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Right of Reply

Apr 16 (DM) Your Editorial referred above commenced with a statement that the “Politicization of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary began in 1996 with the appointment of Sarath N. Silva as Chief Justice …”. This comment is factually incorrect and leads to an adverse impression in the public mind as to my appointment as Chief Justice. Hence as a regular reader of your newspaper I would kindly request you to give adequate publicity to this clarification. In 1996 I was not appointed as more..

CFL bulbs: A household friend but a foe of the environment

Apr 16 (ST) The threat of waterways being contaminated by mercury due to improper disposal of CFL bulbs has prompted govt authorities to draw up a plan to buy back used CFL bulbs, a senior environment official said. The improper disposal of CFL bulbs is posing an environmental hazard with waterways at risk of mercury contamination, experts warn. This has prompted govt authorities to draw up a plan to buy back used CFL blubs, more..

Demand for cancellation of Katchatheevu agreement with Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (IANS) Holding that there was no legislation for ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1974, DMK-backed Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) today said it would move the Supreme Court against the agreement. The TESO meeting, headed by DMK president M Karunanidhi adopted a resolution in this regard, saying the islet was ceded by India to Sri Lanka despite the then DMK Govt's opposition. more..

JVP breathes fire on govt demanding justice

Apr 16 (SL) The JVP has vowed to continue to demand justice for the comrades killed en masse in Matale during the insurgency in the 1988-1989 period. Following the discovery of the mass grave in the Matale Hospital premises and the announcement made by court that the skeletal remains belonged to the period of 1986 and 1990, the JVP says that it is now clear that the remains unearthed from the mass grave are of more..

'Gold fall an opportunity for Central Banks to buy'

Apr 16 (BN) Falling gold prices amid the worst selloff in more than three decades provide an opportunity for monetary authorities to increase their holding of the metal, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. The South Asian island will also be examining “quite favorably” the opportunity to purchase more gold to bolster its foreign-exchange reserves, Cabraal said in an interview with Rishaad Salamat more..

Less from the US

Apr 16 (CT) Economist and UNP MP, Dr. Harsha de Silva, described as 'unfortunate' the proposal by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, for a 20% cut in aid to Colombo, especially as the USA is important to Sri Lanka and was crucial in helping the govt overcome the LTTE. "The govt of Sri Lanka said it doesn't matter much, because the amounts cut off are very small. But it is the thinking which matters – it doesn't more..

TNA says it does not need ISGA

Apr 16 (Island) The TNA yesterday said it had not asked for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Northern Province till the provincial polls were held. This follows news reports that the TNA, with Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and civil society members, had asked a visiting delegation of Indian MPs to press the Govt of Sri Lanka to establish an ISGA. Asked whether his party had requested the GoSL for an ISGA and more..

Govt plays down US aid cut

Apr 16 (CG) The govt says the decision taken by the United States to cut aid to Sri Lanka will not have an affect on the country. Government information department statement quoted a senior govt official as saying that the aid reduction to Sri Lanka is as a result of the continued economic trend in the US. It was reported yesterday that US secretary of state John Kerry had proposed a 20% cut in the American aid to Colombo. more..

US reminds Lanka on media freedom

Apr 16 (CG) The United States has reminded the Sri Lankan govt that support for media freedom was one of the many recommendations of the LLRC report and a component of the recent UNHCR resolution in Geneva. Acting State Department Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said the US condemns the reported attack against the Uthayan newspaper recently. He said the incident is the latest in a series of attacks more..

Sobhitha Thera denies planning to contest 2016 presidential polls

Apr 16 (Island) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera denied that he had plans to contest the next Presidential elections as the Opposition’s common candidate. "I have no aspirations to contest the Presidential polls as a common candidate, but the movement that I head will choose a candidate in the event President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not abolish the Executive Presidency prior to the 2016 elections," Ven. Sobhitha told The Island more..

'Separate system of governance for N&E won’t be a reality'

Apr 16 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has told a visiting Indian parliamentary delegation that a separate system of governance for the Northern and Eastern Provinces would never be a reality. He was responding to a TNA suggestion, made through the six-member Indian delegation, during a meeting last Thursday. He alleged that the TNA had been repeating the LTTE demands since the conclusion of the more..

Editorial: Some lessons we never learn

Apr 16 (CT) The traditional Sinhala and Hindu New Year is an event that enlivens our society, reaffirms our values and strengthens our familial bonds. It is a special period during which the entire nation, or at least a greater part of its population, follows one specific routine; of which otherwise mundane chores – such as cooking the traditional New Year milk rice, partaking the New Year meal, bathing for the old year and the New Year, leaving for the vocation, and so forth – are to be executed at more..

An honest reckoning of a tormented past

Apr 16 (CT) Those who murmured of ‘collateral damage’ and looked the other way when civilians were mowed down during the last days of the Wanni conflict in May 2009 certainly share a common callousness with those who shrugged their shoulders when previous govts of a different colour killed the ‘Southern terrorists’ of the JVP with all the ruthlessness at its command, more than two and a half decades ago. In a large measure, these may even belong to the same social group, more..

Top croc experts will flock to Colombo

Apr 16 (Island) Nearly 100 experts are expected to arrive in Colombo next month for the first World Crocodile Conference to be held in the region. All Regional Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, PhD students and veterinary students will be in delegations attending the conference. Leading herpetologist, Crocodile Species Group, Regional Chairman South Asia and Iran, Anslem de Silva said that experts from all developed nations and more..

LTTE flag removed at UK Theme Park

Apr 16 (Island) A member of the Sri Lanka community in the UK had brought to the notice of the Sri Lanka Mission there, via an e-mail on April 10, that an LTTE flag was being flown at the entrance of the Theme Park in Mitcham, a suburb of London, with the flags of some other countries, External Ministry sources said. Two officials of the Sri Lanka High Commission had visited the site and explained to the organisers that the flag was of the LTTE, a banned terrorist organization more..

Sri Lanka fiscal and monetary authorities in harmony: officials

Apr 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's monetary and fiscal policy is in harmony with both authorities aiming for stability low inflation, and the presence of a Treasury official in the central bank was a not a threat to its independence, officials said. The secretary to the finance ministry is an ex-officio member of the Monetary Board, he rate setting governing board of Sri Lanka's central bank. In the face of high inflation and currency depreciation generated by the Central Bank by printing money to finance deficit more..

Sri Lanka should stop ad hoc, shock tariff increases: power users

Apr 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka should stop raising power tariffs suddenly by large percentages after driving the economy to crisis, but use an already established methodology to revise prices in an orderly way, consumers said. "These ad hoc tariff increases are bad of the industry," Srilal Miththapala, representing hotels at a public hearing on proposed tariff hike called by the regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said. more..

Unexpected rains bring relief to CEB

Apr 16 (Island) Unexpected New Year rains have brought much relief to the power sector as the water levels in hydro-electricity reservoirs increased by over 50%. CEB Chairman Ariyaratne Ganegala and senior engineers, prior to the Sinhala-Tamil New Year, assured that plans were underway to maintain an uninterrupted supply by managing all existing resources. With incessant rains over most catchment areas, the debt ridden CEB is now in a position to cut down on the additional power more..

Action to be taken against editorial staff

Apr 16 (CT) 'The MRIA'- a glossy one-hundred-page souvenir, which was distributed among the distinguished guests including diplomats heading overseas missions in Sri Lanka, at the launch of the Mattala Airport on 24 March, contained a multitude of embarrassing linguistic and grammatical errors making the souvenir more mortifying than memorable. According to reliable sources, the matter has been brought to the attention of President Rajapaksa, to institute relevant more..

Eravur double murder a teen job

Apr 16 (Island) The Eravur police investigating the killing of fancy goods businessman and his wife on April 7 have arrested the victims’ 16-year-old daughter, her boyfriend and two of their friends. The suspects were arrested on Sunday afternoon. The police said that all suspects were in their teens. The suspects had been taken into custody a week after the police investigations revealed their alleged links to the killings. more..

Stocks up on foreign buying after Central Bank rate decision

Apr 16 (Reuters) Shares hit a two-and-a-half month high on Tuesday, led by foreign buying, after the central bank said there would be room for further monetary policy easing, though it freezed the key policy rates for April. Before the stock market opened, the island nation's central bank kept key monetary policy rates unchanged for a fourth straight month, as expected, but left the door open for easing later as inflation is expected to slow further. The main stock index gained 0.22%, more..

Sri Lanka’s first honorary consul in Namibia

Apr 16 (GDI) On the approval of the Minister G.L. Peiris the Sri Lankan High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa appointed Sackey Aipinge as Sri Lanka’s first Honorary Consul in Namibia. Aipinge is a specialist in industrial relations and arbitration and has wide ranging commercial involvements which include directorships in companies engaged in financial services, construction and transportation. Aipinge is also a long standing member of the SWAPO ruling party which at its inception more..

Lanka rights situation in 2012 of serious concern: UK

Apr 16 (PTI) The UK remains "seriously concerned" over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, especially with regard to freedom of expression of people and the media besides judicial independence, Britain's foreign office has said in a report. "The human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2012 remained of serious concern, with a number of negative developments, including with regard to freedom of expression and media more..

Let's build Sri Lankan Nation to safeguard all communities – Lal Kanthe

Apr 16 (LT) Sri Lanka needs a humanitarian system sans communalism and religious fanaticism. A Sri Lankan Nation should be created that will safeguard all communities says former JVP MP and President of National Trade Union Center K.D. Lal Kanthe. Speaking at a meeting held in Kegalle which is a part of the programme of meetings being held by the JVP throughout the island under the theme 'A rational country, a just society & an independent human being' Mr. Lal Kanthe said, more..

Top woman prison officer gets one too many a visitor

Apr 16 (Island) Prison authorities are puzzled over the arrival of an unusual number of visitors to meet a top female official at Welikada. On one particular day recently, she received visitors who had come in eight different vehicles and it had led to a top level probe to find out who the important visitors were. Sources said that authorities were trying to ascertain the owners of those vehicles and the reasons for the visits. Commissioner General of Prisons C. Pallewela has decided to more..

Hulugalle outfoxes CID – JVP

Apr 16 (LT) Govt's hollow statements cannot conceal the truth regarding torching of 'Uthayan' newspaper press and the Director General of the MCNS Lakshman Hulugalle, outfoxing the CID, has 'revealed' an important matter regarding the incident says the JVP in a press release regarding the torching of 'Uthayan' newspaper printing press. The statement in full: Three days have gone by since setting fire to the printing press of more..

Sri Lanka President condemns Boston attack

Apr 16 (GDI) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to US President condemned the Boston bomb attack while conveying condolences over loss of lives. An explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday killed three people and injured more than 140. Two bombs exploded about 10 seconds and 100 yards apart at about 2:50 p.m. Monday in Boston’s Copley Square, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more..

Amanresorts offers fort & beach journey in Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (LTM) Galle Fort has been written about for centuries as fabled Serendib's main trading port of call. As a gateway to the Orient in the 19th century, up to 700 passengers disembarked each day from steamers, thronging the narrow streets and bazaars behind the Fort’s rampart walls to trade in sapphires, rubies, Sinhalese lace, cinnamon and carved ebony. With parasols and tropical topees in hand, ladies and gentlemen would board horse-drawn carriages only to alight again at more..

'There can be development only through production economy'

Apr 16 (LT) When the white man gave up his rule in 1948 Sri Lanka was not in debt. Since then 'Kalu Sudddhas' have been ruling the country and has made each person in the country indebted to the tune of Rs.335,000 says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a meeting held in Kegalle which is a part of the programme of meetings being held by the JVP throughout the island under the theme 'A rational country, a just society more..

Membership of export and consultative committees a mystery

Apr 16 (Island) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardena yesterday admitted that he was not aware of the names of those on the Expert and Parliamentary Consultative committees appointed to look into the import of fertilisers. He said that a total ban on the import of four toxic agro-chemicals had been based on the recommendations by the expert committee, appointed by the Agriculture Ministry. The recommendations made by that expert committee would be submitted to more..

Sirasa lodges complaint with the police

Apr 16 (CG) The MTV and MBC network (Sirasa) has received information of a possible attack on its journalists. An official of the network said that a complaint was lodged with the Slave Island police regarding the information it received. The official said that they were taking the information very seriously as in 2009 similar information was received just before the Depanama studio of the network was attacked. Meanwhile in a news item aired on Sirasa, the network said that more..

Bangladeshi hackers attack Sri Lankan govt websites again

Apr 16 (softpedia) Ablaze Ever, a member of the Bangladeshi Grey Hat Hackers (BGHH), has defaced three websites of the Sri Lankan govt. The affected sites are the ones of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms (, the Chief Govt Whip of Parliament (, and the Deyata Kirula Exhibition (, HackRead informs. According to the hackers, they’ve breached the sites as a form of protest against more..

New Year revelry sends 480 to hospital

Apr 16 (Island) The National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) said that 480 persons had been injured during the two days of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. Team Leader of the NHSL Accident Service, Pushpa Ramyani de Zoysa said that the two days of festivities on Saturday and Sunday had seen 235 of the injured admitted to hospital. She said that the number of those injured during Avurudu revelries had increased by approximately 5% since last year, more..

China lauds efforts to boost handloom textile industry

Apr 16 (GDI) China’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao lauded the Economic Development Ministry’s efforts to uplift the living conditions of about 1000 handloom textile weavers in Upper Madampella, Divulapitiya. This village is well-known for the handloom textile industry. Ambassador Jianghao said this when he addressed a ceremony held in connection with the distribution of handlooms among 57 weavers who completed their training at the Upper Madampella more..

Jayantha Dharamdasa becomes president of Sri Lanka Cricket

Apr 16 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's first election by secret ballot concluded peacefully with Jayantha Dharmadasa and Nishantha Ranatunga being elected uncontested for the two most powerful posts of president and secretary respectively. The majority of office-bearers elected for the main posts last year were retained, with the exception of Asanga Seneviratne, who lost his seat as vice-president to Mohan de Silva. That was the only major upset more..

Kandyan Kings, Unani Medicine and Buddhist Extremists

Apr 17 (CT) There is no doubt that Muslims have been loyal citizens of Sri Lanka throughout Sri Lankan history. They fought with Sinhalese to protect the Island from the onslaught of colonial powers. Dewaraja notes that “when the Portuguese first appeared off the shoes of Sri Lanka, the Muslims warned the kings, sangha, nobles and the people of the potential threat to the country’s sovereignty. When the Portuguese tried to gain a foothold in Colombo, the Muslims provided more..

Tamil Nadu in ferment: Sri Lanka and the future of the Tamils

Apr 17 (CT) What is seen in Tamil Nadu now are the words of Nehru in full flush. The students and the youth have given expression to their depth of feeling in ample measure. An emotional upsurge sparked by the continuing tragedy of Tamils in Sri Lanka has rolled over to spurning the traditional political leadership in Tamil Nadu. Herein lies the significance of the struggle which defines an altogether new political direction in the state. The change in its incipient stage as of now more..

A dignified life for traditional launderers

Apr 17 (SO) For many who visit Navam Mawatha and Perahera Mawatha in Colombo, which are considered important areas in the city, the site where thousands of dirty linen being dried in the sunlight may be an unusual scene. They may wonder whether this traditional job still exists in the centre of Colombo city even at a time when people are having more sophisticated means of washing linen. But the harsh truth is that these more..

Diet control and power cuts for Avuruddha

Apr 17 (SL) Two old boys, Nodath (ND) and Sududath (SD) of the Forward School for Backward Boys hugged and exchanged the traditional Avurudhu greetings as they did at school – Happy Avurudhu umbatai mattai. Without wasting time they told their best waiter at the Water-hole to bring the best of the old stuff available with the usual paraphernalia – soda, ice, etc. We are patriots and must help Mahinda to bridge the budget deficit, SD the pro Rajapaksa fan noted pouring out more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Are you listening?

Apr 17 (GV) After nearly 7 years of postgraduate education and independent research experience abroad, I returned to Sri Lanka in mid 2003, to work in my mother country Sri Lanka that gave me free education all the way upto university level. When I left Johns Hopkins University in USA, some of my friends cautioned me of the danger I might face in a possible breakout of the war in Sri Lanka. Still, a strong compulsion kept me firm on the decision to return. When I was interviewed by more..