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Imaging the aftermath

Feb 4 (GV) Godwin Constantine’s work takes us to a space engulfed with acute political and social implications that are connected with ethnic conflict and the resultant war that was fought for over 30 years in the land of his youth, Jaffna. Born to a middle class family in Kandy, doing his early schooling at St. Anthony’s College and Trinity College (Kandy) and now a leading cardiologist, one would wonder why Constantine’s work does not really sync with the usual art more..

Sixty-three years of freedom and the way forward

Feb 4 (DM) The country is celebrating its 63rd annivesary of Independence with fanfare. Are we missing an opportunity to establish sustainable peace as we did during the initial independence in 1948 and after the July riots? As a country, what should be done to reap the benefits of peace that was won amidst greater hardships? The Daily Mirror spoke to a handful of intellectuals, academics and professionals on their hopes and more..

February 4, 1948 : The day that changed the destiny of a nation

Feb 4 (SO) With renewed hope, Sri Lanka would be celebrating its glorious 63rd Independence Day in another five days. It is the second Independence Day in a terrorism-free country. The event marks not only the defeat of the nearly 133 years of British rule, but also the remarkable sense of living in a truly peaceful country. There is a new awakening and stirring among Sri Lankans; the pride of silencing one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the world while some more..

The meaning of independence

Feb 4 (FT) What does it mean to be independent? As Sri Lanka celebrates its 63rd Independence Day today, the time has come to ask this question anew and re-examine who we are as a nation and what we wish to achieve. How can a country be independent? At a time when countries are depending more and more on each other for trade, technology and investment, what does it mean for Sri Lanka to be independent? How can independence be used as a way to achieve the future of Sri Lanka? more..

DMK slams Sri Lankan govt. for denying navy’s role in attack

Feb 4 (PTI) The DMK on Thursday slammed the Sri Lankan government for denying its navy’s role in a recent attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen and demanded that a new accord be signed to establish Tamil Nadu’s rights once again at Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India in 1974. A resolution to this effect was passed at the party’s General Council meeting headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi. more..

A number of flaws in the way we obtained independence

Feb 4 (DM) The Sri Lankan independence struggle saw a number of individuals with an intense love for the Sinhalese Buddhist nation and fought an ideological battle to achieve self-rule and freedom from the British crown. Anagarika Dharmapala was successful in creating within the people of Sri Lanka a Sinhalese-Buddhist conscience and reinvigorating the Sinhalese community to struggle for independence, his was an ideological struggle-before him came more..

Non-implementation of fiscal reforms biggest risk to Sri Lankan economy - IMF

Feb 4 (Island) The Executive Board of the IMF approved the disbursement of the sixth tranche of US$ 216.6 million under the US$ 2.6 billion standby facility arrangement with Sri Lanka in the wee hours of Feb 3 as the island-nation was making healthy progress and received waivers on two of the December targets in the process as performance trends satisfied the board. But the biggest threat to the economy was the non-implementation of fiscal reforms proposed in more..

Largest condominium project by JKH to yield Rs.2.8bn profit

Feb 4 (BL) With even a brick still not being laid, analysts have already projected that the “OnThree20” luxury residential apartment complex to be built by Sri Lanka’s premier blue chip, John Keells Holdings (JKH) in the heart of Colombo is expected to yield a profit of Rs. 2.8 billion over a four year period. This high end apartment complex valued at Rs.11.5 billion and scheduled to commence construction in April 2011 at Union Place, more..

Editorial: Celebrating Independence

Feb 4 (Island) Preparations have been made for celebrating 63 years of Sri Lanka's Independence on a grand scale nearly two years after the end of the war. At a time efforts are being made to bring about national reconciliation and racial amity, a better venue could not have been found for today's celebrations. The township of Kataragama is holy to both Tamils and the Sinhalese. The shrine of God Kataragama has been a symbol of unity for centuries. more..

Editorial: Independence: A day of recollection

Feb 4 (DM) Sri Lanka celebrates its 63rd independence today with mixed feelings. While millions of people are still grateful to the Rajapaksa regime for liberating the country from the most ruthless terrorist movement in the world, there is growing concern over the unprecedented increase in the cost of living and especially the prices of vegetables, caused partly at least by the worst ever floods and continuing rains. Going back to 1948 and all that happened before, more..

Drunken driving cause for most road accidents

Feb 4 (Island) Annually eighty per cent of road accidents numbering around 80,000 are caused by drunk driving and at least 2,500 lives are lost and another 30,000 become disabled either temporarily or permanently. The government spent between Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 10 million on an accident victim. While 22 per cent of the budgetary allocations were set aside for treatment of patients, the government got only 12 per cent from alcohol and tobacco levy, more..

Lankan Consulate always at service of compatriots

Feb 4 (AN) On this auspicious occasion of 63rd National Day of Sri Lanka, I convey my warm greetings and best wishes to all Sri Lankans and persons of Sri Lankan origin residing in the western region of Saudi Arabia. At the outset, I wish to reiterate with sincere appreciation the excellent bilateral relationship existing at all levels between Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. I also congratulate Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the government of Saudi Arabia for more..

Sri Lanka gears for Independence Day

Feb 4 (UCAN) Catholics in Sri Lanka hope that tomorrow’s Independence Day will be a reminder to help strive to bring about lasting peace, reconciliation, unity and liberty in the country. Sri Lanka will mark its 63rd day of independence from colonial British rule on Feb. 4 when in 1948 it became the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. ”Everybody should take this opportunity to work toward achieving a lasting peace and it must promote true freedom, justice more..

'Development and Prosperity tag to hide rupee devaluation'

Feb 4 (Island) The real objective of today’s issue of a new series of currency notes was not to depict the purported "development and prosperity" but to obfuscate the addition of the Rs. 5,000 note, UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva sai. The President and Central Bank were using the purported ‘development and prosperity’ tag to confuse the people in the hope that they would not link the issue of Rs. 5000 note directly to inflation, more..

MR wants mandatory O/L Maths pass for A/L

Feb 4 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stressed that the Education Ministry should maintain the status quo that at least a simple pass was required for Mathematics at the GCE Ordinary Level Examination for students to pursue their A/L studies in the stream of their choice. The status quo presently active was that those who fail in the subject at the GCE O/L can start their Advanced Level studies on the condition that they obtain at least a simple pass on more..

Second wave of floods hit Trincomalee hard

Feb 4 (TN) Trincomalee district has been severely affected by the renewed adverse weather condition now prevailing in the Eastern Province since last Saturday. All villages in the Moothoor East and Verukal division have been marooned with spill flood water that flows from Minneariyaa and Pararakrama irrigation tanks in Polonnaruwa district. The number of welfare centres has risen to seventy by Thursday evening where 16,501 persons from 4519 families displaced more..

Enter into fresh pact with Sri Lanka: DMK

Feb 4 (Hindu) The DMK called upon the Centre to enter into a fresh agreement with Sri Lanka for “re-establishing the rights of Tamil Nadu” on Katchatheevu. The rights, which were part of an earlier agreement but given up later, should be revived through a fresh agreement. A resolution to this effect was adopted at the general council meeting of the party here. It also referred to the discussions between Chief Minister and more..

Archaeology unearths skeletons in Jaffna fort

Feb 4 (TN) As a trench excavated for archaeological research near the main entrance of the Jaffna fort brought out a group of skeletons, the SL Archaeology Department has requested the police to pursue investigation in the locality. On an earlier occasion many skeletons, including the ones of women and children were found in an adjacent locality where now a stadium building stands. At that time, they were suspected to be the skeletons of the ‘missing’ people of IPKF times. more..

Sri Lanka keen to boost trade ties with UAE

Feb 4 (KT) Resurgent Sri Lanka is back on course to becoming a South Asian economic power. This week, the International Monetary Fund said the island nation is in a position where local and overseas investors would find conditions favourable for agricultural and industrial development. Part of the nation’s drive towards restructuring and rebranding itself is to have experienced commercial experts and advisors posted at the embassies and consulates. more..

'Govt. should state stand on national issues'

Feb 4 (DM) National Language and Social Integration Minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday said that his ministry would be better able to integrate society if the government took a stand on national policies such as the 13th amendment. Minister Nanayakkara said that with the government not making its stand on such policies known it was a difficult task to bring the nation together after the war as there were barriers in administration. more..

It’s gem of a place for precious stones

Feb 4 (AN) Many are drawn by the ‘island charm’ of Sri Lanka, its natural resources and its proud population. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” described it as the best place in the world from which to view the universe. He said: “The island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery and climate as some countries a dozen times its size.” Sri Lanka — the island jewel of the Indian Ocean — more..

Island becoming top tourist destination

Feb 4 (AN) From misty mountains to the industrialized cities with bustling nightlife, Sri Lanka has been long regarded as a prime tourist destination for the prudent traveler; yet the 25-year civil war and the attached security concerns dented many tourists’ plans to visit the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. But the end of the war in May 2009, bought about a shift in perception, higher levels of security and the government’s renewed pledge to concentrate and uplift the tourism more..

UNP flays govt. for ‘sending 60,000 soldiers home without pension’

Feb 4 (Island) The UNP alleged that the govt was planning to terminate the services of about 60,000 officers and men without even providing them with a pension. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera accused what he called an ungrateful Mahinda Rajapaksa regime of discarding those who had valiantly fought for the country. He said that it was a crime to deprive 60,000 army personnel of their pension rights. more..

Criminal trend in South

Feb 4 (DM) The Police yesterday warned the public to be cautious while travelling on the roads at nights and early mornings especially in the south as thieves and sex addicts have developed novel methods to rob and abduct people. The warning came following an incident that took place in Elpitiya where a group of girls who were heading home along the road after attending a tuition class in the area were asked to stay by a woman who was alone inside a car. more..

Sri Lanka’s fertility rate doubles

Feb 4 (Island) Deputy Director of the Family Health Bureau, Dr. Chithramali de Silva warns that the country’s population will exceed forty million by 2050 owing to the increase in the fertility rate. The fertility rate had increased from one child per family to two within a span of seven years. The deputy director revealed that in 1953 the fertility rate had been five children per family while in 2000 it came down to one child per family. Modern family planning methods were strictly observed only in urban areas. more..

'Each step taken for development a step towards freedom'

Feb 4 (GDI) All Sri Lankans now have the opportunity to celebrate the 63rd Anniversary of Independence with much glory. The unlimited sacrifices for the freedom and independence of Sri Lanka make today's Independence Day celebrations one of great honour. The aspiration of the nation is to make more meaningful the freedom won with much sacrifice.The first Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka, Hon. D.S. Senanayake taking over the nation said that more..

Rajapaksa scotches health rumours

Feb 4 (Hindu) Dismissing speculation in a section of the media about his health, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday these were floated by desperate people. In a free-wheeling interaction with a few members of the Indian press stationed in Colombo on the sidelines of a ceremony to unveil the logo for Hambantota's bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr. Rajapaksa said speculating about his health had become an obsession for some. more..

'No attempt to retire army personnel prematurely without pension'

Feb 4 (Island) Responding to a claim by the UNP that the government was planning to retire 60,000 officers and men, prematurely on Thursday, the Army Headquarters said that the on-going programme to discharge deserters had been misconstrued. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Ubaya Medawela told The Island that personnel had to serve the army for 22 years to secure pension rights. Those who had deserted for various reasons couldn’t be considered for pensions, more..

100,000 hit by floods

Feb 4 (DM) Floods which hit Sri Lanka for the second time within weeks have affected more than 100,000 people in nine districts, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday. 12,000 houses had been fully destroyed while 35, 000 had been partly damaged. He said nine districts including Batticaloa, Ampara, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Vavuniya and Matale were affected by the floods this time. more..

Illangovan tried over visa issue

Feb 4 (DM) An alleged LTTE leader Muttusamy Illangovan alias Samy who was arrested by the Mutwal Police from a lodge at Kathirasen Street in Colombo is being tried before the Colombo Magistrate Court on a charge of staying in Sri Lanka without a visa. At the trial before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis two officers from the Intelligence unit of the Mutwal Police gave evidence yesterday and more..

Tassie reveals how Tigers captured

Feb 4 (Island) Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Tassie Seneviratne says the lives of over 300 police officers could have been saved at the outset of the Eelam War II in June 1990, had the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa allowed the Air Force to launch attacks on the LTTE and deployed the army reinforcements in support of the police personnel in the Kalmunai police division. more..

LECO asked to stop taking a two-month security deposit

Feb 4 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item captioned "Now CEB demands a two-month security deposit from domestic customers,’ on Feb. 1 issue, CEB spokesman Danushka Ramanayake, said that those who obtained electricity connections from the CEB had to make a deposit (two months average payment) in advance. Ramanayake said that the CEB would return the deposit if a person more..

'KP gets black-listed TRO'

Feb 4 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday alleged that the black-listed pro LTTE NGO Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) had been handed over to Ex-Tiger strongman Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera told a news conference yesterday that 100 acres of land in the North had also been handed over to the TRO. He questioned as to how the government could treat a person who betrayed the nation in this manner. more..

Nation celebrates 63rd anniversary of independence: All eyes on Kataragama

Feb 4 (Island) The Nation is ready to celebrate the 63rd Independence Day in Kataragama in the Uva Province where thousands of patriots laid down their lives in search of liberation from the clutches of colonial rulers in 1818. This is the second time the national independence day ceremony takes place outside Colombo since the UPFA Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa took office in 2005. more..

Tanks and Reservoirs in North Central Sri Lanka are in the verge of bursting

Feb 4 (AT) The North Western Province of Sri Lanka is facing a emergency and critical situation with several major tanks and reservoirs threatened with the possibility of bursting due to the continuous heavy rains. Water levels of Nachchaduwa tank and Nuwara Weva reservoir are reported to be three feet above the spill level. Since the water levels of these tanks are continuously increasing, measures have been taken to divert more..

Sri Lanka flexible exchange rate can cut carry trade risk: IMF

Feb 4 (LBO) A flexible exchange rate that moves in both directions can ward off speculative capital flows by signaling the risk of capital losses, while also improving competitiveness, an IMF official said. Countries with pegged exchange central banks draw in speculative capital from lower interest rate regimes in so-called 'carry trades' making monetary policy difficult and raising the risk of inflation, asset price bubbles and more..

Govt., TNA engage in key ‘dialogue’

Feb 4 (DM) The government and the TNA yesterday decided to continue with ‘a structured regular dialogue’ on constitutional changes for ethnic reconciliation and lasting peace. However, the joint statement issued after the talks did not elaborate on any of the issues discussed. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told the Daily Mirror that it was agreed to continue with the dialogue on constitutional matters case by case in an orderly fashion. more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's speech at the Independence Day celebrations

Feb 4 (PRIU) Friends, I am extremely proud to address you as a nation that has shown immense commitment to the freedom of the motherland. On this occasion, I remember all heroes who fought for freedom against the world’s dangerous invaders and bestowed upon us with a heritage that is precious and invaluable. I also remember with great honour all the war heroes who sacrificed their lives to defeat terrorism. more..

Three wheels galore

Feb 5 (NN) Over 70,000 three wheelers are added to the streets in Sri Lanka every year, Motor Traffic Commissioner General, B.D.L. Dharmapriya said. He said that approximately 78,000 three wheelers are registered annually but most of these three wheelers are subsequently poorly maintained and harm the environment through exhaust emissions. He also said that apart from the three wheelers, mostly used for Taxi services, approximately 200,000 motorbikes are also added more..

Ushering in investment era to solidify status as regional hub

Feb 5 (AN) While the country holds more space in one’s mind as the ‘pearl of the Indian ocean’ (enchanting travelers from the time of Ibn Batuta) for its scenic beauty, Sri Lanka has also established itself as a priority destination when it comes to investments and trading. Since the end of the civil war in May 2009 and prevalence of political and social stability, the country has bought itself onto the discussions of many global corporate giants across the world. more..