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Pusswedilla in or out?

Dec 13 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, last week, intervened and assured that the latest edition of the comedy, Pusswedilla, will be allowed to be staged. The President had told the Director of the play that he was not aware the Censor Board had refused to give permission for it to be staged. The Censor Board of Sri Lanka did not permit Pusswedilla 4.1 to be staged at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia late last month. more..

Four years after war, Sri Lanka's widows fear rape, abuse

Dec 13 (AFP) They arrived suddenly on her doorstep pretending to be friends of her dead husband. Faceless men she suspects were security agents, they physically abused her and threatened to come again. Scared and alone, Gowry did what she always does -- she packed in a hurry and fled with her two young children, the third time in recent years that she has moved house in Sri Lanka's former northern warzone. more..

President and First Lady attend Kenya's 50th Independence Day Celebrations

Dec 13 (IL) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa have joined the Kenya’s golden jubilee independence ceremony on the outskirts of the Capital City, Nairobi on 12 December. The President and the First Lady were warmly received by the Govt of Kenya when they arrived at the Moi International Sports Complex (MISC) for the celebrations in Kasarani, Nairobi. more..

CEB’s mountain of debt still remains

Dec 13 (Island) The CEB’s outstanding short term debt, to the People’s Bank alone, stands at a staggering Rs. 42.8 billion, a senior official said. The Island reliably learns that the Treasury transfers Rs.24 billion to the Board annually; however discussions are underway over the Treasury’s request that the Board manage without the annual infusion of funds from the Finance Ministry from 2014. more..

HRCSL calls for urgent action

Dec 13 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has called for the urgent attention of all Govt and Non-Governmental Institutions to act promptly to take into consideration the needs and capabilities of persons with disabilities in order to ensure an inclusive society for all. The HRC says it appreciates the measures taken up to date by the Govt and Non –Govt stakeholders to promote and protect the rights more..

Govt snubs resolution

Dec 13 (Island) The Govt has decided to snub an EU resolution calling for the full implementation of the LLRC. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Govt will decide which recommendations can be implemented and when. “The LLRC was formed not for anyone else but by the President to address our own issues for own people so we will see about it,” he said. The EU Parliament had yesterday passed the resolution calling more..

EU passes resolution on Lanka

Dec 13 (CG) The European Union (EU) Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the Sri Lankan govt to implement the recommendations of the LLRC in full. EU MPs appreciate the restoration of peace and welcome the first ever elections in the Northern Province. However, they note with concern that “the presence of govt military forces in the former conflict areas remains considerable” and that there are more..

Sri Lanka stocks closed greener

Dec 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks closed higher Thursday with finance and diversified stocks gaining despite net foreign selling on the bourse. All Share Price Index closed 2.47 points higher at 5,795.66, up 0.04%. The S&P SL20 closed 3.77 points lower at 3,185.67, down 0.12%. Turnover was 414.66 million rupees, up from 247.70 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 77 firms closing in the red against 82 gainers. JKH closed 60 cents lower at 214.30 rupees with an off market transaction more..

Akashi's 'nth' visit

Dec 13 (CT) Yasushi Akashi, the Representative of the Govt of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, who was on his 'upteenth' official visit to the country, was scheduled to return to Japan yesterday, after some high profile meetings with President Rajapaksa, other govt officials and members of the TNA. The visit is owed to the successful conduct of the first Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, which was welcomed by Japan as a significant step more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The ruthless BBS went to Devenagala to remove Muslims

Dec 13 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena has been targeting innocent Muslim people for more than 3 years now. It has been a customary habit of the BBS to generate some chaos very often about the minority communities. They have been targeting places of worship of minorities in Sri Lanka. Many churches, Hindu temples and mosques have been ransacked and burned to ground in many places in Sri Lanka. Tamils locally and internationally claim that their traditional home lands of North and East more..

World heritage sites earn over Rs. 01 bn

Dec 13 (Island) Minister T.B. Ekanayake said that revenue of Rs 1,341.24 million had been collected from the visitors to the World Heritage sites in the country last year. The revenue earned from those sites in 2010 was Rs. 761.58 million and in 2011 they brought in an income of Rs. 1,023.11 million. The Anuradhapura sacred city, Polonnaruwa ancient city, Sigiriya rock fortress, Dambulla cave temple with frescoes, Kandy sacred city and Galle ancient city and its ramparts had been recognised as more..

Sangakkara named ODI Cricketer of the Year

Dec 13 (AD) Kumar Sangakkara has won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the year award while Mahela Jayawardena took the Spirit of Cricket award as announced by the ICC today. The lists of winners of the ICC awards were announced by the world governing body today. Cricketer of the year: Michael Clarke (AUS). Other nominees: Hashim Amla (RSA), James Anderson (ENG), Alastair Cook (ENG), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (IND), more..

Parliament now open to all

Dec 13 (CG) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament today that Parliament will now be open for the public to view proceedings when the House meets. The Speaker said that the decision to open Parliament was taken at the party leader’s meeting held yesterday. He said that while security arrangements will be in place inside it will not hamper people from entering to follow the Parliament proceedings. Speaker said that unlike before prior approval will not be required more..

Technology Marketplace 2013 on Dec 14 & 15

Dec 13 (GDI) The 'Technology Marketplace 2013' is scheduled to be held on 14th and 15th Dec from 9.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m at BMICH. The "Technology Marketplace" 2013 is being organized by the Ministry of Technology and Research under the theme "Towards an Innovative Economy". The "Technology Marketplace" is an event that seeks to link scientific research with Industry so as to forge partnerships that will ensure research findings are utilized to add value to industrial products. more..

Annual Convention to rule on LC powers

Dec 13 (Island) The powers conferred on the newly established UNP Leadership Council (LC) are to be submitted for approval to the party’s annual Convention, scheduled for later this month. UNP MP, Gayantha Karunathillake said that the decision to place the powers entrusted to the LC, headed by Karu Jayasuriya, before the party Convention, was unanimoulsy endorsed by the Working Committee which met on Tuesday. more..

Most beautiful butterfly’s habitat in danger

Dec 13 (Island) One of the most beautiful butterflies in the country, Baronet Euthalia nais, found only in the Nilgala area, particularly in the Gal Oya National Park, is facing a severe threat due to the beedi industry destroying its habitat, says naturalist cum author Rajika Gamage. Beedi (the poor man’s cigarette) makers destroy thousands of plants, which annually host these magnificent butterflies, to take their leaves for wrapping beedi, he said. The Island reliably learns that, to make matters worse, more..

Gangaramaya temple shot wins smartphone Best Photo Contest

Dec 13 (GDI) The 'Best Photo Taken on a Smartphone' contest, launched by Celebrity Cruises, encouraged amateur photographers to submit their holiday snaps and has announced that a shot of the Gangaramaya Viharaya Temple, taken in Colombo, has taken top place. The photo, submitted by holidaymaker Zoe King, was judged to be the best by a judging panel of world-renowned photographers Stuart Franklin, Ian Berry, Art Wolfe and Massimo Vitali. The bright shot was described by more..

'NPC governor may be an expert on extra-judicial killings, not on the constitution'

Dec 13 (CT) The TNA today came out all guns blazing against the Northern Province’s Military Governor G.A. Chandrasiri in Parliament, saying that while he may have expertise in extra-judicial killings, he was certainly no expert on constitutional affairs. The onslaught by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran came after Chandrasiri accused the TNA run NPC of violating the constitution for attempting to set up departments of more..

Warehouse raid reveals outdated skin ointment repacked for distribution

Dec 13 (ST) About 5,000 tubes of ointment, that had passed their dates and were ready to be released to the market with new packaging, were recovered from a warehouse owned by a registered medicinal drug distributor at Kirimandala Mawatha, Nawala. The Panadura-Walana Anti-Vice Squad together with the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) officers raided the warehouse last week and found ‘hydrocortisone ointment BP’, a medication used to treat skin conditions more..

'Prith Chanting Ceremony' at Racecourse Complex

Dec 13 (MoD) An all night 'Pirith Chanting Ceremony' was held at the Racecourse shopping precinct last night (12) under the patronage of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry, Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa was also present at the occasion. The religious observances were conducted by the Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaraya temple in Colombo Ven. Galabada Gnanissara Thera. more..

Special traffic plan for Colombo Night Races

Dec 13 (DM) A special traffic plan will be implemented in the Colombo City when it is transformed into a race track for two days for the Colombo Night Races to be held tomorrow and on Sunday. Race is planned to start from Lotus Road outside the Galadari Hotel. Then it will go through the Ceramic Junction, a left turn from the CTO Junction, Chatham Street, York Street and then towards the York Street-Bank Road Junction. more..

TNA disputes appointment of DIG to North

Dec 13 (DM) The TNA today disputed the appointment of DIG Pujitha Jayasundare to the North. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Parliament that according to the Constitution a DIG of Police had to be appointed only in consultation with the Chief Minister this had not happened in the appointment of the new northern DIG. “I have nothing against the gentleman appointed to the North. Yet, it is a devolved subject. A DIG has to be appointed with the concurrence of the CM. more..

Chris Woakes to lead England Lions tour

Dec 13 (BBC) Chris Woakes will captain a 15-man England Lions squad to tour Sri Lanka in February and March 2014. The Warwickshire all-rounder, 24, is one of four men in the squad to have been capped at Test level. Woakes, Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow and Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan featured in the last home Ashes series during the summer, while Nottinghamshire's James Taylor faced South Africa in 2012. Middlesex batsman Sam Robson has gained his first England Lions call-up. more..

Video: PM must resign; investigate ‘Hula’

Dec 13 (AD) Although the govt is not revealing the identity of ‘Hula’, he has questioned the manner in which he is being treated now despite his service during war times, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera stated. He said that everyone knows who ‘Hula’ is when talking about the Salaka gambling den which was raided in Colombo but that the govt’s only response to this was to shut down the MCNS and reduce the powers of the person more..

Pakistan Sri Lanka to enhance cooperation in counter terrorism

Dec 13 (APP) The visiting Naval Chief of Pakistan Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, visited Sri Lankan Naval Headquarters Friday and discussed ways to boost cooperation in counter terrorism and maritime security. Admiral Sandila was received by Commander Sri Lankan Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage upon his arrival at Sri Lankan Navy Headquarters in Colombo. Admiral Sandila was accorded a Guard of Honour by smartly turned out Sri Lanka Navy contingent. more..

South Africa ready to help in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process

Dec 13 (Island) South Africa was willing to assist Sri Lanka in whatever way possible and share its experiences on its reconciliation process, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Geoff Doidge said yesterday. The High Commissioner said this during a meeting held to express condolence on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the parliament complex. The event was organised by the Sri Lanka-South Africa parliamentary Friendship Association. more..

Video: People don’t want ‘sound and fury’

Dec 13 (DM) Visiting Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi said that it was not only the International Community but also Sri Lankans who are anxiously “waiting for action and not just sound and fury”. Responding to a question on corruption, good governance, the adherence to the rule of law and the Govt’s commitment to all stakeholders including the International Community to address these concerns, Mr. Akashi said the Govt more..

Aviation Fundamentals for Beginners

Dec 13 (MoD) The Air Force Museum at Ratmalana organized its fifteenth in a series of workshops for students on "Aviation Fundamentals for Beginners" at its Auditorium and successfully completed the first workshop on 10th Dec. 60 students participated in the programme and they had gone through lectures, demonstrations, experimental sessions and practical experiences with real aircraft successfully. The sessions are conducted by well experienced Air Force instructors. more..

Move to promote maritime archaeology

Dec 13 (DN) A new program to promote maritime archaeology in Sri Lanka will be implemented from next year, Culture and the Arts Minister T. B. Ekanayake said in Parliament. He said the program will be implemented mainly in Kalpitiya, Galle, Kuda Ravana and Maha Ravana. The minister said visitors will be provided facilities to dive and examine underwater archaeological sites with the use of modern technological devices under this program. Korea will grant two ships for this in February. more..

UN FAO accused over SL kidney illness

Dec 13 (BBC) The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been blamed for the spread of a kidney disease which has affected nearly half a million people in Sri Lanka. Scientists believe the illness is caused by pesticides and fertilisers. The FAO is accused by campaigners of encouraging the use of agrochemicals on behalf of multinational companies. But the FAO strongly denies it is to blame for the spread of more..

The nitty-gritty of cricket selections

Dec 14 (NS) Months ahead of a world cricket event like the fifty-over World Cup or the World Twenty20, national cricket selectors will try to experiment with several youngsters in the matches leading up to the important event hoping they make their mark. It has been the practice with Sri Lankan selectors for over three decades since the country attained Test status. But eventually when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of picking the final squad of 14 or 15 players they will always opt for more..

Why SL did not have a Mandela moment

Dec 14 (CT) When a pet dog of former US President, Bill Clinton, a Labrador Retriever named Buddy died in a road accident nearly a decade back, it generated an unprecedented interest in the US media, prompting one cynic to say, that the funeral of a Third World president would not draw an international media interest of that magnitude. That could have been true in most countries, because the legacy left behind by those men often tend to be disappointing, if not downright appalling. more..

Harmony Centre to bridge North and South

Dec 14 (SO) Kethusha, a grade five student of the primary section of Kilinochchi Central College would have experienced the most difficult period in her life as an infant along with her parents and four other elder children in her family when fighting erupted in Kilinochchi during the last phase of the humanitarian operation in the Wanni to free them from the clutches of brutal LTTE terrorism. After going through the hardest period of more..

Who is that girl in a new bikini?

Dec 14 (FT) “Pakistan is not alone in its powerlessness. South Asia as a whole is running on empty – insufficient investment, poor planning and corruption dog the regions power sector… Each country’s factors are different: a massive unresponsive bureaucracy in India, a fast growing population in Bangladesh; war in Afghanistan; old technology in Nepal…” – Time Magazine, October 2013. Although the above analysis is particularly in reference to the energy sector, more..

Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum: The TNA moves nearer centre stage

Dec 14 (CT) Something is quietly happening below the radar; it is not declared, nor is it policy, and I think the TNA senses that all this complicates its life; but when there is a political vacuum other actors, inevitably, are sucked in. What is the political vacuum? Who is being sucked in? There is an empty space in southern (Sinhala) politics; the turncoat left which kowtows to Mahinda Rajapakse is dead; it’s now called the Dead Left. The UNP is as impotent as a surgically castrated eunuch. more..

Let us recall celebrated role played by ‘silent service’

Dec 14 (island) The Sri Lanka Navy recently earned the appreciation of the Australian Premier, Tony Abbott, for backing his efforts to curtail illegal migration. Premier Abbott went to the extent of boarding Sri Lanka’s flagship, SLNS Sayura, at the Colombo Port where he announced plans to gift two Bay Class patrol vessels to the SLN. The unexpected announcement was made on the sidelines of the CHOGM in Colombo more..

Against Duckspeak on Ethnic Reconciliation

Dec 14 (Island) "Duckspeak" is a neologism used by George Orwell in his novel 1984. The rulers of the totalitarian state depicted in the novel dream of reducing the people to automata whose speech will sound like normal human speech but be quite meaningless, inane like the quacking of ducks, since it will be produced only by the larynx without the cerebral cortex coming into action at all. That is Duckspeak. Some readers will hold that Sri Lankan politicians excel in it without more..

Editorial: Whining villains

Dec 14 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne tells us that the private bus industry is dying. We thought it was very much alive and kicking and others were dying because of it! He claims that it has been allowed to wither on the vine. He is troubled by a sharp decline in the number of private bus commuters over the years. We wonder whether people are now using Shank’s mare as far as possible to save money. more..

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