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Editorial: Let there be light

Mar 5 (DM) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawake has repeatedly promised there would be electricity for all by next year and says the government is well ahead of the target in this mission. While the goal is commendable, equally important is the need to educate the people on how to use electricity sparingly. This is meant not only to reduce electricity bills and thereby bring down the cost of living but also to make the people aware that saving electricity could play more..

Equity and capital market records US$ 459mn net inflow in 2010

Mar 5 (Island) Sri Lanka’s equity and capital market recorded a net inflow of investments amounting to US$ 459 million in 2010. "In 2010, there was an inflow of funds in to the equity and capital market amounting to Rs. 215.9 billion, approximately US$ 1.91 billion. The outflow on account of repatriation of investments and as well as dividends and income amounted to Rs. 164.1 billion, approximately US$ 1.45 billion," more..

Be thou forever with honour

Mar 5 (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..

NARA acts to tackle water pollution

Mar 5 (DN) National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Environmental Studies Division will conduct several projects this year to protect both inland and coastal water bodies, said Division Head S A M Azmy. This division monitors the water quality of inland water bodies mainly in the North Central Province to find viable solutions to prevent kidney diseases which are on the rise. Various agricultural inputs affect the water quality of inland and coastal waters. more..

Arabic Language and Sri Lanka Muslims

Mar 5 (Island) It is hardly necessary to explain to Muslims in any country the importance and usefulness of the Arabic language to them. As far as the Muslims in Sri Lanka are concerned a little thought on this subject would show that the adoption of the Arabic language by them is of very great importance and may even go to the extent of saying that their future well being is intimately connected with the Arabic language. more..

Tamil refugees demand daily Masses

Mar 5 (UCAN) Catholic Tamil refugees languishing in Sri Lankan displacement camps say their calls to military authorities to allow priests in to conduct daily Masses and other services are still going unanswered. They say many applications for priests made over the last 18 months have been systematically ignored by military and government officers. Many are claiming discrimination, questioning why pastors from other denominations and Hindu priests are allowed to stay in more..

Nun gives new hope to leprosy patients

Mar 5 (UCAN) Leprosy sufferers living in self-imposed exile in a remote village in Sri Lanka’s Chilaw diocese are now living with renewed hope thanks to an awareness and treatment program initiated by a Catholic nun. Sister Wilma Costha recently led a team of doctors to Accara Paha (Acre 5), a village around 130 kilometers northwest of Colombo, for the program after learning of the plight of villagers when she helped build a pre-school there. more..

Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (GV) Peace in our country cannot last long without reconciliation. And there can be no reconciliation until the people in the North and East and all those who were affected by the war come to terms with their losses, and pick up the threads, with hopes of a better future. No matter how many highways and bridges are put up, no matter how many houses are built until and unless the grievances of the war affected minorities are looked into, more..

Undergraduates request for separate Faculty

Mar 5 (DM) Undergraduates of the Management Course of the University of Peradeniya picketed at Galaha Junction urging the University Authorities to establish a separate Faculty for them. At the moment they are under the Arts Faculty of the university. The Secretary of the Management Course Action Committee said that there were four batches of students in this Management Department. He said that the Management Course was of four years duration and it is under the Faculty of Arts. more..

Cracking the Coconut Oil Myth

Mar 5 (C2) In Sri Lanka nearly everything has its origins in coconut. Not exactly as exaggerated as the island caricature set forth by pop culture touchstones like Gilligan’s Island’s coconut radio and coconut car, but it is pretty damn close. And cooking with coconut, whether it is coconut meat or coconut milk is a ubiquitous staple. Despite the fact that coconut oil, and many coconut products, have a longstanding bad rap in mainstream, health-conscious, culture, more..

Teens back hubby

Mar 5 (NN) The State of the World’s Children report launched in Colombo today in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, suggests up to 54 per cent of females aged between 15 and 19 in Sri Lanka believe that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife. The new report entitled ‘Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity’ provides data on youth around the world and indicates 28 births per 1,000 girls, aged 15-19 in Sri Lanka. more..

Melbourne driver jailed for killing Lankan refugee

Mar 5 (HS) A Melbourne driver who killed a Sri Lankan refugee when he sped through a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for eight years. Jarratt Keith Swan, 31, of Ferntree Gully, was unlicensed and had a horrendous driving history when he slammed into Thiruvadivel Sriskantharajah on Stud Road, Dandenong, in January 2009. Mr Sriskantharajah was thrown 27 metres. Swan, a father-of-two, was sleep-deprived and had injected heroin before the crash. He did not stop after the accident. more..

Massive stock of weapons recovered

Mar 5 (DM) Security forces recovered a massive haul of weapons including sixty seven anti-personnel mines during a search operation carried out in Periyapandivirichchan, Sinnapandivirichchan, Marathamadu and Kokkutuduvai on Thursday evening. Five hand grenades, one unexploded ordnance, seven Rocket Propeller Grenades (RPG), two RPG chargers, one 60 mm mortar bomb, 67 anti-personnel mines, one 40 mm mortar bomb, four 81 mm mortar bombs, 176 rounds of T-56 ammunition and more..

School cricket in Sri Lanka is bigger than their World Cup team playing Australia

Mar 5 (National) It is big-match season in Sri Lanka, a time when traditional rivals do battle on the cricket field, and old friends renew acquaintances beyond the boundary. Ten leading schools in Sri Lanka take turns to play their historical adversaries, in a series of two-day fixtures at Colombo's Test ground, the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC). The matches mark the highlight of the social calendar for each school's alumni. more..

Sri Lankan expats rush to the aid of flood victims

Mar 5 (Gulf) Sri Lankan diplomatic missions in the UAE are collecting funds and relief materials for victims of one of the worst floods in Sri Lanka. According to media reports, the devastating floods which struck eastern Sri Lanka in mid-January affected about 1 million people and made more than 400,000 homeless. The victims barely had time to start recovering, when they were hit by a second wave of flooding in early February. This time 1.2 million people were more..

SL military stops re-installing MGR statue in VVT

Mar 5 (TN) Efforts by the people of Valveddiththu’rai in Jaffna to re-install a statue for Mr. M G Ramachandran (MGR), the Tamil film icon since 1950s and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu was stopped by the Sri Lanka Army occupying the Tamil country. A statue of MGR that existed earlier at Valveddiththu’rai was desecrated and the arms were broken by the occupying military a few months back. Eezham Tamils, especially the coastal community people, are strong admirers of more..

Russia assists Jana Sevana

Mar 5 (MoD) The Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing & Common Amenities, will implement a low cost housing project under the 'Jana Sevana' programme with financial assistance from the Russian government. Representatives of MSK Engineering institute, a leading construction company in Russia, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (4) at Temple Trees to discuss the project. 2512 houses for commercial purposes and more..

Tourism Bureau seeks more guides

Mar 5 (Island) With tourist arrivals increasing at apace, after the end of the 30-year separatist war, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) says it needs to immediately find at least 1,500 tourist guides. SLTPB Managing Director Dilip Mudadeniya said that 3,000 guides would be needed in the next 5 to 6 years as tourist arrivals in the next 5 to 10 years were expected to hit the 2,5 million mark. He said that 1,500 tourist guides had renewed their registration and more..

UNP application challenging the acceptance of the UPFA nominations dismissed

Mar 5 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the Writ Application, filed by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, challenging the acceptance of the UPFA nominations to contest the Town Council of Chilaw at the March 17 local government elections. The petition said that the youth candidate, Chalindu Diman de Silva, was underage and his name was not included in the electoral list of 2008. The Court upheld a preliminary objection taken by more..

Why cricket's grip is so strong in the subcontinent

Mar 5 (National) It is a cliche to say people from the subcontinent are crazy about cricket. But it is true to say they have few alternatives. The sport is all-encompassing here, as much pop culture as pastime. It consumes everything else. This sporting monoculture is easily explained. Cricket has given each of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India the chance to call themselves world champions. more..

New power set on track from March 10

Mar 5 (Island) Of the 20 power sets, valued at US $ 3.5 million, ordered from India, by the Railways Department, three have already arrived. The rest are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2012. The three power sets, which were delivered, consist of state-of-the-art technology and all required facilities. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that train commuters would be now able to travel in comfort. For proper maintenance of the new trains, more..

Casting of postal votes on March 8 and 9 : Certifying officers must be on duty, Polls Chief says

Mar 5 (Island) Certifying Officers engaged in marking postal ballot papers and delivery to post offices on March 8 and 9, in connection with the March 17 LG Elections, have been instructed by the EC Dayananda Dissanayake to be on duty on those two days. Returning Officers had informed Secretaries of all political parties and independent groups to appoint an agent each to office of Certifying Officers where marking of postal ballots would take place. more..

Sri Lanka may play three spinners

Mar 5 (CI) Sri Lanka are toying with the idea of throwing in all three of their spinners into the XI for their match against Australia on Saturday, which is expected to see a full house of 35,000 spectators at the R Premadasa Stadium. "That's a possibility that we're exploring," Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said. "I think that's the best way to play Australia. We've got three main spinners and some part-time spinners in the squad. more..

Monsoon affects coastal belt

Mar 5 (DM) The sea coast in some areas had changed with time due to climatic conditions and the authorities were now studying the situation, officials said yesterday. Coastal belt changes caused by the accumulation of sediment resulting from monsoons have affected Kalpitiya, Manalkadu, Potuvil, Panama, Kumana and Hambantota. Coast Conservation Department Director Anil Premaratne said yesterday his officials were studying the changes that were happening around the country. more..

The Problem with Karma: Notes from the Conflict in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (HP) Over the past month, there has been some speculation among members of the global Tamil community on whether Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Texas to obtain cancer treatment in secret. The story in itself is not particularly interesting, but it does have relevance for the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka. Many reacted to the news not with sadness, but with a sense that cosmic justice was being meted out. more..

Lankans shake leg to spinner’s new tune

Mar 5 (IE) During his 13-year international career, Upul Chandana forever remained in the shadows of his team mates, despite boasting a decent record, especially in ODI cricket. But in the last month or so, the 38-year-old former Sri Lanka leg-spinner has enjoyed considerably air-time than any of his ex-teammates, especially on local television. Chandana’s cricket-themed single, Thananillata Enna (come fill the ground, and cheer Sri Lanka to victory) plays before, during and more..

Ex-militants to get loans to start work

Mar 5 (DM) Rehabilitated LTTE combatants had been encouraged to obtain bank loans up to Rs.25 million each for self employment projects and business ventures, a Central Bank official said yesterday. Some 5,600 ex-combatants have now been integrated into society after being trained in vocational skills in masonry, carpentry, beauty care, pre-school teaching, hair dressing and vehicle repairing. more..

Overcoming intl. pressure:Implement solution to ethnic issue -UNP

Mar 5 (Island) The implementation of a durable political solution to the ethnic issue was the answer to overcoming international calls for a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka, UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. He told a news conference in Colombo that the UNP was willing to support any form aof devolution that would address the aspirations of all communities. more..

Sri Lanka firms urged to employ war zone youth

Mar 5 (LBO) A Sri Lankan employment network is encouraging businesses to give jobs to over 15,000 youth in the former northern war zone who are seeking work and help improve ethnic relations in the country. "Access to the job market will renew hope in the community in the resettled area as well as renew the relationship between the North and South through improved shared economic opportunities," Sri Lanka Jobs Net said. more..

Post-war SL: Levy pushes for Canadian Diaspora role

Mar 5 (Island) Canadian High Commissioner Bruce Levy is seeking a role for the Tamil Diaspora in Canada in the rebuilding and reconstruction process. During his meetings with Government Agents in Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Vavuniya and Kilinochchci and Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Levy emphasized the importance of forging links between the government and the Diaspora. more..

Australia 'have masterplan' for Sri Lanka clash

Mar 5 (AFP) Defending champions Australia insist they have a plan to tackle Sri Lanka's record-breaking Lasith Malinga in Saturday's mouth-watering World Cup clash. The co-hosts are considering playing all their three spinners -- Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath -- but Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his team is braced for all potential threats. more..

What happened to Fonseka’s ballots?

Mar 5 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya has written to the Elections Commissioner asking him to reveal the results of the investigations into the incident where ballot papers marked in favour of presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka were found in a drain near the Ratnapura Technical College. Mr. Jayasuriya said in his letter that though the elections department initially responded to this allegation sarcastically, more..

Polls draw first blood

Mar 5 (DM) Intra-party violence claimed two lives yesterday and injured four others in a shooting incident involving two groups of UPFA supporters in Pereliya, Galle, election monitors said. During the past few days, the incidence of intra- party violence was on the rise particularly in the districts of Galle, Kalutara, Matara, Anuradhapura and Kegalle. The shooting incident had taken place at a place between Pereliya and Kalupe along the Galle road. more..

Katagoda to fill Fonseka’s seat

Mar 6 (NN) Jayantha Katagoda will fill the parliament seat left vacant by the imprisonment of the leader of the DNA Sarath Fonseka, DNA MP Tiran Alles said. He said that Katagoda’s name had been gazette by the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake and the DNA has decided to give the green light for Katagoda to take oaths. After Sarath Fonseka lost his seat in parliament JVP member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi was next in line to fill the vacancy but more..

West Indies team bus stoned in Dhaka

Mar 6 (CI) The bus carrying the West Indies players has been stoned on its way back to the team hotel after they thrashed Bangladesh by nine wickets in Mirpur. There were no injuries, the team management confirmed to ESPNcricinfo, and both squads were safely back at the hotel but the players were shaken. News of the incident spread across the world within moments and will raise questions about the security provided to teams at the tournament. more..

JVP office attacked

Mar 6 (NN) A JVP propaganda office was attacked in Karuwelagaswewa, Saliyawewa in the Puttalam district this morning allegedly by supporter of the UPFA, the JVP said adding that a police complaint has been lodged over the incident. The Saliyawewa police said that one suspect has been arrested over the incident and further investigations have been launched. According to the police complaint atleast five men had arrived at the JVP propaganda office of more..

'Bankrupt government carry out bankrupt propaganda'

Mar 6 (LT) The bankrupt government that has been rejected by the masses and has selected the JVP as its main opponent has begun slandering the JVP says former JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. He said this regarding rumours being spread by the state media regarding the JVP and its leaders. He said, “The government gave a colossal amount of false promises to masses at the elections held earlier. more..

Mystery phone call from Gaddafi to Rajapaksa

Mar 6 (HT) The diplomatic community in Colombo is abuzz with speculation about the telephone call that beleaguered Libyan leader and Lanka’s ally Muammar Gaddafi made to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday. Rajapaksa’s secretariat was only willing to share that he advised Gaddafi to look after his people’s interests and ensure peace in his country. "Establish peace in Libya as soon as possible and safeguard the lives of Libyan people," Rajapaksa was quoted as telling Gaddafi more..

Bayliss wants top NSW job

Mar 6 (DT) He was a key member of NSW's batting line-up for almost a decade. Now Sri Lanka's Australian coach Trevor Bayliss is keen to return home to lead the Blues. Bayliss' four-year tenure as Sri Lanka coach will end after the World Cup and the veteran of 58 first-class matches for the Blues between 1985-93 is eyeing a second coming at the helm. The Blues are on the lookout for a new coach following the departure in January of Glamorgan-bound Matthew Mott, more..

Anglican Diocese of Colombo elects new Bishop

Mar 6 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Anglican Diocese of Colombo elected Ven. Dhiloraj Canakasabey, uncontested, as the fifteenth Bishop of Colombo. The Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon (Anglican Church) elected the incumbent Archdeacon of Nuwara Eliya, Ven. Dhiloraj Canakasabey as the shepherd for the Anglican Seat of Colombo. Although Ven. Canakasabey’s was uncontested he had to obtain the more..