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Lanka Viththi folds up in London after a two decade run

July 28 (Island) After serving the Sinhala community in the UK for around two decades, the Sinhala monthly ‘Lanka Viththi’ folded up last week. Launched in April 1997, it was the first Sinhala newspaper published outside Sri Lanka at the time. A huge success amongst Sinhalese domiciled in the UK, especially those who loved their motherland, the newspaper was commended its efforts to maintain a positive image at a time more..

Sri Lanka's growing scooter market targeted by Mahindra

July 28 (LBO) Scooters are becoming more popular in Sri Lanka making up about a third of all two-wheelers sold in the country now, the agents for India's Mahindra group said at the launch of new models. Sri Lankan citizens who could not afford a car were buying up to 24,000 two-wheelers a month up to April 2011 when the state almost doubled taxes, in a mistaken reaction to balance of payments trouble, which is a problem related to monetary policy and credit. more..

PSC meets 14 days early to consider 13A changes approved by Cabinet

July 28 (ST) The next meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was advanced by 14 days, after members wanted it reconvened at the earliest, to consider two changes to the 13th Amendment previously approved by Cabinet, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said. The meeting will now take place on Aug 6 instead of Aug 21, he said. “At Friday’s meeting, I took up the position that we should discuss the two proposed changes to the 13th Amendment within the PSC, because more..

IGP assures timely action to avoid ugly incidents on plantations

July 28 (Island) Amidst the brutal slaying of senior planter Nihal Perera, Superintendent of Noorie Estate, Deraniyagala, the Ceylon Planters’ Society (CPS) met with IGP N. K. Illangakoon and five senior DIGs last week to discuss security-related issues in the country’s estates. The CPS was represented by its president, Nisala Jayawardena and secretary general, Lt. Col. (Retd) Leslie Marshal. more..

Ensure safety of Tamils, BJP leader Ananth Kumar tells Lanka

July 28 (ENS) Tamils in Sri Lanka should be given special protection and their safety assured, visiting BJP leader Ananth Kumar said. On a visit to the US with BJP chief Rajnath Singh, Kumar said the Sri Lankan govt should come out with a model where the Tamils will have a major say in the socio-political and economic development of the island-nation and contribute to the growth of the nation and are not discriminated against. BJP MP and General Secretary Kumar is also the Chairman of more..

Commission to probe disappearances to be named shortly

July 28 (NS) Despite a Presidential directive, the appointment of the commission to probe disappearances Island wide during the war will not take place immediately, President’s spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. When contacted, he said Lalith Weeratunga Secretary to the President had been instructed to appoint the committee, and the technical aspects of the commission is yet to be finalized “The responsibility to appoint the commission is with Secretary to the more..

Exporters still want GSP plus!

July 28 (NS) The only mantra for Sri Lankan exports to regain its competitive edge and recover lost grounds in the European market is through reapplying and obtaining the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) plus facility for which the country has been determined eligible, the outgoing Chairperson of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL), Dawn Austin, suggested last week. These comments were made more..

Don’t make it an empty promise

July 28 (CT) The govt must be getting exceptionally chummy with the popular axiom ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’, if the recent backtrackings are anything to go by. There is a NPC election in the near horizon, changes to the 13th Amendment that seemed imminent have been deferred indefinitely via the usual culprit, the PSC and now the President has ordered an inquiry into mass disappearances during the three decades of war. Thousands, mostly Tamils, are still missing four years after more..

Loss-making Mihin eyes three new aircraft

July 28 (ST) The loss-making Mihin Lanka is negotiating with the Treasury to buy three new aircraft, including a Boeing, on lease, the airline’s chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe said. “We have to compete with other international airlines. Therefore we should have a young fleet. We are negotiating with the Treasury to obtain financial assistance for the lease,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said. He said the airline’s present fleet comprised three aging aircraft which needed to be replaced. more..

No SLFP nomination for Daya Master

July 28 (AD) The SLFP has rejected the application by former LTTE spokesman, Velayutham Dayanidhi alias ‘Daya Master’ to contest the upcoming election in the Northern Province under the ruling UPFA. I have not been officially notified by the SLFP still but it is confirmed that my name is not among the persons they have given nomination to, Dayanidhi told Ada Derana. The former head of the LTTE media division, who surrendered to more..

TNPF will not contest poll

July 28 (CG) The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) says it will not be contesting the provincial council elections in the north in September. Meanwhile TNPF President Gejndrakumar Ponnambalam said his party does not feel the 13th Amendment or the provincial councils system can be the basis for the final solution to the Tamil national issue. He noted that under the 13th Amendment the provincial powers are under either the governor appointed by the President or the govt. more..

Batti monk goes berserk

July 28 (CG) A Buddhist monk had gone berserk at a workshop organized by the National Peace Council (NPC) in Batticaloa yesterday. NPC head Dr. Jehan Perera said that the workshop was part of a program organized to brief the public on the recommendations of the LLRC. He said that the workshop held yesterday was only for invitees and was organized after some participants of a previous meeting wanted clarifications on what the LLRC had to say on land issues. more..

Video: Govt snatched Dayasiri knowing it can’t win election – UNP

July 28 (AD) MP Joseph Michael Perera today alleged that the reason the govt is grabbing UNP MPs to its side, by promising them posts like Chief Minister, is because it knows the UPFA will lose the upcoming Provincial Council election. He stated that something the UNP as an opposition party usually has to endure when facing an election against the ruling party is the lack of candidates. “But the specialty in this election is that more..

COPE finds there are no professional accountants at Water Board

July 28 (Island) The recently tabled second Report from the COPE has found that some trade union actions are detrimental to the growth and efficacy of certain public institutions. The report presented to Parliament last week by Minister Dew Gunasekera, its chairman, has said that obligations to trade unions has had an adverse effect on decision making at the Water Board saying "The Committee is of the opinion that the role played by certain trade unions operating in some state institutions more..

Police security provided for Navagattegama School teacher

July 28 (CT) Police Security has been provided to the residence of school teacher, Susila Herath who was forced to kneel before disgraced former North Western Provincial Councilor Ananda Sarath Kumara. Police Spokesperson said that three police officials attached to the Nawagattegama police have been allocated in this regard following a court order. The Courts had also directed the police to provide security to the residence of the Deputy Principal of Navagattegama Navodya School who more..

Cope Report: CEB, CPC, SriLankan, Mihin all play ‘deaf and dumb’

July 28 (NS) The management of top loss making State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), singled out by the COPE for its financial mismanagement and gross inefficiency, continued to maintain a deafening silence or offer lame excuses regarding allegations levelled against them. The CEB, CPC, Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka were singled out for severe criticism by COPE’s second report which was presented to Parliament last week. more..

Amcham, SLASSCOM to boost tourism industry

July 28 (SO) The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) with the Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) launched a program to enable the Sri Lankan tourism industry to accelerate growth through the use of digital solutions. The program will help the industry to apply innovative digital solutions to attract and retain tourists. A SLASSCOM official said that Sri Lanka needs such solutions to boost its image as a top tourist destination and more..

Police attempt to suppress Nuriyawatte evidence

July 28 (DM) Some senior police officers are allegedly attempting to suppress evidence of the recent atrocities unravelled in Nuriyawatte in Deraniyagala. Earlier, after the killing of the Nuriyawatte estate superintendent many reports of heinous crimes in the area began to surface. Senior Police officer at the Avissawella Police Station had allegedly created havoc at the temple premises recently. Sources said the officer was a close confidante of an accused in the murder of more..

Govt in a Cash crash

July 28 (SM) It is reported that due to the severe financial crisis the Govt has currently faced, unusual increase of bank account activities in BOC and Peoples bank accounts kept under the name of the Treasuries secretary has taken place. It is also reported that due to this situation, the 2 banks themselves have faced a crisis and that the recent advises given by the Treasury Secy Dr. P.B. Jayasundara to the ministry secretaries to more..

Law banning cattle slaughter in two months

July 28 (CT) The Department of Legal Draftsman has been instructed by the President to draft a legislation banning the slaughter of cattle, a senior official at the Department said. Drafting of the legislation is expected to be finalized within the next two months. The President earlier promised President of the Sihala Ravaya, Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera that he would look into their demands to ban the slaughter of cattle. Sinhala Ravaya had been demanding that the cattle more..

Cannon near President's Villa missing

July 28 (SM) It is reported that the large Colonial era cannon gun that had been set up in front of the premises of Inter-continental hotel in Galle face, has been disappeared. The Continental has been refurbished and has been renamed as the "Kings-bury"" and the cannon gun which has a high archaeological value, has been evaporated from its usual base. It is said that the Gun was removed from there during the reconstruction of the hotel. An artifact in such caliber is coming under more..

Dilshan, Sangakkara secure series

July 28 (CI) An unbeaten century from Tillakaratne Dilshan and 91 from Kumar Sangakkara carried Sri Lanka to a series win over South Africa with one match to play. The pair ensured the hosts achieved the highest successful run chase at Pallekele with six overs to spare to underline some of South Africa's most pressing issues as they attempt to rebuild their one-day side. At first glance, it would seem the bowlers more..

Religion for reconciliation: Is it feasible?

July 29 (CT) Most Ven. Professor Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera, the Chancellor of the University of Sri J'pura, Rev. Father Benedict Joseph, all the other respected representatives of the religions of our country, Mr. Chairman, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne and all the other respected speakers, ladies and gentlemen. I am privileged to have this opportunity to address this distinguished gathering at this prestigious institute which is founded to take forward the good message of more..

King can do no wrong

July 29 (SL) Under English Common Law, the Crown, or its Ministers cannot be sued because of the legal Maxim “The king (now the “Queen”) can do no wrong”. This legality may have been watered down today, but I believe the maxim remains in principle. I refer to this English Common Law maxim because it seems that our Legal/Judicial/Police systems too seem to have adopted it, mutatis mutandis. In Sri Lanka today the maxim is being applied in two segments, more..

'Wrong to say all state institutions are loss-making'

July 29 (SL) Out of 72 public enterprises, 15 were running at a loss in 2011, the latest COPE report highlighted. Chairman of the COPE, D.E.W. Gunasekera told Parliament, there was a notion in the country that all state owned commercial enterprises were running at a loss but their findings were to the contrary. However, it was disturbing that 4 institutions accounted for 98% of the total loss incurred by state institutions in 2011, more..

Remembering the tragedy and horror of Black July 30 years later

July 29 (DBS) For the past 30 years, July 23, 1983 has been remembered in Sri Lanka as ‘Black July’. It marks the tragedy and horror of thousands of Tamil people being attacked by rioting mobs acting with impunity. Hundreds of Tamils were killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. Many Tamil people who survived these attacks fled the country, fearing they would never be able to see their home again. The repercussions of these brutal actions are still felt by the Tamil people more..

Obeying the Rajapaksa siblings worshipfully is the First Precept of the Rajapaksa Reich

July 29 (DBS) For 12 years the semiotics of Nazi Germany shaped Victor Klemperer’s existence. As a German Jew, he witnessed how the Nazis turned the language of Goethe, Schiller and Heine into a tool; and experienced, at first hand, the diabolical results of the consequent transformation of German society and the German mind. The Nazis would take a familiar word, give it a new meaning by implication, and use it intensely and extensively until it sank deep into the public mind and caused more..

Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirtieth Anniversary of Black July 1983

July 29 (DBS) The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years. Thirty years ago on the night of 23rd of July, members of the LTTE ambushed an army patrol at the more..

BBS harms Buddhism which they want to protect

July 29 (CT) Are there good Buddhist monks and bad ones? A learned monk replied “Yes, of course.” As a measure to protect Buddhism and its values, Thailand had warned or sacked 300 Buddhist monks from clergy-hood in 2012. Thailand has some 61,416 Buddhist monks. Values play a big role in anybody’s life. Values lead to somebody’s actions and behavior. Put it in a Buddhist perspective of “cause and effect.” If somebody’s actions and behaviors are the resultant effect then his more..

Why did the selectors go back on their decision?

July 29 (SL) For all the bold pronouncements made earlier this year about inducting a new generation of players into international cricket, the national selectors’ decision to recall players from virtual limbo is starkly anomalous. The new Sanath Jayasuriya-led selection committee no doubt meant well, but to deliver on their promise was never going to be easy. After all, you can’t eject willy-nilly seniors to accommodate newcomers just for the sake of bringing about a generational more..

COPE’s stinging indictment ?

July 29 (CT) Much hype is regularly created about Sri Lanka’s developmental drive and its ambitious dream of becoming the Miracle of Asia. Forgotten in the burgeoning excitement is one inconvenient truth – that our financial management is in want and to acknowledge this as the key reason for the large number of public ventures, which are loss-making. The 31-member COPE is the parliament body, charged with the duty to more..

Swindlers nabbed in the nick of time

July 29 (SO) A moustachioed Kingsley Vernon Perera, 68, with pipe in hand was seen quite often pacing up and down the verandah of his luxurious apartment. It had all the modern gadgets available in the market and he had more than three luxury vehicles to boot. He also had two Pajeros and a Montero sitting pretty in his garage. He was often seen getting into one of the vehicles and being driven away by a chauffeur. His daughter, Imalka Kumari, 40, was also seen with her husband, more..

Hobson’s choice for northerners

July 29 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has urged the people of the North to reject, at the upcoming NPC polls, those who backed the LTTE’s terrorism for whatever reason. Ideally, this, they ought to do for their own sake. However, if they were to do so, they might not be able be able to exercise their franchise at all; they might have to walk the streets with lamps in hand during daytime, like Diogenes of Sinope, looking for ‘clean’ candidates to vote for! more..

Sri Lankan casinos under licence system

July 29 (ST) All casinos, new and old, would have to be henceforth licensed under new regulations to regulate the casino business, officials said. Several proposals to open multi-million-dollar casinos in Colombo are in the pipeline and the govt is preparing to issue a gazette notification with necessary regulations which would make the Casino Business (Regulation) Act passed in 2010 more effective, more..

Fiscal consolidation imperative for economic stability and growth

July 29 (ST) A low fiscal deficit is vital for economic stability and sustained economic growth. Large fiscal deficits debilitate the economy in diverse ways. Containing the fiscal deficit, reducing the public debt burden and decreasing debt servicing costs are vital for economic stabilisation and long term economic development. Large deficits lead to borrowing and in turn to huge debt servicing costs that distort public expenditure priorities, generate inflationary pressures and hamper economic more..

Uva Wellassa University trains its students to become confident entrepreneurs

July 29 (ST) “We innovate programmes with multiple disciplines coming together, to form a cohesive interdisciplinary (or multidisciplinary) programmes, delivering breadth and skills,” its founder Chandra Embuldeniya during his acceptance speech for Honorary Doctorate from the UWU University – Convocation said last week. Here are excerpts of his comments: Through experience I learned things that might be worth sharing with you. I learned these from experience and not through hallowed more..

New routine brings Dilshan relief

July 29 (CI) Like every great entertainer, Tillakaratne Dilshan likes to adorn his grand performances with a moment the audience will not soon forget. Many times it is a fierce blow through the covers early in the innings - an act that is routinely his statement of unyielding intent, wrists and blade whipping manically toward ball that rarely deserves to be fetched from the fence. Other times it's his shot over the keeper, leaving the bowler more..

Dilshan's would-be wide

July 29 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has found crucial wickets during the series, and he did so again in Pallekele, first trapping an imperious Hashim Amla lbw, and claiming AB de Villiers' wicket as well, off a much poorer delivery. Bowling from around the wicket, Dilshan pitched a length delivery outside leg stump, and turned it further away from the right-handed batsman, for what should have been a regulation wide-call for the umpire. But instead of leaving the ball alone or sweeping it more..

LPBOA wants transport heads removed

July 29 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA), is to request the Ministry of Private Transport Services to remove the heads of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Chairmen of a few Road and Passenger Transport Authorities. LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijeratne, said that, NTC and some other transport regulatory authorities are not working towards improving the transport sector, and the LPBOA will inform the institutions which fund the transport more..

Exporters raise red flags, ask for GSP+

July 29 (Island) Sri Lankan exporters want the govt to reapply for EU GSP+ trade concessions because it would reenergize the country's exports sector, help regain its competitive edge, recover lost ground and lead to exponential growth. "A couple of weeks ago, the news media reported that the EU GSP+ was once again being considered. There was great excitement in the exporter community that at long last, more..