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Egg added to enrich school midday meal

May 17 (DN) The government has decided to supplement the midday meal of schoolchildren in the rural areas by the addition of an egg, with aim of improving their nutritional level, while also providing a good price for the eggs of the poultry farmer. The scheme came into effect from yesterday, Minister Johnston Fernando said. He explained the move would ensure an optimum price for the eggs of the poultry farmer, beginning next week. more..

Govt. withdraws ‘National Schools’ circular

May 17 (LT) The cabinet has decided not to implement the circular issued that prevented students from transferring from one national school to another to study in A/L classes. As such, all those students who have applied to enter a national school will have the right to do so. However, the cabinet has decided to implement the circular from next year. The Movement to Protect Schools continuously agitated demanding the govt to withdraw the relevant circular and more..

'Security measures not relaxed despite the end of the war'

May 17 (SLBC) The security forces reiterate that maximum measures have been taken to consolidate national security. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya says that troops have been positioned covering the entire island. He adds that in addition that the army is shouldering the country’s development process as well. The spokesman further points out that due to the contributions of the army personnel more..

Demand for heroine in Sri Lanka has doubled: Indian Narcotice Bureau

May 17 (TOI) Enforcement agencies have sounded an alert on drug cartels using Kochi as a transit point for smuggling heroin to Sri Lanka, where the demand for the contraband has doubled in the past one year. Agencies have been asked to track carriers from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar arriving in the city to hand over heroin consignments to agents, who in turn smuggle it to Sri Lanka. The demand for heroin in Sri Lanka had increased to nearly 1,000 kg/year more..

Crucial announcement on SF likely on Saturday

May 17 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is most likely to be released from jail next Saturday – on the day of the third year anniversary of the war victory against LTTE separatists. A Senior Cabinet Minister said yesterday that UPFA seniors have pointed out that if something unfortunate were to happen to Mr. Fonseka while in jail, the govt might have to face disastrous repercussions locally and internationally. more..

Sri Lanka stocks flat, turnover third lowest for the year

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices were virtually flat on Thursday, with a lack of investor appetite, when trading dominated by small sized stocks, brokers said. Colombo’s broader All Share Price Index, crept up 0.01 percent or 0.76 points to close at 5,214.44, while the more liquid Milanka Price Index slipped 3.15 points down to end at 4,679.92. Thursday’s turnover was a dismal 168.4 million rupees, from an average 400.0 million rupees witnessed in the past two weeks. more..

Editorial: Between fluttering flags and real peace

May 17 (DM) All wars that end in victory may provide a platform for peace. Yet the victory alone cannot replace the harmony expected by a war-torn citizenry, whose staple food was gnawing sense of uncertainty. Every Sri Lankan, irrespective of his/her political and religious ideologies, has a reason to celebrate this victory day and those that will follow. We, as a nation, have tasted death in its crudest forms and seen it metamorphosing itself into human bombs and claymore mines. more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lankans represent the fourth most frequently offloaded nationality on U.S.-bound flights

May 17 (CT) “Despite the conclusion of formal hostilities, the lengthy conflict has left lingering instability. Severe lags in socioeconomic development persist, particularly in the north and east of the country. Throughout the country, economic conditions are relatively poor, with high inflation and weak govt spending on social services. Large numbers of Sri Lankans traditionally migrate for employment to the Middle East, more..

Now nurses, PSM and paramedics demand DRT

May 17 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine warned yesterday they would resort to trade union action once more if the govt failed to increase their overtime rates and other allowances by next week, in line with increases given to doctors. President of the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine Harendra Kuruppu said that they also demanded an allowance which was akin to the enhanced Disturbance, Availability and Travel (DAT) allowance that more..

‘Transferred students will not be affected’

May 17 (DM) Students already transferred from one national school to another school for A/L will not be affected by the circular canceling such transfers, Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. The transfer of students from one national school to another for Advanced Level studies has been cancelled by the Education Ministry in a circular issued few weeks ago. Students, after passing the Ordinary Level (O/L) Exam, seek enrolment in another school for their Advanced Level (A/L) studies. more..

Pro-LTTE radio broadcast in Sri Lanka

May 17 (CG) The pro-LTTE Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) today announced that it will start broadcasting Radio News to Sri Lanka starting from May 18 this year. The TGTE Radio called ‘Naatham’ will broadcast on the shortwave frequency. The Radio can also be heard in India, Malaysia and Singapore where large number of Tamils live. TGTE says while this broadcast will become a bridge between the Tamil diaspora and the Tamils living in Sri Lanka, more..

Ranil gives deadline for Govt.

May 17 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said today his party would come out strong against the government because the people complained that the opposition was ineffective in its campaign against the soaring cost of living. He gave this assurance when traders of the Delkanda weekly fair met him at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha. Mr. Wickremesinghe said he decided on this course of action after he heard the woes expressed by a woman he met recently. more..

Sri Lanka will be tough, warns Whatmore

May 17 (AAP) Dav Whatmore has warned his Pakistan players they face a battle on next month's tour of Sri Lanka. The Australian backed the six uncapped players picked across Pakistan's Test, one-day and Twenty20 squads to make an impact on the tour, which starts with a Twenty20 international in Hambantota on June 1. Pakistan began a short training camp in Lahore on Wednesday ahead of the tour, where they play two Twenty20, five one-days and three Tests. more..

New scheme to formalize the grant of Dual Citizenship

May 17 (GDI) The Govt has decided to amend the Citizenship Act No.18 of 1948 and the Immigration and Emigration Act No.20 of 1948 with a view to formalizing the grant of Dual Citizenship by the Establishment of the "Overseas Sri Lankans" Scheme. This was disclosed by the Acting Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. He said that the proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and approved by the Cabinet will make room for pre- examination to more..

Former ruggerite burns to death

May 17 (LT) Sri Lanka national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen has died in a motor accident that occurred at Narahenpita today morning at 2.00 a.m.. He also played for Havelocks rugby club. According to police a fire had broken out when the vehicle travelled by Thajudeen crashed on to a parapet wall. He is an old boy of St Thoams’ College and capitaine dthe college rugby team in 2003. Wasim represented the National team in 2008 and participated in sevedan nation tournament in Honk Kong. more..

Sri Lanka ships less tea, benefits from weak rupee in first quarter 2012

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka, one of the world’s biggest exporters of black tea, shipped less brew during the first quarter of this year, but a weak rupee helped maintain export revenues, a report said. From January to March, the tropical island sold 75.8 million kilos of tea to overseas buyers, which was two-percent lower than 77.4 million kilos of tea shipped during the same period a year earlier, Asia Siyaka Commodities Limited said Thursday. The island’s green gold, more..

President to free jailed rival this week

May 17 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will order the release of his ailing former army chief this week, sources close to the president said on Thursday, in a bid to quell criticism of the govt and its human rights record. Former General Sarath Fonseka, revered as a hero by many for helping end the 25-year civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, was detained in Feb 2010 after challenging Rajapaksa for president and was later stripped of his rank. more..

Court prevents MTV from showing games

May 17 (CG) The Commercial High Court of Colombo has issued an order preventing any television station in Sri Lanka other than the state owned Rupavahini (SLRC) from telecasting the 2012 Olympic Games. SLRC Chairman Mohan Samaranayake told the Colombo Gazette that the order was issued today against the Asia-Pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) which holds the distributing rights for the games in Asia. According to the court order only Rupavahini will have the rights to broadcast the London games more..

Police arrest 13yr old for rape

May 17 (CG) The police have arrested a 13 year old boy for raping an underage girl, the police media unit said today. The boy had raped a 12 year old girl in Aralaganwila on Monday and a police complaint over the incident was lodged yesterday. The police said that the rape had taken place at the residence of the girl and the girl was believed to have been raped by the young boy on a previous occasion as well. The suspect is to be produced before the Pollonaruwa Magistrate today.

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 16.05.2012

Write off Ampara paddy farmers’ debt – Daya Gamage

May 17 (SM) UNP national organizer and eastern provincial council opposition leader Daya Gamage has asked the government to write off the debt of Ampara district’s paddy farmers, who have not been able to sell their produce for a fair price. His request came at the district development committee meeting held at Ampara Kachcheri on May 14. Mr. Gamage said that 38 per cent of the paddy farmers in the district have not been able to pay back their loans. more..

IFJ disappointed by court decision on website restrictions

May 17 (SM) The International Federation of Journalists says it joins its partner organisations in Sri Lanka in expressing disappointment at yesterday’s decision by a three-member bench of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, to decline leave to proceed in a case filed under the country’s fundamental rights provisions against the blocking of certain websites. The petition was moved by the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, and by two of its elected office-bearers in more..

TNA - SLMC may go it together

May 17 (DM) The TNA and the SLMC will discuss the possibility of contesting as a coalition in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) Election. The EPC is expected to be dissolved by the Government in the near future. The TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that his party was expecting to discuss the matter after the dissolution of the EPC. “We have a very good understanding between us and we meet regularly. When the time comes we may set up a MOU.” he said. more..

Lanka Post Newspaper launched in USA

May 17 (GDI) American Sri Lankan Foundation (ASLF) recently launched ‘Lanka Post’ newspaper in New York City, USA. The inaugural ceremony was held at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, USA, with the presence of Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona and Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva. The first copy of the first issue of ‘Lanka Post’ newspaper was bestowed to Rev. Kurunegoda Piyathissa, more..

One law for Carlton, another for the common man

May 17 (SL) Residents at the Maligawatte Housing Scheme are up in arms against the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) for their double standards. According to the residents, the NHDA laws are implemented only against the residents who are not UPFA supporters but pay special attention towards their loyalist. Accusing the NHDA for leasing out lands and one of the children’s park to the Carlton Preschool Colombo Branch owned by the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, more..

NCPC dissolution: Restraining order extended

May 17 (DM) The North Central Province Civil Appellate Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne yesterday extended the interim injunction issued on the North Central Province Chief Minister and the Governor restraining them from dissolving the Provincial Council till June 6. The Judge also informed the petitioner and the respondents that on June 6 he would decide whether the restraining order would be enforced or annulled. more..

Government subsidies for third child. But only for the armed forces

May 17 (AN) The govt of Sri Lanka has decided to allocate 100 thousand rupees (600 euros) to the families of Navy, Air Force, Army and Police personnel who decide to have a third child. According to Fr. Marimuttu Sathivel, an Anglican priest and activist for human rights, the move is discriminatory towards the rest of the population. For this, the religious together with Buddhist activist Priyadharshani Ariyarathna has drawn up a Declaration of public more..

Govt. digs for treasure while people dig their own graves

May 17 (AD) While the govt heaps the burden of the cost of living on the public and digs for treasure, the common man has been forced to dig his own grave, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe stated. Speaking at a press conference held in Colombo today, he said that during the war the food problem was faced by those in the North and East but now the whole country is facing a food crisis. The UNP Leader stated that the burden of the rising cost of living has been more..

Sri Lanka cabinet backs president to free jailed rival

May 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s cabinet has formally backed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s move to free his ailing former army chief Sarath Fonseka, a spokesman said, a proposal seen as a bid to quell criticism of the government and its human rights record. The president will order the release of his jailed rival this week, sources close to him had told Reuters earlier on Thursday. Former General Sarath Fonseka, revered as a hero by more..

Report of the LLRC: A buddhist response

May 18 (Island) A recent event of much significance was the release of the report of the LLRC on 20th Nov 2011. The full report was placed before Parliament on the 16th of Dec 2011. The Commission was appointed by The President to investigate and report on the lessons to be learned from a conflict lasting around three decades and submit recommendations for reconciliation between the different communities, ethnic and religious. It took the Commission around 1-1/2 years to more..

Why we celebrate the victory

May 18 (Island) Most of the people in Sri Lanka, I believe would celebrate the victory of the armed forces over Tamil terrorism, in spite of opinions expressed by some intellectuals and others who I am sure are also concerned with what is now known as reconciliation. Whatever is meant by that word which has various connotations especially with respect to the South African experience, which has no relevance to the Sri Lankan situation, there should be an understanding more..

Sybil: Speaking to the child from her heart

May 18 (CT) Who will ever forget kiri mama of Kuda Hora, little Rathu Menika of Duwana Rewula, Sooththara Puncha and Hoity the Fox? The ‘talking pictures’ of Sybil Wettasinghe or Sybil nenda as she is dearly known to generations of Lankan children, had mesmerized them and continue to enthrall many more to come. Speaking to young minds deep from her heart through illustrations with no parallels, Sybil Wettasinghe’s work amuses the adult alike, more..

What Samhara Means

May 18 (GV) Samhara is a new dance work created by the Odissi dance ensemble, Nrityagram, together with their long-term friends and collaborators in Sri Lanka, the Chitrasena Dance Company. It was performed over the weekend at the Lionel Wendt Theatre in Colombo, fresh off the plane after a successful tour of United States and Mexico, having premiered in India. In New York it went on the boards at the legendary Joyce Theatre, with none other than Mikhail Baryishnikov more..

A cold, hard look at homophobia

May 18 (GV) I’m a scientist by training and as such, generally avoid public debate, which tends to be dominated by charisma rather than fact. Nevertheless, given the strongly homophobic atmosphere in Sri Lanka two weeks away from what Bill Clinton declared is gay-pride month (my embassy informs me that “Homosexual acts are illegal in Sri Lanka”), I thought it pertinent to share some inconvenient truths from the little-known, less-regarded realm of academic research. Make of them what you will. more..

‘Journalists failed to tell the story of war crimes in Sri Lanka’

May 18 (CT) Today marks three years since the end of the fighting in Sri Lanka. I would like to mourn the dead but still I do not know how many. Estimates range from seven to 147,000. It is a shocking difference. How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and internet we have no idea how many human beings really perished, even rounded up to the nearest thousand? It is because as journalists we have failed to get close to the truth. more..

People in the North feel welfare measures by the Govt is due to Western pressure

May 18 (DBS) The first green shoots of new life are emerging after a long period of drought in the north of the country, parts of which were not under govt control for close on three decades, and where a terrible war was fought to its bitter end three years ago. Visiting the Vanni after a year it was wonderful to see the new life beginning to bloom, not only in the fertile agricultural lands but also in the towns. There are mid-sized concrete structures in which there are rows of more..

Denizens of the Ministry of External Affairs have no understanding at all of Foreign Policy

May 18 (DBS) The more extreme elements in the Ministry of External Affairs have at last put their cards on the table in the form of an article by the wife of one of its rising stars. The same young lady kindly gave me an opportunity to engage in a strong critique of the viewpoints she represented, when she gratuitously attacked me some weeks back. What is astonishing is that this article is based on the premise that countries like Cuba and Venezuela are anathema at more..

Video: Frontline Club discussion on Channel 4 TV Films and Sri Lankan situation

May 18 (DBS) Frontline Club in Britain will host discussion on impact of channel 4 documentaries on Sri Lanka & current situation today May 16 2011 at 7 pm. Frontline Club discussion on Sri Lanka & British Channel 4 TV films sounds interesting as it has an impressive panel of participants. Discussion on Sri Lanka & channel 4 TV films is chaired by BBC ‘Hard Talk” host Stephen Sackur who has interviewed many Sri Lankans before. more..

The Dambulla Incident

May 18 (Island) There has been much comment on the so-called Dambulla incident, which might have more appropriately been called the Dambulla outrage, not incident. In this article I want to focus on aspects that have not been brought out adequately, or not at all. The incident is not unusual as seems to be assumed, but is part of a pattern of anti-Muslim action that has been going on since 1975. In that year there took place the Puttalam mosque massacre, the result of the shifting of a bus stand which was clearly meant to provide advantages to Sinhalese traders more..

President must act to nab and expose fraudsters

May 18 (ST) The National Savings Bank’s (NSB) purchase of shares of The Finance Company (TFC) might have passed off as just yet another unsavoury transaction on the Colombo Stock Exchange. What heightens the “stink” are the high profile identities of the parties concerned, the implications that the transaction could have on the liabilities of the Government of Sri Lanka and the soundness of the banking system and, with the subsequent executive orders that the transaction should more..