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Probe report on FTZ worker killed in police shooting shelved – union

June 1 (Island) The second death anniversary of the young Katunayake Free Trade Zone worker, Roshen Chanaka, who succumbed to his injuries following Police shooting, when FTZ workers were protesting against the controversial pension fund for private sector employees, falls today. Katunayake FTZ workers, led by the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA), successfully protested and struck work more..

EU delegation to visit Sri Lanka

June 1 (CG) A European Union (EU) Parliamentary delegation has proposed a visit to Sri Lanka this year, the Embassy of Sri Lanka to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU said. At the invitation extended by the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia (DSAS) of the European Parliament, a cross party delegation from Sri Lanka led by Chandima Weerakkody, MP, Deputy Speaker and comprising Muthu more..

New Sri Lankan envoy pledges quality service

June 1 (AN) The new Sri Lankan ambassador to the Kingdom, Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, has pledged to make his country’s embassy a model mission for quality services and maintain the dignity of the island nation. Krishnamoorthy told Arab News yesterday that the Kingdom is an important station for Sri Lanka by virtue of its excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. more..

'Sri Lanka must remove vessels near Katchatheevu'

June 1 (IANS) MDMK general secretary Vaiko urged PM Manmohan Singh to ensure the immediate removal of Sri Lankan naval vessels from Katchatheevu island. Vaiko said there were reports that Chinese vessels and Chinese navy personnel in Sri Lankan vessels had been spotted in the Palk Strait that divides India and Sri Lanka. This, he said, “poses an impending challenge to the sovereign rights of India”. more..

Australian Naval Ship HMAS Toowoomba arrives at the Port of Colombo

June 1 (SLN) Australian Naval Ship “HMAS Toowoomba” arrived at the Port of Colombo on 31st May 2013 on a goodwill visit. The ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brendon Zilko accompanied by Australian Defence Adviser to Sri Lanka, Colonel Michael Collie paid a courtesy call on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral more..

Police fire tear gas at S’gamuwa student protest

June 1 (AD) Police fired tear gas to disperse a group of undergraduates who were protesting opposite the Sabaragamuwa University today. Police said six university students have been arrested. Four students of the university who were imposed suspensions had launched a hunger strike in front of the university which yesterday turned into a ‘fast unto death’. Two of them were admitted to the Pabahinna Hospital this morning and more..

Editorial : Ban cruelty, not slaughter

June 1 (CT) Somebody once remarked that a country is judged by the way it treats its animals. In Sri Lanka this saying may not have a place for Sri Lankans are a nation that is well known to get on the wrong side of everything or mix up their priorities and then scream from their rooftops that something is amiss. There seems to be some kind of an anxiety these days to the extent that if the govt cannot ban the slaughter of cattle someone is bound to take the law into his hands. more..

Why the 13th amendment is necessary

June 1 (CT) The Govt seems to be bent on amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The JHU 19th Amendment wants to repeal the entire chapter in the 13th Amendment titled Chapter XVIIA which sets up the Provincial Councils. In short it wants to abolish Provincial Councils. The Govt seems to want only to repeal the police powers and the Land powers given to the Provincial Councils and to amend the clause which requires the approval of the all the Provincial Councils more..

JVP expressed concern over US prosecution for war crimes of Fonseka and Gota

June 1 (CT) “The JVP expressed great concern over recent rumors of U.S. prosecution for war crimes of Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka, and possibly Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which could crush its election hopes.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The ‘confidential’ cable recounts the details of a meeting the US more..

American IRS and the Sri Lankan experience

June 1 (CT) One would have thought that the recent news item about the resignation of Commissioner Steven Miller, the head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States would have received more attention than it actually did in the local media. The reasons for Miller’s exit are issues fundamentally affecting good governance and hence of compelling interest to a country such as Sri Lanka struggling from the time of independence to establish rules, standards and more..

Culling of laying hens sends egg price up

June 1 (Island) Egg prices have gone up by 50 cents within two weeks and on Thursday, the retail price in the open market was Rs. 14.50 per egg, while in the super markets it was Rs. 17. During the New Year in April it was only Rs. 11. When an egg was Rs. 15 to Rs. 16 in 2011, the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade intervened and imported about 10 million eggs from India and made them available through Sathosa, Co-op City and Mini Co-op City outlets throughout the country. more..

We are not asking for all meat vendors to be shut down

June 1 (CT) The self-immolation of Buddhist monk, Bowatte Indrarathana Thera, on Vesak Poya, in protest over the slaughter of cattle, has raised concerns that the incident will set a dangerous precedent. A crowd of over a thousand, clad in white, turned up for the Thera’s funeral on Tuesday at the Sri Sugatha Viharaya, Poronuwa, Kahawatte. Many of the mourners said they had come not only to pay their last respects to more..

Lanka, fast becoming a maritime hub - Navy Commander

June 1 (DN) Sri Lanka is making great strides in becoming a maritime hub in Asia taking advantage of its geographical location. "We are experiencing the best time in our country's history, under the dynamic leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa," said Nautical Institute Sri Lanka Branch Chairman and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. He was participating in the inauguration of the International Annual General Meeting and the Conference of the Nautical more..

MP BJP to construct Sita temple in Sri Lanka after hat-trick victory

June 1 (TOI) If the BJP comes back for a third term in Madhya Pradesh, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt will construct a temple for goddess Sita in Sri Lanka. The state BJP gathered for a three-day conclave here in Gwalior to plan and strategize its election campaign and management in the next five months. Speaking to a large gathering of the party's grassroots level conveners and polling booth managers on Saturday, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan unveiled his developmental more..

Chandrika Kumaranatunga: A story of tragedy and triumph

June 1 (GN) As she works now with the Madrid Club of former leaders and the Clinton Global Initiative of former presidents, Chandrika Kumaratunga keeps up to date with the developing political situation in the island nation of Sri Lanka. Her’s is a tragic story, one of a family so closely associated with the political ascendency on the island — but also one so deeply scarred by the bloody events of the three-decade long civil more..

A new era of Sri Lankan fiction

June 1 (Hindu) Is Nayomi Munaweera’s debut novel Island of a Thousand Mirrors war fiction or a non-fiction novel? It tells the story of two families in Sri Lanka caught up in the Sinhala-Tamil conflict during the turbulent days of guerrilla warfare. The story is narrated alternately by the oldest daughters of the two families: Yasodhara, the Sinhala and Saraswathi, the Tamilian. The intricate plot covers 60 years and three generations in the two families. The aftermath of 1983 riots more..

Senior mahouts to undergo training

June 1 (Island) Now, senior mahouts of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are expected to follow a training course organized by the Botanical Gardens and the Public Recreation Ministry. The first batch of mahouts from the elephant orphanage will attend the training programme on June 3. The venue will be the auditorium of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. The training programme has been organised to raise the mahouts’ standards of performance with a change in attitudes to more..

Schoolchildren account for majority of dengue cases

June 1 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) yesterday said that more than 55 per cent of dengue patients in the city were children of school going age. Chief of the Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that he had submitted recommendations to the Ministry of Education urging it to close the schools and carry out cleaning up campaigns in order prevent more..

Govt does not have a proper list of priorities for development - Lal Kantha

June 1 (LB) The JVP says the govt is carrying out development projects funded by foreign loans without a proper priority list. JVP politburo member, K.D. Lalkantha says the govt has failed to invest monies in development projects that would bring returns to the country and the economy. "If a person takes a loan of Rs. 100,000 from a bank and build a wall and place a gate around a one acre land, he can show the world that he had built something with the money borrowed, but more..

Treasury loses from a number of state enterprises - COPE

June 1 (LB) The COPE has said that some state enterprises have caused a loss of Rs. 15 billion to the Treasury. Chairman of COPE, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said the Committee had examined 235 state institutions under six categories. The categories included regulatory bodies, promotional agencies, state owned enterprises, educational agencies, development agencies and research institutes. The Committee has also monitored and reviewed the follow up more..

India v SL warm-up Match: India beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets

June 1 (CI) It says much for the enduring appeal of 50-over cricket that, despite looking the second-best team for much of the day, India still left Edgbaston celebrating an exhilarating victory with six deliveries to spare. If it was a stand of 186 in 140 balls between Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik that provided most obvious cause for Indian joy, as it helped them fight back in a match that had appeared to be sliding inexorably towards Sri Lanka, more..

China, a true friend indeed

June 2 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's recent visit to China concluded on a positive note with more aid being pledged to Sri Lanka in various sectors. China has pledged to provide further funding to develop Sri Lanka's transport sector. The latest Chinese funding will be channelled to develop several expressways, road networks and rail tracks. The most notable of them would be Chinese financial assistance for a new Colombo-Jaffna expressway. The agreement was one of more..

The UNP goes round the bend

June 2 (Island) The UNP’s draft constitution released last week clearly shows that the grand old party has completely lost its grasp of reality. Even when the UNP was voted into power in 2001, they had only a tenuous grasp of the reality which is why they lost power so soon – just two and a half years – the shortest time any govt has held power since independence. This constitution shows that the UNP has gone completely round the bend after spending too long in the opposition. more..

'Political stability vital to develop country'

June 2 (SO) Amidst a barrage of criticism he eventually emerged victorious at the debate reducing his rivals into shreds. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne gave a new lease of life to his Ministry in getting it to play a bigger role in the community life. The Minister said at present either the UNP or any other party is not in a position to win any future election. The UNP’s leadership crisis is somewhat a political crisis. more..

Stupids will smoke and govt will tax

June 2 (Island) The information that smoking kills and cigarettes are a killer has been so widely disseminated worldwide that it is self-evident that anybody who smokes and does not have either the inclination or the determination to kick the habit or not acquire it is just plain stupid. Thus readers would not have been surprised with yesterday’s front page report in The Island that there has been a 15% drop in cigarette production in Sri Lanka over the last 20 years. But is this enough? more..

China’s blank cheques: No checks and balances

June 2 (ST) President Rajapakse has just concluded his seventh state visit to China in as many years as the country’s Head of State. The importance — and significance — of the regularity of these visits can hardly be missed. In the early years of his presidency, the priority was seeking Chinese military hardware to overcome the northern separatist insurgency. There was a steady supply of arms and ammunition often given on ‘tick’ (loan) through the People’s Liberation Army of China. more..

'The original shape of the constitution has got distorted'

June 2 (SL) UNP MP and President’s Counsel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who is also Chairman of the Research and Policy Unit of UNP, says in reference to the presentation of draft Constitution by the UNP that it is the first time a political party has submitted to the people the substance of the proposed constitution giving an opportunity to the people of every level to have dialogue before finalising the Constitutional Bill. more..

Two steps back in eradicating dengue

June 2 (CT) The number of dengue cases recorded in April 2013 has been 200, a staggering increase of 570% over the 30 cases recorded over the same month in 2012. Of the total 1,200 cases reported in the Western Province from January to April this year, more than 660 or 55% are children. The islandwide statistics have not been released as yet, but one can only guess at their ominous portent, for there has been nothing to indicate Sri Lanka has turned the curve in tackling the scourge. more..

Buddhist fanatics on the streets

June 2 (Island) If one asks the present columnist what Sri Lanka’s biggest problem at this moment is, we will have to say it’s not the Western encirclement of Sri Lanka nor is it the holding of the Northern provincial council election, but the phenomenon of out of control Buddhist monks on the streets. Last week, we spoke of professionals like university lecturers and lawyers demonstrating on the streets like harbour workers. That was bad enough but this phenomenon of Buddhist monks on more..

Beyond Boston With Thushara Jayarathna

Futility of constitutions without consensus and compromise

June 2 (SL) When Sri Lanka adopted its third constitution in 1978 just 30 years after gaining Independence from Britain, it became a kind of joke in British ruling and academic circles. The country was enacting not constitutions but periodicals, was the crack made about the constitution of J. R. Jayewardene who threw out the constitution of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike drawn under the constitutional pundit Colvin R. de Silva, lock, stock and barrel. After 25 years the more..

13A has two chances of survival: Slim and none

June 2 (CT) The 13th Amendment which saw passage in Parliament in August 1987 amidst civil chaos and political turmoil, once again has gained unusual attention from political quarters, both international and local. What is even more bewildering is, after accomplishing a military victory of unprecedented scale and crushing all hopes of a Tamil Ealam and after eliminating the last semblance of any militant resistance from the Northern Tamils, the very constitutional more..

Where did the million tourists stay? Not in star properties

June 2 (Island) Although Sri Lanka had registered the arrival of one million tourists last year, the impact of this traffic had not been felt by the star class properties in the country, Mr. D.C.R. Gunawardena, Chairman of Pegasus Hotels has said in the company’s recently published annual report. "It is therefore prudent to surmise that this influx of tourists have patronized the bungalows, guest houses and residences of relatives more..

Astrologers no, no, on Ranil’s political future

June 2 (SO) Many politicians concentrated on the astrological changes that took place last Friday. Prominent astrologers had to work overtime to cater to the unprecedented demand from leading politicians, mainly from the Opposition. Some UNP politicians thought that they could get undue mileage and pose some kind of threat to the Government, at least using the movement of the planets. Those close to Ranil thought that it was the best time to make a couple of leading astrologers to more..

Green dreams are made of these

June 2 (ST) My Dear Green Man, I am writing to you because I heard that you had unveiled a proposed new constitution for us this week. Naturally, I was curious to know how you wanted to run the country if and when you came to power — and I must say I am not disappointed. You say you want to abolish the Executive Presidency. We have heard that tune before, from Satellite, not once but twice — and it never happened. But you are not Satellite, and we hope that you will keep your word unlike her. more..

Tax holiday for Packer

June 2 (CT) The Ministry of Finance and Planning has recommended a 10-year income tax holiday and thereafter a scandalous tax concession of lower 6% of standard 50% of the prevailing tax rate of the hotel industry for further 12 years for the Australian Casino magnate, James Packer, who has approached the BoI to set up a major casino complex in Colombo. Documents obtained by this newspaper reveal that more..

Norway stands by decision

June 2 (SL) The Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo says the decision to terminate the agreement with the Foundation for Co-existence headed by Kumar Rupasinghe was done in accordance with the termination clauses in the agreement relating to non-fulfillment of the recipient’s obligations. Colombo Additional District Judge had recently ruled that the Foundation for Co-Existence can proceed with a case to sue the former Norwegian Ambassador, Hilde Haraldstad more..

Lankans eating more chicken & eggs, further upward projections

June 2 (Island) Three Acre Farms (TAF), a subsidiary of Ceylon Grain Elevators, has seen a sharp dip in profits in the year ended December 31, 2012 as a result of what it’s CEO Primus Cheng attributed to reduced sales volumes and market prices caused by industry-wide increase in production and an unfavourable market situation. However, he noted that the poultry industry as a whole had expanded its capacity and the consumption of chicken meat per capita more..

Minister warns he'll ban schoolboys from trophies

June 2 (CT) Increasing violence at school sports events, particularly in rugby, have alarmed the country's think tanks who are seriously contemplating banning tournaments which analysts contend have been the root cause of violence at matches. Several incidents of violence and unruly conduct especially in school rugby matches during the current season led to several players being hospitalized as a result of physical force by more..

Private hospitals extract ‘blood money’ from patients

June 2 (SO) Several private hospitals fleece patients by charging Rs. 20,000 per pint of blood after obtaining it free from the Narahenpita blood bank. The Health Ministry has received several complaints in this connection. Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake said that although his Ministry was aware of the racket, it could not take any action since these hospitals do not specify in their receipts that they had charged a fee for blood. ”They may account the charge for blood for some other more..