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Review of Lemon Tree: Women against violence and violations

Oct 6 (CT) Soon after I sent my last review article on “A Good American” emphasising the resolve of Jette (the feminist conscience in the story) against ‘violence and war’ perpetrated largely by men in society, I had the pleasing opportunity to watch the movie, the “Lemon Tree” on the same theme. If Alex George’s book is an ensemble of many things, apart from the ‘feminist conscience,’ the latter is the main theme of the “Lemon Tree,” directed by Eran more..

FUTA and the future (of education)

Oct 6 (CT) The gulf of inequality between the haves and have not has been widening during the last five decades. The United Nations human development report points, Between 1960 and 1989, the countries with the richest 20% of the world population increased their share of the global GNP from 70.2% to 82.7%. The countries with the poorest 20% of the world population saw their share fall from 2.3% to 1.4%. The consequences of income distribution have been dramatic. In 1960, the top 20% more..

Dr.Shashi Tharoor

Culture, knowledge, relativism and Bududahama – I

Oct 6 (Island) It has become necessary to respond to Prof. N. A. de S. Amaratunga at some length. However, it should not be considered only as a reply to him as I would be describing some of my views on existence of objects in the process. I have to apologise to the readers and the editor that, as has been the experience, I may have to interrupt the series if there is a necessity to comment on current affairs. The learned Professor in his articles published on 13th, 17th, and 26th of more..

Editorial: Saving the young

Oct 6 (Island) It was only the other day that we were made witness to mob violence the students of a leading school in Galle unleashed against their newly appointed principal. His car was smashed up and he had to be removed to safety by the police. What a welcome! A Sri Lankan diplomat serving in Europe told us on Thursday that the visuals of rowdy scenes in Galle had been beamed across the Occident and she had a hard time answering queries from her counterparts from other more..

'Country can’t wait till next general election'

Oct 6 (DM) Q: What kind of a political movement will you be forming? A: I am trying to register a political party for myself. We applied for it three years ago. Approval is pending. But, in addition to that, we have realised today that there is a corrupt govt run by corrupt rulers. It amounts to a tyrannical regime. The country’s economy is declining. The corruption is uncontrollable. It has never been like that. There is no justice in more..

Sri Lanka to modernise Registrar of Companies

Oct 6 (ST) The Sri Lankan Govt is to modernise the Department of Registrar of Companies, introducing an electronic document management system to reduce the time for registration and filing of statutory information and to improve the data quality for both the govt and the public. Registrar of Companies D.K. Hettiarachchi told the Business Times that the department was looking forward to being efficient, having quality data and providing better customer service for its stakeholders. more..

Another eleven fisheries harbours to boost industry

Oct 6 (DN) "Another eleven fisheries harbours are to be constructed in Sri Lanka with the aim of developing the country's fisheries industry," Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said in Hambantota. "This will bring the total number of fisheries harbours in the country to 29. Four out of them will be established in Gandara, Gurunagar, Silawaturai and Kalametiya," the minister said. Construction activities and infrastructure facilities at other anchor lodges, boat landing centres and more..

Jaffna Library celebrates Children's Day in grand style

Oct 6 (DN) The Jaffna Library authorities who pay their best attention to children's education and welfare conducted a series of programmes for its members to mark International Children's Day, which fell on Oct 1. International Children's Day this year fell on a Monday, which is the usual holiday for the Jaffna Library, hence, adding special significance to the day. Among the many more..

'Lanka,Croatia have many common interests'

Oct 6 (DN) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama on Wednesday stressed the need to forge closer ties with Croatia as the two countries are on the path of development after the end of debilitating wars. He said Sri Lanka has to express its solidarity with Croatia which has just come out of an unfortunate war and achieved peace. The minister said the volume of tourists visiting Croatia a year is more than four times of its population as it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. more..

ECCSL looks at ornamental fish exports to EU

Oct 6 (Island) The Ministry of Fisheries recently played host to a discussion organised by the European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ECCSL) on the future of Sri Lanka’s ornamental fisheries sector. In a joint presentation the ECCSL and Task Force for Ornamental Fish spoke to Deputy Minister, Susantha Punchinilame, senior representatives from the Ministry of Fisheries, representatives from research institutes NARA and NAQDA, as well as to invitees from the EDB more..

Australian govt plays down High Court refugee ruling

Oct 6 (ABC) The Federal Govt is playing down the significance of the High Court ruling that found a Sri Lankan refugee could not be denied a visa, despite being deemed a security risk. The ruling could have implications for more than 50 other refugees who have adverse security assessments and are under indefinite detention. The High Court said it was invalid to use an adverse security assessment from ASIO to prevent a more..

T20 Semi Final: Gayle, Pollard help West Indies crush Australia

Oct 6 (CI) So lopsided was West Indies' obliteration of Australia in the second semi-final of the World Twenty20, the victors had near enough to 13 overs to bask in their looming progress to the final against Sri Lanka. Matthew Wade's departure in the eighth over of Australia's reply to 205 for 4 left George Bailey's team at a forlorn 43 for 6, their campaign collapsing in a few fevered minutes. Bailey was left to offer his team's last gesture of defiance, a breathless 63 from 29 balls, more..

Minority shareholders call for collective action

Oct 6 (FT) A group of public interest litigants and key figures in the corporate sector came together to form an organisation, with the intention of safeguarding the rights of minority stakeholders in the stock exchange. This proposed organisation is currently spearheaded by K.C. Vignarajah, the leading activist of small shareholders. The proposed name of the organisation is Association of Independent Shareholders of Sri Lanka. This association, still in the formation stage, more..

'Executive, Judiciary and Legislature must be committed to serve masses'

Oct 6 (DN) The Executive, Judiciary and Legislature should not show their might to the people but should be more committed to serve the people, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said no person has the right to suppress or deprive people of their sovereign rights. The President said all stakeholders should work in unison to make the people’s aspirations a reality and nobody can shun their responsibility by more..

Secondary market Treasury yields tumble further as CB injects one month funds

Oct 6 (FT) Along with the announcement of the term reverse repo auction and its outcome, secondary market Treasury yields dipped further yesterday as yields dipped below 12% for the first time in six months, Wealth Trust Securities said. The Open Market Operations (OMO) department of the Central Bank conducted a one month reverse repo auction for an amount of Rs. 8 billion and accepted the same amount at a weighted average of 9.81%. Activity was witnessed on more..

Mobile phones and internet major causes of girl abuse

Oct 6 (Island) A research carried out by the Family Health Bureau (FHB) and the UNFPA on the impact of mobile phones and internet on sexual offences has revealed that their use was the main reason for the increase in rapes and other sexual abuses on girls. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said on Wednesday that the research was carried out in Colombo, Anuradhapura and Baticaloa. Seventy percent of the cases were due to the use of mobile phones and internet access. more..

Only 400,000 tax files despite laws being relaxed

Oct 6 (Island) There were only 400,000 tax files in the country despite the laws being greatly relaxed, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. While stressing on the importance of curtailing the black economy, he said that the govt was trying to educate the people on the importance of paying taxes voluntarily and to further its objectives a tax week has been declared from Nov 1 to 8. "We want to create awareness more..

Gayle wicket key to Sri Lanka's title hopes, says Bailey

Oct 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka can kiss their title hopes goodbye if they fail to dismiss West Indies opener Chris Gayle cheaply in the World Twenty20 final on Sunday, Australia captain George Bailey said. Australia bore the brunt of the swashbuckling left-hander's onslaught as he smashed an unbeaten 75 off 41 balls, studded with six massive sixes and five fours, to set up a 74-run win for West Indies in the second semi-final on Friday. Bailey said more..

Teacher union condemns deputy Speaker’s comment on PSC

Oct 6 (Island) Teacher trade unionists on Wednesday blasted the Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody for criticizing the Public Service Commission (PSC) over the appointment of a new principal to the Vidyaloka College in Galle. Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said that the PSC made the correct appointment to the school according to the existing system, but MP Weerakkody wanted the school to retain the more..

Sri Lanka tops SAARC region in Human Development

Oct 6 (DN) An UNDP Human Development report said yesterday the country secured first place in terms of Human Development among SAARC countries. According to the report, SAARC countries, other than India and the Maldives, have not even reached Sri Lanka’s HDI for 1980 which was 0.539. The report said Sri Lanka has vast potential to further improve the situation compared to Singapore and Malaysia. The report hailed the country’s more..

Sri Lanka campaigns for mental health awareness

Oct 6 (GPI) “I hope that I can pin this butterfly on our president,” says K.S. Sumanawathi, looking at a bright pink, felt butterfly she holds in her hand. Sumanawathi and other volunteers assemble the butterflies for a countrywide awareness and fundraising campaign in Sri Lanka for World Mental Health Day, which takes place next week on Oct. 10. At first, Sumanawathi’s wish sounds unattainable. But having overcome acute schizophrenia through the help of a community-oriented mental more..

Ganja found among cardamoms at BIA

Oct 6 (Island) The Customs Narcotic Control Division early yesterday morning thwarted an attempt by a 48-year-old Sri Lankan, arriving from India, to smuggle in four and half kilos of Kerala ganja worth Rs. 700,000. The smuggler, a resident of Negombo, who had been to India 37 times, arrived from Chennai on board UL 126 around 4.30 a.m. The smuggler had left the country on October 2 according to his passport. They said that the officers of the Customs Narcotic Control Division, more..

'Sorry Sri Lanka, but I think it is our World Cup'

Oct 6 (PTI) Chris Gayle, who hammered an unbeaten 75 to help West Indies reach the finals, sounded the battle cry against Sri Lanka, saying his team will definitely win the World Twenty20 on Sunday. Riding on Gayle's blistering 41-ball 75, West Indies today mauled Australia by 74 runs in the second semifinals to set up a summit clash with Sri Lanka on Sunday and the flamboyant opener declared they will definitely come on top. more..

GMOA calls off today’s strike

Oct 6 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Executive Committee yesterday decided against launching its Colombo National Hospital (NH) branch strike today in protest against the Circular issued on September 21, by the Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, on the doctors’ transfers at the NH. GMOA Executive Committee member Dr. Nath Wijesooriya said that the circular was rather complicated and misleading to a considerable extent. more..

President has no time for lecturers

Oct 6 (CT) UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa, of not discussing the issues pertaining to education with university lecturers. Addressing a discussion held on the problems in the education sector, Wickremesinghe alleged that the President can have discussions with cheaters in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), but he cannot have discussions with lecturers. “University lecturers are fighting to protect free education, but more..

11 unions go to Court against EPF investments

Oct 6 (FT) A group of 11 trade unions has filed a Fundamental Rights violation petition before the Supreme Court against questionable investments of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) without any transparency in unstable companies. They are seeking the Supreme Court to direct the Attorney General towards a full criminal investigation on the alleged fraud and alleged market manipulation with the said funds. more..

Nailing Mervin: Two separate inquiries launched

Oct 6 (CT) In addition to the disciplinary inquiry held by SLFP Disciplinary Committee, against Public Relations Minister, Mervin Silva, on alleged cases of demanding extortion, a separate inquiry has also been initiated by the Western Provincial Council as per the instructions of the Chief Minister, Western Province. The inquiry commenced last week subsequent to a request made to a minister, by a group of businessmen from Kelaniya and Kiribathgoda areas. more..

Indian academicians express solidarity with protesting Sri Lanka teachers

Oct 6 (Hindu) As the three-month-old agitation by teachers, which has crippled universities in Sri Lanka, including Jaffna, shows no sign of ending in an amicable manner; prominent academics from India have joined a large group of intellectuals from different parts of the globe, to express solidarity with the protesting teachers. They said that they were “deeply concerned” with the crisis in Sri Lanka’s higher education sector. In a joint statement, more..

Crucial meeting today to end FUTA strike

Oct 6 (Island) The govt will, after a lapse of two weeks, resume discussions with striking university teachers this evening at the Ministry of Economic Development. Ministers S.B. Dissanayake and Basil Rajapaksa will represent the govt in the discussions with representatives from the FUTA. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that they had been invited by the govt to participate in the discussion. "We expect to resolve the more..

Editorial: We make a life by what we give

Oct 6 (DM) With corruption and crime, selfishness and greed, hypocrisy, deception and other vices rampant in society today, the Government needs to tackle the roots of this crisis by discussing with religious and other leaders practical means by which religious education for children is given highest priority. The vital education sector is in crisis and chaos today with hundreds of thousands of A Level students still awaiting answers to a multitude of questions, while university professors and more..

New book details Sri Lanka’s ‘habit of denial’

Oct 6 (CT) It saw one of the bloodiest conflicts of this century, and yet many still only see it as a tropical paradise. While the south boasted palm-fringed beaches – a picture-perfect destination for cocktail-sipping tourists – northern Sri Lanka was a hell on earth for the Tamil minority as govt troops clashed with Tiger insurgents. “Denial has become a Sri Lankan habit,” explains Frances Harrison, ex-BBC Sri Lanka correspondent and author of Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of more..

Free education in universities: Is it desirable or possible?

Oct 6 (LB) We adopted universal free education from primary school to university in the 1950s. What free education means is that there is no tuition fee and it does not mean there is no cost of education. It means that the cost of education is borne not by the beneficiary but by the govt. The govt must in turn raise money through taxation from the people to pay for it. The masses think that taxes are paid only by the affluent. It is not so. more..

Building houses on Tsunami buffer

Oct 6 (SL) The District Secretary of Gampaha and Divisional Secretary of Negombo have been accused of earmarking eight acres of mangrove forestland for a housing project under the direction of State Resources and Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne and Western Province Minister of Road Development, Tourism, Housing, Animal Production and Fisheries Nimal Lansa. Kadol kele is a mangrove forest belt spanning on a 36-acre strip along the more..

Police caution public on credit card fraud

Oct 6 (CG) The police have cautioned the public to be aware of credit card fraud after an Indian national was arrested at the Katunayake airport with blank cards and equipment to forge credit cards. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the public should always remain vigilant when handing over their credit cards to merchants. He also said that receipts provided by the merchants should have an authorized signature and the card should be swiped in front of the customer, more..

Two weeks celebrations to commemorate ‘Che’

Oct 6 (LT) Che Guevara Commemoration celebrated annually by the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) will be held with events spread out throughout two weeks this year says the National Organizer of SYU Bimal Rathnayake. He said Sri Lanka as well as a vast number of countries in the world are being repressed by imperialism. More than 3000 Americans died in the attack carried out by Taleban on 11th September, 2001. more..

Kids custody: Tamils demonstrate outside Norway mission in SL

Oct 6 (PTI) A group of Sri Lankan Tamils based in Norway have demonstrated outside the Norwegian embassy here, claiming that the child welfare service in that country forcibly removed their children from the parental care. T Anantharajah, one of those who demonstrated yesterday, told media here that his three children aged 12, 10 and 8 respectively had been forcibly taken away by more..

Drug prices going through the roof

Oct 6 (Island) The continuing failure on the part of the government to implement a National Medicinal Drug Policy has led to a drastic increase in prices of vital drugs. State Pharmaceutical Corporation Chairman Prof. S.D. Jayaratne said that there was an urgent need for controlling drug prices. He said that many of the drugs were branded and imported by the private sector. The increase in prices of raw materials, more..

Sri Lanka resumes printing money to sterilize forex sales

Oct 6 (LBO) Central bank has sterilized a foreign exchange sale injecting 8.0 billion rupees in one-month money into the banking system, ending several weeks of monetary policy that has been favourable of a stronger exchange rate. On Friday the central bank printed 8 billion rupees for one month at 9.81%, slightly above the 9.75% reverse repo rate at which overnight liquidity is injected into the banking system for more..

EC warns of further depreciation of rupee, trouble in garment sector

Oct 6 (Island) A senior advisor to the European Commission (EC) has said that the exchange rate would stabilize at Rs. 138 per US dollar within the next six months. The warning was given by Dr. Dilesh Jayantha, economic advisor to the European Chamber of Commerce, at a seminar organized by the EC on Oct 3, evening at Hilton Colombo Residence, to discuss the Euro zone crisis and its impact on the Sri Lankan economy. more..