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Lankans displaced in Italy

May 24 (CG) Around 25 Sri Lankans have been displaced due to the Earthquake that struck parts of Italy with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale on May 20, 2012, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Italy said. The Embassy said that the displaced Sri Lankans have been provided with the necessary facilities. The Embassy is in constant touch with the Sri Lankan community in the affected areas and the Civil Protection Agency of Italy to render any assistance, if required. more..

Korea to assist Sri Lanka's village development programme

May 24 (GDI) South Korea has selected Sri Lanka to implement its Saemaul village development programme form 2012. South Korea has selected Sri Lanka and Myanmar to implement this programme from this year. Saemaul is a combined word of "Sae" and "Maul". Sae in Korean means new or refreshed and Maul means a village which is the basic unit of community. more..

Searching for gold pieces in Kelani River to be suspended

May 24 (SM) People will not be allowed to search for gold pieces in the Kelani River at Pugoda and Kumarimulla areas, said the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau. Head of the Bureau Dr. N.P. Wijayananda said the measure would be taken to suspend it through police and the district secretary. However, director general of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Nimal Bandara said no issue has arisen so far due to the people’s searching for gold pieces in the river. more..

Fonseka’s civic rights: Apply Mrs.B’s case as precedent – Eran

May 24 (Island) Citing past examples of presidential pardons, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne yesterday called on the govt to grant former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka complete freedom, by restoring his civic rights, military ranks and pension benefits. Former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, then Justice Minister Felix Dias Bandaranaike and Ministry Secretary Nihal Jayawickrema, had all received presidential pardons that included a restoration of more..

'Negotiators failed to secure full pardon'

May 24 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that those who negotiated for the release of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka should be held responsible for the failure to secure a full pardon with his civic rights intact. He told a function at party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’, that those who negotiated with the govt should explain to the nation the real situation. Speaking during the ceremony to mark the handing over of more..

Postmaster General appointed acting NSB chairman

May 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Postmaster General (PMG) Rohana Abeyratna has been appointed as acting chairman of the National Savings Bank (NSB), the government said on Thursday. Treasury Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundera, who told reporters that the appointment was in an acting capacity, said the govt had learnt many bitter lessons from the recent crisis at the NSB. NSB Chairman Pradeepa Kariyawasam and the entire board of directors resigned over a flawed stock market deal more..

Restored Police commission vows to act impartially

May 24 (DM) The Police Commission which was reactivated this year said yesterday it would investigate any complaint received in an impartial manner, for its only strength was reporting to Parliament as they did not have the powers once vested in them by the 17th amendment to the constitution. Police Commission Chairman Senaka Walagampaya said if there was political interference on any investigation carried out by the Commission, the person involved was more..

Sri Lanka's Sarath Fonseka barred from political office

May 24 (BBC) Sri Lanka's ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka is barred from political office for seven years, despite being freed from jail on Monday, his lawyer says. Mr Fonseka stood against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a presidential election two years ago, lost and was imprisoned shortly afterwards. Mr Fonseka's lawyer, Nalin Laduwahetti, says that the terms of his release prevent him from running for office. more..

Tamil and war widows abandoned by the Sri Lankan govt

May 24 (AN) In Sri Lanka's predominantly Tamil north, religious celebrations are restricted, freedom of association is violated and the traditional culture is being undermined, this according to Catholic priests from the southern part of the country, members of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM). At a meeting in Jaffna, local prelates said, "There is a need for a political solution so that that the Tamil people are recognised as part of the nation." more..

Fishermen recount Somali pirate ordeal

May 24 (UCAN) Six Sri Lankan fishermen who were rescued after seven months captivity by Somali pirates say it was a miracle that they returned alive. They are now reluctant to return to their former livelihood, as they fear they may fall victim again to the ever-growing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The fishermen were kidnapped and their vessel seized last September, after setting sail from the coastal city of Negombo and straying into Somali waters. more..

Supreme Court rejects SB’s move

May 24 (DM) The Supreme Court today rejected a move by Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake to constitute a Commission to look into the grievances of G.C.E (A/L) students who challenged the application of an alleged erroneous and unjustifiable formula to calculate the Z-Score of candidates of the G.C.E. (A/L) Exam held in August 2011. The Bench refused to allow the motion filed on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education. more..

Pageant of perverts, pederasts and paedophiles

May 25 (NS) For a country that gave the world its first woman prime minister, Sri Lanka over the last few years, possesses a shocking record of rape and sexual abuse. According to govt data, there has been an increase in the incidence of child sex exploitation and raping of women. Parliament was informed recently that some 1450 rape cases had been reported last year as against 1,324 reported in 2010. As if this was not bad enough the figures tabled in the House by more..

What’s next for General Fonseka?

May 25 (GV) It has been a couple of days since the former military commander of Sri Lankan Army and common opposition’s presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka was released from the prisons and I can’t think of a better timing than this for me to express some of my thoughts related to these developments, which I am sure many here would share with me, at yet another crucial time for our nation. First of all, many have correctly pointed out to me about the more..

Reconciliation: The Symbolic and the Substantive

May 25 (GV) Against the backdrop of grave planetary changes, Sarath Fonseka’s release, G.L. Peiris’s visit to Washington DC and the third anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE, an evaluation of the requirements of reconciliation are in order. There is a need to distinguish between the symbolic and the substantive – both in turn playing their part in the journey beyond conflict. The consequences of Sarath Fonseka’s release are yet to more..

Shared cultures and heritage for conflict resolution: A South Asia perspective

May 25 (DBS) The crippling impact of war and conflict, unleashed on most societies, has come to stay as a permanent feature and self perpetuating dynamic. Even after thousands of years of destruction to life, mind and matter, we have failed to learn from history. Its agonizing experience runs through several generations leaving behind a trail of depraved behavior, memories of hatred, suspicion and a deep sense of confusion and cynicism about social justice and more..

LLRC: A Buddhist response

May 25 (DM) The LLRC was appointed by the President to investigate and report on the lessons to be learnt 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 investigate, discuss and formulate its report. The Commission set about its task in a professional manner accepting representations from various segments of the population more..

Rehabilitated LTTE cadres: Back on their feet...

May 25 (SO) It was Mulliyaweli junction. Tamil songs were blaring from the three-wheel park with over 10 ‘tuk tuks’ creating a mini musical show. I wondered if any passersby didn’t have the urge to dance to the music. People were busy doing their last minute shopping before the boutiques closed for the day. It was 8.30 pm and a Honda bike, which came at high speed stopped close to us. more..

Upgrading coastal railways

May 25 (Island) The upgrading of the coast line railway from Matara to Kalutara by IRCON a company affiliated to Indian Railways is another milestone in the development of the railway network. Commuters will have a carpet ride free from bumps, sways and jerks. ABC base, 200mm of ballast, concrete sleepers and long welded rails were the basics of the upgrade. How much travelling time can be reduced will have to be assessed after trial runs with different locomotives and more..

Growth, growth everywhere, but who can read the numbers properly?

May 25 (CT) The Central Bank Annual Report for 2011, released last week one month before its statutory deadline, is jubilant about the real growth of 8.3 per cent which the country is estimated to have achieved, as per the calculations made by the country’s Statistics Bureau – the Department of Census and Statistics – in 2011. According to the Central Bank, this high real growth has marked two firsts: The first time the country had achieved a high growth of more..

Not another unsightly Billboard

May 25 (CT) In what is now stale news, Asia’s first mechanical air cleaning billboard was launched in Sri Lanka last week by ad agency BBDO Lanka. The word ‘mechanical’ is important here because it would otherwise not be a first in Asia as it is not a natural air purifying system like Coca-Cola’s billboard made of plants that absorbs air pollution in Manila, Philippines. This shouldn’t however prevent you from looking out for it—the eye-catching more..

Stopping The Rot

May 25 (CT) Members of the Citizens Movement for Good Governance and friends, This is an honour indeed. And yet, I am more than a little daunted at having to speak before an audience whose experience and memories stretch so back into the past. When Dr. Visvalingam invited me to address you, I was delighted. But as the days flew by, I became more and more uncertain of what I could say to people who already knew so much more than I do. And who have lived much longer than I have. more..

Editorial: GL meets Hillary

May 25 (Island) External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris’ Washington tour aimed at repairing strained relations between the US and Sri Lanka following the Geneva showdown seems to have yielded the desired results. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has welcomed Sri Lanka’s reconciliation plan as a ‘very serious’ one while calling for ‘a really transparent, open, public process’ on implementing the LLRC’s recommendations and tackling allegations of war crimes. She has also stressed the more..

Colombo 14

May 25 (CT) Colombo 14 or Grandpass is historically documented to be the most important Kelani river crossing that broke the seclusion of ancient Colombo from its northern neighbours. In doing so it took on the grand name of Grandpass. It might be difficult to imagine that the Kelani river was at one point, un-bridged. At that time there were many points down the Kelani where ferries were established. Out of these, there were two in particular noted from the more..

Sri Lanka beats Italy to enter semis

May 25 (Island) Sri Lanka reached the semi-finals for the second time in three years when they beat Italy 2-1 at this year’s World Team Cup wheelchair tennis tournament, conducted by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and held at the hard courts of the Olympic Tennis Centre in Seoul, Republic of Korea, the SLTA reported on May 24. Sri Lanka had earlier defeated Slovakia in their Group and now they are to play against South Africa, who has won the top spot in Group ‘B’ by ousting Greece and Canada, in the semi-final tie scheduled for today. more..

Treasury investigating NSB, entire board resigns

May 25 (Island) The Treasury is investigating the controversial NSB-TFC deal and the resignation of the entire NSB board would help it conduct an effective inquiry, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said yesterday. He told journalists that the Post Master General D.L.P.R. Abeyrathne was filling in as temporary Chairman of the NSB. "We are still finding replacement for the board and I hope we won’t have to find a new Post Master General," Dr, Jayasundera said jokingly. more..

Boston Lanka News: May 24, 2012

National Fertilizer week from today

May 25 (DN) The national ceremony to launch the National Fertilizer Week will be held today at Galenbindunuwewe, Anuradhapura. To introduce fertilizer management, the govt has proclaimed the National Fertilizer Week from May 25 to June 01, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S M. Chandrasena said. He was addressing a press conference at the Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry yesterday. The Fertilizer Week will be conducted through Agrarian Services Centres countrywide. more..

‘Be forthright with international community’

May 25 (DN) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has called on the country’s diplomats not to be timorous or diffident about engaging with the international community,but, to be forthright and factual and always put the country first. “It is the country’s interest and not personal agendas that must be perceived. Those who go out to represent our country must do so with genuine affection for the nation and its people,” Minister Samarasinghe told the Daily News. more..

UK calls for reduced military presence

May 25 (CG) Britain has urged the govt to reduce the military presence in the north, especially in Jaffna and the Wanni. The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said that the military presence in the north should resemble that of the army presence seen in other parts of the country. “The President said in his victory day speech that the military is no longer involved in civil administration in the north and east more..

Sri Lanka's postal service goes hi-tech amidst falling mail volumes

May 25 (ST) Sri Lanka's archaic postal service is moving with the times, being fully modernized and computerized despite declining mail volumes as people and businesses switch to the Internet in place of letters and paper bills. Sri Lanka Post Master General Rohana Abeyratna said that the Sri Lanka Post, once considered a slow service, is set to go high-speed and hi-tech under a network improvement programme designed by the University of Moratuwa. more..

7,500 soldiers punished when Fonseka was army chief

May 25 (Island) Under the tenure of former army commander Sarath Fonseka, 7,500 soldiers were tried and punished by court martials and none of them have been pardoned, the government said yesterday. Cabinet Spokesman and Acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a news conference in Colombo, that those who wanted Fonseka to be granted total political freedom, had forgotten the treatment meted out to the rank and file by the former army commander. more..

Prelates advice SF to rest before returning to politics

May 25 (Island) Former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, released from prison on a presidential pardon, was advised by the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatta and Asgiriya to get some rest before taking to politics once again. Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake of Malwatte on Tuesday told Fonseka "rest for some time and improve your health before taking to politics again". more..

Order to auction troubled vessel stayed

May 25 (Island) The Court of Appeal on Tuesday issued a stay order, valid till June 5, preventing the auctioning, on an order of the Commercial High Court, of the MV Thermopylae Sierra. The Commercial High Court, on April 25, ordered the auctioning of the vessel, which was found drifting off the Coast of Panadura, three years ago and had been anchored there since, pending the outcome of a Court case. When Defendant-Petitioners in this case MV Thermopylae Sierra, now anchored off more..

Sri Lankan repatriates in Araku left to fend for themselves

May 25 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan repatriates of Indian origin rehabilitated in the coffee plantations in the Araku Valley and Chintapalle agency areas are nobody's children. They are living like second class citizens despite the Indian govt granting them citizenship. Nobody owns them, neither the state govt, nor the local community and not even the Maoists. They are not covered under any of the State govt schemes including the Indiramma housing scheme. more..

No police involvement in murder of Canadian Lankan Tamil

May 25 (CT) Police yesterday releasing a statement regarding the murder of the Canadian national which occurred on 23 May at 9:30 p.m. in Paranthan, Kilinochchi stated that there was no basis for the alleging any involvement of the police or armed forces in his death. Earlier a special investigation was launched by the police with several police teams being deployed to the crime scene after the death of Anthonypillai, more..

Helping Sri Lanka after the tsunami

May 25 (GN) Kushil Gunasekera is a lucky man. He had gone to a school function with 30 grade 4 and 5 children from his village and was waiting for his best friend, Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, to arrive when the tsunami struck. The school was on higher ground, overlooking the village, and when he saw giant waves thundering towards him he rushed the children to even higher ground, where they sheltered in a shrine. It was 9.45am on December 26, 2004, and while his village, Seenigama, in southwest Sri Lanka, more..

Negombo completes the Sri Lankan experience

May 25 (TOI) After bobbing in and out of large puffs of clouds we finally touched down at Bandaranaike International Airport, eager to begin our 'honeymoon', eager to get an eyeful of the sea. Sri Lanka, it was decided a month prior to our wedding for its idyllic beaches and bias for good food, and my bias for the sun and sand. As we made our way to the exit gate post a swift customs clearance, I made another attempt to gather my thoughts on the impending holiday and more..

Leadership training postponed

May 25 (CT) Leadership training for university undergraduates has been postponed indefinitely, Higher Education Ministry sources said. Students, who successfully completed their A/L exams and are anticipating university admittance, were expected to participate in a two-week leadership training programme. The programme was initiated by the Higher Education Ministry, to give students leadership and communication skills, and make them more job-oriented. more..

Fire breaks out at the Devanayagam hall in Batticaloa

May 25 (CT) A Fire broke out at the Devanayagam hall in Batticaloa last evening at 5.30p.m, hampering the arrangements for the 14th annual convention of the prime Tamil political party Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) on 27 May. The fire broke out and burnt the curtains on the stage followed by a strange noise. Police officials along with the security guards managed to put out the fire, preventing a massive damage to the hall which was named after late more..

Man stranded in airport for four months disappears mysteriously

May 25 (Jezebel) This man is not Tom Hanks. Or Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian who lived in Charles de Gaulle's Terminal One from 26 August 1988 to July 2006. This guy's name is Parameswaran. He's from Sri Lanka and he was stranded in Caracas' international airport, Venezuela for four months. Now, he has disappeared mysteriously. Before his vanishing, Parameswaran lived in the airport's international terminal, sleeping on the floor and washing himself more..