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Geneva 2.0: Lessons unlearnt

Feb 2 (FT) On 29 January 2013, three years and five days since her husband disappeared without a trace, Sandhya Ekneligoda tied a black cloth over her mouth and took her place at the front row of the Black January protest in Town Hall. Tireless and unyielding in her quest to discover what became of her husband, Sandhya Ekneligoda has become a crusader for Sri Lanka’s ‘disappeared’ and the face of a small but vocal campaign more..

Editorial : A bombshell from down under

Feb 2 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised in diplomatic and political circles by a newspaper report down under that a high ranking Sri Lankan official is complicit in human smuggling trade. The Australian newspaper says this unnamed official’s involvement in the racket has put paid to Canberra’s efforts to stem the surge in Australia bound boats carrying economic refugees in their numbers and Australia’s intelligence agencies believe it would be impossible for so many asylum-seeker boats more..

Fonterra launches Sri Lanka’s first solar powered milk chilling centre at Hanwella

Feb 2 (ST) Fonterra last week opened Sri Lanka’s first solar powered milk chilling centre in Hanwella. Projected to conserve approximately 22,000 kW every year, the centre which features 32 solar panels with a 3.24 kW capacity, was officially declared open by the Minister Champika Ranawaka, the company said. Speaking at the event, Minister said: “I am happy to see that “Fonterra” is opening Sri Lanka’s first solar powered milk chilling centre – it demonstrates a clear commitment by more..

සංවර්ධන සටහන් | Development Diaries

Our successes and failures since gaining indpendence

Feb 2 (Island) It is 64 years since our country re-gained independence after nearly four hundred and fifty years of western colonial rule. It is a common refrain to be critical of the colonial rulers for having exploited the resources of the country for their economic gain. There is undoubtedly truth in this criticism. But, while the country’s resources were being exploited, there were also substantial gains to the country from colonial rule. Overall, by the time the last colonial power left, more..

Construction activity on the low side but seen improving this year

Feb 2 (ST) ‘Allumex’, which says it leads the market in aluminium structures as a replacement for timber, is able to trade only 40 per cent of its total production reflecting either a fall in construction activity or lesser demand due to other reasons. Alumex manufactures architectural range of products to suit for doors, windows, curtain walls, shop fronts, internal partition systems and also specialises in manufacturing internationally recognized proprietary aluminum joinery more..

Sri Lanka's unwavering belief pays off

Feb 2 (CI) Belief. Faith. Both words figured prominently in the reactions of Sri Lanka Women captain Shashikala Siriwardene and Player-of-the-Match Eshani Kaushalya. Even after England Women recovered from 29 for 3 to a challenging 238, Siriwardene said she believed her batsmen could achieve Sri Lanka's first win over one of the top four sides - Australia, England, India and New Zealand. Kaushalya, whose defiant, more..

Sri Lanka's national flag, part of constitution

Feb 2 (Island) King Vijaya brought with him a flag from India with a symbol of a lion on it. Since then it has been used extensively by successive rulers. king Dutugemunu carried with him a banner which portrayed a lion carrying a sword in its right forepaw along with two other symbols, the sun and the moon. This particular banner was used until the reign of the last king of the Kandyan Kingdom, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, who was deposed with the signing of the Kandyan Convention on March 02, 1815, more..

Former mentor’s letter to Sanath Jayasuriya

Feb 2 (Island) Dear Sanath, Please accept my heartiest congratulations in your appointment as Chairman of the Selection Committee. You richly deserve this job as your contributions to Sri Lankan cricket is second to none. But you have a big task to clean up the place. Although we have some temporary success in the T20 and 50 over formats, the future appears to be doomed after Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan give up. Although we have a lot of young batting talent in Chandimal, more..

First woman head of UGC takes over

Feb 2 (Island) The country’s first woman to be appointed head of the UGC, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama assumed duties yesterday. Prof. Ms. Hirimburegama succeeded Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, who would return to the Political Science Department of the Peradeniya University. Prof. Hirimburegama joined the Botany Department of the Colombo University as a lecturer in 1990. She received a double promotion, more..

'EPF finally before PAC next Wednesday'

Feb 2 (FT) Dr. Harsha De Silva announced yesterday that after two years of battling hard for answers alongside UNP MPs Eran Wickremaratne and Ravi Karunanayake, the Employees’ Provident Fund would finally appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament next Wednesday. Dr. De Silva told reporters that as a member of the PAC he was deeply regretful of the fact that the Committee was yet to present a report to Parliament. “I wrote a letter asking more..

New Delhi 10th destination of Mihin

Feb 2 (FT) India’s capital New Delhi is Mihin Lanka’s 10th destination, with flights commencing from today, the company said in a statement yesterday. Mihin commences its flight operations to Delhi on Saturday and this new frequency promises to be a boon to the traveller, specifically to those who frequent the Dambadiva Pilgrimage. It pointed out that a minimum of 200,000 individuals travel yearly to India for pilgrimage and as a result of this convenient flight, they will find it easier to more..

PM won’t quit: Says MR never suggested his resignation

Feb 2 (Island) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne scotched rumours that he was planning to quit. He said he intended to remain in that post as long as he could. He was responding to a query at a special meeting with editors at ‘Visumpaya’ yesterday. He said it was President Rajapaksa’s prerogative to appoint and remove the Prime Minister and the latter had not suggested that he resign as Prime Minister. more..

Hungary- SL to sign MoU on economic cooperation

Feb 2 (DN) The Hungarian govt expressed interest in signing a MoU on economic co-operation with Sri Lanka. Preparations are underway to sign it this year. An Air Services Agreement with Hungary is also under discussion. This was stated by the Hungarian Parliamentary delegation led by Hungary National Assembly Speaker Dr. Laszlo Kover during a meeting with External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris on Wednesday in Parliament. The Hungarian delegation comprised State Secretary and more..

Health Dept spends Rs 1,700 m on Thalassaemia

Feb 2 (DN) The government spends Rs 400,000 to 1 million per child with Thalassaemia per year. The Health Department spends Rs 1,700 million on Thalassaemia every year. This is seven percent of the national health budget, said Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Teaching Hospital, Kandy, Dr Kalinga Nanayakkara. He was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on Bone Marrow Transplantation for Thalassaemia at the Harindra Corea hall, Chilaw recently. more..

IBA fact-finding mission on impeachment in doubt

Feb 2 (FT) In an eleventh-hour development, former Indian Chief Justice J.S. Verma has decided not to lead a fact-finding mission to Colombo on the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Verma was scheduled to arrive in the island late last night heading a mission commissioned by the International Bar Association. The delegation originally comprised four officials, including UK House of Lords Cross bench more..

600 supplementary medical professionals without jobs

Feb 2 (CT) Over 600 professionals supplementary to medicine, who completed their degree programmes in 2010, are without jobs as the Ministry of Health has not granted them employment, the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) charged. JCPSM President Dharmakeerthi Epa claimed though the Health Ministry authorities had been promising the JCPSM that they would be employed for the last couple of years, no steps had been taken to fulfil the promise. more..

'Mass struggle necessary to protect sovereignty of law'

Feb 2 (LT) “A more serious situation than the impeachment of the Chief Justice has cropped up now. We have to engage in a struggle to re-establish the independence of the judiciary. I believe it is the primary requirement of the present time. This situation would not have any bearing on lawyers. It is the people and their legal matters that will be affected. Finally we have to tell the people to be prepared for this reality,” said senior lawyer J.C. Weliamuna. “The legal community struggled more..

SC dismisses case against ex-AG and PB

Feb 2 (DM) The Supreme Court today dismissed with costs a fundamental rights petition that challenged the integrity and honesty of the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris and the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera. The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices P.A. Ratnayake, Sathya Hettige and S.E. Wanasundera refused leave to proceed with the fundamental rights application filed by a Customs officer who more..

Sisira Rathnayake new JSC Secretary

Feb 2 (DM) Former Colombo District Judge Sisira Rathnayake has been appointed as the new Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). He replaces Manjula Tillakaratne who is transferred as the Supernumerary District Judge of Ratnapura, it is learnt. Judge Rathnayake served as the District Judge of Colombo and was twice elected as the President of the Judicial Service Association, a body comprising judges from the original courts, the Magistrate Court and District court across more..

JVP to hold massive protest rally

Feb 2 (FT) The JVP is to hold a massive protest march and rally in Colombo next week. The rally will be held on 6 February after the march at the Hyde Park in Colombo. Co-convener of the Movement and JVP politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha said the march and the rally are held to protest against the imperialist interventions in the country and the family rule in the country that allows for such interferences. He observed that the imperialist forces used the arbitrary acts of the Govt more..

Surge Sri Lanka 'payback'

Feb 2 (TA) The surge in asylum-seeker boats to Australia may have been quietly sanctioned at senior levels of the Sri Lankan govt as a political payback for Australia’s attempts to make Colombo answer for alleged atrocities committed during its civil war. The theory has been discussed by Gillard govt officials. It follows a widely asserted belief within the Australian govt that a powerful Sri Lankan govt official may be “complicit” in the more..

CMC plunges into management muddle

Feb 2 (Island) Senior executives of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) are up in arms over proposals by its Management Service Department (MSD) to effect drastic changes to the council’s managment by creating posts of three additional Deputy Municipal Commissioners without the matter being discussed at Council meetings. A special Council meeting has now been arranged for Tuesday to discuss the issue. According to CMC sources, there are three posts of more..

'9.8% inflation a miscalculation'

Feb 2 (CT) The UNP yesterday charged the way of measuring inflation is incorrect in Sri Lanka. Addressing the media, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, pointed out that though the government says that inflation in Sri Lanka is only 9.8%, it is a miscalculation. "To measure the inflation, the government should consider the prices of goods in 14 different places in Colombo. However, the calculation by the government does not add up these places including the supermarkets. more..

'US$ 64.7mn vanishes in under-invoiced Rolls Royce import'

Feb 2 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva urged the authorities to investigate an under invoiced importation of a Rolls Royce Ghost series luxury saloon which has cost the govt tax revenue worth a whopping US$ 64.7 million. He said the Customs document for the imported Rolls Royce Ghost revealed a purchase price of US$ 175,000 and due to the huge tax rate on imported luxury vehicles, total taxes on its importation more..

Open verdict in death of schoolgirl who died while running

Feb 2 (Island) Chilaw Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Illangaratne Banda returned an open verdict on Thursday’s death of the 18-year-old schoolgirl marathon runner. He also ordered that samples of her blood be sent to the Medical Research Institute to determine the exact cause of death. Parts of the body, too, had been sent to the Government Analyst, the police said. R.D. Kaushalya of Ananda National School, Chilaw collapsed and died while taking part in a school marathon. more..

Undercover agents to tackle Health Ministry corruption

Feb 2 (Island) Undercover agents are to be appointed to tackle corruption in the public health sector. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday assured representatives of the Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) that he would soon appoint ‘undercover agents’ to tackle corrupt officials. He was unable to take on-the-spot action against errant officials in his Ministry as the Public Service Commission (PSC) was responsible for disciplinary action against such officials. more..

Executive cannot be both spender and auditor: Eran

Feb 2 (FT) The Executive cannot be both spender and auditor of public finances, UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne said, charging that the 18th Amendment had placed the country’s anti-corruption commission directly under Executive purview, making Sri Lanka’s State sector corruption rankings plummet in worldwide surveys. Referring to the Transparency International Govt Defence Anti Corruption Index released earlier this week, more..

Editorial: Be a light unto others

Feb 2 (DM) Oil lamps and candles are symbols that people of most religions use in their places of worship and even at home. Unfortunately, due to lack of proper awareness and understanding, this has become largely a ritual for most people. In some places of worship hundreds of candles are lit on feast days or days of devotion, but they are soon thrown away – making it not only a meaningless practice but also a waste of money. Oil lamps and candles are symbols of what must happen more..

Chelvanayakam was willing to settle

Feb 2 (DM) Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam was born in Malaysia on 31ST March 1898, one century and fifteen years ago. He received his secondary education at the Union College, Tellippalai and later became a student at St. Thomas’ College, which was at that time situated at Modera. He was a contemporary of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. At the age of nineteen, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. Soon after his graduation he became a teacher at more..

Trincomalee spruced up for Independence Day celebrations

Feb 2 (ST) On February 4, the nation will be focusing its attention on Trincomalee, the venue for Sri Lanka’s 65th Independence Day celebrations. “A glorious motherland, a flourishing tomorrow” will be the theme of the celebrations. This is only the second time in 65 years that the main Independence Day observances are being held in the east coast town. Up to 100,000 persons are expected to converge on Trincomalee for more..

Basnayaka Nilame making hay with Soragune devalaya lands

Feb 2 (SL) Environmental organizations have urged the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to declare Bogahapattiya, Soragune and Samanala Wewa forest areas as a sanctuary in order to protect its bio diversity value. According to them, these three forest areas are rich in bio diversity, and have a biological value and are a catchment area that feeds Samanala Wewa, Udawalawa, Lunugamvehera and more..

Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Sea awarded top star certificates

Feb 2 (eTN) For Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Sea, 2013 dawned fair indeed. Two of the country’s most prominent resorts, as well as being the beginning of the Jetwing story, Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Sea were recently awarded a five-star and four-star certificate, respectively, by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. With tourism increasingly at a consistent pace, as evidenced by the millionth visitor to the island a more..

Garment industry giving way!

Feb 2 (ST) The garment industry is in crisis as the consequences of losing the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences Plus (GSP+) concessions are just being felt. The EU GSP+ scheme granted Sri Lanka duty-free access to EU markets, especially for the garment industry that makes up the bulk of the country’s exports to the EU. Sri Lanka lost GSP+ concessions in 2010, amidst political controversy. more..

Morrison has new Sri Lanka boat plan

Feb 2 (DT) HOURS after the election date was called, some asylum seekers in Indonesia were reportedly hurrying to organise boat travel to Australia. News that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had announced a September 14 poll spread through the coastal West Java village of Puncak, prompting asylum seekers to bring forward travel in case there was a change of govt. The Coalition vowed to toughen its border protection policies more..

Hoteliers suffer despite higher tourist arrivals

Feb 2 (DM) Though there is a lot of hype created through monthly arrival figure produced and disseminated by the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority (SLTDA), tourism earnings have failed to lift the bottom lines of Lankan hoteliers, with luxury hotel operators being the hardest hit category. This week saw the shocking revelations of how the star class hotel occupancy rates had gone down-hill with the average occupancy rates falling to 76% more..

International Council of Jurists backs new CJ

Feb 2 (Island) The International Council of Jurists (ICJ) has assured President Rajapaksa of its full support to impeached CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake’s successor, Mohan Peiris, as well as the govt in the wake of a section of the international community demanding Dr. Bandaranayake’s reinstatement. Canada wants to deprive Sri Lanka of an opportunity to host the CHOGM in Colombo later this year more..

Health Ministry accused of misusing funds

Feb 2 (Island) The Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SMLS) yesterday accused the Health Ministry of misusing funds allocated for developing laboratory services in govt hospitals. SMLS president Ravi Kumudesh said that instead of utilising the funds to strengthen laboratory services in major government hospitals, test facilities had been set up in rural hospitals, which catered to a limited number of patients. more..

Massacre of Dolphins: NARA sending probe team to Kalpitiya

Feb 2 (Island) The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) yesterday said that 14 persons had been arrested in connection with the massacre of dolphins in Kalpitiya. NARA Chairman Dr. Sayuru Samarasundera said he would be sending a team to the Kalpitiya area, for two months, to find out the truth behind the mass death of dolphins. An investigation has been launched following more..

Sri Lanka blocks international impeachment probe

Feb 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka has blocked entry of a London-based group of lawyers who planned to probe the controversial impeachment of the island’s chief justice, the International Bar Association said on Saturday. The group expressed “serious concern” over the withdrawal of visas for the Human Rights Institute lawyers, who were due to visit Colombo for 10 days starting Friday. The institute is a branch of the bar association. more..