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India disburses Rs 2.28 bn among 15,000 IDPs in Northern Lanka

Apr 25 (Island) India has so far disbursed SLR 2.28 billion among 15,586 internally displaced beneficiaries in Sri Lanka's civil war-ravaged Northern Province, according to latest information available. India has undertaken to help build 50,000 homes for IDPs in Northern, Eastern, Central, Uva provinces by providing financial assistance. The housing project in the Eastern province will be launched next month. more..

The final frontier of a retrogressive journey

Apr 26 (DBS) Within seven years, the Rajapaksas conquered the govt, occupied the state and subdued the society. With Basil Rajapaksa’s appointment as the National Organiser, the Siblings are set to breach the last frontier: the SLFP. If Ranil Wickremesinghe did not exist, the Rajapaksas would have had to create him. Since he does, and Sajith Premadasa is no better in terms of effectiveness, the Siblings do not have to be overly concerned about the UNP. The JVP is too busy waiting for its more..

Cool Kandy experiences climate change

Apr 26 (NS) Up country has always been the location of choice for vacations, and the hill country is crowded with visitors during the school holidays, especially in April and December, and in August too. The attraction of the hill country also known as upcountry never seems to fade and through the years the ritual of holidaying there remains. The cool breeze in the hills when it sweeps across fatigued faces is bliss to the soul and is sought by many in the country. more..

Efficient sewerage system to enhance Colombo's image

Apr 26 (SO) With the ongoing Colombo city beautification programs, improving its infrastructure to meet the demands of the increasing population and development needs has become a challenging task. It is not only the outward appearance but also having basic hygiene facilities in keeping with the increasing population and development requirements has become an essential part of the development drive if it is more..

Bodhirajaramaya offers tranquility to Negombo Buddhists

Apr 26 (NS) Golden Era (1930-1955) According to records available, the period of twenty five years from 1930 to 1955 is considered the ‘Golden era’ of the temple and Buddhism in Negombo, under the leadership of M.B Sri Medhankaratissa thera. “He (the monk aforementioned) rendered a great service towards the temple and was popular among the public, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike,” a source noted. In 1939 however, at the cost of Rs. 8000,000 the temple had been more..

India’s vote against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC was a well-calculated decision

Apr 26 (DBS) The debate about the ‘emergence’ or ‘re-emergence’ of India as an important player at the world stage goes on the one hand. On the other, the Indian state is confronted with a major challenge, as regions (provinces) are asserting their rights and able to influence the foreign policy discourse. In addition, critics point out recent setbacks of Indian foreign policy in the Maldives and to a certain extent in Sri Lanka as signs of its non-arrival at the international arena since Indian foreign policy more..

Daya Master for Northern Poll: Govt's political bankruptcy in the North

Apr 26 (DBS) The Govt in general and the ruling family in particular, do not show any signs of learning any lesson from history. The local govt elections concluded more than two and half years ago on July 23, 2011 and exactly twenty four years after the infamous ambush of thirteen armed soldiers at Thirunelveli, Jaffna and the riots that it ensued in the South of Sri Lanka, the Tamils of Jaffna once again passed a crushing verdict more..

Cabraal talks of ‘rupees and reservoirs’ to Wall Street Journal

Apr 26 (FT) Conscious of its ballooning currency reserves, the Central Bank last year made the decision to limit its intervention in the foreign exchange market. That initially saw the rupee drop around 17% against the dollar, but it has since recovered more than half of its losses. On the sidelines of the IMF’s spring meetings in Washington, DC, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal gave The Wall Street Journal an update on how the new regime is working more..

Beyond collective egos: Our relational grounds of belonging and faith

Apr 26 (GV) While racial hatred burns, with fires so ably lit by the ignorant on both sides of Palk Straits, there is another source of energy – hidden from view but none the less real – that burns deep inside. For the Sinhala Buddhist today, regaining identity and faith is necessarily bound up with reclaiming a lost inheritance. This inheritance is our cultural relationship with India or Maha Bharata which shaped and moulded our broad sense of “Sinhalese-ness” and “Buddhist-ness” for more..

Boston Lanka: April 26, 2013

BBS, Right to marry four wives and racism as a political tool

Apr 26 (CT) The govt of President Rajapakasa is vexing eloquent that his, is a govt under which democracy thrives and the rights of all peoples in the country are protected irrespective of their ethnicity, religion and language. But what the whole world witnesses is something different. Fanatically racist forces are committing racist crimes either under the protection or acquiescence of the law enforced organs of the govt and sometimes being aided and abetted by them. more..

Adventures of Pablo Neruda in Ceylon

Apr 26 (CT) Pablo Neruda, a well celebrated Chilean poet and Nobel laureate for literature in 1971, had always been a controversial figure not so much in literature but in politics and personal life. Apart from being a famous poet, he had been a diplomat, political activist and a Senator. I have never been very much into literature or poetry thus my main attraction to Neruda was his intriguing political life. In addition, he was the Chilean Consul in Colombo during 1929-30 and reported to have again more..

The puff that kills fertility

Apr 26 (CT) Last month, the BBS agitated for a ban on the 'irreversible contraceptive procedure' performed on women, claiming the inhumanely hard-hearted concept would inevitably serve to reduce the population of the country by a significant degree. The BBS was quick to point a finger at the NGOs, which were conducting Ligation and Resection of Tubes (LRT) procedure on women who had two or more children, more..

Editorial : Hypocrites as angels

Apr 26 (Island) The latest power tariff hike has become a hot potato of sorts for govt politicians. President Rajapaksa claims, or is generously given, the credit for his govt’s achievements, but whenever something goes wrong, the blame is passed on to others. There has been a war of words between Minister of Power Pavithra Wanniarachchi and her predecessor Champika Ranawaka with the former claiming that the unprecedented power hike is the latter’s brainchild. more..

The house that became the Uthayan office

Apr 26 (CT) Traditional Jaffna houses are built around a courtyard with beautifully carved, wooden pillars. One such house, known as 'Kasthuriar Valavu,' remains intact in the heart of Jaffna, despite the heavy artillery and aerial bombardments that had destroyed many other well-built traditional houses in the Peninsula during the time of the conflict that lasted nearly three decades. The occupants of many of these houses were forced to seek refuge in underground bunkers they had built to more..

Eran attacks electricity hike

Apr 26 (FT) The electricity tariff hike will not have the desired effect and will further burden the people and hamper the economy, notes UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne, charging that the unacceptable economic policies of the present Govt breed inefficiency and corruption. Finding scapegoats is totally unacceptable, he stresses, adding that this Govt has failed to realise that it has been in power for more than 18 more..

Strategy of tension versus national unity

Apr 26 (GV) The power system in modern societies is polycentric and therefore there are innumerable movers and shakers that influence society either in conflict or conciliation. Compared with olden societies, relying on a few powerful stakeholders does not lead to quick fix of problems due to its multi-polar nature. Therefore the advocates of social harmony and peace should understand the real nature of the problems at hand and understand how they should be addressed. more..

Outgoing Philippines envoy calls on President

Apr 26 (FT) The outgoing non-resident Philippines ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bahnarim Abu Guinomla, called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Tress on Wednesday. While thanking Sri Lanka for its hospitality during his tenure, Guinomla said to the President, “Under your leadership, tremendous progress has been made.” During the conversation with Ambassador Guinomla, President Mahinda Rajapaksa requested Philippines to consider establishing an embassy in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian High Commissioner pays farewell calls on Mahanayake Theros

Apr 26 (FT) The High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha visited the Central Province on 22 and 23 April, and paid farewell calls on the Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte Chapter, Asgiriya Chapter and Ramagna Chapter. During the calls, the Mahanayake Theros highlighted the relationship between India and Sri Lanka of more than 2,500 years, built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic more..

Awards for Environment Friendly Schools

Apr 26 (DN) Janadhipathi Vidyalaya, Matara won the All Island first place at the 'Best Environment Friendly School of the Year' competition organized by the Green Forest Association for the fifth consecutive year at 'Navaragahala' Royal College last month. Holy Angels Girl's College, Kuliyapitiya and Udaranwala Vidyalaya, Ratnapura won the second and third places respectively at the competition respectively. Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Champika Ranawaka, more..

Ministry to monitor quality of Basmathi Rice

Apr 26 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry will strictly monitor the quality of imported Basmathi Rice. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said the quality of imported Basmati rice is sub-standard. He said though Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in rice, we still have to import Basmati rice, specially for the tourist industry. "India and Pakistan are the main exporters of high quality Basmati rice. Basmati rice can be cultivated under special climatic conditions. Hot weather during the day and cool weather at more..

Sajith blames Foreign Ministry for international setbacks

Apr 26 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa yesterday alleged that Sri Lanka was facing a massive onslaught on the diplomatic front, over accountability issues, due to the External Affairs Ministry’s failure to defend the country. Former UNP Deputy Leader Premadasa said that External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris, Deputy Minister Neomal Perera and Foreign Secretary Karunathilake Amunugama should take the more..

Foundation stone for Mahatma Gandhi Centre laid in Matale

Apr 26 (Island) The SLR 88.60-million Mahatma Gandhi International Centre in Matale in the Central Province, for which the foundation stone was laid on Monday, will be ready in one year. Fully funded by the Indian Government, the Centre will have an auditorium, library, and a conference hall to cater to the wider needs of the local community. The foundation stone was laid by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha. The ceremony was held in the presence of more..

UNP wants international observers for polls

Apr 26 (PTI) The UNP called for the deployment of international observers to monitor the provincial council elections in September in the Tamil-dominated north. "There has to be a group of international and Commonwealth election observers at the elections. They need to be deployed from the day the nominations would be closed," Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP leader told reporters today in Jaffna. He also called for the removal of the present Northern Province governor, G A Chandrasiri, more..

'Don’t believe false propaganda'

Apr 26 (Island) EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda last Sunday urged Northern Province residents not to get carried away by false propaganda disseminated by some self-centered Opposition politicians. An EPDP spokesman quoted the minister as having said the government had started mega development projects just after the war ended in 2009 and was still continuing with the construction projects for more..

Puttalam PS Chairman killed in accident

Apr 26 (Island) The UPFA Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha chairman, 40-year-old Diluk Pathirage was killed in a road accident early yesterday morning near the Deduru Oya Bridge. His driver, too, was injured and rushed to the Chilaw hospital. He was on his way back home when tragedy struck around 2.00 am. According to investigations conducted so far, the victim’s speeding vehicle had crashed into the rear of a truck proceeding in the same direction on the Puttalam-Colombo main road, more..

UNP refused access to HSZ

Apr 26 (CG) A UNP delegation was refused access to a High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikamam, Jaffna this evening. Reports from Jaffna said that the delegation including UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake and General Secretary Tissa Attanayake were prevented from entering the area. The UNP delegation currently on a visit to Jaffna with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, had attempted to inspect the area which has been earmarked to be acquired by the govt. more..

Unions to meet political parties next week

Apr 26 (CT) Extensive discussions will be held with all the political parties in the country in the coming week regarding the increased electricity bill, People's Movement Against the Increased Electricity Bill (PMAIEB) said yesterday. PMAIEB committee member, Saman Ratnapriya, confirmed the meetings would be held with both govt and opposition parties. "We will be meeting members of the LSSP, DP, UNP, more..

Retrieve lands in Tamil areas: PMK

Apr 26 (ENS) PMK founder-leader Dr S Ramadoss on Wednesday urged the UN and the Union govt to immediately intervene in retrieving 7,000 sqkm of Tamil areas and prevent heavy militarisation of the Tamil provinces in Sri Lanka. In a statement here, Ramadoss said the Lankan govt had acquired 6,400 acres in north and eastern Valikamam for setting up the Jaffna Zonal Army Headquarters in continuation of the extensive militarisation of the North and Eastern provinces. more..

JVP to file FR petition on behalf of Matale mass grave victims

Apr 26 (LT) The JVP has decided to take legal action regarding the rights of those who said to have been buried after torture in the mass grave at Matale says the JVP coordinator for Matale Gamagedera Dissanayake. He said details necessary to take before the court are being collected at present assuming on reports presented to court by Prof Raj Somadewa and JMO Dr. Ajith Jayasena that the buried in the mass grave are those who were tortured and killed and disappeared during more..

CEB auditing: Ganegala refutes Costa’s claim

Apr 26 (Island) CEB Chairman W. B. Ganegala denied PUCSL chief, Dr. Jayatissa Costa’s allegation that internal auditing was almost non-existent at the CEB. Meanwhile, govt sources said that Minister and General Secretary of the DLF Vasudeva Nanayakkara had on Wednesday night had asked for a meeting of Cabinet of ministers to discuss the power hike but in vain. Dr. Costa alleged that waste, corruption and irregularities more..

Supermarkets in overpricing scandal

Apr 26 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority yesterday commenced raiding all supermarkets in the country, following complaints that vegetables and fruits are sold above the displayed price. CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said the Authority received a number of public complaints about supermarkets in various parts of the country where vegetables and fruits are sold beyond the prices on display. The CAA flying squad raided over 33 supermarkets in Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, more..

Docs call off today’s strike

Apr 26 (Island) A doctors’ token strike scheduled for today has been called off following the GMOA receiving a positive response from the Salaries and Cadre Commission. The GMOA had decided to launch its 24-hour strike today in protest against the failure of the Salaries and Cadre Commission to submit the Health Ministry’s recommendations on the service minute of the grade medical officers, especially the promotional prospects of the doctors, to the PSC for approval. more..

Excise Dept. officials ban sale of liquor to women

Apr 26 (CT) Members of the Excise Department have reportedly been travelling to supermarkets and taverns around the city seeking to enforce a previously unenforced law, which prevents the sale of liquor to women. According to the Nawala Keells branch manager, Camella Balasuriya, two members of the Excise Department had visited the store recently. They had reprimanded the sales attendant at the liquor counter when she more..

Korean EPS, only legal way for foreigners to find jobs

Apr 26 (DN) South Korea’s Employment Permit System (EPS) is the only legal way through which a foreign worker could find a job in the country and those who promise to find employment by other means are fraudsters trying to dupe job seekers, Director General of Korean EPS center in Sri Lanka Kim Kyun Hyun said. Hyun attached to the EPS Center of the Human Resources Development Department in Korea said his country’s EPS system is a govt-to-govt hiring scheme for more..

Tariff hike not needed if govt. followed IMF pact: UNP

Apr 26 (DM) UNP MP Ajith Perera told today that had the govt followed the agreements of the IMF in a more realistic manner when covering up losses in the CEB, increasing tariffs would not have been required today. “The IMF had requested the govt to break even the CPC and the CEB, to release the loans in 2009 and 2010,” he said. “Now that the IMF had refused to give any loans for the next year, the govt turned towards China. But China also refused to lend any money because the situation in more..

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in crucial meeting today

Apr 26 (FT) Sri Lanka is likely to feature during a meeting of the Commonwealth’s most powerful eight-member body in London today, with Canada hinting it is seeking a shift in the venue and Tamil Nadu political parties, international lawyers grouping and human rights activists lobbying against allowing Colombo to host a key Commonwealth summit in November. The Govt has consistently denied that Sri Lanka would more..

Editorial: The tariff foundling and its energy policy parents

Apr 26 (DM) Tariffs are parentless babies and the fact is emphasised when they grow up. Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi passed the tariff baby to her predecessor Champika Ranawaka, who refuses to accept paternity. Parentage notwithstanding, the baby is alive and growing and it is the general public that has to deal with it. To the credit of Ranawaka, he has never shied away from fielding tough questions on tariffs (or on any other matter) in a sober, rational manner. more..

Social contours of the cost of living crisis

Apr 26 (DM) The cost of living crisis in Sri Lanka is a real one. It is also serious. Otherwise a majority of the people would not be complaining about it on a daily basis. At the same time, this is a problem with no simple solution that the govt can come up with, because it is structurally rooted and needs to be addressed through a process of long term economic restructuring. But this is easier said than done. An increasing proportion of the labour force has moved away from productive activities over the last more..

Sri Lanka state bus utility loses increase to Rs3.8bn

Apr 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka Transport Board's losses rose 15.5% to 3.8 billion rupees and the Treasury had given 3.6 billion rupees in taxes collected from the people for loss making routes. Revenues rose 25.1% to 26.3 billion rupees helped by a 20% fare increase from Feb 2012. But operating expenses had risen 23.8% to 30.1 billion rupees, pushing operating losses up 15.5% to 3.8 billion rupees in 2012 from 3.3 billion in more..