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Lanka says UNESCO politicized

June 19 (CG) Sri Lanka has called for international support to stop the transformation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) following what it terms as the politicization of the UN agency. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Paris Dayan Jayatilleka said that UNESCO has been transformed from a subject into an object and the institutional spaces for thinking within UNESCO have also been dismantled. The Ambassador said in a statement that more..

Alliance formed to protest against SAITM

June 19 (DM) The main medical professionals’ and academics’ organisations in the country, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) and the Government Dental Surgeons Association (GDSA) yesterday announced they had formed an alliance in protest against the private medical college in Malabe. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said the unions had formed more..

Editorial: Economic growth - Rhetoric and realities

June 19 (DM) In the past few years we have had an overdose of empty political rhetoric and gobbledygook by govt spokesmen and politicians about successful development projects. Even the Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal had joined this bandwagon with his hype about Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product or increasing per capita income. Despite these sandcastles thousands of Sri Lankans are clamouring to flee the country looking for greener pastures abroad. more..

Perera, Kulasekara in Sri Lanka Test squad

June 19 (CI) Allrounder Thisara Perera and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara have been included in Sri Lanka's 15-man for the first Test against Pakistan. Allrounder Jeevan Mendis, who is yet to earn a Test cap, has also been picked. Angelo Mathews has been named vice-captain, replacing Thilan Samaraweera who was the second in command in Sri Lanka's last Test series, against England in March-April. Left-arm fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara, who was ruled out of the second Test more..

‘Julampitiya Amare’ surrenders to court

June 19 (AD) Geeganagamage Amarasiri also known as “Julampitiya Amare” alleged to be involved in the Katuwana killings and wanted for other cases has surrendered to the court, police said today. He surrendered to the Tangalle High Court through an attorney and was subsequently remanded till tomorrow. Two persons were killed and several others injured after a group of men on Friday had opened fire at a JVP rally in Katuwana, Hambantota. more..

Sri Lankan maid raped by three men

June 19 (E24|7) Three Kuwaiti men targeting a Sri Lankan housemaid waited for her to finish shopping and walk back home before jumping on her and bundling her in their car. They then took turns in raping her despite her incessant screams. The maid told police the three wore Kuwaiti clothes and spoke local accent when they intercepted her as she walked back home from the supermarket in Kuwait City. The maid said she tried to resist but they overpowered her. “They bundled her in their car, more..

Beruwala people erect a unique War Hero Monument

June 19 (GDI) Concerned and grateful members of the public in Magalkanda, Maggona immortalized the sacrifices of tri-service War Heroes of the Beruwala electorate by erecting a unique monument, jointly with members of the Kudamagalkanda Buddhist Association and the Janadiriya Sahana Seva Padanama. The project, initiated and funded by two members of the Kudamagalkanda Buddhist Association, Messrs D. Nayana Kumara and S.M Chandana, voluntarily, more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 19.06.2012

People's Bank opens new Business Centre in Matara

June 19 (GDI) People’s Bank opened its new Small & Medium Scale Business Centre recently at the Regional Head Office building of People’s Bank in Matara under the patronage of the Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera recently. The new centre aims to uplift small and medium scale business entrepreneurs by providing them with adequate loan facilities for Agriculture Based Products, Livestock, Apparel, Fisheries, Tourism, Construction and a host of other more..

Seven foreigners on travel ban over Maldivian’s death

June 19 (AD) Slave Island Police today said that six Maldivians and one Madagascan have been banned from leaving the country over the recent death of a Maldivian national, who had fallen from the 18th floor of a hotel in Colombo. Mohamed Midhshah, 37, had plunged to his death from the 18th floor of a 5 star hotel in Colombo last Thursday. Police were unclear if the death was a suicide, an accident or a murder while it was revealed that there were more Maldivians more..

BOI approves twin apparel factories in Mannar

June 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s Timex and Fergasam Group (T&FG), a manufacturer and exporter of high quality garments is ready to commence the construction of twin apparel factories in Mannar Industrial Zone for which BOI has granted approval. This proposed US $ 5 million worth factory, a first in the Mannar region will be ready for commercial operations by January 2013. The new factory complex is expected to provide more..

Police block demo in Jaffna

June 19 (CG) The police obstructed a protest march in Jaffna today which was staged against the alleged forced occupation of civilian land by the military. Over 200 people took part in the protest march including TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah. The demonstrators were obstructed halfway through the rally by the police while they were heading towards the Tellippalai secretariat. A tense situation then arose between the police and the demonstrators as the police prevented the rally from proceeding further. more..

An attempt to sell Ayurveda system – ACHSU

June 19 (LT) It has been decided to remove two institutions that are presently under the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine from the Ministry and their management is to be made independent and under this scheme the Bandaranayake Memorial Ayurvedic Research Institute at Navinna and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine are to be released from the administration of the Ministry says All Ceylon Health Services Union. A press release issued by the ACHSU states more..

'Displaying firearms cannot stop our march forward'

June 19 (LT) We want a just society. We should create it as it would not fall from the sky. We have to win it. Our programmes cannot be stopped by murdering our members or displaying T-56 rifles. This murderous culture of the bankrupt political system should be stopped. The latest murders were committed at Katuwana, the adjoining village. These perpetrators should be arrested. They should be taken before Court more..

Conspiracy against Basil within Govt: UNP

June 19 (DM) United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said there was a conspiracy against Minister Basil Rajapaksa from within the government itself. Mr. Attanayake was responding to a question posed by the media which asked Mr. Attanayake to respond to a statement made by Minister Basil Rajapaksa about the absence of a strong opposition which could pose a political threat to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government. more..

Mathews has 'justified his place'

June 19 (CI) Allrounder Angelo Mathews copes with pressure 'better than anybody else', according to captain Mahela Jayawardene. His unbeaten 80 that took Sri Lanka to victory in the match and the series against Pakistan on Monday should silence his critics, Jayawardene said. "A lot of people ask about his role in the team and he justified his place," he said. "I don't know why this question keeps popping up. Angelo has done well with the ball and he has done well with the bat. more..

Prices of infant milk to be decreased

June 19 (DM) Prices of nineteen varieties of infant milk food will be decreased from midnight today as the government has decided to impose a price control for infant milk food; Minister of Internal Trade Johnston Fernando said a short while ago. Accordingly Price Lactogen 1 was reduced by Rs 43. While NAN 1, 2. 3 were reduced by Rs 374, Rs 372, and Rs 386, respectively while Nan HA 1 and 2 were reduced by Rs 276 and Rs 200 respectively. more..

S&P assigns Sri Lanka banking system to BICRA group '8'

June 19 (Reuters) Our economic risk score of '8' for Sri Lanka reflects a "very high risk" assessment of economic resilience and credit risk in the economy, and a "high risk" assessment of economic imbalances, as our criteria define those terms. Our assessment of economic resilience reflects Sri Lanka's status as a low-income economy, as measured in terms of its per capita GDP, and the inefficiencies in the economy. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka's more..

Is there a way forward for reconciliation in a united Sri Lanka?

June 19 (EAR) Looking at our immediate neighbor India and other countries like Canada, Belgium and Switzerland with multilingual, multiethnic and multireligious groups show that there are ways forward to find a constitutional structure to achieve equality and peace by recognizing the differences. All these countries have resolved the differences between communities internally, led by leaders who considered that the integrity of the country is paramount; the majority respected the minority wishes more..

‘CID would record a statement from Duminda by July’

June 19 (DM) Lawyers of MP Duminda Silva has informed the Colombo Magistrate Court today that CID officials would be able to record a statement from Mr. Silva by next month. Silva’s counsel also informed court that Mr. Silva was recovering from the injuries he suffered in the Mulleriyawa shooting. President Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya appearing for Mr. Silva told Acting Magistrate that this matter could be clarified from Mr. Silva’s doctor. more..

Misbah-ul-Haq suspended for over-rate offence

June 19 (CI) Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been suspended by the ICC from the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle because his team was found guilty of a "serious over-rate offence" during the fifth ODI in Colombo on Monday. Pakistan were found to be three overs short of their target even after time allowances were taken into consideration. Following the defeat that cost them the series 3-1, Misbah pleaded guilty to the charge laid by the umpires and more..

UNP revamps at grassroots

June 19 (DM) The UNP had made some changes to its organisational set up and had replaced some of the old organisers with new ones including MP Asoka Abeysinghe who was the joint organizer of Kurunegala together with Dayasiri Jayasekera. The party had appointed two organisers to some constituencies including Horana, Yapahuwa, Wellaway, Daraniyagala, Anamaduawa, Mahara and Beruwala. Therefore member of North Western Provincial Council Shamal Senarath was appointed more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Former Minister Mahinda Ratnatilleke dies

June 19 (AD) Former Minister Mahinda Ratnatilleke has passed away this morning at a private hospital in Colombo. He was 64. It is said that he had been undergoing treatment at the private hospital for the past month. The remains of Mahinda Ratnatilleke are to be brought to a relative’s house in Ratnapura later today. The former UNP Ratnapura District MP had crossed over to the UPFA govt on November 15, 2007 and was later appointed Textile Industry Development Minister.

Lankans remanded over Oxford killing

June 19 (Stuff) Two men charged with the murder of Oxford farmer Sameera Chandrasena in February have been remanded in custody for post-committal conferences next month. Defence counsel for both men have until July 2 to decide whether they will file oral-evidence applications for a preliminary hearing of evidence before a trial. Otherwise, the Crown's paperwork on the case has been filed with the courts and the defence, and the case will go to a post-committal more..

Child-friendly education manual launched

June 19 (DM) The Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardane launched the Child Friendly Education Manual in collaboration with the UNICEF earlier this month. The new guidance manual contains comprehensive information to help educationists provide a conducive and interactive teaching and learning environment necessary for all children to develop The booklet based on the universal declaration of child rights has adopted six dimensions of more..

Rio 2012 in a nutshell

June 20 (NS) Rio 2012 is upon us. The word is ‘green’ we are told. I don’t know how the proceedings will be framed on Day 1, but the following thoughts I believe would not be out of place by way of a first word on spoken words and words to follow. Ten years ago, the Green Network of Sri Lanka wrote a comprehensive status report of the country in terms of sustainability, titled ‘Bitter truths and better tomorrows: People’s report on sustainable development’. more..

The UK-Tiger love affair

June 20 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Britain last week caused some controversy there, with his address to the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) being cancelled due to protests orchestrated by the vociferous Tamil Diaspora in London. The incident, where President Rajapaksa was burnt in effigy and also had his vehicle pelted with eggs and tomatoes, hit the headlines worldwide resulting in a barrage of negative publicity for Sri Lanka, where its human rights more..

Understanding Sampanthan’s utterances

June 20 (NS) TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s recent speech at the 14th National Convention of the ITAK in Batticaloa has stirred up the political arena of the country. Many have questioned the TNA leader’s mysterious allusion to the right of external self-determination of the Tamils. Explanations have already come from the TNA saying that the TNA leader’s speech was wrongly translated. The Nation asked a few political party leaders for their comments. more..

Domesticating economic growth: Can the puny middle class make it sustainable?

June 20 (CT) An unexpected development, seemingly ominous, that has taken place in Sri Lanka’s recent economic developments has gone unnoticed by the country’s policy authorities, economic analysts and researchers. That development has been the continuous decline inSri Lanka’s exports as a ratio of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP from around 2005 though exports in US dollar and rupee terms had recorded increases during this period. more..

Community opinion on post-war development

June 20 (CT) The adequacy and need for further humanitarian initiatives to assist war-affected people three years after the war’s end is one on which there is contrasting opinions within the country and internationally. When faced with any call for improvement, the standard response of govt authorities is to claim that Sri Lanka is a model of post-war resettlement and rebuilding which other countries can learn from. There is always an angry official denial that any serious problems exist. more..

Modernised State of the Art Palmyrah Research Institute to be opened in Jaffna

June 20 (DBS) The govt will open the re-developed Palmyrah Research Institute in Kaithady, Jaffna, soon. The institute became defunct from 1995 due to the war in the North. Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V Sivagnanasothi said that they are ready to open a state-of-the-art palmyrah research facility in Jaffna, being redeveloped under the the govt’s livelihood development programme for the Northern Province. more..

Prevention of Torture

June 20 (DM) Torture is an accusation levelled on occasion by citizens. The short piece today sets out in the public interest the existing safeguards and makes reference to the plan of action in the National Human Rights Action Plan which is an effort to bring further improvements. Article 11 of the Sri Lankan Constitution provides that “No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and recognises the right not to be subject to more..

'Bring back the Child'

June 20 (DM) As a developing country with limited resources and a per capita income of US$2,368 (2010), Sri Lanka made its policy of “zero tolerance” of child recruitment a non-negotiable condition. Through sustained political will and proactive efforts, the rehabilitation and re-integration of former child combatants under its campaign of “Bring back the Child” was achieved. Sri Lanka’s success on this issue also has a positive bearing on the country’s reconciliation process. more..

The Army’s no-war games

June 20 (Island) What should the Security Forces do when there’s no war to be fought? Now that three years have passed since the defeat of the LTTE and pretty much everybody is convinced that there will be no resurgence, this would seem to be a pertinent question to ask. Of course vigilance is needed. The Security Forces have to ensure that they are ready to deal with any new militancy. However, that’s a limited task in comparison more..

Editorial: Combating winged terror

June 20 (Island) The Katuwana killings have galvanised the Opposition into taking on the govt as never before. Its struggle to have the perpetrators brought to justice and pressure the govt to protect people's right to dissent deserves unstinted public support. The prevalent culture of political violence must be ended at any cost. However, people must not let battles on the political front distract them from the need for an all-out effort to eliminate an insidious killer more..

The saviour-myth, the hereditary-rule fallacy and democracy

June 20 (SL) Lankan democracy, even at its most vibrant, contained twin viruses: the saviour myth and the fallacy of hereditary rule. Either could coexist with democracy, and did so for decades. However, in confluence they cannot but undermine democracy from within, gradually replacing it with its antithesis: an absolutist rule by a political dynasty. Historically countries have come to democracy in two ways. Some had to fight hard and long for it while others had it more..

Cautious optimism for real estate

June 20 (FT) The country’s real estate and property development sector has shown rapid growth post-war but several new factors have prompted leading consulting firm KPMG Sri Lanka and specialist Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) to have “cautious optimism”. The latest Real Estate Market Brief Issue 2 – 2012 titled ‘Changing cityscape’ done by the two firms noted that for the first time in Sri Lanka, the leisure sector has outpaced housing as more..

Online cargo clearance system struggles to find wider acceptance

June 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Customs is delaying moves to go fully online with 20 percent of the trading community not willing to avail themselves of the online cargo clearance system already in place. Sri Lanka Customs has introduced a faster system of online documentation for exports and vehicle imports (for now, with plans to cover the entire import sector). However users are not yet prepared to welcome the new mechanism. Sri Lanka Ports Authority last year installed an online more..

Retail play on punting stock helps sustains upturn

June 20 (Island) The Colombo bourse yesterday continued its upward movement for the fourth day running with the All Share Price Index gaining a hefty 61.19 points (1.22%) while the Milanka was up 43.11 points (0.97%) on a turnover of Rs.533.6 million, up from the previous day’s Rs.295.4 million, with 185 gainers strongly outpacing 47 losers. Brokers said that many speculative stocks like HVA Foods, PC House and PC Pharma as well as Ramboda Falls which opened more..