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QA kids hold concert in aid of school in Sri Lanka

May 29 (TP) Students of grades 1-3 of Qatar Academy sang and danced their way into the hearts of the parents and visitors who watched their End of Year Show at the school’s auditorium recently. Putting the show together is no mean feat but the students were able to pull it all together especially because this year’s concert presentation is also a fundraising event for a school in Sri Lanka. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka: Challenges and opportunities

May 29 (GV) This Government, as it commences to address the many challenges facing post – war Sri Lanka, stands today at a watershed of major, unprecedented and possibly never to be replicated, opportunity. Wherever one is located in the Sri Lankan political firmament that obvious and pre eminent condition would have to be admitted. The sense of overall stability about the new Government pervades all thinking, writing and action, both local and foreign. more..

The priority Vesak thought for action: “care and compassion for the most needy”

May 29 (GV) In a pre-Vesak address the Prime Minister and Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs made known his priority to lead Buddhists on a path, through awareness, to enhance their commitment to develop a high state of morality and consciousness in society. Mr. Prime Minister, this initiative should be led by the Buddhist leaders in governance, at its inception by appealing to all in society, more..

‘Expedite Tamil rehab’

May 29 (DC) CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday urged the Indian government to take up the issue of speedy rehabilitation of displaced Tamils and initiate steps to return normalcy to Tamil areas in Sri Lanka during President Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi on June 8. Mr Karat said, “It is the time and opportunity for government of India to take up the issue of speedy rehabilitation and return to normalcy in Tamil areas and all the requirements for that. more..

'Waterloo Suresh' fights for a bright future, free from charges of supporting terrorism

May 29 (NP) Suresh Sriskandarajah is clean-cut, articulate and polite. He speaks three languages, holds three university degrees and is CEO of his own web design company. At 29, he should have a bright future. Instead he is about to be extradited to the United States to face terrorism-related charges that could see him imprisoned for 25 years. “This is not what I’m supposed to be doing,” more..

M.I.A. attacks New York Times journalist on Twitter

May 29 (MTV) By now, you may have read the rather lengthy New York Times Magazine feature on M.I.A. (and if you haven't, well, here it is). If you're like us, there were probably more than a few passages that made you go, "Wait, what?" Journalist Lynn Hirschberg pulled no punches while profiling M.I.A. — debunking her claims that she hasn't seen her father in years, contacting the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum to balance out more..

'Cash from Trash' disclosed at the American Center

May 29 (SLE) “The main reason for the current flooding situation in the country is garbage. Local government authorities could be blamed for not maintaining proper garbage disposal systems in their own areas”. Environmentalist Dr. Ajantha Perera made these comments during her presentation titled “Cash from Trash: the Economic Opportunities of Waste Management” held at the American Center on May 24. more..

Are democratic freedoms necessary?

May 29 (LG) "Thou wouldst go into the world, and art going with empty hands, with some promise of freedom which men in their simplicity and their natural unruliness cannot even understand, which they fear and dread – for nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom. But seest Thou these stones in this parched and barren wilderness? Turn them into bread, and mankind will run after Thee like a flock of sheep, more..

Sri Lanka College of Journalism celebrates Vesak

May 29 (HA) Vesak is considered as the holiest day in Buddhism. Buddhists in Sri Lanka are currently celebrating Vesak festival. Vesak Day was celebrated by the Sri Lanka College on May 26th 2010 at its auditorium. The college was beautifully decorated with lanterns, colour lights, fresh Lotus flowers, coconut palm leaves and oil lamps. It was celebrated with high enthusiasm. more..

Vanni in the year after war: Tears of despair and fear

May 29 (GV) About six months after the end of the war, in November 2009, the government of Sri Lanka relaxed restrictions on travel to the Vanni[1] and started to allow some of the displaced people to go back to their villages. Although the government still maintains some restrictions on travel, I managed to visit these areas many times. My visits including overnight stay in Vanni without beds, more..

Winning the invisible conflict: Is Sri Lanka headed for sustainable peace?

May 29 (GV) On Tuesday 19th May 2009 – the day after the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE – Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, bringing to a close 26 years of conflict. With the routing of the LTTE, and the reclamation of all occupied territory, it was announced that the conflict in Sri Lanka had come to an end. more..

SLA issues death threat to press owner in Jaffna

May 29 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Intelligence Division men issued death threat in person to the owner of a leading printing press in Jaffna as he had printed copies of a Weekly newspaper which was claimed by them to contain articles criticizing the actions of President Mahinda Rajapakse and Deputy Minister Karuna, sources in Jaffna said. The Weekly has been launched with Vanni as its centre of operation. more..

Navy builds a Home for a needy IDP Family

May 29 (MoD) As part of its ongoing community welfare projects, Sri Lanka Navy built a home for a needy IDP family in the Velanai Divisional Secretariat. The three-room home, built within just 18 days by Naval personnel attached to SLNS Kanchadewa in Kayts, was ceremonially handed over to the recipient family by Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Susith Weerasekera at a ceremony held on Vesak Poya Day. more..

Army celebrates the Vesak commemoration

May 29 (MoD) The annual Vesak decorations organized by Sri Sambodhi Viharaya on Gregory road, Colombo 07 were declared open a couple of hours ago on Thursday evening on the first day of Vesak celebrations. These decorations, many of which have been done by the members of the Armed Forces, Police and Civil Defence Force saw Army, Navy Chiefs and Senior Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Force officers inaugurated in connection with the commencement of Vesak. more..

SLAF station Colombo celebrate Vesak

May 29 (MoD) SLAF station Colombo celebrate Vesak Personnel of Sri Lanka Air Force station Colombo celebrated 'Vesak Full moon' religious and traditional activities. A "Dharma Deshana was held at station premises and members of the Warrant officers and SNCO's mess released 06 Calfs from a slaughter house. In the evening a Vesak Lantern making and display competition was held at the Riffle Green Grounds under the patronage of Commanding Officer SLAF Station, more..

Sri Lanka flowers earn Hat Trick in Gold

May 29 (LP) Sri Lankan Company Achieves Third Consecutive Gold Medal at the World’s Most Prestigious Flower Show, in London. Sri Lankan Company Borneo Exotics have been awarded their third consecutive Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. After winning Gold Medals in 2006 and 2007, Borneo Exotics took a well earned rest and declined invitations from the Royal Horticultural Society to exhibit in the following two years. more..

External Sector Performance – March 2010

May 29 (LP) Sri Lanka’s external sector improved further in March 2010 continuing the positive developments observed since December 2009. Earnings from exports grew by 4.8 per cent in March 2010 to US dollars 663 million led by industrial exports. The expenditure on imports also increased by 6.5 per cent to US dollars 1,091 million, due to the increased imports of consumer goods and intermediate goods. more..

Embassy in Paris commemorates Vesak

May 29 (GDI) The commemoration of the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing Away of Lord Buddha in the season of Vesak was observed at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris. A series of religious ceremonies are being held in Buddhist temples in the French capital in the course of the Vesak week with blessings bestowed on the President and people of Sri Lanka. A special ‘heel dhana’ was organized for the Maha Sangha in Paris by more..

Duminda Silva gets 27 radio frequencies

May 29 (LT) According to sources in Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Colombo District UPFA Parliamentarian Duminda Silva is to be provided with twenty seven radio frequencies. A highest person in the government has directed the Chairman of the Commission to make arrangements for Parliamentarian Duminda Silva to have the frequencies. It has been revealed that the Parliamentarian has already made all arrangements to commence four radio channels. more..

Additional cost to change Parliamentary times is Rs.120 million

May 29 (LT) Additional amount paid as allowances that have to be paid for the Parliament staff as a result of changing the times the Parliamentary sessions is Rs.120 million says ‘Lankadeepa.’ The new time for Parliamentary sessions is from 1.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. According to the newspaper, employees of the Parliament have said they will have to be paid an extra allowance for being in duty during extra hours. more..

'Near 300,000 eligible Tamil citizens are not registered as voters'

May 29 (LeN) Near 300,000 eligible Tamil citizens are not registered as voters in the electoral registers held by Election Commissioner. Elections department should take additional efforts and implement novel methods outside the traditional revision processes to correct this under registration before any Electoral reforms. No reforms will be complete unless it incorporates the fair and free voter registration process more..

Blessings are showered on the President

May 29 (GDI) The Maha Sangha showered blessings on President Rajapaksa who completed 40 years in politics. The President participated in religious observances at the Gangarama temple at Hunupitiya to mark this landmark in his political career. A special garland was presented to the President after the chief incumbent of the temple, the Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thero showered his blessings. more..

Editorial: Reality dawns at last

May 29 (LNP) When Stalin died, it is said, the ordinary people who had suffered silently under his jackboot refused to believe he was dead. They had been so scared of the red tyrant that they did not want to heave a sigh of relief in public and face the consequences in case he was not really pushing up the daisies. They found the news of his demise too good to be true. That is the way with all wicked men. more..

When will Royal College open a branch in Thambuttegama?

May 29 (DN) What do banks, supermarkets and trees have in common? That’s easy: branches. When business is good, the logical thing to do is expand. A business model that is successful can be replicated provided of course that conditions are not too different and that adjustments where necessary will deliver the same kind of profits. It works for the People’s Bank, it works for Food City, it works for Kushmi and it works for Sanjeewa Auto Spares, more..

Indian stars at IIFA charity cricket match

May 29 (LNP) Around 30 to 40 Indian actors will take part in the fund raising ‘Charity for Children’ cricket match that will be a part of the Videocon IIFA Weekend, IIFA cricket match Chairman Suraj Dandeniya said. “The event is basically organized to give fans the opportunity to mingle with the stars. They will be able to get autographs, shake hands, pose for photographs, and more..

Dilshan hopes happy Bulawayo run will continue

May 29 (LNP) Sri Lanka's stand in captain Tillekeratne Dilshan says he s thrilled to lead the country and hoped Queens Park Sports Club at Bulawayo would continue to remain one of his happy hunting grounds. It was at Queens Park Sports Club that Dilshan made both his Test and ODI debuts coming in as a late replacement for Aravinda de Silva, who pulled out of that tour more..

Sri Lanka conservations in push to restore mangrove eco-system

May 29 (LBO) Large swathes of abandoned shrimp farms in a coastal lagoon in Sri Lanka's western coast could be returned to its former glory as a mangrove eco-systems if an ambitious plan by a conservation charity succeeds, officials said. The IUCN, a charity, is working with regional authorities in Sri Lanka's Puttalam district to release a part of over 1,100 hectors of abandoned commercial shrimp farms for restoration. more..

‘English as a Life Skill’ program goes countrywide

May 29 (DN) “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to equip all Sri Lankan students with the ability of communicating in English including those in remote areas. “Therefore, he has introduced a special program known as “English as a Life Skill” and this program will be launched countrywide by the Presidential Task Force on English. “The main objective of this program is taking English to the masses. more..

Child malnutrition high in N-E

May 29 (DN) Child malnutrition is considerably high in the North and East Provinces and has reached 46 percent out of a national average of 29 percent, a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) revealed. In two provinces the prevalence of malnutrition is significantly greater among boys, (50%), than among girls (42%). This gender differential is in sharp contrast to the malnutrition pattern in the rest of the country, more..

Vege, fish prices sky-rocket

May 29 (Island) Prices of vegetables have sky-rocketed due to the recent inclement weather. Vegetable plots have been destroyed by floods, and transportation of vegetables to Colombo has been restricted or completely cut off. Vegetable dealers in the Pettah market find it difficult to sell the goods due to high prices, as housewives tend to purchase vegetables in smaller quantities. The retail traders in Colombo have jacked up the prices of almost all vegetables more..

Racist gang attacked Tamil students in Sudbury Hill station

May 29 (LL) A gang of racist youths who beat up Tamil teenagers covering a tube station ticket hall in blood have been spared jail. A row started between the groups after one of the five defendants called a female friend of the Sri Lankan victims a “slag” at Sudbury Hill station at around 1am on June 6 last year. Harrow Crown Court heard today how her friends, who were celebrating the end of their college exams, tried to stand up for her but more..

Proposed elections to key UNP posts: Division of opinion emerges

May 29 (Island) With several more rounds of consultations between the UNP rank and file and Joseph Michael Perera Reforms Committee yet to be held, a division of opinion has emerged on the election of the party’s main office bearers including its leader. Informed sources said that those favouring polls had pointed out that it was the most democratic method, while the opposing section had referred to the detrimental divisions that such a procedure could create. more..

Stunning silence: A postscript

May 29 (Island) At last, the silence has been broken. I am glad that some people, but yet not the concerned professionals, have spoken up. I am thankful to all of them; Hugh Karunanayake and Amila K Perera.and others who had heard my voice. I am happy that somebody did care to respond, though they may not probably be legal professionals or the OPA. Still the general apathy is disconcerting. I am responding to the letters, not to score a point, but to clarify my thinking. more..

Editorial: President’s score with Al Jazeera

May 29 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s latest interview with Al Jazeera is so dramatic and colourful that one is likely to miss the slip – the declaration that he will win the next election, regardless of whether it is for the post of presidency or premiership. This certainly is the first time that President Rajapaksa has announced his intention to run for big office for a third term although it has been weeks since more..

Over Rs 189,499 m spent in last four years: Massive road development

May 29 (DN) Over Rs 189,499 million has been spent on road development between 2005 and 2009. Rs 19,000 m was allocated for road development in 2005, and this amount was increased to Rs 75,126 million in 2009. The construction work on the Southern expressway as a four lane facility is being continued with the total cost of Rs 59.5 billion. At present, Rs 37.5 billion has been spent on construction work. more..

UNP urges President to release Fonseka

May 29 (DM) Responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comments that he was ready to listen to suggestions by opposition members, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga yesterday urged the president to release retired General Sarath Fonseka from military custody. He made this request against the backdrop of the president having said in lighter vein at the last week’s Cabinet meeting that the government must on occasions do what the opposition members requested. more..

From womb to garbage dump

May 29 (DM) A new-born infant was yesterday rescued from a garbage dump on the side of the Maskeliya–Norton Bridge main road, the police said. The Maskeliya police had rushed to the scene after some passers-by informed them of finding the abandoned baby. The infant was admitted to the Maskeliya District Hospital. The infant must have been born early yesterday and confirmed that the child was in good health. more..

'Sri Lanka deprived of patent rights'

May 29 (DM) Environmentalists claim that Sri Lanka has been deprived of nearly 200 patent rights over herbals, flora and fauna that belong to the country. Inquiries conducted reveal some foreign countries have obtained the right to use these patents for their activities. Among them are the patent right to a large number of herbals such as “Binara” “Pitawanna” “Musbedda” more..

Minister to review national exams

May 29 (DM) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane yesterday said he would hold talks with university professors and educationists about the teachers’ lamentation that national examinations were too advanced for students. Mainly, teachers who do advanced level subjects have expressed concern that the examination was too difficult for students. Therefore, teachers say there is a tendency among students not to select advanced level subjects such as Combined Maths, Chemistry and Economics after their O/L more..

Navy to expand the Canal Boat Service

May 29 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy is taking steps to extend the routes of the canal boat service which was recently started along the Wellawatta canal. This is in response to the increased demand received from the General Public who have found the Navy initiative very convenient, safe and time-saving. Director General Naval Operations Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera made a field visit to the project expansion areas on 26th May 2010, more..

'Big money can take over political parties'

May 29 (Island) Q. Let’s discuss what many people see as major blunders that the UNP has made over the past few years. Do you think that the policy the UNP followed with regard to the war was the correct line to take? A. We had to deal with issues of terrorism and the causes for it. We felt that while you deal with terrorism by military means – even when I was prime minister we had made provision for it if the ceasefire broke down more..

Skip IIFA: South Indian film industry to Bollywood

May 30 (PTI) The South Indian film industry today joined the 'boycott-IIFA' chorus asking Bollywood not to participate in the entertainment gala to be held in Colombo early next month. Pro-Tamil groups in Tamil Nadu have already asked actors from Bollywood to boycott the June 3-5 event. Various industry bodies including South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce said that they were not opposing the awards ceremony but were against the event being organised in Sri Lanka, more..

IIFA to be held in Colombo, no change in venue

May 30 (IANS) There is no change in the venue of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, which will be held in Colombo from June 3-5, the organisers said on Saturday, refuting reports of pressure from the Tamil film lobby to shift the event out of the Sri Lankan capital. "We are not under any pressure. There is no change in the venue and we are going ahead with the schedule," Sabas Joseph, one of the directors of Wizcraft that organises the gala, more..

UNP to act on Shantha

May 30 (DM) The UNP says its disciplinary committee will meet on Monday to discuss action to be taken against UNP member Shantha Abeysekera over his alleged involvement in the attack on UNP MP Ranga Bandara. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, said that the disciplinary committee will meet on Monday and review a response from Abeysekera after the party called for an explanation over his involvement in the attack, more..

Lessons Learnt (or not) in Sri Lanka

May 30 (HRN) I have served two Presidential Commissions appointed by the Sri Lankan government to look into very serious human rights violations – including tens of thousands of enforced disappearances and massacres of civilians by state forces. And I can attest to the fact that none of their findings or recommendations were taken seriously by the Sri Lankan authorities. Their detailed conclusions and recommendations aimed at securing justice and more..

A ‘cold war’ for UNP leadership?

May 30 (AD) Two characters have emerged as prominent contenders for the future leadership of the United National Party (UNP). The party recently decided to hold elections for several senior posts, which decision has gained considerable support within the UNP. Sajith Premadasa who represents the Hambantota District in Parliament has made it clear recently that he is a chief contender for the leadership of the UNP. more..

DNA wants to debate CEPA in Parliament

May 30 (AD) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says he is to request a debate in Parliament regarding the India-Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). He is to table the request when Parliament meets on June 8. The agreement now popularly known as the CEPA has been discussed between Sri Lankaand India since the 2008 SAARC summit in Colombo but is yet to be signed. more..

India v Sri Lanka: Preview

May 30 (CI) The greatest rivalry of our times resumes. Wait, when did it stop in the first place? Starting with the Asia Cup in July 2008, India and Sri Lanka have faced each other in a whopping 22 ODIs, six Tests, and four Twenty20s. The beauty of it is, what starts in Zimbabwe heralds a new beginning. By August 15, presuming these two teams make the finals of the three events they are playing, they will have played each other in seven more ODIs and three more Tests. more..

Sri Lanka govt must respect rights of Fonseka: US

May 30 (PTI) The US has said the Sri Lankan government must respect the rights of detained former army chief Sarath Fonseka as it underlined the need for "greater transparency" in the court martial proceedings against the top general. "We haven't seen the specifics of the charges (of court martials), but we have consistently stressed that it is important that General Fonseka's rights be respected and that he be accorded a full due process," more..

UN choosing panel team

May 30 (DM) The UN is in the process of selecting the members to be part of a panel to advise UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon on the implementation of the commitments the Government of Sri Lanka made in the area of human rights accountability. According to a UN statement today a formal announcement on the composition of the panel, which the Sri Lankan government has strongly opposed, will be made once the members have been selected. more..