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Women in aftermath of war

Aug 17 (DM) Peace activist Lillian Wald once said that women, more than men, have the ability to strip war of its glamour - its outdated heroisms, patriotisms and perceive it for what it really is; a demon of destruction and hideous wrong. Sitting on the rough, mud thatched door ledge of her little shelter, Nadaraja Letchchami’ (31) has her eyes fixed on the horizon, as if in a trance. Her trail of thought shatters as her son hugs her. Cuddling up to her warmth, his tiny arms around more..

Turf sod sellers in a rewarding livelihood

Aug 17 (SO) Owning a beautifully landscaped garden would be anybody's dream. In laying out the lawn, do you know the amount of effort that goes into preparing it? People in urban areas, such as in Colombo would have seen vendors engaged in selling turf sods (Tanakola Pidali). Bauddhaloka Mawatha in Colombo (Bullers Road) is a famous location for selling turf sods. Hundreds of people living in Colombo and more..

Burning of effigies should be banned

Aug 17 (CT) Another act of extremist ‘political voodoo’ was performed in Colombo on 12 August 2012 by burning the effigies of TNA leader R Sampanthan and ex-Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader M Karunanidhi with impunity. No one was so far arrested. The act was performed by an organization called the National Solidarity Organization (NSO) which is supposed to be a collective of Sinhala nationalist organizations, the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) linked to more..

The politics of India’s relationship with Sri Lanka: What India really wants

Aug 17 (CT) While Tamil Nadu is fixated with the politics of India’s relationship with Sri Lanka, as was amply demonstrated by the hullabaloo over the conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation in Chennai on August 12th, the rest of the country has been focusing on rather different issues. The August 2nd to 5th visit to Colombo of Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma brought with it announcements of several major developments on the economic front. more..

Chilaw to Melbourne on a leaky boat: An escape to utopia or a fool’s gold rush?

Aug 17 (LB) The seemingly insoluble global refugee problem is caused mainly by people fleeing the illegal wars being waged by the so-called ‘super powers.’ According to UNHCR, in 2011, there were nearly 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and there were 1.5 million Iraqi refugees. There would be many more millions of unregistered displaced persons from these two countries and other regions. more..

Tamils have lived in this country for more than 3000 Years

Aug 17 (DBS) We all know history is subject to revision when new research shows new evidences. It is also an exercise in interpretation and it depends on who does it for whom. In Lanka, history is interpreted in different ways. While being skeptical on what I am going to record below, I feel it is necessary to report how the Tamils in Lanka look at their past. Because the English press does not have any space to report, comment and analyse what a minority community think and feel, more..

Olympics 2012 Through Eyes of a Lankan in London

Aug 17 (DBS) I really have enjoyed the bliss of retired life, being able to watch the London ‘Olympics’, savouring the great moments in real time without the hindrance of work! When I read the negative comments of ‘I can C’, who obviously could neither see nor appreciate the finer points of the opening ceremony, in your paper of 31st July I wanted to respond but delayed as I still had lingering doubts whether things could go wrong and I may be speaking too soon. more..

The curse of the hero

Aug 17 (SL) Heroes are like double-edged swords. Sane nations use them, with caution, and send them into honourable retirement once their deeds are done. The nation, which is seduced by the hero into giving him an endless carte blanche, places its present and its future in jeopardy. Vellupillai Pirapaharan was a hero to millions of Tamils, as the man who restored to a bowed and beaten people a sense of self-respect, after the horror of Black July. more..

Swimming against the tide: Australia’s new asylum-seeker package

Aug 17 (GV) Though launched with much fanfare and media acclaim, Australia’s new raft of proposals embodied in the Houston package to handle the surge in asylum-seekers is simply treading water and will get the country nowhere. The flow of migrants to Western countries by both legal and illegal paths has increased steadily over the years. The large pool of migrants then encourages kinfolk and friends to migrate through information, good-luck tales and remittances. more..

Feeding cats on a public road risks arrest in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (GV) My husband and I have established a cat café at the back of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel where we have been feeding the cats every day for the last seven years. A cat café is basically an area where cats are fed at a regular time each day. Usually a cat café is set up at a hotel, school or other public place where cats would otherwise be attracted by a steady supply of food and become a public nuisance and, in countries like Sri Lanka which still has endemic rabies, more..

Conversation on Budhism: Guruge & Guruge

Editorial: March of the July Brigade

Aug 17 (Island) A group of people in their twilight years put up a massive show of strength in Colombo on Wednesday, pulling down as they did police barricades that blocked their march to the President's Office. The protesters were some of the workers thrown out of their jobs by the J.R. Jayewardene government way back in July 1980 for the crime of demanding a pay hike of Rs. 10 per day! More than 50,000 people lost employment and dozens of them committed suicide. more..

Discourage mobile phone use among schoolchildren - Tissa

Aug 17 (DN) The use of mobile phones among schoolchildren must be discouraged as a remedial measure to prevent child abuse, Minister Tissa Karaliyedda said. He was addressing an awareness programme in Anuradhapura for school Principals, child rights promotion officers, probational officers and other officers involved in child related services. It was the inaugural ceremony of a series of district level programmes more..

Oil hedging cases could have been heard in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (Island) In disturbingly characteristic fashion, authorities have allowed oil hedging cases to be heard outside the country when the Sri Lankan legal system could have dealt with the issue here in the country, which would have cost the public purse a pittance compared to what has already been paid to foreign law firms, not to mention travelling and accommodation costs more..

Senior Nepali cricketers to train in Lanka

Aug 17 (HT) With high hopes of advancing to the next stage of the 2015 ICC World Cup qualifiers, a partial Nepali team is on Friday leaving for Sri Lanka to prepare for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division-IV Tournament. The WCL Division-IV is slated for September 3-10 in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Six teams — Nepal, Malaysia, Denmark, Singapore, Tanzania and the United States of America — will fight it out for the two available berths to enter more..

Man beaten to death: Father, brother arrested

Aug 17 (CT) A 38-year-old person was beaten to death by his father and brother in the Galahadoowa, Hendala area last morning. The Wattala Police said the father and the brother have been taken into custody over the death M. Mohammad Hussain. According to the police, the victim was brutally assaulted with poles by the suspects over a personal dispute that had developed between them a long time ago. The Magisterial inquires into the death was examined by more..

C’wealth MPs to discuss peace, conflict resolution in Colombo

Aug 17 (Island) Conflict resolution and peace would be among the subjects to figure at the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPA), to be held in Colombo from Sept 7 to 15. The agenda ranges from conflict resolution, peace, security, education, health, unemployment, youth and women’s issues, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told a news conference more..

More wind damage

Aug 17 (Island) About 72 houses were destroyed by strong winds, accompanied by heavy showers, that swept across Mahiyangana and Batticaloa, on Wednesday. DMC Deputy Director Sarath Lal Kumara told The Island that roofs of 35 houses at Kukulapola in Mahiyanganaya were partly damaged, while another 37 houses at Pullumale in Batticaloa too were partly damaged as those areas experienced stormy conditions coupled with heavy showers.The Meteorology Department duty forecaster said more..

No more Lankan fishermen in India's custody

Aug 17 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry yesterday announced that all Sri Lankan fishermen in the custody of Indian authorities have been released. Fisheries Department Assistant Director Lal de Silva said mutual understanding maintained with Indian officials during the recent months paved the way for the release. A special programme is also underway to prevent Sri Lankan fishermen from being arrested by foreign countries after crossing the maritime boundary lines. more..

'I will lead a movement for freedom and justice'

Aug 17 (DM) Retired High Court Judge W.T.M. Warawewa yesterday said he was willing to a lead a political movement that would ensure a society in which the law was equal to all its citizens. “People have told me that after retirement I have developed political ambitions. Yes, as a citizen of this country I have the right to develop political ambitions. My political ambitions are to stand up against the decline of the rule of law, to more..

President inspects Colombo-Katunayake Expressway Project

Aug 17 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected construction work on the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway yesterday morning. The 25 km expressway will have four lanes in addition to five flyovers built at Kelaniya, Peliyagoda, Ja-Ela, Kerawalapitiya and Katunayake junctions, said a press release issued by the President's Media Division yesterday. The project costing US dollars 292 million is funded by the Chinese and Sri Lankan govts. Once the expressway is completed more..

Pensions rights for Home Guards, CDF

Aug 17 (DN) Members of the Civil Defence Force and Home Guards will be eligible for a pension scheme after their retirement on a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Cabinet approval has been granted for this proposal. "This topic was constantly brought up in Parliament. The opposition members made various allegations against the govt on this issue on several occasions. more..

Million dollar windfall for SLC from ICC

Aug 17 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has received an outright grant of one million US dollars (approximately Rs. 133 million) from the ICC to develop infrastructure for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 tournament. The tournament will be held in Sri Lanka between September 18 and October 7 this year. SLC President Upali Dharmadasa said that the grant came as the result of a request they made to the ICC. more..

Niluka moves up the rankings

Aug 17 (DM) Niluka Karunaratne who competed at the recently concluded Olympics in London has moved two slots up in the world rankings to 48th position according to the governing body for the sport. He was promoted to this position after he thrashed the Japanese shuttler who was ranked eighth in the world during the preliminary round match at the London Olympics. Niluka in an interview in London has stated that his next target is to be among the top 25 in the world before the end of the year more..

20-year RI for kingpin of gang smuggling drugs to Lanka

Aug 17 (Hindu) The kingpin of a gang smuggling narcotic drugs to Sri Lanka has been sentenced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment while two of his accomplices were awarded 10-year jail terms each, by a Special Court for cases under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act. All three Sri Lankan nationals were nabbed by the Narcotics Control Bureau in 2004 for their involvement in the trafficking of heroin. Considering the age, severity and nature of repeated offence more..

TGIF for Tilak?

Aug 17 (FT) If one were to go by his recent pronouncements of being under severe pressure by a so-called mafia trying to oust him and that he would call it quits by today, then the ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ phrase must be reverberating inside the deep soul of SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne. Whilst calls are being made for continuity, his pre-announced resignation from today will mark the exit of the second head of the more..

Evans Cooray no more

Aug 17 (Island) Evans Gunalal Cooray, former press secretary to the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, passed away yesterday after a protracted illness in London. Born on February 13, 1936, Cooray served as an efficient press secretary to several ministries under both UNP and SLFP governments. He served as press secretary to Premadasa for 28 years, as the latter rose from Minister of Local Government to Prime Minister and finally to Executive President. more..

Public Utilities Commission approves power cuts

Aug 17 (FT) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has granted approval to the proposal made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on scheduled interruptions of electricity supply in view of managing the current situation with a shortfall of electricity supply due to the breakdown at Puttalam Coal Power Plant. “This short fall of electricity supply has been further aggravated by the drought currently prevailing in the country. Despite having sufficient installed capacity to meet the more..

The real traitors are the rulers: Bahu

Aug 17 (DM) Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne said that the real traitors were those betrayed the country by selling its resources to international organisations. “Recently the President had referred to me by saying that I tarnished the image of the country by going for the TESO conference. I have to remind him that the real traitors are those have betrayed our beloved country to the IMF and the World Bank. It is those people who have pawned this country to more..

'Leadership making things hot for Dayasiri'

Aug 17 (Island) UNP Kurunegala District MP Asoka Abeysinghe said that he was of the opinion that certain top notchers within the party were making it uncomfortable for Dayasiri Jayasekera, another UNP PM, to remain in the party by making all kinds of accusations against him and even contemplating disciplinary action. Abeysinghe, who is also one of the UNP reformists, said that instead of assessing the reasons for continuous defeats at various elections and not focusing on winning them, more..

DMK to hold meets on Teso resolutions

Aug 17 (TOI) The DMK will organise public meetings in all district headquarters for 10 days beginning August 20 to disseminate the contents of the Teso resolutions adopted at the Chennai conference. Party chief M Karunanidhi will address the public in Ambattur on August 25, while party treasurer and son M K Stalin will speak at Tirunelveli and daughter Kanimozhi at Kanyakumari. The Teso conference passed 14 resolutions aimed at betterment of the livelihood of Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Yan Oya Reservoir Project construction inaugurated

Aug 17 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who inaugurated the construction of the Yan Oya Reservoir Project at Wahalkada, Kebithigollewa yesterday, identified it as another giant step in the country's ongoing development drive. Addressing a public gathering after initiating the project, President said although he was happy to inaugurate the project, it should have ideally begun 40 years back. more..

Northern docs on warpath over hello allowance

Aug 17 (Island) Doctors in the Northern Province warn that they will launch a strike on August 25 if the Northern Provincial Council fails to pay them their telephone allowances. Doctors attached to district and base hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics run by the NPC want arrears of their phone allowances paid with their salaries by August 24. They claim they have not been paid the allowances since May. Consultants are entitled to Rs. 8,000 and general practitioner to more..

Govt. bent on ruining students’ future – UNP

Aug 17 (CT) The UNP called for action to be taken against those responsible for errors in the A/L exam papers. UNP MP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam accused the govt of being bent on ruining the future of the younger generation, stating that foul ups in the question papers is becoming a regular problem each year and the govt has not made any attempt to rectify it. “Education, and subsequently the future of the younger generation, is being ruined by the govt. It is not just those who are currently sitting for the A/L exam who suffering due to the Z-score more..

Harry J says he was only a puppet at CPC

Aug 17 (Island) Former CPC Chairman Harry Jayawardena yesterday alleged that an attempt was being made to confuse the public as regards the circumstances under which blacklisted Vitol Asia(Pvt) Limited, Singapore had been reinstated as a supplier of petroleum products to the CPC. The CPC once again blacklisted the Singaporean company on Aug 3 over a stock of low quality diesel which the CPC took delivery of late last month. more..

Provincial HCs can issue writs regarding State lands

Aug 17 (Island) The Court of Appeal, in a recent judgement, said that State lands continue to be vested in the Republic of Sri Lanka. The High Courts of the Provinces, established under article 154(p) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, have jurisdiction to issue Writs of Certiorari Mandamus, and prohibition in respect of State lands. The judgement added that whilst the State land was vested in the State, the utilization, administration and control could more..

Sabotage at Norochcholai being investigated

Aug 17 (Island) Repeated breakdowns, at the Norochcholai coal power plant were being investigated and sabotage could not be ruled out, the govt said. Several causes including the technical process not being completed properly, negligence etc. were being examined, it said. But, sabotage could not be ruled out, Minister Rambukwella said. Asked to reveal the loss caused to the Chinese built 300 megawatt Norochcholai plant, which was commissioned in March last year, more..

Glaring mistake that missed many an eye

Aug 17 (Hindu) As a reporter in Chennai, I was regularly sent to cover passing-out parades at the Officers Training Academy in the city. The ceremony takes place on the Major Parameshwaran grounds at the OTA. When a cadet steps on a rectangular stone with the words antim kadam (final step) engraved on it, he or she steps out of the parade ground, and an officer is born. So it was natural for me to look up the Param Vir Chakra awardee at the IPKF memorial more..

Samurdhi officers move SC against Divineguma Bill

Aug 17 (Island) The future of Samurdhi Authority employees will be at risk if the proposed Bill to establish a Divineguma Department is enacted, the General Secretary of the Samurdhi Development Officers Union, Chairman Maddume Kaluge has said in a petition filed in the Supreme Court. The Samurdhi Development Authority has over 25,000 employees. The Bill which seeks to amalgamate the Samurdhi, Dakshina Development Authority more..

Nobel Prize winner to help war affected women

Aug 17 (Island) A peace activist, turned social worker and women’s rights advocate in Liberia and the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee said that she would give her utmost support to women affected by the conflict in Sri Lanka to overcome issues of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Addressing the media at the Galle Face Hotel, in connection with Ms. Gbowee’s visit, UNP MP Rosy Senanayake said more..