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UN resolution and the Tamils

Mar 26 (CT) No need for any more annual pilgrimage to Geneva. Every Tamil would say this from now on. The UN labored and brought forth nothing. By comparison even the mountain brought out something. For the Tamils of Sri Lanka the UN Resolution signifies emptiness. The Tamil people’s faith in the UN system is terminated for ever. They are now freed of this paralytic incubus giving them greater elbow room to organize their lives. They would prefer to veer from the UN-IC snare. more..

E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one

Mar 26 (CT) In 1909, Israel Zangwill, a prominent British writer of his time, wrote the play ‘The Melting Pot’ from which the above quotation is taken. The hero of the play is David, a Russian Jew who emigrated to the United States following the killing of his entire family in a pogrom against the Jews. In the US, David writes a symphony called ‘The Crucible’ where he expresses his hope for a world where all differences of ethnicity and religion will melt away. He falls in love with a Christian immigrant more..

Today is Medin full moon Poya Day

Mar 26 (Island) The Full Moon Poya Day of Medin in the Buddhist year 2556 falls today and it is March 26, 2013 as per the Gregorian calendar. It was on such a Full Moon Poya Day that the Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha in the seventh year of his attainment to Englightenment, in response to the persuasion of Arahat Kaludai, set out from Rajagahanuwara to Kapilavasthupura with 20,000 Bhikkhus, which led to four most more..

Text of speech made in Parliament on 21st March by MP MA Sumanthiran

Mar 26 (DBS) The Hon. Minister for External Affairs concluded with a question: ‘Is this right? Can we be happy with the way our Motherland is being treated by the United Nations system?’ I’d like to suggest that the question – more relevant question and the more serious question is not that. Is this how our Motherland should treat us, who are also citizens of this country? Merely because we are inferior in number that the greater in number should treat us as second class, or worse, more..

Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe and the civil rights movement

Mar 26 (DBS) In the last column in this series, I will look at the Civil Rights Movement, which was founded in 1971. In discussing its contribution to Rights, and the manner in which Rights can be most productively promoted, I will also talk about one of its founding members, Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe, whose 86th birthday it would have been today. Like his father, Cyril Wickremesinghe, who was the first Ceylonese Govt Agent, he was a radical in his commitment to social equity. more..

Like father, like son

Mar 26 (CT) Dr. A. Baheerathan, son of the late TULF leader, A. Amirthalingam, was in Sri Lanka and in an interview with CT travelled extensively ‘down memory lane’ in the North. He was happy to note there were no more cruel deaths on a daily basis and the people were living without the sounds of guns. While regretting the process to find a political solution to the Tamil question is not on the right track yet, he emphasized the govt more..

Editorial : NATA must be backed to the hilt!

Mar 26 (Island) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) and the Ministry of Health deserve praise for having refused to compromise their position that pictorial warnings must be displayed prominently on each and every pack of cigarettes covering 80% of its front and back. The past few months have seen desperate attempts by the tobacco industry to have that decision reversed. We hope they will not buckle under tremendous pressure they have come under from many more..

In the aftermath of 2013 UNHRC Resolution

Mar 26 (Island) The latest Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva brings into focus 2 issues: 1. The lack of clarity as to what specific recommendations are expected to be implemented by the Govt of Sri Lanka; 2. The call for an independent and credible investigation into violations. ISSUE # 1: What specific recommendations are to be implemented? The Preamble to the resolution refers to the National Plan of Action while the text of the resolution more..

Making their mark

Mar 26 (ST) The buzz has begun. Designers preparing for the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week are currently in high gear withless than two weeks to go before the tenth anniversary edition of the show on April 3,4 and 5 at the Colombo Hilton. The excitement is tangible among the young designers who will be stepping onto the big stage, showcasing their work alongside the established names of the fashion world. more..

Hameedia, Dialog bring smiles to underprivileged children

Mar 26 (ST) Two reputed corporates have joined hands to help poor, destitute and abandoned Sri Lankan children in promoting their education and helping them to come up in life. Helping children and the needy was first mooted by Fouzul Hameed, MD, Hameedia Group, specialists in men’s clothing following the footsteps of his father, but later he found it has greater dimensions and much funds and resources are needed. So he decided to join hands with Dr Hans Wijesooriya, CEO, more..

'We have commenced building a force of working masses'

Mar 26 (LT) A programme to amalgamate trade unions to build a huge force of working masses to unify all struggles and win the rights of working masses has been launched says the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) K.D. Lal Kanthe. Making the keynote address at the 8th Convention of All Ceylon Bank Employees Union (ACBEU) yesterday (24) Mr. Lal Kanthe said the programme was launched as isolated struggles carried out in the past had not more..

TRC setting up data base to tackle mobile phone thefts, counterfeit trade

Mar 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is to establish acomprehensive data base containing a list of mobile phones with all details including its international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) which is a unique identification code for each mobile device, the country’s telecommunication regulator said. The planned Central Equipment Identify Register (CEIR) connects to the IMEI database of all the mobile operators and acts as a central system for more..

Kithul, Palmyra workers to become industry owners

Mar 26 (DN) Kithulaka Varuna- 2013 Exhibition together with a Trade Fair will be held on April 5- 7 at the Sudarshi Hall in Colombo 7. “There is a high economic value for Kithul and Palmyra products in the international market and the aim of the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry is to convert Kithul and Palmyra workers into industry owners,” the ministry’s Deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake said. He was addressing a press conference at the more..

SMEs account for $ 7 b in exports

Mar 26 (FT) The Small and Medium Sector (SME) accounts for over US$ 7 billion in exports and the first dedicated SME industrial estate that is being constructed in the north of Sri Lanka in Atchchuvely is a boost to the country, said Rohantha Athukorala, Head of National Portfolio Development, United Nations Office. Athukorala was addressing the National Chamber of Commerce KPMG conference on ‘SMEs and Tax Implications’. The construction of the Atchchuvely Industrial Estate is more..

Deyata Kirula, a development catalyst

Mar 26 (DN) The Deyata Kirula national development drive creates a strong platform for overall development of the country through an attitudinal change, Minister and Deyata Kirula exhibition committee chairman Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. The minister said the Deyata Kirula exhibition is a gateway for rapid development since the major focus is on the overall development of the districts selected for the exhibition, more..

Injured monkey rescued in Sigiriya

Mar 26 (CT) His Holiness Gyalwang Drupka and his group of devotees who were passing Sigiriya during the Pada Yatra, came across severely wounded monkey that had been caught in a trap in the Sigiriya jungle. The monkey, on sighting the Pada Yatra group ran away in pain. However, His Holiness Gyalwang Drupka requested the local volunteers to find the injured monkey and refused to leave Sigiriya till it was found. The participants stayed in Sigiriya for three days, while the volunteers more..

Ten treasure hunters nabbed inside reserve

Mar 26 (Island) The police unit, in charge of archeology, in Tangalle on Sunday, raided the Beralihela, Samaguliya forest reserve and arrested ten persons, engaged in digging for treasure. Along with the suspects, the police recovered a pneumatic drill used to drill through granite rock, a diesel generator, water pump, pickaxes, mammoties, buckets etc. They had also recovered various offerings brought by the treasure hunters to be made to the deities. more..

CJ opts out of bench

Mar 26 (CT) On a request made by Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, on behalf of the petitioner of the case pertaining to Greek Bonds, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris informed Court that he will not be on the bench to hear the case. Counsel Jayasuriya, while requesting the Chief Justice not to hear the case, produced the Annual Report of Central Bank, which states the Chief Justice was a Consultant to the Central Bank in 2008. more..

Insurers, CPC assess Orugodawatte damage

Mar 26 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Engineers and insurance assessors will join hands to ascertain the losses caused by Sunday evening’s fire at the Orugodawatte oil storage facility. The fire broke out when the roof of the tank was struck by lightning which damaged two iron sheets and the seal of the tank’s floating roof, a high ranking official said. CPC Managing Director Susantha de Silva, while appreciating the painstaking efforts of the CPC employees to more..

Sajith insists Lanka capable of solving its problems

Mar 26 (Island) Excerpts of Sajith Premadasa’s speech during the parliamentary debate on the Resettlement Authority Bill. Reconciliation has become a buzz word today. We hear lots of talk on nation rebuilding. I honestly believe that we do not need lessons from abroad on reconciliation, reintegration and ethnic harmony. I also believe in that we as a nation are strong enough to bring about peace, reconciliation, reintegration, unity, harmony and coexistence on our own. more..

Grama Niladharis ordered to campaign for SLFP’s Nil Rella

Mar 26 (Island) The SLFP has directed Grama Niladharis to participate in its ‘Nil Rella’ membership drive which was to commence this week, the UNP charged. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillaka, MP, produced a letter, at a news conference in Colombo, which he said had been sent by the Bentara-Elpitiya SLFP Organiser Geetha Kumarasinghe to Grama Niladharis, in her electorate, asking them to go campaigning from house to house when more..

2 Sri Lankan fishermen held

Mar 26 (Hindu) The authorities here arrested two Sri Lankan fishermen, who had drifted ashore at Kodiakkarai, in the early hours of Monday, after their boat ran out of fuel. The fishermen, Chandru (23) and Sumanan (30) from Valvettithurai in Jaffna, had set out on their boat on Saturday with 70 litres of fuel. However, their boat ran out of fuel on Sunday night and began to drift windward, till they eventually ran ashore Kodiakkarai early on Monday morning. The two men were sighted by the local more..

Ancient sites in Matale vandalized

Mar 26 (CT) Close to 30 ancient sites in Matale, have already been vandalized by treasure hunters. These include Aluvihara Rajamahavihara, Len Vihara, Embilla Rajamahavihara, Thalgahagoda Rajamaha Vihara, Debawa Rajamahavihara, Menikdena Rajamahavihara and many others. Those who respect the value of historic sites say that Matale is a place where valuable ancient sites like the McDowall Fortress, Wariyapola Purana Gallena, Laggala Yudhanganapitiya and more..

The hardline Buddhists targeting Sri Lanka's Muslims

Mar 26 (BBC) After a series of attacks on mosques, wild rumours about animal slaughter and an attempt to outlaw the halal system of classification, the BBC investigates how Sri Lanka's Muslim minority is being targeted by hardline Buddhists. On a January morning a crowd of Buddhist monks storm a law college, yelling, chanting and even hitting one or two seemingly random people and pushing back the police. more..

SriLankan Airlines doing roaring business amid protests

Mar 26 (TOI) The students in the region may agitate for the Eelam cause by stopping trains running through the state, but the low cost Mihin Lanka and SriLankan Airlines continue to operate 19 services a week to Colombo from Trichy, to transport mostly the poor Tamils between the two cities. The offices of Mihin and SriLankan Airlines came under threat when the student agitation was at its peak recently and now the foreign office has removed the name board at its Trichy office for fear of reprisal. more..

Parents involved in Big Match melee

Mar 26 (CT) IGP N.K. Illangakoon has ordered and investigation into the incident where a group of civilians had impersonated police officers to acquire tear gas canisters and use them on spectators at the Richmond vs. Mahinda College big match in Galle. Due to the tension that had prevailed among spectators at the match, Police Riot Squads had been forced to respond with tear gas, and amidst the melee, a group of civilians had got hold of tear gas canisters and attacked the crowd. more..

Disaster waiting to happen

Mar 26 (CT) Major disasters could occur in the future if the CPC does not have a disaster management plan, with contingency measures to put out major fires at its fuel storage depots, a CPC trade union warned yesterday, alleging that the Corporation does not at present have proper facilities to fight a major fire. A union member, who did not wish to be named, pointing to the delay in putting out the fire at the Orugodawatte fuel more..

'Japan’s education system ideal model for Sri Lanka'

Mar 26 (DN) Japan helps Sri Lanka to stand strong in the world stage, said Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene addressing the inauguration of the Asia Pacific Children’s Convention Mission Project 2013, at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalaya. “The education system functioning in Japan is ideal for Sri Lanka as well. They are building a creative next generation via their education system. All measures have been taken to make changes in our education system to make a creative more..

Police raid children’s home after media reports

Mar 26 (Island) After widespread media reports that a children’s home at Bogahapelessa, Tissamaharama was using its inmates to do menial work, including slaughter of animals, the police raided the place yesterday and questioned the pastor running it and the children concerned. The main allegation in the reports was that children were being used to slaughter animals at a nearby farm, which supplies the home. But the pastor had denied the charge and had said it was run by its more..

AG’s advice still pending on Malaka, Rehan case

Mar 26 (DM) The accuracy of the complaint made by an Army Major against Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeratne and the contradictions contained in the affidavit submitted by the Major later on have been sent to the AG for his advice, the Salve Island police informed Court yesterday. The case against Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka and six others, who are alleged to have assaulted an Army Major, came up before more..

Parliament updated on Cairn’s oil drilling venture

Mar 26 (FT) Doubts over the success of the agreement entered into with Cairn Lanka Ltd., which is entrusted with oil exploration activities in the Mannar Basin, were raised last week in Parliament by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana. Revealing the terms of the agreement signed between the Govt of Sri Lanka and Cairn Lanka, a subsidiary of Cairn India Ltd., Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that all exploration, development and production costs were borne by the contractor. more..

Petition to SC seeks NICs in Sinhala and Tamil

Mar 26 (Island) A petition had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to have all details on the National Identity Card in both, the Sinhala and Tamil, languages. The petition filed by Anuruddha Gamage of Maharagama, had requested the Supreme Court to direct the State to issue identity cards both, in the Sinhala and Tamil languages as so far the ID cards of Sinhalese were being issued exclusively in Sinhala and when they travel in the Northern and Eastern provinces they face the more..

Govt. rules out taking back Trinco tank farm from India

Mar 26 (Island) The handing over of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation-owned oil tank farm in Trincomalee to India, by the then UNP govt, was very similar to the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement between the UNF govt and the LTTE, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said that the UNP was now criticising the govt and asking it to work against India after the Indian govt voted in favour of the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka more..

Editorial: Sri Lankans Tolerant till provoked?

Mar 26 (DM) The Sri Lankans who had to go through the ordeal of ruthless invasions by the Dravidians, Cholas, Pandyans, Portuguese, Dutch and the British largely remain a tolerant community despite what the cynics may say. Endowed with passive Bengali genes and equanimity preached by Buddha they had co-existed with other communities who became part of the country through invasions or otherwise, for a long time. So much so, close to the Temple of the Tooth Relic Kandy, more..

Enlightened intellectuals: A vanishing breed

Mar 26 (DM) Surrounded as we are by quantity and not quality, the loss of enlightened intellectuality is both dangerous and saddening. When it has taken its toll on the highest seats of learning, it is to be taken note of very seriously. A university’s main task of producing a country’s intelligentsia becomes impracticable when the universities themselves suffer a dearth of enlightened intellectuals. Training in education and skills alone will not bring out the ‘total person.’ more..

Queen to skip Colombo CHOGM?

Mar 26 (Island) Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the 54-nation Commonwealth, is likely to skip the CHOGM in Colombo later this year, an Indian weekly newspaper has claimed. The Sunday Guardian quoted unnamed officials within the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as saying that the Queen is "almost certain to skip the meeting," scheduled for 15-17 Nov. Several Heads of Govt are also "likely to keep away" from more..

Salley says police tried to arrest him

Mar 26 (CG) Muslim Tamil National Alliance leader Azath Salley says the police had attempted to arrest him yesterday. Sally said that police officers had gone to his house yesterday to arrest him and he had then filed for bail through his lawyers and will appear in court on Thursday. Just last week the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) had also issued summons on Salley to appear at the CCD office. Sally however did not go to the more..

Sri Lanka thumbs nose at UN vote

Mar 26 (AT) The rap on the knuckles that the Sri Lankan govt has been dealt by the UNHRC for the second year in a row has raised hackles in Sri Lanka. A US-sponsored resolution condemning Sri Lanka's human rights record was passed on Thursday with 25 countries voting in favor, 13 against and eight abstaining. However, as with last year's resolution, the new poll is unlikely to push President Mahinda Rajapaksa to initiate more..

'WB, IMF, ADB won’t be our funding sources'

Mar 26 (DM) Sri Lanka will not go after global lending agencies such as the World Bank (WB) the IMF and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) because Sri Lanka is categorized as a Middle Income Nation, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday. He said the strategy for future foreign funding would be through bilateral agreements with friendly countries. Mr. Cabraal said Sri Lanka had been able to maintain a more..

GSP+ withdrawal strips off Sri Lanka’s garments

Mar 26 (SL) Despite govt’s claims that the withdrawal of the GSP Plus facility in 2010 would bear no severe impact on the country’s economy, the EU’s decision to withdraw the facility has been estimated to cost the govt billions, and has had a huge impact on the garment industry, which was at the time a thriving sector in the country. However, despite govt’s claims that it would not affect the garment trade many factories have been more..