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Reconstruction of A-9 proceeding as scheduled

Apr 25 (GDI) 50 percent of the renovation and reconstruction of the 321 kilometer Kandy-Jaffna A9 road has been completed. This is the longest road in Sri Lanka which runs through 7 districts. The road between Vavuniya and Omanthei was not developed for a long period of time due to terrorist threat. According to road development authority the construction is expected to be completed by August next year. The A-9 Road was under LTTE Terrorist control. The terrorists levied Tax more..

Sri Lanka interested in holding SAFF Championship: Minister

Apr 25 (Haveeru) Sports Minister Mohamed Hussain 'Mundhu' Shareef on Tuesday said that Sri Lanka has expressed interest in holding the SAFF Championship jointly with the Maldives. Mundhu had met with the President of Sri Lankan Football Federation, Manilal Fernando last Friday and had discussed on holding the SAFF Championship. “I held discussions on holding the SAFF Championship. Sri Lanka had also expressed their interest in holding the competition. more..

SLMC to decide whether to continue cooperation with govt.

Apr 25 (AD) The political committee of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will meet on Saturday to take a decision whether or not it should continue to work alongside the government following the controversy of the mosque in Dambulla, SLMC General Secretary Nizam Kariapper told foreign media. The incident in Dambulla where a group led by Buddhist monks had demanded the removal of a mosque that was claimed to have been built within the Dambulla more..

Significant development in the Hill Country

Apr 25 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the govt’s people centered programmes “Divi Neguma”, “Gama Neguma” and “Maga Neguma” has made a tremendous transformation in the living standards of the hill country people. He said that steps have been taken to further improve infrastructure facilities such as water, electricity and housing and most of these requirements will be fulfilled before the end of this year. The Minister said that the people of the hill country more..

Mervyn Silva terrorising area

Apr 25 (CT) Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members today charged that Minister Mervyn Silva was terrorising the area after being appointed as the organiser for Kelaniya. Silva has opened a party office in the Kelaniya area, and party members say there is a presence and potential for violence stemming from the minister’s close associates. Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera addressing a press conference at the PS office in Kelaniya said the lives of the 16 PS more..

'Cabraal-missile more vicious than Agni-V'

Apr 25 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday the sky-rocketing cost of living in Sri Lanka was far more destructive and forceful than the Indian missile that was launched last week. Mr. Wickremesinghe said most people believed that the Indian-produced Agni-V missile could be a threat to neighbouring nations including China. However he said with the increase in the price of fuel, electricity, food items and transport more..

SLMC jeopardising reconciliation, says Arun T’muttu

Apr 25 (Island) SLFP Organiser for Batticaloa Arun Tambimuttu yesterday warned an SLMC push for a separate enclave for the Muslim community in the Eastern Province could cause political turmoil, which would quickly engulf the entire country. "We are heading for a major crisis. The SLMC move can derail national reconciliation efforts," Tambimuttu told The Island in a brief interview. Asked whether he would campaign against the SLMC initiative, more..

Moderate UNP responsible for bringing Tamils back to mainstream politics – Harin

Apr 25 (Island) It was because of the moderate UNP that the TNA had shed its call for Eelam and was speaking in terms of devolution within a united Sri Lanka, UNP MP Harin Fernando said yesterday. Fernando told The Island that the UNP as the single largest political party, had repeatedly refused to take extreme positions even at the expense of losing elections. The UNP was the alternative govt and its principled stance on the ethnic issue had paid dividends more..

SF to be admitted to hospital

Apr 25 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa today ordered the Prison Authorities to allow former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to receive treatment at Nawaloka Hospital for a period of one week. The order was issued following a submission by Senior Counsel Saliya Peiris when Fonseka’s army deserters case was taken up for the hearing at the Colombo High Court. Senior Counsel Saliya Peiris appearing on behalf of Sarath Fonseka submitted that more..

Govt, oppn trade charges over reconciliation

Apr 25 (PTI) A revived debate in Sri Lanka on devolution package for the Tamils appears to have run into rough weather with the main opposition party, the UNP, accusing the govt of "dilatory tactics". Charging President Mahinda Rajapaksa of changing stance on the 13th amendment, the UNP asked the govt to come clean on its intended political solution. "It is the govt's duty to tell the country their intended political solution. They make statements about the more..

Accommodate Northerners on National List: UPFA constituent

Apr 25 (Island) The SLFP-led UPFA should explore the possibility of appointing a few Northerners through its National List at the next parliamentary polls, the NFF said. They could play an important role in post-war reconciliation process as well as the development projects, the UPFA constituent party said. Former Cultural Affairs Minister Piyasiri Wijenayake, now a politburo member of the NFF told The Island that Northern MPs could counter those more..

Centarl Bank may continue dollar supply for oil bills

Apr 25 (Reuters) Central bank on Wednesday said it may defer plans to stop supplying dollars for oil-import bills and vowed to act against currency speculation after depreciation fears pulled the rupee to an all-time low for a second day. The rupee slid to a record low of 132.90 to the dollar on Wednesday, as importers bought the U.S. currency on fears the local unit will weaken further. While the volume has been thin, more..

Sri Lanka to expand apparel trade with South Korea

Apr 25 (F2F) Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka met Sihyung Lee, Deputy Minister for Trade of Republic of Korea on 22 April on the sidelines of the 13th Ministerial Meeting of UNCTAD General Assembly Session at the Qatari National Convention Center, Doha. Minister Sihyung Lee was apprising Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka during a Sri Lanka-South Korea bilateral session held on the sidelines of more..

‘Mosque in Dambulla sacred area cannot be removed’

Apr 25 (SM) The situation is such that the mosque located within the Dambulla Buddhist sacred area cannot be removed, said lands minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. He said the issue, which could have been resolved through dialogue, has now gone too far now. Mr. Tennakoon said that the police should easily have controlled the chaotic situation that had arisen at the mosque five days ago. He went onto say that the land in which the Dambulla Rajamaha Vihara is located is legally more..

Milinda resigns

Apr 25 (DM) Opposition Leader of the Colombo Municipal Council Milinda Moragoda announced today that he has decided to step down as Leader of the Opposition and Member of the Council. Making a statement at the Opposition Group meeting, Mr. Moragoda says as he unable to give full commitment to the affairs of the council he has decided to resign. “It is essential that the Leader of the Opposition give full commitment to the affairs of the Council and more..

'UNP, JVP leaders should take a leaf from Indian Opposition Leader'

Apr 25 (Island) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP leaders should learn from the Indian Opposition leader who visited Sri Lanka recently on the responsibility towards one’s country and the priority to stick with its national policies, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday. He said despite having a National Council under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss disaster related issues, none of the leaders from the more..

Indian MPs send strong message to Lankan President

Apr 25 (Rediff) The Indian parliamentary delegation's visit to Sri Lanka sent a clear message to the Sri Lankan govt on the need to tackle the political grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. The delegation led by Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj conveyed the 'serious' all-party view in India that the govt of President Mahinda Rajapakse should take steps towards a political settlement in the country. The Indian parliamentarians had a hectic schedule more..

Udul Premaratne surrenders; enlarged on bail

Apr 25 (SM) Lawyer Udul Premaratne this morning surrendered to court and was subsequently enlarged on bail. Police had been searching for him alleging that he had disrupted a police raid in Borella four days ago. Mr. Premaratne stands accused of having disrupted police duties, being a member of an unlawful assembly, damaging state property and committing assault and injury. He gave himself up to the court through lawyer Gunaratne Wanninayake. more..

Militant Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalism: Context of the religious freedom

Apr 26 (CT) This article was first published in January 2005 in Sinhala weekly Ravaya. It explains the background of the religious freedom and the politics of militant Sinhalese nationalism. This translation will help you to understand the context of ongoing attacks against Mosques and Hindu Temples. The article was published under the title ”Who Set Fire to Homagama Church?” and translated by T.C. Serasinghe. more..

The mythical ethnic problem – II

Apr 26 (Island) It is very difficult for a weekly column to write on a topic in instalments as it has to comment on current topics as well. Recently it has become a common phenomenon to observe people coming to the roads and blocking them, setting fire to tyres and making mayhem against some or other police action. Last week at Dematagoda, people from what is known as T 20 Watte, nothing to do with cricket, blocked the Baseline Road apparently over taking some people more..

May Day - beyond a mere celebration…

Apr 26 (DM) The great philosopher Fredrick Engels has said that man has been created by 'labour.' He said this considering the 'labour' has fulfilled within the process that spread out from the primeval ape to the creation of modern man. On the other hand just as 'labour' created man, the force behind all that man created is 'labour' as well. It is millions of unnamed masses who shed their physical as well as mental labour that created everything from Pyramids in Egypt to more..

An economy devoid of trivialization and fairytales?

Apr 26 (DM) It was quite sad to see how a number of Cabinet Ministers and public officials who have been entrusted in running the country's economy, education, trade etc. were subjected to absolute ridicule as a result of some remarks they had made recently. Consequently, not only they have become the most desired caricatures of Sri Lanka's league of newspaper cartoonists, but also have faced the threat of losing their credibility in the public's eye. Trivializing matters is not good. more..

The need for translating New Year wishes into resolute deeds

Apr 26 (Island) Resounding appeals for national unity reverberated through the length and breadth of the country during the period of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. Achievement of prosperity and peace through unity has been the theme of all New Year messages from important persons during this season. President Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing his customary message to the people as the country’s leader stated, "The observance of the many important more..

Duped on drugs

Apr 26 (NS) Kavinda, aged 22, took his doctor’s prescription for Amoxicillin, to a pharmacy in a leading private hospital. He was given the most expensive branded variant of the same drug at Rs 12.65 per tablet. “I later found out that it would have cost me just Rs 2.50 per tablet if I had gone to the Osu Sala,” says Kavinda. He complains that the pharmacist did not inform him about the availability of cheaper brands of the same tablet and more..

Foreign plots to topple the govt

Apr 26 (SL) The saga of Premakumar Gunaratnam is stuff for writers of international thrillers like John Le Carre. He was born at Kegalle to a Tamil mother, a school teacher, attended school at Kegalle; entered the University of Peradeniya Engineering Faculty, became a student leader within a short while after entering the university; joined the JVP which was proscribed at that time; went underground to save himself from security forces; attacked the camp of the IPKF at Kallar; more..

Dayan, Gunaratnam et al

Apr 26 (St) Events during the past two weeks took a turn that was out of character for the typically laid-back New Year season, with some dramatic developments occupying the media's attention. Most unfortunate among these events has been the attempted vilification of Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka's ambassador in Paris. The pettish, nit-picking nature of the allegations leveled against one of the most able and articulate emissaries serving the country in these troubled times, more..

Muslim Council of Sri Lanka statement on Dambulla Jumma Mosque incident

Apr 26 (TC) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the unfortunate incident of the attempted destruction of a mosque and disruption to the Muslims obligatory Friday prayers on 20th April 2012 at Dambulla. The Muslims have coexisted in this country and defended it from internal and foreign forces throughout its history. Muslim Council of Sri Lanka considers the involvement of certain sections of more..

Editorial: Sense and sensors

Apr 26 (Island) An alarming increase in the number of cyclists killed in road mishaps in the UK has jolted an engineers' association into calling upon the British government to adopt what is known as intelligent transport technology. Cyclists' deaths averaging eight a day are reported to have risen by 7 per cent in the past year. These tragic accidents are mostly blamed on the so-called drivers' blind-spots. As a way out, Britain has decided to equip all lorries and buses with collision-avoidance technology more..

Dambulla Mosque attack: Is there a hidden hand?

Apr 26 (GV) The storming of the Dambulla Mosque on Friday the 20th April and chasing away of the Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers by a mob led by Buddhist priests is epoch making in modern Sri Lankan history. The majority of the people of all communities are shocked and incensed by the way Buddhist priests lead this violent and destructive mob against the Dambulla Mosque. According to authorities this mosque has been in existence since 1964 and more..

Discovering the White Van in a troubled democracy

Apr 26 (DBS) In a country that has achieved so much in literacy, education and social development, is it not indeed unfortunate that “White Van” has frightened the entire nation? Appearance of a white van assures a disappearance of some one. If you Google or do any other internet search (or any media that is not controlled by the Government) on Sri Lanka, “White Van” resembles the Defence Authorities of our country. Are we not ashamed of it? more..

Deeds of mosque in Dambulla and photos of damage: How is this structure illegal?

Apr 26 (GV) Groundviews was sent a copy of what we were told was the deed of the mosque at the centre of an on-going controversy in Dambulla, Sri Lanka. We were also sent photos of the damage and vandalism wrought by the mob violence a few days ago. We’ve uploaded the document to Scribd as a PDF, and the high resolution, original scanned images of the deed to Flickr. Both are embedded below, along with four photos of vandalism to copies of the Quran and the more..

'Pakistan values its ties with Lanka'

Apr 26 (DN) Pakistan cherishes the deep and meaningful relations with Sri Lanka which are based on mutual trust and shared interests in maintaining regional peace, security and stability, Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said. "Pakistan and Sri Lanka must actively engage further to enhance cooperation in all fields for progress of their people and rising together as regional partners," he said. Bukhari expressed these views during a meeting with Sri Lankan High Commissioner more..

Workers brought to Kingdom from Kuwait illegally

Apr 26 (AN) Workers in Kuwait are being sent to the Kingdom to work in farms, according to the Sri Lankan ambassador in the Gulf country. C.A.H.M. Wijeratne told Arab News on Sunday that one particular worker from his country, Nihal Nikarawetiya, who had come to Kuwait as a domestic helper was found in Saudi Arabia after being reported missing. “We found out that the person was missing from his home after complaints received from his family back home,” more..

'Nearly 12,000 soldiers deployed in Jaffna, relocated in other areas'

Apr 26 (DN) Around 12,000 soldiers who had been deployed in the Jaffna district, have now been transferred to other areas due to the peaceful environment in the district, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said. "Several groups of the Tamil diaspora have been accusing the govt of militarization of the North. "But it is not true, the government of Sri Lanka has launched a large number of development programmes to uplift more..

EPF benefits for private bus crew

Apr 26 (DN) Conductors and drivers of long distance private bus services will be provided new uniforms, an insurance cover as well as EPF and ETF benefits soon. "We are working out a programme to ensure better working conditions for private bus crew. It will include provision of EPF and ETF, an insurance cover, identity cards and uniforms. We will empower them, providing better working conditions and job guarantees," a National Transport Commission (NTC) spokesman said. more..

Speeding and danger in safari parks

Apr 26 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Yala National Park inhabits a remote and wild corner of the south-east, but anarchic behaviour by tourists and drivers desperate to glimpse big game has created dangers for the wildlife there. Yala is a place of magic, of rocky outcrops, big trees, ancient lakes and the rushing sound of the Indian Ocean never far off. It is a place of leopards, elephants, sloth bears, antelopes and a rich bird life of peacocks, hornbills and more. more..

'Imperialism can be defeated only by a force headed by the working people'

Apr 26 (LT) Imperialism can be truly defeated only by a force headed by the working people says K.D. Lal Kanthe. He was participating at a seminar under the theme “Working people’s might against imperialist campaigns” yesterday (24). Speaking further Mr. Lal Kanthe said, “Imperialism would not do anything detached from the govt. It always functions with the agreement of the govt. G.L. Peiris intends visiting the USA with Namal Rajapaksa and Sajin Vaas to meet Hillary Clinton. more..

HelpAge wins world’s largest humanitarian award for 2012

Apr 26 (FT) HelpAge International received the Hilton Humanitarian Prize at the Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington, D.C. on Monday, 16 April. HelpAge International is the only global organisation with a singular focus on providing assistance to and advocating for disadvantaged older people. It helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. more..

Muslims call prayer meeting on Dambulla

Apr 26 (BBC) Muslims in Sri Lanka have said that the storming of the Jumma Mosque of Dambulla by a gang may negatively impact the reconciliation process among communities. The All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU), an umbrella organization of Muslims in Sri Lanka said on Wednesday that while justice should be sought by legal means, Muslims should refrain from disrupting law and order by holding improper demonstrations causing inconvenience more..

Sri Lankan traditions to be celebrated Sunday on Staten Island

Apr 26 (Sil) A celebration of Sri Lankan culture -- featuring traditional food, games, and contests geared toward kids -- will fill the Cricket Field in Ocean Breeze Sunday with color, fun and an expected crowd of 500. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year Celebration is sponsored by the Sri Lanka Association of New York, a group of immigrants from the South Asian country whose motto is "Togetherness." Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim and Sinhalese members of the group more..