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Move to check religious, racial enmity

June 9 (ST) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara wants the Govt to incorporate in the Penal Code a provision in the Prevention of Terrorism Act that deals with offences relating to religious and racial disharmony. He has told his ministerial colleagues that the move is intended to “prevent, enmity by signs or otherwise between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 9 (ST) Sri Lankans are cricket lovers and to most, the gentleman’s game is a second religion. They are glued to their television or radio sets when a game is under way and remember the names of players much the same way they recall their last meal. However, with all that, cricket is yet to become a national heritage. There have been no official suggestions so far to even bring it under that label or obtain UNESCO status as world more..

NE local council heads also get duty-free vehicle permits

June 9 (ST) Another group of mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice chairmen of local authorities, this time from the North and East, will soon receive permits to import duty-free vehicles. If they do not wish to import, they will be offered the privilege of buying locally assembled vehicles on concessionary terms. The permits are being issued in accordance with a Cabinet decision in December 2010. This decision allowed more..

Will not participate in PSC, reiterates TNA

June 9 (NS) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday brushed off reports that it was considering being a part of the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to discuss national issues stating that there was no change in its stance from its earlier position where it had decided to refrain from taking part at the PSC. The Government recently said it would go ahead with the proposed PSC to discuss national issues. more..

'CHOGM should be used as a platform to urge SL Govt. to correct itself'

June 9 (Island) Former owner of Leader Publications Lal Wickrematunge, Canadian MP, Senator Hugh Segal and British journalist, author of the "Still counting the Dead" Frances Harisson appeared on BBC TV program "Impact", debating whether it was right to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka last week. Presenter Mishal Husain said Sri Lankan Govt were invited to take part in this debate but they declined to do so. more..

Send back Lankan defence officers training in Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa

June 9 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has strongly urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct officials to send back two Sri Lankan defence officers undergoing training in Tamil Nadu. She also urged him to take a policy decision that Lankan armed personnel will not be trained in India till a satisfactory resolution of human rights violations against the Tamils in Sri Lanka is arrived at, and illegal attacks by more..

Uni students to appeal abroad over suspensions

June 9 (ST) The IUSF says it will take its protest against the suspension of five students of Sabaragamuwa University to international forums. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawarathne said the suspensions – for indiscipline and for causing a public disturbance by taking student protests to the streets – would continue for eight months. “Some students were suspended after they brought more..

India, US should put pressure on Sri Lanka on Tamils issue: Congress MP

June 9 (PTI) The decades long civil war in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009, with the killing of top LTTE leaders including its chief V Prabhakaran. Claiming that three million Tamils are living in a "pathetic" condition in post-civil war in Sri Lanka, an Indian Parliamentarian from Tamil Nadu has urged the top US officials to work with India in solving the issue. Manickam Tagore, an MP from Virudunagar constituency in Tamil Nadu, was part of more..

Slain businessman allegedly betrayed by trusted friend to cover up missing millions

June 9 (ST) The police, the guardians of the law, are under investigation by their own officers over the murder of a Colombo businessman. After the arrest of a Sub Inspector and three police constables the CID summoned Vass Gunawardena, Deputy Inspector General of Police Western Province (North), to their headquarters and recorded a statement for five hours. He was questioned on matters related to more..

Heavy rains and gale force winds wreak havoc

June 9 (Island) The Navy and the Air Force launched a coordinated rescue operation yesterday as heavy rains and gale force winds wreaked havoc leaving at least five fishermen dead, 13 injured and extensive property damage across the country’s Southern coastal belt, senior officials said. Naval vessels and Air Force Bell 412 helicopters were deployed in the mission to rescue fishermen who had set sail on Friday night more..

Amending 154G Will Make Devolution Meaningless

June 9 (CT) Any change to the 13th Amendment before the promised first Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections in September will be a gross discrimination against the people in the North who are predominantly ethnic Tamils as all other provincial council elections were held under the prevailing constitutional provisions. This would be very clear to the whole country and the international community to see whatever that is worth. The hurriedly prepared amendments will be more..

Centuries galore as match ends in draw

June 9 (CI) Six centuries dominated the first unofficial Test between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A in St Kitts which ended in a draw. Both captains dug into the runs on offer as West Indies' Kirk Edwards fell ten short of a maiden first-class double-century and Dimuth Karunaratne hit a near run-a-ball century for Sri Lanka to follow a half-century in the first innings. Opener Dimuth Karunatne was the first man to three figures after his side won the toss and batted. more..

'IPL should not be scrapped'

June 9 (PTI) The spot-fixing and betting scandal in Indian Premier League matches is unfortunate but IPL should not be scrapped, former Sri Lanka fast bowler Ashanta De Mel said. De Mel, who played 17 Tests and 57 ODIs besides serving in the Sri Lankan Cricket Board, said IPL has its positives. "It provided opportunity to the young cricketers to showcase their talent. It also enabled youngsters and promising players to learn more..

Co-existence and communal harmony in Sri Lanka today

June 9 (CT) Sri Lanka is one of rare countries that has been blessed with multicultural and multi religious communities in the world. This diversity in culture, faith and tradition beautifies our cultural heritage. Moreover, it enhances our regional and international relation with many countries in the world. This diversity gives us more advantages and benefits culturally, politically and economically. Having four different religions in our Island is like having four different religions in our more..

Cattle slaughter in N’Eliya banned from Jan 2014

June 9 (CT) The Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council has decided to ban cattle slaughter from January 2014 in the Nuwara Eliya municipality area. This proposal was presented to the monthly meeting of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council by the UPFA representative, R. Rajaraman. It was approved without a vote count as the majority of the Council members were in favour of the proposal, including Mayor D.G. Mahinda Kumara and Deputy Mayor, Tissa Seneviratne. more..

Apathy towards the rising dengue menace

June 9 (CT) Despite having a Presidential Task Force to oversee the eradication of dengue, the incidence of the viral disease is reportedly increasing, while the situation has led to the closure of the University of Colombo, jeopardizing lectures and the exams, as the campus premises was found to be infested with a large number of mosquito breeding sites. Leaking gutters, overflowing drainage systems and large puddles of water more..

Nokia ‘converts’ Matale

June 9 (NS) Matale, a scenic town in the Central Province has been listed as ‘Muslim Town’ by Nokia Maps. It is known for the Aluvihara Temple where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Matale was also the site of a major battle in 1848 when the Matale Rebellion erupted and the British garrison in Fort Macdowall was placed under siege by the rebels led by Weera Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda, who are considered as national heroes. more..

A toothless 13 A is as good as none!

June 9 (CT) The 13th Amendment, as has often been said, is not the perfect tool to devolve power to the provinces. In fact, many of the post-1987 power-sharing proposals have reiterated the need to move beyond its provisions. Still, having been passed in Parliament with a 2/3rds majority, it is part of the Sri Lanka Constitution, and as of now, the best tool in place to begin the reconciliation process. Introducing changes to the Constitution in a peremptory manner, via Cabinet Papers or urgent Bills more..

TNA concerned over Jaffna expressway

June 9 (SL) The TNA has raised concerns regarding the proposed Colombo Jaffna expressway, to be constructed with Chinese assistance. “The Sri Lankan govt has signed an agreement with China for the construction of an expressway to the North as well as the South. However the problem that we are foreseeing is that the Northern Province, being close to India, approximately 32kms from Thalaimannar, could threaten Indian security. more..

India must see 1987 accord is implemented: Karunanidhi

June 9 (IANS) DMK president M. Karunanidhi Sunday told PM Manmohan Singh that India has to ensure the implementation of a 1987 pact with Sri Lanka that promised autonomy to the Tamils there. In a letter to Manmohan Singh, the former TN chief minister referred to attempts by "Sinhalese extremist groups" in Sri Lanka to get the 1987 Rajiv Gandhi-JR Jayawardane accord abrogated. "India should not be a silent spectator to the events taking place in Sri Lanka at this critical point of time," more..

Kelaniya Uni attack: Police say nobody arrested yet, IUSF says govt. behind it

June 9 (ST) Police are yet to identify those responsible for the attack on the students at the Science Faculty hostel of the Kelaniya University on Thursday night. Six students were admitted to the Kiribathgoda and Ragama hospitals following the assault. Peliyagoda police carrying out investigations said that they had not identified any attackers nor arrested anyone responsible for the attack. IUSF Convenor Sanjeewa Bandara said the govt was behind the attack. more..

President calls for report on weather warning

June 9 (AD) President Rajapaksa has instructed Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera to submit a report regarding the manner in which relevant authorities had taken measures to inform the public regarding the changes in the weather and the possible disaster situations it may cause. Directing his attention towards the various difficulties the people of the country had faced due to prevailing adverse weather conditions, more..

Death toll rises, search continues

June 9 (CT) The death toll from the stormy weather conditions has risen to 27 with several others still missing at sea, the Disaster Management Center said this evening. Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Air Force said that it has deployed it’s Beech King Air (B-200T Beechcraft) surveillance aircraft to search the coastal area from Kollupitiya to Galle as part of a continuous joint search and rescue operation being conducted together with the navy to locate the missing fishermen. more..

Sri Lanka-born pastor officiates at Royal Wedding in Stockholm

June 9 (Island) The wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill from USA took place in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, Sweden last week. Officiates at the wedding ceremony are Lars-Goran Lonnermark, chaplain to the King and Bishop Emeritus and Michael Bjerkhagen, pastor of Royal Court Parish. Pastor Michael was born 1966 in Kandy and a couple of years later adopted by a Swedish couple. Earlier this year Pastor Michael was more..

UPFA’s LG politicos on a lawless spree and counting

June 9 (ST) The number of local govt politicians breaking the law is rapidly increasing, with most of them belonging to the ruling UPFA. Last week alone, five incidents involving Pradeshiya Sabha politicians—four from the UPFA and one from the UNP—were reported by media. A criminal case related to a Deputy Minister was also taken up in court. On Monday, the Attanagalle Magistrate’s Court ordered the impounding of Deputy more..

Speaker special participant at UNESCO Vesak event

June 9 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was a special guest at a Vesak Commemoration event organised by UNESCO in Paris on May 23. Speaking on this occasion, the Speaker said that each year Vesak Day gives us an opportunity to reiterate our determination to lead noble lives, develop one’s mind, practice loving –kindness and bring peace and harmony to humanity. "The decision this year to reflect upon the contributions of religious teachings towards reconciliation comes as more..

Police investigating elderly woman’s ‘suspicious’ death

June 9 (AD) The body of an elderly woman, who had died under suspicious circumstances, was recovered from the Lunu Oya in Chilaw this morning, according to information provided by a resident of the area. The deceased has been identified by relatives as K.D. Theresahami, 85, a resident of Sangathattana, Chilaw. The magistrate’s inquiry was carried out by Chilaw Acting Magistrate Nissanka Nanayakkara, who instructed the judicial medical officer at the Chilaw Hospital to conduct more..

Electricity tariff hike affects poor people

June 9 (SL) The country’s rising inflation rate has dealt a devastating blow to the average family while it is struggling to keep up with the sharp increases in prices, especially the increase in electricity tariffs. The recent increase in electricity tariffs has accounted for an increase of 1.96% in the monthly expenditure of families during the month of May. Economists meanwhile say that the electricity price hike has affected the population more..

Army rejects allegations on theft

June 9 (CT) The army has rejected allegations that some soldiers had been involved in stealing items from three Hindu temples in Batticaloa. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that investigations on the incident had been carried out and a suspect had been arrested by the police. “There were some false reporting in pro LTTE web based media that Sri Lanka Army was responsible for burglery taken place in three Hindu Temples, namely, Kurukka’l-madam more..

Sarath Manamendra hospitalised

June 9 (CT) The leader of the Nawa Sihala Urumaya Sarath Manamendra who sustained injuries due to a personal dispute with another person has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital, the Police Media Unit said. The incident had taken place at around 11.30 this morning, when a dispute had occurred between Manamendra and his house owner who lives in the same premises, due to a problem that had arisen with regard to the parking of their private vehicles. more..

New Zealand survive Malinga magic in thriller

June 9 (CI) Lasith Malinga took the 22 yards out of the equation in low-scoring thriller, but New Zealand survived him to register their first win over Sri Lanka in four years. The pitch has hardly ever mattered less. It was flat, the sun was out, the ball was not swinging, but Malinga's dipping slower full tosses had New Zealand batsmen hopping and hoping in what was expected to be an afternoon stroll. Nathan McCullum, first, more..

Cricket Committee proves more inept than toothless ICC

June 10 (SL) The ICC has often been derided as ‘toothless” and “spineless” for its inability to provide the strong leadership and guidance necessary in the administration of world cricket and therefore it should be no surprise that its cricket committee operates in the same inept manner. At their recent meeting, one of the key recommendations of the cricket committee was the suggestion to make it mandatory for all full member nations to play a minimum number of tests per year. more..

Framed music: ‘The show must go on’ by Sachini Perera

June 10 (GV) How ‘The Show Must Go On’ came about described on the exhibition’s Facebook event page. Sachini Perera, who I first came to know of through her work with Women and Media Collective is clearly a talented photographer, but what makes her debut exhibition compelling is how she frames her subjects – singers, musicians and performers – including members of some of Sri Lanka’s best known, and most loved bands. Through black and white photography as well as in colour, more..

Wanted a binding code of ethics for politicians

June 10 (CT) Each time when some politico or panjandrum declares the urgent need for reform of the media, some stout defenders of the freedom of the media in the govt controlled sector go under the bed – in the tradition of a revered king of Lanka – to emerge days later with a confident announcement that it was a ‘pus vedilla’. Much more aggressive defenders of the media, will thunder in editorials, breathing fire and ‘vas kavi’ more..

The UNP constitution: Does it address the problems caused by the EP ?

June 10 (CT) The modern democratic approach to constitution making is the formulation of a set of immutable constitutional principles. Gone are the days when the sovereignty of the people meant that the people could their through their elected representatives, pass any laws by majority vote and do away with human rights and minority rights. Democracy means more than the right of the people to elect representatives to form a govt which could then govern as they wish disregarding more..

Betting against the house

June 10 (CT) As the Sinhalese and Tamils, or more precisely the Sinhala and Tamil nationalists, will eventually learn, there were rather good reasons that the Temple at Delphi bore the inscription ‘Nothing in Excess’, while the Buddha urged a Middle Path and Aristotle, the Golden Mean. Less than six months before the Commonwealth summit, the Govt is engaged in a pincer move. One is a move to circumscribe the 13th amendment and the other to straitjacket the media. more..

Opposition on anti-national path

June 10 (SO) "The opposition resorts to subtle tactics to achieve their sinister objectives. It is the leader of the Opposition who is heading this undemocratic campaign and not others in the country. If the UNP is digging its own grave what can others do in a situation like this," said SLFP chief organiser, Nugawela, MP Dilum Amunugama. "The leader of the Opposition, had suppressed the activities of every person who more..

Think. Eat... give a thought to your food-print

June 10 (CT) We celebrated World Environment Day last week. The theme for this year is ‘Think. Eat. Save.’ It was a novel concept for not only the ordinary people but also for some environmentalists. However, it was not a truly new concept. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have established an organization called ‘Think. Eat. Save.’ with the support of several charity foundations with a view to minimizing more..

Inadequate Constitutional Proposals

June 10 (Island) The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) has been looking at the various proposals that are being put forward by many vested and non-vested interests calling for the present Constitution to be amended or rewritten. What is striking about all these proposals is that they are, for all practical purposes, founded on the half-built or badly damaged foundations of the three Constitutions that we have had since 1947. Marginal improvements in governance, more..

'President should stand by his assurances'

June 10 (CT) Veteran politician and Leader of the TULF, V Anandasangaree is a moderate who has not only consistently shunned extremism in Northern and the Southern politics, but also closely associated with Tamil and Sinhalese leaders for as long as he has been in politics. He expresses his candid views on the 13th Amendment, the Northern Provincial Council polls and the current state of Tamil politics. more..