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The mcGurk effect

Mar 7 (NS) “My Gold Father President Mainda Rajapaksha, Don’t Distap Obama?” is one of my favourite posters from the many held up last Monday as part of a rally against the proposed US resolution at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Sri Lanka. I have no idea what that poster means, nor I suspect, does the man holding it up. Given that, at best, a mere handful of the thousands who attended the two rallies on Monday would have read the LLRC’s final report or recommendations, more..

Keeping hostile forces at bay

Mar 7 (NS) People were brought to the streets and voluble politicians waxed eloquent excoriating Americans and allied nations that sponsored the resolution against Sri Lanka. Whether this exercise had the capability of creating an impact on these nations or not, if the intention as declared by the govt was to unite people for facing the threats and dangers posed by countries and forces hostile to our country, then there is justification for staging those demonstrations. more..

‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures’, the theme of Int’l Women’s Day 2012 on March 8

Mar 7 (SO) “Women hold up half the sky”, said Mao Tse-tung. This rings true in most places on Earth, especially in countries such as Sri Lanka where women contribute much more than ‘half’ to the national economy (think foreign remittances and garment and tea exports). However, is their immense contribution to the national economies of the world, to social and cultural development, to science, technology and art, to life itself, more..

The dormant Sinhala Buddhist cultural consciousness

Mar 7 (LB) At the conclusion of Kawandayata Hisak, discussing a new political vision for the country, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera makes an appeal to the people of this country to progressively continue the dialogue originated by him. The following is a humble attempt towards that end from the point of view of a Sinhala Buddhist. In the first chapter of Kawandayata Hisak Dr. Amarasekera makes a bold statement about the nature of Sinhala Buddhists. According to him, more..

History, Historiography and the 'Sinhala-Buddhists'

Mar 7 (CT) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri is right to point out in his recent essay, “History after the War: Challenges for Post War Reconciliation,” that “[t]here is an important factor that gives an extra advantage to the (sic) Sinhala-Buddhist historical consciousness. The historical narrative that is linked with the latter is generally compatible with the dominant paradigm of the modern historical scholarship in Sri Lanka.” Yet, he is either unable or unwilling to more..

Saratha Fonseka: Has he been denied the protection of the Rule of Law?

Mar 7 (DM) The concept of the Rule of Law was formulated by the celebrated British jurist Dicey in his work titled the Law of the Constitution which was first published in 1885. The British Constitution is founded on the Rule of Law. From very early times the Supreme Court has held that the Rule of Law forms part of our Common Law and availed of it to safeguard personal liberty from invasive governmental action. more..

Economic difficulties and the massive trade deficit

Mar 7 (ST) An unprecedented huge trade deficit characterised last year's external finances. This massive deficit of almost US$ 10 billion and inappropriate monetary and fiscal responses aggravated the balance of payments problem. Interventions in the foreign exchange market to maintain the exchange rate at an overvalued rate depleted external reserves, while little or no action was taken to correct the trade deficit. Corrective action was delayed. more..

Action now will sow the seeds for lasting meddling in Sri Lanka, says Aunty Sam

Mar 7 (ST) (A Parody) The scene: Geneva, Switzerland: When the United States joined this Council two years ago, we set forth four values that would guide our work in this body: to pursue our national interests, to use available instruments in the Council to do so, to undermine our enemies and protect our friends. We knew then, as we know now, that the irrelevant dialogue and ineffectual processes of this Council will help us maintain our supremacy in the world and more..

Concrete steps and not filibustering rhetoric needed

Mar 7 (ST) There is a perception that people in Sri Lanka are too frightened to speak out against the Rajapaksa administration. This may apply to the middle class professionals conversant purely in English and others who can only be referred to as pseudo-intellectuals in the professions and academia. These pseudo intellectuals, whether in law, economics, education or other disciplines have always been marred by a more..

Editorial: Protecting the sick

Mar 7 (Island) Time was when an SLFP govt promised the people 'rice from the moon' (handen haal). The gullible voted and patiently waited, only to be disillusioned and disappointed in the end. This time around, an SLFP-led regime has pledged to introduce a national drug policy so that the public will have quality pharmaceuticals at affordable prices. It has been a very long wait again and the govt, true to form, keeps trotting out various excuses for its failure to deliver on its more..

Mutilating measures of an invidious rule

Mar 7 (TC) Creating incredible illusions to conceal insupportable realities is the Rajapaksa way. In this dystopian world, zero equals 8,000+; when prices go up, inflation comes down and people just love political deprivation and economic pain. For more than two years, the Ruling Siblings insisted on the absurd impossibility of a war with ‘zero civilian casualties’. President Rajapaksa said “Sri Lanka never killed any civilians as such” (The Times – 2.12.2010); Defence Secretary more..

Today is medin full moon poya day

Mar 7 (Island) The third Purapasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Day in the year, Medin, falls on Today. On this day, many significant events, relating to the life and times of the Buddha, took place. Therefore, on this Medin Full Moon Poya Day. Buddhists pay homage to the Noble Triple Gem. They are engaged in many religious ceremonies, activities, such as Dana (Alms Giving) Seela (Observing the Eight Precepts and some Ten Precepts) and Bhavana more..

Successes at Geneva

Mar 7 (Island) It does seem premature to make guesses about the outcome of the UNHRC Session at Geneva, but I feel confident that after all the tumult and the shouting dies down it will be found that successes have been scored on the one side by India, the US, and the EU, plus others who have been coerced by their power, and on the other by Sri Lanka, the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries), NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), and their associates. It will be found, in other words, more..

Transforming political culture

Mar 7 (Island) Seminars, workshops, conferences and awareness and training programmes are events regularly held in this country. Some are effective and useful while most others are found to be wasteful exercises. Motives for organizing these events at great expense to the institutions concerned are often called into question. Those sponsored by foreign organizations for various purposes often come in for severe criticism. Two recent seminars for top notch politicians attracted much public attention. more..

Connections | February 27, 2012

Access Engineering IPO oversubscribed within hours of opening

Mar 7 (FT) Access Engineering Ltd. yesterday announced that its Rs. 500 million IPO was oversubscribed within a few hours of opening. As the IPO was oversubscribed, the subscription list closed on 6 March 2012, the official day of opening of the IPO, according to the regulations laid down by the Colombo Stock Exchange. The company issued 20 million ordinary voting shares to the public at Rs. 25 each, amounting to a 2% stake of the company, post IPO. more..

Govt. earns Rs 1.58 bn from Casinos

Mar 7 (Island) The govt has collected Rs 1,580.4 million as tax revenue, during the past five years, from 810 casinos in the country, Parliament was told. Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena said that those casinos were currently under the registration of the local govt bodies. He said that tax revenue stood at Rs 196.4 million, in 2006 Rs 282 million, in 2007 Rs 268 million, in 2008 Rs 270 million, in 2009 Rs 269 million and in 2010 Rs 295 million. more..

SriLankan ‘struggling to fly high’

Mar 7 (LB) “Certainty in fuel price and upgrading the substandard SriLankan Airlines can breakthrough the much talked loss in revenue,” says CEO SriLankan and Mihin, Kapila Chandrasena. Excerpts: Q: Last year in an interviewed with LAKBIMAnEWS you said SriLankan is progressing. Tell me the progress. A: When you look at SriLankan it’s a tough business because 55% of the cost is dependent on fuel. I have no control over that. Leaving that aside, another 20% is more..

Amnesty International calls cops to quash questions about ties to terror supporters

Mar 7 (ER) “It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong.” Salman Rushdie wrote those lines in 2010 when he weighed in on the controversy that erupted when Amnesty International (AI) fired, Girta Saghal, the much-respected head of its Gender Unit, for questioning the rights group’s ties to Moazzam Begg and the Cageprisoners, a pro-Taliban group Begg founded. more..

Public help sought to detect foreigners over staying visas

Mar 7 (Island) The govt is seeking the assistance of the public in its search for foreigners, who have overstayed their visas and were engaged in nefarious anti-social and criminal acts in Sri Lanka, said Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera. He said that the govt always had gone out of its way to ensure the safety and security of the genuine tourist. But at the same time it had the responsibility of weeding out those who were masquerading in more..

TNA restrained from sacking Piyasena

Mar 7 (Island) Colombo District Judge Dhammika Ganepola yesterday issued an interim injunction, restraining the leader and the Secretary of the TNA from taking any further action to expel MP for Ampara P.H. Piyasena from the TNA. The plaint said that the plaintiff had supported the govt at the recent budget debate out of national and patriotic principles. But, however, the TNA had resorted to arbitrary disciplinary action against the petitioner, more..

All infant deaths not due to bacteria

Mar 7 (CT) Dr. Rukshan Bellana, Director of the Mahamodara Hospital in Galle refutes allegations deaths at the Postnatal Baby Care Unit are all due to bacteria. He said that ten infant deaths have been recorded since 1 February, the last of which was on Sunday (4) night and was due to a congenital disorder, and not as a result of the presence of bacteria in the Unit. Seven of the ten deaths took place within a period of two weeks, as reported earlier by Ceylon Today and more..

Delft residents call for tough action

Mar 7 (CT) Residents on the island of Delft have been agitating for tough action against an alleged child rapist and murder suspect, who is currently in police custody in the island. The suspect, Jegatheeswaran alias Kiruba, is believed to be an ex–cadre of the EPDP. The residents said that the suspect would use his political clout to mislead the investigators. Initial reports said that the 12 year old victim had been raped, before her head was brutally smashed with more..

Will not accept organiser position - Karu

Mar 7 (CT) UNP former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said he will not accept the Mahara Electorate Organizer position which was offered to him by the Working Committee of the party. “I haven’t received a letter so far with regard to that appointment. Even if I receive a letter, I will not accept it as I don’t want to displace the current UNP organizer for the Mahara electorate George Perera,” Jayasuriya told Ceylon Today. more..

Three policemen interdicted Gamblers shot in Dankotuwa

Mar 7 (Island) Police headquarters has launched an inquiry into the circumstances which led to the police opening fire on a group of gamblers during a raid in the Dankotuwa police area last Sunday afternoon. One person who was wounded in police shooting is recuperating at the Negombo District General Hospital. Following an initial inquiry, the police interdicted an Inspector, constable and police driver pending further investigation. Asked whether the gamblers more..

Declare Rajapaksa ‘war criminal': CPI

Mar 7 (Hindu) Cadre of the Communist Party of India (CPI) observed fast in front of the Panagal building here on Tuesday demanding that the Centre do not support Sri Lanka when the resolution is taken up at UNHRC in Geneva seeking an inquiry into allegations of war crimes that took place during the last stage of the civil war in the island nation a couple of years ago.While demanding that the Indian government raise its voice against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, they also wanted more..

Rs. 1.47 b grant assistance from Japan for development projects

Mar 7 (FT) The Govt of Japan has agreed to provide Rs. 1,472 million (Yen 1,022 million) to implement the following projects in order to strengthen the quality of the sectors: education, health, water supply and construction which have been identified as priority areas by the Economic Policy Framework of the Govt of Sri Lanka. These grants are administrated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). more..

Nearly 600,000 blocks of land surveyed

Mar 7 (Island) The Ministry of Lands and Land Development says that they have surveyed nearly 600,000 blocks of land under the new programme implemented by the ministry to issue a specific number to all lands countrywide to reduce the number of land frauds. The programme intends to create an online accessible map to provide information about all private and State lands countrywide. "Out of the total number of lands surveyed so far, most of them are from Colombo and Gampaha more..

SL earns Rs. 35,225.40 m in gem exports in 2011

Mar 7 (DN) Sri Lanka has earned Rs. 35,225.40 million by exporting 29,485.1 carats of gemstones. Mainly blue, pink, star, white, yellow, violet, orange, golden and green sapphires, garnet, ruby, star ruby, topaz etc. have been exported. This is according to the Sri Lanka minerals yearbook for 2011. Sri Lanka has been earning a high reputation for its gemstones the world over. Some of the best known gem mining areas are Ratnapura, Elahera, Moneragala, Kamburupitiya, more..

100 new super luxury buses for main routes

Mar 7 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has deployed 100 new super luxury buses for selected main routes leading to Colombo city. Minister Kumara Welgama inaugurated this super luxury bus service yesterday morning in Moratuwa by adding the first super luxury bus to the Moratuwa and Pettah route. These super luxury buses have room for about 100 passengers, modern technological facilities for disabled people to board the bus and mobile phone facilities. more..

Milk powder prices not increased

Mar 7 (CT) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) had not yet granted permission for the increase in the price of milk powder, CAA Chairman, Rumy Marzook told Ceylon Today. He said, if any company has increased the price of milk powder then necessary action would be taken against such companies. “The CAA has not granted permission for the increase in milk powder. Before a decision could be taken to increase the price of milk powder, all milk powder companies will more..

Defence Secy thanks China

Mar 7 (DN) Military and trade assistance by China during the critical phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka, made the victory over terrorism possible, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. Remnants of the LTTE and LTTE linked groups active around the world have launched a campaign to destabilise peace and build pressure on Sri Lanka, he said at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday to mark 55 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. "Their key objectives include winning more..

HRW reiterates demand for war crimes probe

Mar 7 (TC) The Human Rights Watch on March 2 reiterated its long standing demand for an independent investigation targeting those responsible for war crimes in Sri Lanka. The following is the full text of HRW statement at the UNHRC: In her statement, the High Commissioner for HR, Navi Pillay noted that the report of the Sri Lanka LLRC falls short of the comprehensive accountability process recommended by the Secretary-General’s Panel of more..

Don't support Sri Lanka at UNHRC, Jayalalithaa urges PM

Mar 7 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Tuesday termed India's support to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC untenable and demanded support for the US resolution next month on accountability issues of the Sri Lankan civil war. In a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa, referring to her earlier Feb 29 letter, said: "The media reports mention that India is against the 'Country Specific' resolutions and more..

Pharmacy catering to big match 'kicks' raided

Mar 7 (DN) Officials attached to the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Authority raided a private pharmacy located in a popular supermarket in Colombo 3 yesterday and took into custody a large amount of Corex-D syrup and Tramadol tablets that were to be sold to school boys during the big match period, Health Ministry Media Coordinator W.M.D.Wanninayake said. The officials used decoys and detected over 600 bottles of Corex-D syrup bottles and 3,000 tablets of Tramadol. more..

'Shared experience has resulted in strong bonds'

Mar 7 (Island) A wide range of experiences with regard to challenges in respect of nation building, shared by Sri Lanka and South Africa, serves as a strong foundation for informed dialogue on these issues. The insights deriving from this common experience make close collaboration between the two countries all the more valuable, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in Pretoria, more..

Injured Clarke set to miss third final

Mar 7 (CI) Michael Clarke's left hamstring injury is believed to be serious enough to rule him out of the entire limited-overs portion of Australia's looming West Indies tour. He is therefore set to miss Thursday's third tri-series final against Sri Lanka. After leading his side to an eight-wicket defeat in the second final in Adelaide, Clarke said he was unsure of the extent of the strain that affected him during his century in the afternoon. He took the field in the evening as more..

A’pura dy. Mayor petitions Court seeking recount

Mar 7 (Island) The Deputy Mayor of Anuradhapura Premasiri Hettiarachchi, of the UPFA, has petitioned the Court of Appeal against elections officers who counted the preferential votes at the last local govt elections to the Anuradhapura Municipal Council. The petitioner said that had the elections Officers accurately counted the preference votes polled by the UPFA candidates, on October 9, 2011, the petitioner would have polled the highest number and more..

Kandy Diyawadana Nilame

Mar 7 (SL) Following the revelation of the unorthodox administration carried out by the lay custodian of the Temple of the Tooth, the Animal Welfare Trust (AWT) and the Elephant Owners Association (EOA) have come out with concrete evidence to show as to how Diyawadana Nilame (DN) Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara (Dela) is involved in elephant smuggling although no action has been taken against him by the relevant authorities. more..

TNA/UNP/other parties plan joint May Day rally in Jaffna

Mar 7 (LB) The main Tamil political party, the TNA will join the main opposition UNP in order to form a common political front against the govt, TNA stalwart Suresh Premachandran said. He said the first round of discussions was held three weeks ago and there is general consensus within the TNA that it should forge ahead for a common political alliance with the UNP and a compilation of minor political parties which more..