Editorial: Balancing development and protection of environment

May 26 (BL) The rain has not only created havoc, it has also taught us a few bitter lessons. One such important lesson is the need to look at possible environment impact before lunching development projects. Long ago such things were seriously looked at mostly because multi lateral agencies like the World Bank and the ADB insist on environment impact assessment reports before funding development projects. more..

EPF squanderers at firing end

May 26 (BL) The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) issuing a statement yesterday said that they are perturbed that monies belonging to workers in the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) are being utilised to bailout private investors facing problems on their investments. “The newspapers have reported that the EPF monies have been utilised to extricate Nawaloka Mudalalis from the predicament they faced over the “shares against debt deal” proposed by Galadari Hotels,” more..

Comma for Mathata Thitha: Lion Brewery to expand

May 26 (BL) Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC (LION), a subsidiary of the Carson Group has plans to expand production capacity by 30% in 2010 to meet the increased demand. According to its 2010 annual report, the management had decided to embark on an immediate expansion programme to leverage on the opportunities anticipated as a result of the end to the long drawn-out war. more..

Petition signed demanding Fonseka’s release

May 26 (BL) A petition demanding the release of General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka signed by 50 opposition Parliamentarians was sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, DNA General Secretary Vijitha Herath said yesterday. “MPs who were present at Parliament on May 18 and 19 signed the petition asking for General Fonseka’s release. The government is celebrating the first anniversary of the victory over the LTTE. more..

S’kanda project cost to go up to Rs. 230bn

May 26 (BL) United Kingdom-based KBC Advanced Technologies PLC, which is conducting the feasibility study on the Sapugaskanda Refinery Expansion Project, had indicated to the government that the cost of this vital project could go up to a staggering Rs.230bn (US$ 2bn). KBC Advanced Technology had handed over two crucial documents – the Market Overview and Refinery Configuration on the project and had proposed to give the 40-year-old refinery plant a 100% upgrade, more..

Sri Lanka urges US to focus on business, not just rights

May 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris on Tuesday urged Washington to seize business and other opportunities in post-war Sri Lanka rather than focus only on alleged human rights abuses there. Visiting Washington after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse won a resounding reelection victory in April, Peiris parried criticism from human rights activists and others as he began a week-long visit to push for closer ties. more..

Sri Lanka rejects war crimes accusations

May 26 (FP) Some 300,000 civilians were caught up in the final days of the military campaign to end the Tamil Tiger insurgency in Sri Lanka last year. Women, children, and elderly Tamils were shelled, used as human shields, denied access to aid, and shuttled into overcrowded camps. And though much of this has been known for months, on May 19, the International Crisis Group went further in perhaps the most thorough investigation yet. more..

Government will not indict itself

May 26 (LG) The Vietnamese Buddhist monk Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh became world known as a peace activist during the years of the Vietnam War. It was a war fought with the world’s media attention focused upon it and was one of the topmost priorities of the United Nations, as it involved the world’s three most powerful countries. The United States lost over 50,000 of its soldiers in that war which was the costliest since the end of the Second World War. more..

Opportunities and challenges facing post-war Sri Lanka

May 26 (GV) The recent Parliamentary Election has resulted in the UPFA, obtaining a resounding victory at the general election. However, the number of seats won has fallen just short of a two-thirds majority which President Rajapakse was hoping for. This election confirmed the fact that he has continued to maintain the popularity he had gained following the decimation of the LTTE in May, 2009. more..

Re-imagining Sri Lanka post-war

May 26 (GV) About a month or so after the end of the war in Sri Lanka, R Swaminathan, former Special Secretary of the Government of India commented that there should be no rigidity in implementing measures of reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation in post war Sri Lanka. He further stated that a ‘credibly delivered’ political solution was an essential component to the end of the kind of conflict that more..

Going beyond the politics of devolution: Back to the future

May 26 (GV) As the dust settles on victory parades and politician speeches, a sense of déjà vu is difficult to shake. The new May Heroes’ Day speeches bear uncanny resemblance to what used to be the November Heroes’ Day speeches – another part of the country and a man with a differently styled moustache but we all recognize that this is not about wars passed but wars in our future, not a lament for dead victims but a war cry that will make future victims; more..

Siri Kotha is the last Nandhikkadal: war will be "over" only after the UNP is liberated

May 26 (TC) One year after the victory, the last battles of the war remain to be fought and won. One is the diplomatic and opinion battle against those who seek to persecute Sri Lanka for its ‘unauthorised’ victory. That battle is in the best possible hands, those of Prof GL Pieris. The other battle is the intellectual one, to ensure that world history will absolve us and uphold a verdict that Sri Lanka’s was a Just war. more..

MLC - The first Muslim Girls School

May 26 (DN) The Muslim Ladies College (MLC), the first Muslim Girls School in Ceylon was pioneered and established by the founder members of the 'Ceylon Moor Ladies Union' in 1941. The school was inaugurated on August 22, 1941 by Lady Amina Macan Markar at 'Galcanda' Colpetty. No sooner disaster struck, in 1942 World War II broke out and the school was compelled to surrender its premises to the Military. more..

Seva Vanitha Army branch transfer merits on fallen war heroes

May 26 (MoD) To coincide with the forthcoming Vesak Festival, the Seva Vanitha Army Branch headed by Mrs manjulika Jayasuriya conducted a series of religious ceremonies (Pinkam) on Tuesday. Those meritorious acts were meant to commemorate War Heroes who had contributed to the victory. The Pinkama was also meant to transfer merits to all fallen War Heroes and invoke blessings on those recuperating after injuries and serving Army personnel. more..

Exposure of Australia’s policy on Sri Lankan refugees

May 26 (wsws) Two reports released last week further undermined the pretext of “improved conditions” given by the Australian government for its suspension of all refugee visa applications from Sri Lanka. Most of the Sri Lankan refugees are Tamils who are fleeing the country after the defeat of the separatist LTTE last year. Last month, the Rudd government froze the processing of asylum claims from Sri Lanka for at least three months, and more..

Benefits of natural farming

May 26 (DN) The economy of the country mainly depends on the agriculture sector. Rice being our staple food from ancient times Sri Lankans cultivated paddy mainly in rural areas. Today most small farmers have to face many problems such as high production cost and loss of fertile soil. Farmer Federation of Conservation for the Traditional Seeds and Agri-Resources Chief Organizer K.P. Hemantha Abeywardena interviewed by Ishara Mudugamuwa dealt with the benefits of natural farming. more..

Kandy Vesak Perahara parades through newly achieved peace environment

May 26 (LP) Vesak Perahara organized by the Sri Dalada Maligawa Kandy will parade streets tomorrow. Maligawa sources said that nearly 15 elephants will parade the streets in the colourful Vesak perahara this year. The will take the route of the normal Kumbal Perehara which starts from Dalada Veediya then proceed to D S Senanayake Veediya, Deva Veediya, Maligawa square and then enter Dalada Maligawa premises once again. more..

2,300 Lankan workers to Republic of Korea

May 26 (LP) About 2,300 migrant workers have already signed an employment agreement and will be leaving to Korea within a short period of time to begin their term of employment, said an official at the Korean Embassy in Colombo. The Korean government would decide in January 2011 whether to increase the quota of foreign labour force from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka already holds the quota of 7,300 labourers which more..

Senaratne pledges to provide cheaper fish

May 26 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Rajitha Senaratne recently pledged to eliminate the fish mafia and make arrangements to supply fish at cheaper prices. Speaking at a function where Mahil Senaratne assumed durties as the chairman of the Fisheries Corporation, he said the late Minister Phillip Gunawardena established the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation to cater to the consumers, but more..

Sri Lankan military presses cases against Fonseka

May 26 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government and military are proceeding with their political vendetta against former army commander General Sarath Fonseka—the failed opposition candidate in the country’s presidential election in January. Fonseka was detained in February amid trumped up allegations that he was planning a coup against President Mahinda Rajapakse. He is currently facing two courts martial—over alleged political activity while in uniform and more..

Public transport major issue in resettled areas: TNA

May 26 (DM) The TNA, after a fact finding mission in the resettled areas, said yesterday that people appear to be using the monies given by the government to purchase , first due to the transport problems. For a resettled family, the government gives Rs. 25,000. Of this amount, Rs 5000 is given in cash, and the rest as a bank deposit. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that he observed, in one or two villages, that people had used these deposits mainly to buy bicycles. more..

Govt. considers bigger allowances to war heroes

May 26 (MoD) The Government is considering increasing the allowances paid to war heroes. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Government's desire is to assist them in building their houses or to effect repairs to the existing houses. He said the people were terrorized in the past 30 years. The Security Forces safeguarded the territorial integrity of the country and its sovereignty during this period. more..

NP Governor accuses Jaffna NGOs of malpractice in assisting resettled Vanni families

May 26 (TN) Northern Province Governor, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri has directed Jaffna Assistant Commissioner of Local Government (ACLG) to collect the details of assistance given to each person resettled in Jaffna district, accusing the local NGOs and humanitarian agencies which had provided assistance to the uprooted families of malpractice, more..

No agreement detrimental to country will be signed - The President

May 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured that he will not sign any agreement that will have adverse effects to the country. He made this statement after meeting with the protestors against implementing the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India yesterday at Temple Trees. President Rajapaksa further said that any bilateral agreement should have equal benefits to both countries. more..

Demonstration against CEPA a Govt. job!

May 26 (LT) A group of people calling themselves a business community had organized a demonstration in Colombo yesterday afternoon and its aim was to oppose the ‘CEPA’ agreement. However, internal sources of the government states the demonstration had been organized by a group of government supporters with the knowledge of government high ups. It is said that the government got its supporters to organize the demonstration to prevent more..

'Why there is no news about Dullas Alahaperuma?'

May 26 (LeN) When Lanka e news asked from this Minister, why there is no news about Dullas Alahaperuma? he replied, he too is searching for the whereabouts of Dullas Alahaperuma. It is reported that Alahaperuma who took oaths as a Minister is disillusioned because the foreign employment Bureau which was originally earmarked under his Ministry had been later brought under the purview of the Foreign Ministry, and more..

Flood-affected families gradually return home

May 26 (GDI) Families displaced by floods in the past few days, are now gradually returning to their homes. Minister Susil Premajayanth said that about 88 percent of the families displaced due to floods in the environs of Colombo have returned to their homes. Accordingly, 5504 families had left for their homes. Arrangements had been made to meet their essential requirements including food. more..

'If the Judiciary too is being politically tampered with there is no place for a citizen to turn to for justice'

May 26 (LeN) DNA Secretary Vijitha Herath speaking to the media at the DNA political office at Rajakeeya Mawatha yesterday, said, there are reports in the media that attempts are being made to transfer the Chief Magistrate on political grounds. If this is so, it is a very serious situation. The only place left now for us to seek justice is the Judiciary. We can repose faith only in the Judiciary. more..

Sri Lanka External Affairs minister addresses CSIS in Washington

May 26 (SLE) Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris, launched a four-day Washington visit Tuesday with Capitol Hill meetings and a spirited talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Minister Peiris told the CSIS audience that Sri Lanka, “is in a new situation,” having defeated terrorism a year ago. more..

Dengue eradication, a national responsibility -President

May 26 (GDI) Eradicating the dengue menace is a national responsibility which should be burdened by every one of us, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Addressing the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Dengue Prevention, President Rajapaksa said that all segments of society from the President to the people at grassroots level should be integrated into an accelerated Dengue control drive to more..

Youths raise cash for war-affected children

May 26 (UCAN) Young Catholics from Colombo archdiocese have raised more 3 million rupees (US$26,000) to aid children in the north who have been displaced by decades of civil war. About 100 young people, including 40 Hindus, came to Colombo May 21-23 to receive some of this aid from the archdiocese’s Holy Childhood Society. They received towels, umbrellas, school bags, lunch boxes, stationery and crockery. more..

CA invalidates Podinilame's expulsion from UNP

May 26 (NF) The Court of Appeal yesterday invalidated the decision taken by the UNP to expel UNP Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Jayathilake Podinilame from the party. This decision was taken subsequent to the petition filed by Podinilame against his expulsion from the party being taken up for consideration. The party stated that Podinilame had obtained membership in the SLFP after supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa at more..

Sri Lanka to improve facilities at the the Bandaranaike International Airport

May 26 (LP) Utilizing modern technology and updating existing conveniences the air passengers are accorded, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayaka would be developed to reach unparallel standards. This was revealed by President Mahinda Rajapaka as the Minister of Ports and Aviation, at a progress Committee meeting that was held at Temple Tress yesterday. more..

Malaysia eases visa rules for South Asian tourists

May 26 (AFP) Malaysia will relax visa rules for travellers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in an effort to boost tourism, an official said Tuesday. At present visitors from the four countries need to obtain a visa before entering Malaysia, after the government in 2008 scrapped a tourist-friendly visa programme for them in a bid to curb illegal immigration. more..

Editorial: The accused hearing his own case

May 26 (LNP) Power deafens and blinds politicians, especially after their re-election. Only an electoral shock could make them hear and see again but, in most cases, that happens too late in the day they find themselves in the Opposition by that time. The UNP is lambasting the government for the rejection of its request that Opposition MPs be appointed chairmen of the COPE and PAC and for the appointment of deputy ministers and ministers as members of those watchdog committees. more..

Business magnates at IIFA workshops

May 26 (DN) Renowned Indian Business magnates and iconic filmmakers will take part in a film workshop and Business forum that will be held on June 4 as part of the Videocon IIFA Weekend. The film workshop comes in two sessions. The session for film students, budding filmmakers and actors will take place from 9.30 am to 11.30 am while the second session, a discussion between industry personnel of Sri Lankan and Indian directors and producers will take place more..

J’Pura University probes degree row

May 26 (Island) The Sri Jayawardenepura University has sparked a controversy by awarding a doctorate in philanthropy to a wealthy German national. Sources alleged that the University senate had not been aware of the decision. Responding to a query by The Island, sources said that Vice-Chancellor Professor N. L. A. Karunarane had reluctantly agreed to an inquiry after Senate members strongly objected to the move. more..

To minimize vehicle congestion: Ministry to test traffic control system

May 26 (DN) The Transport Ministry will test a new traffic control system to minimize vehicle congestion in Colombo during the next three months. Colombo has a severe traffic congestion every morning and afternoon on week days. This situation arises due to over 6,000 school vans carrying students in an around Colombo schools and heavy containers with over 12 tyres travelling from the port on busy streets. more..

Vihara, Devala Act should be amended soon –PM

May 26 (LP) Prime Minister and Minister for Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs D M Jayarathne says that the Vihara, Devala Act should be amended soon. He goes on to say that the existing act centuries old and has many short comings. He further added that a wide programme to propagate Buddhism with the temple at its apex would be launched during this year. If any act is in the way of our progress he would not hesitate to amend it stated the Prime Minister. more..

Lawyers file papers to withdraw Tissa’s appeal

May 26 (DM) An application has been filed for the withdrawal of an appeal filed by Senior Journalist J. S. Tissainayagam to process the Presidential pardon granted to him on the World Press Freedom Day on May 3. Lawyers for Tissainayagam said the motion was filed in the Court of Appeal to withdraw the appeal filed against the conviction and 20 years rigorous imprisonment imposed on the journalist by more..

Nimalka Fernando on YaTV

Visitors, officials clash: Five injured in Wilpattu

May 26 (DN) Five persons including two wildlife officials were injured and admitted to the Nochchiyagama district hospital following a clash between a group of visitors to the Wilpattu National Park and a group of wildlife officials Monday. The clash was a sequel to an argument between the visiting group and several guides inside the park at Manawila. After coming out of the park the two groups had resumed the argument which led to the clash near the park office. more..

Conclusion of war won’t diminish WFP role here

May 26 (Island) Despite the conclusion of the war against the LTTE last May, during which Sri Lanka had to rely heavily on the World Food Programme (WFP) to feed the war displaced, the UN agency is still engaged in food relief operations. There is no evidence to suggest that the WFP will be able to scale down its efforts in the near future, though it may never be called to handle fresh cases of war displaced for obvious reasons. more..

Govt pushes hard to improve investment climate

May 26 (Island) The government is planning to seek private sector investments for various state sector projects and would centralise efforts so as to simplify processors, create transparency and lift Sri Lanka’s profile as an investment destination. The Treasury has called on all ministries and government institutions to develop profiles of investment opportunities for foreign and domestic investments, more..

'Death certificates soon for those killed in the war'

May 26 (DM) The family members and next of kin of the civilians and others who died during the three-decade long ethnic conflict are to receive the relevant death certificates soon -- after the circumstances of the deaths are established. The deaths of thousands of civilians have not been brought under any Coroner’s or Judicial Magistrate’s scrutiny to establish the circumstances of those deaths for the relevant authorities to issue death certificates. more..

Ministry to probe Kothala Himbutu patent issuance

May 26 (DM) Technology and Research Minister Tissa Vitharana yesterday appointed a 12 member Task Force to inquire the alleged issuance of a patent on Kothala Himbutu – an indigenous Sri Lankan plant that possesses high medicinal qualities to cure many diseases and diabetes in particular – to Fuji Films of Japan. The Task Force that will submit its report within two months to more..

Post-war Sri Lanka: Way forward or more of the same?

May 26 (GV) Without peace, there is no development; without development there is no peace, President Rajapaksa has said. Yet, for the overwhelming majority of the population he presides over, life is quite harsh under the growing burden of the militarisation of the economy and society. Despite rhetoric on the devolution of power about 50,000 Tamils are still detained in camps behind barbed wire. more..

Fast-disappearing treasuries the pick in Sri Lanka

May 26 (Reuters) When Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war ended last year, investors surged to its share market and sent the index rocketing up 125 percent and making it the top pick in global frontier investments. So far this year, stocks are up around 25 percent, making it Asia's top gainer, but Sri Lankan government securities have emerged as the hotter investment in the Indian Ocean country. more..

Garment sector, govt. optimistic about trade pact with EU

May 26 (IPS) Relations between Sri Lanka and European Union (EU), which turned frosty around six months back, appear to be thawing as the government makes a last ditch stand to regain a crucial trade concession that has been suspended over human rights issues hounding the south Asian island state. A high-powered government delegation led by Sri Lanka’s Attorney General Mohan Peiris and more..

ADB president to visit Sri Lanka, offer support for post-war development

May 26 (ADB) Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda will visit Sri Lanka on 26-28 May, where he will pledge ADB's continuing support for the Government's post-war reconstruction and development programs. During the visit—his first as ADB President to Sri Lanka—Mr. Kuroda is scheduled to meet top government officials and discuss ADB's ongoing assistance for the country's efforts to rebuild more..