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Sinhalese, Tamils and Buddhism

Oct 27 (DBS) A persistent myth, which has helped create disharmony in Sri Lanka, is that the Sinhalese and Tamils have had a continuous history of mutual antagonism from the earliest past. In fact, ethnic enmity in Sri Lanka has modern roots, based in the divisive race politics of the British colonial power. Historically, ethnicity was not really a cause of dissension. The LTTE adopted as their emblem the tiger, the totemic emblem of the Chola emperors, as a challenge to the ‘Sinhalese lion’ more..

The loss of our collective memory

Oct 27 (CT) It is spiritual energy that brings all kinds of polarities (right and wrong, male and female, earth and sky, humans and animals etc) together. Perhaps, some of us know that this quality is in short supply in our society. Spirituality is the essence of all religions. However both narrow religion and popular religion can operate to subvert spirituality. This is the common experience of all cultures and societies. Every generation is mandated with the task of re-creating its own spiritual domain as more..

A day in the life of Chandran Rutnam

Oct 27 (CT) “Each film takes nine months of my life,” says Chandran Rutnam, veteran film producer, director, screenwriter and aviation pioneer. “People walk out of a theatre after watching a movie and say: Oh, that was such a piece of rubbish! But to the guy who made the film, it is something he shed blood, sweat and tears over. I know this.” Rutnam's typical day depends on what he is working on at the time, and his projects more..

Who will lead the performance evaluation of faculty in our universities?

Oct 27 (CT) FUTA strike seems to be near some resolution, more or less. It was good to see academics engaged in larger issue of education reforms and kudos to them for sticking it out as long as they did. Whatever the final outcome, achievements of FUTA to date cannot be denied. They have brought some degree of self-respect to the academic community which is dominated by a few shamelessly subservient individuals. more..

From Kandy Odeon to Mt.Lavinia Odeon: An ode to seeing movies

Oct 27 (DBS) The most interesting thing about writing about film at this time is that the writing is about absence. The lack of films worth watching; the absence of places worth watching even worthless films in. Images are everywhere; I am awash in stories. But no good Sri Lankan stories, not those told in pictures and sound; not in Technicolor and Dolby Sound. How odd for one who grew up on movies? The 9:30 show at the Wales even if more..

Navaraathri: The nine divine nights

Oct 27 (CT) Navaraathri or nine nights as it is known, refers to one of the important festivals celebrated by the Hindus since time immemorial. The festival is celebrated from 16 to 24 October. The festival is dedicated to three goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy respectively. Mother Goddess is invoked as a powerful force as Goddess Durga is celebrated for three consecutive nights for her courage and valour, while she is adored more..

Midweek Politics: From 13 Plus to 13 Minus

Oct 27 (CT) There is a certain rustic simplicity to the way the Sri Lanka’s present rulers go about their business. How do you solve the problem of leaked exam papers? Ban tuition classes one week before national exams. What do you do when one un-constituted provincial council is preventing the enactment of legislation limiting the powers of the councils? Repeal the 13th Amendment and do away with the provincial council system altogether. A Govt that has grown so accustomed to more..

Editorial: Political headaches & electoral pillows

Oct 27 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama tells us that under the present electoral system, a candidate has to spend as much as Rs. 50 million on his or her election campaign. He has contested several elections and he should know, but we think we are not short of politicians who spend at least twice as much if the manner in which they shower election bribes on the electorate during hustings is anything to go by. Some of them distribute truckloads of dry rations, stationery etc more..

Sri Lanka's war-torn tourism

Oct 27 (Stuff) We bump along red dirt roads, passing ramshackle huts where people sit shaded only by a tin roof on top of four wooden poles. They are passing the day watching huge buses – packed with tourists hoping to get a glimpse of a world few had seen before May 2009 – pass by. Up ahead in the distance is what looks like a wrecking yard. Piles upon piles of bicycles stand abandoned on the road side. A few metres further on, the piles of trucks and more..

Is the Government serious about Reconciliation?

Oct 27 (Island) "Sri Lanka now faces a moment of unprecedented opportunity. Rarely does such an opportunity come along without equally important attendant challenges. This is especially true of any meaningful effort towards post-conflict peace building following a protracted conflict. Sri Lanka’s case is no exception. Terrorism and violence have ended. Time and space have been created for healing and building sustainable peace and security so that the fruits of democracy and more..

President pays respects to Prof W B Dorakumbura

Oct 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid his respects to late Prof W B Dorakumbura at his residence in Kandy yesterday. The President also condoled with Mrs Dorakumbura, her daughter and other members of the Dorakumbura family. Prof Dorakumbura, a former ambassador to Pakistan and Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, was born in Matale in 1932. After his initial education at St Thomas' College, Matale, he entered Royal College, Colombo for his more..

Is there any hope in COPE?

Oct 27 (DM) Minutes after day’s business started in Parliament on Thursday, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara rushed to his seat in the chamber of the House, as he was to present the interim report of the COPE. The COPE, the parliamentary watchdog committee on financial performances at state bodies namely boards, bureaus, commissions and authorities, has furnished its interim report spotlighting financial malpractices and irregularities at 32 institutions more..

Lanka Hospitals celebrates 400th IVF miracle

Oct 27 (Island) The Lanka Hospitals Fertility Centre today celebrated another historic landmark when it announced the birth of its 400th In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) baby, the highest number by any fertility centre in the country. Since the centre’s introduction of IVF in 2008, the Fertility Centre of Lanka Hospitals has accomplished 400 births and has over 150 ongoing pregnancies, making it the most successful in Sri Lanka with a 43% success rate in COH IVF cycle. Speaking at the occasion the CEO of Lanka Hospitals Lakith Peiris said more..

Plastic, e-waste recycler to expand activities

Oct 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Kalhari Enterprises, a recycling specialist and exporter said is in talks with international partners to add to its range and expand into re-using recovered material. "[W]e ship around thirty to forty tons of plastic waste per month; and around one hundred tons of rubber waste," Kaushal Rajapaksa, chief executive of Kalhari group, which had grown into five firms said in a statement. The firm was at first crushing and baling PET bottles for export to India and China and more..

Lanka aims leapfrog for ease of business

Oct 27 (FT) Encouraged by the steady improvement of the Doing Business Ranking over the past few years, with the 2013 listing at 81, the Govt is targeting the 30th position by 2015, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Hosting a meeting for Govt officials with Minister Basil Rajapaksa to discuss future strategies to improve the country’s ranking in the World Bank/IFC -compiled index, Cabraal noted that the target more..

Private dispensary blamed for death due to overdose

Oct 27 (Island) On the instruction of Minister Maithripala Sirisena the Food and Drug Unit of the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA), has commenced a full scale investigation into Thursday’s death of P. D. Padmalatha, a 63-year-old mother of five grown-up children, at Moonagama, Horana. The victim had been advised to take the wrong dosage of the drug (metformin taken for diabetes) by a private dispensary more..

UPFA PC member in hot water for attacking police, under liquid courage

Oct 27 (Island) A UPFA Western Provincial Council Member, charged with entering a police station under the influence of liquor, assaulting its officers and causing damage to State property, was yesterday remanded till the conclusion of the case by Wattala Magistrate Manjula Ratnayake. When the case against WPC member Randiv Rodrigo was taken up on Thursday, the suspect did not appear in Court. He had been evading Court on several previous occasions more..

Children at war

Oct 27 (Stuff) She touches her long black hair constantly - stroking it as if it's her most prized possession. Wrapping it around her body, it's something of a security blanket as she opens up about what the Tamil Tigers took from her and what she is still trying to get back. Tsharsika was 14 when the LTTE grabbed her as she walked home from school in Jaffna, Sri Lanka's northern most city. Like many female child soldiers before her, they more..

SLTA ducks on time

Oct 27 (ST) The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) officials have paid the due payments to avert a possible seal-off of their premises located at Green Part in Colombo in the midst of a junior tournament in progress. Responding to the Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) decision to seal the premises of the SLTA due to non-payment of lease, its president, Iqbal Issack confirmed that they have cleared all dues by Friday. It was said that the SLTA had not paid an amount of Rs. 15 million more..

School bus became her killer

Oct 27 (Island) A 16-year-old schoolgirl, studying at the Inigala Muslim school, in Katugastota, was run over and killed by her school bus yesterday morning, while she was crossing the road. Police spokesman SSP Jayakody said that the accident occurred around 7.20 a.m. and the victim, was Kalithulla Fatima Hapza. According to Katugastota police, the student had alighted from the bus and had tried to cross the road in front of the bus when the mishap occurred. He said that the schoolchildren and more..

Vaas to work with New Zealand

Oct 27 (NZH) Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Chaminda Vaas has been signed up as a specialist bowling coach by New Zealand and will help plot the downfall of the country he played 111 tests for. Vaas took 355 test wickets for Sri Lanka before retiring from international cricket in 2011. He recently finished a stint playing for Northamptonshire in the English county competition. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is looking to utilise more..

Colombo high-end perverts worse than touts, beach boys — foreigners

Oct 27 (Island) Several tourists, who were present at a forum recently, complained of sexual harassment in Sri Lanka and said physical sexual harassment in the country was the highest in the region. According to a recent study by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL), most of the foreign women had complained of such incidents. At a forum organized by the ECCSL to promote sustainable tourism, participating tourists said more..

Parenting on the frontline: when the war correspondent became a mother

Oct 27 (Guardian) For the first eight months, I hid my pregnancy from my bosses, terrified it would spell the end of my career as a foreign correspondent. I simply didn't know any other women in the field with children. I flew to London for job interviews wearing loose-fitting clothes to hide my burgeoning bump. Being based in Malaysia for the BBC at the time made it a lot easier to keep secret from my employers, though I had to more..

Hajj Messages

Oct 27 (DN) ‘I am pleased to send this message of greetings on the occasion of the celebration of Eid-Ul-Alha, the festival of Hajj, by the Sri Lankan Islamic community, together with their brethren the world over, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Hajj message. The message adds: “Culminating in the Hajj pilgrimage, this festival that is an embodiment of sacrifice, is the greatest annual event of the Islamic world. This year too, more..

'Is the Bar Association dead?'

Oct 27 (Island) Many a lawyer is worried about the manner in which the Bar Association of Sri Lanka is being run. What worries them most is the Association’s lethargy when it comes to important issues such as the attacks on the Judiciary, like that on Judicial Services Commission Secretary Manjula Thilekeratne and the earlier one on the Mannar Magistrate and Court complex. In fact some young lawyers are wondering whether the BASL is still alive, while some seniors say that more..

Vehicle pollution to be strictly monitored

Oct 27 (CT) Plans are underway to import 45 gas analyser machines from Germany at a cost of nearly Rs. 50 million to conduct a comprehensive roadside inspection, and more importantly, to measure air pollution levels in the country, a senior official said. Vehicle Emission Testing (VET) Programme, Project Director, A.W. Dissanayake said that the equipment will be here by December this year. He said the money to purchase the machines was allocated through the annual VET Programme budget more..

No conspiracy against President

Oct 27 (CT) A highly placed airline official ruled out the possibility of conspiracy or sabotage behind the recent incident where President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to change the air bus scheduled to fly to Dubai at the eleventh hour. SriLankan Airlines, CEO, Kapila Chandrasena said that the flight was changed due to a minute technical problem which he termed as a usual technical problem in planes. However, he said that more..

Southern Expressway ‘toll’ to hit Rs 1 bn mark soon

Oct 27 (DN) The Southern Expressway ‘toll’ revenue is likely to reach the Rs. one billion by next February, just one year since its operation. The country’s first highway from Kottawa to Galle covering a distance of 96 km has already earned over Rs 850 million up to now, a senior official from the Road Development Authority (RDA) said. The best months in terms of income has been the holiday months. “We earned approximately Rs 80 million in the months of August and April,” more..

Principals want parents to look after their children

Oct 27 (DM) Royal College and Thurstan College Principals warned parents that the schools would not take responsibility for any conflict between student groups outside the school premises in future and requested them to take full responsibility for their children’s protection. The Principals of the two schools met the parents of the students in grade 9,10,11,12 and 13 and discussed the reasons behind Tuesday’s clash where more than 400 students were involved with 5 students and more..

COPE guns for shirking dons

Oct 27 (Island) The Parliamentary watchdog COPE has observed that there were serious lapses on the university administrators. "According to details provided by the University Grants Commission on the number of lecture hours conducted by each lecturer in the year 2010, there were 117 lecturers whose number of lecture hours conducted for the entire year had been less than ten," COPE’s interim report for the period more..

Fuel prices to be increased?

Oct 27 (CT) Fuel prices are expected to be increased as a result of importing refined fuel due to the closure of the Sapukaskanda refinery and also due to the failure of purchasing crude oil when the prices in the world market drop, Senior CPC sources said. “According to sources at present a barrel of crude oil in World Market has dropped to Rs. 80. Usually the crude oil is purchased and stored when its international market price is dropped. Whereas the CPC had failed to place orders for the more..

'New Zealand have enough talent to win'

Oct 27 (CI) New Zealand have not enjoyed much success in 2012 so far, with defeats to South Africa, West Indies and India, and a Super Eights exit from the World Twenty20. They are determined to make amends on their five-week tour of Sri Lanka, and, according to allrounder Jacob Oram, are confident of doing so. "We are not here to lose and we are not here to just make up the [numbers], we want to win," Oram told reporters in Colombo on Friday. "If we play well we are confident that we can win. We do appreciate that Sri Lanka is a very good more..

Gotabhaya wins Jumbos’ hearts

Oct 27 (Island) The UNP-run Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) moved an unprecedented resolution praising Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for throwing his weight behind the administration. UNP admitted that the administration couldn’t survive without the Defence Secretary’s patronage and the ongoing mega city beautification project initiated by President Rajapaksa’s sibling, too, was beneficial to the CMC. more..

Protect historic values while developing country - President

Oct 27 (DN) The country should be developed while protecting historic values, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The President said so while participating in the opening ceremony of a library, a sanghawasa and an alms giving hall at Talpitiya, Wadduwa yesterday. Religious institutions are developing rapidly after the country was liberated from the terrorists, President said. He said when developing the country, our ancient heritage more..

Cashew cultivation takes root in A'pura

Oct 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has been engaged in promoting cashew cultivation in the Anuradhapura district. The corporation has been engaged in upgrading cashew cultivation in the district for years. Cashew cultivation has been expanded to around 6,000 acres. Cashew Corporation's North Central Provincial Manager Warushawithana told the Daily News that about 30,000 cashew plants will be distributed among growers at Grama Niladari division more..

Land grabbing in the name of development

Oct 27 (LB) It has come to light that authorities in the name of development are engaging in large scale land grabbing countrywide. Environmentalists and many environmental groups alleged that such acts of land grabbing have continued without hindrance throughout the country causing destruction to natural resources. “It goes without saying that the responsibility of any regime is not only to protect lands but also the more..

Message From Tokyo

Oct 27 (SL) Four key messages came out from the IMF-World Bank (WB) annual meetings which concluded in Tokyo last Sunday. They were that the global economy though still fragile, was however on the road to recovery; the importance of jobs and growth; the importance also of growth with equity, while the fourth was the interconnectivity of global economies, ipso facto from an economic perspective. The main pivot of the more..

'All PCs should have been consulted before Bill came to House'

Oct 27 (ST) When the Divineguma Bill was taken up by the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality, counsel for a petitioner said that for the very reason the Supreme Court had decided that the Divineguma Bill should not have been placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on August 10, it should not have been placed on the Order Paper for the second time on Oct 9. M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for Jaffna more..

New food hygiene guidelines for city from next week

Oct 27 (Island) New food hygiene regulations will be implemented by the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council from Thursday. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that under those regulations all food handlers in hotels, restaurants and eating houses would have to be registered with the Public Health Department. He said that for registration they would have to more..

Manju Wanniarachchi to return to boxing ring

Oct 27 (DM) Former National boxing champion Manjula Wanniarachchi will be back in action in the boxing ring soon as he has now completed his twoyear ban after testing positive for a banned drug at an international meet where he won a gold medal two years ago. Manjula’s two year ban ended on Oct 13 but he has been training on his own during the period of his ban and is now fit as a fiddle and ready to take on anyone in the ring. more..