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Mass struggle the answergeneral consensus among radicals

June 26 (LB) There is general consensus among radicals in the Tamil liberation movement that except mass struggle, there is no other force outside Lanka or within that could bring any benefit to the Tamil people. Those who think there is, are not in the real world. As an example they point to what recently happened in London to Mahinda. While various groups can claim that it was their action that resulted in the dramatic success of getting Mahinda to run from London in more..

Inferno with intent

June 26 (NS) Thousands of acres of forest land have been destroyed in the past two weeks, following a spate of forest fires that have broken out in various parts of the country. By Wednesday June 20, a total of 11 forest fires had occurred in less than two weeks, according to the Disaster Management Centre. The fires had erupted in five districts, namely Badulla, Moneragala, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Matale. However, precise figures as to the total more..

What constrains foreign direct investment?

June 26 (ST) The low level of foreign direct investment is a serious constraint to sustained rapid economic development. Despite an increase in foreign investment last year to a little above US$ 1 billion, this is inadequate to move the economy to higher levels of economic growth. Moreover it is not only the amount of foreign direct investment that matters but the types of foreign direct investment. The country has been unable to attract the kinds of investments that would have multiplier benefits to the economy from increased more..

Tracing the edge of the nation

June 26 (NS) The pages of fiction, said Gunadasa Amarasekara at the launch of his new novel Rupantharanaya, are enabled by the sensitively lived life, and the hundreds who had gathered at the SLFI, to hear half dozen intellectuals speak on his writing seemed to agree. I do too; it is difficult think of any other writer who exemplifies this art, who combines the rigor of sustained logical narrative, propelled by the subtlety of everyday descriptions, in syntax and vocabulary of breathtaking economy and beauty. more..

'Sri Lanka a transit hub for human trafficking'

June 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is being used by citizens of other countries as a hub for human trafficking, especially for sly entry to Australia, Immigration Controller Chulananda Perera said. He said that the Immigration Department is now taking action to crack down on such offenders. Excerpts: Q: There have been instances where foreigners have been arrested for overstaying their visas. Some of them were trying to leave for Australia. more..

Editorial: Katuwana witnesses need protection

June 26 (Island) We have had dynastic rulers since time immemorial. In the pre-colonial era spanning over two millennia, this country was home to monarchs of all sorts––from philosopher kings to tyrants. In the colonial days, we were ruled by kings and queens of faraway lands. Independence saw the emergence of several native political dynasties, most of which have faded away except one that we have to contend with. more..

S&P’s soother!

June 26 (FT) Perhaps to calm a boiling banking industry over its assessment or in an apparent move to give greater clarity to its rational Standard and Poor’s has addressed some contentious issues to provide better read though Central Bank and Sri Lanka Bank Association have refuted the original report. In a Credit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) titled “Understand Standard & Poor’s BICRA Assessment of Sri Lanka” the rating agency whilst stressing some of its core take homes, more..

Sri Lankan inmates in special camp allege police harassment

June 26 (TOI) An indefinite hunger strike by 10 Sri Lankan refugees at the Chengalpet special camp against their detention entered its 11th day on Monday. The strike has brought the spotlight on a small group of protestors, including some LTTE sympathizers and others accused of human trafficking and smuggling. 8 of the protesting Lankan Tamils, who were admitted in the Chengalpet govt hospital by police a few days ago, more..

Country’s first boatyard in Beruwala

June 26 (DN) “Sri Lanka's first boatyard will be set up in Beruwala and it will manufacture vessels for the fisheries industry. Vessel training and repairs will be provided through this boatyard which will be a great solution to the unemployment problem in Beruwala, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. He said so during an inspection tour in the Beruwala Tourist Zone. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena also participated. They inspected the development activities in the zone. “Measures are in place to develop the Beruwala city as more..

TNA protest in Killinochchi today

June 26 (Island) The TNA is scheduled to hold a protest campaign today in the North to bring to the attention of the international community what it terms the continuing injustices by the govt to grab lands belonging to Tamil people in the North, especially the chasing away of 200 IDP families who resettled on their lands in Mullikulam in the Mannar district by the Navy last week, said TNA MP M. A. Sumanthrian. Large number of people including Political Party representatives and human rights activists from the North and the South are more..

Education Minister must resign - CTU

June 26 (CT) Several Teachers Unions yesterday called for the resignation of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena stating that he should step down immediately. The Ceylon Teachers Union secretary Joseph Stalin speaking in front of the Supreme Court after the ruling to re-calculate 2011 GCE Advance Level results stated that a Minister who had ruined the education of students should not be kept as the Education Minister any further. more..

Fraudulent land acquisition in Matale

June 26 (CT) A unit belonging to the Ministry of Defense has initiated an investigation into an alleged incident where several individuals were enjoying possession of state owned lands by forging deeds in Matale. A govt politician said these lands are being acquired by a private party by bribing and forging the signatures of lawyers and land registration officials. Lands belonging to the state, land reforms commission, and estate companies in Matale, Dambulla, more..

Navy sets up new camp

June 26 (CT) TNA MP Suresh Premachandran pointed out the Navy has occupied a coastal land area of two kilometers in Thiruvadinilai, Mathagal to set up a navy camp. Premachandran said he had visited the Mathagal area last Sunday to look into the information he received over the land taken over by the Navy. “The Navy’s action has threatened the fisher folk in the Mathagal area. A fertile land area of two kilometers has been occupied by the Navy to set up a camp. more..

Anti-mosquito ‘war’ in schools islandwide

June 26 (DN) A giant mosquito eradication programme will be launched in the school system with the participation of students, parents and teachers in 9,000 schools countrywide on June 29, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. A circular to this effect has been sent to all schools by the Education Ministry. Under this circular, it would be mandatory for all Principals, teachers, students and their parents to take part in this mosquito control programme, more..

Lanka trade, food fest in October

June 26 (TOO) To mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Oman and Sri Lanka, the country's embassy is all set to host the Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival in October. Asoka Girihagama, the Sri Lankan ambassador said, "The dates for the trade exhibition and food festival have been fixed for October 10, 11, 12 at Al Falaj Hotel. The ambassador added, "This is the first time in the recent past that Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have an opportunity to showcase their products and services in Oman. more..

Truck, tractor loaded with rice destroyed in suspicious fire

June 26 (Island) A truck and a tractor loaded with sacks of rice were destroyed early yesterday morning in a fire when the vehicles were parked at a house in the Tissamaharama police area. Acting Police spokesman, SP Sajeewa Medawatte said that the truck and the tractor had caught fire between 1:00 am and 2:00 am and the fire had also destroyed 150 sacks of rice. He said that investigations were being carried out to ascertain whether it was an arson attack due to more..

SL Development Bonds of $150 mn oversubscribed by 1.5 times

June 26 (Island) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the govt, offered to issue three year Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) of US$ 150 million to eligible investors for subscription at the 6 month LIBOR rate for dollars plus a margin to be determined through competitive bidding. The offer was opened from 18 – 25 June 2012 for bidding with the settlement on 02 July 2012. "Both foreign and local commercial banks more..

Sri Lankan National remanded in Fiji

June 26 (FV) A Sri Lankan National who arrived into the country on Saturday has been remanded in custody for allegedly being in possession of forged travel documents. Senthan Thiagarajah appeared before Nadi Magistrate Samuela Qica charged with three counts of being in possession of false document namely fake Indian passport, fake British passport, fake Air Pacific boarding pass for New Zealand and being in possession of a device for making forgeries. It is alleged that when he arrived from Sri Lanka more..

Talaimannar- Medawachchiya rail track ready by 2013 end

June 26 (DN) The construction of the Talaimannar -Medawachchiya railway line is in rapid progress and is due to be opened by late 2013, Mannar District Secretary Sarath Ravindra said. He was addressing a seminar in Mannar on 'The role of provincial journalists for district development'. Ravindra said the construction of the rail track is fast progressing since the govt took prompt action to reconstruct the railway line after the completion of the humanitarian mission. more..

New film shows Sri Lanka's media battered, but not beaten

June 26 (AS) Silenced Voices, a film about the fate of Sri Lankan journalism, is being screened in New York this week as part of the 2012 Human Rights Watch film festival, bringing attention to a country that is "one of the most perilous countries in the world for journalists,” according to the advocacy group. The film focuses on Sonali Samarasinghe, her late husband Lasantha Wickrematunge (assassinated in Jan 2009) more..

Northern progress: A first-hand look at new developments

June 26 (ST) On a guided tour of the media to the North-East Sunday Times photographer Indika Handuwela captured the development work that is in progress. From bridges to roads, railway lines and building constructions, rapid work is taking place and villagers are enjoying the infrastructure development activities in their areas. The Kanakarayankulam Lake, situated in the once war-torn zone, was full of children enjoying a dip in the cool waters on a warm afternoon. more..

New boss for Dehiwela zoo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

June 26 (Island) Former Deputy Forest Conservator, Anura de Silva yesterday assumed duties as the Director General of the National Zoological Gardens, Dehiwela and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Soon after assuming duties, he had number of meetings. At one of the meetings, The Island learns that he took up the salary issues of the employees of both establishments with the Salary and Cadres Commission. During his discussion with the zoo officials he had stressed more..

Undergrads to add to govt. woes

June 26 (Island) Undergraduates will launch a new protest campaign against the government’s delay in solving the problems of university non academic staff who are currently on an indefinite strike demanding rectification of their salary anomalies. Convener of the Inter University Students Federation Sanjeewa Bandara told The Island that the academic calendar, including examinations were completely paralysed due to the strike started on June 06. more..

Kulasekara shows Test promise

June 26 (CI) Sri Lanka's clinical bowling performance in the first Test in Galle is an indication that they are beginning to overcome two years of struggle. When Muttiah Muralitharan bowled his last ball in Test cricket in 2010, the question was how Sri Lanka would cope in the future. They didn't cope very well. In 2010, the Sri Lankan attack that played India didn't look too bad on paper. Lasith Malinga was spearheading it, and Ajantha Mendis was their next big spin hope. more..

Veddahs complain to President over theft of their Buddha statue

June 26 (Island) The Chief of the Adiwasi (Veddah) clan of Pollebedda in Mahaoya off Mahiyangana T. B. Goba laments over the disappearance of the statue of the Buddha, which was a gift to villagers over half a century ago by the late leaders Dudley Senanayake and J.R. Jayewardene. Veddah leader in a letter addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has requested that action be taken to recover the lost marble image which was more..

UGC asked to calculate Z-score separately for two syllabi

June 26 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday declared null and void the August 2011 GCE (A/L) exam Z-score. The judgement said that there was a complex question as regards the Z-score calculated on the basis of the old syllabus and the new syllabus taken together. The second respondent, the UGC, was directed to comply with Section 15 of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978, as amended and to take necessary more..

'Sri Lanka leads in kidney disease research'

June 26 (DN) The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an emerging global health problem and around 10 countries, including, Sri Lanka are affected. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta no other countries has commenced a wide research programme about this issue as Sri Lanka has already done. The WHO had appointed an international team to do research related to CKD on a request made by Health Minister Maitripala Sirisena and this team commenced more..

Sri Lankan Tamils get RM3.2m aid from Malaysia

June 26 (NST) The Malaysian government has given US$1 million (RM 3.2 million) to Tamil Forum Malaysia (TFM). The contribution will go towards helping 1,700 widows and orphans in Sri Lanka who lost their loved ones during the civil war which lasted more than 25 years. Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said he hoped that the donation would be the starting point of a relationship between the government and TFM. more..

'No commitment made to Clinton'

June 26 (DN) Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga yesterday dismissed newspaper reports that he or Minister Prof G L Peiris had submitted any document on LLRC implementation to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their official visit to Washington in May this year. Minister Prof Peiris has repeatedly denied he had submitted any document or secret plan regarding the implementation of the recommendations made in the LLRC report since more..

National drug policy law erroneously prepared

June 26 (Island) The draft of the National Drug Policy Implementation Act (DPIA), which was handed back to the Health Ministry by the former Chief Legal Draftsman after a lapse of one year, has been erroneously prepared with a series of important provisions missing. Chief Legal Officer of the Health Ministry, Riaza Ahmed told The Island yesterday that a new committee, appointed by the Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Ravindra Ruberu, had been entrusted with the task of more..

Suspect in double killing of two sisters get court permission to make private statement

June 26 (Island) The suspect in the killing of two middle aged sisters at Warapitiya, Kahawatte last month, yesterday sought and obtained the permission of Pelmadulla Magistrate to make a private statement to court. Suspect Kasturiarachchige Nandana made the appeal to Magistrate Chandani Dias from the dock in open court with his hands brought together in oriental fashion worship. The victims of this crime were Setunge Dayawathy and Setunge more..

Expanding saltern destroys mangroves

June 26 (SL) Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera has been accused for destroying mangroves illegally on a large extent of land along the Puttalam Lagoon in order to expand his existing saltern. According to Divisional Secretary of Kalpitiya – Ranga Fernando , the exact extent of the cleared land cannot be determine without a survey being carried out as it is a vast area which was used as a buffer zone for natural fish breeding. “The mangrove was completely bulldozed last year without taking any approval from more..

It’s all peace and prosperity, but where are the tourists?

June 26 (LB) Sri Lanka has been ranked as one of the best destinations in the world, by many internationally acclaimed bodies. Most recently, the World Peace Index ranked Sri Lanka as one of the top 5 countries which had made the most gains in terms of ensuring peace. Sri Lanka experienced the greatest improvement in its ‘overall peacefulness’ following the end of decades of civil war, according to the 2012 Global Peace Index. more..

Sri Lanka economic forum to probe ease of doing business

June 26 (LBO) An annual economic forum next month organized by Sri Lanka's Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will have a session focusing on the ease of doing business in the island. The Sri Lanka Economic Summit will be held in Colombo from July 10 to 12, held for the 13th successive year will have a session on 'Ease of Doing Business- Sri Lanka ranked 89- Fact or fiction?'. Sri Lanka has been placed 89th on a World Bank ranking improving its position from 110 in 2011. more..

UN running low of funds humanitarian work in northern Sri Lanka

June 26 (LBO) The United Nations is experiencing a funding shortfall to meet urgent humanitarian relief work across Sri Lanka’s conflict-hit north, with money running low for solid waste, shelter and water. The UN says it needs 147 million dollars for humanitarian work in the northern province this year. “The 2012 Joint Plan of Assistance for the Northern Province (JPA) remains underfunded at 25 million dollars, or. 17.5 percent of the total,” a UN report showed Monday. more..

Broad front formed to take on govt.

June 26 (Island) Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Sri Naga Vihare, Ven. Madulawe Sobitha Nayake Thera, yesterday announced that a broad front would be forged to fight lawlessness, crime, bribery, corruption and unbridled politicization and to restore democracy and good governance in the country. Ven. Sobitha Thera said that civic minded people would continue their struggle relentlessly until the rule of law was restored, the independent Commissions for Elections, Public more..

NARA wants post harvest technology for aquaculture farmers

June 26 (Island) National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) said yesterday that Sri Lanka should introduce new post-harvest technology methods for the aquaculture farmers to enable them to get higher prices for their products. NARA has implemented seaweed projects in the Northern, Eastern and North Western Provinces in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency and Korean Maritime Institute. more..

Sri Lanka banking assessment: S&P answers investor queries

June 26 (LBO) Standard and Poor's, a rating agency has released a document answering potential investor queries following the release of a Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment. The full statement is reproduced below: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services recently assigned Sri Lanka to its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) group '8'. This is our first assessment of Sri Lanka's banking industry under our BICRA methodology. more..

Man charged in Lankan smuggling case nabbed at Toronto airport

June 26 (MN) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says it has arrested a man charged over the smuggling of 492 Tamil migrants into Canada. RCMP say they have arrested Nadarajah Mahendran at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport without incident and aboard a flight originating in Sri Lanka. Mahendran is one of six men charged over the August 2010 arrival of the MV Sun Sea in British Columbia. Police in Thailand, Australia, France and more..

NCP-PC won’t be dissolved, says CM

June 26 (DM) Despite rumours that the North Central Provincial Council would be dissolved soon and fresh elections held, Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake said that no such decision had been taken by the SLFP or the president. “At the moment organisational activities of the SLFP are being carried out. Therefore some may think that there will be a provincial council election in the near future. Rumours are even being spread through the media. more..