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Reconciliation – Internal through universal truth or external through global systems?

feb 24 (LG) This is in response to the article by Mr. Jehan Perera, published in Sri Lanka Guardian, on 22 February. I write also in the consciousness of the protest march being organized by the AFTA - Australian Federation of Tamil Associations, against the nomination of recently retired Navy Commander Tisara Samarasinghe as the next Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Australia. In his article, Mr. Jehan Perera says ‘A recent public lecture given by one of the more..

Ethnicisation of history writing in South Asia/Sri Lanka - Part 4

feb 24 (LG) There seems to be some shadow boxing here. Unnamed colonial ‘Oriental’ scholars are under attack for ‘uncritical acceptance of the local chronicles’. “The view that Sinhalese were the ‘proper inhabitants’ of the island in ancient times and that Tamils were invaders came to dominate colonial historical writing. In addition, since the Sinhalese language was more of Indo-Aryan in nature...” (this is admitted), it is claimed that more..

Bishop of Jaffna appreciates speedy action by Army to curb unlawful occurrences

Feb 24 (Cimic) “Once again Law and Order has been restored and unlawful deeds have lessened”, states Most Rev. Fr. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam, Bishop Jaffna in a letter recently issued commending intensified security measures adopted by Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) in the face of organized petty crimes that disturbed civil life in some areas. In the letter addressed to Commander SF-J Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, more..

The role of the private sector in university research In Sri Lanka

Feb 24 (LG) The higher education sector has been at the centre of considerable attention over the last six months or so mainly because of a number of new initiatives that are being introduced by the ministry of higher education such as the private university project, updating 6 universities to the world class status, the invitation to the expatriate academics to return to the country despite the violation of their bonds, and the tax exemption of more..

Is your doctor a black market mudalali ?

Feb 24 (SO) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena's recent remarks over the conduct of private hospitals and doctors engaged in private practice were appreciated by people in the country. According to Minister Sirisena, private hospitals overcharge patients even for minor ailments. He made these remarks at a ceremony held in Colombo where 844 medical graduates received their internship letters. The Minister indirectly urged this group of medical graduates to more..

Her Valentine’s gift was a bruised eye

Feb 24 (SL) February to most signifies a day for sharing gifts with loved ones, for warm candle lit dinners and romantic sentiments. But this year, Colombo was treated to a shocking and unnatural Valentine’s message. The message was that while many women are lucky enough to receive candy and flowers on Valentine’s Day, three out of five women in Sri Lanka receive from the men in their lives, tokens of violence. more..

Creating a wholesome traditional homeland

Feb 24 (NS) Eelamist sections of the Tamil Diaspora, including of course its Sri Lankan component, naturally subscribe to the unsubstantiated claims of the North and East being the exclusive traditional homelands of Tamil people. Land-grabbing, resource-base-enhancing politics often plays with myths and legends, turning the imagined into fact and spreading the bad news around. This is part for the course of communal politics. To date, not a single Eelamist more..

As the innocents and the immature celebrate…

Feb 24 (DM) Democracy in its purest form; certainly is the aspiration of any progressive society. No country, race or a people whatever their political affiliations and belief systems, desires any curtailment of his rights, freedoms or aspirations within a system. The political histories of many countries bear witness to this reality. It is the appreciation of such desires that moves societies to ensure safeguards against any infringement on these human and more..

Richard de Zoysa after 21 years

Feb 24 (SO) At the time of Richard de Zoysa's death in February 1990, a month before his thirty second birthday, he had for long been established as the most promising of Sri Lanka's young English language poets. Therein of course lies a seeming paradox: a long period of promise implies that it was not fulfilled. This is sadly true. There are just over thirty poems included here, and these represent almost all that Richard produced. more..

The bloody retreat from Vadukoddai to Nandikadal- I

Feb 24 (DM) The post-Prabhakaran period, shining in the light of a new era, far removed from the clouding smoke of gun fire and exploding bombs, opens up new perspectives to view the past that was dominated by dogmatic ideologies, theories and formulas constructed for the analyses of the convulsive events that shook the nation to its foundations ever since the Jaffna elite declared war on the rest of the nation on May 14, 1976 in the Vadukoddai Resolution – more..

'It was our own dogs that barked at my caravan'

Feb 24 (NF) Reginald Cooray waxed eloquent on the trials and tribulations of his political career and described the journey on the lines of the Persian proverb, 'Dogs may bark but the caravan moves on'. The Minister of Small Export Crops Promotion, speaking at a ceremony to pay tribute to the former Galle District Assistant Director of the Export Crops Department Janaka Lindana, lamented that all the 'barking' had been done by 'our own people'. more..

Petroleum resources minister accused of foul play

Feb 24 (SL) Despite the continuous losses incurred by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Petroleum Resources Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena has been accused of obtaining unlimited fuel for his personal usage from the CPC Kolonnawa fuel station. Although Deputy Minister is not entitled for a fuel allowance from the CPC but only from his Ministry, CPC Chairman Harry Jayewardena has instructed his officials to issue fuel to the Deputy Ministry from the Kolonnawa station, more..

Jobless NGOs please each other with awards?

Feb 24 (LB) The National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka awarded the so-called ‘Citizens Peace Award’ for 2010, to Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives earlier this month. NPC Executive Director, Jehan Perera claimed that he was chosen from among 52 candidates. “This was the first time we held an awards ceremony. We advertised few months back and 52 people were nominated by others as deserving the award," more..

Priests guide Catholic candidates

Feb 24 (UCAN) Priests in Sri Lanka have offered guidelines to Catholic candidates in upcoming local polls on how to avoid election violence and to campaign and govern with Christian values. Local elections are due to be held on March 17 in 301 out of 335 local government districts. Fears over election violence have once again come to the fore across the country. To ward off potential violence in one area, priests held a dialogue with Catholic candidates contesting more..

Premier open to hear Buddhist concerns

Feb 24 (UCAN) Sri Lanka’s prime minister says he is willing to discuss any problems concerning activities promoting inter-religious unity following criticism from Buddhists. Voicing alarm at poster campaigns and newspaper articles criticizing inter-religious activities, D.M. Jayaratna, who is also religious affairs minister said he would be quite happy to listen to people’s grievances. “It is difficult to work under pressure. more..

Editorial: Bovine terror on highways

Feb 24 (Island) Politicians and their security contingents continue to unleash mayhem on public roads as one of our irate colleagues pointed out in a letter on the opposite page yesterday. The country is free from terrorism but people are terrorised on highways. Our man suggested––tongue in cheek of course––that a separate road be built for the privileged politicians and their security personnel to ply at break neck speed and boost their egos without being a nuisance to other humble road users. more..

Editorial: TGV, Lankan style

Feb 24 (DM) Weeks ago the Galle-Matara segment of the renovated railway line was declared open, by the Transport Minister. The segment which is now touted by the government as “high-speed” claims to have a top speeds of 100 km an hour. High speed in the so called developed countries reach upto 350 km/h. The track which was devastated by the 2004 Asian tsunami was re-done with a 167.4 million dollar Indian credit line. The first run saw the train hitting over 100 kilometres an hour. more..

'Displaced Muslims denied an opportunity to vote at LG poll'

Feb 24 (Island) The General Secretary of the SLMC M.T. Hassen Ali urged the government to ensure that over 18,000 displaced Muslim voters, resident in Puttalam, were provided with adequate transport facilities or to establish cluster polling booths to cast their votes in the Mannar and Mullaitivu districts on March 17th. Quoting the Commissioner of Elections Ali said the former has no provision to provide transport for local elections. more..

Varsity corrupt - IUSC

Feb 24 (DM) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) politicians are intimidating Inter Students Council of the Eastern University, Inter University Students’ Centre (IUSC) convener Asanka Bulegoda charged yesterday. “The TNA politicians allegedly issued death threats to these students and also threatened their parents,” Mr. Bulegoda claimed. According to him the politicians were trying to make political mileage during the time of elections. more..

Container carrying 1170 rotten potato sacks seized

Feb 24 (DM) A container, carrying a large stock of imported potatoes deemed to be unfit for human consumption, was confiscated by the Kotahena Police environment unit yesterday. Police found 1,170 sacks of rotten potatoes inside the 40 foot container at Shivananda Mawatha Kotahena. On receiving a tip off by the OIC of the Environmental Unit of Kotahena Police Sub Inspector Krishantha Kariyawasam, that a cargo of rotten potatoes was being unloaded at Shivananda Place, the Police had raided the location. more..

LIOC to receive Rs. 393 million tax refund

Feb 24 (SL) In a startling revelation The Sunday Leader has uncovered plans to refund a staggering Rs. 393 million to the Indian Oil Company (LIOC) in respect of Income Taxes. BOI Chairman Jayampathy Bandaranayake has written specifically to the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, confirming that the Indians enjoyed tax free agreements on all sites – despite the fact that the original agreement covered just 100 sites instead of more..

'Properties in HSZs cannot be settled in'

Feb 24 (DM) The security forces still use 1202 private houses, lands and institutions in the North, Parliament was informed yesterday. Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardana, revealed this fact in Parliament in response to a question by TNA MP A. Vinayagamurthy. Mr. Gunawardena said that the Army used 1129 private houses, lands and institutions, the Navy 35 private lands and the Air Force 32 houses along with the lands which were situated within the Palali High Security Zone, more..

Govt revamps A2, A4 and A23

Feb 24 (DN) Road development in the Uva-Wellassa region has received a boost with the total budget allocation exceeding nearly Rs 4,000 million. Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said three main roads A2 (Colombo-Wellawaya via Hambantota), A4 (Colombo-Batticaloa via Ratnapura) and A23 (Wellawaya-Kumbalwela road via Ella) have been widened and carpeted. This move will further flourish the tourism industry while enabling farmers in Uva-Wellassa to transport agricultural more..

Boston Lanka News:Feb 23, 2011

'Govt., instead of creating jobs, blaming universities'

Feb 24 (NF) The government is blaming universities without creating job opportunities for these children and without adjusting the curriculum to suit the demand for jobs, says Rosy Senanayake, UNP MP. “S.B. Dissanayake said that the reason behind the unemployment of graduates is the shortcomings in universities. The government is blaming universities without creating job opportunities for these children and without adjusting the curriculum to suit the demand for jobs. more..

CGR rejects JVP claim

Feb 24 (Island) The Railway Department on Tuesday dismissed the JVP’s allegation that the Southern Express Way had stopped functioning after a train had made the maiden run between Galle and Matara last Wednesday on the newly laid track. CGR’s Planning Director Vijaya Samarasinghe said that the JVP’s allegation was baseless. He confirmed that trains were running between Galle and Matara. He said at present three trains were in operation. more..

Sri Lanka's first state owned eye bank to be inaugurate today

Feb 24 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will open the first ever eye bank in Sr Lanka today at the National Eye Hospital, Colombo. The bank will cater to the whole world especially to the Asian countries, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palitha Maheepala said. He said the eye bank is a donation from Singapore following a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in March last year. The project cost Rs. 30 million. more..

Hambantota, Sri Lanka's new sport's capital?

Feb 24 (TOI) We've gushed over how quickly Hambantota got ready for the World Cup, we cursed how far it is from the main city and ran out of count of the number of difficulties one had to face to reach the venue where the two World Cup matches were staged and staged successfully at that. Now, as the Hambantota party ends, it's time to take stock of the pros and cons of having a $9 million cricket venue in an essentially poor territory. Namal Rajapasa, son of Sri Lankan president more..

Sri Lankan school kids give playtime in World Cup a miss

Feb 24 (DT) An offer of free tickets and meals could only entice 3,000 students from the tsunami-hit city of Hambantota to turn up for Pakistan’s World Cup opening match against Kenya on Wednesday. With barely any tickets sold for the Group A match, local organisers had invited 10,000 students from 21 schools in the area to boost crowd numbers at the 35,000-seater Mahinda Rajapaksha Stadium which is hosting only its second international match. more..

At UN, Ban & Nambiar meet Sri Lanka AG & General Silva, despite denials

Feb 24 (ICP) Amid controversy about the UN's seeming failure to follow up on accountability for presumptive war crimes in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar met Wednesday with the country's Attorney General Mohan Peiris and its Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, former General Shavendra Silva. Silva has been the subject of controversy, more..

Sri Lanka's rehabilitated terrorist suspects struggle to find work

Feb 24 (ABC) The head of Sri Lanka's government program to rehabilitate terorrism suspects says many of the women released back into their communities are struggling to find work. In the 12 months following the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, 8,000 people have been given vocational training as part of the government's rehabilitation program for terrorist suspects. Many of those have gone back to their communities in the country's north in the last six months. more..

No toilets for 1 mn school children

Feb 24 (DM) More than 1,300 schools out of 9,500 or nearly one million school children in the country do not have toilet facilities, a survey conducted by the Water Supply and Drainage Ministry has revealed. Secretary, Water Supply and Drainage A. Abegunasekara told the media yesterday a regional ‘Awareness Workshop on South Asia Conference on Sanitation – SACOSAN 1V – 2011’ would be held in April to find solution to these and other sanitation issues in the region. more..

Govt. milks state ventures to feed Consolidated Fund

Feb 24 (Island) The govt has directed corporations, statutory bodies and government-owned business undertakings to retain working capital needed by them for six months and return surplus funds to the Consolidated Fund. Sources said that profit making enterprises had been directed to transfer funds deposited at public and private financial institutions to the Consolidated Funds. Sources said that a Treasury circular had directed that all enterprises, more..

Ship polluted port - Police

Feb 24 (DM) Harbour Police yesterday complained to Colombo Magistrate that the discharge of oil and other harmful substance from a vessel had polluted the Colombo Port and its shores. In the B report filed by the police in court states that the acting Manager Ratnasuriya Neel Priyadharshana of Oceanic Environmental Authority had complained he had come to know through media that the vessel MT Chart that was anchored in the southern jetty of the Colombo Port more..

Vanni fishing community to benefit from Canadian funded FAO project

Feb 24 (Island) Now that the war is over, the Vanni will benefit from a Canadian-funded post-tsunami project aimed at improving infrastructure facilities available to the fishing community. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN has thrown its weight behind ongoing post-war rehabilitation efforts by implementing the last phase of the Canadian funded post-Tsunami project in the Vanni region. more..

Ministries in Coconut fight

Feb 24 (Island) Two Ministries are on a collision course over the recent coconut crisis in the country. While the Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Ministry denies that any coconuts were imported, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade stands by their story that 750,000 coconuts were imported from India during the crisis. Minister Pushpakumara, while granting that there is a coconut crisis in the country, not a single coconut has been imported. more..

Fewer I do's for former female rebels

Feb 24 (IRIN) Former female combatants in northern Sri Lanka face a tough time returning to civilian life, with fewer marriage, education and job prospects due to stigma, say aid workers and activists. "Former female child soldiers are just not being perceived positively by society," said Thaya Thiagarajah, a senior official with the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, noting how cultural and social barriers are the biggest barriers to more..

No mobile chat for traffic policemen

Feb 24 (DM) Disciplinary action will be taken against traffic police officers who use mobile phones when on duty during peak hours, a senior officer of the traffic police said yesterday. He said only an Officer-in-Charge could use a mobile phone while the others should use their official communication equipment. “Others have communication equipment to use for official purposes,” he said. more..

Govt. makes a killing from killer substance

Feb 24 (Island) Sri Lankans have smoked 4,200 million cigarettes and 2,270 million beedis during the year 2009. A document tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, in response to a question raised by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, said that 4,100 million cigarettes and 2,270 million beedis had been produced in the country during the same year. more..

'Tax hikes on essential imports further strangling the poor'

Feb 24 (Island) The government has increased taxes on the import of several essential food items on the pretext of protecting local producers, but the impact of such a move was that the vast majority of people, who are already struggling to survive, have to pay more for no fault of theirs, the UNP said. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that the masses cannot be made scapegoats for the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime’s incompetence. more..