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Rs. 7 bn new Hospital for Hambantota with Dutch assistance

June 28 (Island) The People’s Bank, with the assistance of the Dutch Govt, would begin construction of a state-of-the-art hospital complex in Hambantota tomorrow. It is estimated to cost of Rs.7,000 million. The foundation stone would be laid by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, while Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, and MP Namal Rajapaksa would also grace the occasion. The reason for constructing a new General Hospital was more..

Sri Lanka's northern fishers helped by Australia

June 28 (LBO) Australia said it had spent 58 million rupees restoring an anchorage for fishing boats in Sri Lanka's war-torn northern Jaffna peninsula which could help around 700 fisher families. “This project is a good example of the partnership between the Australian and Sri Lankan Govts to support local communities and the economic recovery of this region.” Robyn Mudie, Australian high commissioner said. Before the reconstruction, full access for fishing boats from the area was more..

IFS charged with Rs.9 billion tax scam

June 28 (Haveeru) Recent investigations have brought to light startling revelations of the multi-million dollar Swedish Software company-Industrial and Financial Systems' (IFS) Colombo office being involved in an elaborate tax evasion scam to the tune of millions of dollars. A private investigations body, which has unearthed such details against the company registered as IFS Sri Lanka, has exposed how the Swedish more..

Officials fail to agree on CKDu Action Plan

June 28 (CT) The National Agricultural Week (NAW) is to kick off on 6 July in the North-Western Province, with awareness programmes on Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) being held as part of the event. Addressing the media to announce the programme, Minister for Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, said no final decision was arrived at by the experts in education, water and irrigation management and the ministry officials when they met on Wednesday, more..

SC rejects objections by Herath, Sampanthan against AG’s appeal

June 28 (AD) The Supreme Court today rejected the preliminary objections raised by MPs Vijitha Herath and R. Sampanthan and said that the Attorney General can appeal against the Appeals Court judgment delivered in favor of former CJ Dr Shirani Bandaranayake. The appeal was filed by the AG stating that the writ of certiorari issued by the Court of Appeals quashing the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) report on the impeachment of the former CJ could set a bad precedent. more..

Minister Rajapaksa launches programme to build 210 bridges

June 28 (MED) Addressing four meetings held on June 26 to mark the commencement of the construction of 210 new bridges to link villages with towns island-wide, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that these bridges would strengthen the plantation and agro-economies and give greater impetus to the Maga Neguma-to-Gama Neguma programme which has already raised the productivity level and quality of life of villagers more..

It is not just about the price

June 29 (CT) Recent reports alleging a toxic substance in imported milk products to Sri Lanka have fuelled the debate about consumer rights in the country and the power of the consumer, who is traditionally 'king' against the financial might of large-scale advertisers, lobbyists and corporations. A hazardous chemical, Dicyandiamide has allegedly contaminated milk powder imports of leading branded products, but reports on the chemical tests instituted by the CAA are yet to arrive. more..

Annulling constitutional provisions?

June 29 (CT) The Govt of Sri Lanka is leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to annul provisions of the country's Constitution that are key to implementing post-war reconciliation. By seeking to rescind the 13th Amendment, long held by the international community as the starting point for a political solution for the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils, the govt has clearly demonstrated its cavalier disregard to UN resolutions and international treaties, and therefore, more..

'He hounded me down and threatened me'

June 29 (CT) After I had passed the GCE A/L exam, I was selected to follow the Arts degree at the University of Kelaniya. On passing out as a graduate in 2005, I was appointed as a teacher at the Isuru Navodya School, and since then, I have been teaching students in the Sinhala stream. I am the Head of the Student Leaders' Committee. I am also the Head of Grades 10 and 11, a member of the Disciplinary Board as well as the more..

Sri Lanka's new war zone

June 29 (CT) On 19 May 2013 Sri Lanka celebrated the 'War Heroes Day' to commemorate its military victory over the LTTE, which was brutally decimated four years ago. Sri Lankans were treated to a sight of mass Army parade, which not only displayed military might but also meant to serve as a deterrent to dissident elements in the country. The bigger question is, whether the ethnic conflict was duly resolved with the end of LTTE or whether it descended into a new phase. more..

India and Sri Lanka: The road not taken

June 29 (GV) In the aftermath of the victory over the LTTE the Sri Lankan state at its highest level did not subscribe to the absurd doctrine that there was no further need for a political settlement or solution because there was no longer a problem. On the contrary the May 21st 2009 joint communiqué with India stated that “…both sides also emphasized the urgent necessity of arriving at a lasting political settlement in Sri Lanka.” If one is tempted to conclude that this was due to more..

Celluloid Nationalism in Sri Lanka

June 29 (GV) In post war Sri Lanka, where triumphalism is an ever-present threat to reconciliation, and where issues of religious and language diversity continue to engender conflict, we are encountering a reassertion of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism through the powerful medium of film. In the recent past we have seen the grand dramatization of several episodes in the vamsic account of Sri Lankan history. more..

Editorial : Wars minus the shooting

June 29 (Island) Sports events have, by and large, ceased to be fun in this country. They are meant to prepare participants physically and psychologically to face challenges in life by learning to take victory or defeat and success or failure with equanimity. But, nobody seems to enjoy them today, as everybody wants to win at any cost. They have become wars minus the shooting. Perhaps, there hasn’t been a better description of some sports than this one by George Orwell: more..

31-member SLI team for MDRT confab in US

June 29 (Island) Sri Lanka Insurance saw thirty one of its top Life Insurance sales achievers qualifying for the elite Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Conference 2013 held from June 9 – 13 in Pennsylvania, USA. The honour of bearing the National Flag of Sri Lanka was bestowed on G.T. Senarathna a member of the Sri Lanka Insurance Team. Sri Lanka Insurance was also able to produce two members R H Noor and Ms W T R F Malalanayake to the prestigious more..

Michael Mendis

The politics of the 13A and election to the NPC: The stakes involved

June 29 (CT) The constitutional assault on the 13A is the follow up to the military conquest and occupation and political subjugation of the Tamil Nation by the Sri Lankan State commanded by the Rajapakse Regime. The legal and constitutional denial of any form of nationhood and statehood to the Tamil people cohabiting historically in the North-East is the singular objective behind the mounting assault on the 13A. This assault is to constitutionally declare the nullification of the political more..

Reconciliation – the way forward

June 29 (Island) Virtually all of us who are of this Island take pride in our history, our ancient civilization and traditions, our four great religions and our languages. Yet, almost continuously since independence our religious and linguistic communities have been drifting away from each other with no sustained move towards Reconciliation. In contrast, South Africa has had a violent history of apartheid, and tribal and inter-ethnic conflict and oppression such as more..

'Learn from history to avoid peril'

June 29 (CT) Outspoken politician and Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne claims Sri Lanka should learn from her past political mistakes and cautions against drastic decision-making with regard to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He feels such moves would be to the detriment of the country. Q: You strike an emotional note when speaking of the moves to alter the 13th Amendment? Why? A: There is reason for more..

I can do no better than Siddhartha Gauthama, how about you Mr. President?

June 29 (CT) These are days of ‘ethics’ or rather days where ethics are questioned and recommended. President Rajapaksa observed that there are those who come up with guidelines for ethical behavior in professional matters and that they themselves can violate these edicts with impunity. He pointed out that politicians can and do infringe but at the risk of punishment. Now it is clear that not all those who indulge in unethical (and even illegal behavior) are punished, more..

US suspends GSP trade benefits for Bangladesh over safety

June 29 (Reuters) President Barack Obama cut off long-time U.S. trade benefits for Bangladesh on Thursday in a mostly symbolic response to conditions in the country's garment industry that have cost more than 1,200 lives in the past year. The U.S. move does not directly affect Bangladesh's multi-billion-dollar clothing exports, since garments are not eligible for U.S. duty cuts. But it could prompt the European Union into similar action, which would have a bigger impact as Bangladesh's more..

Subramaniam Sivakamy alias ‘Col’ Thamilini becomes a ‘Suthanthirapparavai’ (Free Bird)

June 29 (DBS) Suthanthirapparavaigal (Birds of Freedom) was the popular name by which the Women’s political division of the LTTE was known in the past. Last week, saw a former woman political commissar of the LTTE tasting freedom after three years of detention and one year of rehabilitation. 41 year old Subramaniam Sivakamy alias 'Col' Thamilini became a Suthanthirapparavai or free bird on June 26 more..

CPC passes resolution to support amending 13-A

June 29 (Island) A resolution in support of amending the 13th amendment to the constitution was passed yesterday (28) at the Central Provincial Council, amidst protests from the UNP. Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayaka tabled the resolution in the house. It was seconded by Thilina Bandara Tennekoon of the UPFA. Deputy Chairman W. M. Yasamana presided at the meeting held at Pallekele Assembly Hall of the Provincial Council. Deputy Chairman Yasamana at the end of the adoption of more..

Two more deaths at an unprotected level crossing

June 29 (Island) Two men travelling in a lorry to collect mangoes from an estate were killed when their lorry collided with a moving train at an unprotected railway crossing between Meerigama and Rajadahana stations yesterday morning. SP Buddhika Siriwardana said that the victims, Nimal Seneviratne and B. Sarath of Mawanella, had been killed around 7.10 a.m. Some schoolgirls from a Children’s home had been in the vicinity at the time and they had shouted at them to stop more..

JAAF eager to clothe China after President’s overtures

June 29 (Island) The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has expressed delight on the announcement that consequent to the visit of President Rajapaksa to China, a number of MOUs have been signed to improve and strengthen bi-lateral economic relations between the two countries, particular on trade investment and tourism. In a media statement issued by the JAAF, it was stated that the JAAF has been more..

Permanent appointments to graduates

June 29 (DN) The era when graduates suffered due to unemployment has come to an end as another step forward in achieving the Mahinda Chinthana future vision, Minister Felix Perera said. At present, the unemployment rate has decreased to 4.5% under the leadership of President Rajapaksa and the govt has marked the end of privatization of govt institutes, he added. The minister was addressing a ceremony at Sethsiripaya to distribute permanent appointment letters to graduates recruited more..

Sri Lanka: 13A, CHOGM, China and India

June 29 (EAR) This is an extract of answers to questions raised by webmedia in E-mail interview. Q1. India has blown hot and cold over the Sri Lankan national question over the past several decades. Now there is 13A and the elections for a Northern Provincial govt looming. Do you see the Manmohan govt acting positive and decisively in this context? A: There are two narratives on India’s stand on the Sri Lankan national question. One is India as a regional power which would like to more..

Gayle, bowlers give WI comfortable win

June 29 (CI) Chris Gayle had failed to leave a mark in cold and wet England, but he probably knows there is only one thing cool in the warmer climes of Jamaica - he himself. And no one at Sabina Park would disagree. After a lean patch in the Champions Trophy where his highest score was 39, Gayle scored his 21st ODI century - his first against Sri Lanka - as West Indies brushed the visitors aside by six wickets and earned a more..

Sri Lanka’s regime of crisis

June 29 (EAR) The political scene in Colombo has changed rapidly in the last two months. Actually it is not sudden, as I will explain at the end, but there has been a remarkable shift in the political domain. A regime which since the end of the civil war in May 2009 was strong, stable and popular has mutated fairly quickly into a regime of crisis. A leader who was master of all he surveyed (President Rajapakse) is spluttering and struggling to keep his head above water. more..

ADB lends $ 200 m to upgrade secondary schools to meet labour needs

June 29 (FT) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $ 200 million in loans to help the Govt of Sri Lanka revamp its secondary school system to cut youth unemployment and meet the country’s urgent need for a skilled workforce. “The current system needs a major overhaul so that young people have the skills to enter the labour market once they move on from secondary schools,” said Rita O’ Sullivan, Country Director of ADB’s office in Sri Lanka. more..

Mangala alleges Gotabhaya behind project to abolish13-A

June 29 (Island) The on-going campaign to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was led by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said. He said that he did not think President Rajapaksa wanted to go along with the plan hatched by Gotabhaya and supported by parties such as the JHU and NFF. Elected representatives of the people in the ruling UPFA had been sidelined and more..

Govt. ready to solve problems of PHIs: Basil

June 29 (FT) The Govt is ready to solve the all the problems facing Public Health Inspectors who are performing a selfless public service and to motivate and encourage them, according to Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He said this at the meeting held to mark the Public Health Association’s 78th Anniversary and the centenary of the Public Health Service in Sri Lanka, Colombo on June 27th. The Minister was the Chief Guest at the event. The country’s Public Health Service commenced in more..

Ceylon Chamber elects new leadership team

June 29 (FT) At the 174th AGM held on Thursday, Suresh Shah was appointed as the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Samantha Ranatunga was appointed as the Vice Chairman and Rajendra Theagarajah as the Deputy Vice Chairman for the year 2013/14. Shah is a member of the Board of Carson Cumberbatch, a position he has held since 2002. Since 1991, he functions as Chief Executive and Board Member of the Group’s brewery business which currently comprise more..

Impeachment of CJ Shirani B: Objections overruled

June 29 (Island) The preliminary objections raised by MPs R. Sampanthan and Vijitha Herath were overruled by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday. The bench granted Special Leave to Appeal to the Attorney General against MPs R. Sampanthan and Vijitha Herath cited as respondents in the Special Leave to Appeal filed by the AG against a judgement of the Court of Appeal, which quashed the findings of more..

Pakistan provides over Rs. 9 m grant to boost Lankan handloom sector

June 29 (FT) The Pakistan govt through its High Commission in Sri Lanka is collaborating with the Sri Lankan govt to revive the handloom sector in the Mirigama district aimed at strengthening this cottage industry and providing self-employment to the people of the area. It is planned to train 75 individuals, providing them with handloom, hand winders, accessories and raw material. In addition to the direct beneficiaries, hundreds of people will gain indirect employment from more..

'No secret weapons training at Kattankudy'

June 29 (Island) Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hisbullah said he would soon send an official invitation to Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to visit Kattankudy, a predominately Muslim area to see for themselves what the Muslims were doing there. He was addressing Jammiyathul Ullemas (Muslim theologians) in Kattankudy. The minister said that the BBS could visit prominent Arabic colleges and Mosques there to see whether these institutions were promoting religious extremism more..

Electricity tariff claims first victim

June 29 (CT) A senior citizen succumbed to a heart attack yesterday after learning that his electricity bill has increased by an exorbitant amount, when he arrived at the CEB Head Office, to pay his monthly bill. S.P.P.G. Samaradasa, a 61-year-old resident of Battaramulla, had arrived at the CEB with his bill, and had inquired from an official at the counter, the reason for its significant increase. more..

CID ordered to expedite publishing notices

June 29 (CT) The Presidential Commission, appointed to investigate the skeletons found in the Matale mass grave, has directed the CID to submit a full report containing the Court proceedings on the findings. This was revealed by the CID officers yesterday, when the case was taken up for the first time by newly-appointed Magistrate, Sampath Gamage. It is learnt that Magistrate Gamage has directed the CID to expedite publishing notices in the media informing and calling the public to more..

Pillay wants probe on war

June 29 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in August, says an international independent investigation must take place in Sri Lanka into allegations of war crimes. Pillay told the BBC that she will look at the post war developments in Sri Lanka during her visit and meet all the concerned parties. Pillay has decided to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka from 25 to 31 August this year. This is in response to an invitation formally extended to more..

TNA, SLMC map counter measures

June 29 (Island) UPFA constituent, the SLMC and the TNA are in the process of building a common front to thwart govt move to curtail the powers of the provincial councils ahead of the first northern provincial council election scheduled for September. SLMC General Secretary Hassen Ali and TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that their objective was to build a coalition against those bent on diluting the 13th Amendment. more..

Tanzania reaffirms support for CHOGM 2013

June 29 (DN) Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete while reaffirming his country’s support for Sri Lanka’s hosting of the 2013 CHOGM, pledged that he would persuade other Commonwealth members of Africa to participate. He gave this assurance during bilateral discussions with President Rajapaksa who is on a state visit to Tanzania. President Rajapaksa while apprising the Tanzanian President of Sri Lanka’s preparation to host 2013 CHOGM, invited Tanzania to take part more..