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The ‘Demonic Projection’ of 1983 - a giant exorcism

July 10 (NS) The duo Nissan and Stirrat and the solo Bruce Kapferer were the anthropologists who discovered a unique and distinctive dynamic in the way the Sinhalese disposed of their Enemy Other. This, they said, was directed by the compulsions embedded within the Sinhalese cultural DNA. These cultural compulsions, said they, led the Sinhalese to see the Enemy Other as demons and caused them to automatically go into demon subjugation mode, more..

Sanjana Putha 04

July 10 (NS) Last week began with a press conference on human smuggling and trafficking. Mid-week, the government expressed renewed interest in regulating web content, through compulsory registration of news websites. Towards the end of the week, the UNHRC unanimously passed a resolution that affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice. more..

East gears up for PC polls

July 10 (NS) It is election time once again. Political parties are gearing up to face the provincial council polls in the East, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. The govt dissolved all three provincial councils recently amidst mixed reactions from political parties. Provincial Council polls were last held in 2008 in the East, and it was the first time in two decades that a Provincial Council election was held in the once war torn region. more..

Children under threat; The President cannot be proud’

July 10 (CT) Not too long after the historic defeat of the LTTE, President Rajapaksa made a claim. He said ‘parapuraka aadambara thaaththa mamai’ (I am the proud father of an entire generation). The claim was not based on an opinion poll. And yet, both resonated well with the general public, considering the context. He had, after all, presided over and given political direction to secure what was thought to be impossible to obtain. And again, as is usually the case, as time went by, the claims and more..

Chandraprema’s war: A review of Gota’s war

July 10 (CT) Unfortunately, much of history is written by journalists. And Gota’s War is no different. If you’re looking for a military history of Sri Lanka’s war, this is not the book for you. In fact, that book has yet to be written. C. A. Chandraprema looks at the conflict through the lens of the media – the incidents and events that drew the newspaperman’s eye; albeit a rather right-of-centre Sinhalese nationalist newspaperman. Make no mistake, this is an important book; more..

The way we were

July 10 (ST) After the endless stream of noisy crowds for weeks, a silence engulfs the area, disturbed only by a bird-call or the soothing rustle of leaves as rainwater from the massive rock outcrop falls on to tree canopies and slides down. Just being here at Pahiyangala, off Bulathsinhala, in Kalutara transports us back in time when, surrounded by dense rainforest, a deeper silence would have prevailed without, while under more..

Be prepared! Sharp turn ahead

July 10 (LB) Last week Ranil blamed the Government for not giving the proper answers to questions he raised in Parliament on all the EPF and ETF share purchases by the Central Bank, from January 2010 to the end of April this year. On June 21 he made a statement in Parliament requesting the Govt to inform the House of the present position of the investments made by the EPF and the ETF certified by the Secretary of the Finance Ministry as the chief accounting officer of the two funds, more..

Agriculture, services and foreign investment

July 10 (LB) And so I come to the fourth in my series of five letters which I trust will motivate interest in drafting a left programme. In the previous three issues of this column I began with a broad political survey and then proceeded to an economic policy framework, and then industrial policy. I understand that the LSSP Left Tendency’s document that I made passing reference to last week was unanimously adopted by the Central Committee. But it is still being kept secret; why? more..

Dairy industry, a boost to plantation workers

July 10 (SO) After the Govt's recent decision to empower MILCO to purchase all the milk produced by farmers as part of its strategy to achieve self-sufficiency in milk by 2016, and the subsequent media conferences conducted by the Ministry of Livestock and Rural Community Development on the subject, the Sunday Observer visited some of the plantation areas around Hatton, the hub of the tea export industry, where plantation workers, some private entrepreneurs and more..

Looking through the fire: Memories and landscapes

July 10 (DBS) In 1970, when the leader of the JVP Rohana Wijeweera was admitted in the Colombo general hospital, I met him with a friend. We requested him to adopt federalism as one of the main policies of JVP in order to open the door for Tamils. He wanted us to join the movement and went onto talk about some other things – without answering our main question. When we insisted on an answer, he asked us to meet S.D. Bandaranayake (who was considered as more..

Colourful vitality of South Asian Film Festival in Colombo

July 10 (DBS) The Colombo SAARC Cultural Centre, which hosted the SAARC Film Festival 2011 once again extended its hospitality for the SAARC Film Festival 2012. The big day was celebrated with all enthusiasm in Colombo on 16 May at the National Film Corporation Cinema Hall. SAARC member countries, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Maldives had sent in their productions for screening at the festival. Besides feature films, the inclusion of more..

Crucial SLFP CC meeting tonight

July 10 (Island) The Central Committee of the SLP will meet tonight to take some crucial decisions, including whether to accept the condition put forward by the SLMC to contest under the UPFA Banner and Betel leaf symbol at the forthcoming election to the Eastern Provincial Council. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would preside over the meeting to be held at Temple Trees commencing at 7.00 p.m., Administrative Secretary of the SLFP S.H. Ariyasena said yesterday. more..

Editorial: All bark and no bite

July 10 (Island) The Opposition is shouting from the rooftops that the govt is planning a grand 'robbery of votes' at the upcoming PC polls. The govt cannot afford to lose in any of the three provinces that will go to the polls in a few weeks. For, an electoral loss at this juncture will be viewed as a forerunner to its downfall. Its stakes are so high that it is sure to go the whole hog to secure victory. So, the Opposition's fears are not unfounded. The govt's decision to stagger PC polls has come under severe more..

Democratic Solutions, Undemocratic System

July 10 (Scoop) For many decades since 1978 there has been talk about many reforms. The basic justification for 17th Amendment to the Constitution was that it promised basic reforms with the view to enable working of the democratic process. There had also been suggestions for reforms to ensure the rights of minorities, particularly the Tamils. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution was an outcome of that debate. Then the latest is the recommendations of the LLRC, more..

Kelaniya dons meet to decide on strike

July 10 (Island) Lecturers of the Kelaniya University have been invited to a special committee meeting of their union tomorrow to decide whether to join the ongoing all out strike launched by the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA). FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that teachers of medical faculties, Kelaniya and Uva Wellassa Universities had yet to join the ongoing trade union action. more..

Ceylon Chamber spearheaded repositioning post-war Sri Lanka forum kicks off today

July 10 (FT) A major initiative to find out the best positioning of post-war Sri Lanka in the challenging global economy will be kicked off today by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with its Economic Summit bringing together over 50 experts in diverse fields. The ceremonial opening of the Sri Lanka Summit will take place today at 6.00 p.m. at the Cinnamon Grand whilst over the next two days several sessions and panel discussions involving experts will try and crystalise the more..

BOP crisis: Action should have been taken earlier, says Rienzie

July 10 (Island) Outspoken former banker, Rienzie T. Wijetilleke, said policy measures to contain a balance of payments problem should have been taken much earlier. Authorities were warned of a balance of payments crisis since June last year, but the Central Bank had repeatedly denied such a problem and was selling down reserves to keep the exchange rate at an artificial level despite the widening trade deficit. Last February, the bank, and the govt, could no longer ignore the problem more..

Sri Lanka can cut imports by 31%

July 10 (Island) While the country struggles to recover from a balance of payments crisis, a recent study shows that Sri Lanka can cut its import bill by 31 percent, at the least, and make considerable welfare gains if intraregional trade improved. A recent study ‘Consumers and Economic Cooperation: Cost of Economic Non-cooperation to Consumers in South Asia’ authored by Bipul Chatterjee, Deputy Executive Director, CUTS International and more..

‘Keep away from wasp colonies’

July 10 (DN) The Ministry of Wildlife and Agrarian Services has warned the Ministry of Cultural Affairs not to interfere with the wasp colonies around the Sigiriya rock fortress by attempting to remove the wasp nests in the rock. Ministry’s Wildlife Conservation Department officials told the Cultural Ministry’s Central Cultural Fund, if the latter should do anything to upset the biodiversity around the Sigirya Rock , they would institute legal action against the Cultural Fund, more..

'Refuse tea exporters disgrace country'

July 10 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that extensive raids would be conducted to nab the unscrupulous exporters of refuse tea. The export of the refuse tea had tarnished the image of the country. He would submit a Cabinet paper to establish refuse tea auction centres in the country soon. Tea auction centres were abolished a few years ago in Sri Lanka. But to save the country’s image he would seek direct govt intervention to compel exporters to more..

Criminalising dissent in warlike elections

July 10 (SL) Long before the election is held, the first result is out. Two anti-government websites were raided and their staffers arrested (including the tea-boy), within 48 hours of the dissolution of North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils. The muzzling of Sri Lanka Mirror and Lanka X News marks the commencement of a new anti-democratic wave. Neither website was illegal or clandestine; both were duly registered with the Media Ministry. more..

Soldier arrested for abducting, molesting schoolgirl

July 10 (Island) A soldier attached to Welikanda Army Camp was arrested for molesting a 15-year-old girl, who was on her way to school yesterday at Sinhapura. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the soldier had made the victim fall from her bicycle around 6.45 a.m. near the Veterinary office in the Welikanda police area and then dragged her to a nearby forest. Some passengers in a bus going toward Sinhapura from the Welikanda bus stand had seen the incident and more..

Dengue prevention: Keep your garbage out today for CMC to collect

July 10 (ST) Colombo residents are requested to leave all their garbage and discarded items and materials outside their homes, gardens and offices for the Colombo Municipal Council to collect today. The collection is part of the CMC’s ongoing mosquito eradication programme. “Dengue cases are escalating, and there have been scattered rains, especially in the Western province, which could leave accumulated rainwater that would encourage mosquito breeding,” more..

Monetary Board faces dilemma over robust credit growth

July 10 (FT) The private sector borrowed more money in the first five months of this year as against the corresponding period of 2010, prompting analysts to claim that Govt efforts to apply brakes to credit growth remain a challenge. The robust credit growth despite monetary policy measures implemented in February and April this year, along with other fiscal moves, is likely to be a thorn when the Monetary Board meets today more..

South Africa A win series after drawn match

July 10 (CI) South Africa A played out 56 overs in the fourth innings with the loss of only two wickets to deny Sri Lanka A a chance to square the two-match series. South Africa had beaten the visitors by an innings in the first match in Durban. Sri Lanka A started the day with opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, on 99 overnight, reaching his century in the first over of the morning with an off-drive to the boundary. Karunaratne, who had scored 83 in the first innings, more..

India guarded in talks with Lanka

July 10 (AA) India, it appears, adopted the role of the big brother rather than big bully during national security advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon’s recent visit to Sri Lanka to discuss the reconciliation process involving Sri Lankan Tamils. While it was widely expected that there would be some tough talking by the NSA during the visit with regard to the reconciliation process, it’s learnt that the Indian approach was guarded. Yet, Mr Menon did convey to the Sri Lankan leadership, including more..

Secretary Defence Briefs Diplomats

July 10 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a special address today (8) at the special workshop for Sri Lankan ambassadors and heads of missions conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs at Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa. The special workshop began at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa yesterday (7). The President Rajapaksa graced the occasion as more..

Rs. One million rupees robbed

July 10 (CT) Two thieves on motor cycles had robbed one million rupees from a businessman at the Puliyankulama Junction in the Pallama area on Sunday. The incident had taken place at the Puliyankulama Junction when the businessman had been stopped by two motorcyclists. The incident had taken place when the businessman had been travelling from Bangadeniya to the Pallama area. The businessman had been identified as 38 year old Dimuthu Wickremasinghe. more..

Six girls who decamped from school hostel found in their homes

July 10 (Island) Six girls who went missing from a reputed school hostel in Hatton around 5.30 am yesterday were found at their homes in the evening, OIC of the Hatton police said. The girls who fled from the hostel are between grade five and 12 and they are from Nuwara Eliya, Ampara, Ginigathewara Eliya, Ampara, Ginigathena, Trincomalee, Mihintale. The parents of the children had told the police that the children had told them that they could not bear the rules and regulations of the school more..

'Stop training Lankan airmen'

July 10 (Hindu) Demanding the eviction of Sri Lankan airmen now undergoing training in the Indian Air Force Station at Bangalore, the Communist Party of India would stage a Statewide agitation on July 13, party’s deputy secretary C. Mahendran has said. He said the Sri Lankan armed forces, which brutally murdered over 1.42 lakh Tamils within a year including 45,000 innocents at Mullivaaikaal alone, would employ its personnel who had undergone training at more..

Treasure hunting spree: People driven by myths

July 10 (DN) The past 17 years recorded the largest destruction of artefacts in the country. After the establishment of the Archaeological Department 122 years ago, this was the worst period, Archaeological Department Director General Senerath Dissanayake said. He was addressing the National Archaeological Symposium- 2012 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Colombo -7. The symposium was held under the patronage of National Heritage Minister Jagath Balasuriya. more..

Woman critically injured by bike in VVIP security detail

July 10 (DM) A woman was seriously injured when a motorcycle in a VVIP vehicle convoy knocked her down in Mount Lavinia yesterday afternoon, reports said. According to initial investigations, the victim was on a pedestrian crossing with her child just in front the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court when she was knocked down by the motor cycle. The child was unhurt. The rider of the motor cycle was taken into police custody and produced before the Mt.Lavinia Chief Magistrate more..

Lankan Tamils perish in sea

July 10 (AA) Over 600 Sri Lankan Tamils have perished in the Indian Ocean sailing from the south Indian coast in sea-unworthy boats for greener pastures in Australia and Canada, says S.C. Chandrahasan, who heads the OfERR quoting from statistics. He must know since he has been efficiently running OfERR to take care of the thousands of the Tamil refugees who fled from the war zone in north Lanka since early 80s. more..

ACMC asks if TNA has secret pact with SLMC

July 10 (Island) The All Ceylon Muslim (ACMC) Congress yesterday demanded to know how TNA leader R. Sampanthan could state that if the SLMC teamed up with the government to contest the forthcoming Eastern Provincial Council polls, it would be a betrayal of the Tamil community. ACMC general secretary Y.L.S. Hameed said that Sampanthan had stated that the late SLMC Leader M. H. M. Ashraff would have never agreed to any such alliance against the Tamil minority. more..

Non–academics call off protest march

July 10 (Island) University non-academic staff yesterday called off their protest march, from Colombo Fort to the Presidential Secretariat, scheduled for today, against the government’s decision to place them on no pay leave for the days they struck work. They had been on strike from June 06 to 26 against the government’s delay to rectify their salary anomalies. They ended the strike on assurances from the Labour Department and the UGC. President of the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee R.M. Chandrapala told more..

UNP demands fuel price reduction

July 10 (Island) The govt has violated its own conditions for reducing fuel prices despite a favourable situation in the world market, the UNP charged yesterday. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillaka said that Minister Susil Premajayanth had put forward three conditions for oil prices to be reduced; stocks had to be sold within 35 days, a barrel of crude oil should remain below USD 100 and such a rate should prevail continuously for six weeks. more..

Z- score fiasco still not resolved, students stranded - Gayantha

July 10 (Island) The Z-score fiasco had still not been resolved with those who had passed the last GCE Advanced Level Examination yet to be informed of their future prospects, UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said yesterday. Addressing a press conference in Colombo, he said that students who had made the grade were unable to submit their applications for higher studies to the relevant authority in time, since the official procedures were yet to be finalized. more..

Thondaman tells dairy farmers: Don’t fall prey to rumours

July 10 (Island) Minister Arumugam Thondaman yesterday urged Dairy farmers not to fall prey to rumours, spread by unscrupulous elements that Milco would soon discontinue the purchase of milk from them. Thondaman said that Milco (Pvt.) Limited continues to purchase fresh milk from farmers through farmers’ societies without a break. He told The Island that there were over 2,000 such farmer societies spread throughout the country, with 77 milk chilling centres to purchase the milk. more..

Trans-sitting on the banks of the Kelani

July 10 (ST) Some are cheering while others are not, at their new abodes provided by the State, after they were told to move out from their original homes at Mahawatta in Bloemendhal, with the promise of a flat in two years from now, somewhere in the city. The people were earlier squatters of Mahawatta Rail Gate, occupying land owned by the Railway Dept, for over two decades, calling it their home. However, over the recent months, they were repeatedly reminded that time was running out more..

Drought Politics: Ministers say, but to farmers it is armchair punditry

July 10 (LB) The prices of vegetables have skyrocketed beyond the reach of average Sri Lankan families, resulting in the masses facing difficulty in purchasing their daily quota. Many cultivations are parched due to the drought in districts such as Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Matale and Kurunegala -- as several tanks and rivers have gone totally dry. Reportedly, the vegetable harvest from the Yala season has come down by 50 per cent. more..