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Editorial: Educating ourselves on the need and value of dissent

Mar 26 (DM) At the opening of one of the world’s most beautiful Campuses -- the Peradeniya University, the Duke of Edinburgh spoke these memorable words, “We will be open more than usual”. Looking back at Peradeniya and reflecting on University Education in our country today one wonders whether those words are true. Recently when the University Lecturers’ Union wanted to hold a news conference in the Colombo University premises it was not allowed to do so. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup ticket sales controversy

Mar 26 (BBC) Police officers in Sri Lanka have been accused of taking part in a ticket sales scam. Fans queuing to buy tickets told BBC Sinhala that they saw police officers buying cheap tickets and selling them on at much higher prices. Maj Gen Lawrence Fernando, the security advisor to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), denied the allegations. Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh are the co-hosts of the 2011 cricket World Cup. more..

Ravi K forays into transport business

Mar 26 (BL) One of Sri Lanka’s leading politicians and former Trade Minister Ravi Karuanayake has forayed into logistics with the vision of making Goldstar Transport Lanka headed by him, country’s leading transport operator and the preferred choice for customers. With this mission in mind, Goldstar Transport Limited, one of the largest transportation companies in the UK, proudly announced a joint venture between them and Global Transportation & Logistics (Pvt) Ltd to more..

Lost Childhood

Mar 26 (Island) When I look back nostalgically at my childhood and compare it with the tight school and tuition schedules of present day children who do not have any free time during the whole day to be carefree, noisy, joyful children full of energy, I feel very sad. This sadness, I felt for the tragic loss of childhood joys of modern children, has been gnawing and irritating me for a long time because it is a highly complex problem involving every aspect of our social, more..

Financial support for single moms

Mar 26 (DM) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs said that 84,390 families run by single mothers will receive financial support from the Government’s ‘Divi Naguma’ programme for women in need. Ministry officials said single mothers engaged in vegetable cultivation, animal husbandry, fisheries and self employment will be given loans, fertilizer subsidies and other special benefits. more..

BnS Brand Ambassadors for Earth Hour Sri Lanka 2011

Mar 26 (DM) The most popular artists in the music industry of Sri Lanka, Bathiya & Santhush (popularly known as BNS) are the Brand Ambassadors for Earth Hour Sri Lanka 2011. They have revolutionized the music industry in Sri Lanka within such a short period of time with their unique and contemporary style. It is no doubt that they would do the same in their call for action against climate change. “We feel much obliged to be a part of Earth Hour and we call more..

JVP petition against police for hearing on July 21

Mar 26 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed July 21, 2011 as the date for hearing the fundamental rights violation petition filed by two JVP members from Hambantota, against the IGP and the Head Quarters Inspector of the Tangalle Police Station. The petitioners said that they had been arbitrarily arrested by the officer of the Tangalle Police Station in September 2009, while they, petitioner Sisila Wahalathanthri and D. Gunasekera, were displaying an anti-government banner. more..

Boston Lanka News: March 24, 2011

Sons of gem tycoon, rtd. Navy Commodore dead

Mar 26 (DM) A super-luxury car plying the Colombo to Hikkaduwa route ran off the road at the Ahungalla Egodamulla Curve yesterday (25) around 1.30 a.m. and plunged into the Kirilla-Ela killing two and seriously injuring four others. The son of a well know gem merchant from Kahawatte and the son of a retired Navy Officer had died in the accident. Four persons who had been badly injured in the incident were undergoing treatment at the Balapitiya Hospital. more..

Action against SLTB depots

Mar 26 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed officials to take legal action against 767 SLTB depots where mosquito breeding grounds were detected within their premises, a health ministry spokesman said. The Health Ministry declared a ‘National Mosquito Control Week’ (NMPW) from March 23-29 and a series of islandwide programmes involving ministries of education, local government, environment and the armed forces and police have been more..

WB reinforces support to Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (FT) World Bank said yesterday it was reinforcing support to Sri Lanka both financially and technically to convert challenges into opportunities in post-war era. The expression of support had been conveyed by the World Bank Group Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin who was in Sri Lanka this week to get a first hand view of the country’s achievements, challenges and potential. He was accompanied by Diarietou Gaye, World Bank’s Country Director for more..

Govt. says ample stocks of essential items available

Mar 26 (DM) The Ministry of trade is making arrangements to maintain ample stocks of essential goods for the upcoming festive season, a Spokesman for the Ministry of Trade said yesterday.“The Minister of Trade, Johnston Fernando had informed chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Rumy Marzook to make the necessary arrangements in this regard,” the Ministry said. According to the Ministry spokesman at a meeting with the departmental heads the more..

Wikileaks: Basil Rajapaksa discusses India trip, paramilitaries in the East

Mar 26 (Hindu) In a November 3 meeting with Ambassador, Presidential senior advisor Basil Rajapaksa agreed security remains a problem in eastern Sri Lanka and agreed to discuss with the Defense Secretary a timetable for demobilizing paramilitaries there. Regarding his recent trip to India, he said both sides had resolved disputes over Tamil Nadu fishing boats that the GSL believes are providing cover for supplies of fuel and arms to the LTTE. Rajapaksa indicated that more..

Former PSD Chief gets suspended jail term

Mar 26 (DM) Former Presidential Security Division (PSD) Director Nihal Karunaratne was yesterday sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment suspended for 10 years on charges of having obstructed a police officer from carrying out his duties. Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe also fined him Rs.25,000 and ordered additional payment of Rs.300,000 as damages and compensation to Police Assistant Superintendent Herttiarachchige Samudrajeewa. more..

‘Over 5,600 GN divisions without representation: people’s priorities unidentified’

Mar 26 (Island) Over 40 per cent of the Grama Niladari divisions numbering 14,022 are without political representation, according to the government. Addressing newspaper editors and heads of electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday morning, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the need had arisen for better coordination and supervision of development work at the grassroots level and the government had therefore decided to set up Jana Sabhas for that purpose. more..

PEO TV unveils 2 new value-added packages

Mar 26 (DM) The next generation of home entertainment, PEO TV, continues to wow television viewers in Sri Lanka by unveiling 2 new PEO TV packages in response to customer feedback for enhanced viewing pleasure. The 2 latest packages - PEO Entertainment and the PEO Titanium packages - are customized to fulfill the viewing needs of a wide variety of PEO TV fans in the country who seek the best of local and international news and entertainment from around the world at a click of a button. more..

‘13th Amendment Plus’: India sceptical of Sri Lankan promise

Mar 26 (Hindu) Sri Lanka told India it would implement a devolution plan for Tamil areas going beyond the 13th Amendment to its Constitution, but Indian officials were privately sceptical of the assurance. Several U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks reveal that India pushed Sri Lanka on its devolution plans for months before the conclusion of the military operation against the LTTE. more..

Allianz Lanka opens Nugegoda branch

Mar 26 (DM) Allianz Lanka opened its first branch in the Colombo region in Nugegoda. This brings the company’s branch total to 11. The Nugegoda branch is strategically located in the populous township of Delkanda and provides customers in its environs with easy access to the wide range of Allianz Life and General products. The branch is headed by Nalin Amaratunga, Regional Manager, Nugegoda. Allianz Lanka CEO Surekha Alles explained the rationale for expansion into the Colombo suburbs, more..

Bowling variety gives Sri Lanka edge over England

Mar 26 (Reuters) The variety in their bowling will give Sri Lanka an edge over an inconsistent England team in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final in Colombo. The winner of the match will fill the last available spot in the semi-final line-up and will play New Zealand on Tuesday in Colombo. The 1996 champions have dispelled most doubts about their chances of bagging a second title with a strong batting line-up ably supporting their potent bowling attack. more..

Sangakkara confident Sri lanka will lift themselves against England

Mar 26 (National) The internet can be a cruel mistress. There was a time when what was said on the cricket field stayed on the cricket field. Now, thanks to the wonders of noise-cutting stump-microphone technology and video-sharing websites, the past refuses to stay where it should be. At the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, Kumar Sangakkara, the thinking man's sledger, ruthlessly picked away at the mental state of Shaun Pollock, the man burdened with more..

UNWTO regional conference looks at media’s role

Mar 26 (Island) A senior Sri Lanka tourism official addressing a session of the UN World Tourism Organisation conference in Colombo said after three decades of war, Sri Lanka was now attracting large numbers of tourists. But resource persons from the media said timely and accurate information was vital for sustainable tourism growth. A senior media person at the event raised many concerns pointing at governments and the corporate sector stating the media has the right more..

Sri Lanka forestry investments not regulated: central bank

Mar 26 (LBO) Sri Lankan companies offering forestry investments to the public are not regulated by the central bank which therefore has no supervisory role over them, a senior central bank official said. "Tree planting is not a regulated finance business," said P Samarasiri, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank. "Therefore, the central bank has nothing to do with it." Samarasiri was responding to a question at a public forum organised by the regulator on more..

Sri Lanka may pull out of Pakistan tour

Mar 26 (IHT) The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) efforts to convince teams to tour the country seemed to have received a setback following a discouraging response from the ICC over Sri Lanka touring Pakistan later this year. According to the ICC’s Future Tour Programme (FTP), Sri Lanka are due to tour in October but the board’s chairman DS de Silva threw the ball in the ICC’s court saying more..

UNP leader won’t testify before LLRC

Mar 26 (DM) The main opposition UNP said yesterday that under no circumstances would party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe testify before the LLRC. The LLRC had earlier said that it was not in a position to finalize its report as political leaders from the UNP, SLMC, TNA, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and some others who had expressed their willingness to testify before the LLRC had still not done so. more..

Panel report on Lanka only for UNSG

Mar 26 (DM) The Ban Ki-moon panel report on Sri Lanka will remain an ex-parte document with observations made by the panel based on their reading of Sri Lanka for the perusal of the Secretary General, while Sri Lanka has already started its own indigenous reconciliation process going by UN norms, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said Mr. Ban’s report would remain an observation report as opposed to the broad frame work of more..

AG in London for CPC arbitration case

Mar 26 (DM) Legal experts led by Attorney General Mohan Peiris left for London yesterday to represent the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in the US$261 million hedging deal being taken up for arbitration at the London Commercial High Court, an AG’s department source said. The Standard Chartered Bank in a case filed at the London High Court in 2008 challenged the CPC for having abrogated the hedging deal more..

Post-conflict reconciliation: Talks with Tamil parties

Mar 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that initial talks have taken place with Tamil political parties on aspects of post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka although no formal proposals have been made so far by them. The President was addressing Editors of the print and electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday. The President said that after considering proposals from all parties a mutual agreement will be made. more..

Plans to construct six prisons at new locations

Mar 26 (DN) The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry plans to construct six new prisons at new locations. Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera said the construction proposal will be forwarded for Cabinet approval within the next few weeks. "The new prisons will be constructed away from town limits to address issues like narcotic smuggling and dealing with underworld criminal activities etc," he said. more..

Govt. blows hot and cold on criteria for selecting LG heads

Mar 26 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who went public before the recently concluded LG polls, that the preferential votes a candidate polled would not be the sole criterion for appointing heads of local government institutions, yesterday said there had arisen some situations where the government had to act in contravention of that policy. more..

Govt. won’t reveal samurdhi names

Mar 26 (DM) As a matter of policy, the government will not reveal the names of Samurdhi recipients in Parliament even when such questions are asked by the opposition, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. In response to a question by UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilake asking for the names and other details of Samurdhi recipients in the Galle district, the Minister said the govt took such a policy decision because the revealing of names could affect the dignity of Samurdhi beneficiaries. more..

Survey on to identify squatters in Colombo

Mar 26 (Island) The government is carrying out a survey in the city and its suburbs to identify the actual number of squatters to ensure they can be provided with housing in keeping with a State-sponsored plan. The Defence Ministry, the UDA and the police are involved in the survey. A senior official said that a genuine survey was needed to thwart unscrupulous elements from grabbing proposed housing units for those evicted from State land. more..

Trott and Morgan set up 230 chase

Mar 26 (CI) Sri Lanka's bowlers applied the tightest of tourniquets in their crucial quarter-final clash with England, as an attack featuring four front-line slow bowlers left their opponents scrambling for singles in a bid to post a defendable total in Colombo. At the halfway mark of their innings, England had pushed along to 89 for 2, with Jonathan Trott's calm persona drawing a gutsy response from Ravi Bopara, more..

Former Navy Commander is Sri Lanka's new Ambassador to Japan

Mar 27 (NN) Former Navy Commander and later Secretary to the Ministry of Highways Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda assumed duties in Tokyo yesterday as the new Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan, paying special emphasis on the strong bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. The External Affairs Ministry said that Admiral Karannagoda emphasized the importance of good teamwork and commitment which is the key to any successful endeavor. more..

Army denies reports of an attack on a military convoy in Habarana

Mar 27 (NN) The army has denied reports of an attack on a military convoy in Habarana saying the claims were part of pro LTTE propaganda. A statement by the Defence Ministry today said that the military vehemently denies a report of a 'terrorist attack on a military convoy' last Thursday” which reportedly killed 5 army personnel and injured a senior officer. Reports has claimed a military convoy had come under a possible 'LTTE terrorist attack' more..

Tharanga and Dilshan crush England

Mar 27 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga set an emphatic seal on Sri Lanka's place in their home semi-final against New Zealand next Tuesday, as England's chaotic World Cup campaign came to an abrupt and anticlimactic end under the floodlights at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Set a testing total of 230 at a venue where successful run-chases have been notoriously thin on the ground, more..

Sajith Concedes; Accepts Deputy Leadership

Mar 27 (SL) Last Thursday was Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 62nd birthday. It was yet early morning when he received a telephone call from President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He first wished Ranil for securing his leadership position of the UNP at the Working Committee meeting held the day before. Secondly, he wished him a happy birthday. Ranil was in a hurry to finalise his leadership position before his birthday. Some say that this decision was based on astrology. more..

Impacts of the Facebook revolutions

Mar 27 (SL) Events in the Middle East and North Africa have provoked all kinds of comment from the usual as well as unexpected quarters. In the former category I would place the bafflegab that emanates from the spin doctors of this country who never seem to miss a trick when it comes to singing for their supper at the Rajapaksa table or dropping esoteric terminology with which to try to impress their readers, what Ernest Hemingway used to refer to as “$10 words,” more..

Army welfare projects extended Jaffna Islands

Mar 27 (Cimic) Pleased with community welfare projects being conducted for Jaffna civilians by Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J), a young kind-hearted engineer has agreed to extend his hand of generosity donating bundles of cloths to the Army to be distributed among poor students for school uniforms. Mr. S. Kirubanandan, the Director of Seagull Residencies, Colombo Saturday (25) handed over the donation to more..

Editorial: TNA’s true colours exposed

Mar 27 (SO) A significant feature that went almost unnoticed at the recent Local Government elections was the marked increase in the UPFA’s vote base even in Tamil-dominated areas in the Eastern Province. This trend was also evident at the previous LG polls in the Northern Province. During the height of the LTTE terrorist activities in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces, the Tigers compelled most Tamil politicians at gunpoint to form an alliance. more..

Editorial: Of speeding VIP convoys

Mar 27 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, news reports stated this week, had travelled without any security in the city in a bid to inspect how his ministerial colleagues conducted themselves on the road and then narrowly escaped being hit by one of their vehicles. The incident can be glossed over as yet another potential mishap but we believe it is an opportunity to focus on a larger issue: the new political culture that has emerged in recent decades which encourages more..