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Sexual abuse against women and children continue unabated — Zonta

Dec 15 (Island) Sexual abuse against women, girls and sometimes children, continue unabated, said Ms. Sumithra Fernando, joint District Secretary, Zonta Club 1 of Colombo. Although the media campaign gained momentum, its importance commanded only lackadaisical responses from official sources. Sexual abuse in public locations including busses continues unchecked, she said at a press conference convened by Zonta International, District 25, to highlight the rising more..

Why can't I be the Governor? - Chandrasiri

Dec 15 (CT) Governor of the Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasiri, rejecting a motion passed by the TNA-controlled Northern Provincial Council (NPC) for his removal, said he was working with the TNA in a 'fine manner.' He said the Governor of the Northern Province 'cannot work in fear or succumb to pressure' from certain parties in the Provincial Council. "I cannot work if I keep listening to every single protest and opinion that people express. I have no problem with the TNA and more..

Major diplomatic drive

Dec 15 (SL) The Govt has launched a major diplomatic drive ahead of the UNHRC session in Geneva next March. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that eight videos on Sri Lanka produced by the Ministry of Defence have been sent to Sri Lankan Missions in UNHRC member states. Separately the External Affairs Ministry in Sri Lanka is having regular briefings with foreign envoys based in Colombo on the post war developments. more..

Corruption a major reason for Sri Lanka’s small savings

Dec 15 (Island) Sri Lanka has a very small saving in relation to its GDP, while countries such as China and India were way ahead. WPC UNP member, Harshana Rajakaruna said that long term projects were usually implemented through a country’s savings, but the Rajapaksa regime had committed suicide by borrowing at commercial rates as high as 9%. While India had a savings rate of over 30% to GDP, it was over 50% in China, he said adding that Sri Lanka had a low saving of just 18% more..

Budget 2014 does not meet NP’s peculiar needs, says Chief Minister

Dec 15 (ST) The needs of the former war-torn Northern Province are not properly reflected in the 2014 Budget and therefore the Provincial Council will seek financial resources from stake holders within the country as well as well-wishers living abroad, said Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. He said the capital allocation for the NPC is Rs. 5,831 million out of the total budget capital allocation of Rs. 1,341,000 million. more..

3,000 apartments to come up in Colombo for state sector workers, says UDA

Dec 15 (ST) More than 3,000 apartments will be constructed in the next three years by the UDA in Colombo city for employees of state sector and semi-govt institutions. UDA’s Urban Regeneration Project head E.A.C. Priyashantha said that two state lands, one in Mattakkuliya and the other in Borella close to the P.Saravanamuttu Stadium have been allocated for the project, estimated to cost Rs. 11,000 million. more..

Sri Lanka Cancer Society wins 12-year-old case in District Court

Dec 15 (Island) After prolonged litigation over twelve years the Sri Lanka Cancer Society won its claim to a valuable property in Queens Road, Colombo 3. The case lasted for twelve years. On the basis of the Last Will of George Hettiaratchi the title of this property passed on to the Sri Lanka Cancer Society subject to the reservation of Life interest in favour of his wife the 1st defendant. This claim was contested by the widow of Mr. Hettiaratchi who alleged that she becomes entitled to the property more..

Rehabilitated drug offenders re-arrested

Dec 15 (CT) Drug offenders released from prisons after being rehabilitated are being rearrested by the police on flimsy charges all too frequently, causing disruption to their reintegration to society, a senior prison officer who requested anonymity, alleged. "Although the IGP had been kept aware of this situation, no action had been taken so far to address the issue," he said, and added that drug offenders are rehabilitated within a period of about six months, and reintegrated into society to rebuild more..

Lanka’s African policy continues

Dec 15 (CG) Strengthening economic relations with Africa will further consolidate the already friendly relations, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in Kenya. The President’s office today quoted him as saying that since 2005 the foreign policy of Sri Lanka took a new direction, and Sri Lanka has been able to rediscover its old friendships and affinities, particularly in the African region. President Rajapaksa made these more..

Be more sensitive, CJ tells lawyers

Dec 15 (SL) Chief Justice Mohan Pieris urged those practising law to be more sensitive to the plight of their clients, and treat the profession with respect. “70% of the people of this country are vulnerable simple people. When I say simple I mean they are not rich. Seven out of 10 litigants who walk through these doors belong to that group. Therefore we have to be sensitive to their plight. If we bear that in mind and think twice, what kind of legal system then should we offer people? more..

Yameen invited to visit Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (CG) President Rajapaksa has sent a letter to Maldives President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, extending an invitation to visit Sri Lanka. The letter was delivered to President Yameen during a courtesy call by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dickson Dela, the Maldives Govt said. Accepting the invitation, President Yameen noted that warm and friendly relations have long characterised the bilateral relations between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. more..

War crimes allegations rejected

Dec 15 (CG) The army had no intention of killing innocent Tamil civilians during the war, the Govt said today adding that allegations of war crimes committed by the army are baseless. Minister Champika Ranawaka said that if the army wanted to kill Tamils it would not have accepted the surrender of hundreds of LTTE cadres during the final stages of the war. Minister had conveyed this message to Japanese Special envoy more..

North has over 40% Tamil speaking cops

Dec 15 (NS) Contrary to claims by TNA of difficulties faced in lodging complaints in Tamil due to a dearth of Tamil speaking police in the North, statistics reveal that over 3,500 complaints had been made in Tamil in November, where all of them had been investigated. The TNA said it had commenced collecting data pertaining to the shortage of Tamil officers and the number of complaints made in Tamil. “People face enormous problems due to the shortag eof Tamil officers. more..

Sri Sri Ravishankar visits Mandapam refugee camp

Dec 15 (PTI) Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar on Sunday visited the refugee camp at Mandapam near here and spoke with Sri Lankan refugees. Talking to newsmen here after his visit of the camp, the Art of Living founder said Indian Govt should either provide the refugees citizenship or provide them a decent livelihood without retaining them in the camp for a long time. He also expressed anguish about plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and assured that they would coordinate with all the Tamils to more..

Sri Lanka reinstates Vitol's supplier status after fuel dispute

Dec 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has reinstated Vitol, the world's largest oil trading firm, as a supplier after investigations failed to show its diesel damaged state-owned vehicles, the govt said on Sunday. The state-owned CPC took Vitol off its supplier list in August 2012 after the Petroleum Ministry said around 150 mostly state-owned vehicles, such as buses, had been affected by the diesel. Vitol, which could not immediately be reached for more..

One down, two to go

Dec 16 (SL) ONLY four of the League’s nine weeks have been completed, but one can’t quite remember a past season awakening public interest as early as this one has. Already there’s enough evidence to suggest that no team is safe from defeat in the remaining five weeks of the league; shocks lie in wait… the race is open. With the 2013/14 league barely half-over, just two teams remain unbeaten, and Kandy SC is not one of them. It is difficult to recollect the hill capital club conceding defeat more..

The “Perception” Business

Dec 16 (SL) In the distant past, the macro measures of many Asian and African countries and emerging nations were weak and dismal. In many of those countries, economic growth was woefully stagnant; civil society was in turmoil; inflation was at runaway levels; law and order was in tatters; corruption was rampant; markets were in disarray; poverty was unacceptably high and unemployment was painfully widespread. In short, many of those countries were in deep trouble. more..

'No intention to desert UNP'

Dec 16 (SO) Democracy is considered to be the best form of govt and almost all developed, developing and even under-developed countries govern their states based on democratic policies and principles. The main feature of democracy is the multi-party system and since Sri Lanka won Independence, the country had been ruled by the two main political parties, the UNP and SLFP and their coalitions. more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Dec 16 (NS) When C.A. Chandraprema wrote ‘Kola Paata Samaajaya’ (The Green Society) a couple of decades ago, it is unlikely that he would have imagined the kind of greening we see today. President Rajapaksa and a few others aside, the key ministerial posts are held by ex-Jumbos. Not too long ago, during the Wayamba PC polls we had ex-UNP firebrand vying for the Chief Minister’s post with the son of another ex-UNP firebrand, that’s Johnston Fernando’s son Johan. more..

The vilification of Karu and media ethics

Dec 16 (NS) No politician can escape the watchful eyes of the media. Media is a blessing as it is a curse as far as politicians are concerned. It helps and it detracts. This is a reality that all politicians have to learn to live with. Media can make and they can break. In a country where the media industry is heavily politicized with prominent media outfits openly backing either politicians or parties scathing attacks are not uncommon. There are of course times when political preference more..

Today is Unduvap Poya Day

Dec 16 (Island) Full Moon Poya Day of Unduvap, which falls today, signifies the arrival of Arahath Therini Sanghamitta in Sri Lanka together with a southern sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree in Buddha Gaya, under which the Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha attained Enlightenment. Today, it is the day of commemorating her visit, as well as it led to establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasana in SL more..

How to intimidate dissidents in rural SL

Dec 16 (CT) Last week I sought to deal with the matter of the denigration of Sri Lankans domiciled overseas who were vilified and demonized, by an obviously orchestrated chorus of govt sycophants writing under a whole range of pseudonyms, some obviously choosing to use more than one pseudonym, though the, perhaps deliberate, use of execrable English, proves to be a consistently dead give-away! Yes, there are people in the much-vilified “Tamil Diaspora” who hang on to a more..

Sri Lanka’s approach commendable

Dec 16 (CT) After a rather an ordinary performance in the first T20 I am sure Chandimal the young Sri Lankan captain should have huge relief with a rather close win in the second T20 and draw the series and also hold on to the top rankings in the game. Whilst that is a relief and a situation to savour the Lankans no doubt had only themselves to blame for the lack of runs which was the cause for the loss in the first game. Interestingly the stats were very much in favour of Sri Lanka even to defend more..

Revolt in the Local Govts

Dec 16 (CT) “All of you are more powerful than me.” President had made this remark once to the Heads of Local Govts (LG), referring to powers they are vested with, as they are empowered to sign cheques and could also be at the helm of the local body despite their budgets being defeated by the members serving the local authority. The most powerful politicians in the country appear to be shaken by a wave of budget defeats at LGs. more..

Politicization of Public Service

Dec 16 (CT) During my 35 years of public service I have heard the complaint “Oh, there is political interference, and we cannot work!” As a junior I made the same complaint. But right now I do not publicly hear such frustrated grousing or moaning, not because there is no politicization; most likely it is accepted as unchallengeable! Politicization of administration is a universal social process bringing a political character or flavor to administration. It is high in the developing world, but more..

Akashi to play Sri Lanka’s trouble shooter in international arena

Dec 16 (CT) Prime Minister ruffled by the heroin episode, Yashusi Akashi on new role of go-between, President strides to Parliament through main entrance, Hakeem fumes at the presence of monk at meeting. The government has found itself confronted by several crises at a time when Provincial Council (PC) elections are close at hand. The biggest of these is the continuing wave of budget defeats at UPFA-controlled Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas across the country. more..

Boston Lanka: December 16, 2013

Budget 2014: Import substitution may derail economic growth

Dec 16 (ST) On the eve of his departure, Dr. Koshy Mathai, the IMF Representative, warned that an import substitution strategy could hurt the country’s economic development. He advised the Government to pursue policies that do not discriminate against exports by giving greater incentives to import substitution compared to export promotion and thereby creating a bias against exports. Dr. Mathai’s advice may well turn out to be the most significant counsel that he gave the more..

The bitter cost of bringing the genie out of the bottle

Dec 16 (ST) Do those who vehemently and oftentimes quite hysterically rise to the defence of this Govt’s self-aggrandizing post-war policies, pause to ask themselves as to why we are now witnessing extreme intolerance directed at the minorities which was not seen even when the North and East war was at its fiercest? Perhaps some reasoned and calm introspection in this regard is long overdue. Good examples are the post 2009 attacks on Hindu, Moslem – and more..

A film on faceless plantation workers

Dec 16 (Hindu) Behind every cup of the famed ‘Ceylon tea’ is a faceless labourer toiling in a plantation in SL all year. And when Sivamohan Sumathy zoomed in, undervalued labour was only one of the problems she saw. “Plantation Tamils are never plotted within the story of Sri Lankan’s ethnic conflict. I thought there was space for this kind of film,” says Ms. Sumathy, director of Ingirunthu, which will soon hit Colombo cinemas. more..

Editorial: A toilet coup?

Dec 16 (Island) Former Media Minister of the Chandrika Kumaratunga govt, Mangala Samaraweera, has, true to form, lashed out at the Sri Lankan media which he accuses of turning a blind eye to the govt’s corruption and being preoccupied with what he calls non-existent problems of the UNP. He has said that there is a media Mafia. One wonders whether the world wide publicity media the arrest of the close family members of the much-dreaded more..

Phytoremediation of soil and water in CKD affected areas

Dec 16 (Island) It is becoming increasingly clear that cadmium toxicity plays a major role in chronic kidney disease (CKD) in NCP. Kelaniya University researchers have reported that arsenic toxicity is also associated with CKD. Despite so many studies and reports etc for so many years, strangely no action has been taken to rectify this situation. If the soil and water are polluted with heavy metals as claimed they will remain polluted until some action is taken to clean up the soil and water. more..

We are on your side: Akashi

Dec 16 (FT) Sri Lanka’s third largest global financier envisions the country to be a good investment destination. It also urges patience and communication between all parties while cautioning that the conflict is not a two dimensional issue anymore–and becomes bullish on Sri Lanka’s new peace. “As you recover and restore a country which is peaceful and united, we are on your side. Lanka provides a very good investment environment more..

'We too have Rajapaksas’ files'

Dec 16 (LT) An opposition to the President and the powerful in the Rajapaksas is developing within the govt. Filing complaints at the Bribery Commission against nine ministers while the debate for the budget is continuing is the immediate cause for this. The scheme came to light when officials of the Bribery Commission held a media conference and talked about the complaints. Sources in the govt have stated that the complaints to the Bribery Commission have been filed against more..

Man killed in fireworks factory fire

Dec 16 (ST) A 29-year-old man died due to burns after a stock of explosives, exposed to the sun’s heat, caught fire while he was making firecrackers ahead of the festive season, the Coroner’s Court was told. Sumith Fernando from Negombo was working at his father’s fireworks factory in Kimbulapitiya when the inflammables he had spread out in the sun to dry caught fire, his friend G.S. Nandana told Coroner Mohammad Ashraff. The victim died after he was admitted to more..

Video: Hold secret ballot for budget – Handun challenges govt.

Dec 16 (LT) The debate regarding the budget proposals for 2014 presented by President Rajapaksa on the 21st is continuing in Parliament at present. JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi challenges the govt to hold a secret ballot for the budget proposals. Speaking further Handunneththi says the condition of the govt could be seen if a secret ballot is held allowing MPs to vote according to their conscious. more..

Lankan Tamil refugees arrive by illegal boat service, one held

Dec 16 (PTI) A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee, who arrived here today by an illegal boat service, has been taken into custody for questioning and a massive hunt launched for other refugees, police said. DSP Vijayakumar said the refugees had arrived at Arichalmunai near Dhanushkodi from Sri Lanka and police with the help of the Coast Guard managed to nab a person, Santhan, who confessed that he had come along with some others by paying Rs one lakh as ferry charge. more..

Israel's Tefron teams with Brandix for joint venture in fabric industry

Dec 16 (Globes) Textiles company Tefron Ltd. is expanding its business in Asia. The company has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Brandix of Sri Lanka to set up a joint company in the seamless market, which is estimated at $2 billion a year. Tefron did not disclose financial details of the investment or the revenue potential of the company to be set up, but it does say that the plant will have 50 knitting machines. Tefron had 536 knitting machines in 2012. more..

Centre, Tamil Nadu locked in oneupmanship over fishermen’s issue

Dec 16 (TOI) As Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha accuses Sri Lanka of "warlike" mass kidnapping of Indian fishermen, it seems the Centre and the state govt are themselves locked in oneupmanship over the issue which can imperil relations with the important neighbouring country. TOI has learnt that despite repeated exhortations from PM Manmohan Singh in a series of letters to the chief minister, the Centre and more..

Fishermen earn Rs. 950 M. under DiviNeguma

Dec 16 (Island) DiviNeguma has provided 15889 beneficiaries in the fisheries sector with technical knowledge and financial assistance to launch projects to develop aquatic resources under the DiviNeguma National Programme. During the period they have been able to earn an income of Rs.950 million. DiviNeguma made a special contribution to the ornamental fish industry which has increased its contribution to the export market by 30%. Nearly 10,000 beneficiaries are engaged in this more..