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Oh, Tamara!

June 16 (CT) There is a reason that diplomatic missions in Colombo, especially representing countries of the West that are constantly being denigrated by the Govt of Sri Lanka or its proxies, refrain from reacting publicly to every charge levelled against them and every negative sentiment expressed. One senior diplomat put it succinctly – “Do we really want to be front page news in Colombo every morning?” Diplomacy, almost by definition, is something that must be conducted with more..

'Captaincy was a bitter experience'

June 16 (Island) Swashbuckling opener Tillekeratne Dilshan, at a media briefing yesterday, his first in Sri Lanka since stepping down as captain in January, was asked by journalists, the reasons that made him quit as Sri Lanka captain. After Sri Lanka had suffered Test and ODI series defeats in South Africa under Dilshan’s captaincy, he was asked whether he would quit as skipper in Johannesburg at the end of the tour. Dilshan firmly turned down such suggestions, more..

Editorial: SF and ‘elephant tail’ rides

June 16 (Island) Former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka looks a different man today. He is beginning to act like a politician. Before the last presidential election, he would launch into long diatribes against his political rivals to the extent of offending his audience. He lacked control over his untamed, military tongue, which cost him many a vote and ruined whatever chances he may have had of winning. But, the sobering political reality and experience in civvy street have apparently had a mellowing effect on him if more..

No compromise on bending rules to suit individual interests

June 16 (Island) One of the outstanding legacies that the British colonial govt left for us was a well organized and efficiently run administrative service. It was the second British Governor Sir Thomas Maitland (1805-1811) who organised the administrative set-up of the maritime provinces of the country, building on what his predecessor had begun in a loose sort of way. In the early 1830s, the Ceylon Civil Service was created and outstanding British civil servants more..

IMF cuts Sri Lanka’s growth forecast but says future stable

June 16 (FT) The IMF yesterday downgraded Sri Lanka’s growth prospects but insisted that its economic future is bright and will continue engagement even after the US$ 2.6 billion stand-by agreement comes to an end. The IMF delegation tasked with wrapping up the eighth and final review of the Stand-by Agreement was upbeat of the country’s economic progress and lauded tough policy changes implemented in February that included ending more..

The London debacle and the Rajapaksa-psychosis

June 16 (SL) It was the Oxford Debacle all over again. The events were drearily predicable. Sri Lanka, like every Commonwealth nation, received an invitation for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II. President Rajapaksa, unlike most Commonwealth leaders, decided to go himself. The pro-Tiger extremists of the Tamil Diaspora went into high-gear, delighted with this new opportunity to display their brawn. more..

Why keynote address was scrapped

June 16 (SL) Nodath and Sududath alumni of the Forward School for Backward Boys were at their Waterhole for the monthly survey of current affairs in the Resplendent Isle and the world at large. Before the proceedings commenced, the waiter warned that the price of Soda had gone up. Sududath, staunch defender of the Rajapaksa regime wanted to know the reason for the price hike. He hadn’t seen it in the newspapers. The waiter cited energy costs. Not only had the retail price more..

Udit Narayan, live at CH&FC tonight

June 16 (FT) Popular Indian playback singer Udit Narayan arrived in Colombo yesterday along with a troupe of dancers, singers and musicians and is scheduled to make his first live public performance in Colombo tonight at the CH&FC grounds from 7p.m. Speaking to the media at a briefing held at the Taj Samudra Colombo yesterday, the Bollywood star along with wife and fellow female vocalist Deepa, stated that he was happy to be in Sri Lanka, more..

Suspect in bank heist arrested

June 16 (CT) A third suspect wanted in connection with the bank heist of the Bank of Ceylon branch in Battaramulla, was arrested by police yesterday. Investigations carried out by the Batharamulla Police have revealed that the third suspect was an army deserter who resides in close proximity to the bank. Speaking to Ceylon Today Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya stated that the deserter has been identified as 23 year old Tharaka Malinda Chaturanga. more..

Emirates Lounge at BIA accorded high-profile opening

June 16 (FT) A pledge of continued support to Sri Lanka’s tourism industry through award-winning air services was one of the highlights of the high profile formal opening of The Emirates Lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake yesterday. Tim Clark, President of Emirates airline and Mohammed Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President Airport Services joined Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratna, more..

Bathiudeen vows to quit

June 16 (CT) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen vowed to step down from the govt if President Mahinda Rajapaksa fails to address the issues faced by the Muslim community. Bathiudeen said the request was made to the President to form an inter-ministerial committee to solve the issues that are currently affecting the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. “This was brought forward at the Cabinet meeting recently since the present situation of the Muslims in the country is unfortunate. more..

Jaffna hospital docs trade allegations

June 16 (Island) Jaffna Teaching Hospital Consultant Oncologist Dr. Nadaraja Jayakumaran yesterday accused the present hospital administration of damaging his residence after he revealed a plethora of irregularities and malpractices in the hospital. On June 14 at about 1.30 a.m. a gang had shattered the windows of his residence and smeared the walls with burnt engine oil. He had complained to the Jaffna police and two constables had been detailed to guard his residence. more..

Ampara villagers lament imminent ejection; SC issues order to remain status quo

June 16 (FT) Villagers of Kesankerni in Oluvil of Ampara district filed fundamental rights violation petition complaining that there are restrictions to their movements and imminent actions to eject them from their lands, paving way for establishing a military camp. When the matter came up yesterday, the Bench comprising Justices K. Sripavan, Sathya Hettige and Prasath Dep issued order that the Status Quo (the existing affairs) should remain till the petition is more..

Mayor to buy Rs. 16 mn BMW

June 16 (Island) Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil will purchase a BMW car, estimated to cost Rs. 16 million, as his official vehicle. The City’s first citizen told The Island that currently, he was using a vehicle that had been taken on monthly lease before he was elected. The CMC paid about Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 a month on its lease.He said that the Finance Committee had approved the purchase of an official car for the Mayor, which will benefit the CMC. more..

Proper security arrangements for the Sri Lankan politicians who tour India

June 16 (SLBC) Secretary of the ministry of external affairs Karunathilaka Amunugama says that necessary measures have been taken to consolidate the safety of the Sri Lankan politicians and public representatives who are touring India. The Indian govt has taken special measures after enlightening about some incidents happened during visits to India by Sri Lankan elites. He added that the Indian ministry of external affairs will be informed when Sri Lankan elites tour in India. more..

'Treasury subsidises SLTB to serve people'

June 16 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama dismissed the allegations, levelled by JVP trade unionists about Govt Treasury allocations. Although they had told the media that the SLTB was in need of Rs. 917 million a month from the Treasury, Minister said that Rs. 569 million was sufficient to maintain the SLTB, including payment of emoluments. The SLTB was being maintained not to earn profits, but to provide a service. The Treasury had been funding the SLTB monthly not to sell it, more..

Masquerading racist elements target Muslims

June 16 (CT) A few persons introducing themselves as the officials of the CID have walked into two mosques in Matara on Thursday and questioned the devotees there whether they were planning to stage any agitation against the govt, according to Western Provincial Councillor Mujibur Rahman. He said that certain racist elements were behind incidents of this nature and called upon the Muslim organizations and leaders to form a coalition to more..

Dengue deaths rise, Task Force to meet

June 16 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena called for an urgent meeting with the Presidential Task Force on Dengue Prevention on Monday to discuss immediate measures to control the dengue epidemic which is raising its head, once again throughout the country. He said the National Committee of the Task Force comprising representatives of 12 ministries, Provincial Councils and Local Government institutions will take part in this urgent meeting. more..

Centara to open two hotels in Sri Lanka

June 16 (eTN) Centara Hotels & Resorts is to open its first two properties in Sri Lanka during the second half of this year named "Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka" and "Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa." Both of the resort hotels will be operated by Centara under a management contract and will be part of the company’s core brand of four-star properties. Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka is a 126-room property located next to the beach at Passikudah, more..

'LTTE was effectively defeated on April 19, 2009'

June 16 (Island) Those who knew nothing about warfare were talking nonsense. The war against the LTTE was effectively over on April 19, 2009 with the security forces taking control of Iraddaivaaykkaal in the Mullaithivu District. Thereafter, it was a case of mopping up operations which went on till May 19, under the supervision of Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels, the former Army Commander, General Sarath Fonseka said. more..

Even Abhyagiri Viharaya is not spared by treasure hunters

June 16 (Island) An attempt by treasure hunters to raid a location, a few metres from the historic Sandakadapahana (Moonstone) at the Abahayagiri sacred area in Anuradhapura, on Thursday night, was foiled by timely intervention of security officials. The treasure hunters had attempted to excavate a rock at the ancient ‘Sudassana Patanghara’ (buildings used by Buddhist monks for meditation) at the Deegapashana Wetiya next to the Moonstone and had escaped when the more..

Sri Lanka targeting to slash industrial power use by 10%

June 16 (Island) Sri Lanka is on a drive to reduce manufacturing costs by slashing industry power consumption. "I am pleased to announce that my ministry has implemented a much needed industry grade energy efficiencies at factory level, using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. We are targeting to reduce industrial energy consumption by 10% initially," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce of Sri Lanka earlier this week. more..

Microsoft Sri Lanka, Tharunyata Hetak partner to build youth leaders in North

June 16 (DM) Microsoft Sri Lanka came another step closer to their mission of being an organisation of value to the nation when they joined hands with Tharunyata Hetak to provide IT and Leadership Training to 200 youth from the Killinochchi, Mullaitivu and Thunukkai areas, in the North of Sri Lanka. In line with the Mahinda Chintanaya vision of making Sri Lanka a nation with a strong IT educated human resource which more..

Commander Sri Lanka Navy visits Naval Headquarters

June 16 (News) Vice Admiral DWAS Dissanayake, Commander Sri Lanka Navy, who is on an official visit to Pakistan, visited Naval Headquarters (NHQ) here on Friday. Upon arrival at NHQ, the Commander Sri Lanka Navy and his wife were received by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Navy, clad in ceremonial dress, presented him the Guard of Honour. The visiting dignitary was then introduced to more..

Seventy-eight undergrads ill

June 16 (CT) Some 78 undergraduates have fallen ill due to unhygienic conditions at the Sabaragamuwa University and are receiving treatment at the University’s medical centre, the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) alleged. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara charged that on 7 June, 38 students were receiving treatment at the medical centre, while the numbers rose steadily and there were 78 ill people by 8 June. “The undergraduates are suffering from stomach pains, nausea, and diarrhoea. more..

Attack on JVP meeting: Govt. attempting to evade responsibility

June 16 (LT) The govt is attempting to evade the responsibility of the shooting at the JVP meeting held at Katuwana in Hambantota District. In an announcement issued by the Director General of the MCNS after a long time states the shooting was the result of a clash between two factions of the JVP. However, it is being revealed that the shooting has been carried out by Joolampitiye Amare, an underworld leader more..

Power cuts a possibility

June 16 (Island) Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kandy, Galle and Matara districts would not receive the usual South West Quarter -rainfall- this year, Chief Meteorologist, D.A. Jayasinghearachchi said. He said that it meant there wouldn't be rains for the above said districts till the end of September unless there were some unusual disturbances in the atmosphere in that case the entire country would receive rains. He said that the average rainfall of those districts would be less than expected more..

SL Vs Pak 4th ODI: Rain threat looms large again

June 16 (CI) There was a time when winning the toss did more for a side's chances at the R Premadasa Stadium than its performance in a day-night match did. Batting under lights at the erstwhile Khettarama ground was so difficult that teams invariably chose to bat, and invariably won. And then came the 2011 World Cup. The playing square was relaid. New floodlights were installed. And the ghost of the Premadasa chase was laid to rest. With the white ball not doing as much at more..

US-EU slowdown to affect Lanka

June 16 (DM) While saying that the economic slowdown in Europe and the United States would adversely affect Sri Lanka’s economy reducing the growth rate to 6.75 per cent this year, The IMF, yesterday expressed its willingness to give further financial and technical assistance to Sri Lanka after the completion of the Stand by Arrangement of US$ 2.6 billion. Upon conclusion of the IMF staff mission to Sri Lanka from June 4 to 15, Asia and Pacific Department Deputy Division Chief John Nelmes told journalists that more..

Editorial: Just and fair society essential for progress

June 16 (DM) During the past year the cost of living has gone up by an unprecedented and unbearable 50%, while salaries of public servants have been raised by only five per cent. Millions of people are finding it difficult if not impossible to survive the month with the cost of healthcare also increasing because prices of medicinal drugs have risen by about 30% during the past few weeks as the value of the rupee is dropping daily though top Govt officials appear to be more..

Decisive discussion between employees and authorities today

June 16 (LT) A decisive discussion between the striking Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC), the Ministry of Finance and officials of the Salaries and Cadre Commission will be held today (16th). The Secretary has requested the IUTUJC for discussions stating all measures had been taken to remove salary anomalies of the employees. The media spokesman for IUTUJC Wijayathileka Jayasinghe has said the Secretary had more..

Stabilize democracy in North with elections

June 16 (CT) Resettling the remaining IDPs and holding elections in the North are essential to stabilizing democracy in the region, the visiting delegation of Consular Corps of London (CCL) emphasized. Speaking to Ceylon Today following a press briefing in Colombo, executive member of CCL, Bernard Silver praised the govt on its rapid reconstruction and rehabilitation activities carried out within three years in the war-torn areas. more..

Sri Lankan readers suffer from island mindset, says author

June 16 (IANS) Islands breed their own kind of somnolence. People would rather stand at their gates watching life pass by than read a book, says contemporary Sri Lankan writer and popular television arts show host Ashok Ferrey of his country. 'Sri Lanka does not have enough people to read. They would rather read to clear the A-level examination than read a book for pure pleasure,' Ferrey told IANS at a recent literature conclave here. Ferrey, the author of two acclaimed more..

Oman and Sri Lanka have immense tourism potential

June 16 (TOO) At the end of this year, we will reach the historical landmark of 25 years in our diplomatic relations with Oman. We opened our mission in the Sultanate of Oman on December 19, 1987 and our relations have grown from strength to strength ever since. Oman has become one of our closest friends in the Middle East region and our relations encompass various fields -” from manpower, construction industry and hospitality to agriculture, education, tourism, trade and more..

'Govt. should take the responsibility of the killings'

June 16 (LT) The govt that has made ruling the country by repressing the masses and maintains underworld gangs should take the responsibility of the murder of two persons at the JVP meeting held at Katuwana says the JVP and adds that the JVP is not prepared to take permission from thugs to engage in its politics. This was stated by the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said. He said they demand the govt not to fabricate stories but more..

Reggae band says it boycotted Sri Lanka

June 16 (CG) The onetime hit reggae band ‘Big Mountain’ says it recently boycotted a tour to Sri Lanka over human rights concerns. In a statement on its official website and Facebook page the band which was popular for the song “ooo baby I love your way” said that while they would be honored to help convey a message of peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka they also feel that to play a concert of this type, at this moment in time, would help legitimize “systemic violence" more..

Cemeteries to go high-tech

June 16 (DM) Cemeteries in Colombo will go high tech shortly with plans being drawn up for a computer data base of plot owners in a bid to stop illegal transfers which have been taking place for almost a century. CMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said this would help the council to trace the actual owners without much difficulty. He said the CMC decided on this move because thousands of plot owners had transferred their plots to others without notifying more..

Sangakkara takes Sri Lanka to 243

June 16 (CI) For more than three fifths of the innings, Pakistan's bowlers were disciplined and their fielding was passable. Then Umar Gul dropped Kumar Sangakkara, on 35 off 82 deliveries. Then came the batting Powerplay. Sangakkara carted 62 off his last 48 deliveries, and Sri Lanka got away to the kind of total Pakistan have struggled to chase in recent times. Sri Lanka were tied down, first by Pakistan's fast bowlers, and then by their spinners, more..

Docs threaten legal action against Ministry over appointments list

June 16 (Island) Doctors at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital (BTH) yesterday warned the Health Ministry that they would take legal action against it if the North and East appointment list was not nullified and it did not revert to appointing of doctors to the provinces according to the cadre needs. BTH Branch President of the Govt Medical Officers’ Association Dr. S. Mathanalagan said that the Ministry had failed to revert to appointing doctors to the North and more..

Long lost toad found in Kandy after 140 years

June 16 (Island) The world’s rarest toad, Adenomus kandianus, was rediscovered by Herpetologist Mendis Wickremasinghe recently, in a peak Wilderness area of Kandy. Wickremasinghe’s research work together with his colleagues of the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka, in the Peak Wilderness, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, resulted in the rediscovery of the world’s rarest toad, after a lapse of 140 years. more..