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Is this the best course of action?

June 10 (CT) The govt is ostensibly making arrangements to hold the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in September amidst speculation whether the election would be held at all. What makes way for this conjecture is the fact that the constituent parties of the govt hold different views on the matter. The hard-line JHU, is totally against holding the NPC elections with devolved powers intact, and has presented a Private Member's Motion to Parliament to do away more..

Sri Lanka rice second highest for toxic metal in 12-nation study: report

June 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka has come second after Bangladesh for concentrations of cadmium in a listing of 12 countries where rice was tested for toxic metals, a media report said. Cadmium had been linked to a mysterious kidney disease of which the original are still not conclusively known (chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology - CKDu) which has become increasingly prevalent in North Central more..

Transport Minister irked by illegal route permits

June 10 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that he would request Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayaka, the Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority and the National Transport Commission (NTC) to cancel all illegal route permits. The govt could not tolerate the hardships caused by the private buses to the general public. The bus crews which were flouting the law and ill-treating the public should be severely dealt with, he said at the restoring of more..

Why net run rate doesn't work

June 10 (CI) Over the last few of days, there have been a couple of close, low-scoring games in the Champions Trophy. Both have been won by the team chasing with plenty of overs to spare, but they've been nail-biters because in both instances the winning teams had to rely on their last couple of wickets to do the job. West Indies squeezed past Pakistan's 170 with 56 balls to spare but only two wickets in hand, while New Zealand were very nearly unsuccessful in their quest for 139 more..

'Govt. creating unrest in Universities'

June 10 (CT) Political henchmen of the govt are causing chaos in the State Universities, Convener for the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), Sanjeewa Bandara, said. He said the administration of the Kelaniya University has decided to close the Science Faculty due to the attack on the university students. Four students have been hospitalized and this is said to be done by a group of thugs connected to the govt. more..

Matara hospital directress stands her ground

June 10 (Island) GMOA President Dr. Anurauddha Padeniya would be visiting the Matara General Hospital today, to discuss the future course of action by the branch union, which completed its token strike on Saturday morning. GMOA spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that the strike launched by its branch was successful, but the issue was not settled. The doctors attached to the GMOA Branch union resumed duties on June 8 morning as usual without causing further paralysis of the more..

Sri Lankan umpire KT Francis passes away

June 10 (CI) Umpire Kandiah Francis, who officiated in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test match against England at the P Sara Oval in February 1982, died on Sunday in hospital after losing his battle against diabetes. As a result of the illness, Francis, 73, had to have both his legs amputated below the knee. Francis was a member of the ICC international panel of umpires and officiated in 25 Tests between 1982 and 1999, and 56 ODIs in that period which included two World Cups in 1996 and 1999. more..

'Sri Lanka to be self-sufficient in big onions by 2015'

June 10 (MEA) Big onion imports to Sri Lanka will stop by 2015 when the island becomes self sufficient in big onions, according to Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The self-sufficiency programme will help the country save Rs. 6000 million in foreign-exchange spent annually on importing 200,000 metric tons of big onions. Minister said this at a meeting held at his ministry office in connection with the setting up of a task force for making the more..

Sri Lanka e-commerce to grow exponentially if Paypal liberalized: IT industry

June 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's small and medium enterprises could use e-commerce "to grow exponentially," software and outsourcing chamber official said welcoming plans by authorities to liberalize Paypal inward payments. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said last month, that the regulator was "seriously" looking at liberalizing Paypal inward remittances, which had been blocked in Sri Lanka. Lack of Paypal inward remittance facilities had been holding back thousands of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.5%

June 10 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.54% on Monday following a week of losses with gains in the heavy index stocks like JKH and CTC, brokers said. All Share Index closed 33.85 points higher at 6,341.28 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 23.98 points higher at 3,574.45 up 0.68%. Turnover was 826 million rupees up from 883 million Friday. Foreigners brought 470 million rupees worth shares while selling 112 million rupees of shares, in a day that 87 stocks advanced and 99 stocks declined. more..

Eknaligoda’s wife willing to debate MP

June 10 (DM) Missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda’s wife Sandhya today urged MP Arundhika Fernando to come forward and debate her to validate the recent statements made by him and said that his entire statement was false and was intended to mislead the public. Earlier Fernando said that Mr. Eknaligoda was in hiding in France and that she communicated with him regularly. “If Arundhika Fernando met him as he says he did, he more..

Indians here on donkey business

June 10 (DM) A team of Indian scientists were studying the stray donkeys in Mannar, Mannar Urban Council (MUC) Asst. Chairman James Jesuthas said today. Donkey sanctuary officials from India paid a visit to Mannar to conduct research on the welfare of the donkeys. The Mannar region had been noted for its presence of donkeys since former times. A media briefing was held on Friday, June 7 to explain the nature of the visit of the Indian officials. The participants were educational more..

Homagama judge freed on bail

June 10 (CG) Homagama District Court Judge Sunil Abeysinghe was freed on bail today by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. He is alleged to have solicited a bribe of Rs.300,000 from a businessman over a case. Meanwhile the Daily FT newspaper reported that Abeysinghe has been interdicted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The JSC, the body entrusted with the power to appoint, promote, transfer exercise disciplinary control and dismiss judicial officers of the subordinate courts, more..

Dell mulls more investments in Lanka

June 10 (DN) World’s leading end to end enterprise solution provider Dell is bullish about the pace of growth for consumer electronics market in Sri Lanka, said Lackshmindra Fernando, Country Manager for Dell Sri Lanka. Dell does stand ready to invest more money to introduce world class innovative, cost effective Dell products and enhance its penetration coverage in Sri Lanka. Dell has already doubled its sales coverage in Sri Lanka and more..

Mystery fish baffles fishermen

June 10 (E24|7) Fishermen in the Kayankeni area of Batticaloa district in Sri Lanka have caught a fish with a square body and no tail, according to the Tamil news web site Tamilwin. S I M Imthiyaz, a specialist in sea fish, said they have not seen a fish such as this one before. People flocked to see the strange 65kg fish when it was brought to the Ottamavadi fish market. A Maldivian national with a stock of bug eggs in his possession, was arrested at Katunayake International Airport by more..

Sri Lanka, tabernacle desecrated in attack on Catholic church

June 10 (AN) There is growing religious intolerance in Sri Lanka: a group of unknown persons attacked the Catholic Church of St. Francis Xavier in Angulana in the Archdiocese of Colombo. The vandals destroyed an ancient statue of the Virgin, and then demolished the tabernacle: they removed it from the altar trying to set fire to the Eucharist. The incident occurred on June 5th at around 10 pm, but so far the police have not yet identified the perpetrators. more..

Catholic Bishops’ Conference requests govt. to discuss new Constitution

June 10 (AD) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka requested the govt not to proceed with amending the 13th amendment but to discuss with all relevant parties on drawing up a totally new Constitution which is fair by all communities. The 13th Amendment of the National Constitution is a system that by large allows the greater participation of the people in the matter of governance, a statement from the Catholic more..

Sri Lanka concerned over Gaza situation

June 10 (CG) Sri Lanka today informed the UNHRC it was concerned over the situation in Gaza. The Sri Lankan delegation at the 23rd session of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva said that Sri Lanka remains steadfast in its unequivocal support to the people and govt of Palestine. Sri Lanka backs the Palestinian struggle to achieve the right of statehood within a framework of a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine, coexisting peacefully alongside Israel, the UNHRC was more..

'Teens, the target of tobacco companies'

June 10 (DN) Organisations in the forefront of the anti-tobacco drive believe that tobacco is so deadly that all promotion of tobacco products should be outlawed. While stressing that teens are the prime target of tobacco advertising, they also called for comprehensive health warnings on all tobacco packaging, including large pictorial messages warning us on the harmful effects of smoking. They mentioned these at a workshop to educate schoolchildren on the harmful effects of more..

Asgiriya Chief Prelate against casino

June 10 (SM) The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero said today that he would take to the streets if the government continued with its plans of opening a casino resort in Colombo. Taking a strong stance against the proposed tax-free Casino which is scheduled to be constructed near Sambodhi Viharaya, the thero said that he would be the first to take to the streets if more..

Psychiatric treatment for Wijeweera's daughter

June 10 (SM) Wattala Chief Magistrate Ms.Lanka Jayasekera after inspecting the medical reports of Ms. Dasuni Eisha, the eldest daughter of the JVP founder Rohana Wijeweera, today confirmed that the defendant is suffering from a psychiatric stress. Magistrate made this statement after hearing the case of Ms. Eisha who is charged with the accusation of assaulting and wounding her mother and brother who was brought before the Wattala magistrate court today (10). more..

Streamline the Ministries: UNP

June 10 (DM) While condemning the present system of allocating portfolios to a ministry, the UNP said that there should be new standard when allocating portfolios. 'A ministry’s subjects should not be complicated,' UNP leader Ranil Wickrememsinghe said. He said that having different subjects under one minister gave the loop hole to avoid responsibilities. He also said both that Provincial Council and Central govt ministers must work together when it came to the same subject. more..

Vote as you wish on 13A says MR

June 10 (CG) President Rajapaksa today told the coalition partners of the UPFA that they can vote as they wish in parliament on the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment to the constitution. The President expressed this view when he met separately with the JHU and the EPDP today, Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayaka said. He said that a JHU delegation led by Minister Champika Ranawaka and an EPDP more..

View from Ritigala

June 11 (NS) The man who is in love with Dengue mosquitoes these days is none other than SB. Due to rising Dengue threat, health authorities are in the process of inspecting universities and they have recommended to shut down some of the faculties. SB, needless to say, is the last person on earth to say NO to such close-downs as university students never stop bothering poor SB. May he be rescued by Dengue! Daya Master, former LTTE media spokesman says that his sole aim is to more..

So much for press freedom

June 11 (NS) During the four-day sitting week of the House we witnessed from last Tuesday to Friday there was a recurrent theme and the topics used to describe it were journalism, media, journalists, press freedom, Prageeth Ekneligoda Affair, etc. Opposition Members wept regarding missing and abducted journalists and their friends living in exile. Meanwhile govt rankers seemed to have thought it could retaliate by exposing names of journalists involved in extortion and tales of so-called self-exiled more..

'TNA will support a second Tamil Eelam operation'

June 11 (NS) MP Sampanthan who kept silent when the Kanthankudy massacre took place, makes big noise when a very minor issue takes place in the South. That is their duplicity. As soon as they get power in the Northern Province, they will remove all Army camps there. They won’t allow Sinhala or Muslim families to live there. NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa is one of main characters who agitated against the 13th more..

More at stake for govt than countering separatism

June 11 (Island) The govt’s ongoing bid to seek changes to the 13th Amendment prior to holding elections to the Northern Provincial Council has suffered a reversal with the refusal of some of the govt’s coalition partners to go along with it. This is likely to be a temporary reversal. The ethnic minority political parties that are part of the govt have said they need to discuss the matter further. Ironically, the main proponents of reducing the powers of the provincial councils are two small nationalist more..

Media has evolved to draft a code of media ethics to their own media

June 11 (CT) The code of media ethics the Ministry of Media and Information says the govt has planned to introduce, would cover all electronic and print media. For now, there is no code of media ethics for the electronic media. Though the Secretary to the Media and Information Ministry is ignorant, there is a very comprehensive code of ethics for the print media, drafted and adopted by “The Editors’ Guild” in collaboration with the Free Media Movement (FMM) and accepted by the Sri Lanka Press more..

Manmohan Singh angered by Rajapaksa’s 'Sly' attempts to undermine devolution

June 11 (DBS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is “extremely annoyed” by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent subtle efforts to undermine the quantum of devolution provided to the Island’s nine Provinces through the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution that was facilitated by India. According to informed Indian sources the usually mild–mannered Manmohan Singh known for his more..

Disasters, buck-passing and scapegoats

June 11 (Island) The Department of Meteorology has drawn heavy flak over the lives lost due to gale force winds during the weekend. Its alleged failure to sound early warnings has been blamed for the deaths of over 40 fishers who put out to sea from the southern coast, unaware of the impending cyclonic winds. Many fishermen have gone missing with their craft and they are feared dead. About 30 others have been injured. Ours is a country which apparently never learns from its mistakes. more..

Continuous Elections

June 11 (CT) One of the defining features of politics over the last thirty years has been the staggering of elections so that the ruling party could benefit. The process has always obtained under a Westminster style constitution, which I believe is one of its drawbacks, but consistent abuse of the process occurred only after the 1978 Constitution and its creation of two power centres, both of them equipped with executive power, unlike in other Presidential constitutions. more..

Beware: dengue hits the city

June 11 (SO) Nisansala, the 21-year-old second year student of the Colombo Uni Law Faculty might not have thought her dreams would come to an abrupt end so early, as she was deeply engaged in her studies to complete her assignment by the following day. She worked tirelessly till late evening on May 29 disregarding the rising temperature in her body after taking a few paracetamols from the Medical Centre more..

Go back to the drawing board

June 11 (CT) With the total flop of the 21 May one-day strike, organized by the so-called Joint-Opposition, the air went out of the balloon, deflating the huge imaginary bubble the Opposition had been blowing. Why and how it failed was explained somewhat in one of my recent columns, but I thought it fit to pen some thoughts that ran across my mind, firstly for the sake of their sheer validity in the current context and secondly, I truly believe a little pontificating on my part would do no more..

Moral outrage against casinos hypocritical and politically opportunistic

June 11 (Island) The recent decision to authorize the development of Integrated Tourism Resorts, including gaming, has stirred up much controversy. It is an issue that needs to be examined in a hard headed and rational manner, devoid of emotion, hypocrisy and opportunism. Gambling stirs up passionate, moral indignation which does not resonate with the reality of life in Sri Lanka. Growth has stalled and the country’s fortunes have become overly dependent on foreign remittances to more..

Aravinda’s alert against parented cricket in schools today

June 11 (ST) On one side all the media masquerading was going on with the IPL and its filtering tentacles that set the chairs of some people who were involved in the Sri Lanka Premier League on ‘alert mode’. In another corner, a section of Sri Lanka Cricket also took time to have an inner look at their other surface activities. They sat their being concerned about the lack of talent that is coming in from its main base - school cricket. more..

Mathews rues LBW decision

June 11 (Island) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews expressed his disappointment at umpire Bruce Oxenford’s decision to rule New Zealander Tim Southee not out, during a crucial stage of the game between the countries during their Champions Trophy clash in Cardiff, on Sunday. In the 33rd over, with New Zealand still requiring 12 runs with two wickets in hand, Malinga bowled a fast yorker and Southee was plumb in front, but the umpire ruled it not out. To add insult to injury, more..

Gender issues in constitutional reform

June 11 (GV) Asanga Welikala is an important contribution to the discussion on the problems concerning the republican constitutions of Sri Lanka and constitution-making projects and processes. The volume contains three chapters dealing specifically with gender concerns in relation to Sri Lanka’s constitutional history which I subject to brief review here. The chapter authored by Maithree Wickremesinghe and Chulani Kodikara deals with “Representation in Politics: Women and more..

ICT key to reforms in Sri Lanka says Finance Ministry Annual Report

June 11 (FT) The 2012 Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance and Planning released on Friday has emphasised that Information Communication Technology (ICT) is the key to reforms in Sri Lanka particularly on service delivery and capacity developments. It highlights significant improvements made in the ICT sector in 2012 under the ICTA initiated ‘e-Sri Lanka’ program. “Many service delivery more..

Sri Lanka Insurance declares Rs. 4.2 b Life insurance bonus

June 11 (FT) Sri Lanka Insurance has once again declared the largest Life insurance bonus of Rs. 4.2 b for all its participatory Life policyholders. The staggering Rs. 4.2 billion declaration is the highest-ever Life insurance bonus declared so far in the country. “Sri Lanka Insurance is able to declare unprecedented bonuses year-on-year due to the excellent management of its well-matured Life insurance fund. Wise investments and prudent administration of the fund have brought in more..

LB Finance posts Rs. 2.5 b pre-tax profit

June 11 (FT) Financial powerhouse LB finance PLC yesterday announced its 2012/13 financial results, highlighting yet another outstanding year of phenomenal highs. Income swelled by a voluminous 40.68% over the previous year to a record of Rs. 11.17 billion during 2012/13, while interest income expanded by 41.49% to reach Rs. 10.32 billion during the year. The company’s pre-tax profit marginally increased by 3.63% to Rs. 2.53 billion on the back of the company’s renowned more..