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MPs ask where KP’s ships and gold are

May 15 (ST) A motion by some UNP MPs for the appointment of a Select Committee to look into the circumstances under which the LTTE’s former international arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias K.P is being held, has been included in the addendum to the Order Book of Parliament. The motion signed by eight UNP MPs has been listed under those for which no dates have been fixed. The motions calls on Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to appoint more..

India wants police and land powers for PCs

May 15 (ST) India is to ask Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution giving full land and police powers to provincial councils as part of measures to address Tamil grievances. The move comes as the government gave the TNA a blueprint this week on what it believes is one of the key issues it would address. It is the setting up of a second chamber or a senate within the provisions of the existing constitution. more..

Why did we yarn desperately for a World Cup Cricket victory?

May 16 (TC) We had expected a triumph, but it turned out to be trauma. When our side posted a very impressive first innings total it seemed that a Sri Lankan victory was assured, but it was not to be partly because of the superb batting line-up on the Indian side, and – so they say – the dew made our bowling innocuous. The defeat was bad enough, but what ensued in the days and weeks since then has been traumatic indeed. I refer to the resignations of the Captain, the Vice-Captain, more..

War Crimes, Tamil Diaspora and Sinhalese Ultra-Nationalists

May 16 (LG) A few days ago a political talk show in the Derana TV Channel attended by prominent ultra-nationalists including Professor Nalin de Silva of the Sinhalatva School of thinking (Sinhala-Buddhist Jaathika Chinthanaya). One needs no special introduction to this ultra-nationalist ideologue cum academic. The focus of discussion was the Report by the UN Experts Panel baptized by the govt as the “Darusman Report”. Curiously Nalin de Silva said something along following lines more..

Why many Tamils in the diaspora continued to support the LTTE

May 16 (TC) It is unfortunate that the UN Report on human rights violations during the close of the Eelam war (not to mention other writers and commentators) speaks loosely of “the” Tamil Diaspora. For a start, a recent document wondered whether every Tamil living abroad was a member of the Tamil Diaspora. “In a literal sense, yes, but what if a Tamil hasn’t any interest in or concern at all for Tamils, be these Tamils in Sri Lanka or abroad? more..

Exposing why moon selected Darusman was written

May 16 (LG) As a then law student who attended the hearings of the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice N Udalagama, I was outraged when I saw 'Why Moon selected Darusman" by Mr Gomon Dayasiri in Sri Lanka Guardian recently which has a number of implied or actual falsities. Mr Dayasiri has deliberately omitted the fact that he was one of the defence counsel for the army and, as I personally witnessed, bullied the poor fathers and mothers of children more..

No war criminals among victors in war

May 16 (LG) The Sri Lankan nation has yet to rid itself of the collective anti Ban Ki-moon hysteria. Anger and frenzied emotions directed at the UN Secretary General for his stupidities on this issue are certainly justified but even collective national hysteria should have an objective. What impact will all those acerbic editorials in the ever-faithful Rajapaksa press and letters written by learned critics such as Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha — his output we notice exceeds more..

Special Pooja held at Chankanai Sri Murugan Temple to bless Jaffna commander & troops

May 16 (Cimic) A special Pooja to invoke blessing on Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and the troops serving in Jaffna was held at Sri Valli Thevasena Sametha Siva Subramanya Swamy Thevasthanam (Sri Murugan Temple) Chankanai on Saturday morning with participation of a large crowd of Army personnel and civilians. Conducting Maha Mruthyunchaya Homam, Rev. N. Sugan Sarma Kurukkal, more..

Editorial: JJ's attempt to resurrect India's Frankenstein

May 16 (Island) The AIADMK has swept the polls in Tamil Nadu, routing the Congress ally, the DMK. Jayalalithaa Jayaram's mammoth electoral feat was mainly due to a host of blunders that the DMK blissfully made one after the other and the Spectrum Scandal that rocked India. (She has drawn a great deal of flak for her offer of bribes such as ‘grinders and mixers’, kitchen utensils and four grams of gold each as marriage assistance to the womenfolk in Tamil Nadu and more..

Editorial: Irresponsible politics

May 16 (DM) Indian political club has already started meddling with the Sri Lankan issues openly, which had been muted since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi that was well over a decade ago. Now the latest is actress turned Chief Minister elect Jayalalitha Jayaram’s statement on Sri Lanka. But per haps she had been a bit circumspect in her statement though, unlike the naiveté of Sonia. Election times are different. People in these regions well know that these are empty words. more..

'TNA will win 24 of 26 local authority polls when elections are held'

May 16 (TC) TNA MP M A Sumanthiran speaks to Lakbima News about the ongoing talks it is holding with the government in an effort to find a solution to the vexed North-East issue, devolution of power, resettling the remaining displaced persons, and on the army being given homes in the north, amongst other concerns of the Tamil people. Q: The govt and the TNA have been holding discussions for the past few months in an effort to reach a solution to more..

Bloated military fed huge chunk of national income and used by Rajapaksas to control state and society

May 16 (TC) Barring a last-minute judicial-intervention, the Rajapaksa plan to make ‘leadership training’ by army officers mandatory for all university-entrants will become a reality, this month. University entry will be denied to any student who does not participate in this three-month programme of physical and psychological regimentation in army camps. That this measure is a gross violation of several basic rights is obvious to the naked eye. more..

Filming Dutugemunu : Responsibility and opportunity

May 16 (LG) Modern conflicts, including those involving Tamils and Sinhalese, are reinterpreted in lofty historical terms, seeing in them something that is much grander than the shabbiness of contemporary politics. (Amartya Sen, ‘Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny’.) I read (May, 2011) that a film is being made of King Dutugemunu, reputed to have ruled over two thousand years ago (161-137 BCE). Produced now, in the present, I trust the treatment of more..

A haven for elders, children

May 16 (SO) Only a handful of people who are blessed with wealth help others. The majority of people in modern society do not spend on others and utilise their wealth only on themselves. Although such people lead luxurious lives, no one will remember them after their deaths. The Sunday Observer last week had the opportunity of visiting a Welfare Home for Elders at Matugama in the Kalutara district, and witnessed how one section of society helps another section. more..

Languishing in a litigation-loving country!

May 16 (ST) Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is happening to the Green Party?” “Why, Bindu,” Bindu’s father Percy asked. “why are you worried about them?” “Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “aren’t they fighting again?” “I suppose they are,” Percy agreed, “but I am sure they will settle their differences…” “How can you say that, thaaththa,” Bindu wondered, “they have been fighting for so long now…” “You may not remember, Bindu,” Percy explained, “but there was a time when more..

U.S. makes mistake on visa lottery, must redraw

May 16 (Reuters) More than 22,000 people were erroneously told they were eligible for a special U.S. visa program because of a computer error in an annual lottery and the drawing must be redone, a U.S. official said on Friday. The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States regretted any inconvenience or disappointment caused by the mistake and that the results of the new drawing were expected to be available around July 15. more..

Jayalalithaa: From alluring actress to powerful politician

May 16 (DBS) Actress turned politician Jayalalithaa Jayaram has triumphed in the latest elections to the Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly. Her AIADMK led coalition has swept the polls getting 203 of 234 constituencies. She is to be sworn in for the third time as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. am reproducing here without any changes or updates an article I wrote about her in “The Nation” of February 24th 2008 on the occasion of her sixtieth birthday. more..

This bit of paradise down in the dumps but no niggardliness on amendments – 19 and counting

May 16 (SL) Never was a truer word said than Romesh Abeywickrema’s in this paper last Sunday. He boldly proclaimed: The Only Thing ‘Thriving’ Is Corruption. And the said Romesh A. substantiated his pronouncement with statistics and facts emanating from no less an authority than the Gallup Polls. Gallup surveys classify countries according to the wellbeing of their peoples’ as ‘thriving’, ‘struggling’ and ‘suffering’. more..

Economic burdens of the ageing population

May 16 (ST) The economic burdens and social problems of the country’s ageing population deserve more attention than it has received. The ageing of the country’s population poses grave economic and social problems. Over the next two decades Sri Lanka is expected to have a low population growth with consequent rapid ageing of the population around 2020. While the child dependency ratio is expected to decline from over 50 per cent in 1991 to 38 per cent by 2001, and more..

'Some confusion over Tamils in custody'

May 16 (NS) Former head of the Peace Secretariat and present head of the govt delegation to talk with the TNA, Professor Rajiva Wijesinha admits there has been some confusion with regard to the question of Tamil civilians in custody without charges. With regard to the former LTTE combatants Prof. Wijesinha said the govt has embarked on a significant rehabilitation programme. Regarding those taken into custody on suspicion of clandestine involvement with the LTTE, more..

No takeover of northern land of absentee owners

May 16 (NS) Jaffna SLFP Chief Organiser Angajan Ramanathan yesterday dismissed reports in certain Tamil websites that immovable properties owned by Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad would be taken over by the government. “These are baseless allegations,” he said in a statement issued yesterday. “Certain elements were attempting to create panic and restlessness among Tamils living abroad. This was one such attempt by them,” Angajan said. more..

Budget deficit 1.9% of GDP, contracts 3%

May 16 (Island) Govt fiscal discipline seems to improve with latest data showing that the budget deficit contracted nearly 3 percent during the first two months of 2011 to Rs. 106.5 billion from Rs. 109 billion a year earlier, as revenue growth out paced expenditure growth. Also encouraging is the increase in long term govt investments. As a percentage of GDP, the fiscal deficit for the first two months of 2011 is estimated at 1.9 percent, a steady improvement from 2.25 percent a year earlier. more..

Attack on Namal Rajapaksa's coordinating secretary's house

May 16 (NF) An attack was launched on the house of the Coordinating Secretary of Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa this morning. The shooting took place at the house located close to the Hakmana road in the Beliatta town. The police stated that the shooting occurred at around 1.20 this morning when the Coordinating Secretary returned home. Subsequently, the police arrived at the scene of the attack and conducted preliminary investigations. more..

Leak causing losses at CPC

May 16 (SL) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has incurred a loss of several million rupees as a result of an underground leakage in the fuel pipelines from Bloemendhal to Kolonnawa, alleged the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Petroleum Branch (JSSPB). The CPC and the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited’s (CPSTL) failure to re-install new fuel pipelines’ to carry refined fuel from Bloemendhal to Kolonnawa has resulted in massive underground fuel leakages on April 23, May 2 and May 3, more..

IMF head Strauss-Kahn charged over New York 'sex crime'

May 16 (BBC) The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been charged by New York police over an alleged sex attack on a hotel maid. Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was taken off an Air France plane at JFK airport just minutes before it left for Paris. Police say the maid has now formally identified him in a line-up. He faces three charges which he denies. The married former French finance minister is also considered a possible Socialist candidate for the presidency. more..

SMS your traffic fine & keep going

May 16 (DM) A leading bank and a mobile company would introduce a technology when one was charged with traffic law violation could pay the fine through his/her mobile phone, sources said. Informed sources told Daily Mirror that any one charged with a traffic law violation could SMS the bank asking it to credit the amount specified as the fine to the post office account from his account. “Taking the ticket and paying the fine to the post office and more..

Middlesex v Sri Lanka: Dilshan, Paranavitana hit hundreds

May 16 (CI) On the first day at Uxbridge it was the England captain reacquainting himself with first-class cricket and on the second it was the turn of Sri Lanka's. Barely three days after flying in from the IPL for this tour, Tillakaratne Dilshan helped himself to 123 on a productive day for the tourists' top order against a weak Middlesex attack as Tharanga Paranavitana also made 103. The value of these runs will be tempered by the fact that none of the Middlesex bowlers more..

'Don't trigger hatred in children by harping on past' - President

May 16 (DN) 'Hatred or envy should not be aroused in the tender minds of children by highlighting past incidents, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The President was addressing the diamond jubilee celebrations of Hindu College, Colombo, yesterday. The President added that hatred, envy or having grudges can do nothing except arouse feelings of discontent and resentment regarding others. 'As adults we are duty bound to build a strong bond between all ethnic groups. more..

Hashan allegations: File closed

May 16 (SL) The CID probe into Hashan Tillakaratne’s match fixing allegations have been halted following instructions from the Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage. It was the Sports Minister himself who ordered the CID to investigate the allegation made by the former Sri Lankan captain on a television sports show. The CID recorded a statement from Hashan Tillakaratne who according to informed sources reiterated his allegations of more..

Sri Lanka’s cost of Sand increases

May 16 (AT) The price of a cube of sand in Colombo had shot up recently. Subsequently in the financial capital Colombo, the reports outline that the price of three and a half cubes of sand in island nation’s had rose by approximately Rs 3000. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Geological Survery and Mines Bureau, Dr. N.P Vijayaananda has stated that this price hike is due to the increase in the cost of diesel in the local market and international markets, while more..

Round-II between Congress and LTTE in TN

May 16 (TS) A day after the shocking wipe out of the DMK-Congress alliance in election in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, Mr KV Thangkabalu, who has been facing stiff opposition from his partymen has sent in his resignation to the Congress chief Mrs Sonia Gandhi accepting responsibility for the poll debacle. It was the Congress’s worst ever performance since Independence in the state. The Congress won just five seats out of the 63 it had more..

Power is Power

Attempt to run UNP like a private company: Sajith

May 16 (Island) The stage is set for a bitter leadership battle in the main Opposition UNP with Reformist MP Sajith Premadasa declaring his intention to launch an all-out campaign. The leadership tussle can further weaken the party ahead of the forthcoming LG polls, in spite of both Wickremesinghe and Premadasa camps downplaying the possible consequences. An irate Premadasa, in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Island following the launch of a public protest more..

Barrathi rejects ‘List of shame’

May 16 (SL) Former TMVP member and now SLFP Ampara organiser, Iniya Barrathi, has rejected the latest UN ‘List of Shame’ which carries his name among groups involved in child recruitment. During the war both the LTTE and the TMVP were in the UN ‘List of Shame’. However with the end of the war and the military defeat of the LTTE as well as the TMVP working with UNICEF to release all child recruits, both the LTTE and TMVP were no more on the list. more..

Sri Lanka to discourage its women from working as housemaids

May 16 (National) Tighter emigration regulations will be passed to discourage women from leaving Sri Lanka to work overseas as housemaids. The Sri Lankan minister for foreign employment promotion and welfare made the announcement in Dubai yesterday, saying the island nation wanted to boost opportunities for professional and skilled workers instead. Dilan Perera said his government's new focus on the skilled sector was part of a plan to change more..

Woman arrested for selling baby daughter

May 16 (DM) A woman who had sold her six month old daughter for Rs. 100,000 and been planning to go abroad for employment with that money was taken into custody by the Colombo South Anti Vice Squad. Police said that they were able to trace the baby that had been sold to a couple in Mattakkuliya. The suspect is a woman from Haputale who had gone abroad for a job after her husband left her. On her second visit to the foreign country she had been made pregnant by her employer after more..

Sri Lankan reports incorrect - Norway

May 16 (BBC) Reference to refugees as members of LTTE in Sri Lankan media is incorrect says Norway. Rejecting the allegation that the embassy secretly helped members of the LTTE to leave the country, a Norway Embassy press release on Sunday stated that "translation and representation of the article in local media contain some inaccuracies such as referring to the refugees as members of the LTTE". The Norwegian newspaper ‘Aftenposten’ report on the 13th May titled more..

UN report in hand, Lanka FM in Delhi

May 16 (HT) Sri Lankan external affairs minister GL Peiris is expected to reach New Delhi on Sunday evening to lobby top Indian government ministers and officials about the damning report compiled by the UN Secretary General's panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka. The report submitted to UN chief Ba n Ki-moon in April has accused the Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels of killing targeting and killing thousands of civilians during more..

University dispute: Malwatte Mahanayake Thera advocates negotiated settlement

May 16 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero yesterday said that university teachers and the government should be flexible in finding a solution to the current university crisis. The issue should be resolved through negotiations, Sumangala Thero told the Deputy Higher Education Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake and the UGC Chairman Professor Gamini Samaranayake, when they called upon the prelate on Saturday to more..

Intrusion of Indian fishermen : NPFA wants to meet President

May 16 (DM) The Alliance for Northern People Fishermen’s Association (NPFA) is seeking a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to request him to take a firm stand on stopping the intrusion by Indian fishermen into Sri Lankan waters and to take up the issue with the newly elected Tamil Nadu State Govt and the Central Govt of India. The Spokesperson for the alliance Herman Kumar told the Daily Mirror the association wants the govt to take a firm stand on the issue. more..