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Injustice makes Polonnaruwa PHIs sick

Mar 22 (Island) Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) of the Polonnaruwa District announced that they would go on a 24-hour sick note campaign today if the North Central Provincial Council fails to cancel a transfer given to the Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors’ Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), Senarath Bandara, without even a proper inquiry. President of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), Upul Rohana alleged that the transfer had been given following a complaint more..

Authoritarian regime for economic prosperity?

Mar 22 (CT) Four and a half decades ago, the erudite and then influential Buddhist priest, Rajakeeya Panditha Venerable Henpitagedara Gnanasiha Thero, suggested in a book in Sinhala on the theme of dictatorship that Ceylon, as the country was known at that time, should establish a dictatorship under a benevolent ruler. The objective was to deliver prosperity and enable the country to regain its former glories. The book became an instant bestseller with many supporting more..

Minister Rajapaksa discusses plans for Deyata Kirula 2013

Mar 22 (MEA) The Economic Development Ministry will commission a number of development projects covering agriculture, irrigation, education, health, drinking water and power supply, completed at a cost of Rs. 10,625 million in the Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts parallel to the Deyata Kirula National Exhibition 2013 which will be held at Ampara from March 23 to March 29. more..

Jaffna Archbishop urges Canadian delegates to refrain from holding CHOGM in Sri lanka

Mar 22 (OU) If the Commonwealth conference is held in Sri Lanka, it should settle the Tamil people’s crisis. If it fails to provide benefit, such conference should not be held in Sri Lanka. Jaffna Archbishop Thomas Saundaranayagam yesterday urged the Senate and Canadian delegates panel connected to the Commonwealth conference visited yesterday to Jaffna. Commonwealth conference special panel members Senate Hack D.Seegul, Canadian Ambassador Shellie Viding including more..

NCP teachers to boycott schools over extension of working hours

Mar 22 (Island) Teachers attached to govt schools in the North-Central Province will boycott schools tomorrow against Provincial Education Minister Peshala Jayaratne’s decision to conduct examinations on Saturdays. They also oppose the lengthening of school sessions to 3.00 p.m. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said that those decisions were taken without any scientific study and would be harmful to children’s minds. more..

Raj Rajaratnam’s brother charged with insider trading

Mar 22 (NYT) After earning degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Stanford University business school, Rengan Rajaratnam pursued a career on Wall Street, seeking to emulate the stupendous success of his oldest brother, the hedge fund titan Raj Rajaratnam. His brother turned out to be a poor role model. On Thursday, prosecutors said that Rengan was a pawn in Raj’s vast insider-trading conspiracy, announcing more..

Sri Lanka need team effort for success in ODIs - Mathews

Mar 22 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has called for strong collective performance, rather than reliance on key players, as he prepares to lead the team in his first ODI series as captain. Sri Lanka's 1-0 Test series win over Bangladesh was largely founded upon the efforts of Rangana Herath, who took 12 wickets in the Colombo Test, and Kumar Sangakkara, who averaged 110 in the series. Herath has been rested for the first two ODI matches, while Sangakkara has, in the past, more..

More bodyguards of Duminda released

Mar 22 (DM) Three more suspects in the murder of Baratha Lakshman Premachandra who are said to have been personal body guards of MP Duminda Silva were released on bail today by the Colombo Magistrate court. The three suspects were granted two bails of Rs 5000 and Rs 500,000 each and were ordered against leaving the country without prior permission from court. They were also ordered to present themselves on the last Saturday of each month before the CID. more..

SEC Director General resigns

Mar 22 (DM) Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Prof. Hareendra Dissabandara has tendered his resignation from May 27, stating that he could not continue to work in his capacity based on his principles. “Based on my principles and considering the current set up at SEC, I was compelled to take the decision to resign,” he said. Earlier, Chairman of the SEC Thilak Karunarathne resigned from his post, more..

Fishermen’s fuel coupons given to political henchmen – VAC

Mar 22 (LT) The loss in Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has increased from Rs.1800 million to Rs.11800 million within two years says the convener of Voice Against Corruption (VAC) Wasanthe Samarasinghe. He said VAC would hand over a petition to the Commission to investigate into allegations of bribery or corruption asking the Commission to immediately investigate frauds, corruption and irregularities that occur in the CPC and take appropriate action. more..

Lanka should solve Tamil issue in India's interest: NSA

Mar 22 (PTI) Amid continued agitation here over Sri Lankan Tamil issue, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon today said it is in India's interest that Sri Lanka solves its ethnic issues and make the minority community confident of its fate there. "Equally, it is in our interest that Sri Lanka remains a close friend and does not affect our security adversely", Menon said here. "It is clearly in India's interest that Sri Lanka solves its ethnic problems in a manner which makes each community, more..

Champika calls for change in ties with India

Mar 22 (Xinhua) A govt ally on Friday called for a change in Sri Lanka's foreign policy toward India after the Indians voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Minister Champika Ranawaka said that the govt should look at strengthening economic ties with South American, African, and East Asian countries. He also said that Sri Lanka should completely severe trading and tourism ties with Tamil Nadu in south India. more..

Anti-Sri Lanka protests claim second life

Mar 22 (IANS) A 30-year-old man Friday died after setting himself ablaze here over Sri Lankan Tamils' issue, said police as protests continued against the island nation's government across the state. Vikram suffered severe burns after he set himself ablaze at an anti-Sri Lanka protest in a suburban area here Thursday night. He was taken to a government hospital, where he died later of his injuries. He is the second person to immolate himself in the on-going protests. more..

Sri Lanka issue: Tourism becomes the first casualty

Mar 22 (PTI) Amid rising protests in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka over its alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils, the tourism industry in India has taken a big hit. The number of travellers from the island nation has fallen by 10-15% in February-March, compared to the year-ago period, according to the Indian Association of Tour Operators. “Whenever such a political crisis arises, tourism becomes the first casualty. We have already witnessed a drop of around 15% in incoming traffic from SL. more..

'UN resolution an attempt to divide our country'

Mar 22 (AP) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma on Friday criticized the United Nations resolution that calls on the island-nation to thoroughly investigate war crimes allegedly committed during its civil war, saying that it attempts to divide the country. Mr. Alahapperuma’s comments came a day after the UNHRC approved the U.S.-backed resolution. The resolution followed a U.N. report alleging Sri Lanka’s Govt may be to blame for more..

UNP calls for demonstrations outside Temple Trees

Mar 22 (DM) UNP MP Lakshaman Kiriella today called for protest rallies to be held outside Temple Trees and Parliament over the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka instead of demonstrating outside the US and Indian embassies. He said the stand taken by the UNP on the resolution adopted by the UNHRC and underlined the fact that the vote was an indictment on the UPFA Govt and not on Sri Lanka. Mr. Kiriella said the resolution calls on the Govt “to honor its commitment to its own people.” more..

Rajapaksa regime is nearing JR regime in oppressing students’ movement – SSU

Mar 22 (LT) When compared with J.R. Jayawardene regime Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is way ahead in the attempt to privatize education and is nearing that era in its moves to oppress the student movement says the National Organizer of Socialist Students’ Union (SSU) Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. He said discussions are being held with parents, teachers and the working masses in the country to build a force that would defeat the moves of the present govt aimed at destroying free education. more..

Rights groups criticise UN resolution on SL

Mar 22 (PTI) As the UNHRC adopted a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka, prominent rights groups today criticised it for failing to establish an independent international investigation into alleged crimes. London based Amnesty International said the new UN resolution does a good job of highlighting past and ongoing human rights violations in Sri Lanka, but regrettably fails to establish an independent more..

Politician behind the scam?

Mar 22 (CT) Reliable sources from the Customs Department said a powerful politician, who owns distilleries, is behind the scam. It is alleged he buys ethanol from crooked importers. The govt banned the import of ethanol into the country early February this year. Accordingly, all imports with mixed ethyl spirits at strength of 80% and over, and mixed alcohol of all strengths, was banned into the country under the Export Control Act and the Excise Department Ordinance. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on hunger strike, demand Indian intervention

Mar 22 (ITN) Scores of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees sat on a one-day hunger strike in Chennai on Friday and demanded that the Indian govt should put pressure on Sri Lanka for an independent probe into war crimes. Around 500 refugees including 350 women participated in the hunger strike. “We have left our country and we are staying as refugees in Tamil Nadu. We want to leave peacefully in our country, and the world organisation must do something for us”, said Shanmuganathan, more..

Sri Lanka to partly take back storage depot from IOC

Mar 22 (PTI) Within hours of India voting at the UN in favour of a US-sponsored resolution blaming Sri Lanka for alleged human right violations against Tamils, the island nation today said it would take back part of the strategic oil storage depot given to Indian Oil Corp’s (IOC’s) local arm. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said there was a provision to re-possess tanks not used by Lanka IOC, IOC’s local unit, which had bought a more..

Bodu Bala Sena: A threat to Sri Lanka’s future

Mar 23 (GV) Sri Lanka’s fragile attempt of reconciliation, following the end of the thirty-year civil war, faces a potentially backbreaking obstacle. The growing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism that is the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) movement is threatening to divide an already a fractious society. On the basis of protecting Sinhalese businessmen from the rising prices allegedly caused by Muslim businesses, the BBS movement has taken to the streets targeting the Muslim community. more..

Colombo University VC controversy: A different perspective

Mar 23 (CT) Several academics (Savitri Goonesekere, Lalitha Mendis, J.N.O. Fernando, FUTA) have written in various forums decrying the circumstances surrounding the appointment of VCs. They stress the importance of the best people applying and decry the political influence peddling that prevents that. Many demand the rule of law in doing things by the Universities Act, pointing to the lapses of past UGCs. I cannot but agree with them and endorse what they argue for. more..

Cartoons, a unique art meant to satirise

Mar 23 (SO) Now almost all major newspapers carry cartoons which reflect the point highlighted by the editorial or the headlines. It is perhaps rated the most popular newspaper feature because it comes out with an undiscovered aspect of a particular news item or event under discussion. The commentators on newspaper headlines and features on electronic media often appear to give paramount importance to the cartoon in more..

The political economy of prejudice

Mar 23 (GV) Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority is increasingly finding itself the target of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalists: a campaign against halal, attacks on mosques, boycott of their businesses, hate speech, intimidation and threats. Many concerned social activists, researchers and commentators have attempted to grapple with current manifestations of this phenomenon with a view to shaping meaningful and effective responses by furthering our understanding of its more..

Increase of rape and child abuse: Sirisena sheds crocodile tears

Mar 23 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, was reported as saying that 65% of the cases before the courts in Polunowara district concern rape, child abuse and the harassment of women. He also said that this has created great discouragement in his own political life. He made this statement at a conference held at the Medirigiriya National School to mark the International Day of Women. He attributed this increase in crimes of the sexual abuse of women and children to the use of more..

පරිසර විනාශය හා සංවර්ධනය

Don’t shoot the Koha for doing its job

Mar 23 (SL) Paang Choong has been my early morning wakeup call for a greater part of the year, but from last week it has been the melodious Koha. Paang Choong (for those not up with the latest English-Sinhala lingo developments) is the baker’s boy who goes up and down the road in a three-wheeler playing recorded tunes to announce his arrival on the road with his mouth-watering wares. Paang is the Portuguese word for bread and Choong is for tune. So Paang Choong means more..

Pitting Lanka against the world

Mar 23 (DBS) Fanatics hate facts. Therefore the fact that the Sinhala population has actually increased between 1982 and 2011 would be of no interest to those who are trying to ignite a new – religious – inferno. According to census figures, in 1982, Sinhalese constituted 74% of the population; by 2011, this has increased to 74.9%. The Muslims constituted 7% in 1982 and 9.2% in 2011. If any community is in danger of depletion it’s the Tamils. Indu Bandara, Director, Population Census more..

'CEB has to earn to meet its expenses'

Mar 23 (CT) The debt-ridden CEB is getting ready for another electricity tariff hike. Accordingly, come April, those who use more than 100 units of electricity a month, will be slapped with a tariff increase of over 94%. Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Dr. Jayatissa de Costa explains the rational for introducing an electricity tariff revision and why the Commission scrapped Rs 40 billion from more..

Editorial : After Geneva

Mar 23 (Island) The past few years have seen a whole slew of UNHRC resolutions against various countries but none of them has had the desired impact. Most of the targeted nations have become inured to them and others who take moral high ground in Geneva continue to violate human rights with impunity by virtue of being world powers. The UNHRC has long ceased to be a forum where human rights are defended. Instead, it has become a place where the interests of strategic more..

‘Dandu Monara’ to Flying Peacock

Mar 23 (Island) We were all reminded of the Ramayana and the "Dandu Monara" with the opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. For those who may not be familiar with the story of the Dandu Monara, it will be good to know that it was a flying machine in use in prehistoric days, and the best record of its use was for a very romantic purpose, as described in the Ramayana. Sri Lanka’s ruler at that time, Ravana, who counted the operation of a flying machine among more..

Jayantha set to become SLC Chief

Mar 23 (Island) Businessman and former head of the Cricket Interim Committee Jayantha Dharmadasa is set to be nominated as the new head of Sri Lanka Cricket. All three nominations for the post of Presidency of SLC are likely to be rejected due to various reasons. Although it was initially suggested that former head of SLC and MP Thilanga Sumathipala had got the clearance by his political bosses to contest the elections, more..

Emerging talent will test Sri Lanka's stars

Mar 23 (CI) When well-established sides encounter opposition they are expected to beat comfortably, it has long been a cliché for captains to ensure the public knows they are not being complacent. Throughout the tour so far Angelo Mathews has been careful to talk Bangladesh up as a side that posed a serious threat to Sri Lanka. Several times he has even highlighted his opponents' menace by invoking Sri Lanka's Asia Cup loss to Bangladesh last year. "They are an improved side," more..

Three new power plants this year

Mar 23 (DN) Arrangements are in place to commence three new power plants this year which can generate power at a low cost. Fuel power plants are generating power at a high cost, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. Addressing a discussion held with all island deputy general managers of the CEB, she said measures will be taken to add another 600 mega watts to the national electricity grid via second and third phases of the Lakvijaya power plant project in Puttalam by more..

Bangladesh look to build on recent ODI success

Mar 23 (CI) As much as this series is Sri Lanka's preparation for the Champions Trophy in England, they would be wary of slipping up against Bangladesh. The visitors' last ODI appearance was a series win at home against West Indies. A consistently confident Bangladesh team is still uncommon, but in one-dayers they are a hungry young side on the hunt to topple a higher-ranked team. They had success in that regard last more..

Top ad man advocates self-regulation in advertising industry

Mar 23 (Island) At a joint forum titled ‘Who should control advertising?’ organized by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Sri Lanka Region and the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), Ranil de Silva, Managing Director, Leo Burnett Solutions Inc (LBSI) reflected his views on the importance of creating a self-regulation regime to ensure responsibility in marketing communications. As an advertising veteran with over 30 years of experience in the industry; Ranil spoke on the more..

Nutrition awareness programme at Deyata Kirula

Mar 23 (DN) The National Nutrition Secretariat (NNS) will launch a nutrition promotion and awareness raising programme under the theme Victory of the nation - country self- sufficient in nutrition at Deyata Kirula National Exhibition from March 23 to 29 at Hardy Advanced Technological Institute, Ampara. There will be 16 stalls with 50 resource persons from the NNS and another 150 resource persons from external institutions. There will be 420 invitees and more..

SEC DG gives notice; Chairman says contract anyway due to end in May

Mar 23 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) temporary Director General Prof. Hareendra Dissabandara yesterday handed in his resignation with effect from 27 May, whilst Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said the former’s contract was to expire by end May anyway. He submitted his letter of resignation yesterday afternoon along with the indicative date, but noted a detailed explanation would follow suit. more..

Indian fishermen block minister’s convoy

Mar 23 (Hindu) Minister S. Sundararaj and staged a demonstration in front of the head post office at Rameswaram on Friday, seeking the immediate release of 19 fishermen who were detained in Sri Lanka on March 13. The fishermen, who launched an indefinite strike a day after the Sri Lankan navy detained 19 fishermen from Thangachimadam and adjoining areas in Rameswaram Island after they set out for fishing on March 13, intensified their agitation by organising a protest demonstration. more..