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Chinese Manufacturers of Weighing scales visit BOI

June 28 (GDI) An important delegation from the Chinese Industry Association of Manufacturers of Weighing Machines visited the BOI to evaluate possibilities of investing in the Island. The 28 strong delegation representing 28 companies located in Beijing, Shanxi Shanghai, Jiangsu, Nanjing, Shenzhen and other cities in China. The companies belonged to the China Weighing Instrument Association of China which has a 500 strong membership of companies and more..

'Demining work delaying polls in North'

June 28 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Thursday claimed that demining operations and slow progress in compilation of voters' list was preventing holding of elections for the northern provincial council, the erstwhile battle zone, even as snap polls are being held in other provinces. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said this while answering questions over why the govt had deferred holding the northern election when it announced snap polls yesterday for three other provinces. more..

Nearly 100 students in hospital with food poisoning

June 28 (NF) Around 100 students at the St. Jameswatta Tamil School in Haliela, Badulla hava been admitted to hospital due to food poisoning. A spokesperson at the Badulla Hospital stated that students have shown symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. The students had fallen ill after consuming their morning meal which is provided by the school. The Hospital Spokesperson added that necessary treatment had been given to the students.

Sri Lanka hospitality school hopes to fill skills void

June 28 (LBO) A leisure industry school linked to a UK-based professional body said it is stepping to fill a growing need for leisure sector executives as the island sees a tourism boom after the end of a three decades long war. "Everybody is complaining that they don't have trained and committed staff," Eraj Abeywardane, director studies, of Imperial Institute of Hospitality and Leisure (IIHL) said. The school is offering diplomas and higher diplomas covering business management, finance, planning, more..

Railway employees to strike

June 28 (DM) Railway trade unions said yesterday they were prepared to go on strike if the govt did not resolve issues hindering employees for the past three years. The Organization for Protection of the Properties and the Rights of Railway Employees (OPPRRE) said the railway department was incurring tremendous losses due to mismanagement and corruption going on from within. OPPRRE Convener, Sumathipala Manawaduwa stated many of the more..

Residents demonstrate on the Dambulla-Colombo road

June 28 (NF) Residents in Ibbankaduwa, Dambulla engaged in a demonstration along the Dambulla-Colombo main road this morning. Around twenty seven families residing near a land where an ancient cemetery had been found, took part in the demonstration. The demonstration was organised by residents who have been residing in the area for over three decades as they have not been permitted to make any permanent construction over a period of five years. more..

Three years after civil war Tamils in Sri Lanka remain isolated and stigmatized

June 28 (IBT) Three years after a civil war between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil separatists, tens of thousands of Tamils in the country lack national identity cards (NIC), making it difficult for them to access public services and subjects them to police and army harassment. In Sri Lanka, all citizens aged 16 or above are required to carry an NIC -- however, in 2009 during the final days of the deadly conflict between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the rebel LTTE, many Tamils were displaced from their homes by the fighting more..

We need to identify the social workers, says Hirunika Premachandra

June 28 (NF) A foundation stone was laid yesterday to construct a statue of the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone for the construction of a statue of Late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra at the Kolonnawa industrial zone. Chamal Rajapaksa shared these thoughts in this event. ’As politicians and political leaders we must be cautious about the candidates that we nominate. If politicians do not have the more..

Public Petition

June 29 (DM) It is duly recognized that there exists a Special Parliamentary Committee for consideration of Public Petitions. It is further noted that there exists a specified procedure to be followed in forwarding such a petition to the Committee on Public Petitions in accordance with Standing Orders and further that the Standing Orders 25 A dealing with it requires the presentation of same to be by a member of parliament submitting a statement in a specified form. more..

Foster care for a child

June 29 (DM) In every province in Sri Lanka, children, abandoned, handed over by parent (s) or sent by Courts are found in State sponsored or registered but privately run homes for children. They range from the age of 3-18. Those who run the homes are reimbursed at the end of the year with SLR. 20 per child per day being paid for by the State. An amount which adds to very little but possibly what the State can afford at present. Those running the homes top up to meet the more..

The personal and professional in the sphere of foreign policy and international relations

June 29 (DBS) A fact accorded scant credence in our times is that the personal and professional can be inextricably linked in the sphere of international and foreign relations. This was the perception distilled from an event held last week to mark the second death anniversary of veteran Sri Lankan diplomat Vernon Mendis. The personal memoir rendered by retired civil servant M.D.D Pieris in memory of his colleague was more..

American foreign policy and the HRC resolution on Sri Lanka

June 29 (GV) The Obama administration did fight to get a seat on the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2009; something that George W. Bush probably did not even contemplate. And, as David Bosco has noted, the US has been relatively active at the HRC since that time. Bosco goes on to say that “The United States has laid special emphasis on the Council’s use of special experts, individuals given a mandate to investigate some particular country or human rights theme.” more..

The oldest and the greatest: A reflection on the Bradby Shield and what it stands for

June 29 (GV) History and tradition are great mentors. History assures us of who we are, and if we are brave enough, it can also teach us where we have failed or triumphed, behaved honourably or been disgraced. Tradition, for it to be useful, must be wisely chosen and morally crafted; because it is the conduit through which history’s best lessons flow down the ages. Great traditions are not always old, but the best ones are usually those that stand the test of time and like good wine, enhanced by age. more..

The young brigade in one voice said “Yes Sir”

June 29 (ST) Well the mini and the midi stuff is over in Sri Lanka’s bilateral Future Tours Programme series against Pakistan and we have moved into the maxi-five-day stuff.Yet, looking back, especially at the five one-dayers, we must analyse the series and discuss strengths, weaknesses and ways of taking the game into the next world cup, which will take place Down Under in 2015. We must take these as the initial steps of a rather lengthy walk ahead. more..

Taking back our temples!

June 29 (GV) To visit a place of worship seems such a natural thing to do to the extent that we rarely consider it in terms of entitlements. Yet for people with physical disabilities, especially for those of us who use wheelchairs, this entitlement to attend and participate in temple worship is at best provisional and more often than not, impossible because of the profound inaccessibility of temple sites and lack of accessibility information. I have been a wheelchair user for many years and can also ‘walk’ short steps with assistance. more..

War crimes or violation of Intl. Humanitarian Law?

June 29 (SO) In response to the US ambassador-designate to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sisson's submission before the confirmation testimony of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 6 focusing on "serious allegations of violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law at the end of the war remain to be investigated", Sri Lanka's foreign secretary K. Amunugama, obviously under the behest of the govt, took offence to some of her remarks. more..

'If UNP and SLFP come to some consensus, political issues would be easily solved'

June 29 (AT) If there is consensus to some degree between the two major political parties, then other things will automatically follow. Secondly - the other parties should support the trend, and the third factor depends on the role of the media, said Minister DEW Gunasekera, as the panacea to bring about an acceptable solution to the burning political issues that grips the country. He said, “You must understand one more factor i.e the Indian factor. more..

Challenges for power sharing for reconciliation

June 29 (CT) Sometimes I have been mildly shaken by radical writing of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, but never quaked as I did having read -“After London.” It made me to believe that I had probably misunderstood him as an academic supportive of power sharing. More dangerously, I wondered whether Sri Lanka instead of moving out of the maze would mess in it by agreeing with him. At the outset, I deplore Diaspora behavior inLondonstanding on a Sri Lankan national flag. In Sinhala expression it was ‘spitting up to fall on the face!’ more..

Response to Austin Fernando’s critique

June 29 (CT) By happy coincidence, my latest submission on devolution appears at the same time as Austin Fernando’s critique, and therefore answers the substantive points raised by him. I shall therefore limit myself to answering his direct references to me when and where I consider them misplaced. “It made me to believe that I had probably misunderstood him as an academic supportive of power sharing.” DJ: Austin has not misunderstood me: I remain “an academic supportive of power sharing”. more..

A haven of peace for orphans

June 29 (SO) She smiles. The girl who was dark complexioned was trying to say something, her eyes were brimming with hope but this typical Tamil girl didn't have words to express her sorrow. Later we came to know that she was sexually abused and virtually kept for 'sale'. As soon as she realised she could talk to us she began relating her story in one breath, while the rest of her friends - little girls- were playing hide and seek in the playground more..

Editorial: It’s election time, stupid!

June 29 (Island) People asked for solutions to their problems and they have got elections! Snap polls to the North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils due in a few weeks may not benefit the country as such but they are sure to bring some relief to the drought-hit farmers crying out for relief. Govt politicians will fan out to the drought-stricken areas scheduled to go to the polls in droves to distribute handouts. What really made the govt go for PC polls at this juncture? more..

MR’s dilemma and CBK-UNP consensus

June 29 (Island) Although the SLFP-led UPFA vowed to amend the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) soon after winning the parliamentary polls on April 2, 2004, it soon realised the change of government had had no impact on the LTTE. The UPFA leadership quickly changed its approach to appease the LTTE. Then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, too, had no option but to assure Norway of his support for the peace process in line with President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s decision to go forward with more..

We are here for the long haul – HSBC

June 29 (FT) HSBC, which is celebrating 120 years in Sri Lanka on 1 July 2012, reiterated this week that the global bank is firmly rooted in the country, with great optimism for higher growth aided by the end of the war momentum and overall resilience. The bank in 2011 had a record year with its leading positions in several segments of its core service offerings of global banking and markets, commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management. more..

Nihal blasts Govt. on revenue administration mismanagement

June 29 (FT) Whilst taxes and levies are being imposed on the people burdening them, in a clearly worded Motion filed in the Court of Appeal in CA Appeal No. 1661/2003 by public interest activist, Nihal Sri Ameresekere through his lawyers has revealed the appalling mismanagement and non-enforcement of the statutory provisions vis-à-vis revenue collection and administration. He has also exposed the total indifference of public authorities, including successive Attorney Generals, more..

Sri Lanka to host International Mangrove Conference in July

June 29 (FT) MMM is an international conference on mangrove ecosystems that is held every six years. MMM is organised by mangrove scientists world-wide, every six years, i.e. at an interval that allows scientific innovation. It is not aiming at massive attendance but at single sessions covering various topics, with plenty of time for discussion in each of them. The International Meeting on Mangrove ecology, functioning and Management, MMM3 will be held in more..

Kidney disease still baffles experts

June 29 (Island) Sri Lanka is still in the dark as regards the Rajarata chronic kidney disease despite efforts made by the WHO in collaboration with the Health Ministry to uncover its cause. A spokesman said that the Research team, headed by Senior Consultant of WHO Prof. S. Mendis and Additional Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala had been able to map out the areas that had been affected by the Unknown Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDU). more..

21 Tamil speaking officers commissioned as second lieutenants in National Cadet Corps

June 29 (DBS) The National Cadet Corps (NCC) recently commissioned 21 Tamil speaking Probationary Officers of the NCC as Second Lieutenants, with the aim of strengthening the cadet movement in the Northern area as a part of extending equal opportunities to Tamil school children of the North. Cadetting was a very popular extra-curricular activity in leading schools of Jaffna in the past. But since the 1980 s cadetting just faded due to the escalation of more..

Catholic Clergy write to President about threats to Dr. Nirmal R. Devasiri of FUTA

June 29 (DBS) We, the members of the Christian Solidarity Movement, are distressed by the media reports that Dr. Nirmal R. Devasiri of FUTA has been intimidated by a group of unknown men who have arrived by a jeep at his neighbourhood to inquire his whereabouts, claiming to be from the defense ministry. Having witnessed the recent events of abduction, disappearances and shooting, this is a clear indication to us that Dr. Nirmal Ranjith’s life is in imminent danger. more..

'Opposition barking up wrong tree'

June 29 (Island) Opposition lawmaker Dr. Harsha De Silva charged yesterday that the EPF had lost Rs. 12 billion from investments in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), but an economist suggests the opposition is probably barking up the wrong tree. While controversies still surround the EPF issue, an economist pointed out that the internal firewalls in the Central Bank have not been effective in preventing conflict of interest because the govt has time and time more..

'TUs must work for workers' rights'

June 29 (DN) Many trade union leaders are animated to protect their rights but not the rights of the workers. It is the duty of every trade union, to work for the protection of workers' rights. They have to work to strengthen the government and attract members to the government, but not by ignoring the workers, Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. Deputy Economic Development Minister Lakshman Yapa Abewardena opening the SLFP union branch at the BOI. more..

GMOA alleges section attempting sabotage

June 29 (Island) Assistant Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association Dr. Navin de Soysa yesterday said that some members were attempting to block the association’s annual election of office bearers, scheduled for June 30 by means of a court order. Speaking to the media at the GMOA head office, he said that two doctors, Jayantha Balawardena and Upul Gunasekara had filed the petition in the Colombo District Court No. 1 seeking an injunction order. He added that certain members of the GMOA had become pliable tools in more..

PC polls: Karu calls for common front

June 29 (Island) Former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya yesterday said that a common understanding among Opposition political parties and civil society would be a prerequisite for a successful campaign against the government, at the forthcoming elections to Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provincial Councils. He said that nothing could be as important as having an agreement now in spite of differences among various political parties. more..

Co-accused in Pune blast trained in Colombo

June 29 (DM) Suspected LeT operative Faiyaz Kagzi had trained Mirza Himayat Baig, who was arrested for his alleged role in 2010 Pune German bakery blast, at a camp in Colombo, the Maharashtra ATS said. In 2008, Kagzi had trained LeT operative Baig in organising recruits and bomb-making techniques in a camp in the Sri Lankan capital for three weeks, an ATS official told PTI. "In March 2008, Baig had been to Colombo after being called by Kagzi, an alleged former SIMI activist wanted in 2006 Aurangabad more..

Sri Lanka to establish Diplomatic Relations with San Marino

June 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka Govt has decided establish diplomatic relation with the Republic of San Marino, a small independent enclave near Central Italy. San Marino, a country with parliamentary democracy is having the world’s oldest written Constitution enacted in 1600 AD. It is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe with a population of 32,140 and the per capita income of US$ 37,830. There is potential for Sri Lanka to promote tourism and export as it has an annual tourists arrival of 3.5 million.

'Study on nuclear power not shelved'

June 29 (Island) Sri Lanka had not abandoned or shelved the pre-feasibility study on the use of nuclear power, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranwaka said. Renewable energy would be a much better choice as it was cheaper than fossil fuels, Minister said at the signing of the tripartite agreement on the establishment of the nuclear accident early warning system. International Atomic Energy Authority had a mechanism to provide technological inputs based on more..

I still want to be made deputy minister - Muthuhettigama

June 29 (DM) Galle District MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama, at a media briefing at his office in Galle recently, said that though Sanath Jayasuriya had withdrawn his request for a deputy minister’s post he (Muthuhettigama) would not do so. He said he had been in politics for twenty years and had begun his career as the youngest Pradeshiya Sabha Member ever, on being elected to the Nagoda Pradeshiya Sabha. He said he had had to overcome many obstacles and had even been jailed. more..

Hostage drama unfolds at Vavuniya Prison

June 29 (DM) A group of LTTE suspects at the Vavuniya Prison had taken three jailers hostage in protest after three of their cadres were transferred to the Boossa prison following a court order given three days ago, Police said. During a visit to the Vavuniya Prison this evening these three jailers were forced into a cell and locked up by the LTTE suspects. Later they demanded that the authorities recall the LTTE suspects who had been transferred to Boossa in order to release the jailors. more..

Special committee to handle relief

June 29 (DN) The govt will take steps to provide dry rations to farmers whose crops have been destroyed by the severe drought in the country, with immediate effect. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said dry rations will be provided based on information provided by Govt Agents with regard to farmers in drought affected districts. He said the President had appointed a special committee comprising officials from the Treasury, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry, more..

Pakistan lodges complaint over poor umpiring

June 29 (DT) Pakistan has formally lodged a complaint over poor umpiring decisions in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, at a time when the ICC executive board has decided against making the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS) compulsory in all Tests. Clearly buckling under pressure from the Indian cricket board’s strong opposition to the UDRS, the ICC board on Wednesday decided to stick with the current system of allowing boards to decide themselves more..

Expedite construction of N' Eliya airport - President

June 29 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed officials to expedite the construction of the domestic airport in Nuwara Eliya by identifying a suitable location for it. The President issued this directive at a conference at Temple Trees regarding the proposed Nuwara Eliya domestic airport. The President said the local tourist industry will gain a major boost if a domestic airport is built in Nuwara Eliya which is a major tourist attraction. more..