentions abuses committed by the LTTE during the final stages of the war has come a little too late and proves that the world body is not pious as it had claimed to be. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, commenting on the UN report, said that it was a well known fact that the LTTE committed war crimes during the war and not the military as alleged by various human rights groups. more..

LTTE abused fleeing girls

May 24 (DM) A report by UN Secretary General Ban-ki moon, handed over to the UN Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict, notes in a section on Sri Lanka that the LTTE had forcibly cut the hair of girls trying to flee the conflict during the last stages of the war to mislead the military into thinking they were Tiger cadres. Meanwhile the annual report which had once listed the LTTE and more..

Ad puts Jaffna mayor in trouble

May 24 (ST) Jaffna Chief Magistrate A. A. Anandaraja has severely reprimanded and released the town’s Mayor, Patkunaraja Yogeswari, and her husband K. Patkunaraja after they placed a newspaper advertisement relating to a court decision. The mayor who presented herself along with her husband at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Jaffna on Friday was severely warned inside the Magistrate’s chamber and released after they apologised. more..

Road traffic behaviour in Jaffna

May 24 (LG) Road traffic behavior in Jaffna is the worst in the country and probably in the world. While welcoming the attempt by the police to stop and check driving licenses, many other dangerous aspects of driving and vehicle conditions are ignored by the police. Two or sometimes three cyclists ride in parallel taking almost half the carriageway leaving very little space for other vehicles travelling in both directions. more..

Remembering the Buddhist path of the Sinhala song

May 24 (NS) ‘Aesthetic enlightenment’ and ‘wisdom’ had been championed by Buddhist civilisation since time immemorial – Buddhist song or Budu guna geetha being an integral part of it. Vesak – the most hallowed celebration of the Buddhists is a time to ponder over the boundless compassion of Lord Buddha towards the entire humanity. Gifted artistes found the ‘lyric’ an aesthetic medium to immortalise this compassion, more..

'It was Major Gen. Chandrasiri who led the final war operations not Fonseka'

May 24 (LeN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella addressing a media briefing regarding the national security situation at the media center on the 21st, said, in the final phase of the war, when former Army Commander Gen. Fonseka was on a private tour abroad in China, the war operations were led under the command of the Chief of defense staff and Commander in charge of North, Major General Chandrasiri. more..

Speech on the adjournment motion on University reforms by Rajiva Wijesinha

May 24 (RW) Mr Speaker, When I suggested this Adjournment Motion a couple of weeks back, I was worried about the state of Education in this country. I feel more optimistic now, after hearing the forceful suggestions of the Ministers of Education and Higher Education yesterday, and in particular the determination to ensure greater access to quality tertiary level education to all our people. more..

‘Prabhakaran’ — Selfish, vindictive but a ‘Thamilean’ hero

May 24 (SL) Shoot me, if I betray the cause” is Prabhakaran’s most defiant public statement. A few years later, he entered into the longest of all cease fire agreements in February 2002 with Wickremesinghe’s UNP government, brokered by the Norwegians. With much promise on a negotiated solution to the conflict, Prabhakaran sat through his first and only media conference, more..

Women are not willing to go back to pre-war status quo

May 24 (GV) War is a gendered process. Post war is no different. It may be a cliché to say that in Sri Lanka as elsewhere in the world, the most visible and harmful impact of 30 years of war has been on women, but that is the reality. As men joined militant groups or the armed forces, were arrested, abducted, disappeared, or took flight to safer locations outside the community or the country, women were left behind to cope with fractured families and more..

Recruit girls for Korean jobs given a novel type of training by their trainers

May 24 (LeN) Youths selected by the SL Foreign Employment Bureau for jobs in Korea are subject to a training prior to their departure. According to a recruit who underwent training, as related by him to Lanka e news, these recruits who follow this training course at National plantation Management training center at Aturugiriya, they are being sexually harassed. On the 8th May, at about 7.30 p.m., 160 males and 8 females were separated for training. more..

Apologia for the persecution of journalists

May 24 (SL) As if the outpourings of the Dayan Jayatillekas and Malinda Seneviratnes don’t adequately fill the bill for “apologia” for the Rajapaksa regime’s campaign against those critical of it, an English daily with pretensions to objectivity and non partisan journalism cuts loose its Political Correspondent, with two days worth of piffle about the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda wrapped in a tissue of trivia, more..

Authorities sleep on poison lead

May 24 (NS) Despite widespread warnings about high content of highly toxic lead in most locally manufactured paints, authorities have so far failed to take any measures to enforce any standards as done in other countries. Head of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) Hemantha Vithanage, who first exposed the problem after getting household paints tested abroad said that there is a vague idea about the standards of other countries, therefore, more..

Sri Lanka: IMF insists on severe austerity measures

May 24 (wsws) After a 10-day inspection visit, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Sri Lanka announced last Thursday that it was “encouraged” by the government’s planned measures to cut the budget deficit. However, the IMF will continue to withhold the third installment of its $US2.6 billion loan until after the government delivers further spending cuts in its long-delayed 2010 budget, now planned for June 29. more..

Army continue their assistance to flood victims

May 24 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army taking a leading role in the supply of immediate relief to worst affected flood victims in areas including Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts participated in distribution of lunch packets among affected families in Katunayake area and Ja-ela Divisional Secretariat area on Sunday (23). For the last four days soldiers attached to Welisara and Katunayake Army camps have been actively engaged in more..

SLA permits annual Vattaappazhai Pongkal festival in Mullaiththeevu

May 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities have permitted the annual Pongal festival in the historically famous Amman Koayil located in Vattaappazhai in Mullaiththeevu district to be held Monday but thousands of uprooted civilians from Mullaiththeevu still held in the camps are disinterested in taking part in the Pongal festival as they have been refused permission to resettle in their own places, more..

Navy continues flood relief operations

May 24 (MoD) Naval troops and boats are continuing their flood relief operations in the areas affected by floods. As at yesterday (23rd May 2010) nine (09) Naval teams and seven (07) SLN boats remain deployed in the Gampaha, Colombo, and Kalutara districts to provide relief assistance. With the ceasing of heavy rains, flood waters have now begun to recede and life is turning to normalcy. more..

NP Governor orders priority to Southern contractors in Northern development tenders

May 24 (TN) Northern Province Governor and former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander, Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, has directed Government Secretaries in the North to prioritize contactors from South in allocating tenders to all development work in the North. In the context of North being invaded by Southern Sinhalese businessmen and traders Governor’s directive effectively further denies all opportunities to local contractors in the development works in North, more..

Lanka re-integrating ex-combatants into society

May 24 (MoD) Around 8,100 LTTE cadres, who surrendered, including 1,200 women cadres, are currently undergoing the process of re-integration into society, a top official said. Sudantha Ranasinghe, the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation, said that the re-integration with society would be gradual. "We have provided them with courses in English and Information Technology," he said. more..

Uva-Kudaoya commando training centre receives its first commander into a POP

May 24 (MoD) The Passing Out Parade of 40th batch of the Commando troops including 20 officers and 655 soldiers took place on Saturday at Uva-Kudaoya Commando Training School with the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya as the Chief Guest. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya was the first to take part in the Uva-Kudaoya Commando Training School more..

Number of camps for the rain-affected drops

May 24 (GDI) The Ministry of Disaster Management has released 35 million rupees to provide relief for those who have been affected by the floods and rain. The Ministry has made preparations to face any disaster situation in the future. Expressing his views, Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Kodippily said that the number of camps for the displaced has dropped to 73. more..

Sports for Peace Project brings differently -abled children from Vavuniya to Matara

May 24 (TC) It is a warm Friday morning, April 30 when we reach the Rohana Special School in Matara just in time for their Avurudu festival. It is a busy scene that greets us. Among the invitees is a special group - children from Vavuniya, from the Organisation for Rehabilitation of the Handicapped or ORHAN. The two groups have been brought together by an initiative by the UNDP Communities for Peace Project where in 2006 they initiated a ‘sports for peace’ project. more..

National Vesak week begins, State Festival at Mahiyangana

May 24 (LP) The State festival which marks the beginning of the Vesak festival is to be held at the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara today under the patronage of Prime Minister D M Jayarathne. Several other events are organized coinciding to the Vesak festival such as Vesak lanterns competition and Vesak Bhakthi Gee programmes while four special Stamps, depicting places of historic importance are to be released. more..

I will not be ‘polythening’ this Vesak

May 24 (DN) A little boy makes a vesak kooduwa with great effort. He makes the frame, pastes the saukola (tissue paper), makes the frills and pastes these too, fixes a candle, lights it and hangs it on the branch of a tree. It is a pretty picture. It rains. There is wind. The vesak kooduwa catches fire. The little boy is distraught. Time passes. He moves from child to adult to middle-aged and old. more..

Fujifilm Corporation patents Kothala Himbutu - truth or fallacy?

May 24 (DN) I read with interest the articles in the Daily News that the Fujifilm Corporation has procured the patent for a valuable medicinal compound obtained from a native plant Kothala Himbutu (Salacia reticulata), and also the subsequent article about a national task force that is being formed by Science and Technology Minister. Prof Tissa Vitarana to recommend measures to safeguard indigenous biodiversity and knowledge. more..

Doctorate for Malini Fonseka

May 24 (DN) Queen of the Sinhala Cinema Malini Fonseka has been honoured with a doctorate by the University of Visual and Performing Arts in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Sinhala Cinema. She will receive the doctorate at a special felicitation ceremony to be held on June 18 at the BMICH hosted by the University of Visual and Performing Arts. more..

Veteran actor Rex Kodippily felicitated

May 24 (GDI) Veteran actor Rex Kodippily is being felicitated for his work in the field of cinema spanning over 40 years. A felicitation ceremony was organized at the National Film Corporation. Rex Kodippily joined films in 1971 with his performance in “Kathuru Muwath” which was directed by the late K.A.W. Perera. He acted in films such as “Aathmaya”, Sunethra, Sureka, Lokuma Hinawa, Aparadaya and Danduwama, Muwan Pelessa, Damayanthi, Ahimi Dadamang, more..

Skin diseases spreading in flood affected areas

May 24 (NF) The devastating flood waters caused by incessant rains is gradually receding but new problems have cropped up, especially health issues. Regional health officials say that skin diseases are spreading in most of the flood affected districts. “Over 10,000 persons have contracted skin diseases in the Seeduwa area alone,” officials said. Steps had been taken to provide these persons with treatment. more..

Sri Lanka to double tourism revenues in the next five years

May 24 (LP) The Sri Lankan government expects the income from tourism sector to be doubled in the next five years. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the government's target is to increase the tourism revenues up to two billion US dollars. Sri Lanka currently earns over 400 million US dollars annually from the tourism sector. more..

New taxes from budget

May 24 (LT) The government is considering introducing new taxes through the budget proposals to be presented to increase its income say reports. According to internal sources the income of the government last year had come down drastically and the income targeted by the government could not be achieved. Hence, the government is examining ways of increasing tax income say these sources. more..

Editorial: Floods, us and Rip Van Winkles

May 24 (LNP) Some UPFA worthies are faulting the previous government for its deplorable omissions and commissions as if it were a UNP regime. The new Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who made a hullabaloo over the sorry state of affairs in the health sector characterised by chronic shortages of drugs and equipment, acted as though his predecessor had been a UNPer. In so doing, he opened a can of worms for not only his ministerial chum Nimal Siripala de Silva but also the entire UPFA government. more..

'Election in party only if there is disagreement'

May 24 (NF) The UNP did not appoint the leader and office bearers through an election. They were selected and hence the unity within the party was secured. Even this time, the committee has reported that an election would be held only if there is disagreement, said Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP yesterday. He said that there were four steps that the party should follow in order to strengthen itself more..

Flood victims : Govt.`s duty to offer permanent solutions not just sops and sophisms to the destitute and despairing

May 24 (UNP) UNP Deputy leader Karu Jayasooriya speaking at a media briefing today on the havoc wrought by the torrential rains and the floods, and the acute sufferings of the many thousands of people who have fallen victims, said, atleast at this time of National disaster, the Govt. and its Ministers should act with greater concern and sincerity towards providing relief to the victims rather than providing some lunch packets, more..

South Africa to assist widowed women in Northern Province

May 24 (MoD) The government of South Africa is to assist solve problems and uplift the life standards of widowed women of war affected areas in the Northern Province and to help their children in their education. South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ms. B. M. Pheto held discussions in this regard with the government officials in the province at the Jaffna District Secretariat last Saturday, while the High Commissioner was on three day visit to the North. more..

Gal Oya Plantations to re-launch sugar factory

May 24 (LP) State Resources Minister M. P. Dayaratna said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has advised to re-start the factory Gal Oya Plantation Company. The Company is willing to re-launch the State Sugar Factory, he said. This factory was initially launched in 1960 by the Galoya Development Board, when it was closed by the private sector 12 years ago, sugarcane had been planted in 12500 acres. more..

Youth prefer State sector jobs

May 24 (DN) Seventy percent of youth prefer jobs in the State sector, Colombo University Senior Professor of Sociology Prof Siri Hettige, citing a survey said. Only 18 percent preferred private sector jobs while 50 percent youth wanted to migrate. This is alarming and needs to be addressed, he said at the conference on National Youth survey and its implementations for a National youth policy in Sri Lanka. more..

Preferential vote considered on Chairs of DCCs

May 24 (LP) MPs who obtained the highest number of preferential votes at the recently concluded Parliamentarian elections were appointed as chairmen for District Coordinating Committees (DCC) in their respective areas. These appointments were made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week revealed sources and accordingly Minister Wimal Weerawansa will be chairman of the DCC, Colombo, more..

‘Improving doing business ranking of Sri Lanka’

May 24 (LP) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said despite the greater political and macro-economical stability in the country, Sri Lanka’s doing business ranking is 105 according to the World Bank report. With greater political and macro-economical stability in the country, Sri Lanka needs to upgrade its doing business rankings to attract more investments. more..

Sri Lanka gets serious about improving investment climate

May 24 (Island) The Central Bank convened a special meeting of state-run institutions in the presence of the Economic Development minister and Defence Secretary to find out why Sri Lanka is performing poorly in investing quality foreign investments. A complicated tax regime, numerous approvals and regulations, red tape and power tussles between a number of government institutions whose mandates often overlap makes it difficult for investors to more..