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The Price of Inequality

June 19 (GV) Evolution is the biological manifestation of development. Which, in action merely refers to a ‘gradual unfolding’ usually towards a state of greater complexity or stability. Evolution as a process of natural selection for the most robust model of response to any environment, has been a fundamental force shaping land use in all societies; It is manifest in the biological world as patterns that endure, as patterns that have demonstrated sustainability and often also of great antiquity. more..

University academics are now campaigning with the slogan “6% of GDP for Education”

June 19 (DBS) Almost one year ago, we wrote an article suggesting that there were signals from the academic community that it was waking up from a long slumber. We wrote about the fact that the FUTA was moving away from, primarily a battle for salaries, to addressing a range of issues affecting not just higher education, but education in general. We felt inspired to write another piece after participating in the FUTA march and more..

My special relationship with The Sunday Leader

June 19 (DBS) Former British Prime Minister and statesman Winston Churchill is credited with the phrase “special relationship” in emphasising the time-tested bonds and enduring affinity between Great Britain and the United States of America. I can think of no better phrase other than those famously Churchillian words to describe my longstanding links with The Sunday Leader as the newspaper celebrates its 18th anniversary. more..

Rio+20, Sri Lanka and the Future We Want

June 19 (DM) Following the Copenhagen talks, the former President of Asia’s smallest country- the Maldives emerged as a spokesman for small island states affected by rising sea levels. What followed next was phenomenal. From underwater publicity stunts to his documentary film ‘the Island President’ President Nasheed saw a sudden rise to a pop star-like status within the global environmental movement. However, since Nasheed was ousted from Presidency recently in an alleged ‘coup’ these efforts have lost momentum. more..

Rio+20 and Beyond

June 19 (DM) The United Nations Rio+20 summit will be held with the participation of large number of heads of a States including the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse from June 20 to 22 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. This conference is held to review what happened since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in 1992 in Rio. In actuality, the history of Sustainable Development in the United Nations started in 1972 and the effort is not 20 but 40 years old. more..

Top Govt. politico among investors summoned by SEC via ‘fiery’ notice

June 19 (DM) A top Govt politician is among scores of investors who have received notice of summons by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of regulator’s move to punish manipulative trading. FT learns the SEC has fired letters to concerned investors based on material and information it has in possession following investigations in to alleged malpractices in trades conducted in the recent past. more..

Editorial: Some people have all the luck

June 19 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight to wasteful expenditure in this country. The govt is allocating money with a very generous hand to help public officials travel in comfort at the expense of the public. It has recently spent about Rs. 3.5 billion on luxury vehicles for top bureaucrats and judicial officers and is showering duty free permits again on some categories of public officials and MPs who readily sink their differences and join forces with the govt to feather their nests. While state officials and politicians are thus pampered, more..

External and internal shocks serious setbacks to economic growth

June 19 (ST) Economic growth is likely to fall to 6 per cent this year as external and internal shocks are serious setbacks to the country's economic growth. The Central Bank has not revised its economic growth forecast for the year, but current conditions suggest that economic growth would slip from 7.2 per cent that it estimated earlier this year to even below 6 per cent, if global demand for exports continues to be unfavourable and the prevailing drought conditions persist. more..

Run-down red buses: SLTB’s ageing population

June 19 (SL) Interiors of a delapidated bus, The buses have not seen a drop of water and Safe-guarding the door with a rope? Crowded buses carrying more people are a common sight in this country. While on one hand there are the passengers, squashed together both seated and standing, sometimes hanging off the footboard, there are also the bus conductors themselves, some of them obviously old and run down – and yet they do the rounds, more..

'Big demand for quality organic products'

June 19 (DN) ‘Sri Lanka is predominantly an agricultural country. Agriculture contributes around 12-13 percent to the Gross Domestic Product and 33-36 percent of the workforce is engaged in agriculture,’ said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. He was participating in the inauguration ceremony of the Asian Productivity Organization(APO) Training Course on Organic Product Certification and Auditing in Negombo yesterday. He said there is a great demand for organic products in Europe and the US. more..

Growth is better than expected – CB

June 19 (FT) Central Bank has termed the first quarter economic growth as better than expected, according to a report filed by Reuters. “It is better than what we expected,” Reuters quoted Central Bank Assistant Governor K.D Ranasinghe as saying. “For the full year our forecast is 7.2 per cent,” he added. A Reuters poll of 10 analysts last week had predicted first quarter growth at 7%. “Industrial sector growth will be sluggish due to the slowdown in Sri Lanka’s exports to Europe, more..

Connections | June 18, 2012

Paddy export orders increased

June 19 (Island) Sri Lanka has received orders for over 100,000 metric tons of rice from several countries in the African and Middle Eastern regions. According to the Secretary of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry Sunil S Sirisena, the orders are from Kenya, South Africa, Dubhai, Somalia and Ethiopia. The Secretary said the country has already exported 6,000 MT of rice to South Africa and 3,000 Mt to Dubhai. Sri Lanka ships 25 containers of rice every week to Dubhai more..

International conference on public health

June 19 (DN) The 44th Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) will be held from October 14 to 17 at the BMICH and Hotel Taj Samudra. It is hosted by the Colombo University Faculty of Medicine. The theme of this year's conference is Millenium Development Goals beyond 2015: The Challenge for Public Health. Local and international delegates are expected and dissemination of new research findings with APACH values would be the main outcome. more..

Experts to see 12,000-year-old skeleton today

June 19 (Island) The skeleton of a pre-historic man which was unearthed after being burled for 12,000 years will undergo chemical tests from today. An expert team from the Archaeology Department would visit the Fahien cave archeological site in Pahiyangala, Kalutara today where excavators found a complete skeleton of a pre historic man believed to be 12,000 years old. They would decide the future action plan after visiting the site more..

DMK planning to invite human rights activists for TESO meet

June 19 (Hindu) After identifying the venue for holding the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Conference (TESO) in Villupuram on August 5, the DMK has begun to prepare the ground for the event. Talking to reporters here, DMK president M. Karunanidhi, who is also the chairman of the TESO, said the venue was being got ready for the meet. He said secretaries of the reception committee were looking after the work. The reception committee headed by DMK’s treasurer more..

Four jailed over Neelagiri killing

June 19 (DM) Four Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage employees who were found guilty over the killing of the elephant “Neelagiri” in the orphanage were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and fined Rs. 100,000 each by Kegalle High Court Judge Menaka Wijesundara. The accused had caused fatal injuries to the 19-year-old jumbo by assaulting it with a goad on November 20, 2010 or on an approximate date. Three mahouts Malaka Mihira Bandara, Sarath Jayasuriya and R.A.M. Punchi Banda and an Animal Conservator Lasantha Dilipa Kumara more..

Emirates lends support to Sri Lankan tourism industry

June 19 (KT) Emirates airline has invested $1.5 million for an Emirates Lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayaka, that was opened with a pledge to support Sri Lanka’s tourism industry through award-winning air services. Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, and Mohammed Mattar, divisional senior vice-president Airport Services, joined Mahmood Mohammed Al Mahmood, more..

Police search for abortion doctor

June 19 (CT) The Dam Street Police informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court that investigations are underway to apprehend a doctor who carried out an abortion inside a hotel room in Wattala. The Police informed the Court that, suspected Doctor has conducted the abortion on 1 June and a special police team has been deployed to arrest him. The police on Saturday have arrested the woman who got her seven month old fetus aborted and another woman who accompanied her during more..

SLMC will tie up with any party

June 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) decided to forge an electoral alliance with any political party which is willing to sign a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the upcoming Provincial Council election, General Secretary of SLMC, Hassan Ali said. “The MOU will be signed only if the other party agrees upon working for the betterment and welfare of the Muslims who are suffering in the Eastern province,” he said. He also said that the MOU will be placed before the voters. more..

Anti-dengue drive: Minister bemoans lukewarm response from govt departments

June 19 (DN) The country has 45 ministries, but only nine have appointed Dengue Control Committees. Only four out of 90 departments have responded to the circular by the Secretary to the President directing all govt institutions to set up Dengue Control Committees, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. “There are 33 authorities, 30 boards, 24 corporations and 21 commissions in the country. more..

Ragging students assault teachers

June 19 (DM) The police arrested four AL students on charges of having assaulted several teachers of the Buttala Uva Pelwatte Maha Vidyalaya, when the teachers had intervened to stop the ragging of the newly admitted students. An injured teacher was admitted to the Buttala Base Hospital while another teacher was discharged from hospital after treatment. This incident had happened when several teachers had attempted to stop some senior students from ragging new students who had arrived at the school to begin their AL classes. more..

Probe into rape at BMICH continues

June 19 (CT) The Cinnamon Gardens Police informed the Colombo Magistrate’s that an employee attached to the BMICH had been given the key to a storeroom in the BMICH which led to an underage girl being raped. The Cinnamon Gardens Police informed Court they have recorded evidence from several employees of the BMICH in connection with the incident. The Police said that they have begun to probe the employee who had been given the key for the locked storeroom door and more..

Indian National Security Advisor due in SL

June 19 (CT) New developments with regard to Sri Lanka’s external affairs are expected to surface with the visit of India’s National Security Advisor ShivShankar Menon’s visit to Colombo in the latter part of this month, followed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s top level meeting with Lankan envoys serving abroad on the new approaches of Sri Lanka’s Foreign policy. President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Indian PM more..

Calm Mathews proves his worth again

June 19 (CI) The ability to handle pressure is intangible. A cursory glance at Angelo Mathews' ODI career record shows an average close to 35, from 62 innings with ten fifties - decent returns for somebody who's in the side as a batting allrounder, but not usually at the top of the order. Those numbers don't indicate the number of occasions Mathews has had to bat with the lower order and tail, shepherding them around with a common-sense approach. His captain Mahela Jayawardene more..

Sri Lanka's renewable energy in focus at Switzerland investor forum

June 19 (AT) The first Swiss-Sri Lankan Business and Investmen Forum titled "Sri Lanka - A land of a thousand and one opportunities" was held on 11th - 12th June 2012 in Zurich and Geneva. It was organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy to Switzerland resident in Berlin, Germany, Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services and Business Network Switzerland with the support of Holcim Ltd. of more..

Julampitiye Amare will be arrested if there is evidence - IGP

June 19 (Island) IGP N. K. Ilangakoon said yesterday that police would arrest anyone, including Julampitiye Amare, if there was enough evidence to connect him to last Friday night’s killings of two persons attending a JVP meeting at Katuwana in Hambantota. Responding to the JVP’s demand for the arrest of gangster, Julampitiye Amare, over the Katuwana killings, Ilangakoon said that they couldn’t go more..

Colombo world’s fourth worst bourse

June 19 (Island) Sri Lanka’s stock exchange is just ahead of troubled European economies Greece and Spain in terms of year-to-date performance, a recent survey shows. According to an analysis by Bespoke Investment Group published last week, the Colombo Stock Stock Exchange (CSE) is the world’s fourth worst performing stock exchange so far this year, with the All Share Price Index down 18.95 percent year-to-date, only ahead of troubled Greece (down 19.14 percent) and Spain (down 22.22 percent). more..

JVP protests in Katuwana

June 19 (Island) The JVP staged a protest in Katuwana yesterday against the govt’s failure to arrest those responsible for last Friday’s attack which killed two persons. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they would stage another protest today opposite the Fort Railway Station against the killings. Two JVP supporters, Manel Edirimanne and Nimantha Heshan died in the attack and several others were critically injured. The funerals of the victims were held yesterday in Katuwana. more..

SriLankan losses mount due to negligence

June 19 (Island) Sheer negligence by the management of SriLankan Airlines has led to heavy losses. Adding to the country’s national carrier’s financial woes, lightning recently struck a new building housing its simulator school at Katunayake, causing millions of rupees in losses, according to informed aviation sources. They said the bolt of lightning which struck the mainly glass structure knocked out the simulator for about a week. more..

AC mitigates HC sentence due to extenuating circumstances

June 19 (Island) The Court of Appeal recently set aside the maximum sentence imposed on an accused, in a cheating conviction by the High Court, due to the extenuating circumstances of the case. The Appeal Court reduced the sentence to two years RI suspended for ten years and also imposed a fine of Rs. 15,000 and in default two years simple imprisonment each in respect of the three charges. In this case the Colombo High Court had sentenced the accused J. M. Premaratne of more..

Milinda Rajasekera no more

June 19 (Island) The death occurred yesterday morning of one of Sri Lanka’s most senior political journalists, Milinda Rajasekera who passed away at his Nittambuwa residence after a brief illness. He was 76. Until his death he had been writing about the current economic, social, cultural and political situation in Sri Lanka. One of his family members said that he had been writing a feature on the political trends yesterday morning when he complained of a chest pain and his wife put him to bed, after which he had passed away. more..

Fake banknotes doing the rounds

June 19 (ST) Seven persons, including two women, were arrested last week with fake one thousand rupee notes in their possession. The arrests took place in Thanthrimalai, where these persons had passed off counterfeit notes to buy goods to the value of Rs.73,000. The arrested persons were identified as residents from Kottawa, Rajagiriya, Eppawala and Saliyapura. According to the Thanthrimalai Police, the counterfeit notes were printed in Mathiyagoda. more..

Media minister’s ‘lucky’ fall

June 19 (LB) Minister of media Keheliya Rambukwella who was critically injured after having fallen from the third floor of a hotel in Australia has now returned to the country after receiving treatment there for over 4 months. The minister who is yet recuperating is continuing to receive physiotherapy treatment for his injuries and doctors have already informed him that he could recover completely within the next six months. The minister himself is confident that after physiotherapy more..

Alert guard foils jailbreak by hardcore convicts

June 19 (Island) The attempted escape from the Welikada prison by three hardcore criminals, of the Chapel D-3 Cell, was foiled when an alert guard fired at them from a watch tower early yesterday morning, a prison source said. The three convicts, two of whom were serving life sentences, had dug a tunnel to get out of the cell they were in and had used sarongs given to them as night wear to make a rope to climb over the wall. more..


June 19 (SL) A woman is raped every 90 minutes somewhere in Sri Lanka” – News item The common term used in Sri Lanka to identify those practicing in commercial sex is ‘Ganikawa’ (Prostitute). Prostitution is illegal in the country and such a person could be arrested and then punished by a court of law. Ganikawa in Sinhala is a feminine gender word. This implies that all those engaged in prostitution are females. But all over the world it is not only women more..

Sri Lankans are charitable, but within reason

June 19 (LBO) Sri Lankans give generously to help the poor, the needy, the religious and their old schools, but fight shy on giving to civil society organisations, a preliminary study showed. The Colombo-based Centre for Poverty Analysis (CPA) and the UK-based School of Global Studies of the University of Sussex have begun to explore indigenous forms of charity, philanthropy and development in Sri Lanka. more..

UPFA PS member arrested

June 19 (CG) UPFA Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Sabha member Lakmini Anupama Panditharatne has been arrested over allegations of committing fraud. The CCD arrested her yesterday and produced her before a magistrate who remanded her till the 25th of this month, the police media unit said. Panditharatne had duped a woman by obtaining Rs. 400,000 from her after promising her employment in Korea. more..

Elephant keepers jailed over 'vicious' killing

June 19 (AFP) A Sri Lankan court has jailed four staff from a well-known elephant orphanage over the death of a 23-year-old elephant that was fatally injured with sharp sticks in an apparent effort to control it. The male, which was living at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, a popular tourist attraction near the capital Colombo, suffered 96 wounds in November 2010 and died two months later, the court heard. more..

Govt. cronies profit from EPF deals: UNP

June 19 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday alleged that some govt henchmen had earned a one billionrupee profit through the recent EPF and ETF investments in the stock market. Mr. Wickremesinghe who spoke at a Sirikotha ceremony where letters of appointment were handed over to UNP organisers said the working class were the true shareholders of these profits but they have not more..