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Gota and PB to join disaster Management board

May 14 (DM) Several top government officers including Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara are to play key roles in the Disaster Management Centre, informed sources said yesterday. Sources from the Ministry of Disaster Management told the Daily Mirror that Mr. Rajapaksa and Dr. Jayasundara are to be appointed to the newly established board of directors of the Disaster Management Centre. more..

Sri Lankans get a chance to attend Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee party

May 14 (LBO) The British High Commission in Sri Lanka on Monday launched an online competition to give people a chance to attend Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee party in Colombo. Local fans of the British Royal family have to visit the High Commission’s Facebook page ( and write 60 words on its wall or send a message on the topic “What does the Commonwealth mean to you?” The deadline for submission is 24 May, more..

Sri Lanka struggle to match IPL

May 14 (CT) Although plans have been drawn up to conduct the first ever Sri Lanka T-20 premier league known as the SLPL, organizers are still in the dark not knowing what to expect by way of foreign player participation. Scheduled to be run from August 10 to 31, the sticking point has been the foreign players who will offer their services in an event where even the financial backers or buyers are yet to be known. Even the process of enlisting the players is not known. “A lot of (foreign) players have shown interest to play. more..

SEC stuck with reversing NSB-TFC deal

May 14 (DM) SEC is said to be currently evaluating the legal options available to reverse the Rs.390 million controversial The Finance National Savings Bank deal. During the meeting between the SEC and the director board of the Taprobane Securities, Dinal Wijemanne, Director and CEO of Taprobane Securities, who was also one of the selling parties of TFC shares to NSB, was believed to have told the SEC that he was willing to buy back shares from NSB. more..

All set for the Victory Day parade

May 14 (GDI) The Victory Day parade marking the third anniversary of the vanquishing of the ruthless LTTE terrorism from the country and end of the 30 years of terrorist atrocity which resulted in the death of several thousand innocent people of this country and destruction of millions worth property, will be held on May 19 at the Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Defence Ministry sources said that the parade this year will consist of 852 officers and 12, 828 other rankers from the tri-forces, more..

Sri Lanka establishes separate unit to investigate artifact smuggling

May 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's police have established a separate unit to investigate rising theft and smuggling of valuable artifacts from ancient temples in the Buddhism-predominated country, an official said Monday. Police set up the unit after numerous and highly publicized events of artifact smuggling including one that even involved the special forces of the police. Last week, a group of rich businessmen were arrested for engaging in illegal excavation of artifacts. more..

UNP discuss ethnic issue with president

May 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition on Monday called on the president to find a lasting solution to the country's long dragged ethnic conflict. A delegation led by Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a number of senior members of the govt, President's spokesman Bandula Jayasekara said. At the meeting the opposition discussed about the implementation of the accountability report prepared by more..

Major crackdown on treasure hunting in 3 provinces

May 14 (DM) A total of 107 treasure hunting incidents, mainly in the Eastern Province, were reported this year and 350 suspects had been arrested in connection with these incidents, police headquarters said. The incidents were reported in the Eastern, Wayamba and North Central Provinces. The total sum collected from suspects arrested since 2010 for treasure hunting, selling artifacts and destroying them, now stands at Rs.40 million. The police have been working closely with more..

Court issues an order to file action against Journalist Susil Kindelpitiya

May 14 (NF) Court issued an order today directing the Mirihana Police to file action against Journalist Susil Kindelpitiya and two other individuals for allegedly threatening a woman and possession of a fire arm. Colombo Additional Magistrate, Prasanna Alwis gave this order after considering a petition filed by Kindelpitiya. According to the motion that has been filed, notice was issued on the Mirihana Police OIC to appear before court today. Thereby, court ordered a more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.05.2012

3 murders and a body found from a canal

May 14 (SM) Three murders were reported yesterday from Alawathugoda, Agrapatana and Kotadeniyawa, while the body of man was found from a canal in Girandurukotte. In Alawathugoda, a 48-year-old was beaten to death with a stone over a personal dispute. At Agrapatana, a man aged 37 years was found hacked to death, while a 29-year-old was similarly murdered in Kotadeniyawa. The body of a 45-year-old was found from a canal in Girandurukotte. Identified as a resident of the area, he had wounds more..

Telegrams campaign over teacher appointments

May 14 (DM) The Association of Educational Professionals’ is planning to send 3000 telegrams to the Ministry of Education on May 16th against the ministry’s delay in giving appointments to trainees who had passed out from the College of Education. They are expecting President Mahinda Rajapakse to intervene in the issue before possible provincial elections take place. Currently there are more than 3000 trainees waiting for appointments over 6 months.

'Security forces napping while historical artifacts are stolen'

May 14 (AD) Treasure hunting has now become a form of self employment, claims the UNP accusing security forces of being “asleep” while the country’s historical artifacts and national heritages are robbed. However, the govt when it was coming to power promised to safeguard the culture, the national heritages and to eradicate jungle law, UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunathillake said. Pointing out that a large number of areas across the island were more..

Hatton UC Chairman quits CWC to join UPFA

May 14 (AD) A senior member of the CWC and current Chairman of Hatton-Dikoya Urban Council, Dr. A Nandakumar has decided to resign from the Ceylon Workers’ Congress, due to personal reasons. Dr. Nandakumar has informed the CWC leadership regarding this, though a letter sent the main headquarters of the CWC, Saumya Bhavan, sources within the party said. In his letter the UC chairman has expressed that he had decided to resign from the party due to personal reasons and also that he will more..

Investigations commence into death of a woman

May 14 (NF) AThe police have commenced extensive investigations into the death of a woman who was receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital, for burn injuries. Police said that the woman in question who was a temporarily resident of Katunayake was admitted to hospital on the 9th of this month. Upon being admitted she had reportedly told hospital staff that she was injured when the kerosene lamp at home fell on her. However, she had later revealed that more..

Controversy over title of book on Gotabaya Rajapaksa

May 14 (Hindu) A controversy has arisen out of the title of a new book to be launched on Monday, which attempts to credit Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, major credit for defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009. The book, ‘Gota’s War: The Crushing of Tamil Tiger Terrorism in Sri Lanka,’ written by C.A.Chandraprema, a journalist with Divaina, a Sinhalese newspaper, will be launched in the presence of the ‘who’s who’ in Sri Lanka, more..

'EU remains SL’s No 01 trading partner'

May 14 (Island) The European Union remains Sri Lanka’s number one trading partner and an important source of foreign direct investment and tourist arrivals. The EU’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bernard Savage addressing the Europe Day celebration in Colombo last week, said that they hoped to accompany Sri Lanka as it moved forward to a peaceful and prosperous future. "The European Union remains Sri Lanka’s number one trading partner and an important source of foreign more..

Documentary exposes Police torture in Sri Lanka

May 14 (HRA) In this film several victims talk about their experience of torture by the Sri Lankan police and the continuing ordeals they suffer, psychologically and socially due to this torture. All of them state that their arrests were baseless and that after their arrest the police tortured them even before asking any questions at all. Torture has been used as a means of trying to collect evidence in cases which the police have failed to investigate and solve. more..

'Would love to have Indians in SL league'

May 14 (PTI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Saturday that it would consider sending Indian players for the proposed Sri Lankan Premier League after refusing to do the same last year; owing mainly to differences over payment modalities. BCCI said that it would consider allowing Indian stars to play in the Lankan T20 league if a proposal was made and that news is music to the ears of Sri Lankan stalwart Mahela Jayawardene. more..

New HD ready TV channel for Sri Lanka

May 14 (NS) Hiru TV, touted as the first 'digital ready' domestic television channel in Sri Lanka, is to be launched by Asia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on 23 May. ABC, a leading radio broadcaster on the Indian Ocean island, says it is equipping its first foray into television with high definition (HD) and digital technology, and investing in clarity of transmission to put it on a par with international channels. "Hiru TV will have unmatched reach and coverage. more..

Eight-year-old to obtain a degree in Information Technology

May 14 (NF) The dream of almost all Sri Lankan children, eight years of age, is to pass the Year 5 Scholarship Examination with good grades. But News First came across an eight year old girl who has made it her dream to obtain a degree in Information Technology. Vashinyaa Premanand is a Year 7 student at CIS Kandy. She was given the opportunity to study in a class higher than one that befits her age, as from a very young age she outshone all her peers. more..

Canadian convicted of terror charge linked to Tamil Tigers sentenced to time served, released

May 14 (NP) A Canadian who pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy for his role in a 2006 plot to supply separatist rebels in Sri Lanka was sentenced in a Brooklyn, N.Y. court on Monday to time served. The sentence marks the end of a case that began six years ago, when Ramanan Mylvaganam, 35, was arrested by RCMP officers near Toronto and eventually extradited to the United States to stand trial. more..

Mahinda: Leader or laggard?

May 15 (LB) The role of the individual in history has been much debated. Did Napoleon’s presence at Jena and Austerlitz change the course of European history? Sans Lenin, would Red October have failed? Has Mahinda Rajapaksa’s handling of religious intolerance and in particular the Dambulla mosque incident and its aftermath exposed a president congenitally incapable of leadership? The debates go on till late at night. The anti-Tamil or if you prefer a narrower canvas anti-LTTE race more..

Justice in an age of terrorism

May 15 (LB) In this age of terrorism where there are “well over 60 countries facing threats of armed conflict” (ICRC report, Geneva 2011 - p. 5) International Humanitarian Law (IHL) - i.e., laws governing armed conflicts, or laws of war and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) - i.e., laws specific to the right of individuals in the main, are in a moral crisis of huge proportions. The crisis is not in IHL or IHRL per se but in their politics. more..

COPE ball in govt court

May 15 (NS) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) met in Parliament complex on Tuesday (8) to debate the contents of its audit report on 229 public enterprises. The report was presented to Parliament in December 2011. the COPE report took just 16 months to complete, a noteworthy achievement considering how many public enterprises were investigated. COPE was established in 1979 to ensure the observance of financial discipline in public corporations more..

Inadequate attention to accountability leads to abuse which is then difficult to correct

May 15 (TC) Speech of Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP in Parliament at the debate on the Report of the COPE – 8th May 2012. Mr Speaker, It is an honour to speak in this debate on the report of the Committee on Public Enterprises, given how much it has accomplished. Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of its Chairman, the simple but brilliant idea of dividing into sub-committees given the amount of work, and the dedicated commitment of the three chairs of more..

Selected information from Tamil Culture In Ceylon

May 15 (DBS) In his words Raghavan claims his book incorporates a number of cross-sectional studies of a number of Tamil societies in the different provinces and survey of the Northern Province, supplemented by a few incidental aspects in other provinces of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Raghavan has referred to books and research antecedent to his studies in a thorough manner and has referenced them throughout his book. What I have done is to quote what he had said and more..

Colombo 13: Temples, kovils and churches

May 15 (CT) For the purpose of this article Kotahena (designated Colombo13) is taken to comprise of Kotahena, Kochchikade, Ginthupitiya and surrounded by the Pettah (Colombo 11), Mutwal (Colombo 15), Grandpass (Colombo 14) Dematagoda (Colombo 09) and the Colombo Harbour. Kotahena or Kottanchina: This eighteenth century fishing hamlet now called Kotahena, rises from the marshes of the Kelani Ganga in the North-east of Colombo. more..

Needed: more visionary leaders among our political parties

May 15 (Island) "We have to live up to our immemorial culture and try to win over those who are opposed to us. To compete with each other in hatred and barbarity is to sink below the human level and tarnish the name of our country and our people. One evil deed leads to another. Thus evil grows. That is not the way to stop these inhuman deeds. If we can behave with tolerance and friendship to each other, that surely will have its effect elsewhere. If not, the vicious cycle will more..

‘Lankat thrusthavaadaya’ or the underpants of terror

May 15 (Island) I know we are used to talking of the underworld of terror, but this is something different. It is about terror in the underpants that is said to be a major threat to the United States of America today. The story is already dirty and even stinks, not with the smell of unwashed underpants, but from the exposures that have taken place after the so-called discovery of the latest underpants terrorist, who was said to have planned another aircraft bomb attack over more..

A regime that has discarded commonsense

May 15 (ST) It appears that deceptively smooth representations, let alone outright lies on the part of this Govt will not suffice to divert international storm clouds which are now gathering with greater force around Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly this has come about due to this administration's belief that it can escape accountability at all levels of governance without incurring any consequences. The transfer of one diplomatic representative more..

Naval rating kills lover and commits suicide

May 15 (SO) Tragedy befell a young woman who was in the prime of her life when her enraged ex-lover shot her dead. The killer thereafter committed suicide by shooting himself with the same firearm. The police identified the woman victim as Nadisha Nelum Somasiri (22), a Naval rating who was attached to the Naval Camp at Trincomalee. She was a native of Gonapola in the Nawalapitiya area. The killer was R.M.G. Surendra (36), a Naval rating attached to the Vakarai Naval Camp. more..

Dumping the garbage: The UNP’s deserters

May 15 (SL) Watching the UNP allegedly eviscerating itself, is fascinating because this is the party that first governed this country when the British Raj departed more than half a century ago and did it better than any of those that followed. As in the case of every political party in every parliamentary democracy of which I have some knowledge, the UNP had its internal political arguments and dissension from time to time. The first split was that of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike taking a bunch of disgruntled UNPers more..

The NSB scandal: besmirching history, monkeying with money

May 15 (Island) Is there anything left in Sri Lanka that has not been messed up? The latest financial scandal involves the National Savings Bank and the already tarnished The Finance Company. Last week, DEW Gunasekera, senior Minister and Chair of the COPE, made the startling revelation in parliament that a number of public institutions have been paying taxes for their employees outside of their taxable incomes. Let me pose the question a different way? more..

Editorial: Z-score review - Don't throw out the baby

May 15 (Island) The present govt is in the habit of dislodging systems that work perfectly, making an unholy mess thereof and then going hell for leather to bring order out of chaos, but in vain. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake has told this newspaper that he intends to appoint a ministerial committee to review the Z-score system currently used to select students to universities. This scaling method implemented way back in 2000/2001 worked smoothly until 2011, more..

Olympic qualifying opportunity goes a begging in Thailand

May 15 (Island) The final opportunity of qualifying for London Olympics at the Asian Grand Prix in Thailand went a begging as the leading Sri Lankan athletes failed to reach qualifying standards at the third leg of the Grand Prix yesterday. High jumper Manjula Kumara who was probably the closest to qualifying standards failed to go beyond the 2.23 metre mark for the third occasion in Thailand. That performance was five centimeters short of the B Grade qualifying mark. more..

Connections | May 14, 2012

Philippine - Sri Lanka economic relations strengthened

May 15 (DN) Ms. Erlinda F. Basilio, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Philippines met, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa today at the Ministry of Economic Development. Minister Basil Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka will always remember the help extended by the Philippines in various international forums recently. Longstanding friendship between the two countries was strengthened from these actions he said. The Sri Lankan Airline will expand its flight services to the Philippine soon and more..

Victory Day parade: Roads closed due to rehearsal

May 15 (DN) The Police have taken steps to close several roads in the Colombo city due to the Victory Day parade to be held on May 19. The Victory Day parade marking the third anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE and end of decades long war, will be held at Galle Face under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. A statement from the Police media unit said that rehearsal started from May14 and will continue until May 18. Accordingly, a section of the Galle Road from Galle Face roundabout to more..

'Somerset Ventures not the sole top dog of SLPL'

May 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Premier League which is to commence on August will not be entirely run by Somerset Entertainment Ventures and instead it’ll be governed jointly by the SLC and the company this time around said SLC Chairman Upali Dharmadasa at a media briefing at SLC premises in line with the T20 competition yesterday. The league was postponed abruptly last year due to the lack of transparency regarding the deal signed by the SLC bosses and more..