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More understanding and less condemnation

Nov 21 (NS) Ananda Wakkumbura is a man who has recently put behind him a daunting task: translating into Sinhalese ‘Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period’ by Michael Roberts. Here’s the kind of sentence which makes this a daunting task. ‘Secondly he imposes the gemeinschaft/gesellschaft distinction borrowed from Tonnies, in a tautological fashion to assert that these types of community lacked ‘a convergence of interest’ of the gesellschaften kind.’ more..

A birthday tribute to a political Titan…

Nov 21 (NS) On May 27, 1970, a fair lanky lad with hair combed sideways, sporting a thin moustache walked down the ‘well’ in the old Parliament to be sworn in as the youngest member of that Parliament. Eyes of political heavyweights like Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Dudley Senanayake, JR Jayewardene, Dr. N.M. Perera, Colvin R. De Silva, Felix Dias Bandaranaike, Lakshman Jayakody, Peiter Kueneman and R. Premadasa were focused on this 24-year-old more..

Seventy landslide-prone areas identified

Nov 21 (SO) The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has mapped out 68 to 70 areas highly vulnerable to landslides in the Kandy, Matale, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts. After the recent heavy rains 300 landslide-prone areas have been identified in these districts, including, Gampaha and Colombo. 11 locations have been identified in the Gampaha district more..

De-escalate impeachment crisis

Nov 21 (CT) The process of impeaching Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has commenced in earnest. The Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate and pass judgment on her has been appointed with a 7-4 govt majority and consists of very senior govt and opposition members. It has been very prompt in serving the charges against her. The Chief Justice was given one week to answer the 14 charges which she appealed against. According to news reports, this appeal filed by more..

Politics has hijacked our vocabulary

Nov 21 (DBS) Why does a dark cloud of derision continue to linger in Sri Lanka with no signs of dissipating? The problem lies with our perceptions. Our political reality is mirror of how we as citizens view our neighbours, our govt and ourselves. The political notion of ‘unity’ is hollow if we fail in the simple task of seeing each other as equals. The notions of ‘representation’ and ‘accountability’ are vacant if we come to view govt as the source and not the steward of power. more..

Palatable delights of the Palmyrah

Nov 21 (DBS) Tasting pinatu and sipping Palmta, whilst making a mental note of ‘what to take home’ among an exotic collection of thal petti (boxes made out of palmyrah leaves), mats, baskets and delicacies ranging from jaggery, kottei kilangu to thal wadei showcased at Katpaham was a phenomenal experience. Stepping into the sales outlet of Katpaham down Galle Road- the sales outlet of the Palmyrah Development Board, more..

Sri Lanka’s potentials for a dynamic economy

Nov 21 (CT) Let me introduce you all to our economic theme, by informing you about one major event that took place two years ago: In January 2010, Sri Lanka was upgraded, from the IMF’s list of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, to that of Middle Income Emerging Markets. This represents a major recognition of Sri Lanka’s economic development. In order to be upgraded this way, you need to meet few requirements that evidently Sri Lanka has successfully fulfilled. more..

Is autonomy within a unitary structure a structural impossibility?

Nov 21 (DBS) Sweden’s Uppsala University’s Professor Emeritus Dr.Peter Schalk has recently in a note to “Tamilnet” critiqued Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka on the question of autonomy being possible within a unitary state. Prof. Schalk has been critical of Dr.Jayatilleka’s address at a seminar in Paris where the Ambassador had spoken of Sri Lanka striving for “autonomy within a unitary structure”.Prof. Schalk opines that a centralized unitary structure by more..

Disturbing the ‘peace’ behind bars

Nov 21 (NS) The fallout from the Welikada prison riot, the country’s worst prison riot in three decades, continues, and is likely to continue for quite some time. A total of 27 persons, all of them inmates, were killed. Dozens of others, both inmates and security forces personnel were injured. According to official estimates the riot has caused damages amounting to some Rs.10 million. While order has been restored, the aftermath more..

Editorial: Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!

Nov 21 (Island) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera is no longer the pugnacious firebrand that he used to be; he has mellowed over the years and stopped waving his clenched fist in public, though his speeches are not devoid of rhetorical flourishes. But, he remains a rebel monk fearlessly fighting for social justice. He pulls no punches and minces no words when he takes on hoity-toity politicians who pretend to be as clean as their immaculate white kapati suits. Govt MPs have suddenly become so more..

Sri Lankan Tamil film included in European Film Festival

Nov 21 (DN) The Tamil film Ini Avan will be screened at the European Film Festival to be held in Sri Lanka. The film will be screened to mark the 50th anniversary of Tamil language cinema in Sri Lanka. The film festival will be held in Colombo, Jaffna and Kegalle. European Film Festival curator Anomaa Rajakaruna said the Film Festival will be held from November 30 to December 7 at 3.30pm and 6.30pm at the National Film Corporation, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. more..

Unit trusts and brokers take a hit, nothing on EPF’s 6.3% in stock exchange

Nov 21 (Island) The Central Bank says unit trusts and stock brokers have taken a hit due to the poor performance of the Colombo Stock Exchange. While providing data for the unit trust industry for the first nine months of this year, and six months data for the stockbroker industry, the Central Bank could only say the EPF managed by the bank put in 6.3% of its investment portfolio into the bourse. "As at end June 2012, total assets of more..

Mahailluppallama govt farm to be revived

Nov 21 (DN) It has been decided to revive the Mahailluppallama govt farm which has been neglected, and whole seed requirements of the district to be produced again here. This was decided at the Anuradhapura District Development Committee (DDC) meeting recently. The DDC meeting was held at the North Central Provincial Council with the participation of Deputy Minister S M Chandrasena and North Central Province Chief Minister S M Ranjith as co-chairmen. more..

The concern of UN

Nov 21 (Island) It is reported that the United Nations at New York is concerned with the attempted impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Whom are the officials at UN trying to fool? Are these officials trying to scare the Sri Lankan govt? Or, is it the President? It is now known to the west that they cannot defeat this govt through elections. They tried Sarath Fonseka to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa, but in vain. The West wanted a witness for the so-called more..

Lanka's oldest printing machine destroyed

Nov 21 (DN) The monks' abode (Sangha Wasa) of the Kataluwa Ranwella ancient temple in Habaraduwa, Galle was completely gutted in a fire that broke out within its premises on Monday night due to what is suspected to be an electrical short circuit. The pristine printing machine believed to be the oldest printing machine in Sri Lanka which had printed the first ever national newspaper Lanka Loka that was housed more..

Allergic reaction: nothing to fear says CP CM

Nov 21 (Island) Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake informed the Central Provincial Council on Tuesday (20) that he had been briefed by the health authorities of the province that there was no need for fear or alarm over the allergic reaction among students of three or four schools, in his region. However, he said, the cause of the allergic reaction had not been ascertained. The health authorities continued to examine the cause of the rash and itching among the school children. more..

Preferential treatment for Sajin ?

Nov 21 (CT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is to inquiring into allegations that MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, who is also the Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs, is receiving preferential treatment. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, posing a question to the Speaker, brought to the attention of the speaker that the Monitoring MP in addition to his official vehicle uses several state vehicles, including a convoy, in addition to a vehicle that travels as his rear escort. Jayasekara also claimed that more..

Indo, Lanka biz yearn for bigger boost

Nov 21 (IHC) A 13-member high-powered business mission from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) visited Colombo from 18-20 Nov 2012. This is the fourth business delegation from CII to visit Sri Lanka in the past one year. The Business Mission was led by Adi Godrej, President of CII and Chairman of the Godrej Group. The main areas of business interest of the delegation included consumer goods, IT/BPO, automobile sector, more..

Five-fold strategy to nab Kahawatte killers: Police

Nov 21 (CT) A speedy five-fold security mechanism has been implemented to arrest the suspects involved in the recent killing of women in Kahawatte, says Police. A senior police officer said that Army and the Police Special Task Force were engaged in performing the duty to ensure the security of the area and they had placed many police groups for road barriers, mobile security and motorbike surveillance as measures to intensify security. “If any suspicious incident takes place, more..

Arsenic in kohila curry: Parliament employees cleared of wrongdoing

Nov 21 (Island) The police investigating a food poisoning scare and how a kohila curry, meant to be served at the guests’ canteen, turned unusually red, have cleared parliament employees attached to the kitchen and canteen of any wrongdoing. Nugegoda SP Roshan Fernando said that they had initiated an inquiry immediately after Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa reported the matter last Friday. Fernando said that tests carried out by the Govt Analyst’s Department had revealed that more..

6.43% of GDP for education: Wijithamuni

Nov 21 (CT) Deputy Minister of Education Vijith Wijithamuni Zoysa said 6.43% of the GDP has been allocated for the education sector in the 2013 budget. He said Rs. 306 billion had been set aside to develop the education sector of Sri Lanka. The allocation will cover expenditures for general education, the central govt, higher education, and scholarships including the Mahapola Shishyadhaara, he said, more..

Cricket: Black Caps in a spin over tweakers

Nov 21 (NZH) New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has a philosophy of using local expertise to supplement his coaching team when on tour and the most useful addition might now be a sports psychologist. In yesterday's second innings against Sri Lanka, when they were rolled for just 118, the batsmen were seemingly undone as much by their own heads as the spin of Rangana Herath, who finished with match figures of 11-108. They appear to get themselves into a spin when facing more..

Split by war, Lanka family to reunite after six years

Nov 21 (TOI) A Sri Lankan Tamil family split by the bloody ethnic war is all set to be reunited after six long years. Nithya (31), who was separated from her husband and elder daughter after she was abducted along with her two other children in 2006, has finally managed to trace them to the Netherlands. Nithya reached Chennai early last year with younger daughter Dharani (9) and son Mathuran (7) and went around various refugee camps in Tamil Nadu in search of husband Sadasivam (33) and more..

Former Sri Lankan ambassador faces a fraud investigation

Nov 21 (Telegraph) Former Sri Lankan MP Tudor Gunasekara, 77, who said he was one of Sri Lanka's leading businessmen, was fined at the Old Bailey today after being convicted of groping a masseur's breast. But after he was found guilty of sexual assault, Judge Charles Wide QC ordered an investigation by the Legal Service Commission as to whether the former ambassador to Poland committed fraud. Gunasekara had more..

Kottu, fried rice can shorten life

Nov 21 (DN) Eating 'kottu' and 'fried rice' can definitely shorten your life. This has been revealed through research conducted by the MRI under the guidance of Dr. Renuka Jayatissa. The public should avoid these foods, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to Dr. Jayatissa around 200 persons between the age of 20 and 50 were covered during the study. They were regular consumers of kottu and fried rice. About 50 per cent of them had high cholesterol and liver enzyme levels which more..

‘Free education could always be a slogan’

Nov 21 (Island) JVP MP Sunil Handunetti told Parliament that free education in Sri Lanka was not an accident but the outcome of a bitter political struggle. Therefore it was completely acceptable for politicians to use ‘free education’ as a slogan. Addressing the third reading stage debate on the Budget 2013, Handunetti was responding to a statement made by UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, earlier in the day in Parliament, that education should not be used as a political slogan. more..

'National Action Plan given boost in budget'

Nov 21 (DM) While stating that Sri Lanka had made significant progress in implementing the LLRC report, through the National Action Plan (NAP), the US said the Budget 2013 that was presented recently was very encouraging as each govt department was being given budget allocations to implement the NAP. The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alyssa Ayres, who is currently on a more..

Lankan caught with heroin acquitted

Nov 21 (TOI) A special court for NDPS cases on Tuesday freed a 26-year-old Sri Lankan national who was caught carrying more than 1.5 kg of heroin, saying his guilt could not be established by the prosecution. According to the prosecution, the accused was caught by a customs officer at Chennai airport on January 23, 2009. After a check revealed the narcotic in a keyboard in his bag, he was arrested. The accused told officials the keyboard belonged to a man named Sudha more..

Private sector workers to protest demanding pay hike

Nov 21 (Island) JVP–led private sector trade unions would protest on Friday opposite the Fort Railway Station demanding an immediate pay hike. President of the Inter Company Employees’ Union Wasantha Samarasinghe said that budget 2013 did not give anything to the private sector employees. He said that the private sector contribution to the national production was 95 per cent but it did not gst any relief in the budget. "Our protest will force the govt to add an amendment to the budget," more..

Hakeem updates US Deputy Assistant Secy. on reconciliation efforts

Nov 21 (FT) A meeting to update on the reconciliation efforts of the country was held yesterday at the Ministry of Justice between Minister Rauff Hakeem and the visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs of the US Department of State, Dr. Alyssa Ayres. US Ambassador Michele J. Sison, Counsellor for Political Affairs Michael Honigstein and Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalani De Silva were more..

Time to push back over Sri Lankan impunity

Nov 21 (CNN) International attention on Sri Lanka has focused recently on a devastating report from the United Nations reviewing its own failure to protect civilians during the humanitarian catastrophe of the final months of the island nation’s civil war in 2009. Yet as many in the international community have been looking back, a new, quieter crisis is threatening Sri Lanka’s battered democracy – and the chances of lasting peace – with the govt of President Rajapaksa moving to impeach the more..

Father, mother, son cut to death

Nov 21 (Island) The police yesterday recovered three bodies bearing cut injuries from a house at Uduhenawatte in the Bulathsinhala police area. The victims were Eyedoris Mannage (92), his wife, Handuwalage Misilin (85) and son, Mannage Hector Dharmasena (60). The police believe that an armed gang forcibly entered their house in the early hours of yesterday (20) to commit the triple killing. It is also believed that the gang has removed cash and gold jewellery. The police found the body of more..

Kazakhstan and Sri Lankan leaders hold bilateral talks

Nov 21 (IL) President Rajapaksa who is on a three-day official visit to Kazakhstan met his counterpart President Nursultan Nazarbayev yesterday for bilateral talks. President Nazarbayev welcomed his counterpart with a military guard of honour prior to the discussion. The two leaders discussed on problems of political, commercial and economic cooperation and ways of further improving trade-economic cooperation, more..

Heartbroken mother sets son ablaze, takes her life

Nov 21 (Island) A young mother set her son and herself on in the early hours of yesterday, at Matuagala, Mudunkotuwa in the Kiriella police area. Both of them were killed. Police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody identified them as A. H. Anusha Nishanthi (32) and B. L. A. Gehan (7). Anusha had been living in her husband’s home with their two children and her in-laws. About three months ago their three-year-old son had died of an overdose of cough syrup. more..

Dy. Edu. Minister goes berserk in parliament

Nov 21 (Island) Deputy Minister of Education Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa was seen misbehaving and causing havoc in the Parliament canteen for MPs’ guests during the lunch break yesterday. He was heard screaming at parliament staff as he was angered by their failure to allocate enough seats for the officials who were present. The officials had visited parliament to witness the proceedings of the third reading of Budget 2013 as it debated the Head of Expenditure of the Ministry of Education. more..

'Reduce govt interference in cricket'

Nov 21 (CI) Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC Chief Executive, has recommended less govt interference in team selection, in addition to 23 other recommendations to Sri Lanka Cricket, in his review of the sport in the country. Lorgat was appointed short-term special advisor to the SLC in July, and was tasked with performing a wide-ranging review of governance, cricket structure, administration and finances, of which his ten-page report is the more..

Editorial: Petrie report - Lanka faces diplomatic crisis

Nov 21 (DM) The wide ranging report on Sri Lanka by the UN internal review panel headed by Charles Petrie could cause a major international crisis for the Rajapaksa regime largely because of failure to wisely respond to the issues raised. The Petrie committee was appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to probe how and why UN staff in Colombo and the Northern Province had failed to act fast and effectively in preventing a heavy civilian casualty toll during the last phase of the war with the more..

Effective Teaching empowering the professional teacher

Nov 21 (DM) As teachers and as parents, we have felt a growing lack of empowerment as we wish to prepare our children for the future. We wish to ensure that they may have the educational skills and the knowledge base to fulfill their potential, work in the field of their desire, to ensure that they represent a high quality of human capital, and as we wish to prepare them to project our economy as competitively as our regional counterparts. We currently subscribe to a system which was more..

The dye is cast on the fabric of taste

Nov 21 (ST) Despite being illegal, the use of edible food colouring in powdered chillie, turmeric, pepper and assorted spices is well known. But the recent raid by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has revealed the use of fabric dye to colour spices. CAA’s Special Raid Squad Officer-in-Charge Pradeep Kalutaraarachchi said several places in Pettah and Bloemendhal areas were found to be using textile dye to colour chillie and more..

Impeachment of chief justice 'deeply flawed'

Nov 21 (LBO) Friday Forum, a citizen group said impeachment proceedings launched against Sri Lanka's chief justice was "deeply flawed" and is perceived as an attack on institution that is independently working in the public interest. The Friday Forum said the process by a select committee was flawed and has attracted criticism from 1984 when it was used against a then chief justice Samarakoon who gave decisions more..