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On the worth of website comments

June 23 (CT) Most of the Sri Lankan newspapers and websites have added the readers’ comments facility and it has become more attractive as they feel they have a role to play instead of reading. It is an obvious fact, that people like to have their own voice rather than listening to someone’s interpretation, which is according to the basics of 2-way communication. But some argue that the newspaper is not a blog, although it is online and vice-versa. In the Sri Lankan context more..

Get, set, migrate!

June 23 (CT) True beauty marked with a number of lakes, reservoirs and so on can never be replaced. As a country that is tropical and warm for the most part of the year, Sri Lanka is a truly a bird’s paradise. According to studies and environmentalists, the bird distribution in the country is largely determined by the existing climate zones. However, endemic birds as well as migrant birds can be spotted in nearly any part of the country. more..

Corruption has to end, but how?

June 23 (LB) The biggest single post war issue, it scarcely needs a special mention, is the issue of governance — and under the rubric of governance, more precisely, the issue of corruption. As reams were written about the war, in terms of academic treatise and journalistic opinion alike, acres of newsprint and gallons of ink are now expended on the issues of corruption, nepotism and malpractice. How deep do the roots of corruption go in this country? Very deep, they say and more..

“Insane fury” of Tamil leaders terrorised, bloodied and oppressed Jaffna

June 23 (LB) In the main, political discourse on the north-south crisis has raged throughout the Vadukoddai War blaming only the Sinhala “Chauvinist” of the south and exonerating Jaffna and its past. In most instances, judgments have been passed as if Jaffna was the glorious kingdom that gave Tamils their prosperity, liberty and security and it is the Sinhala “chauvinist” demons who took it away from them. At the same time, most studies mourned the absence of more..

IPL horror: Cricket is eating its own tail

June 23 (ST) It’s like the perennial story about the snake that began to devour its own tail. Knowingly or unknowingly, today cricket too is eating its own tail with much relish. Never in the history of the game has it degenerated to a pitiful point like this, where it is groping in the dark to fight against a fire breathing money dragon with only a bat in its hand, while the sounds emanating from the Bollywood rave party blares down the streets of Mumbai. more..

The ITAK Convention: Refuting some misconceptions

June 23 (Island) Reading through some of the articles that have appeared recently, following upon Mr Sampanthan’s Presidential address at the ITAK Convention, it appears to me that there is a big trust deficit. Interpretations are being put on words, and inferences drawn which are not justified by the plain meaning of, or the relevant context in which they have been used. For instance asking for devolution of powers within a ‘united’ country, is more..

The rationale of ‘schooling’ punishment

June 23 (Island) There has of late a considerable volume of speculation in the press as well as some hullabaloo, as it were, among people, on punishment of students at school. The latest wave regarding the topic has been sparked off by a few cases of such punitive action taken by principals and teachers in which parents have taken to task the ‘offenders’ and even gone to the extent of seeking legal redress. Punishment of students by teachers is an age-old practice that more..

Mervyn De Silva: Reminiscences about a Journalist Colossus

June 23 (DBS) Recent events in the sphere of English journalism have caused shock waves among members of the fourth estate. Things seem to have taken a turn for the worse in a land where giants in journalism flourished once. It is against this bleak backdrop that I write about one such colossus-Mervyn de Silva – who passed away on June 22nd 1999. Even as I write, I am mindful that many have written much about more..

Editorial: Protect FUTA head!

June 23 (Island) It was with shock and dismay that we received the news of a cowardly attempt to intimidate President of the FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri. The identities of those who visited his residence while he and his family members were away on Wednesday and sought to gather information about him and his daughter from a neighbour are not known. But, it is only natural that the govt has become the main suspect. Give a dog a bad name. Dr. Devasiri leads university teachers' more..

'SL needs quantified goals for sustainable development'

June 23 (DM) Assistant Resident Representative and Team Leader—Environment, Energy and Disaster Management Programmes of the UNDP Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri spoke to the Daily Mirror about Sri Lanka’s progress towards sustainable development and youth involvement in the endeavour in the backdrop of the Rio+20 Summit taking place from June 20-22. Q: How did Sri Lanka prepare for participation at the Rio+20 Summit? A: I think that Sri Lanka goes to Rio+20 with a mixed mindset; more..

Lankan lone shooting star in the Olympic sports galaxy

June 23 (ST) Mangala Samarakoon, competing in the 50 m rifle prone men event, will be the sole representative for Sri Lanka in the sport of shooting, at the London Olympic Games. He picked up the sport in 2001 and over the years he has evolved into an excellent shot. His coaches, Brigadier K.W. Edema and Pushpamali Ramanayake, 3-time Olympic shooter and 1994 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, have played hugely supportive roles in his career and more..

Reservoir level updates via SMS to farmers

June 23 (FT) The attention of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) has been drawn to providing information about the water level of the Mahaweli reservoirs via SMS using mobile phones. ICTA says that this will be a great help to the farmer community for planning their agricultural activities in a systematic manner. It has been planned to inform the farming community through SMS when the water level of the reservoirs goes down to 40 per cent as well as when it rises up to more..

NDDCB to expand Northern activities

June 23 (DN) The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) will expand its activities in the Northern Province in keeping with the government's counter-narcotic strategy. NDDCB chairperson Leisha de Silva said on Thursday they will dedicate a fair share of its resources to establish drug abuse awareness, demand reduction and treatment in the Northern Province. "In fact, the Northern Provincial Action Plan for Drug Prevention and Control was prepared in 2010," she said. more..

Asian Beach Games: Sri Lanka finish in 17th position

June 23 (DN) Sri Lanka finished 17th, bagging two bronze medals while China and Thailand swept away most of the gold medals, placing first and second respectively when the third edition of the Asian Beach Games were wrapped up last evening. The men’s and women’s beach kabaddi teams were the successful medal hunters for Sri Lanka, when both teams reached the semi-finals in their respective events. more..

Gota urges educated youth to take country forward

June 23 (FT) Defence and Urban Development Ministry Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday urged youth to pursue higher education and gear themselves to take the country forward. He made this appeal during his address after opening the Future Minds 2012 Exhibition at the BMICH. Rajapaksa said that failure to enter local universities should not be considered as a barrier anymore since there are so many other opportunities available for students to pursue higher education. more..

Coaching white elephants hurting SLC coffers

June 23 (DM) This heading is all about a true story because so many president’s for the past 25 years to 30 years did create these problems by adding their super supporters into the Cricket Board and these problems went on growing over the years and now today the Cricket Board is faced with this big problem of having an excess staff by at least 40%. This situation shouldn’t have ever happened and by this today the financial problems have propped up for the SLC. more..

වාස්තු විද්žයාව සහ ජ්žයෝතිෂය

Sri Lanka tourism receipts up 25-pct to May

June 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka has earned 399.3 million US dollars from tourism in the first five months of 2012, up 25.5 percent from the 318.1 million US dollars earned a year earlier, official data showed. Tourist arrivals rose 18.2 percent to 387.622 in the same period. Sri Lanka's tourist sector has been booming since the end of a 30-year war in 2009. The rupee value of tourist receipts rose 39.8 percent to 49.14 billion rupees, data released by the Central Bank showed. more..

BoC wants Rs. 20 bn Treasury infusion for global expansion

June 23 (Island) State owned banking giant – the Bank of Ceylon is looking for a Rs. 20 billion capital infusion from a cash strapped government to expand its overseas operations. If the govt provides us with this infusion, that will enable us to not only expand the branch network, both globally and locally which will also increase the asset base from the current one trillion rupees, BoC Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe told The Island last night. more..

Minister warns employers not to employ children under 18

June 23 (Island) Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge on Wednesday warned employers not to employ any person under 18 years of age in hazardous employments such as metal quarries, fire cracker manufacturing enterprises, explosives manufacturing firms and machinery manufacturing industrial complexes. The employers who flouted the law would be fined Rs.10,000 or be liable to 12 months imprisonment. more..

A threat to the safety of Dr. Nimal Devasiri

June 23 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that two days ago, a group of people who have identified themselves as members of the Ministry of Defense, visited the neighbourhood in which Dr. Nirmal Raanjith Devasiri, (the President of the University Teachers Union and the Secretary of the Arts Faculty Teachers' Association of the University of Colombo (AFTA-CU) resides, and made inquiries about him and his family, in what appears to be more..

Govt. shoots down JVP query

June 23 (Island) The JVP yesterday demanded to know if the govt had taken a decision to shut down the agriculture school and seed production farm in Kundasale to build an airport. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the agriculture school offers two-year diploma course in all three languages and had produced 91 batches of students. This is the only place where the country could offer a two-year diploma in agriculture in Sinhala, Tamil and English. more..

'Norochcholai saves Lanka from power cuts'

June 23 (Island) If not for the 17 per cent power contribution to the national grid by the first coal fired power plant at Norochcholai, the debt ridden CEB either had to pump out millions of rupees to buy electricity from expensive independent power producers or impose power cuts. CEB Engineers said that the coal powered plant in Norochcholai, after a pathetic performance in the first quarter of the year, had come good in a crunch period more..

President meets Nepali PM, discuss direct air flights

June 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in Brazil to attend the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, R10+20, met Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in Rio de Janeiro and had detailed discussions with him yesterday. High on the agenda was a decision to start direct air flights between Colombo and Kathmandu soon. Accordingly, Mihin Lanka will soon start a direct flight between Colombo and Kathmandu. more..

Human traffickers refused bail

June 23 (CT) Seven human traffickers were refused bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli yesterday after they were taken into custody for attempting to send 112 persons to Australia by a vessel illegally. Magistrate Singappuli also directed the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) to submit a detailed report on the track record of the seven suspects before 6 July. The Magistrate directed the CCD to present a detailed report on the suspects when the counsel appearing more..

Dayasiri questions double standards

June 23 (CT) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara inquired why charges were not filed against Kumaran Pathmanadan (KP), when the manager of his funds had been charged for assisting and procuring LTTE’s international funds. During the oral question session in Parliament, Jayasekara charged that it is illogical and ridiculous that KP is left without any charges, when Ponniyah Anandaraja, the Fund Manager of KP is charged with handling funds belonging to more..

Ranil praises Daily News

June 23 (DN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday praised the Daily News for carrying the full proceedings of Parliament. Wickremesinghe said backbenchers in Parliament and the English readership are denied justice by not publishing full proceedings of Parliament in most English language newspapers, except the Daily News. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday said he will discuss the concerns raised by the Opposition Leader on the need for a policy in more..

Attack on Consultant’s house: GMOA issues ultimatum to govt.

June 23 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday gave the govt two weeks to conduct an impartial investigation and prosecute the culprits who had caused damage to Consultant Oncologist Dr. Nadaraja Jayakumaran’s house in Jaffna on June 14. If the govt fails to take any tangible action within the two weeks, about 350 doctors, attached to the Jaffna Teaching hospital, would launch a strike in protest against the govt’s inability to more..

Customs to help expats in goods clearince

June 23 (DN) In a move to recognize the services of the Sri Lankan expatriate workers, the Sri Lanka Customs is to introduce a novel mechanism that would expedite the clearing process of goods sent by them via sea and air. This novel mechanism which would be effective from next month, would ease the clearing process and expatriate workers living in remote parts of the country need not linger in Colombo for days until their goods more..

DEW wants Parliament to act against warrant defying criminals

June 23 (Island) Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera yesterday said that Parliament must take action against open warrant criminals who move around freely with impunity. Participating in the condolence vote on former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, he said that the rule of law was not upheld in a society where open warrant criminals move around freely. "Parliament must take into serious notice and consideration the statements made by judges in courts that more..

Sputum tests reveal 60% of 9000 tested patients carry TB bacteria

June 23 (Island) Over nine thousand patients are tested for tuberculosis in Sri Lanka annually, while 60 percent of the sputum tests (smear tests) carried out are positive with the Tubercle bacillus which causes the disease. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said on Wednesday that there were approximately five million TB patients in the South East Asian region. He said that 40 percent of TB patients in the world were reported from South East Asia (SEA). more..

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Uninterrupted power supply to Jaffna by August 2013more..

New company for state plantations

June 23 (DM) Tenders are to be called for the leasing of 3,000 acres of land belonging to the Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation (SLSPC), the Janatha Estate Development Board (JEDB) and the Elkaduwa Plantations, the State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry said yesterday. It said this was being done under restructuring programme of under-utilized state ventures. Ministry Secretary Willy Gamage said all of the 24 state ventures that come under the purview of the ministry would either be more..

Hemakumara drops bombshell over agricultural mishap

June 23 (DM) While faulting the govt for its “stupid” and "foolish" decisions with regard to its Agricultural policy, former Presidential Advisor Hemakumara Nanayakkara said he would decide on his future political path “in the next few days”. “The Agricultural policy of this govt is not going in the right direction, farmers were guaranteed a purchase price of Rs. 24 for paddy but the price has now been reduced to Rs. 18 causing severe hardship and distress to farmers. more..

Editorial: Enlightened patriotism to save economy

June 23 (DM) With the water levels in the hydro-electric power reservoirs dropping to dangerously low levels and heavy showers not expected till October, the CEB says it is depending on thermal generators for more than 80% of power supplies and if the situation worsens it may be forced to impose the dreaded power cuts. For the past few months the CEB has been appealing to people to switch off at least one bulb during the peak time between 6.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. but more..

Will Salman be brand ambassador of Sri Lanka Premiere League?

June 23 (DC) So what if he doesn’t own a team in the Indian Premier League, the Ek Tha Tiger actor, we are told, has agreed to be the face of SPL, reports. His B-town friends Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty own a team each in the Indian Premiere League (IPL). Even his arch rival Shahrukh Khan owns one (SRK’s Kolkata Knight Riders won this year’s IPL edition, remember?). But Salman Khan, we gather, is eying a different more..

Solid Sangakkara guides Sri Lanka to 472

June 23 (CI) It was a bittersweet second day in Galle for Kumar Sangakkara. He became the quickest batsman to reach 2000 Test runs against a single team, as he helped Sri Lanka build on their dominant first day, but he also became only the second batsman in Test history to be stranded on 199. That too, after signalling his double-century in the penultimate over of the innings, only to be told it was a scorecard error. more..

‘Mervyn behind Kelaniya garbage issue’

June 23 (SM) Minister Mervyn Silva is behind the garbage issue in Kelaniya, PS member Hasitha Madawala charges. He said that it was Minister Silva who angered the residents of Manelgama, where the garbage of the Kelaniya area was dumped in the past. He added that under this backdrop, nearly 30 tonnes of garbage collected from the area each day is being dumped in the land behind the Pradeshiya Sabha building. Though a company had initially agreed to purchase the trash for more..

Colombo lowers its guard

June 23 (Hindu) Three years after the Eelam War IV ended in the comprehensive victory of the Sri Lankan forces, the country’s capital has finally begun lowering its watch. For anyone who has visited Sri Lanka before, the first noticeable change will begin at the country’s gateway — the presence of armed forces personnel at the Bandaranaike Airport is minimal now, compared to even last month. Step out, and travel to Colombo, about 35 km away, and the noticeable change is more..

Fewer runaway housemaids after blacklisting of some agencies in Abu Dhabi

June 23 (GN) There is an inverse relationship between the number of runaway housemaids and that of blacklisted recruitment agencies, at least in the case of Sri Lankans in Abu Dhabi. The more the number of unscrupulous recruitment agents blacklisted by the authorities, the less the number of runaway housemaids taking refuge in the embassy’s shelter house, said a top diplomat. The number of runaway housemaids in the more..