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Sri Lanka prices out poorer fans

Apr 12 (WSJ) The Galle International Stadium in Sri Lanka is one of the most magnificent in all of cricket, bounded on one side by a 16th century fort that juts out grandly into the endless blue of the Indian Ocean. The last time England played a Test match there, in December 2003, fans could attend all five days' play for the equivalent of 15 cents a day. Last month, those same two teams played a Test match at the same ground, only the prices were more..

Muza: In a catch 22

Apr 12 (SL) His Worship the Mayor of Colombo has been reduced to nothing more than a ceremonial role. As A.J.M. Muzammil struts around doing his ceremonial networking including attending the 2nd Test match at the Colombo Oval, his elected position as the Mayor of Colombo is coming apart at the seams, as it were. Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardena has been conducting negotiations and taking her direction from the Urban Development Authority. more..

IDP New Year celebrations

Apr 12 (CT) The Resettlement Ministry has organized various programmes in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations for those languishing in refugee camps. The ministry it is learnt has already allocated a sum of Rs. 100,000 for cultural programmes. Resettlement Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon said 7,000 refugees who are temporarily residing in two IDP camps in Vavuniya will benefit out of this exercise. “There are only two IDP camps left in the country now, more..

Teachers not paid for O/L answer script marking

Apr 12 (Island) Teachers who were involved in the marking of GCE O/L answer scripts, claim that they had still not received the payments due to them for completing the task. Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union, Mahinda Jayasinghe claimed that the April salary of teachers had been delayed and payment for O/L answer script markings too had not been received by them so far, though it should have been given before the release of O/L results. more..

Owner of safe house says unaware of Gunaratnam’s presence

Apr 12 (Island) Adding a new twist to the Premakumar Gunaratnam saga, the owner of the house where tPremakumar Gunaratnam lived during his stay in Sri Lanka, has told police yesterday that he was unaware that Gunaratnam was staying in his house at Kiribathgoda. The Kiribathgoda Police said that the owner of the Kiribathgoda house, who was living in a house closer to Colombo, had told them that the house was looked after by a caretaker. more..

Comprehensive report on jumbos mysteriously delayed

Apr 12 (Island) The Wildlife Department has failed to submit the comprehensive report on the first national survey of Sri Lanka’s wild elephants which took place in August 2011. The report was to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last September but is yet to be completed. Wildlife Department Director Operations H. D. Ratnayake told The Island yesterday that the report was delayed due to the absence of one of the key conservationists. more..

Auspicious times for the New Year

Apr 12 (DN) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year, one of the most significant cultural events in Sri Lanka followed by a large segment of the population, dawns at 6.58 am on April 13. Astrologically, the Aluth Avurudda symbolises the transition of the Sun from Pisces to Aries. The Punya Kalaya (Nonagathaya) for religious observances is from 12.56 pm on April 13 to 1.44 am on April 14. One should not engage in any work during this period. more..

Mysterious abductions when will they stop?

Apr 12 (DM) Mr. Gunaratnam is the leader of a breakaway faction of the JVP. His radical splinter group, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), claimed that Mr. Gunaratnam and women's wing leader Dimuthu Atigala had been taken away by security authorities ahead of the party's formal launch on Monday. Mr. Gunaratnam was subsequently deported to Australia whereas Atigala was released and sent back to the party headquarters at Madiwela. more..

Malaria: Lessons from the past

Apr 13 (NS) The scourge of malaria has quickly faded into the distant memories of the Sri Lankans, including those living in areas where it used to create a nightmare. Until 2000, Sri Lanka used to have cases in six-digit figures each year, mostly in rural areas, but this has since gradually dwindled to three-digit figures. Deaths, which were in scores annually, are now rare. In the rural areas, now almost malaria-free, the fear of fevers itself has taken a back seat: the other more..

Escaping the heat!

Apr 13 (NS) It’s been hot in Colombo. I fled to the hills. It’s cooler here, further away. I get the news, but it seems less pressing when you can see for kilometres with the naked eye. That’s news enough. For example, it’s raining. What I heard over the wires was good, after a long time. Sri Lanka has recorded its highest growth rate since Independence, ie, ever. Despite the current economic bumbling, that’s good to hear. One gets tired of the constant din that Sri Lanka. more..

Why India voted against Lanka

Apr 13 (NS) Some years ago, the question of the ownership of the Kachchathivu Islands was raised in the chamber of India’s Lok Sabha. Opposition lawmakers demanded to know why India was bowing down before a small nation like Sri Lanka and having its pride insulted. In reply, the leaders of India’s Congress party said there were no issues regarding pride among brothers. However, this relationship collapsed after 1977, and turned into an clandestine war after 1984. more..

Whose arms will embrace you? The United States and the Beijing consensus

Apr 13 (GV) The United States is increasingly playing a game of subtle communication in the international arena. I suspect we had a passing glimpse of this at the 19th Session of the UNHRC, which gathered in Geneva last month. The question is: who is the United States talking to and what is it trying to say? There has been much discussion about President Obama’s “Return to Asia” strategy, arising out of a 2009 speech during which he declared that as an more..

Anthill Phobia

Apr 13 (Island) The Sinhala idiom "Humbas Baya" literally means fear of anthills. Serpents often inhabit anthills. But in reality, every anthill does not contain a serpent. Nevertheless the association has created a phobia about anthills and people are scared to exploit them for that reason. In short "Humbas Baya" implies rushing to conclusions on untested bias. I was reminded of this rustic idiom as I read the following comment on a cable attributed to the former US Ambassador more..

The most widely celebrated traditional Sri Lankan cultural event of the year

Apr 13 (Island) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year - the Aluth Avurudda in Sinhalese - is celebrated in the month of Bak according to the Sinhalese calendar. The name 'Bak' derives from the Sanskrit word 'bhagya' meaning 'fortunate'. The month of 'Bak' corresponds to April in the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly used in Sri Lanka today as it is in other parts of the world. Although there is usually little conspicuous seasonal change experienced more..

Of the interference with the constitutional right of an accused for legal representation

Apr 13 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight today on the interference of the constitutional right of an accused for legal representation as Sri Lankan society would aspire to be rid of such interference. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in a recent statement condemned the assault at the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court premises of an the Attorney-at-Law who appeared for a suspect in the more..

Legal reform needed to make Superior Officers responsible when human rights abuses occur

Apr 13 (TC) In the months following the March 2012 rebuke administered to the Sri Lankan govt by the United Nations Human Rights Council, critical self introspection is necessary as to some of the basic assumptions which drive the post Geneva discussions. And as tempting as it is, this questioning cannot be directed solely at an increasingly impossible Govt and those Ministers (few and far in between as they are) who still retain the ability to think critically. more..

Boston Lanka News: April 12, 2012

Engaging the Diaspora in the Reconciliation process – the Liberian Experience

Apr 13 (Island) During the years between 1979 and 2003, Liberia went through a coup d’etat, military rule and two civil wars resulting in grave violation of human rights and mass displacement of its people. The violence ended with the signing of The Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2003 subsequently enacted into law by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly in 2005. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was appointed soon after to more..

United and effective action essential to protect national sovereignty

Apr 13 (Island) The US Govt has been able to take its conspiracy against Sri Lanka a step forward by very cleverly engineering the passage of its resolution through the UNHRC. By getting the support of India, our powerful immediate neighbor, the US Government not only broke the unity among the ranks of the Asian countries, but also gave its resolution greater credibility, transforming it from one seen as the mere imposition of its will unfairly on Sri Lanka into one more..

The wheel of time may rob them of their wheel of livelihood

Apr 13 (ST) It is a small family-run home-based business. Slightly off the main Kaduwela-Hanwella Road at Ranala, in a long shed behind their humble home, 50-year-old Pathma Ranjani sits at her 'wheel' turning out pot after pot, even waking up at 2 in the morning these days. With Avurudu round the corner, the pace in their home has quickened and Ranjani likes to produce a certain number of pots before the other chores take her away from the wheel. more..

Sri Lanka has potential to be another Singapore - Vietnam envoy

Apr 13 (SO) "Sri Lanka is a major economy and it has the potential to be another Singapore", said Vietnam Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh. He was addressing a seminar on 'Exploring the Potential for Sri Lanka-Vietnam Economic Cooperation' organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). Thanh said that there is enormous potential for trade and investment between Sri Lanka and Vietnam and added that close ties will help boost the economies of both countries. more..

Finance Cos. look at new investment options

Apr 13 (ST) Finance and leasing companies are considering investing in new ventures, away from traditional lending and leasing to overcome severe pressure from rising interest rates, inflation, and the sudden tax hike on motor vehicles, senior finance company officials said. They noted that the government’s latest move aimed at tiding over the current account deficit in the balance of payments will increase risks especially in smaller finance companies. more..

A mid-ocean prison

Apr 13 (CT) Following the bloody insurrection that claimed many young lives in 1970, rebel leader Rohana Wijeweera and 12 other rebels were detained in a facility located far-off in the Northern Peninsula of Jaffna, in the middle of rupturing waters. Isolated from any kind of human activity, it is possible that this location was identified as the most effective establishment to confine the rebels, to ensure they had absolutely no contact with the outside world and more..

Sri Lanka tea prices rise again

Apr 13 (LBO) Prices of Sri Lanka's low grown teas, which account for the bulk of the crop, rose again at last week's auction and are now well above last year's levels, brokers said. A shortfall in crop in key growing countries owing to bad weather could also help prop up prices. Brokers John Keells said there was good demand for teas grown at both high and low elevations. The 3.1 million kilos of low grown teas that came under the hammer last week met with "exceptional demand", more..

Sri Lanka aims to triple hotel supply by 2016

Apr 13 (HNN) Nearly three years after Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war came to an end, the country is ramping up efforts to recapture its status as one of Asia’s most popular holiday destinations. The efforts begin with new development. Sri Lanka, a country of approximately 20 million, has fewer than 15,000 registered hotel rooms, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. The government wants to add 35,000 rooms within the next four years to meet more..

Sri Lanka-India resolution row goes nuclear

Apr 13 (AT) Sri Lanka's Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka's recent announcement that Colombo was considering raising the issue of the safety of India's nuclear power plants with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been widely interpreted in the Indian media as retaliation for India's vote supporting an anti-Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHRC recently. "We respect the right of India to have nuclear power stations," more..

Navy Cup Water Sports Festival - 2012 enlivens "Little England"

Apr 13 (MoD) The first ever events-packed water sports festival held in the cool climes of picturesque Nuwara Eliya enlivened the hill city's festive atmosphere with sports fans thronging the venue to catch the excitement. Sri Lanka Navy in collaboration with the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council organized the Navy Cup Water Sports Festival - 2012 at Gregory Lake on 11th April 2012 with the aim of promoting the exciting event among the sports loving public. more..

New Year message from the Leader of the Opposition

Apr 13 (LT) The Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year message states, “The time is opportune during this New Year to think the country before oneself and pray for rulers to govern the country with more circumspection and intelligent manner. With the dawn of the New Year Sri Lankan people live in an environment with enormous hardships including high cost of living, not receiving salaries commensurate to ever increasing cost of living high utility more..

Sinhala and Tamil New Year's greeting from USA

Apr 13 (USDS) On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to Sri Lankans around the world as you celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year. This celebration brings people together to renew bonds of friendship and family. It also gives Sri Lankans of all backgrounds, living inside and outside the country, an opportunity to help build a prosperous, democratic nation defined by tolerance and more..

Absence of political will to stop abductions

Apr 13 (AHRC) The recent abductions of Mr. Gunaratnam and Ms. Attigala, merely highlighted the long standing problem. The concern about the absence of political will on the part of the govt has been there for a long period of time. While Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse grudgingly handed over Mr. Premakumar to the Australian authorities, he gave no firm commitment to take all appropriate action to stop abductions from taking place as might be expected of the chief operative of more..

New Year message from the JVP

Apr 13 (LT) The Sinhalese and Tamil Yew year has dawned. It is one of the most important of all cultural festivals in Sri Lanka as it could entice the Sri Lankan society towards its economic and social requirements. New Year is an opportunity for a new beginning. Sri Lankan society that has been rotating around a vile cycle should move towards a new zodiac. Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has dragged the country towards economic, political, social and ethical bankruptcy. more..

'Indian delegation should meet Tamils without mediators'

Apr 13 (PTI) A Sri Lankan MP has demanded that an Indian MPs' delegation, scheduled to visit the island nation for a week from April 16 to assess the resettlement and political process in war-torn areas, meet and talk to Tamils without any mediators. Speaking at a meeting convened by Madurai Bar Association, S Shritharan (TNA), wanted the delegation also to inspect places like Mullivaikal, where final phase of the war against LTTE took place. more..

Sanga credits Healy for achievement

Apr 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara expressed happiness on being named Wisden's leading cricketer in the world and one of its five cricketers of the year. "It's a great honour. Very humbled and privileged. I have had a good year in 2011. Hopefully, I will have a couple of more fruitful years before I finish," said Sangakkara, the captain of Deccan Chargers. Sangakkara added that Australian cricketer Ian Healy's advice on wicketkeeping helped him a lot. more..

Ministry seeks support to improve education policies

Apr 13 (SM) The Higher Education Ministry has said it needed the support of university lecturers to amend and improve the education policies. Higher Education Ministry Secretary, Sunil Navaratne has said the government wanted to implement new policies to improve the country’s higher education sector and it could not be achieved without the support of university lecturers. The Secretary has also noted that Ministry officials were already in discussion with more..

Baseline survey to determine radiation levels

Apr 13 (SM) The Power and Energy Ministry is continuing with its precautionary measures against a possible nuclear disaster in the event of a leakage in a South Indian nuclear power plant. The Ministry is currently conducting a baseline survey in the Mannar coastal area to determine the radiation levels in the area. Minister Champika Ranawaka says the baseline survey is carried out in the coastal belt between Mannar and the Jaffna peninsula. more..

'Lanka not targeting India on KKNPP'

Apr 13 (EB) Sri Lanka has denied that it brought up the issue of safety of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu because it is angry with India for voting against it at the 19th session of the UNHRC in March. “The insinuation in a section of the Indian media that our request for a MoU on nuclear disaster management stems from anger over India’s vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, is completely baseless and misleading,” said Dr Ranjith Wijayawardane, chairman of the more..

Sri Lanka begins operation to catch man-eating crocodiles

Apr 13 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Wildlife Department on Thursday launched an operation to catch man- eating crocodiles in rivers close to villages. River banks in parts of the country where crocodiles are known to live were carefully searched during the operation and dangerous crocodiles which are captured will be transferred to a central location. Meanwhile the minister in charge of wildlife S.M. Chandrasena said that they were also looking for a crocodile which had more..

Indian multi-party delegation to visit Sri Lanka despite Tamil Nadu boycott

Apr 13 (Xinhua) India's multi-party delegation is to continue goodwill visit to Sri Lanka despite the boycott announced by Tamil Nadu representatives, a spokesman said. Sarath Dissanayake, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs said the delegation comprising members from multi-parties is to visit Sri Lanka on April 16 as scheduled. "This is a goodwill visit meant to promote bilateral relationship between the two countries," more..

Sri Lanka favourites for A5N promotion

Apr 13 (RWC) The qualifying process for RWC 2015 got underway in the Caribbean and Central America recently, to great success. Now, as if to illustrate the truly global nature of the game, the tournament’s focus switches to the other side of the planet, as the Asian section of qualifying kicks off in the Philippines this weekend. There is little doubt that Asian rugby is on the up and becoming increasingly competitive – and that is reflected in the international set-up in more..

Bishops of Sri Lanka: showing the risen Christ to our leaders path of reconciliation

Apr 13 (AN) Healing the wounds of the past, and recognizing the many sorrows that afflict the poor and needy in Sri Lanka: in his Easter message this year, Card. Malcolm Ranjith, president of the Episcopal Conference, invites all the faithful to "pray that the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Savior, guide our leaders and our people, to engage effectively and with determination in reconciliation, harmony and the unity of our country. " In the words of the Archbishop of Colombo, more..