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State repression with focus on war crimes

Feb 7 (SL) Sadly the CJ impeachment protests within Sri Lanka have become a whimper. Income tax officials suddenly pursuing the CJ is probably because someone vindictively asked them to. As Dharisha Bastians’ midweek column notes, President Rajapaksa informally constituted a three-man committee, which debunked the three charges on which the PSC had pronounced guilt. And yet, the President acted on that more..

Editorial : Beyond the grave

Feb 7 (Island) A big question mark hangs over the Matale mass grave. Investigations are still on and an expert report is expected shortly. A senior analyst is of the view that the skeletal remains found there could be those of a group of persons killed during the second JVP uprising (1987-89). The JVP has, after weeks of prevarication, claimed that the grave contains remains of its activists tortured and killed in the late 1980s. One should wait until scientific tests on the human remains are completed and more..

Cobra girl deserves the media coverage she got

Feb 7 (Island) The headline of a story in The Island of 26.01.13 read Cobra girl boosts case for media code of ethics. Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath has stated that the recent coverage of Nirosha Wimalaratne aka cobra girl has highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive code of ethics for both print and electronic media. He informs that a draft code titled "Media Ethics" is already prepared and copies will soon be presented to those in the industry for discussion. more..

Boston Lanka News: February 07, 2013

SL- Russia Business Council welcomes Russian Ambassador

Feb 7 (Island) Sri Lanka – Russia Business Council (SLRBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner in honour of Ambassador Alexander Karchava, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka on 30th January 2013 at the Colombo Club, Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo. Delivering the welcome speech Hiran Karunaratne, President of the SLRBC said, "The Sri Lanka - Russia Business Council warmly welcomes its Patron, Alexander Karchava. From the first day in his capacity more..

Tokyo Cement goes for Rs. 8 b new cement, biomass energy venture

Feb 7 (FT) Tokyo Cement (Lanka) Plc yesterday announced a new wholly-owned subsidiary to undertake a Rs. 8 billion investment to expand its core product as well as build a biomass energy project. The company said for this purpose, Tokyo Eastern Cement Company Ltd. (TECC) has been set up with the approval of the Board of Investment recently. “The principle objects of TECC are to carry on the business of manufacturers and dealer in cement, tile cement and cement products and more..

Why men should learn from women in cricket – Arjuna

Feb 7 (Island) Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga hailed the efforts of the country’s women cricketers on Tuesday and went onto say that the women were an example for the men’s team when it came to commitment. In the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup in Bombay, the Sri Lankans have come up with some giant-killing efforts, becoming the darlings of the world of cricket. Many said that more..

Sri Lankans were, are and will be Turtles in the Ocean, not Frogs in the Well

Feb 7 (Island) Since ancient times, Sri Lankans have engaged in international trade. Our rulers were open to international traders and visitors, such as Fa-Hsien. In addition, Ptolomy, a Greek, depicted Sri Lanka in a world map many centuries ago which indicates that Sri Lanka was on the trade routes of that time. Gems, spices, elephants, ceramics and pottery items were among the products that were exchanged. Though colonial rule and subsequent developments brought about a more..

Sinhalese sweets a big hit at the fair

Feb 7 (DH) The ongoing 27th Surajkand Mela has something more to boast about other than bringing national and international handicrafts under one roof - figuratively speaking. As fairs remain incomplete without some traditional food, the mela too is witnessing an interesting line-up of international cuisine including food stalls from China and Sri Lanka. A variety of traditional Sinhalese sweets are on sale for food lovers. Kept in colourful handmade baskets, they are a mix of fried and baked more..

Kaushalya at the heart of SL's campaign

Feb 7 (CI) Sri Lanka have been the most exciting team of the Women's World Cup so far, having surprised defending champions England and knocked hosts India out of the tournament. Eshani Kaushalya has been the face of this feisty bunch of little-known cricketers. The sight of the stocky, broad-shouldered allrounder smashing sixes is one of the enduring images of the group stage. Kaushalya's on-field aggression has matched more..

Shilpa exhibition on grand scale

Feb 7 (DN) The National Crafts Council (NCC) has decided to exhibit important traditional events, and tangible and intangible national heritage items at the Shilpa National Handicrafts Exhibition. The NCC will hold the annual exhibition at the BMICH in August. Minister Douglas Devananda has directed officers to hold the exhibition on a grand scale this year. The National Design Center, Palmyra Development Board and Kithul Development Board will launch programmes to show their skills and enter more..

Parents protest appointment of new principal

Feb 7 (CT) Parents of students of DS Senanayake Vidyalaya, Matara staged a protest in front of the College on Tuesday, against the new Principal appointed by Chandima Rasaputra of the Southern Province Education Ministry. Despite the SLFP Chief Organizer for Matara, Sanath Jayasuriya, MP and Matara Zonal Education Director recommending the appointment of the school's Deputy Principal to the post of Principal, the Southern Province Education Minister had appointed the Principal of more..

'Nearly 135,000 civilians, 15,000 Tigers perished'

Feb 7 (Island) A political grouping pushing for devolution of power to the provinces yesterday estimated the number of LTTE cadres killed during eelam war IV at 15,000. Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, of the NSSP, claimed that they were among 150,000 persons that perished in the war (July 2006 to May 2009). He was responding to a query, at a media briefing called by former Deputy Mayor of the CMC, Azath Sally more..

Planters’ Association welcomes Govt. support for tea industry

Feb 7 (FT) The Planters’ Association of Ceylon yesterday welcomed the Govt’s decision to resolve the crisis faced by the tea industry following the move to hike the cess on exports. Chairman Lalith Obeyesekere said the PA was indebted and grateful to Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe for acting swiftly in this matter in bringing it to the notice of President Rajapaksa, who, having understood the serious repercussions of an increase of over 100% in the prevailing cess, has directed the relevant more..

Sri Lankans expressed solidarity with hapless Kashmiris

Feb 7 (NP) The Kashmir Study group, Sri Lanka organized a Seminar and a Photo Exhibition in Colombo last evening, on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day falling on February 5, 2013. A cross-section of Pakistani community in Sri Lanka along with a large number of Sri Lankans attended the event which was also widely covered by the local Media. “Lasting peace in the world especially in the South Asian Region cannot be guaranteed unless Kashmir Issue is resolved in accordance more..

Ranil urges Govt. to quell hate campaign against Muslims but poses query on Halal

Feb 7 (FT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe sought effective and urgent action from the Govt to nip the rising hate campaign against Muslims in the bud in order to prevent further attacks on mosques and protests being carried out in various towns, fuelled by communal hatred between the Muslims and Sinhalese. This was the first instance the recent frictions between the two ethnicities were taken up in Parliament, more..

Overnight upgrade of education system

Feb 7 (Island) Dinesh Weerakkody Chairman Commercial Bank of Ceylon speaking at the 54th National Conference of the Finance Houses Associations under the theme "Skills Challenges in the 4k era and beyond" observed that the recent unveiling of the road map for 2013 targeting a growth plan that aims to achieve $4000 per capita income by 2016 offers a huge economic opportunity for Sri Lanka to reform our education and training with a bias for technological, scientific, and more..

Parliament struggles to define ‘terrorist’

Feb 7 (FT) Failing to interpret the definition of ‘terrorist’, Parliament prematurely adjourned the debate on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill tabled yesterday. Party leaders will arrive at a suitable definition today and will resume the debate tomorrow, amending the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act No. 25 of 2005. Raising objection on the definition, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake stated that in the absence of an interpretation, more..

GL against inclusion of SL in CMAG agenda

Feb 7 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday protested against the inclusion of Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) agenda claiming that it is contrary to Commonwealth rules. During a meeting with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in London, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris pointed out that such a course of action is contrary to the decisions taken by the Commonwealth more..

Sri Lanka: Move Commonwealth Summit

Feb 7 (HRW) The Commonwealth should shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless its govt makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to Commonwealth Heads of Govt. Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Feb 10, to discuss the upcoming meeting. The Sri Lankan govt under President Rajapaksa has taken no more..

Prestigious Spanish award for Minister Gunawardena

Feb 7 (DN) A prestigious award The Order of Isabella the Catholic of the Kingdom of Spain was bestowed upon Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at a ceremony at Waters Edge on Feb 1. The Order, Orden de Isabel la Católica, was created in March 1815 by King Ferdinand VII of Spain in honour of Queen Isabella I of Castile. It is a Spanish civil order granted in recognition of an extraordinary civil action by Spanish or foreign citizens that benefit the nation or for a person who makes a significant more..

Sri Lanka pushes foreign borrowings to spur growth, Cabraal Says

Feb 7 (BN) Sri Lanka is encouraging lenders and companies to borrow in foreign currencies in 2013 as it seeks to revive economic growth from the slowest pace in three years, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. One state bank is already preparing to sell international bonds guaranteed by the govt as part of a plan to tap overseas capital markets to supplement domestic savings and fund expansion, more..

350 schools closed in 2005-2010 period

Feb 7 (CT) Some 350 govt schools were shut down during the five-year period between 2005 and 2010, among which 112 schools were closed owing to the North-East conflict, Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardena said. He said this responding to a question by UNP Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa, in Parliament, during the oral question session, yesterday. Gunawardena noted the schools had not been closed owing to the lack of resources, as alleged by those in the Opposition, but more..

Navy launches boat tours in Diyawanna Oya

Feb 7 (SLN) The boat service operated by the Sri Lanka Navy as a part of its community welfare project at “Diyavanna oya” was declared open by the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksha yesterday at an invitation made by Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera, Commander Western Naval Area, more..

Importation of luxury limousines: Customs loses Rs 480 M

Feb 7 (CT) The Sri Lanka Customs has incurred loss of approximately Rs 480 million as a result of the govt granting permission to import eight super luxury limousines to Sri Lanka in the period 2010 to 2011. This was disclosed during a response by minister Sarath Amunugama to an oral question in Parliament. The loss incurred for each limousine is Rs 60 million. All eight limousines were imported by Prestige Limousines Ltd. in 2011. more..

SC to consider Full Bench for CPA case by 5th March

Feb 7 (DM) A three judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday said the matter of whether the motion for a Full Bench of the court to hear a Fundamental Rights petition challenging the appointment of the new CJ would be considered by 5 March, when the case is to be taken up again. The fundamental rights petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu challenges the new appointment of the CJ since there was no more..

EPF makes presentation before PAC

Feb 7 (Island) In the wake of allegations, with regard to decisions on investment, Mrs Kalyani Gunathilake, Superintendent of EPF yesterday made a detailed presentation before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama. She explained EPF operations as well as its investment decision making process. A majority of membersm including several members from the oppositionm commended the Central Bank for sharing the information with them. more..

'Sri Lanka may be in a tight spot in April'

Feb 7 (DM) Sri Lanka may face a tight situation at the April meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) in London with the likelihood of the country being included in the Agenda for the meeting, informed sources said. As a preemptive measure External Affairs Minister G.L Peries met Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on Tuesday in London with the intention of warding off such an inclusion. more..

Editorial: If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?

Feb 7 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs to transform himself from an incomparable public relations (PR) strategist to a great leader. It is no doubt good PR skills are essential for a ruler. But an excess of it, for a period too long, could largely prove inefficient and counter-productive. In the eye of a PR professional, the recent speech given by President Rajapaksa on the 65th Independence Day would have been a tremendous display of President Rajapaksa’s comprehension of the average more..

Booming business with crappy customer service

Feb 7 (DM) Though Kumbhakarna isn’t morbid by nature, he has to visit funeral houses as a matter of routine. More and more often, these funerals are held not in the homes of the deceased, but in funeral parlours. This is regarded as convenient to everyone concerned. Everyone, that is, except those who must shoulder the coffin down the stairs if the family can’t get the ground floor parlour and must settle for upstairs. Kumbhakarna can’t claim to have visited all the funeral parlours in Colombo, more..

Test kit to ensure pure kitul sap

Feb 7 (DN) The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) has invented a test kit to detect the adulteration of kitul sap and treacle with sugar, a well-known malpractice in the kitul industry, ITI Director Dr Sirimal Premakumara said. He said the new test kit provides a scientific, fairly accurate, easy and cost effective means for the detection of adulteration of sap and treacle with cane sugar, adding that this innovation more..

Kalpitiya killer

Feb 7 (ST) Illegal fishing practices used in the seas off Kalpitiya have resulted in the death of more than 40 dolphins, investigations reveal. The dolphin casualties have sparked demands for a rigorous crackdown on banned fishing methods. Last week, Police arrested 14 fishermen and confiscated six boats and banned fishing equipment, including what is known as the “laila” fishing net. The Police were acting on a directive from the more..

Skyrocketing Vegetable Prices

Feb 7 (SL) Farmers allege that the mafia of middlemen at the Dambulla Economic Centre has become a bane and is the main cause for the skyrocketing vegetable prices in the open market. Vegetable farmers have fallen from the frying pan to the fire by being compelled to sell their vegetables at a lower price due to the middlemen mafia and they are up in arms against the Economic Centre Management Trust for the failure to eliminate more..

Selectors meet key officials

Feb 7 (DM) The national cricket selectors headed by Sanath Jayasuriya took the unprecedented move of meeting key stakeholders of the country’s cricket in several special meetings yesterday to finetune their selection procedure and also to herald a fresh approach of considering the views of others with an open mind. This marks a completely different method of selection from the past committees which never consulted any more..

Thinakkural Jaffna distributor attacked

Feb 7 (CG) A distributor of the Jaffna Thinakkural newspaper was attacked early this morning and his motorbike as well as a bundle of newspapers were set on fire. The newspaper distributor was travelling along Point Pedro road early this morning when the incident took place. Unidentified men on motorbikes had followed the newspaper distributor and assaulted him before setting fire to his motorbike and a bundle of newspapers. more..

Govt. labs not up to Intl. standards

Feb 7 (Island) The Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SLSMLS) warned yesterday that the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) would have to disqualify government laboratories if they compared them with foreign models. President of the SLSMLS Ravi Kumudesh said that the Health Ministry’s decision to have accreditation awarded to five government laboratories had led to the dilemma. more..

CEB union raises query on four missing vehicles

Feb 7 (Island) An internal inquiry has revealed the alleged disappearance of four vehicles belonging to the CEB. According to the audit, they have been missing since 2011, during Champika Ranawaka’s tenure as Power and Energy Minister. Quoting the Audit Report, CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) said that the numbers and make of the missing vehicles were: 32-1492 - Mitsubishi Pajero, 50-4771 Toyota double cab, 61-7793 more..

Independent investigation concerning missing persons -TNA

Feb 7 (OU) Concerning those surrendered and missing persons occurred in the north, there is no actuality or expectation in the internal investigations. This establishes through govt’s contradicting statements. Hence concerning this issue, an independent investigation should be held through international mechanism, was urged by TNA yesterday. President had informed he is not prepared for devolution of more..

Minister wants many Mapilas for the SLTB

Feb 7 (DM) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has said that he wanted the services of a Mapila snake (a black mamba) to get the SLTB out of the current mess as the country’s main transport system is plagued with corruption and waste. Addressing a function at Panadura Depot, Minister Welgama said the SLTB couln’t be saved without an efficient and honest staff which was lacking at the moment. more..

Cardinal complains to IGP of harassment

Feb 7 (Island) The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on Tuesday, complained in writing to IGP N.K. Illangakoon of police harassment directed at Catholics and requested him to particularly stop the harassment of the parishioners and the parish priest by the Avissawella police. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has sent copies of his strongly-worded letter to the IGP to the Chairman of the RDA, Avissawella and OIC of the more..