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June 17 (TOI) From the magnificent stupas at Anuradhapura to the street food of Colombo, from the Cave of Celestial Maidens to the beach at Galle, Sri Lanka offers many changes of scene. Stories apart, what I did remember best about Sri Lanka, my mother asked me when I got home. "The lotus ponds of Anuradhapura and the lagoons of Jaffna," I replied. "And, mmm, the egg-hoppers in Colombo's cubby-hole eateries." The lotus ponds in Anuradhapura are world heritage ornaments: more..

'Sri Lankans suffering due to wrong policy'

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lankans are suffering due to wrong economic policy actions especially those involving state interventions in markets that are backfiring, a legislator who has earlier raised red flags about the balance of payments has said. Harsha de Silva, an economist who represents Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party said interventions in forex and interest rates markets had ended with heavy burdens on the people. more..

Editorial: The meaning of victory

June 17 (HT) 'After 30 years we now see the dawn that will take us to a golden age of the future,' declared Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as he presided over the third Victory Day celebration on May 20. Over 12,000 personnel participated in the parade of military and police equipment used to defeat the rebel LTTE in 2009 after a three-decade long war. A golden future will need more than triumphalist statements of victory. The cost of the war to Sri Lankan society was huge. more..

India to play 5 ODIs & 2 T20s in Sri Lanka

June 17 (TOI) The Indian cricket team will be playing five One-day matches and two Twenty20 matches in Sri Lanka from the third week of July. According to sources, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was initially interested in playing a full-fledged series against India, including a short Test series. But due to hectic scheduling, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) couldn't accommodate Test series, but has given go ahead to the One-dayers and T20s. "These matches will be ideal for the Indian team, more..

LLRC ගැන තවදුරටත්...

Boxing and Dian find new heart

June 18 (SL) THE ABA’s failure to get one of its boxers on the 2012 London Olympics flight is deeply disappointing. After the sport had ended its forty-year Olympic hiatus in the 2008 Beijing Games, huger investments were made to ensure continued presence in the 2012 Games. And indeed boxing’s progress chart overall showed it was on a trajectory northwards with rapid expansion in the provinces; boxing’s health was bubbly, and so the prospect of Olympic representation looked cheery. more..

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more ludicrous..!

June 18 (SL) I have on previous occasions referred to laughter-inducing (if it wasn’t at the expense of the public purse!) proposals to import camels and ostriches into this country with a view to catering to the more exotic elements of the tourist trade. However, you may breathe a sigh of relief on that score because I promise not to ride either the ship of the desert or that large flightless bird on this occasion, mostly because I don’t know where they’ve been hidden more..

Waging a raging crusade against ragging

June 18 (NS) Outrage over inhumane offences in Sri Lanka’s universities swept the nation as details of appalling atrocities brought more pressure on the authorities to find a sustainable solution to the age-old plague of ragging. In the latest development, it was reported that authorities were investigating complaints that four female ‘freshers’ were sexually molested inside the Colombo University. more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: S is for Singlish

June 18 (GV) Singlish is the term used to describe the mixture of Sinhala and English which is frequently used by bilingual speakers. But Singapore got there first: Singlish is generally accepted as referring to colloquial Singaporean English. In a Sri Lankan context, the word tends to be used humorously or derogatorily to refer to colloquial usage which is considered substandard. Singlish is alive and well in the advertising industry, in baila lyrics, and online. more..

Sri Lanka’s war crimes: US should not dance around UN and UNHRC

June 18 (CT) In a dramatic and unexpected fashion a Tamil attorney in London, Vasuki Murugathas was able to discover some 24 photographs and 32 short videos taken via a mobile phone of a Sri Lanka army soldier based in the Vanni in the last days of the war. To be exact the dates when the videos and photos were taken was the 5th and 6th of April of 2009. One of her clients who for fear of the State Terrorist who are well known to resort to attacks on family and friends wishes to be anonymous for the present, more..

ITN leads the way in local television - ITN chairman

June 18 (SO) Today the television industry is one of the biggest revenue earning industries and also one of the most challenging industries to be sustained in the long run. It's not easy being at least a successful network executive these days considering the challenges in the industry. In Sri Lanka, there are eighteen local television networks and on top of that, hundreds of international TV channels are available through satellite TV which is another booming trend in the country. more..

A reflection of the HIV response in Sri Lanka

June 18 (GV) 2012: A man dies of AIDS in prison. A magistrate orders all 220 inmates that shared his ward to get tested. 2011: The National HIV/AIDS Policy was passed by parliament. Article 3.6 of the policy states that – “The Govt promotes voluntary confidential counseling and testing, recognizing that mandatory testing would drive those at high risk of HIV infection beyond reach and prevent their access to public health preventive activities and other health services” Now, apparently the magistrate has no idea of this groundbreaking policy in more..

Laws must protect, not prey on the vulnerable

June 18 (CT) One of the books on ‘the laws pertaining to women’ launched recently at the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs is a Commentary on the provisions of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which came into law in 2005. It is written by Dhara Wijayatillake, our most senior Public Servant, who also has a sterling reputation for integrity – which is perhaps why she was removed as Ministry Secretary, several years ago, when she thought more..

Stock market 'mafia' controls the market

June 18 (ST) Good governance activist K.C. Vignarajah, now a valiant crusader to save the country's share market from the grips of manipulators, says the Colombo bourse has a long way to go in getting rid of the 'Insider Dealings Mafia' and ensuring a properly-regulated market. Hee elaborated on issues confronting the market, he said when bad practices go undetected and the wrong-doers are not punished, investor confidence and the faith in the market more..

War trauma in the military, their families and communities

June 18 (CT) The 30 year armed conflict in Sri Lanka has produced a new generation of veterans at risk for the chronic mental health problems that resulted following prolonged exposure to the war. Over 200,000 members of the Sri Lanka armed forces and police had been directly or indirectly exposed to combat situations during these years. There had been nearly 20 major military operations conducted by the Armed Forces from 1987 to 2009. A large number of combatants more..

Editorial: A cowardly act of terrorism

June 18 (Island) Friday's dastardly attack on a JVP meeting in Katuwana, which left a teenager and a woman dead and several others seriously injured, must be condemned unreservedly by one and all. It has dealt a crippling blow to democracy and proved beyond any doubt that though northern terrorism is a thing of the past, other parts of the country continue to experience a different kind of terrorism. It looks as if Sri Lanka, having defeated ‘Tiger’ terrorism three years ago, now has to contend with 'Lion' terror (of the white-clad ruling party potentates who preach dhamma in public while more..

Budget deficit expands 51%, debt stock up 17.5%

June 18 (Island) The budget deficit for the first two months of this year reached 2.14 percent of GDP, up from 1.62 percent a year earlier with recurrent expenditure growth outpacing tax revenue growth, data released last Friday showed. Tax revenue grew 9.33 percent year-on-year during January-February 2012 while total revenue and grants grew 9.3 percent with non-tax revenue growing 15 percent and grants declining by 37.5 percent. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism gets ‘Googled’

June 18 (ST) Google will be the key marketing tool for Sri Lanka Tourism that is expected to put the country on the map for the next best tourist destination from June 15. The campaign would enhance visibility to bring new tourists by end 2012, develop a number one online marketing campaign globally and reach untapped demand, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said. In this respect, the Bureau expects to attract high net worth tourists from new markets in more..

Chilaw fisherman hangs himself

June 18 (CT) A fisherman from Chilaw who received gunshot injuries during a protest held last February has committed suicide. According to sources he has committed suicide over the disappointment of being unable to do a job after he was shot. This has been revealed during the postmortem held on Saturday at the Chilaw hospital. The victim was identified as 39 years old Warnakulasuriya J. Kingsley who is a resident of the Chilaw area. Speaking to Ceylon Today his wife said that: more..

Bulls back at Bourse?

June 18 (FT) The Colombo Bourse on Friday shot up by over 100 points before losing some momentum, with the earlier development being linked by some analysts to positive macro news and a rumoured overhauling of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but others simply pinned it to investors seeing attractive value. If rumours are discounted, then the latter reason has been the case for several weeks, though investors have maintained a more..

‘Drought causes severe problems for Yala cultivation’

June 18 (DN) The severe drought presently prevailing in the Anuradhapura district, has caused the majority of minor tanks to go dry. Anuradhapura Deputy Commissioner of Agrarian Services, Pahalagiribawa, told the Daily News the usual intermittent rains pending the Yala cultivation, have not arrived, creating a severe problem. He said that there are around 2,500 minor irrigational tanks under the Agrarian Services Department in Anuradhapura district. more..

No Southern school will be shut down due to fallen roll

June 18 (DN) An intensive project to revamp schools exposed to possible closure due to the fall in the schools’ roll, has been formulated by the Southern Provincial Education Ministry, on the instructions of Southern Provincial Minister Chandima Rasaputhra. For the swift implementation of the project, an Action Committee consisting senior officials of both, the provincial ministry and the Education Department has been appointed, Ministry Secretary M.Y.S. Deshapriya told the Daily News. more..

Colombo South port project encounters rocky patch

June 18 (SL) The Colombo South Port Development Project is currently engaged in blasting a patch of rock in the seabed near Galle Face. Sri Lanka Ports Authority says the rock blasting that commenced early this month will continue for another two or three months. The tremors felt in the Colombo Fort area last Friday have been attributed by authorities to the blasting of one of the rocks in the Colombo port expansion project. more..

Rs. 11 m. due from cinema hall owners in City

June 18 (ST) Out of the 27 cinemas in Colombo City, 14 cinemas are still to pay entertainment tax arrears, which are estimated to be Rs. 11 million to date, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Treasurer K.D Chitrapala said. “We have sent letters to all cinema hall owners to pay their tax arrears while these 14 owners are in arrears since 2010,” he added. The Municipal Treasurer claims that the said 14 cinema hall owners have been warned on two or three occasions to settle the tax arrears. more..

Uva docs threaten strike

June 18 (Island) Around 600 doctors in the Uva province will launch a one-day token strike without prior notice if the Uva province provincial council appoints a new provincial health director. The GMOA which met yesterday said that in accordance with the special gazette notification issued during the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike’s govt, all provincial health directors should be appointed by the Central govt with the concurrence of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Secretary to the Health Ministry and the respective governor. more..

Crate law shoots up veggie prices, say traders

June 18 (ST) The enforcement of the law requiring the use of plastic crates in the transport of selected fruits and vegetables is pushing up prices while not contributing much to minimise damage caused to the produce, traders say. Under the controversial law, which the authorities decided to enforce from Monday after having remained dormant for seven months, selected fruits and vegetables are required to be transported in plastic crates. more..

ITN demands Rs 1,000 m as compensation from website

June 18 (DN) Independent Television Network Ltd. Has sent a Letter of Demand through its lawyers to a website demanding one thousand million rupees as compensation for publishing a false news item, defamatory towards the network and its Chairman. The Letter of Demand has insisted that one thousand million rupees may be paid in addition as compensation for the defamation caused to its chairman senior journalist Rosmond Senaratne. This has been sent in connection with a vicious more..

SLAF Contingent for UN duty

June 18 (Island) The 14th additional contingent, comprising 44 SLAF troops scheduled to be deployed in Haiti completed their training at the UN Peace Keeping Operations (UNPKO) Training Centre of the Sri Lanka Army at Kukuleganga and passed out last Friday at Regimental Headquarters Artillery Corps, Panagoda. These SLAF personnel who are from a number of trades in the Air Force will be deployed along with the SL Army and Navy personnel under the UN banner. more..

Duty free vehicle permits galore

June 18 (Island) The Treasury has called applications from public servants, including those attached to the provincial councils desirous of ordering duty free vehicles. About 1,000 public servants are expected to benefit from this move. Well informed sources told The Island that the Treasury had given them an opportunity to import a vehicle each duty free up to a CIF value of $ 25,000. They have been also allowed to import a vehicle exceeding more..

A three-day workshop for Sri Lanka’s head of missions and head of posts

June 18 (AT) A three-day workshop for Sri Lanka’s Head of Missions and Head of Posts is scheduled to be held from 7th to 10th July. The participants for the workshop are expected to assemble in Colombo on the 6th July and they will be taken to Diyatalawa for the first segment of the workshop. In Diyatalawa the workshop will be held on 7th and 8th and subsequently the participants are to be flown to Kilinochchi for another day workshop. more..

LRH treats 1,397 dengue patients

June 18 (Island) More than 1,620 children have been admitted to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital since January 1, 2012 with fever and of them 1,397 have been confirmed as dengue cases. Director Dr. Ratnasiri Hewage said that 224 children had been admitted in March, 221 in April, 334 in May and over 220 as of yesterday for June and he expected the total tally to be over 400 at the end of this month. A Health Ministry spokesman said that almost all the hospitals in Sri Lanka were filled with more..

Govt’s actions more criminal than the murders - JVP

June 18 (AD) There is a partnership in the country where there are groups that commit murders and crimes in one side and a system manufactured by the govt to protect these murderers in the other, the JVP accused. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake claims the govt is creating various interpretations and wrong depictions of the shooting incident in Katuwana, Hambantota on Friday. He accused the govt of engaging activities more “criminal” than the murders itself, more..

'Youth participation central for development'

June 18 (DN) 'We must consider the youths as assets in the development processes worldwide. Partnerships with youth will be key to successful implementation of beyond-2015 global agenda," Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake said at the 'Enabling Youth participation in bridging Rio+20 outcome Beyond 2015' at Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development at Rio Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Giving voices, opportunities and leadership to youth should be the guiding principles for developing the beyond-2015 agenda. more..

Promoting relations with Kerala

June 18 (Island) On a three-day visit to the State of Kerala, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam called on Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, on 12 June. Member of Parliament from Kerala in the Lok Sabha, Shashi Tharoor, was present at the meeting as well. Having conveyed the greetings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the High Commissioner expressed Sri Lanka’s interest in reinvigorating ties between Kerala and Sri Lanka encompassing all spheres. more..

Stunned Pakistan seek to save series

June 18 (CI) Pakistan's batsmen deprived their team of a chance of winning the series, collapsing to lose seven wickets for 13 runs after reaching a position of advantage in the chase in the fourth ODI. An implosion of that nature can be dispiriting, the painstaking yet determined progress by their captain and an emerging top-order talent decimated by the ineptness of those followed. Not too long ago, in 2009 in Sri Lanka, such collapses cost more..

TNA MP suspicious of job recruiters in Trinco

June 18 (SL) Suspicions were raised last week in Trincomalee, when people claiming to be from a private company tried to recruit around 200 girls for employment in Colombo, said TNA MP P. Ariyanenthiran. He said that the recruiters had been Sinhalese-speaking people, who had held a meeting at the Trincomalee Town Hall, which had been attended by around 200 young women. These women had been told that a bus would be sent to take them to Colombo, and that they would be given jobs, more..

Sri Lanka appreciates continuing counter terrorism action against LTTE activists in Belgium

June 18 (FT) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha has expressed Sri Lanka’s appreciation to the Belgian Govt for the continued vigilance maintained to prevent LTTE rump elements from using Belgian soil. He welcomed the recent conviction by the Criminal Court of Antwerp of a Belgian national of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, who was accused of being a member of the LTTE, on charges including human smuggling, money laundering and more..

Civilian property used by Army in North handed back

June 18 (DN) Northern Governor, Major General G.A.Chandrasiri yesterday said that state land will be provided to relocate troops who are currently occupying civilian property in the Jaffna peninsula within the next 2- 3 months. He said that the matter had been discussed in detail with govt officials in the Northern Province recently where an agreement had been reached. He said officials were currently in the process of identifying more..

Govt. asks JVP to furnish details of killers

June 18 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday asked the JVP to furnish details of the persons involved in Katuwana killings to police and co-operate with investigations. The JVP has told the media that their members identified the attackers who fired T-56 assault rifles killing two and injuring 25 others at a JVP meeting held in Katuwana in Hambantota on Friday evening. He said: "There is no point in accusing the govt of this. The JVP has said it identified the killers as govt goons. more..

Private sector to fight dengue - Ministry

June 18 (NS) As dengue cases are steadily approaching epidemic proportions, the Health Ministry is currently enlisting the support of the private sector, govt offices and the general public to fight the epidemic. Ten high risk areas have been identified for mosquito breeding. Over 14, 600 patients have been reported for this year with 74 deaths. “There are two aspects to dealing with this global problem, which has affected over 110 countries. The first is the treating patients for which we spend Rs.250- 300 million rupees a year more..