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37 groups rally against 13A

June 8 (CT) A total of 37 national organizations, predominantly Sinhala Buddhist ones, have united to form a group called the National Unity to Oppose Provincial Councils. Convenor of the Movement, the JHU, hopes to cause a social revolution introducing a national agitation campaign to build public opinion against the Provincial Councils and also to pressurize Parliament to abolish the Provincial Council system altogether. The National Unity to Oppose Provincial Councils, more..

Thonda and Sonia discuss 13A

June 8 (CG) Minister and CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and India’s Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have had discussions on various issues including on the 13th Amendment to the constitution. Thondaman met Gandhi in New Delhi yesterday and discussed issues faced by the estate community in Sri Lanka, most of who are of Indian origin. According to media reports, the Indian govt had assured Thondaman that houses will be built with Indian support for the estate workers. more..

‘I met Prageeth in France’

June 8 (CT) In a dramatic turn of events, outspoken UPFA MP, Arundika Fernando, told Parliament that journalist Manjula Wediwardena, living in self-exile, introduced journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda to him in France. Raising a privilege issue in Parliament, MP said, Ekneligoda had shaven his hair and was in disguise, but others were able to recognize him. Ekneligoda had also participated in an anti-Sri Lanka protest in Geneva with more..

Rs. 7.5 mn robbery victim dies

June 8 (Island) A garment factor director in Ekala who was relieved of Rs. 7.5 million by an armed gang recently died of a heart attack at the Negombo District General Hospital yesterday. A resident of Kimbulapitiya, A. David (56) was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. Coroner who handled the post mortem, concluded that death had been caused by a heart attack. Mr. David was waiting for his daughter’s wedding which was scheduled to take place today, Negombo police said. more..

'Preparations for NPC polls underway'

June 8 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told Daily Mirror that the Elections Department had begun preparations to hold the Northern Provincial Council elections in September although it was yet to receive an official confirmation regarding the holding of the election. “It will be held in September. That is confirmed and now we are awaiting an official confirmation. We have now called for data on govt officers to take up official duties for the election,” he said. more..

Some UPFA allies resist move to dilute 13-A

June 8 (Island) UPFA constituents, the EPDP and the SLMC have strongly opposed far reaching proposal to do away with the right of two provinces or more to merge in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister G.L. Peiris has made the proposal at a meeting attended by members of the Cabinet on Thursday. However, EPDP leader, Douglas Devananda and SLMC leader, Rauff Hakeem more..

Editorial: Neighbour's touch

June 8 (DM) A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led team, currently on a tour in Sri Lanka, was reported to have said that India was ready to provide the “healing touch” but it cannot be expected to solve the political problems of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The political worth of this observation has to be measured in terms of how much healing the ‘Indian Touch’ has yielded over the past 3 decades. Be that as it may, we can keep all of that aside and discuss the options for the Tamil leadership given more..

Northern Polls to hold or not…

June 8 (DM) With elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) due in September, Minister Champika Ranawaka leapt into the limelight this week requesting the Govt to postpone the polls because issues relating to the grant of police and land powers to Provincial Councils have not been resolved. Ranawaka, who represents the JHU in the govt, is the Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy. He, together with Minister Wimal Weerawansa represents the factions within more..

Can ‘Shura’ save Sri Lanka’s Muslims?

June 8 (SL) With the perceived failure of its leadership to appropriately address its problems, there is an increasing vacuum for a movement that truly incorporates the Muslim community from the grassroots-up into collective decision making, the recently established Interim Shura Council is attempting to do just that. Sri Lanka’s Muslim community suffers from both internal and external issues. Externally; recent more..

Sri Lanka Kia distributor to ride permit wave

June 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Kia automobile distributor which launched the 2013 Sorento sport utility model in Colombo is banking on tax slashed permits issued to state workers to sell the vehicles, an official said. Sri Lanka's entire automobile industry was badly hit in mid 2012 after taxes were suddenly jacked up on motor vehicles twice in the wake of balance of payments pressure. Similar incidents have happened earlier. more..

NM’s statesmanship: Need of the hour I cannot be a party to such an outcome

June 8 (DM) When we are celebrating the 108th Birth Anniversary of Dr. N.M. Perera, 34 years after his death, we miss him most for his statesmanship, which Sri Lanka lacks today and needs most of all at this juncture in its history. Quoting from the Sunday Observer of 24.06.1995, “Professor Harold Laski, his legendary teacher at the London School of Economics, (the theoretician of the Labour Party in Britain), said that he had all the more..

'End of war takes economy from 1.2% decline to 6.4% growth'

June 8 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said the country had been able to face severe challenges on the economic front in 2012 to post a growth rate of 6.4%, whereas in 2001, under similar circumstances the country had reported a 1.2% economic decline. "2012 was a year with severe challenges from January 1 to Dec 31," the country’s top bureaucrat told a forum, when officially releasing the Treasury’s 2012 more..

'Some journalists lack professionalism, ethics'

June 8 (DN) Veteran media personality, Mohan Samaranayake observed that lack of professionalism, ethics and arrogant behaviour of some journalists was hurting the media in Sri Lanka. He was of the view that if such issues are allowed to prevail, journalists and media may suffer from a decline in public trust. Citing a survey conducted by a Magazine in Nepal sometime back of the “Most Unpopular Profession” among its readers, more..

Rain gods save CEB

June 8 (Island) With sufficient water in reservoirs, following torrential rains in most parts of the country and particularly over the catchments, the CEB could manage the country’s energy need with Rs. 200 billion as against the earlier projected Rs. 256 billion, The Island reliably learns. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the regulatory body of the energy sector, while admitting that the situation had improved, said they more..

First goal is to enter semis: Mathews

June 8 (WI) With important runs and crucial wickets, Angelo Mathews played the lead role in steering Sri Lanka to the final of the World Twenty20 in 2009 in England. Since then, he has established himself as an allrounder to watch, and was recently appointed Sri Lanka’s Test and One-Day International captain. In this conversation with Wisden India, Mathews reflects on his career to date, and the challenges that lie ahead. more..

'Certain law enforcers involved in killings'

June 8 (Island) Certain law enforcement officers were involved in contract killings, the UNP alleged. The rule of law had deteriorated to dangerous levels and contract killings had become a business for some public servants, the General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake said. The crime wave, he noted had reached unprecedented levels with a rapid increase in rapes and robberies which sometime ended in people more..

Govt. bodies defy presidential order on eradicating dengue

June 8 (Island) Although Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge has issued circulars, to all the Ministries, Departments and other govt organizations, to form dengue eradication committees, 90% of them have failed to carry out the order. A complete report on those errant state organisations had been submitted to the Cabinet for its information, the Ministry said. Minister Sirisena said that a large-scale operation would be more..

Lankan air force, navy on rescue mission for fishermen

June 8 (PTI) Sri Lankan air force helicopters and naval vessels have been deployed in a joint rescue mission for fishermen caught in stormy weather off the south western coast of the island, relief officials said today. At least six bodies of fishermen were washed ashore in the south western coastal areas of Dehiwela and Beruwela and 13 others injured were rescued in the southern coastal area of Balapitiya. more..

Thugs, ministers, schoolboys and referees

June 8 (CT) Ceylon Today reported in its edition of 3 June that the JVP had accused the Minister S.B. Dissanayake of behaving like a 'thug' and treating students as a jailor would with prison inmates. This severed relationship between the Education Minister and a multiplicity of disparate groups he is supposed to serve – ranging from academics to students – is symptomatic of the current rot in the Sri Lankan polity. That is a question of misappropriation and abuse of public trust and public offices. more..

Numbers game: Politics of restorative justice

June 8 (CT) “GAME FOR THE CHILD, AGONY FOR THE MOUSE”. So runs a Tamil proverb highlighting the point that an event can be both a pastime and a tragedy at the same time. Making a game of numbers massacred is appalling. Even if the purpose be a call to the adversary not to inflate the figures, it is equally defiling. The choice of the wrong word is prejudicial to the analysis, casting misgivings about detached study or objective conclusions. A Report on the seminar appears more..

Journalist to document student anti-Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu

June 8 (DC) Vetrivel Chandrasekhar gave up a career in journali­sm and forayed in to filmmaking over two years ago. And he is already a popular name, more among expatriate Tamils in Europe than the world of parallel cinema here. His second movie screening has been ‘rese­rv­ed’ for a special European audience including MPs of Britain, Germany, France and Spain next month. He made his directorial debut in 2010. more..

Its time UNP takes to serious politics in constitution drafting

June 8 (CT) The UNP as the main opposition in parliament for almost 19 years for now, except for the 02 plus years when Wickramasinghe was Prime Minister during 2001 December to 2004 April, slid into more and more factionalism in the party, over electoral defeats. With in-fighting done outside the party, the UNP lost its public image and credibility too. Faced with frustrated revolts, Wickramasinghe used the party constitution to impose heavy strictures on internal party democracy at more..

Rajapaksa regime must speak with one voice on devolution and reconciliation

June 8 (CT) President Rajapakse has announced that elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) would be conducted in September this year, ahead of the Commonwealth heads of govt meeting (CHOGM) scheduled for November. The media minister, in a post cabinet meeting press conference has confirmed the same. Prior to the public announcement, political insiders indicate that many private assurances regarding holding the NPC were given to various foreign leaders in more..

CAA to be firm on proper food product labelling

June 8 (ST) Sri Lanka’s food and beverage companies have been ordered to clearly display ingredients of their products in bold letters enabling consumers to take a decision before buying food items. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has already issued a circular to these companies giving guidelines on labelling as some of these firms have failed to clearly display ingredients of their products more..

No arrests over church attack

June 8 (CG) The police said that no one has yet been arrested over the attack on the church in Angulana on Wednesday. Police spokesman S.P Budhika Siriwardena said that investigations into the incident are still continuing. The church in Angulana was attacked on Wednesday night. The police said that an unidentified group had entered the premises and damaged property inside. Worshipers of the church were seen praying outside the premises the following morning following the attack. more..

Theme museum coming up in Akuressa

June 8 (DN) A theme museum, JHU to visualise the true history of Sri Lanka will be established at Kahawilgoda ancient temple premises, Akuressa. The theme museum is a concept of Kahawilgoda Ancient Temple Chief Incumbent Ven Paraduwa Jinarathana Thero. Addressing the media at the SLBC, Ven Paraduwe Jinarathana Thero said though the Mahawansaya and Thupawansaya are available in the country, it is difficult to find people who read these books. more..

DPF deputy leader condemns Ranawaka over traitor comments

June 8 (Island) Deputy Leader of the DPF Dr. Kumar Guruparan condemned Minister Champika Ranawaka of the JHU for stating that those who were against the reduction of powers in the 13th Amendment were traitors. He said President J.R. Jayewardene had, through experience, introduced the 13th Amendment. "Such a leader would not do anything to harm the interests of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. more..

KSPPA to set up hostel in Colombo for Kandy school teams

June 8 (Island) The Kandy Schools’ Past Pupils’ Association, Colombo, more famed for their annual ‘Kandy Bash’ get-together, have undertaken a more immediate project to set up a hostel in Colombo, to accommodate Kandy school teams visiting the capital for inter-school matches, or academic activity. Their first fund raiser was a musical show at ‘Waters Edge’, in February this year which was described as a ‘huge‘ success. A similar musical review will be held today at Dharmaraja more..

Murali dubs spot fixing scandal as 'embarrassing', urges fans to have faith

June 8 (ANI) Former Sri Lankan cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan said that the money-spinning spot-fixing scandal had embarrassed the entire fraternity, however urged fans to not get disillusioned by such controversies. Indian Premier League (IPL) was marred with fresh allegations of spot fixing last month when former Indian test bowler S Sreesanth and two other players were arrested by Delhi police on suspicion of spot-fixing. Upset by the controversy marring the sport's image, more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in Korea holds an investor forum

June 8 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Korea in association with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which is one of the largest and leading business organizations in Korea, and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, held an investor forum dedicated to Sri Lanka on 23 May, 2013. The goal of the forum was to attract prospective Korean investors to Sri Lanka by making them aware of the investment opportunities more..

Increasing dengue menace: HSTUA holds health officials responsible

June 8 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) warned Health Ministry officials that they would be held responsible if dengue reached pandemic levels due to their incompetence. HSTUA president Saman Ratnapriya accused the Ministry’s Epidaemiology Unit of concealing dengue statistics from the public. Ratnapriya said that the Health Ministry itself had warned of a possible pandemic situation. There were over 13,970 dengue cases reported from January to date. more..

'Mahinda, the dentist & Wimal is the snake charmer'

June 8 (LT) All govts have given prominence to the 13th amendment and glorified it. It is a programme forced on Sri Lanka by India but govts have never attempted to find a way of breaking loose from the crisis says Mr. K.D. Lal Kanthe. Mahinda Rajapaksa should have got rid of the programme India forced Sri Lanka to accept after invading the country added Mr. Lal Kanthe. “Mahinda doesn't have a backbone to remove the 13th amendment. Wimal too doesn't have a backbone to say it. more..

CCTV reveals millionaire's murder

June 8 (E24|7) Key evidence which has led to the revelation of the mysterious kidnapping and killing of a millionaire shoe designer in Wellawatta has come from data recorded in a CCTV camera. The victim Mohammed Shiyam’s body was discovered by the relatives on May 31. He is the father of three children. The Mirihana Police were able to find his car, which had been abandoned by a roadside in Nugegoda. more..

New Zealand help for modern farms here

June 8 (DN) New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully who called on Minister Basil Rajapaksa, discussed the long standing friendship and diplomatic relations and strengthening economic, investment, tourism and trade affairs between the two countries. McCully said action will be taken to provide conceptual and technical knowledge Sri Lanka requires to construct international modern farms with high standard. Topics such as broadening exports and more..

Four Sabaragamuwa students to challenge suspension in courts

June 8 (Island) Four students of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka have complained to the Court of Appeal against the recent decision of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Mahinda S. Rupesinghe, to suspend their studentship for eight months. They have asked the Court to issue a Writ of Certiorari, to quash the aforesaid decision and further to grant interim relief by suspending the order, which suspended them, till the petition was finally determined. more..

Fashion & Apparel Awards to showcase design

June 8 (JS) Sri Lanka's multi-billion dollar fashion manufacturing industry has already made its mark on the international stage - but plans are also in the pipeline to recognise its rapidly expanding strength in design and creative development. The first ever Sri Lanka Fashion and Apparel Awards (SLFAA) are due to take place later this year during the fifth Sri Lanka Design Festival to cast the spotlight on local fashion labels and more..

Sri Lanka celebrates 25 years of Children’s’ Education Centre

June 8 (AN) The Purnodaya Institute, a voluntary center of assistance in pre-school education and study, tomorrow celebrates its 25th anniversary. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in the morning. The festivities will continue on Sunday. The Jael area is home to a large number of Sri Lankans of Tamil origin who live in conditions of economic uncertainty and illiteracy, surviving on the margins of society. Since Martin Costa, more..

Baby sick after eating biscuits with dead gecko parts

June 8 (E24|7) The family of a seven-month-old toddler who had taken ill in 2007 after eating contaminated Farley’s baby biscuits, which contained parts of dead gecko, has found reprieve now. The Sri Lankan court has warrants against seven directors of Delmege Distributors for selling contaminatead ‘Farley's rusks’. Court records reveal that the complaint was filed by the child’s mother in 2007 after her toddler had to be admitted to hospital following blood in stools. more..

Sri Lanka tries new ways to crush independent media

June 8 (CPJ) In Sri Lanka, where there has seldom been good news for the media in recent years, things have taken a further turn for the worse, as well as a turn for the bizarre. With President Rajapaksa's govt secure in its 2010 electoral mandate, its leaders have made fresh moves to tighten their control of the press. There is a plan afoot to re-criminalize defamation, and legislation has been proposed for a code of ethics more..

Sri Lanka bags unique award at Australia’s largest ICT business event

June 8 (Island) Sri Lanka’s ICT business delegation facilitated by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) bagged a unique award at CeBIT Australia, Australia’s number one business technology event 28– 30 May 2013. "The award was presented in appreciation of Sri Lanka’s participation in CeBIT Australia with a Sri Lanka pavilion that attracted a large number of potential business partners and investors," ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura, who formed part of the delegation, said. more..