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View from Ritigala - by Mahasona

Aug 6 (NS) UNP’s ‘leader-in-waiting’, Sajith Premadasa has said that if the party wishes to win a major election in the near future, then it must secure control of at least 2 of the 3 provincial councils for which elections will be held next month. The UNP, by the looks of it, has given up on the Northern PC. This leaves Wayamba and Central, hopes for a win in the former being shattered by the recent crossover of Dayasiri Jayasekera. The Central Province used to be a UNP stronghold more..

DCD Contamination

Aug 6 (NS) Manager, Quality Assurance, Maliban Milk Products (Pvt) Ltd, Theja Gunawardena, has written to ‘The Nation’ in response to our lead last Sunday, ‘Milk powder importers lied’. We reproduce the letter below: We wish to bring to your notice a huge error in the article on DCD published in ‘The Nation’. We contend that Maliban Non Fat Milk Powder cannot be contaminated with DCD. As per assurances by the Australian Govt, the milk powder supplier as well as ‘Dairy Australia’ which more..

Kilinochchi MV: Children pick up their education

Aug 6 (SO) It was not only the lifestyle, livelihoods or essential areas such as agriculture, health care and law and order that was affected by the three decade old war on terrorism, education which is a basic requirement for a developed society was badly affected in the North and the East during the past era. A number of schools were subjected to shelling from both sides which not only flattened the school buildings more..

1983, 30 years on: Teflon Mahinda and Scapegoat Ranil

Aug 6 (CT) Sri Lanka has had many watershed moments in the last hundred years, some quiet and positively consequential, others violent and destabilizing. To the first category belong the introduction of universal franchise in 1931, and independence from colonial rule that came in 1948. SWRD Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, and the Republican Constitutions of 1972 and 1978, were not violent, nor were they destabilizing in themselves, but they gave rise to violent and more..

'Who watches the watchmen?'

Aug 6 (GV) Rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-militants or “terrorists” as they are more often termed, following the blanket approach that is being taken post 9/11, is still a new concept in the field of counterinsurgency. The plethora of state military actions against nationalist seditions, rebel groups, paramilitaries and other non state militaries have ensured that in a short period there has been a rapid increase in the number of detention centres and rehabilitation programmes more..

Ramazan, the month of mercy

Aug 6 (CT) With the advent of the new moon ushering in the solar month of Ramazan on 7 or 8 July this year, Muslims all over the world commenced the ritual of fasting. In the context of the Islamic religion fasting is not just a ritual. It is a religious duty enjoined on those entering the fold of Islam. As much as observing the compulsory prayers, giving the compulsory Zakath tax and undertaking the journey to the Holy City of more..

Book review: The Hungry Ghosts

Aug 6 (GV) The Hungry Ghosts is Shyam Selvadurai’s fourth novel, and almost certainly his best. The themes are familiar, from the personal strife caused by the narrator’s sexuality and ethnicity, to the political backdrop of Sri Lanka’s civil war, but the whole narrative is handled with an accomplishment and quiet authority that marks a real step up in Selvadurai’s prose. The novel jumps between Toronto and Colombo across the 80s and 90s, telling the story of Shivan, a young man more..

A patriotic citizen and A military officer

Aug 6 (CT) I supported our troops in their efforts to rid the country of the terrorist menace. I am grateful to them for many reasons. I cheered their victories for they were my triumphs too. I sang their praises for they, most of all, were deserving of praise; they put their lives on line for me. The immense relief of finally being able to live in a terrorism-free country blinded me to some ancient truths. The security forces that felled Prabhakaran of the LTTE were the same men and women in uniform who more..

Boston Lanka: August 6, 2013

Editorial: Bleeding for water - II

Aug 6 (Island) Italian social scientist, Pareto, expounded, circa the turn of the last century, the theory of the circulation of elite. Regimes, according to him, are overthrown not by the hoi polloi as such but by elite. The validity of Pareto’s theory has stood the test of time, after a fashion, but in this country the dislodgement of regimes also lends spurs to the circulation of hypocrites, if experience is anything to go by. Today, the self-appointed liberators who have obtained popular mandates repeatedly to more..

What Noori estate and Weliweriya teach us

Aug 6 (ST) When will Sri Lankans take matters into their own hands and teach this arrogant if not foolhardy Govt some sharp and telling lessons in just rule? This week, one innocent teenager died and more than twenty five civilians were injured as a result of the army shooting at unarmed protestors at Weliweriya who were demanding that water contamination in their area, allegedly by a factory, be stopped. Proportionate and restrained civilian law enforcement is now firmly a thing of the past. more..

Weliweriya haunts me

Aug 6 (CT) I can’t sleep. For two days in a row, I woke up at 3 am. The first time, I didn’t know why I was awake. Today, it’s much clearer. Those moving images of armed soldiers and battle-tanks mowing down defenceless villagers at Weliweriya haunt me. In my mind, the events keep merging: What I saw happen at Weliweriya from amateur television footage; and what I imagine might have happened in the North, during more..

S&P to discuss funding opportunities for issuers

Aug 6 (Island) Sri Lankan issuers have significant opportunities to improve the diversification of their funding sources, says Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (Standard & Poor’s). This topic and current credit trends for Sri Lankan issuers will be discussed at a seminar hosted by Standard & Poor’s on August 16. Surinder Kathpalia, Managing Director, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, says that more can be done to improve capital market financing in Sri Lanka. "Currently the corporate debt market more..

Nature’s Secrets opens herbal beauty store at BIA

Aug 6 (Island) Nature’s Beauty Creations (NBC), the creator of Nature’s Secrets, opened a new Herbal Beauty Store at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) recently. With a 100% Sri Lankan ownership, Nature’s Secrets has successfully secured brand ownership in more than 50 countries including the United States of America, as well as countries across Asia and Europe. "In the past, an agreement signed by the Airport & Aviation Services with a Duty Free Operator made it impossible for more..

Taxation of betting and gaming business

Aug 6 (ST) In recent times, with the revival of tourist industry, the debate of promoting betting and gaming activities has surfaced at various levels. The following activities fall within this: (a) Off-course betting ie. bets on races in other countries (b) Casinos (C) Other types of miscellaneous betting and gaming activities. The relevant legislation is Betting on Horse Racing Ordinance, No.9 of 1930 as amended in 1943. more..

Sri Lanka look to avoid 0-3 drubbing

Aug 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's players might have often heard that the sport they play is a great leveller, but they might not have thought the highs and lows could come in such quick succession. Four nights after Sri Lanka had embarrassed South Africa 4-1, they are pondering their own humiliation. The world's top-ranked Twenty20 side is one game away from being whitewashed at home. If they fail on Tuesday, they will lose that ranking and slip to third, behind Pakistan and South Africa, who will rise more..

Appeal against death sentence begins

Aug 6 (CT) The appeal against the death sentences imposed by the Trial-at-Bar of the High Court on four police officers over the Angulana double murder case, commenced yesterday before a Five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court. The Bench comprised Justices Shiranee Thilakawardana, Chandra Ekanayaka, Sathya Hettige, Priyasath Dep and Eva Wanasundara. G.I. Kumarasiri, T.V.T. Newton, former OIC of the Angulana Police, Dhammika Nihal and former police sergeant, Janapriya more..

Cricket and Power Politics in Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (II) Until a few years ago, Hambantota was an obscure town in south-central Sri Lanka, 190 km from Colombo, with a population that barely exceeded 10,000. Its daily rhythms were defined by the twin activities of farming and fishing. But once Mahinda Rajapaksa, one of its native sons, became president in 2005, all that began to change. Mr Rajapaksa’s dream was to transform his sleepy hometown into a modern industrial city, more..

Aitken Spence takes control of Fijian ports

Aug 6 (FT) Aitken Spence, the Sri Lankan global maritime logistics company, last week took over the managerial and operational responsibilities at Fiji Ports Corporation. As part of a Private-Public Partnership (PPP), which was signed by the respective parties earlier this year, Aitken Spence will be in charge of both the Suvas Kings and Lautoka ports, Fiji’s largest wharves. Aitken Spence has invested $10.53 million in buying 51% of the shares of Ports Terminal. more..

Don't blame govt for all issues - Dy Speaker

Aug 6 (DN) The people must rise up against corruption without pointing the finger at the govt for all issues, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said. Participating as the Chief Guest at the launching ceremony of the Youth Integrity Survey Report at the BMICH yesterday, he said the govt will take action against corrupt persons without considering his or her position. "Legal action could be taken against any person found guilty of corruption. He could be a politician, head of more..

‘Our eight years shows more than 60 since independence'

Aug 6 (DN) “The contribution we have made towards rebuilding the country during the last eight years is unmatched even by the totality of work accomplished through the previous 60 years since independence,” President Rajapaksa said. He was speaking after inaugurating the US $500 million Colombo Port Expansion project and an International Container Terminal yesterday. “Leaving behind the era of subjugation, Sri Lanka is more..

Maldivian Airlines starts new route from Gan Island to Colombo

Aug 6 (FT) Maldivian Airlines, the National Carrier of Maldives, owned and operated by Island Aviation Services (IAS) is commencing new routes with direct flight to Colombo from Male and Gan Island, effective 7 August 2012. The new routes from Gan Island and Male to Colombo are mainly to target the medical tourism, business segment and the leisure market. With direct flights, the airline is expecting an increase in the number of tourist arrivals to Colombo as well as to the Maldives. more..

Rest room issue postpones ops at Kandy Teaching Hospital

Aug 6 (DN) Surgeons attached to the Kandy Teaching Hospital have decided to postpone many critical surgical operations listed at the hospital over an issue concerning a rest room which has not been resolved so far. There has been a tug of war between nurses and surgeons attached to the hospital regarding a rest room for the past few days. As a result, many heart and neuro patients listed for surgeries have been forced to return home. Secretary of the GMOA branch attached more..

JAAF to aggressively promote hub concept, forecasts $ 1 b extra revenue

Aug 6 (FT) The apparel sector yesterday welcomed the Govt’s decision to declare Colombo and Hambantota as free ports, a move which the export industry foresees would help boost revenue by an extra $ 1billion. “It is a long-term strategic move with the objective of making Sri Lanka a knowledge-based economic hub, thus deviating from the existing traditional mode of manufacturing and supply. more..

Audio: DP not for stopovers says SF

Aug 6 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says some politicians are attempting to use his political party, the Democratic Party (DP), as a stopover when they have issues with the leaders of their own political parties. He said that a group known as an ‘alternative group’ had attempted to move around with his party but they had a different agenda. “Some people, when they have problems in their party, when they have problems with their party leaders, they try to board our ship. more..

Immunization key says Lanka

Aug 6 (CG) The govt says it is exploring an alternative financing mechanism for immunization at the provincial level and it will not stop until it has a sustainable financing mechanism in place for national routine immunization services. The govt said this while commenting on Sri Lanka’s participation at the global conference on country-led efforts to fund immunization programs held in Dakar today. “Sri Lanka has a separate budget line for immunization in our health budget allocated more..

UPFA defends fielding relatives

Aug 6 (Island) The UPFA has defended its move to field relatives of incumbent politicians at the forthcoming elections to the Provincial Councils. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that fielding relatives of incumbent politicians was not wrong and even in India it was the practice. He said that in India, the Nerhu - Gandhi family had fielded several generations of relatives and the ruling coalition there was now led by Sonia more..

No secret pact with Ranil: Karu

Aug 6 (FT) Former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya denied allegations that his meeting with UNP Chief Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday was an attempt to forge a secret deal with the party leadership. Grilled by reporters, Jayasuriya retorted that his meeting with Wickremesinghe was an attempt to foster party unity and build trust between factions that were at war within the UNP. “I met him for the sake of the party. Because I believe the time has come for us to unite. more..

Bus time-keeper abducted in white van

Aug 6 (Island) A time-keeper at the Gunasinghapura private bus stand in Pettah was abducted by a group of three men yesterday morning. Police spokesman said that the suspects had bundled the victim into a white van and taken him away around 11.50 a.m. Pettah Foreshore police conducting investigations had not been able to trace any of the suspects or the victim up to the time of going to press last night. Asked for the colour of the van used by the abductors and whether the suspects more..

'Share Weliweriya findings'

Aug 6 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), which has launched a probe into the incident that took place in Weliweriya, has asked the Army to share with the Commission, the findings of the inquiry ordered by the Army Commander into the incident. HRCSL also summoned representatives of the Army, Police and 24 other public institutions and civil society groups to a meeting at the Commission. more..

2012’s Northern growth surpassed national rate: President

Aug 6 (FT) In 2012, the Northern Province grew beyond the national growth rate. And Northern apparels have entered the global export map. “The Northern Province economy grew at a rate of 22% last year, well ahead of the country’s average growth rate of 8%,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 3 August in Vavuniya. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was addressing the inauguration event of Italy based Calzedonia Group’s Omegaline apparel plant in Vavuniya on 3 August. more..

Crown execs fly in for Packer’s Sri Lanka casino bid

Aug 6 (BRW) Two of James Packer’s most senior executives have flown to Sri Lanka to argue for favourable tax and regulatory treatment for Crown Ltd’s proposed $US400 million Colombo casino. Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie and chief financial officer Ken Barton arrived in Colombo on Monday to meet Deputy Minister of Finance, Sarath Amunugama. It is the executives’ first visit to Sri Lanka and suggests a lift in negotiations for Crown’s proposed casino and luxury 400-room hotel. more..

Fonterra brands do not contain whey protein

Aug 6 (CT) Despite fears over contaminated New Zealand milk products, local lab reports have not indicated that the products imported to Sri Lanka are unfit for use, Deputy Minister of Health, Lalith Dissanayake, said. He explained that all dairy products are tested and lab reports obtained before any of the products are released from the harbour, and to the market. "According to the lab reports we have got, there has been no more..

NTPC Lanka plant gets nod, but can still trip

Aug 6 (DNA) NTPC’s first overseas project is set to see the light of day. The Sri Lankan Attorney General’s office has approved its proposed 500 mw thermal power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee, to be built is association with CEB – around six years after the project was conceived and two years after a joint venture company was formed to take it forward. The AG go-ahead was a major hurdle for the project, particularly considering the two neighbouring countries are not in the best of relations. more..

Ransom demand by ex-DIG: Investigations continuing

Aug 6 (DM) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardhana was produced in the Mahara Magistrate’s Court today on charges of having threatened and demanded a ransom of Rs.3 million from Sarath Kumara Edirisinghe alias ‘Singappuru Sarath’, who is a secretary of Minister Mervyn Silva. Sarath Kumara -- the chief suspect in the killing of Hasitha Madawala – in his evidence told Court that Vaas Gunawardhana had asked him for Rs.3 millionto avoid framing charges against him. more..

Sri Lanka suspends New Zealand milk powder imports

Aug 6 (DN) Health Ministry yesterday decided to temporarily stop giving port clearance to imported milk products consisting of a high concentration of whey protein, that are suspected to be contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. All milk brands imported from New Zealand will be held back with this decision to stop giving clearance from the harbour. The whey milk or muscle milk products will not be given more..

How fair are our elections?

Aug 6 (DM) All Elections Commissioners, the incumbent and all his predecessors have assured the country on the eve of every election, local or national, that candidates would not be allowed to misuse state resources and official powers during the particular election. But it is a well-known fact that state resources and official powers vested in various people had been utilised freely and openly, mainly by the candidates of the party in power for their campaigns. more..

Beauty overtakes the beast in a retooled society ?

Aug 6 (DM) Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid may take seats as honourable Members of Parliament. Even an aged Pamela Anderson or Cameron Diaz could walk away with parliamentary pensions. Mervyn Silva and Duminda Silva entered the precincts of Parliament legitimately as easy riders. Elected - overwhelmingly by the choice of the people. Those electors were not from the backward Wanni or from the backwoods of Monaragala: indeed from the two most literate and more..

'Features of democracy shrinking'

Aug 6 (DM) One of Sri Lanka’s most widely respected and best known judicial personalities, retired High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa was outspoken not only during his judicial career but still speaks out strongly on social justice, judicial independence and democracy. Continuing his role in creating a just and fair society, Justice Warawewa has expressed strong views at several public forums. more..

How the public beat counterfeiters

Aug 6 (ST) People are increasingly canny about spotting counterfeit notes, and this is leading to the spate of reports about forged currency, says Central Bank Currency Department chief Janaka Karunaratne. “If you really look at why incidents on currency counterfeiting are being reported continuously, it is because people are being educated,” he said. The public are learning how to identify the characteristic more..