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'Lankan Tamil issue needs all-inclusive solution'

June 7 (PTI) Since a solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil issue "cannot be imported", all political parties must join hands to find an all-inclusive settlement, President Rajapaksa told visiting BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, here today. "We cannot import a solution and it cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan (main Tamil party leader) agreement," Rajapaksa was quoted as telling Prasad. He also underlined that all more..

Sri Lankan schools high enrolment rates contribute to achieving gender parity

June 7 (GDI) Sri Lanka has observed that the high enrolment rates at primary and secondary levels which reflect the impact of longstanding policies supporting access to basic education without discrimination, have contributed towards Sri Lanka’s success in achieving gender parity in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Intervening during an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Education and IE on Human Rights and International Solidarity at the on-going more..

Hindi introduction: SLC writes to ICC

June 7 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket today expressed its dismay over the playing of a Hindi song instead of a song which reflects the Sri Lankan identity when the Lankan team was introduced during the opening ceremony of the ICC Champions Trophy in London yesterday. Speaking to Daily Mirror Online Secretary of the SLC Nishantha Ranathunga confirmed that he had sent a letter to the ICC demanding an explanation from the ICC regarding the mix up. “The song that was played was not more..

Air force Bell 412 makes emergency landing

June 7 (DM) A Bell 412 helicopter carrying Air force personnel including a high ranking officer made a precautionary landing at grounds in Katupotha this morning, due to a suspected technical fault. The Air force refused to confirm whether the Commander of the Air force was on board during the emergency landing. Air force spokesman Air Commodore Andrew Wijesuriya refused to comment regarding the identity of more..

Basil, Cabraal see pre-paid travel card as boon to commuters, industry

June 7 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the launch of the pre-paid travel card had met a long felt need as it would safeguard the interests of both the commuter and the bus owner. He said action would be taken to issue pre-paid travel cards to 3.5 million Devi-Neguma beneficiaries soon. Minister Rajapaksa said the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) had complained to him that the association had been incurring heavy losses due to extortion by time keepers. more..

'Govt will usher in a virtuous developed society'

June 7 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa emphasized that it is the objective of the President to develop this country by raising the living standards of the rural people and at the same time make the people of the country virtuous and possessing good qualities. The Minister said that in many developed countries the people are very much distanced from their families and elders and they do not respect other human beings. The Minister said there is no value in this type of development. more..

Rethink CHOGM : UNP

June 7 (DM) The UNP said today it would request the Commonwealth heads to reconsider the participation at the CHOGM in November had the govt failed to fulfill its promises to the Commonwealth before the Northern Provincial Council elections. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said the govt had given numerous promises to the Commonwealth stating that it would take steps to protect Human Rights and also to more..

Matara docs on strike today

June 7 (Island) Around 200 doctors, attached to the Matara General Hospital, would go on a 24-hour strike from 8.00 a.m. today in protest against the hospital’s Directress, Dr. Mrs. Samanthi Samarakoon, whom they accuse of being inefficient. GMOA media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa told The Island that the GMOA Matara hospital branch union had decided to launch a strike against the directress, who was incapable of running the hospital efficiently. more..

Over 5600 Court martialed in Sri Lanka

June 7 (DM) The govt today said that some 421 military officers and 5205 other rankers were court-martialed since 2006 with Commodore T.M.P Mendis who was convicted of failing to take adequate safety measures and counter actions to protect the Galle Naval Base from the terrorist attack on Oct 18, 2006 among those who were martialed. The govt gave these details to the House as an answer to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Minister Dinesh more..

Will fifth time be the charm?

June 7 (CI) Sri Lanka's recent ICC tournament history reads like the script for a formulaic romantic comedy, only without the feel-good ending. They may have only been bridesmaids four times, instead of 27, but they still haven't been able to take James Marsden home. The journey through each tournament has featured its share of warm-fuzzies (Muttiah Muralitharan picking up Scott Styris off his last ball in home internationals, more..

Towards a responsive post-war foreign policy

June 8 (CT) Though the war ended in 2009 another began for Sri Lanka; this time on a different playing field. For the past four years, the international environment surrounding the island has changed significantly. Despite the fact it had overcome one of the most virulent terrorist movements, Sri Lanka has been placed under the radar of the international community, both consequent to, and leading to a deterioration of its foreign relations. What is worse is we are the ones who put ourselves in more..

Violence against women is violence against humanity

June 8 (DBS) Women’s Action for Social Justice (WASJ) recently organized a panel discussion on the theme Violence Against Women is ‘Violence Against Humanity,’ which was held at the Public Library auditorium. Over 10,000 signatures, which have been gathered against Violence Against Women, from 10 December 2012 to May 2013, were also handed over to the United Nations Office in Colombo. Signatures were gathered from the general public in 15 areas in 13 districts more..

Drug rehabilitation shows steady progress

June 8 (SO) Drug addicts; can they be rehabilitated from their addiction was a question lingered in the minds of the people some decades ago. There was belief that they cannot be rehabilitated and they have to live with drugs for ever and their lives also should end with drugs. But all these misconceptions have been proved wrong at present as the drug addicts are realising that all what they believed were only gimmicks of the more..

Hero of Operation 'Neptune Spear'

June 8 (CT) Professor Sivalingam Sivananthan became the first immigrant academic of Sri Lankan origin to receive the 'Champion of Change' award presented by the White House to immigrants who have made exceptional contributions in various fields to the US. The USA has been a magnet for those seeking greener pastures or escaping war and strife, and persecution in their homeland. Emma Lazarus' emotive poem, inscribed on the plaque in the basement of the Statue of Liberty, more..

Taking the sacred road to justice and humanity

June 8 (Island) A couple of weeks ago, many were taken by surprise when in a suburb of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, hundreds of young people rampaged through the streets in some of the worst rioting the city has seen. For nearly a week, stone-throwing mobs clashed with the Police and, indiscriminately as in all mob violence, attacked public and private institutions, including shops and schools. The clashes were sparked off by the Police shooting dead of a Portuguese immigrant more..

President Rajapaksa in tactical retreat as Rauff Hakeem protests courageously

June 8 (DBS) In a remarkable display of political courage rarely seen among members of the govt in recent times, Justice minister and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, has protested strongly against President Rajapaksa’s controversial move to circumscribe devolution by amending the Constitution. The protest lodged by Hakeem at the weekly cabinet meeting held on June 6th was overtly backed by minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara more..

Justice for Matale victims? Never!

June 8 (CT) One hundred and fifty people had been buried in one mass grave, some of them after having been severely tortured, in a hospital ground, without the knowledge of anyone for almost 25 years. It is almost impossible to imagine how anyone could dig such a large grave and bury 150 in it without the outside world learning about it, particularly in a public place like a hospital. There could have been four parties who knew about this: the murderers, supporters of the murderers, the murdered, more..

Dengue: Fight or perish!

June 8 (Island) Time was when parents formed vigilance committees to protect schools against two-legged Tigers. They used to take turns to stand guard near school gates to ensure the safety of their children. But, strangely, they do not seem so keen to protect their precious ones against death dealing winged terrorists on the rampage. Dengue has raised its ugly head again. Mosquito breeding places have been detected in many schools, some of which have been severely warned by the more..

පශ්චාත් යුධ සමයේ යුධ හමුදාව...

Sobitha proposals, Ranil, Mahinda and the BBS – Post Script

June 8 (CT) Dear Friends, As the author of the article ‘Sobitha Proposals, Ranil, Mahinda And The BBS‘ let me please add some in ….. post script. Firstly thanks for all of you in taking the time to comment both in agreement and disagreement I thank you to you all equally. Of course I don’t agree with some of the views expressed here I agree to disagree and would on to my death protect the right you have to hold to express and promote these views. There is a saying that your rights end more..

Ethics of Ethanol or media ?

June 8 (Island) Are some people in politics and officialdom targeting a new Guinness record in ethics? The sudden surge of interest in ethics in society, gives the impression that we are moving to a new surge of ethics in a trend that seeks to make us the most ethical society in the world, and if not, to be in keeping with the fashion, of a declaration as the Hub of Ethics in this Region. The biggest interest just now is about ethics in the media. There is great punditry we hear today from those who more..

Govt. divided on Packer deal

June 8 (CT) Criticism of the govt's plans to allow Australian casino tycoon, James Packer, to open a casino in the country continues to mount from both within the ruling coalition and opposition parties. Minister Champika Ranawaka, said his party was against all casinos and gambling that take place in the country. "While it is not illegal to gamble in Sri Lanka, we oppose this form of revenue generation," he said. more..

After the world’s media has moved on

June 8 (GV) As the Editor of Groundviews, I was invited by World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN/IFRA) to give a presentation on Sri Lanka at the 20th World Editors Forum (WEF) and the 65th World Newspaper Congress, held recently in Bangkok, Thailand. As noted on the WAN/IFRA WEF site, “The World Editors Forum is the leading network for print and digital editors of newspapers and news organisations around the world. It is built on a commitment to more..

A few thoughts for the Opposition

June 8 (Island) This is hardly news, but the Opposition continued to be uninspiring last week. If a country is going to change its constitution, it really ought to be worth the bother. But the most encouraging thing about the draft published by the UNP on Wednesday is its support for provincial level devolution within a unitary state, which is exactly what is already in place thanks to the 13th Amendment to the existing constitution. It is also one of the few commitments to which voters more..

Sri Lankans’ views mixed on issues relating to local and imported food

June 8 (ST) Sri Lankans are mixed in their views on whether testing of local and imported food, as required by the country’s authorities, is properly done, a joint poll by the BT and RCB revealed this week. Following the controversy over imported milk food, the poll sought to find answers from the public on the level of testing of local and imported food, the ingredients in food and awareness about the rights of consumers. more..

Match 2: West Indies edge Pakistan in low-scoring game

June 8 (CI) Whatever your persuasion when it comes to one-day cricket the Champions Trophy looks set to offer something for everyone. After the high-scoring opening match in Cardiff, there was a low-scoring nail-biter at The Oval with West Indies surviving major problems against Pakistan's pace and spin combination to secure a priceless two-wicket victory. Amid a passionate, excitable crowd dominated by Pakistan support - this is arguably the closest they will get to a home crowd more..

South Korean firm look to invest in Sri Lanka

June 8 (FT) A business delegation from the South Korean city of Busan, headed by Sri Lanka’s Honorary Consul in that country Jung-Taek Shin, called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. The delegation that comprised of leading business persons from several sectors including automobile and shipping said that South Korean companies are interested in pursuing investments in Sri Lanka and requested for the President’s support, which he assured. more..

'Of 219 state concerns only 4 lose heavily'

June 8 (DN) Of the 219 state institutions, only four have recorded losses of over 95%, and only 11 are running at a loss, Chairman of the Parliamentary Watchdog, Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said. He was speaking at the presentation of the Annual Report 2012 of the Finance and Planning Ministry, to President Rajapaksa. The ceremony was held at the MILODA -Academy of Financial Studies, more..

Cinnamon Nature Trails partners with the IDC to dive against marine debris

June 8 (Island) The International Diving Centre (IDC) and Cinnamon Nature Trails, both based at Chaaya Blu Hotel, recently removed 250kg of abandoned fishing nets and plastics from the Swarmy Rock reef as part of Project Aware’s "Dive Against Debris" campaign. Both entities have joined forces to take action against marine debris in order to raise critical national awareness of this issue. Statistics included in Project Aware’s infographic "The Ugly Journey of Trash" provides a more..

Women’s 400 metres hurdles dropped from trials after Sonali’s sterling feats in the US

June 8 (Island) The Athletics Association of Sri Lanka has dropped the women’s 400 metres hurdles from the next weekend’s trials for the forthcoming Asian Athletics Championship, after US-based National record holder Sonali Merrill produced a note worthy performances at a meet in Los Angeles, California, USA, early this month. Merrill, who won a bronze medal at the last Asian Championship, clocked 58.71 seconds and 58.82 seconds respectively, at two meets within the last four more..

Devananda flays Tamil media over doctored news

June 8 (Island) EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda accuses most Tamil media of publishing false and unsubstantiated news to mislead the people of the Northern Province. An EPDP spokesman quoted the Minister as having said that some local dailies published in the North were full of distorted, false and unsubstantiated news aimed at slinging mud at the govt. He said that Tamil speaking people more..

Ministry blames negative attitude of private, state sector in fighting dengue

June 8 (Island) The Health Ministry complained that a national committee headed by President Rajapaksa, to control the dengue epidemic had formed nine provincial committees, 25 District Committees, 325 regional Committees and 15,000 rural Committees, but the response of the private and govt sector organisations had been negative. Meanwhile, Minister Maithripala Sirisena, speaking at the Harvard Ministerial Health Leaders’ Forum, of its Kennedy School of Govt, more..

CB keeps policy rates on hold

June 8 (Island) Central Bank has kept monetary policy rates on hold as widely expected by the market. The repurchase rate for commercial bank deposits with the Central Bank remains unchanged at 7% while the reverse repurchase rate for overnight borrowings stays at 9%. The financial markets have responded as expected to the recent policy measures taken by the Central Bank, with the relevant financial institutions gradually making the anticipated adjustments. more..

Six Kelaniya undergrads hospitalized

June 8 (CT) Six undergraduates of the University of Kelaniya were hospitalized, following a clash between undergraduates and an unidentified group of persons, who assaulted the students at the university hostel premises late Thursday night. The students were second year undergraduates of the Faculty of Science, the police said. However, despite students being attacked to the point of hospitalization by outsiders, more..

A children's unit for Jaffna Hospital Cancer Ward

June 8 (GDI) The Children Unit of Cancer ward of Jaffna Teaching Hospital which had experienced shortage has been provided with a fully equipped ward was declared open today (7) by Minister Douglas Devananda. He stated that the shortfall is being rectified owing to steps gradually taken. He said that it is his aspiration to make it one of the best hospitals in South Asia. This ward has been a long felt need and the child section is being opened today at a cost of Rupees 12.5 Million. more..

Govt says more middle-class professionals should pay tax

June 8 (BT) Sri Lanka's reforms over the past few years to widen the tax base while lowering tax rates were not yet effective because many professionals in the service sector were still not paying tax, the govt said. "If we need to maintain a lower rate tax regime, all those who should pay their taxes in this country, should pay their dues," PB Jayasundera, treasury secretary told a forum to present the finance ministry's annual report. "We need to tax those who are in the service sector more..

'Northern Province Tamils’ issue needs respectable resolution'

June 8 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s post-war context requires empowerment along with development, and holding a free and fair election in the north, along with devolution, is central to it — this was the broad message that the Indian delegation conveyed to President Rajapaksa on Friday, according to BJP leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad, who led the team. As part of a five-day visit, more..

SLC executive committee to rule on three umpires

June 8 (CT) After months of deliberation, Sri Lanka Cricket is likely to decide the fate of the three controversial umpires charged with spot-fixing next week. "We will conclude the proceedings on Monday and will present it at Thursday's executive committee meeting," said Sri Lanka Cricket's head of Cricket Operations Carlton Bernadus. Sri Lankan umpires Gamini Dissanayake, Sagara Gallage and Maurice Winston were among six umpires reportedly caught in an undercover operation by more..

'Govt. had a hand in Prageeth’s disappearance'

June 8 (CT) Sandhya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, urged the govt to bring down her husband, if he is indeed hiding in France, as claimed by a govt MP. She also challenged the govt to prove that her husband telephones her every night, as MP Arundika Fernando has claimed, and stated that her suspicions about the govt having abducted her husband are now confirmed. "I urge the govt to somehow bring my husband back. more..

We never refused to attend PSC on national issue – TNA

June 8 (Island) Responding to President Rajapaksa’s ultimatum for the TNA to join the Parliamentary Select Committee on the National Questio, which is to be reconvened shortly, the TNA said that it had not refused to join the select committee process. TNA leader R Sampanthan said he regretted that there had been no positive response from Rajapaksa to his 2010 written communication in which he expressed more..