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London protests supporting & opposing president Rajapaksa

June 5 (SM) Protests in support of and against president Mahinda Rajapaksa took place in London as he arrived in the British capital to attend the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. According to BBC Sandeshaya, pro-Rajapaksa groups as well as Tamils and anti-govt lobbyists demonstrated separately in front of Hotel Hilton where the Sri Lankan president is staying. The SLFP-led demonstrators carried the Sri Lankan and British flags and placards congratulating the Queen more..

Staff grows as cash withers at SLC

June 5 (DM) Honest attempts to resuscitate the ailing finances have invariably been intermingled with conscious management bungling and has only worsened Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) cash crisis, putting the governing body of the country’s most popular sport on a fast lane to doom. Having suffered a reeling blow of more than Rs. Seven billion to build World Cup stadiums that almost knocked out SLC last year, the once richest Sri Lankan sports body is gasping more..

SIRIN celebrates Asian heritage month in Canada

June 5 (Sirin) As part of Asian Heritage Month festivities, The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Chief Govt Whip and Minister of State and Visita Leelaratna, founder and Chairman of Sirin, participated in the opening of the Sirin Art Exhibition on May 26, 2012 at Lion Dick Brûlé Community Centre, in Kanata. Minister Gordon O'Connor represented the Govt of Canada and spoke to members of the community about the Canadian values and importance of connecting with Canadians more..

SriLankan on a roll to reduce Carbon Footprint

June 5 (GDI) Whilst consolidating a commitment to establish a strong culture of planet friendly attitudes and practices as a responsible corporate entity and as individuals, SriLankan Airlines’ continues its efforts to achieve highest global standards in environmental management and conservation. On World Environment Day (WED), the airline introduces a series of new tactical measures to double the awareness of the critical importance of the good health of the more..

'A woman is raped every 90 minutes in Sri Lanka'

June 5 (LT) Women and children are at the receiving end of serious crimes due to political interference and the failure of the police to carry out law and order in the country states Socialist Women’s Union (SWU) and pointed out that a woman is raped somewhere in Sri Lanka every 90 minutes. SWU points out that this state is due to the introduction of the free economy to the country which destroyed human relationships and created a society that more..

Secretary Defence unveils the Pinnacle at Sithulpawwa

June 5 (GDI) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa ceremonially unveiled the Crest Gem of the Pinnacle at the Sithulpwwa Raja Maha Vihara Dagoba on Monday (4). The Secretary Defence was accompanied by Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The “Savanak Res” programme telecast by ITN on every Poya Day was aired from the Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Vihare. more..

The agony of being in detention

June 5 (FC) All that 27-year-old Tamil refugee Kokilakumar Subramaniyam from Sri Lanka wants is to call Australia home. Mr Subramaniyam has lived in Australia for three years, but for most of that time he has been in detention. Refugee Action Coalition says Mr Subramaniyam is one of 33, including six children, who are being indefinitely detained at Villawood Immigration Detention Facility after they were denied permanent visas in Australia on ASIO security grounds. Mr Subramaniyam says he can't fathom why he's stuck at more..

Sri Lanka official has 'no idea' of reporter's fate

June 5 (BBC) A senior Sri Lankan official has said that he has no idea about the whereabouts of a disappeared journalist seven months after saying he believed the man was alive and living abroad. Human rights activists say that the remarks of former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris betray insensitivity to the plight of missing people. They say that is especially so at a time when disappearances are ongoing. more..

Legal procedures on hold till statement is taken from Duminda Silva

June 5 (AD) The Attorney General told the Colombo Magistrate Court today (5) that it was not possible to continue legal procedures regarding the Baratha Lakshman Premachandra murder case without recording a statement from defendant MP Duminda Silva. Duminda Silva is currently receiving treatment abroad following the shooting incident that occurred in Mulleriyawa which ended up with the death of former MP Baratha Lakshman. When the case was brought up to court today, more..

Kerala cops foil bid to ferry Lankan Tamils to Australia

June 5 (TOI) A day after Kerala police and coast guard foiled an attempt to ferry 151 Sri Lankan Tamils to Australia near Neendakara in Kerala's Kollam district, a probe is on to unravel the identity of agents involved in trafficking. On Sunday night, the police chased down a boat off Neendakara coast in Arabian Sea after locals alerted police about the presence of 16 Sri Lankans near a church at Mukkadu. The refugees told the locals that they had come to catch a boat that more..

Ragging in Sri Lankan Uni

Our first proponent of Republicanism…

June 6 (NS) Sri Lanka’s Republicanism was practically achieved through the 1972 constitution. But who was the first in our recorded history to expound the idea of a ‘kingless Lanka’? And thus propose a path towards Republicanism? The French under King Louise and the Russians under tsarist rule founded a kingless state through violent revolution actuated by persons not heir to privilege and power. Sri Lanka never founded its Republicanism through the actuation of violence more..

Remedy lies in complete overhaul of political system

June 6 (NS) No one would be surprised about Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that he sometimes suffers pain of mind because of criminal and other misdemeanors that some members of the ruling party are involved in. It is no secret that the general standards of politicians have steadily declined during recent times. The level of their education, dedication and moral conduct has not been in conformity with what is expected of them as leaders. more..

Third Time Lucky at the Gratiaen Prize

June 6 (CT) She won the State Literary Award in 1990 for her collection of short stories titled ‘Driftwood.’ She has also been shortlisted twice for the Gratiaen Prize since then (2002 and 2004) but it took Madhubashini Ratnayake 22 years more to win the Gratiaen. “This is the third time I have been shortlisted. Thank God I won it this time,” she said in her acceptance speech. Though understandably exuberant, she is by no means complacent about her writing more..

Repetition of the past?

June 6 (CT) The speech of TNA leader R Sampanthan at the annual sessions of the largest Tamil political party that took place in Batticaloa in the east has raised the red flag for many of those whose primary concern is the unity and sovereignty of the country. This can be seen in the adverse media commentary and statements issued on the topic. Ironically it was only a month ago that the TNA leader raised aloft the national flag of the country in Jaffna. He did this together with the Leader of the Opposition, more..

Prabhakaran Paraphased

June 6 (CT) Professor Urmila Phadnis the late doyenne of Lankanology in Indian academia was utterly discerning when she concluded over two decades ago in her last book (‘Ethnicity and nation-building in South Asia’) that Lankan Tamil ‘sub-nationalism’ was unique in the region in that it alone displayed an ‘autonomist-secessionist continuum’. It was with shock and dismay that I found that the keynote speech of R Sampanthan at the 14th Convention of the ITAK in May 2012, more..

Chiselling life into shape on cement

June 6 (SO) Sculptors are making various figures and shapes by carving or shaping stones, metal or wood. They also make figures with cement and sand. Stone pieces or large blocks are taken from rocks. Most granite rocks are located at many places such as Kaduwela, Gampaha, Avissawella, Matugama, Kurunegala, Homagama, Kalutara and Puwakpitiya. Cement is a mixture of several raw materials, but sand is freely available. more..

What will be the general’s peace time battle strategy?

June 6 (LB) Gen. Fonseka was freed, not because Mahinda got a sudden urge to embrace democracy. The former Army Commander and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was incarcerated for more than two and a half years. Hence his release appears as one of the populist moves made by the present regime, at a time when its democratic credentials are being exposed even internationally and the jailing of the General was seen in many quarters, both local and more..

Silly — endangered people who don’t look after their own saviours

June 6 (LB) Who could forget that surreal yet comic award given by the National Peace Council, so called, — which is basically Jehan Perera — to the Centre for Policy Alternatives helmsman Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu? This was the only oddball chapter in the generally well oiled civil society machine that cringes to please the West and the Western donors. Unlike in the case of the Jehan-Paikiasothy back scratching award, the pro West civil society scene is usually a study in more..

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on ethnicity in Northern Sri Lanka post-war

June 6 (GV) In my interview with the Secretary of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, broadcast on the BBC a week ago, his comments on the demography of the North aroused particular interest. DBS Jeyaraj disputed his assertion that it was easy for Tamils to live all over Sri Lanka, and described as “troubling” Mr Rajapaksa’s assertion that the North of Sri Lanka should not be viewed as a predominantly Tamil place. more..

Editorial: The games that Norwegians play!

June 6 (Island) In Bertolt Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle, we come across a bizarre trial presided over by a drunken, corrupt, bribe taking, unorthodox judge called Azdac, who, however, to his credit, boldly departs from the path of traditional, logical law to deliver social justice. In real life, too, we have seen and heard of some weird judges with peculiar traits, absurd trials and atypical judgments, both here and abroad. Yesterday, we published an interesting report on a judge's obsession with computer card games. more..

How the Jaffna Youth Congress pioneered the struggle for total independence from UK

June 6 (DBS) A revised edition of Handy Perinbanayagam A Memorial Volume & The Jaffna Youth Congress edited by Santasilan Kadirgamar, published by Kumaran Publishers, Colombo, was released under the auspices of the Indo-Lanka Foundation on March the 4, 2012 at the Saraswathy Hall in Colombo. The first edition of the above publication, also edited by Santasilan Kadirgamar, was produced and distributed by the Handy Perinbanayagam Commemoration Society in more..

CFA springboard for eelam project

June 6 (Island) Had the UNP consulted armed forces and police top brass, the Norwegian arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) wouldn’t have been such a one-sided arrangement. Instead of taking the service chiefs into confidence in the run-up to the signing of the CFA, the UNP denied them an opportunity, at least to discuss issues relating to national security. The UNP believed that Western powers and India would come to Sri Lanka’s rescue if the LTTE more..

Trinco farmers complain against Highway

June 6 (Island) A group of farmers of Kunchcheveli, Trincomalee, has complained to the Court of Appeal that the impending construction of the Outer Circular Highway, about six km in length, will adversely affect the cultivation of their paddy lands. They have said that the Highway was to be constructed under the ‘Eastern Reawakening Scheme’ but it will only be used for the travel of military personnel. The farmers have said that cultivation is their only livelihood and more..

Resurgent Pakistan enjoy excellent recent record against hosts

June 6 (Island) Amidst the rubbles of spot fixing where Pakistan’s then captain Salmann Butt and two of the most talented fast bowlers received bans and jail sentences, Pakistan cricket could have ended up in the doldrums. But with the naming of a new captain there seemed to be a new sense of urgency in Pakistani cricket resulting in new heights including a 3-0 whitewash against England, world’s number one ranked Test team. The Sri Lankans will be fired up for a good show against more..

Lanka pushes for sport economy: Rs. 300,000 spent on bid for Asia Youth Games

June 6 (Island) After spending more than US$ 7 million for the Commonwealth Games bid which Sri Lanka lost to Gold Coast, Australia last year, the country yet again bids for another sporting event scheduled to be held in 2017 as it doggedly pursues its goal of building a vibrant sports economy. The bid document to host the third Asian Youth Games was handed over to the relevant authorities by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) last Sunday, more..

Insurance industry grows 18.5%

June 6 (Island) The country’s insurance industry grew 18.5 percent in 2011 in terms of total gross written premium which reached Rs. 78.5 billion during the year from Rs. 66.2 billion the previous year, the industry’s watchdog the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) announced yesterday. The IBSL, as the prudential regulator of the insurance industry, provides guidance and direction to the Sri Lankan insurance industry. Established under the Regulation of Insurance Industry Act, No.43 of 2000, the IBSL plays a mix of roles more..

Lankan Tamils go missing from camp

June 6 (DC) Five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees have been found missing from the refugee camp in Kanyakumari. Following the arrest of 151 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees by the Kollam city police in Kerala, while trying to leave the country to Australia in a fishing boat through Mukkad and Kavanad coast on Sunday, the ‘Q’ branch police in Tamil Nadu conducted intensive checks at the refugee camps in the state. During one such check at Perumalpuram refugee camp in Kanyakumari district, more..

'TN politicians trying to mislead diaspora'

June 6 (CT) The politically bankrupt Tamil Nadu politicians such as former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Y. Gopalaswamy are making adverse comments to mislead the Tamil diaspora according to former LTTE strong man Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP). KP who is currently in Mullaitivu said former Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi has set up a body called Tamil Eelam Support Organization (TESO). The organization reflects the political bankruptcy of Karunanidhi more..

'Public support enabled energy sector feats'

June 6 (DN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was able to record a great achievement in the energy sector in the past several years by ensuring a round the clock electricity supply without resorting to power cuts. This was possible due to the dedication and commitment shown by the public, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika said. “The main challenge faced by the CEB in September 2011 was to fulfil the power demand during the first six months of 2012. more..

Trishaw collides with train killing 3 of same family

June 6 (Island) A father, mother and daughter were killed on the spot as a trishaw, in which they were travelling to a Poson dansala, collided with train at the Kudahapola railway crossing on Monday. The victims were identified as Pradeep Prasanna Fernando (42), Vijitha Perera and Sudeepa Prasadeeni (15). The younger daughter, Sashmi (9) sustained injuries and is receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Colombo. more..

'Govt. did not submit plans to US'

June 6 (Island) The govt had not submitted any action plan to the US Secretary of State on the implementation of the LLRC report, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday. Replying to a special statement made by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who demanded that the govt reveal the contents of the action plan, said to have been submitted by the External Affairs Minister to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more..

Nihal’s new book exposes “Settlement of colossal fraud on Sri Lanka Govt”

June 6 (FT) Nihal Sri Ameresekere’s 10th Book in a series of real case studies on corruption, fraud, economic crime, governance, and rule of law, contains revelations on how political leaders of third world developing countries, become subservient to economically powerful giants, even covering-up colossal frauds perpetrated on a sovereign State and its impoverished people, with scant regard for the rule of law and human rights. In Settlement of a Fraud (published by more..

Treasury highlights state plantation woes

June 6 (Island) Large tracts of land under state-owned plantation companies are sparsely used while low productivity and poor governance continue to impede this sector from realising its true potential. Scientific knowledge available in the country’s research institutes are not being utilised either. Kurunegala Plantations Ltd., Chilaw Plantations Ltd. and Kalubovitiya Tea Factory Ltd. reported profits of Rs. 254 million, Rs. 121 million and Rs. 82 million more..

Talks fail, Uni. non-academics strike

June 6 (Island) University non-academic staff, including administrative officers, will go on strike from today (06) as yesterday’s discussion with Higher Education Ministry officials failed. President of the Inter University Trade Union Federation R. M. Chandrapala told The Island that they decided to launch an all out strike against the govt’s failure to provide a solution to longstanding anomalies in their salaries. more..

21 Sri Lankan Tamils arrested

June 6 (Hindu) Twenty-one of the 151 Sri Lankan Tamils taken into custody by the Kollam police on Sunday night were arrested on Tuesday for violating the Foreigners Act. They were produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-2 here and remanded for 14 days. Sindhuja and Muthumalar, two women among the arrested, were lodged in the Kottarakara sub-jail. Their three children, all infants, were lodged with them in the same jail; three other minors, children of some of the arrested, were sent to the juvenile home here. more..

China moves to review import quarantine rules on Sri Lanka

June 6 (DN) Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation advanced to a new level on June 4, as Yunnan, the third leading international trade and economic centre of China followed by Shanghai and Guanzhou, decides to review a set of its import quarantine rules, in response to the official submission by a visiting Sri Lankan Commerce Minister, Rishad Bathiudeen. “I will immediately inform the Director General of our Department of Commerce to take necessary measures with regard to more..

Tamil deportee blames Britain for repeat of Sri Lanka torture ordeal

June 6 (Guardian) When a representative from the British high commission waiting at Colombo airport went up to Hari and offered him his business card, the torture victim, now 32, says it gave him hope. The official told him to get in contact if anything happened to him and that the card was a sign that he might live. Hari had just disembarked from the worst flight of his life. On the plane, privately chartered by the more..

Sri Lanka jewellers hope to benefit from easier regulations

June 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's gem and jewellery industry is expecting to improve their competitiveness in international markets after new customs procedures were promised which will cut delays and costs. Sri Lanka's customs authorities and the National Gem And Jewellery Authority, a state agency had come up with a simplified procedure to clear imported raw material for the industry. Macky Hashim, chairman of the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association, had thanked more..

Ambitious Sri Lanka dare to dream of Rugby World Cup

June 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka has launched a major campaign to develop rugby on the island with the president’s eldest son leading efforts to build a team that can qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Last week more than a dozen foreign players participated in a seven-a-side tournament which was seen as a successful attempt to expose domestic players to top-class international-standard rugby. Though Sri Lanka is famous for its cricket team, rugby has been on the island since 1879, more..