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ECT wants Uma Oya project halted

Feb 26 (Island) The proposed Uma Oya multipurpose project should be immediately halted to prevent the inconveniences caused to the residents living around the Uma Oya, the Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) says. "If the project is carried out as planned, when the Puhulpola and Diaraba reservoirs are developed, 128 and 69 families respectively will be displaced and their lands lost," ECT President Sajeewa Chamikara said. more..

Heavyweights clash at R Premadasa

Feb 26 (CI) When the World Cup comes to colourful Colombo on Saturday, the tournament will begin in earnest for two subcontinent teams. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka opened with massive wins over Associate nations, but this will be their first real test in the competition. None of the smaller teams in Group A seem capable of challenging the Test nations, so the game will be important in terms of placings for the quarter-finals. more..

Rush for WC tickets

Feb 26 (NN) Chaotic scenes were seen outside the Maligawatte P.D. Sirisena Grounds ticket counter this morning as hundreds of cricket fans attempted to purchase tickets for the Australia vs Sri Lanka world cup match. As the ticket counter opened this morning young boys were seen attempting to scale the walls of the location to purchase tickets. Witnesses said that even police officers who were on duty to control the massive crowd who had come to purchase the Rs. 50 tickets more..

Paba to undergo facial surgery

Feb 26 (Island) Member of Parliament and popular actress Upeksha Swarnamali, better known as ‘Paba’, was discharged from the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital and admitted to a private hospital in Colombo to undergo facial surgery. ‘Paba’ is expected to undergo plastic surgery on her face. She suffered serious injury to her face and head due to the severe blows she received in a domestic issue.Three of her facial bones had been fractured due to the assault, more..

Plastic crates: Treasury still to release funds

Feb 26 (Island) The Treasury has still not released the Rs. 300 million, approved by the Cabinet, for the 400,000 plastic crates to be given to farmers to transport vegetables and fruits. Cabinet approval was given after the farmers requested the government for some kind of relief before the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) took legal action against them under the consumer protection act. more..

'EP delegation’s Sri Lankan visit not linked to war crimes probe'

Feb 26 (Island) The visiting European Parliamentary delegation said yesterday that there was no link between their five-day fact finding mission to Sri Lanka and Wednesday’s meeting in the US, between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a Sri Lankan delegation on alleged war crimes. Leader of the European Parliametary Delegation for Relations with South Asia Jean Lambert said that they had met with a cross section of people more..

China-Lanka economic, technical cooperation pact to be signed

Feb 26 (Island) China is to provide Sri Lanka with a 50 million yuan grant under an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement to be signed shortly. Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle, addressing the Cabinet press briefing in Colombo on Thursday, said that the government had decided to sign a MoU with China to further enhance the economic and technical cooperation between the two countries. more..

Govt to slash spending to pay for flood damage

Feb 26 (wsws) To meet its budget-cutting targets, the Sri Lankan government has assured the IMF that the damage bill from the devastating floods in January and early February will be extracted from the working people and rural poor via deeper spending cuts. A visiting IMF monitoring mission last week revealed that the government had agreed that no additional expenditure would be allocated for flood-related reconstruction and relief programs. more..

Urgent moves to rescue Lankans in Libya

Feb 26 (DM) The External Affairs Ministry has contacted Indian officials and diplomats to arrange for Sri Lankans in Libya to travel onboard an Indian ship heading to Malta, the Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry said yesterday. Meanwhile the External Affairs Ministry said there were no plans to close down the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tripoli due to the crisis there. “There are no plans to close the embassy, the Ambassador is working hard to more..

Uganda opens Hydro Power plant built by SL engineers

Feb 26 (N360) Uganda has recently connected an 18 MW mini-hydro power plant to its national grid, which has been built by the Sri Lankan engineers. Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Ministry announced that the new hydro power plant located 305 kilometers away from the country’s capital city “Kampala” was opened by Uganda’s Energy Minister Simon D’ujanga. Nearly 200 Sri Lankans consisting of engineers and skilled workers have more..

‘External degrees being restructured’

Feb 26 (DM) Minster S.B. Dissanayake told parliament universities would soon resume their external degree programmes after restructuring and revising them in keeping with the requirements of the modern day job market here and broad. The universities have at present suspended the registration of students for external degree programmes. DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said this move would deprive a large number of eligible students from more..

COPE Chief DEW admits parliament ignored public sector corruption

Feb 26 (Island) Chairman of Parliamentary watchdog COPE Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera blames parliament for its failure to tackle public sector corruption, waste and irregularities. Parliament should be held responsible for the pathetic state in many public enterprises, Minister Gunasekera said adding that the country would have been better off had governments followed basic principles in good governance and accountability. more..

Pakistan set Sri Lanka 278 runs to win

Feb 26 (CI) Pakistan were waltzing at 76 for 1 from 13 overs when a moment of madness, which led to Mohammad Hafeez's run-out, cracked open the game. Inevitably, the drama coincided with Muttiah Muralitharan's introduction. Hafeez didn't budge after sweeping to short fine-leg but Kamran Akmal charged across to the other end. Kumar Sangakkara too panicked, and hurled the throw wide over a bewildered Murali, but mid-off was backing up. more..

NGO help sought to assist flood victims

Feb 26 (BBC) Financial support from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been sought to provide assistance to nearly six thousand flood affected families in Mannar district says GA Mannar, Nagalingam Vedanayagam. He told BBC Sandesaya that the district has not received sufficient finance to help fully the families who have lost almost everything. According to GA, in the district nine hundred and fifty nine houses have been badly damaged and about 55% of crops including paddy destroyed. more..

Masses driven away to jungles for Rajapakses to plunder their lands

Feb 27 (LT) More than 1300 acres belonging to the displaced by the war in Killinochchi District have been shared out by members of Rajapakae family and their supporters complain people in those areas. The people in several areas including Murukandi, Shanthipuram and Hindupuram have been confronted with this issue. Meanwhile, the government in writing has requested the Divisional Secretary of Oddusudan to make available lands from jungle areas more..

Delegation of Indian Fishermen to Visit Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (Hindu) India on Saturday decided to encourage a visit of associations of fishermen from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka next month to interact with their counterparts there, as a measure to address the problems being faced by Indian fishermen. The decision came at a meeting convened by the Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, to discuss matters related to fishing in the waters between India and Sri Lanka, in the backdrop of recent developments concerning more..

Maldivian President Nasheed calls on Sri Lanka President

Feb 26 (NN) Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed today met with Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, for lunch at his official residence in Colombo. Haveeru learns that President Nasheed arrived in Colombo on transit after an official visit to India. The Maldivian President arrived in a special flight which landed at the Katunayake Airport on Friday night. Senior Sri Lankan government Ministers had been at the airport to welcome the visiting President. more..

Sri Lanka army to grow fruits, vegetables

Feb 26 (PTI) Sri Lankan army, broadening its horizons, has joined in a massive cultivation drive to grow fruits and vegetables as prices of many essential items have risen in the country. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana today opened the first agricultural farm of the military at Viddathalthivu in the northeastern Mannar district. Viddathalthivu incidentally was a nerve centre of the LTTE''s 'Sea Tiger' wing. "The Army will grow fruits and vegetables. more..

WC 2011: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 11 runs

Feb 26 (CI) Anyone still out there who thinks Pakistan are not dangerous contenders for the World Cup? The World Cup came alive with a mesmeric exhibition of high-quality cricket from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan propelled Pakistan, who were on a tricky 105 for 2 in the 21st over, to a strong 276 with tremendous poise and skill in the middle overs before Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akthar produced a more..

Buddhist Philosophy and Critical Thinking

Feb 27 (LG) On 4th July 1776, thirteen former colonies of the British Empire formally declared that they no longer recognised British rule when at the end of a bitter war of American independence they signed the Declaration of Independence. The preamble to the Declaration, drafted largely by the then thirty-three year old Thomas Jefferson who was later to become the third President of the US, is a statement of the guiding principles of the founding fathers of the United States. more..

The Collapse of Authoritarianism

Feb 27 (LG) The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry and judging truth are found in the Kalama Sutra of the Anguttara Nikaya. In Kalama Sutra Buddha emphasized the importance of critical thinking that involves seeing things in an open-minded way. Critical thinking helps to evaluate and challenge the thoughts and ideas and rethink conclusions in the light of new knowledge. Buddhism was conceived as a rational way of thought, being entirely in accordance with the more..

Who betrayed journalist Richard de Zoysa?

Feb 27 (LG) Sri Lanka’s independent media coming under continuous threat intimidation and arson attack. Freedom of Expression has become a very significant issue and the Govt tries to keep the Independent Media silence. Police investigations are leading to nowhere. Richard De Zoysa was an unbiased Journalist, poet, playwright, actor, human rights activist and a broadcaster. His 21st death anniversary was fallen on last week on Feb 18th. more..

The truth behind the domestic violence – Part 1

Feb 27 (LG) From many Asian countries including Sri Lanka large numbers of domestic violence complaints are received by the authorities every day. This is a really sad situation and most of the women's organizations and also some government authorities work on this issue especially to promote the rights of women and children. But the question is, whether these efforts are successful and if the problem is being approached through the correct path. more..

Racism – Fact and Guna/Quality

Feb 27 (LG) Racism seems an issue in common to both my parent countries – Mother country Sri Lanka and father country Australia. It is therefore understandable that my feelings of ownership would have taken ‘racial’ forms as well. Even though we call this racism, the real solutions would cover all forms of unjust discrimination. Race is identified at various levels: Facts – as per direct observation of what happened. Guna/Quality – recognized through a combination of facts and inner feelings. more..

Cast a VOTE for a WOMAN - Seeking Increased representation of women through upcoming local polls

Feb 27 (TC) Sri Lanka’s current population is 21.3 million. The total population consists of 52% of women. Women’s representation in elected political bodies is abysmally low. It is 5.8% in parliament, 4.1% in provincial Councils, and only 1.8% in Local Govt. It is the lowest in South Asia. Sri Lanka is the only country in the region without a quota for women in Local Councils according to Women and Media Collective. more..

Editorial: EU decision, an eye-opener

Feb 27 (SO) The European Union (EU) took a bold decision last week by including the LTTE again in its list of terrorist groups. The EU took this decision after a comprehensive review and the announcement was made through the Council Implementing Regulation on January 31 and published in the official journal of the EU. The LTTE has been re-listed among 26 Groups and Entities as it has been involved in terrorist acts within the meaning of Article 1(2) and (3) of the more..

Editorial: Be thou forever with honour

Feb 27 (SL) Tradition, means the passing of a custom or belief from generation to generation. This does not necessarily mean all traditions are great, to be proud of or even worthy. Some are bound to a time frame and as humankind evolves they are best forgotten. Thereby, common sense makes such traditions obsolete. Any tradition that brings harm to humankind is not worthy of emulation. It is disturbing that elitism can blind some from being decent and humane. more..

Parallels between the Gaddafis of Libya and the Rajapaksas of Medamulana

Feb 27 (TC) It is with great alarm that the peace loving people of the civilised world witness the despotic regime of Muammar Gaddafi killing his own people, using heavy weapons and even fighter aircraft to bomb civilian targets in a desperate attempt to retain power. Looking at the brutal suppression of peaceful civilian protests in Libya by its megalomaniac leader and his sons we cannot but draw parallels to the dynastic path the Rajapaksa more..

Editorial: EU grudgingly admits LTTE threat

Feb 27 (NS) This week, the European Union (EU) announced that it was re-listing the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, in a crucial decision that would have wide-ranging implications for Sri Lanka. The declaration is significant because it is now over 20 months since the LTTE was defeated and its leaders were eliminated in the murky waters of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May 2009. Since then, the focus of Tiger activity has been outside the shores of Sri Lanka, not within it. more..

Editorial: Other ways to COPE with corruption

Feb 27 (LB) For its anticlimactic nature, the non-news made by Minister D.E.W. Goonesekera in saying that the parliamentary corruption watchdog COPE had failed miserably in tackling public sector corruption, must get the Oscar this film awards season. (After all who among us does not watch Hollywood make-believe at least on the rare occasion?). There is an unsaid part here too. The minister did not say, at least in so many words, that it is from within more..

'Cheaper coconuts soon'

Feb 27 (SO) The escalating prices of coconuts during the past few months has turned into a key topic among consumers and on the political platform as well. The Sunday Observer interviewed Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Minister Jagath Pushpakumara to ascertain the moves taken by his Ministry to address this situation. The Minister said the shortage of coconuts and its price hike will not continue. more..

Editorial: IPOs and bank guarantees

Feb 27 (Island) Barely 24 hours after the SEC’s Chairperson, Mrs. Indrani Sugthadasa, told a hurriedly called news conference last week that the SEC was looking at the issue of bank guarantees covering applications for shares on Initial Public Offers (IPOs), the Union Bank of Colombo announced that its Rs. 350 million IPO had been 225 times over-subscribed. That was way ahead of the previous best by Singer Finance which was 135 times over-subscribed. more..

Editorial: Libya: How the hero became a Nero

Feb 27 (ST) Sri Lanka feels for Libya. Since the then handsome leader made that dashing visit with all the paraphernalia and theatrics, to Sri Lanka in 1976 for the Non-Aligned Summit, Muammer Gaddafi has been a household name here. For many decades, Sri Lanka and Libya shared the same non-aligned values in foreign policy and have stood for one another in times of crisis. Even when the West called him a mad man and treated him like a pariah for his alleged sponsoring of terrorism, more..

Hela Viru Gee Miyuru on a grand scale at Sugathadasa Stadium

Feb 27 (MoD) Hela Viru Gee Miyuru musical extravaganza organized by the Seva Vanitha Unit of Intelligence Corps of the Sri Lanka Army was staged at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium today evening, (25). This vibrant night was graced by the presence of Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the chief guest. The gala music show was organized under the patronage of Maj Gen Prasad Samarasinghe, the Colonel commandant, to raise funds for more..

Legal wrangles could affect voter turnout

Feb 27 (NS) The focus of political attention has been the local government elections these past few weeks, but now the contest between the government and the opposition for control of the country’s local authorities has been thrown into disarray due to a plethora of court rulings. This week, the Commissioner of Elections postponed polls to 60 local bodies. His contention was that there was on-going legal action pertaining to elections in these bodies and more..

EU action: Shot in the arm for govt.

Feb 27 (NS) A fluid political situation prevails over the country, ever since the government announced its intention to hold elections for the local councils throughout the country a few weeks ago. The election, to a greater extent, will serve as a barometer to gauge the popularity of the government, which is largely responsible for crushing terrorism and restoring normalcy in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. Hardly one year after the Presidential election and more..

India reads riot act on Indo Lanka accord

Feb 27 (LB) The government of India has officially called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to revive the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord, diplomatic sources told this newspaper. As certain provisions in the 1987 Indo-Lanka Peace Accord have not been activated and as the agreement has been stalled since then, India feels its authority has been undermined by Sri Lanka due to the non implementation of the Accord’s provisions, sources said. more..

De-bureaucratizing elections

Feb 27 (Island) To say that Bodhi Ranasinghe’s sudden death on Thursday is a body blow to Sajith Premadasa and indeed the whole reform movement in the UNP is an understatement. It was he who organized things, did the negotiating and fulfilled the role of a general secretary for the Sajith faction. Bodhi was an excellent public relations man and an experienced political campaigner and negotiator. For some years, he served as the secretary of the more..

State vehicles to have revenue licences, insurance

Feb 27 (ST) Govt is to compel both State and military establishments to obtain revenue licences and insurance for their vehicles. Amendments to the Motor Traffic Act now being drafted, contains new provisions to that effect. A Transport Ministry official said the existing laws to exempt such establishments was through a gazette notification issued in 1995. As a result, victims of accidents caused by vehicles belonging to State establishments do not have any recourse to the law. more..

Colombo port hit by avalanche of vehicles

Feb 27 (NS) The Colombo Port is in disarray with at least 2,000 vehicles imported to Sri Lanka mostly from Japan languishing at different parts of the Port for many months. “The problem has been ongoing for many months now ever since the import taxes were drastically reduced,” said an official at the Colombo Port who oversees logistics. “We can safely say that there’s been at least a 100% increase, we have at least 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles more..