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Untangling the Golden Key web

July 21 (Island) Given the thousands who held deposits in the failed Golden Key credit card company, and the size of its deposit fund of many billion rupees, it is no surprise that the state of play in the protracted litigation and other efforts to sort the mess remains in the news. Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, presiding over a three-judge bench hearing a fundamental rights action filed by some depositors, was reported to have remarked last week that the depositors should be grateful for more..

Hype and Hoopla over three PC elections

July 21 (SL) There is much hype and hoopla generated about the forthcoming provincial councils elections to the North, North Western and Central provinces even though there is a rising tide of opinion that these councils should be abolished. On Thursday, a headline in a newspaper said that the Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters had called for the abolition of all provincial councils when they met a delegation of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress. more..

'Low cost electricity - Govt's aim'

July 21 (SO) Her beaming smile and friendly disposition would unravel all political enigmas. Descending from a political family, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi is one of the senior legislators in the UPFA Cabinet. She has held many ministerial portfolios and as Power and Energy Minister today she carries a heavy burden on her shoulders to provide 'light' to the country. The Minister said that her main task is to ensure more..

Never again!

July 21 (NS) 30 years is a long time in the life of a generation. It is short in the life of a nation or a community. We live, however, not in that long time-span but the short, where memory matters and matters of memory, in marriage with prejudice and skewed by selectivity that prompts exaggeration and dismissal, weigh upon us, our actions, our politics, hopes and despair, and realities uncomfortably lived through. 30 years ago, almost to the day, Sri Lanka was engulfed in darkness. more..

CHOGM will convince international community

July 21 (SO) It is common knowledge how LTTE terrorists and their supporters the world over had exploited international summits to mislead the world community during the 2006-2009 humanitarian operation. They targeted international fora such as the United Nations General Assembly, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and UN Human Rights Council sessions to fortify their campaign against Sri Lanka and woo international sympathy. more..

'No constitutional amendments before September PC elections'

July 21 (SL) Minister Susil Premajayantha expressed confidence in recording victories at the forthcoming provincial council elections. He observed that the governing party would not name chief ministerial candidates for the elections, but would name group leaders. Referring to the proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment, Premajayantha said that the amendments would not take place before the provincial elections more..

Let’s go beyond the ethnic issue

July 21 (ST) It was during a week like this, 30 years ago (July 23, 1983), that this country experienced a game-changer; a watershed in its modern history. This was the July 1983 riots triggered from the ambush and killing of 13 soldiers, including a young officer at Thinnaveli in Jaffna by the LTTE. The riots in Colombo and other major towns in the ‘South’ witnessed the savagely brutish murders of nearly 500 innocent Sri Lankan Tamil people, the wanton destruction of property, the instilling of fear more..

Bringing in Justice

July 21 (ST) My Dear Wigneswaran, I thought I should write to you when I heard that you would be contesting for the Chief Ministerial post in the North in the upcoming elections. I suppose you wouldn’t mind being called ‘Wigneswaran’ instead of being addressed as ‘Your Lordship’, now that you are a fully-fledged politician! You are making history as the first Judge of the Supreme Court who is taking to politics. I am sure there will be many who believe that what you are doing is taking that more..

Boston Lanka: July 21, 2013

Rajapaksa govt’s obstinacy a stumbling block on reconciliation

July 21 (SL) Tuesday (23) will mark three decades since the 1983 Black July that resulted in a long drawn bloody battle between brothers of one nation. As the country marks the 30th anniversary of the pogrom in 1983 it is unfortunate that successive govts that ruled the country since have been unable to satisfactorily address the national issue. The seeds of hatred that were planted in 1983 have since been nurtured by the string of rulers in some way to become a fully fledged with roots that more..

Amend rules to allow growers to take their own teas to the market

July 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s most successful tea marketer, Mr. Merrill J. Fernando, has advocated that present restrictions limiting tea growers from marketing their own teas should be lifted saying "producers are best suited to export their crop (and) therefore present restrictions should be lifted and they should be incentivized to market their crop direct." He has said in the latest annual report of Ceylon Tea Services PLC that farmers taking their own crop to the market is a growing trend more..

'Provincial Council Polls: A stepping stone for final battle'

July 21 (SL) General Secretary of the UNP, MP Tissa Attanayake says the main opposition is prepared to contest the forthcoming Northern, Central and North Western (Wayamba) provincial council elections. He added that the UNP’s intention is to establish a UNP govt. “Whatever election is held, our target is to topple the current govt and establish a UNP govt eventually, and to win the future presidential election,” more..

Flying Fish and the Fornicating Army

July 21 (Island) Last week, there was a mighty furore over the screening of an anti-war film Igillena Maaluwo (Flying Fish) at a French Film Festival held in Colombo. The festival itself was halted, probably the first time that such a thing happened in Sri Lanka. This has led to cries that the freedom of expression was being stifled. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, a veteran film maker has said that ‘regimented jackboots’ were ‘crushing artistic expression’. Rajpal Abeynayake, editor of more..

Wigneswaran ups the ante in CM stakes

July 21 (ST) With the electoral race launched in three provinces, two developments within minority political formations during the past week point to significant undercurrents. Firstly, there were ripples caused by the naming of a respected retired SC judge, C V Wigneswaran, as the chief ministerial candidate of the TNA, for the first ever Northern Provincial Council election. Secondly the SLMC has announced that it will contest independently of the UPFA in all three provinces. more..

Dominant Sangakkara gets better with age

July 21 (CI) Cricketers are sometimes labeled 'great students of the game'. Often these students are men who distinguish themselves from the peloton of cricket's sporty jocks by a yearning to learn more about the history and the nuances of the pursuit that consumes their lives. When he first began playing for Lancashire, Muttiah Muralitharan was said to have had a more thorough knowledge of the team's previous season more..

The Wigneswaran challenge

July 21 (NS) A petition filed by Sinhala Jathika Peramuna (SJP) was called before Court of Appeal on Friday and listed for support on August 6. Although it didn’t generate headlines in newspapers, political circles were shocked a bit as the petition wanted the Court to issue a prohibition order on the Commissioner of Elections and the Attorney General, restraining them from conducting the Northern Provincial Council election in September. Some political parties have cast their doubts more..

CTC converts brown sparse landscape to a green oasis of lush vegetation

July 21 (Island) Rehabilitation, rejuvenation of land areas and Corporate Social Responsibility were all evident factors in Kilinochchi that transformed the land through natural farm methods initiated by the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC). Kilinochchi, a one-time stronghold of the LTTE, is now a peaceful enclave of rural rejuvenation farmed by about 1,000 families who grow their vegetables and sundry farm produce in sustenance agriculture. The army’s contribution to assistance for more..

Sampur Coal Power Project: Economic investment or sinister move

July 21 (ST) India is already having problems with a shortage of coal to run their own coal power plants. It is intriguing why they have gone to other countries to install coal power projects. As a professional in this field I am aware that the coal fields in India have a high ash content compared to other coal fields in the world. Therefore Sri Lanka should think twice before taking a final decision (on the Sampur coal power project) because of more..

CAA gropes in the dark

July 21 (NS) Traders around the country including supermarkets sell chicken meat at ad hoc prices not contravening specifications and conditions recommended under Section 20 (5) of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Act No.09 of 2003. According to the gazette notification issued by the authority on May 30, 2013 announcing the new pricing scheme, the retail price of one kilo gram of chicken meat with skin (whole chicken or any parts) without a brand name is Rs.370, whilst more..

Finally, Ranil pats Dayasiri

July 21 (NS) Discussions between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and MP Dayasiri Jayasekera last Friday ended on a very fruitful note, party Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said yesterday. MP Jayasekera also admitted that he had a cordial discussion with the party leader, but he was not ready to divulge the details of the meeting. Questioned over the preparations for the elections, he said ‘not discussed.’ He also refuted the story that he is to make a statement in the more..

'Heavy international pressure forced NPC'

July 21 (Island) The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) declared that the 13th Amendment couldn’t be an interim or a final political solution to the Tamil national question. GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran said that the grouping was very grateful to the govt of India, the Tamil Nadu legislature, its Chief Minister as well as the Opposition for their stand that a just long term political solution had to be found. more..

DROs of Half a Century Ago

July 21 (Island) Consequent to the book written by three retired Divisional Revenue Officers (DRO) - L M Samarasinghe, Dhammika Amarasinghe and Jayatissa Bandaragoda titled "DRO – a Man for All Seasons" , a review and an article have been published in the ‘Sunday Island’ recently. They, the DROs, are worth writing about and hence this article of a short skip down memory lane. Nan remembers the pride with which her family, particularly her maternal grandfather, received the news that more..

3,000 Lanka migrant workers return home

July 21 (AN) More than 3,000 migrant workers with expired visas have returned home from Saudi Arabia, according to a statement issued by the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). They availed themselves of the amnesty declared by the Saudi govt. “We have issued more than 9,600 temporary passports,” said Adambawa Uthumalebbe, consul general of Sri Lanka in Jeddah. “More than 500 workers are currently waiting for their exit visas, while around 2,300 more..

Fishing on a ‘Flying Fish’

July 21 (ST) Acclaimed filmmakers, independent artistes and film lovers have expressed concern over the recent ban imposed on the controversial film ‘Igilena Maaluwo’ or ‘Flying Fish’, an internationally awarded cinematic production by young filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara. The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) has called for banning of the film following its screening for a limited invited more..

NPC elections under 13A A victory for TNA

July 21 (NS) The much-hyped elections to the NPC in September is the focus of all attention and the TNA this week nominated retired Supreme Court Justice C. V. Wigneswaran as its chief ministerial candidate. Wigneswaran breaks a long tradition of judges of the highest court in the country retiring and removing themselves from the public eye. Before him, former CJ Sarath Silva was also a vociferous commentator in retirement, but he eschewed contesting elections. more..

Hoteliers slash rates to lure Lankans

July 21 (ST) Sri Lankans have been lured to spend money on their local hotels during holidays through some interesting marketing gimmicks to increase occupancies since this is mainly the off-peak season for overseas travellers. Credit card packages and other attractive discounts were advertised in the media and on websites aimed at attracting more domestic travellers this season with offers of even 50 per cent off and some hotels providing stays ranging from Rs. 5,000 – 10,000 per more..

First literary meet in Jaffna opens

July 21 (Hindu) For those in Jaffna who have, for long, felt the need for a space that allows dialogue and discussion, this weekend has been promising. The 41st edition of ‘Ilakkiya Sandippu’ (literary meet), which began here on Saturday, saw people from varied fields articulate their views on topics ranging from omissions in history and caste politics to gender biases and educational needs. This is the first time that the event, more..

Malaysian NGO to be questioned

July 21 (SL) A Malaysian NGO is to be questioned this week over its screening of the controversial film ‘No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ in Malaysia. KOMAS Director Tan Jo Hann said in a statement that he had received a fax notice from the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry requiring him to be present at their office to record his statement on the issue. Tan being summoned to have his statement recorded is related to KOMAS screening of the film ‘No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ more..

Copycat ‘White Van’ in police net

July 21 (ST) A ‘bogus’ white van packed with armed men who abducted known drug dealers and later released them on a ransom payment, was busted by police intelligence at Mawaramandiya in Polonaruwa yesterday night. The five-member gang led by a serving Army Sgt. Major was picked up in a sting operation following a tip-off from an individual who had a visit from the same van, Inspector (IP) G.S. Sanjeewa Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Polonnaruwa police said. more..

India denies hand in picking Vigneswaran

July 21 (CT) India yesterday denied being involved in the selection of the TNA chief ministerial candidate – retired Supreme Court Judge, C.V. Vigneswaran, for the forthcoming Northern Provincial polls. "We have nothing to do with that process or Vigneswaran's nomination and there was no move in this process. We have definitely not tampered with the Northern Provincial polls," Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo, more..

Jaffna Bishop files petition against land acquisition

July 21 (CT) Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam petitioned the Court of Appeal seeking Court intervention against the military seizure of lands in the Jaffna Peninsula. Following the petition filed by the Jaffna Catholic Bishop, the Court of Appeal on Friday issued notice on the respondents. The Bishop's case follows the petitions already filed by 2,176 Jaffna Tamils seeking relief from the alleged land acquisition. The case filed by the Jaffna Bishop was taken up more..

Jilted Sri Lankan woman attempt suicide in front of lover's home

July 21 (TOI) A Sri Lankan woman Nasreen (name changed), aged about 23, consumed poison in front of her lover's house in Zakir Hussain Mohalla in Srinivasapur late Saturday night. She was admitted to a private hospital and later shifted to the Govt Hospital in Srinivasapur, where she is recuperating. The girl, daughter of a mason from Malagat region in Sri Lanka, went to Kuwait five years ago in search of a job. She worked as a tailor in a garment factory when she met Fayaz Pasha, more..

‘I’m not a politician, I only wish to serve my suffering people’

July 21 (ST) He may have made a career out of music, had his mother not pushed him to study Law. Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran is still an accomplished sitar player. The retired Supreme Court Judge was, last week, named TNA Chief Ministerial candidate for the NPC election. “My mother was the one important cause for me to take up Law, because that was such a passion on her part,” more..

President summons 275 PS Chairmen for a meeting

July 21 (GDI) The Central Committee (CC) of the SLFP, which met on Friday evening, decided to take tough disciplinary action against local govt members who have brought disrepute to the President, govt and the party by their unwarranted actions said the Gerneral Secretary of the SLFP Maithreepala Sirisena. President Rajapaksa, who presided at the CC meeting at Temple Trees has instructed Sirisena to summon the 275 chairmen of the SLFP -administered Pradeshiya Sabhas (PS) more..

British Parliamentary team due in Colombo for fact-finding mission

July 21 (Island) A team of British MPs are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a fact-finding mission. Eleanor Laing MP (Conservative Party), Simon Danczuk MP (Labour Party), Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour Party), Lord Sheikh and Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town will be in Colombo from July 22–26 for this mission under a comprehensive agenda. They are expected to meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister G.L. Peiris, more..

Five make-or-break months for Rajapaksa regime

July 21 (ST) Ahead of a summit of Commonwealth leaders later this year, two different campaigns gained momentum with equal vigour this week. One is the preparation by the ruling UPFA and opposition political parties for the Provincial Council polls. Choosing candidates has become the primary task for them. Important among the polls is the one for the NPC, for the first time since the 13th Amendment to the more..

Nutrition Society incompetent, compromised

July 21 (NS) Questions have been raised about the authority of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka to issue statements pertaining to human nutrition and public health. Many of the office bearers are not qualified as nutritionists, which makes it unethical for them to make such statements. GMOA President Anuruddha Padeniya stated that there is a dearth of qualified nutritionists in Sri Lanka. There are only three trained community physicians in medicine who are trained in nutrition. more..

Black July 83 never again

July 21 (NS) ‘Remember Black July ’83’ is a print-ad campaign designed by the advertising agency JWT for the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a controversial NGO that has come in for a lot of flak from multiple quarters on grounds of financial dishonesty and aiding and abetting separatism. ‘Never to repeat’ is the payoff line. The campaign is to be launched shortly. ‘Black July’ is remembered and remembered differently and for varying purposes by those who remember. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 21 (ST) Moves seem to be afoot in the UNP to thaw fractured relations between party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his two erstwhile deputies Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya. President Rajapaksa may have been instrumental in the exercise, because the UNP leaders need to get together in view of the upcoming provincial council elections. As one loyal UNP supporter was to say “our leaders more..

Rupee plunges, driving prices up

July 21 (ST) A continuously weakening rupee to the US dollar may lead to a price spiral in essential food items, the trade warned yesterday. However, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal claimed on the telephone from Washington where he is on an official visit “it was not really right to say so”. “With the increase of the dollar rate, we have to pay high prices for goods at the time of import,” said K. Palaniyandan, more..