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Justice C V Wigneswaran As Chief Minister

July 17 (CT) “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, …. when the soul of a nation, long suppressed finds utterance”. So said Nehru in his historic address to the nation, ushering in independence. In our own little context, the soul of the Tamil Nation striving to find utterance has found it. Nehru proceeded further and posed the question “Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp the opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?” The occasion is now for the Tamils and more..

TNA takes the rest to school!

July 17 (CT) By nominating C.V. Vigneswaran, former Supreme Court Judge as its chief ministerial candidate for the Northern Province in the forthcoming Provincial Council election, the TNA has set an exemplary precedent. When the leading Sinhalese parties, the UNP and the UPFA have time and again chosen 'professional' politicians with skewered priorities that are alien to those of the majority of the electorate and even less qualified in education, professional aptitudes and more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Majestic jumbo killed by bus

July 17 (Island) A speeding private bus proceeding to Colombo from Polonnaruwa knocked down and killed an elephant, which was crossing the road near the 33rd mile post at Minneriya on Monday night. In the accident that happened around 8.30 p.m. the driver and seven passengers of the bus too were injured and admitted to the Polonnaruwa hospital. After hitting the male elephant, which was between the age of 20 and 25, the driver had lost control of the bus and it had gone about 50 metres more..

Nurses strike a flop says Ministry

July 17 (CG) The Ministry of Health says the strike launched today by nurses in support of a trade union was unsuccessful. The GNOA launched the strike this morning over various demands. However according to a Health Ministry spokesman 90% of the nurses had turned up for work at state hospitals around the country. The spokesman said that Directors at all state hospitals had confirmed the attendance of the nurses and said that activities at the hospitals were not affected. more..

Statue of Ven. Welivitiye Sri Soratha Thera unvailed

July 17 (GDI) The statue of Ven. Welivitiye Sri Soratha Thera, founder of Vidyodhaya University, University of Sri J'pura, was unvailed at the university premises on Wednesday, by President Rajapaksa. The event was held to coincide with the 50th death anniversary of the Thera who was also the first Vice Chancellor of the University. Statue was constructed out of personal funds donated by Prof Sunil Ariyarathna more..

State banks asked to reduce lending rates

July 17 (Island) State banks have been asked to bring down their lending rates by one percent so as to revive sluggish private sector demand for credit. The average prime lending rate applicable to high net-worth individuals and corporations of state banking giant Bank Ceylon stood at 14.11% as at last Friday. People’s Bank lending rate was 13.96%. Bank dealers said private sector businesses were in a wait-and-see mode and not taking up bank loans to finance long term projects with the hope more..

60 years of SL-Germany diplomatic relations

July 17 (GDI) A reception at the Official Residence of the Ambassador in the presence of Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris was organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin to inaugurate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Germany. Members of the diplomatic community, high profile personalities from political parties and business community as well as officials from Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development more..

Over 3,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers return home under amnesty by Saudi Arabia

July 17 (Xinhua) Over 3,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers with expired visas have returned home under a special amnesty granted by the Saudi Arabian govt. These workers were the first to return, and more are expected to come back home later, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) noted. During the amnesty period, the overstaying Sri Lankans were asked to report to the Saudi Immigration and Emigration Dept more..

Lorry torched at Dematagoda slaughter house

July 17 (Island) A lorry parked near the former Dematagoda Slaughter House, where beef is now brought from various parts of the country for examination before distribution to meat stalls, was set ablaze in the early hours of yesterday by three unknown persons wearing monks’ robes. According to two watchers and an employee there, three men clad in saffaron robes had disappeared in a cab after warning them to mind their business. They said the men in robes had entered the premises and more..

EPC to establish separate Housing Development Authority

July 17 (CT) The Eastern Provincial Council has decided to establish a separate Housing Development Authority for the Eastern Province. The new body will be named as the Eastern Provincial Housing Development Authority. A decision to this effect was taken at the monthly Provincial Cabinet meeting held last week, consequent to a Cabinet Paper being submitted in this regard by the Provincial Minister of Road Development and Housing and Construction, more..

ADB optimistic on Sri Lanka's growth, downgrades rest of South Asia

July 17 (Xinhua) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has indicated optimism over Sri Lanka's growth prospects though it downgraded the rest of the South Asian region overall, it said in a latest report. "The Sri Lankan economy is forecast to grow by 6.8% in 2013 on the back of a strong performance in the remaining quarter of the year. Healthy growth in 2013 and acceleration to 7.2% in 2014 will be more..

'Bring 11 imprisoned Indians from Sri Lanka'

July 17 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu govt should complete the formalities fast so as to bring to jails here 11 Indian prisoners now languishing in Sri Lankan jails, said a leader of the MMK Wednesday. In a statement, M.H. Jawahirullah, MMK leader said: "I appeal to the Tamil Nadu govt to expeditiously complete the formalities in the home department to enable the transfer of the prisoners to Tamil Nadu prisons. Most of the prisoners are senior citizens suffering from chronic diseases." more..

Duminy's 92 powers SA to win

July 17 (CI) JP Duminy's 92 runs, and two wickets helped the South Africans cruise to a 73-run victory in their warm-up match in Colombo, ahead of the five-match ODI series that begins on Saturday. Duminy injected urgency to the South Africans' batting effort after it had threatened stagnation early on, before building strong partnerships with AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, on a slow Colts Cricket Club surface. The South Africans could not score as many as they might have hoped in the more..

'Youngsters should emulate seniors'

July 17 (CI) Though Sri Lanka continue to perform satisfactorily in limited-overs tournaments, recent assignments in the Champions Trophy and the West Indies have helped make plain the challenges the side faces over the next two years. In both tournaments Sri Lanka leaned heavily on their experienced batsmen while the young talent largely failed to produce dividends for the considerable faith that has been afforded them. more..

Jeyaraj was a rare politician – President

July 17 (GDI) President Rajapaksa paying tribute to late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday said that he always believed in a "One Sri Lanka" where all could live in peace and unity. The President said that the late Minister Jeyaraj was an asset to the nation and his demise is an irreparable loss to all communities in the country. The President identified the late Minister as a rare political leader and a human being who never considered differences, such as, caste, creed, race or religion more..

CHOGM: Re-establish Ind. Commissions or face C’wealth boycott - UNP

July 17 (Island) The UNP warned the govt that if it did not re-establish all the independent commissions prior to the three Provincial Council Elections to be held in September, it would call on Commonwealth Nations to boycott the CHOGM scheduled for November in Colombo. UNP MP, Mangala Samaraweera said that the Rajapaksa regime while flouting the law and violating all norms of human rights with impunity, had assured both the UNHRC and the Commonwealth that more..

India to set up handicrafts villages at Hambantota

July 17 (HCI) In the first phase of this Project, the Handicrafts Village at Hambantota will be set up over the next four months. Following the conclusion of the tendering process, the 'Contract Agreement' was signed with M/s. Hewage Constructions on 17 July 2013 in the presence of the Y.K.Sinha, High Commissioner of India, Mr. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Traditional Industries, Mr. Buddhi Keerthisena, more..

Rudd to turn to Sri Lankan tactics

July 17 (TA) The govt is faced with a new boat-arrival crisis largely as a result of a spike in arrivals from another source country - Iran. Kevin Rudd must deal not only with this spike in Iranian asylum-seekers, which is driving public concern, but also reassure voters that he has a more general answer to illegal boat arrivals. For the Prime Minister, this goes to the heart of ticking off his third priority in dealing with the concerns of the earlier Rudd-Gillard era after dealing with Labor Party reform more..

PPB to be vested with more teeth

July 17 (CT) Following the govt's ban on the film Flying Fish by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, the Public Performance Board (PPB) is to get the necessary legal teeth to ban any movie from being screened in Sri Lanka, except private screenings. "There is a legal lacuna, and currently, the authorities are working on this," the Chairman, PPB, Gamini Sumanasekera, said, adding, "The present mandate provides for the approval or non-approval of a film but not complete banning." more..

Maradana one-way traffic plan from tomorrow

July 17 (AD) One-way traffic plan will commence from 6am tomorrow from Maradana Junction – Technical Junction – Sangaraja Mawatha Junction and back to Maradana Junction, Police said. Vehicles traveling towards Pettah from Maligawatta Road and Armour Street should enter Panchikawatta Road from Sangaraja Mawatha, turn right from near Elphinstone Theatre and then turn right from Technical Junction. more..

Gemunu threatens legal action over non-revision of bus fares

July 17 (Island) Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said that he would take legal action against National Transport Commission Chairman Roshan Gunawardena and his inter-provincial private bus operators for not implementing the annual bus fare revision and sabotaging their legitimate strike. The NTC Chairman was responsible for not revising the bus fares on July 1, 2013 in accordance with the National Transport Policy. more..

Special driving licence for passenger transport

July 17 (Island) The Motor Traffic Department has planned to issue a special driving licence to those involved in passenger transport In a bid to minimise accidents and provide a safer and efficient service to the public, especially with regard to transport of school children. Commissioner General S.H. Harischandra said that the proposal and recommendation process would take some time as it should be sent to the Legal Draftsman and from there to the AG’s Department. more..

'Minister Amaraweera cannot be allowed to go scot free'

July 17 (Island) Although Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera had been cleared of the responsibility of failing to convey the bad weather warning to the fishing community last month, by the committee appointed to probe the failure, the real reason for it was that the Meteorology Department was faced with severe shortcomings on all fronts, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said. Hesaid that it would cost more..

An examination of McGrivay’s writing on Kuragala epigraphy

July 18 (NS) If one notes that the author gives his explanation of the epigraphy of Kuragala Brami-Prakrit inscriptions in relation to what Aboosally has written in his book that there is no evidence that the site was ever dedicated to the Buddhist Sangha, one can see how a close relationship has developed between Aboosally’s position and McGilvray’s explanation of the inscriptions. The author quotes Aboosally only in preference to the vast literature which has grown over the subject of more..

13 A + and the Tamil struggle: Will the TNA fail again?

July 18 (DBS) Some Tamil intellectuals believe that, rather than beat about the bush, TNA should go straight for a federal solution; as the 13th Amendment plus is extremely vague and doesn’t give much power to the Tamils. This has to be done even if some may say that TNA is asking for the moon, because that is politics. The Tamils wanted a separate state like what the South Sudanese needed, but India wouldn’t agree to that for the simple reason that it could inspire the more..

Time to adjust the ‘Fuel Adjustment Charge’

July 18 (NS) It is now nearly three months since the controversial electricity tariff hike and many of the consumers have already received two electricity bills prepared according to the new tariff. Although the tariff hike has somewhat affected the middle income families and they are in discussion, the protest campaign against the raise seems to be losing ground. Meanwhile, this issue has been replaced by many other hot topics. more..

Negombo’s innovative candle man Camillus

July 18 (NS) Catholics light candles and pray. Some thank, whilst some light candles and make their representations before the Almighty. One might cry, at the same time another might rejoice. Whatever the motive be, in good times or bad, those little yellow sticks of light will continue to be a devotee’s best friend. Given the strategic location of the city and the demographics however, in 1979, Camillus Fernando of Pitipana identified a lucrative yet untapped market space, or a ‘Blue Ocean’ more..

The importance of working with

July 18 (GV) “Machan, I hope a couple of UPFA guys get elected, too!” said my drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram. It is a warm and beautifully sunny day in Bridgetown, UK, and from our favourite water hole we were discussing the decision by the TNA to name former SC Judge, Mr Wigneswaran, as their lead candidate in the forthcoming election to the Northern Provincial Council. Should the election take place (low probability), the TNA will win (high probability) more..

Women from a different angle

July 18 (ST) Selvarajah Seanthan is a Grama Niladhari for the Karachi division in the Killinochchi district. His picture at the ‘Women –Out of the Frame’ photography exhibition held last week at the Lionel Wendt Gallery depicted a woman trying single-handedly to build a house for her and her two children. She has only one hand. “The picture shows the real life situations in my division,” says Selvarajah. more..

The debate on the unit of devolution

July 18 (CT) At a time when Sri Lankans are debating the merits and demerits of devolving power, in a democratic system and the unit of devolution, whether it should be the village, an existing local government unit, the administrative district, the province or a combination of provinces, it would be useful to look at some examples from other parts of the world for comparative purposes. The first issue to sort out is what we mean by a democracy. more..

One blunder after the other in foreign policy

July 18 (CT) Sri Lanka is making one blunder after the other in its foreign relations with India quite reminiscent of the days of President J.R. Jayewardene which finally resulted in strengthening the separatist forces in the country and the Indian intervention in 1987. Whether this is happening without provocation or reason is a debatable matter. Even if the tug of war with India is understandable on the human rights resolution at the UNHRC or the 13th Amendment, there is no reason to more..

Boston Lanka with Keerthi Pasquel

BOC leads Sri Lankan banks in world’s top 1,000 list

July 18 (FT) Sri Lanka’s number one bank, Bank of Ceylon, with 74 years of strength, trust and stability behind it, received global recognition as one of the top 1,000 banks in the world by superseding all Sri Lankan banks, according to the world’s premier banking and finance magazine The Banker published on July 2013. The top 1,000 banks were selected in recognition of global leaders in the industry for their achievements. The rankings are one of the industry’s most widely used more..

WSO2 hosts CxO Forum

July 18 (FT) WSO2 Sri Lanka recently held a CxO Forum to showcase its latest solutions for a connected business. The forum also highlighted WSO2’s existing product offerings and provided insight into its pipeline of enterprise solutions. Operations and information heads representing a cross-section of industries such as apparel, telecommunications, IT services, finance and the Govt sector were among the invitees that attended the session which was held at more..


July 18 (CT) The inclusion of the five times international award-winning Sri Lankan film, Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo) has led to the suspension of the French Film Festival, organized by the French Embassy in Colombo in association with Alliance Francaise de Kotte, for the alleged negative portrayal of the Sri Lankan Security Forces. Directed by young film maker, Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, and produced by the director more..

Agents bow to IATA pressure

July 18 (ST) Sri Lankan travel agents were compelled this week to bow to pressure from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to implement the 7-day credit payment plan in Colombo. Last week the Business Times reported that travel agents believed there would be an imminent threat from the airline body to pull out of its programme to Colombo if they did not agree to implement the new settlement plan. The bill settlement plan (BSP) is a programme more..

Tokyo Cement to buy two more ships

July 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Tokyo Cement group said it planned to buy two more vessels in the next three years, as the firm expanded. "During the previous financial year we purchased two vessels and within next three financial years we propose to add another two vessels to our fleet," managng director S R Gnanam told shareholders in the annual report. The firm is planning a 50 million dollar expansion in capacity which will up capacity by a million tonnes a year by 2015. more..

Cometh the hour

July 18 (FT) Seven months after the unceremonious sacking of the country’s 43rd Chief Justice, another former SC Justice assumes political centre stage following a decision by the country’s main Tamil party to field a highly respected jurist and intellectual, native to the Jaffna District as its choice for the first-ever chief minister of the Northern Province at the forthcoming provincial poll. Former Justice of the SC, C.V. Wigneswaran, more..

Editorial: Veddahs vroom

July 18 (Island) The car is more than a mode of transport. Apart from being a status symbol, depending on its make, model, year of manufacture etc, it serves as an instrument of appeasement in this country, where politicians usually win over even hostile religious dignitaries with limos. Now, the Veddah Chief Vannila Aththo has been given a chauffeur-driven pickup truck with free fuel and a car for him is on the way, as we reported. In a country where Neanderthals in politics are using more..