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Over two million visit Divi Neguma Avurudu fairs

Apr 11 (MEA) The number of people making purchases at the Divi Neguma Avurudu fairs now being held in 407 main towns countrywide under the guidance of Minister Basil Rajapaksa, is expected to reach three million. The ministry has organized the fairs with the assistance of 19 state organizations including the Samurdhi Authority, Agrarian Development Department, Lak Sathosa, Second Community Development & Livelihood Improvement Project and the Cooperative Development more..

Tower Hall Artistes presetned with New Year gifts

Apr 11 (GDI) Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne said that many artistes who had shown their talents in the past have become helpless today and therefore under the guidance of President Rajapaksa a programme to strengthen the economy of the aged artistes will be formulated soon. The PM said so at aceremony held to give away New Year gifts to the registered artistes in the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation on Wednesday more..

Eight fishermen injured in two attacks by Sri Lankan Navy

Apr 11 (PTI) Eight fishermen were injured in separate incidents of attack allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing off Kodiakarai coast, fisheries department officials said today. Gunasekaran, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Nagapattinam, said four fishermen had put to sea in a fibreglass boat from Vanavanmahadevi near Nagapattinam when Lankan Navy allegedly attacked them with wooden logs while they were fishing few knots South East off Kodiakarai last night. more..

Coalition to bring in the drones against asylum boats

Apr 11 (SMH) Unmanned aerial drone surveillance will form part of a Coalition govt's measures to halt the flow of asylum seeker boats, defence spokesman Senator David Johnston has said. He also suggested officers on Customs and Navy boats in remote international waters would be given the job of deciding whether asylum seekers were genuine. Senator Johnston said on Thursday that the opposition would spend $1.5 billion on seven drones and aim to have them patrolling Australia's more..

TNA rejects army report

Apr 11 (CG) The TNA has rejected the report by the army court of inquiry, the first part of which was presented to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that it is a “joke” for the army court to conclude that army had not killed a single civilian during the war. He says the government must accept the truth, investigate the allegations and publicly accept its mistakes more..

Court orders release of TN fishermen

Apr 11 (PTI) A Sri Lankan court on Thursday ordered the release of 19 Indian fishermen, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 13 for allegedly fishing in that country’s waters, officials said. The fishermen, who were lodged in Anuradhapuram Prison, would arrive either on Friday or the day after, they said. Mannar Judicial Magistrate court Magistrate Sarbuddin ordered their release along with their four boats. Meanwhile, the Oorkavalthurai court extended upto more..

Palestinian Minister calls on President

Apr 11 (GDI) Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday morning at Temple Trees. One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was the importance of religious tolerance. Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash informed President Rajapaksa that he had met with the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and advised the organization on the importance of maintaining dignity and harmony between all communities. more..

ADB calls for power sector revamp

Apr 11 (DM) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recommended Sri Lanka to strengthen its energy sector by diversifying its traditional energy mix and improving cost reflective tariff mechanism. Increasing reliance on thermal energy alongside delayed construction of hydropower plants were highlighted as issues likely to have negative implications on Sri Lanka’s energy sector, in the ADB’s recently released Asian Development more..

‘You can’t describe the color of milk to the blind’

Apr 12 (NS) 69-year-old Mike Fernando is a self-taught astrologer and palmist and has a decent clientele which keeps him in business. One of the standout features about Fernando is that he has a positive approach to life and tells his clients that destiny can be changed if you are smart and get the right remedies for bad planetary influences. Some prominent personalities who have obtained his services are the late Gamini Fonseka, Susanthika Jayasinghe and the present Mayor of more..

Rajapaksa power-plays: Cheating Tamils and demonising Muslims

Apr 12 (DBS) The Rajapaksas are masters at the art of political marketing. They have developed an ‘all you need to know’ crash course in building innocuous facades to hide insalubrious realities. Perhaps all the people cannot be fooled all the time. For a while, at least. But, going by the Rajapaksa record, fooling all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time can more than suffice. Can the Rajapaksas continue to cheat the Tamils and demonise the Muslims more..

Stringent laws to check artifacts' theft

Apr 12 (SO) Artifacts are considered as the precious remaining evidence of a country’s bygone era. They not only hold a monetary value but also the cultural value of a country’s heritage which makes them priceless. Crafted and shaped by a human hand and dated back to pre-historic ages the preservation of these materialistic goods for the future generation is an important task that any responsible authority should perform. more..

Ignorance is cause for humility

Apr 12 (NS) I know nothing. I know nothing, except for the fact of my ignorance. What I know pales in comparison to what I don’t know. All that I am yet to learn till the day I die pales in comparison to all the knowledge that exists in this world; in this entire universe – which I’ll never know. I don’t know every little detail about the cell structure of a human. I don’t know what my neighbor is having for dinner. I don’t know what troubles him on a daily basis; or of the man on the bus sitting next to me. more..

What is Sri Lanka?

Apr 12 (CT) Character can be fate, for both individuals and collectives. The answer to where Sri Lanka is headed depends, at least in part, on what Sri Lanka is. In 1956, the dominant Sinhala opinion deemed that Sri Lanka was a Sinhala country; after two decades of resistance, the dominant Tamil opinion abandoned the struggle for equality, accepted that Sri Lanka was a Sinhala country and demanded a separate Tamil state on that basis. None clung to the myth of Sri Lanka more..

Vacationing with elephants

Apr 12 (ST) For Erin McClory and her family, elephants were the company they sought on their first family holiday in 15 years. “My mom volunteered with monkeys in South Africa last year, and decided she wanted to do a similar trip,” the young Canadian volunteer from Toronto said. The group of four picked to volunteer with the LEO (Life, Equality and Opportunity) foundation and spend time at an elephant conservation programme more..

Inter communal tensions a setback for national reconciliation

Apr 12 (CT) Sri Lanka’s attempts at National Reconciliation have received a major setback with the latest inter-communal tensions in several parts of the country. Picking up the pieces after a protracted and debilitating civil war that drained national resources for over three decades would be a daunting task for any country. If it is a country which is on the bottom half of the economic ladder the task of rebuilding becomes that much more difficult. Moreover, creating new problems for more..

Police 'powerlessness' and mob extremism orchestrated deliberately

Apr 12 (DBS) The govt’s portrayal of the Police in Sri Lanka quite deliberately runs contrary to this Vision. In this article, I wish to examine the underlying message the govt communicates to the public regarding the reliability of the Police, and to emphasize the dangers inherent in this message. Every month, the President issues a statement declaring the inadequacy of the Police in Sri Lanka. The declaration goes unnoticed; yet the portrayal of the Police it seeks to reinforce more..

Live with it

Apr 12 (CT) However, for the people of Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa, this Avurudu as were many others before it, is overshadowed by a mountain of garbage looming over their homes – not only repugnantly fouling up their beloved city and dispersing a nauseating stench for miles around, but also keeping away both precious relatives and valued businessmen from the area. The growing mountain of garbage, the accompanying more..

Editorial : A criminals’ paradise

Apr 12 (Island) Sri Lanka is a land like no other—for those who are on the wrong side of the law. They do not have to fear the consequences of their action as they could always use their political connections or resort to threats, intimidation and even violence to force their victims to withdraw complaints against them. The absence of strong witness protection laws has stood them in good stead. We come across an interesting term in one of Saki’s beautiful short stories—The Penance. He tells us about more..

Who poses a threat to India’s unity – US or Sri Lanka?

Apr 12 (CT) Just after the US resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva was successfully carried through with India’s backing, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a telling remark, pregnant with futuristic meaning. In essence, what he revealed was a conspiracy by the US and Western interests using the Tamil Diaspora as a cat’s paw to destabilize India through Tamil Nadu, in advance of a future separate State in the State; all the while pinning the blame on him (Rajapaksa) for the many sins more..

සුබ අවුරුද්දකට සරල මිනිසෙක්...

36 schools closed due to insufficient students in 2012

Apr 12 (FT) Last year, 36 schools were closed due to insufficient number of student found in them, which seriously questioned the viability of continuity, Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena said. Clarifying the Govt policy to revolutionise the school education in par with the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ political manifesto, Minister stated that 1,000 schools were identified and will be amalgamated and joined to a secondary school as a part of the ‘Mahindodaya’ development process. more..

SriLankan Cargo on course for record-breaking year

Apr 12 (Island) SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines has handled a record volume of 17329 metric tons of cargo in March which is the highest ever volume of cargo handled within a single calendar month. This month’s total exceeds July 2012 total of 16,136 metric tons. Having achieved an 8 per cent growth in the first quarter compared to the previous year, SriLankan Cargo is projecting a total load of 190,000 metric tons for this calendar year. "We are continually investing on more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar: The father I remember

Apr 12 (CT) Typically on a parent’s birth or death anniversary family members make a trip to the graveyard, place flowers, say a silent prayer or shed a tear. April 12, 2013 marks the 81st birth anniversary of my father Lakshman Kadirgamar, and for the first time since his assassination 8 years ago I am here for his birth anniversary, on Sri Lankan soil where the dastardly deed took place. However I have nowhere to more..

President only leader who restored peace – Vanni SLFP organizer

Apr 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader who brought peace, freedom and harmony to Sri Lanka by eradicating terrorism. The allegations by the TNA targeting the President and the present government cannot be accepted, Vanni and Kilinochchi districts SLFP organiser Geethanjali Naguleshwaran said. She was addressing a meeting at the Indian Deputy Commissioner’s Office with a team of Indian MPs who visited the Northern and Eastern provinces. more..

CEA head not happy with waste disposal

Apr 12 (DN) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) chairman Wimal Rubasinghe said he was not satisfied with the progress on solid waste management. He said except in a few local govt bodies, the common method followed by most local govt bodies in solid waste disposal is to bury it. Rubasinghe said 60 to 75% of the solid waste collected daily in the country is being buried in this manner. He said a successful solid waste management is impossible unless there is a systematic separation of solid waste. more..

Is JVP ready for a new leader?

Apr 12 (CT) The JVP is apparently poised for a makeover. Recently, Leader of the Party, Somawansa Amarasinghe hinted that there will be a leadership change. On April Heroes’ Day, last week, Amarasinghe is said to have mentioned to the members of the politburo and its Central Committee members, to expect a change and that he intends moving away for a young leader to takeover. Amarasinghe’s claim is the leadership is not a lifelong contract and that more..

Block trades perks up bourse: Turnover nudges billion, both indices up

Apr 12 (Island) The Colombo bourse yesterday saw a respectable turnover of Rs.940.5 million, up from the previous day’s Rs.309.4 million, with both indices moving up for the second consecutive day – the All Share by 19.07 points (0.33%) and S&P SL20 by 6.93 points (0.21%) with 130 gainers comfortably ahead of 57 losers while 124 counters closed flat. Brokers said that much of the day’s turnover came off block trades with 2.7 million HNB traded in four large parcels more..

Govt. pushing Sri Lanka towards international isolation: Ruwan

Apr 12 (FT) The Govt’s duplicitous and erratic foreign policy is costing Sri Lanka its friends in the world, propelling the country towards the kind of isolation faced by North Korea and Iran, the UNP warned. UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardene said that the Govt’s total rejection of the UNHRC resolution adopted against Sri Lanka in March, would have repercussions for Sri Lanka’s standing in the world “As a UN Member state, Sri Lanka enjoys privileges and also has its share of obligations. more..

Ultimatum to President

Apr 12 (CT) If President Rajapaksa does not agree to abolish the Executive Presidency, a broad front will be formed and a common candidate will be presented to contest the next presidential election, the National Association for a Just Society (NAJS) said. Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said after winning the presidential election, all powers held by the Executive Presidency will be handed over to Parliament more..

Unilever Executive Vice President visits SL

Apr 12 (FT) Nitin Paranjpe, Executive Vice President South Asia, Unilever and the CEO of Unilever in India, visited Unilever Sri Lanka (USL) yesterday. As a key market in South Asia, Nitin’s visit to Sri Lanka was aimed at reviewing Unilever Sri Lanka’s plans for the year. With a continued focus on customer and consumer centricity and execution excellence, Nitin engaged with the leadership team of Unilever Sri Lanka oninnovations, brand launches, market activation plans and the capability building more..

Fishermen withdraw stir plan

Apr 12 (Hindu) The Rameswaram fishermen, who had announced to lay siege to the Pamban road bridge on April 12, called off their proposed stir as the Mannar District Court in Sri Lanka has ordered the release of 19 fishermen, who were arrested on March 13. Acting judge M. M. Sarbudhin ordered the release of the fishermen with four of their trawlers, when they were produced before the court on Thursday, according to U. Arulanandham, president of the ARIF here. more..

Garbage in; garbage out

Apr 12 (DM) The Colombo Muncipal Council announced that it would not collect garbage that is not separated by households into degradable, glass and paper in an attempt to reduce the amount of garbage to be dumped in the Meethotamulla dumping site. At an emergency press briefing held at the CMC yesterday, the Council stated the new measures would reduce the amount of garbage dumped at Meethotamulla by atleast 25%. more..

Record paddy purchases: CWE workers get bonus after 15 years

Apr 12 (Island) The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has purchased 125,068 MT of paddy from the 2012-13 Maha season at a cost of Rs. 4,091 million. This is one of the largest purchases of paddy in recent years. The highest purchase of paddy was from the Ampara District (29,724 MT), followed by North Western zone (27,589 MT), Anuradhapura zone (23,748 MT), Polonnaruwa zone (14,976 MT), Southern zone (14,130 MT), Northern zone (8,063 MT) and Eastern zone (6,835 MT). more..

Japanese govt offers scholarship to Sri Lankan students

Apr 12 (GDI) The Govt of Japan will award scholarships to Sri Lankan students under the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: MEXT) Scholarship scheme 2014, in the categories of Postgraduate Research, Undergraduate and College of Technology. The closing date for applications to the Ministry of Higher Education is on 3rd May 2013. Selection of candidates will be done through an exam conducted jointly by the Japanese more..

SL sends over 10,000 housemaids in 2012

Apr 12 (DM) Despite calls by various pressure groups to end the practice of sending Sri Lankan housemaids to the Middle Eastern countries, the number of women departed seeking to be employed as housemaids in 2012 increased by 10,735 to 118,235 in 2012. Being the largest manpower category headed off for foreign employment in 2012, housemaids account for 42.3% of the total departures, up from 40.9% in 2011. more..

Businessman killed in Expressway accident

Apr 12 (DM) A 43-year-old businessman travelling with his family was killed when their jeep skidded and overturned at the 14.1 km post between Kahatuduwa and Gelanigama exits this morning. The deceased’s wife and daughter who were seriously injured were admitted to the Horana Hospital while his son escaped unhurt. They were on their way to Galle, when they met with the accident. The jeep driven by the businessman had hit the centre fence when it toppled. more..

Video: US delegations to visit SL

Apr 12 (DM) Two delegations of US Congress Members are to visit Sri Lanka this year and the next following a pledge given by the Sri Lankan govt to support USA’s Asia Pacific Programme, the UNP charged today. UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva told a news conference that Sri Lankan Ambassador in USA Jaliya Wickramasekera on behalf of the Sri Lankan government had informed the US government that it would support the Asia Pacific programme. more..

JHU slams govts casino plans

Apr 12 (Island) In the wake of the govts push to open up the countrys casino industry to international developers, the JHU urged it to reveal the areas where the casinos would be located. The JHU said that it was vehemently opposed to the establishment of casinos in Sri Lanka and criticized the way the casinos were expanding in the country. Speaking of the govts intention to develop tourism industry with the more..

Sri Lankan steals CHOGM funds

Apr 12 (CG) A finance manager at the Commonwealth Secretariat was jailed for 20 months today after stealing £375,00 of aid money with bogus expenses claims and fake contracts, the Times UK reported. A judge questioned why it was so easy for Pradeep Moorthy to steal the money for four years after he became addicted to gambling following a trip to Las Vegas. Britain gives the Secretariat £15 million of taxpayer funding each year, about a third of its total budget. more..

'Sri Lanka's biggest cultural festival'

Apr 12 (DN) The New Year is Sri Lanka's biggest cultural festival conducted from times immemorial. It reminds us about the wonder of the earth linked to the activity of the Sun. Sri Lankans nurtured by an agricultural lifestyle received the new year meaningfully and gained delight and enjoyment, states President Rajapaksa in a Sinhala, Hindu New Year message. The message adds: "The true happiness of new year is safeguarded by a verdant and free and independent country. more..