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2012 a milestone in Indonesia–Sri Lanka ties

Feb 7 (JP) The year 2012 marks an important milestone for Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the diplomatic ties of which began 60 years ago. High level visits between the two countries’ noted figures, including Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, have indicated increasing relations between both countries. Rajapaksa participated in the 4th Bali Democracy Forum while Marty made his first visit to Sri Lanka to lead a delegation more..

Pedestrians using mobile phones while crossing roads to be fined

Feb 7 (CT) Motor Traffic Act is soon to be amended enabling the police to fine the Pedestrians who use mobile phones while crossing roads a senior official of the Motor Traffic Department told Ceylon Today. At the same time, a number of new regulations are to be imposed by the Motor Commission Department for road safety, he further added. Pedestrians who commit minor offences on roads, violating the road safety rules will also be fined. more..

COPE gets tough with ministry secretaries

Feb 7 (DM) Ministry secretaries who fail to act against institution heads found responsible for irregularities and misappropriations will be reported to Parliament by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). COPE Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said the inquiries for 2012 would begin on February 23 and COPE would introduce a new formula to put an end to waste and corruption at public enterprises. more..

Navy’s 4Rs saves drowning Student

Feb 7 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Rapid Response Rescue and Release Squadron (4Rs) saved the life of a student who was drowning in the Kala Wewa on 05th February 2012. The 14 year boy had been bathing in the lake when he met with the tragedy. Quickly responding to the situation, Leading Seaman DMI Dissanayake and Able Seaman EMS Ekanayake, who were on duty at the location, rescued the victim, a resident in Giriulla, who had gone on a trip to Anuradhapura with the family members. more..

Fishermen's tragedy exposes Sri Lanka's early-warning gaps

Feb 7 (AN) When they headed out into shallow waters that evening, the fishermen of the small village of Kaparatotta didn’t notice anything to cause alarm. The sky was a little cloudy, and the sea its usual boisterous self - not safe for a swim, yet nothing seasoned fishermen couldn’t handle. But around 9 pm on Nov. 25, 2011, the ocean suddenly turned vicious. Within a few minutes, the small wooden boats with outboard engines, trolling just 1 to2 kilometers from shore, were more..

Dr. Subramanian Swamy in Kataragama

Feb 7 (AT) Dr. Subramanian Swamy , the Janata Party leader is in Sri Lanka on a pilgrimage to Kataragama - the Lord Muruga’s temple to participate in the rituals connected with Thai Poosam. Thai Poosam is celeberated in all the Lord Murugan’s temple and according to a legend Lord Muruga destroyed Tharakasuran on the Poosam Nakshatra day in the Tamil month of Thai and hence Thai Poosam is celebrated in all Murugan temples. more..

Colombo meeting to defend SEP’s democratic rights

Feb 7 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka are holding a public meeting in Colombo on February 13 to defend the party and its members in Jaffna against the government’s anti-democratic measures. The SEP is the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International. An SEP public meeting scheduled in Jaffna on January 29 was blocked by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). more..

Deyata Kirula exhibition extended

Feb 7 (AD) The Deyata Kirula 2012 development exhibition held in Oyamaduwa area in Anuradhapura has been extended till February 12, the President’s Media Division said today. The sixth Deyata Kirula national exhibition, which was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on February 4, was initially slated to be open to the public only till February 10. The exhibition consists of over 1,000 stalls run by government ministries, private sector agencies and more..

Four Lankans with fake documents jailed in UK

Feb 7 (WO) Three men from Watford and one from Harrow have been jailed for their part in a conspiracy to create false passports and IDs to help them stay in the country illegally. Sri Lankan nationals Mohammed Hussain, Aslam Riyas Mohammed Fayas, from Euston Avenue, and Mohammed Ibrahim, from Harrow, were busted after officers based at Heathrow Airport intercepted a parcel addressed to Hussain containing more..

Did MIA really shock the Super Bowl?

Feb 7 (CT) It was the most controversial Super Bowl show since Janet Jackson flashed some nipple. But can we really be outraged by MIA’s middle finger and a line from the new Madonna single? You’d be forgiven for not having a coronary over the fact MIA gave Super Bowl viewers the finger during her half-time guest spot with Madonna. For most fans, it was probably more shocking to see MIA performing a rehearsed dance routine than flipping the bird. And besides, it was more..

No pressure from US – Foreign Secretary

Feb 7 (SM) Several high profile US diplomats visiting the island have no intention of advising of pressuring the Sri Lankan government, Foreign Secretary, Karunatillake Amunugama says. Mr. Amunugama says that they will arrive at the country to brief on the current developments of Sri Lanka and to hold talk talks with top ranking officials of the govt. Noting that US diplomats are required to brief the congress and the senate on the developments of all countries, more..

Rajapaksa double-speak holds Sri Lanka captive to its history

Feb 7 (FP) The modern history of Sri Lanka, centered around the politics of its Tamil minority population and its umbilically bound relationship with India, is one of broken promises, linguistic chauvinism, mutual distrust – and all-round treachery. The annihilation in May 2009 of the LTTE, which waged a bloody 30-year campaign for a separatist Tamil homeland and was in its time arguably the world’s most ruthless killing machine, more..

Swamy seeks more Indian engagement in Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (PTI) Describing India's Sri Lanka policy as "too north-centric", Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy today sought more Indian engagement in developmental projects in this country, even as he advocated the need for a political solution to the Tamil issue. "Peace in Sri Lanka is not only in the interest of Lankans but also of India. But peace can come only with a political solution to the national (Tamil) question," Swamy told PTI. more..

India will rotate openers - Sehwag

Feb 7 (CI) Call it a lesson learned from the Test series or the importance of fielding in one-day cricket, but India are going to give their young batsmen a long run in the ODI series. That is an important call especially considering the return of Sachin Tendulkar to the ODI fold. In normal circumstances one of the youngsters would have had to make way for him, but now India are looking to rotate the openers - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Tendulkar. more..

Lankan Tamil leaders meet US diplomat Rapp

Feb 7 (PTI) Ahead of a key UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session where the US may move an anti-Sri Lanka resolution, leaders of the main Tamil party here on Tuesday met visiting US diplomat Stephen Rapp and discussed matters relating to the minority community. TNA leader R Sampanthan and the party's national list MP M A Sumanthiran held talks with Rapp, the US Ambassador at Large on Global Criminal Justice who is on a 4-day visit to the island nation. more..

Lankan independence from Chechnya

Feb 8 (NS) While a Chechen may have much to celebrate in his historically entrenched, uniform and consistent association with Chechnya, I hold that he is also poorer because he is deprived of the experience of being part of a region with diverse and multi-cultural associations such as our Northern Province. Being Sri Lankan means different things to different people, which I think is totally fine. The only aspect of Sri Lankanness worth insisting upon is that all persons, more..

‘Get lost’ around the corner for TNA

Feb 8 (NS) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is making demands from the Government. Seeking betterment is legitimate in a democracy. There’s nothing wrong in wanting the moon. Proposal must match grievance, however, aspirations should be reasonable and practical realities cannot be wished away. First of all, there is the issue of territory and relevant boundaries. Arbitrarily drawn, the provincial boundaries make for claims that are ill-supported by history and demography. more..

Street entertainers with no permanent abode

Feb 8 (SO) The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) is said to originate from the Greek word for “Egyptian”. The Oxford Dictionary describes `Gypsies’ as a small section of people that belong to a certain race who originally lived in the Asian region. This tiny race did not have permanent dwellings. Since the world is gradually changing, many families belonging to this group have diminished in number or separated. Most gypsy families are now extinct and more..

Dayan Jayatilleka:The architect-ideologue of the war of annihilation of the Tamil nation

Feb 8 (CT) The following quotes are from an article by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka “Prabhakaran, the LTTE and Fascism- The Evidence”, written in response to one of my articles posted on Colombo Telegraph. (all emphases mine) “Unfortunately for the good comrade, the fascist character of the Tigers is no

Independence day: A day for action, not mourning

Feb 8 (CT) February 4th , the day Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) got so-called “Independence” from Britain in 1948, is a day for action, not regret or mourning. Of all the irresponsible acts of the colonial British in Sri Lanka, by far the most serious was leaving the country in the hands of the Sinhalese majority. If Britain was the cause of the problem, then it has to be part of the solution. To support the blatantly anti-Tamil Sri Lankan govt, is to compound the problem, not to resolve it. more..

Accountability is a lamentably misused term by some of the pro-LTTE diaspora

Feb 8 (TC) Appropriately for Independence Day, I just completed reading the letter of a young student who had gone abroad to pursue her postgraduate studies after benefiting from the country’s free education systems and then returned home in the expectation of making up her mind whether to stay or return overseas. What prompted my interest was that the letter was written with feeling and with emotion. These were not deep esoteric meanderings. more..

Iran sanctions - put up or shut up?

Feb 8 (ST) When the United States passed a law to impose sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, thereby effectively obstructing other countries buying Iranian oil, it claimed its intention was to hurt Iran and not others. But clearly things have not worked out this way, if President Mahinda Rajapaksa's remarks to foreign correspondents at Temple Trees on Tuesday are anything to go by. The president protested that the US and EU combined more..

Working of Provincial Councils: Another point of view

Feb 8 (Island) A summary of a review done under the above topic by the Institute of Constitutional Studies (ICS) was published in two parts in The Island of Jan. 24 and 25. The following is an attempt to examine this effort from another perspective. The ICS review proceeds on this exercise based on the premise that the 13th Amendment Bill that introduced the Provincial Councils to this country is a constitutional reality. On reading this review one gets the impression more..

Madonna, M.I.A and the middle finger malfunction!

Feb 8 (DBS) Superbowl XLVI is over and the National Football League champions for 2011 are the New York Giants who beat New England Patriots 21 -17. The game played on Sunday February 5th 2012 at Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana was televised live by NBC.I was one of the estimated 110 million who watched it on TV. Singer Madonna was expected to hog the limelight during the much looked forward to Superbowl half-time show. more..

Addressing the brain drain: To return or not?

Feb 8 (ST) Unlike my previous visits, this time, the year-end trip to Sri Lanka served two purposes. One was the usual--to take a couple of weeks off of the busy research schedule from school. Two was the more important, a thought that crosses the minds of many of us Sri Lankans living abroad,--to decide whether to return to Sri Lanka upon completion of my doctorate degree in the US. Being born and raised in Sri Lanka and having received 13 years of free education from grades 1 through 13 from govt-funded schools, I have always felt the need to return. more..

Editorial: A shameful badger hunt

Feb 8 (Island) Nursing bloodied noses they suffered at the hands of China and Russia the other day in what may be described as an abortive diplomatic offensive to manipulate the UN to effect a regime change in Syria, the US and EU have turned on a soft target, Sri Lanka. Some US State Department bigwigs are already here to discuss Sri Lanka's 'accountability issues' in the run-up to the UNHRC session in Geneva this month. Such diplomatic manoeuvring coupled with more..

Captains and leaders

Feb 8 (Island) "In the mid-90s, playing for SSC, when the opposition was putting up a partnership, fielding from short midwicket I used to ponder a means to break that stand. A couple of deliveries later I would have a fair idea which bowler to use and what field to set to take that wicket. As I made up my mind, I found Mahela Jayawardene sprinting to me and saying; why don’t you try this to get the breakthrough? It just happened to be the same thing I had been thinking. more..

Budget deficit expansion slows down, but exceeds year-end target

Feb 8 (Island) The budget deficit for the first eleven months of 2011 reached Rs. 456.7 billion, the expansion slowing down from over 12 percent during the first ten months to 11.52 percent as against Rs. 409.5 billion a year earlier, latest Central Bank data showed. However, the deficit target of 6.8 percent of GDP for the year has already been surpassed with the deficit reaching 7.2 percent of GDP during the eleven month period, preliminary estimates showed. more..

Hunt for new SEC DG elusive

Feb 8 (FT) The hunt for the new Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears elusive as the capital market regulatory body is advertising afresh for a suitable candidate. The first attempt saw over a dozen apply, but only seven turned up for interviews, with at least four withdrawing their original intention. The search narrowed to a few, but after being not overly satisfied, the SEC had decided a fresh call for applications was warranted. more..

Harsha gives thumbs up for Nivard but says risks remain

Feb 8 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday gave thumbs up to Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal for the latter’s dual move of hiking interest rates and depreciating the currency, though insisted risks and challenges remain. “The Central Bank Chief must be commended for finally realising that there is a problem. Depreciating the currency and increasing policy rates as a signal to hike lending rates, aimed at curbing import credit are welcome moves. more..

NCPC to provide 200 tractors for farmers

Feb 8 (DN) The North Central Provincial Council has embarked on a programme to make every farmer family in the Rajangane colonization scheme own a two-wheel tractor. On the theme invented by Rajangane PS chairman Vimarshana Prabath Vithana “a two-wheel tractor to every farmer family,” this programme is implemented under the guidance of Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake. They plan to distribute 200 tractors worth Rs 40 million among farmers under the first phase of this programme. more..

Justice Deepali Wijesundera, always focused on duty - AG

Feb 8 (DN) 'It is my honour and privilege to welcome Justice Deepali Wijesundera as a Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 'It is also a greater privilege that after becoming the Attorney General, my first address in a ceremonial court is to welcome a lady Judge whom I have associated with for several decades', said Attorney General, President's Counsel Eva Wanasundera at the ceremonial sitting held to welcome the new Court of more..

Connections | February 06, 2012

UPFA Mayor pays floral tribute to DS statue

Feb 8 (Island) The first UPFA Mayor of Kandy to pay a floral tribute to the statue of the first Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka D. S. Senanayake was Mahendra Ratwatte. Floral tributes to the statue at the historic Mahamaluwa during the National Independence Day celebrations were made in the past by the United National Party Mayors since the statue was built by the people of Kandy. The statue was unveiled by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake on February 04, 1969. more..

Students boost post-conflict reconciliation

Feb 8 (DN) Post-conflict reconciliation gets a boost as students who have excelled in dancing and cultural activities from Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and other areas of the North and East join others from the Anuradhapura district to display their talents at the Deyata Kirula Development Exhibition which began in Anuradhapura, Feb 4. The performances are organized by the Nena Guna Weduma: Sisu Diriya Programme initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and more..

Sri Lanka says ouster of Maldivian president internal

Feb 8 (PTI) The resignation of Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed is country's "internal matter", its closest neighbour, Sri Lanka said Tuesday. "The Govt of Sri Lanka has noted the resignation of the President of the Maldives Mr. Mohamed Nasheed and the swearing in of its Vice-President, Dr. Mohamed Waheed as the President of the Maldives. The Govt of Sri Lanka is of the view that these developments are internal matters of the Maldives more..

Indian-organised international delegation visits Jaffna

Feb 8 (TN) Around 60 diplomats belonging to African, Latin American, West Asian and European countries, based in New Delhi were brought to Jaffna on Sunday to showcase them on ‘development’ and ‘reconciliation’ taking place in the country of Eezham Tamils occupied by genocidal Sri Lanka. The exercise was organised and fully backed by the Establishment in New Delhi with an aim of bailing out Rajapaksa regime from international investigation on war crimes, more..

Tamil journalists blocked from attending Rajapaksa's meetings in Jaffna

Feb 8 (TN) The wards of the Chaavakachcheari hospital, renovated with help from Red Cross societies from Finland and Ireland at different stages and that were already declared open, were declared once again opened by SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday. The ‘hijack’ move projected as a part of ‘grand opening’ under Rajapaksa's Vadakkin Vasantham (the spring of the North), was exposed by the local journalists, who discovered that the initial inaugural plaques with more..

Jetwing Yarl opens the door to a new life in the north

Feb 8 (IL) A new world replaces the old - from the T-56 and cyanide capsule to the opulence of the leisure industry. This is the transformation coming over Jaffna, with the laying of the foundation stone last week, for Jetwing Yarl, a 76-room luxury hotel project of over 700 million rupees, a joint venture partnership between Mercantile Merchant Bank Ltd., (MMBL) and Jetwing Hotels Limited (JHL). Jaffna city, and all of the north and more..

Sri Lanka Watawala to invest marketing unit proceeds in tea, oil palm

Feb 8 (LBO) Watalawa Plantations Plc said cash from the sale of a marketing arm will be used to expand oil palm, boost efficiencies in its tea estates and cut debt, as interest rates continued to rise. "The business of the company is growing and processing of tea, rubber and oil palm," the firm said in a statement to shareholders. "The directors are of the view that considering the current financial environment the company's core activity has to be strengthened. more..