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The Sri Lankan Republic at 40

May 26 (GV) Forty years ago this week, at the auspicious time of 12:34 p.m. at the Navarangahala on 22nd May 1972, a new constitution was signed into law, creating the Republic of Sri Lanka. This was the first time in the history of the island that the republican form of state was established, discounting the period under which parts of the littoral were controlled by the Dutch East India Company during the time the Netherlands were a confederated republic. more..

Sri Lanka war crimes: Genocide with West complicity

May 26 (CT) The US-UK axis is quite adroit at launching aggressive wars against governments and peoples who do not buckle under. Today’s method of domination is often linked with media propaganda about doing the right thing for “human rights”. In the case of its ally Sri Lanka it did not need to send troops to win the war against Tamils struggles for liberation. The Western powers provided Sri Lankan governments military with weaponry, war intelligence and training to more..

Metal crushing, a major business enterprise

May 26 (SO) The metal crushing industry has become a major business enterprise. According to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, over 1,000 metal quarries are located in many parts of the country. Many of them are in Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Kalutara, Homagama, Avissawella, Galle, Kaduwela, Koratota and Hanwella areas. Statistics reveal that nearly 25,000 families were involved in the industry. Although metal was a necessary component in industry, more..

Misrepresenting the Sri Lankan war, 2009-2012

May 26 (EAR) The recent UNHCR resolution sponsored by USA and directed at the govt of Sri Lanka was the culmination of a campaign that began during the last stages of Eelam War IV. Since 2010 articulate circles in the West have been convinced that there had been “40,000 civilian deaths” during this phase. In contrast Rohan Gunaratna asserted that there were 1400 civilian deaths, of which 200 were inflicted by the LTTE. Both calculations are erroneous. more..

Social responsibility for the provision of accessibility to the differently able in Sri Lanka

May 26 (SL) Disability is only a few seconds away for anyone traveling in a motor vehicle or attending to their daily chores This column dedicated to the notion of fulfilling the aspirations of Sri Lankan society turns its spotlight today on the differently able segment of our society and the social responsibility on the need to provide accessibility to public places for such persons, who are our brothers and sisters. Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera in an article more..

Malaria: The hundred-year story behind the bite

May 26 (ST) Why did the mighty ancient Raja Rata kingdoms fall? Was it due to foreign invasions or did the kings up and leave their cities, along with the people because a tiny insect was wreaking havoc, spreading disease and death? Did malaria cause the abandonment of the Raja Rata? The answers, of course, lie buried in the sands of time, but two doctors in more recent times have taken up the task of not only documenting the scourge of malaria but more..

Who won the ‘War’?

May 26 (SL) This is the time for war time stories. Such stories quite often remind us of a saying common to many African nations: Until the lions have their own historians the history of the hunt will glorify the hunters. Already there are tomes written about the history of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka which involve attempts made politically, diplomatically and militarily to resolve the conflict. Most writers and commentators consider the armed conflict to have commenced after the riots of 1983. more..

Guided democracy in the name of humanitarian interventions and home-grown reforms

May 26 (Island) Last week, Sri Lanka kept two anniversaries. One was the fortieth anniversary of Sri Lanka becoming a Republic. That was when the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Govt promulgated a new Constitution on 22nd May 1972 severing the constitutional links we had with our former colonial rulers. The Govt of Sri Lanka and the state media chose to largely ignore that anniversary. Instead, the defeat of the northern insurgents three years ago was celebrated with much fanfare. more..

Sarath Fonseka: Historic confluence of twin process

May 26 (DBS) The “release” of General Sarath Fonseka Former Army commander and erstwhile contender for the 2010 Presidential stakes from jail due to remission of his prison sentences by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has infused fresh excitement into the Sri Lankan Political scenario. Vociferous discussions are on about the pros and cons of this event and various theories are afloat as to why the President chose to act in this manner at this juncture. more..

Fonseka’s second war

May 26 (Island) The presidential pardon to General Sarath Fonseka (officially it is ‘ex-General’ as he has been stripped of his hard earned rank) after he completed only two years of a three-year jail sentence should come as no surprise. As things happen in the Island nation, the idea touched off speculations on when and how he will be released. Of course, there was a lot of build up before it really happened with the perennial political go-between Tiran Alles MP took up the more..

Editorial: A welcome gavel blow

May 26 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake has been left with egg on his face––once again. His last-ditch attempt on Thursday to work out a compromise formula as regards the Z-score dispute came a cropper when the Supreme Court turned down his motion to that effect submitted through the Attorney General. He should have known better than to seek permission from the apex court for such a naļve course of action. Minister Dissanayake had all the time in the world to appoint more..

ත්˛රිමාණ 3D - ඩෙංගු මදුරුවා යහතින් වැජඹෙයි !

Fort’s forgotten corner

May 26 (Island) Some thirty years ago, after spending many decades in District Kachcheries, the merry-go-round of transfers placed me in a Ministry located in the slightly shabby grandeur of the Old Secretariat, adjoining the old Parliament, in Fort. No longer could I traverse the short distance from the Kachcheri to the Residency for lunch, and a short snooze. I did not relish carrying a ‘buth packet’ for a messy lunch at my office desk. Nor could I afford a classy meal at a coffee shop in more..

Farmer-friendly policies boost crop yield

May 26 (SO) The Govt's farmer-friendly policies such as fertilizer subsidy and supply of quality seeds have resulted in the bumper harvest in subsidiary food crops, said Wayamba Group Chairman S.H. Sadikeen. The Wayamba Group, a trading company will export maize to Taiwan and Canada next week for the first time. The State sponsored ceremony to mark this historic event will be held on Tuesday at Peliyagoda under the patronage of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Foreign stars packed Carlton Sevens kicks off today

May 26 (Island) The much awaited second edition of the Carlton Super Sevens rugby tournament 2012 will be held today and tomorrow at the Bogambara Stadium raising it to the level of one of the top rugby sevens tournaments in Asia after Hong Kong and Dubai Sevens. All the prestige associated with the tournament has been made possible especially thanks to the participation of world class sevens players. more..

UNP violating party constitution - Dinesh

May 26 (DN) Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday questioned in Parliament as to how MP John Amaratunga makes statements on behalf of Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe when UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is present in the chamber. He said this was a violation of the party constitution of the UNP. Amaratunga stood up to raise a question under 23(2) of the Standing Orders on behalf of the Opposition Leader, since he was on an overseas tour. more..

SL, Kazakhstan to expand cooperation in all fields - GL

May 26 (DN) Minister Prof G L Peiris during bilateral discussions on Thursday in Astana with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhano said his visit to that country grew out of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision to restructure Sri Lanka’s foreign relations, by enhancing ties with regions of the world acquiring importance to become centres of growth. In this context, he pointed out that Central Asia has been identified as representing such a region, more..

Mahinda markets ‘living within means’ to manage economy’

May 26 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pointed out the need for proper management in lifestyles in line with the economic limits. Participating in an event to release the 2011 Annual Report of Ministry of Finance and Planning on Thursday, the President has said that attention should be focused on the aspiration of youths and modern technology when drawing economic plans. Commenting on the frequent trade union actions in the country, more..

ICTA to register ICT companies

May 26 (Island) The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) says it has taken steps for the registration of companies engaged in the ICT industry. "The registration of these companies is carried out by the Private Sector Development arm of ICTA. The primary objective is to provide prior knowledge about training programmes, workshops, grant programmes etc. In the past, companies, junior and senior level managers, trainers and entrepreneurs have benefitted through more..

Another golden boy nabbed

May 26 (Island) A 35-year-old man was arrested by the officers of the Special Task and Vigilance Division of Customs at the BIA Thursday when he was about to leave for Bangalore with 18 gold biscuits. The gold weighed 1.8 kilos and was worth between Rs. 15 and Rs. 16 millions. Director of the Division at BIA, Saman Jayasinghe said that he was a Sri Lankan passenger from Puttalam who had been to many countries "to meet friends" more than hundred times. more..

US$ 1bn packaging sector opens to SMEs

May 26 (Island) Sri Lanka has thrown open it $ 1 Bn packaging sector for the vital SMEs. It also wants the packaging sector to enter exports sector targeting India and China. "Since the future of packaging, appear to head towards niche consumer markets, and our region’s major buyers India and China are demanding more and more packaging products and services, I believe our packaging industry can now open itself to the Asian region for its future growth more..

Sam Harrison detained over Sri Lankan shop worker killing

May 26 (BBC) A teenager from Huyton who admitted the fatal stabbing of a Sri Lankan shop worker has been cleared of murder. Mahesh Wickramasingha, 30, died after being stabbed in the throat by 19-year-old Sam Harrison on 29 November 2011. Harrison denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court. The jury accepted that Harrison had not meant to kill his victim. He was ordered to serve ten years in a youth offenders institution. more..

Govt. accused of endangering students

May 26 (Island) The UNP, in Parliament yesterday, accused the government of enrolling school children for military training and putting their lives in danger. Referring to a recent death of a 15-year-old student at the National Cadet Corps Training Camp in Rantembe, UNP Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera charged that it was a violation of the Manpower Utilization Act of 1985 to allow students below the age of 16 years to be given military training. more..

Harsha rebuts Dr. PB on NSB-TFC, EPF deals

May 26 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva disgareed with Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera’s assurance that new rules will be enforced to improve governance and prudence in stock market investments, urging the Govt to first ensure existing laws are enforced. On Thursday, Dr. Jayasundera in response to questions from media said audit and investment comittees will be set up for equity deals in addition to guideliens and good governance more..

UNP urges govt. to provide relief

May 26 (Island) The UNP yesterday requested the govt to remove the taxes imposed on essential goods and grant some financial subsidy to down trodden sector of the society in the face of skyrocketing cost of living. Acting Opposition Leader John Amaratunga, making a special statement in Parliament, said that the sky high cost of living had made life miserable for "the suffering, helpless and oppressed people of this country." "Our request from this Govt is to give some relief to more..

Sri Lanka’s securities watchdog sets timelines for broker trading

May 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s securities regulator on Friday brought in deadlines to implement crossing and share transactions of stockbrokers, to mitigate future trading risks. From June 5, the Colombo Stock Exchange will introduce a ceiling of 20 percent on a stock price, when the transaction is carried out on the crossings board, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. From June 1, executive directors, staff, their spouses and their nominees of all licensed more..

I won’t take revenge- SF

May 26 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who was released this week yesterday said that he would not take revenge against those who had put him through an atrocious ordeal over the past two and a half years. Mr. Fonseka claimed that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa were directly responsible for the suffering he endured. “I will not take revenge against them and the vicious acts they committed against me. more..

Work on Indocean’s 65-storey tower to commence this August

May 26 (DM) An Indian real estate company is to develop Colombo’s tallest residential tower designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, in the 10 acre land previous belonging to the Colombo Commercial Company near Beira Lake. Indocean Developers (Pvt) Ltd, a venture of Indian property group South City Projects (Kolkata) Pvt. Ltd. (SCPKL), has acquired two acres of this land to build a high-end, eco-friendly 65-storey condominium tower. more..

Buddhists monks and villages protest

May 26 (CT) Buddhist monks took to the streets yesterday again demanding the demolition of yet another Muslim community building in Colombo, claiming it was illegal. Over 250 protestors led by Buddhist monks staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Galvihara Road, Dehiwala, calling for the demolition of the Madarasa ‘Darul- Qur’an lil Baranil Iman. The protestors charged it is an illegal construction and a place where goats are scarified. The Police was more..

North: British HC disputes President’s claims

May 26 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over contradiction by British High Commissioner John Rankin of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s claim of scaling down of the military presence and the non-involvment of the military in civil administration in the Northern Province since the conclusion of the conflict. In his video, ‘Ask the High Commissioner’, Rankin challenged a claim by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his more..

No response to Tamara's transfer offer

May 26 (DM) Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam has not yet accepted or rejected the offer by the Ministry of External Affairs to be transferred to Cuba, the Daily Mirror learns. The MEA has requested an updated CV from Ms. Kunanayakam, and is currently awaiting her response. “She has two options: to either accept or reject the offer made by the Ministry. It is up to her. But the Ministry will go ahead with the decisions already made; there will be no change to that,” an MEA source said. more..

Yet another wild allegation - army

May 26 (DM) While categorically rejecting the latest allegations by the United States in a report on human rights, the Sri Lankan military said it was yet another attempt to tarnish the image of the security forces. “There are no unlawful killings taking place in Sri Lanka and also no paramilitary groups operating as mentioned in the report,” army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasuriya said adding that the military personnel were in uniform and were carrying weapons legally. more..

Media Minister takes SF to task

May 26 (DN) If Sarath Fonseka calls for the withdrawal of Security Forces camps from the North he is indirectly inviting foreign countries to meddle in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. If anyone tried to take undue advantage of a pardon granted to him it will a be a very lowly and unbecoming act on his part he added. “The time has now come for all to unite and work together as Sri Lankans and as such making such a statement to the international more..

GMOA to sue fake heart patient

May 26 (CT) The Additional District Judge of Colombo yesterday vacated the Enjoining Order issued on Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) preventing their strike demanding transport allowance. Court issued this Enjoining Order on 11 May after considering a plaint filed by a heart patient who claims to be taking treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo. When this matter came up before the Additional District Judge Amal Ranaraja, Counsel for plaintiff Fizer Musthapa informed Court that he is not moving to more..

SLMC - TNA exploring possibilities

May 26 (CT) Tamil and Muslim political parties are continuing to explore the possibility of contesting the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections together. Informal discussions between both communities are currently in progress, but a final decision has not yet been taken. Senior parliamentarians of both parties said under condition of anonymity, their efforts would benefit both communities. “As the minority communities continue to be harassed, especially in the remote areas by the govt authorities, more..

Sri Lanka clears over 90-pct of mined area

May 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has cleared over 90 percent of the area where land mines believed to have been laid during a 30-year civil war which ended in 2009, the island's finance ministry said. From 2009 to 2011 a total of 1577 square kilometers or 92 percent of the danger area in the north and east of the country has been cleared and only 124 square kilometers remains, the finance ministry said in its annual report. Sri Lanka is a 65,000 square kilometer island. more..

CEB scrapes the hydro barrel

May 26 (Island) The hydro capacity to generate electricity had come down to the lowest level so far by yesterday. The capacity stood at an alarming 21 per cent –lowest in recent times, as against 79 per cent thermal power. According to Systems Control Division officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board, the total power generated by yesterday was 34.93353 GWh thermal 27.61350 GWh, 79.0 per cent and hydro 7.32003 GWh, 21.0 per cent. The peak demand was 2047.8 MW and more..

NPC a watchdog not hound

May 26 (Island) Newly appointed third National Police Commission was a watchdog and not a hound, its Secretary T.M.K.B. Tennekoon told the media on Tuesday in answer to questions on the powers granted to the Commission by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Tennekoon said that they were not in a position to take direct action against errant policemen but had the power to forward their investigations to Parliament and the Public Service Commission (PSC), besides more..

'Vain attempt to involve MR in theft of sword'

May 26 (Island) Cultural Affairs Minister T. B. Ekanayake yesterday lashed out at the detractors of the govt who tried to involve President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the theft of a sword at the National Museum, Colombo. UNP MP Harin Fernando, who accused the govt of inaction in the face of the ongoing treasure hunting spree, the Minister said the masses have handed over the entire country to the President and there was no need for the owner to steal. more..

India,Lanka working closely for release of fishermen

May 26 (DN) The High Commissions of Sri Lanka in India are working closely with the Indian government for the release of Sri Lankan fishermen held in Indian custody for crossing into Indian waters. "India is responding favourably," said Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. "This is the result of successful talks had between top -level fisheries administration officials and experts of the Fisheries Ministry of Sri Lanka and India at the Joint Commission on Indo-Lanka fisheries," more..