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Daniel Ricciardo and F1 at Colombo night race

Nov 27 (CG) World renowned Formula One racing driver Daniel Ricciardo will be in action together with his Red Bull Formula One (F1) racing car at the Colombo Night Race next month. Ricciardo’s F1 car will be accompanied by another Red Bull F1 racing car, and this will be the first time that an F1 car will race on the streets of Sri Lanka. President of the Carlton Motor Sports Club Dinesh Jayawardana said that this will be the start more..

Lack of effective modern legislation to protect animals

Nov 28 (NS) If the international community were to raise the issue of the lack of effective legislative protection for animals in Sri Lanka incorporating modern standards of treatment of animals, in addition to their never-ending spotlight on the country’s human rights track record, Sri Lanka’s politicians and law makers will have nowhere to turn. We will become a pariah state overnight in world councils and will be placed in the same category of ‘failed’ states that lack a moral more..

Priming the Sex Worker: Poverty or Prosperity?

Nov 28 (GV) The issue of sex work emerging as a recognizable profession in Sri Lanka is trending. This is evidenced by the materials appearing in the media and the recent post in Groundviews titled Is Sex Work, work? Recent statement by Dr.Nimalka Fernando advocating legalizing prostitution by alleging health officials’ revelation that nearly 50,000 Lankans are engaged in prostitution is alarming. If these are proven facts, this turns out to be billions worth business in the shadows. more..

The lost songs of Gunadasa Kapuge

Nov 28 (NS) Ranbanda Seneviratne is a man who never abandoned the ordinary and especially subjugated segments of this country, not where the Yoda Ela bends and not anywhere else either. He died on December 5, 2001. The mortal remains of this lawyer-cum-lyricist and self-confessed ‘bayya’ from Mahakanadaragama, Anuradhapura was cremated a couple of days later. ‘We should ask why Gunadasa Kapuge was more..

Saying it with boats

Nov 28 (CT) In the aftermath of the CHOGM in Colombo, public opinion remains quite polarized with regard to British PM, David Cameron. Some are trying to understand whether he is friend or foe – or both, but there is agreement that he played more advocate and activist than prime minister. What Cameron said and did during his two-day visit has generated extreme responses. Some hailed him as a God and a messiah of the 'oppressed Tamil people of the North' while another section of more..

Will China leave Rajapaksa in the lurch?

Nov 28 (CT) China's recent advice to Sri Lanka that she should improve on her human rights record, had apparently caused shockwaves to reverberate within the higher echelons of govt, sources revealed. The magnitude of govt's angst in relation to the statement issued by Chinese Foreign Ministry is easily conceivable, when the subsequent clarification by the Chinese Embassy, is looked at in its proper perspective. The Chinese Embassy did not deny the statement of its Foreign Ministry, more..

Correcting Hudson’s Crooked Political Vision

Nov 28 (GV) On the 4th of Nov 2013 I was contacted by many friends and relatives urging me to listen to Hudson Samarasinghe’s radio program on a state radio channel. I normally don’t listen to Hudson’s program because I perceive it to be low grade cheap propaganda by a producer who has self styled himself to be a wrecker of images. The words used in this program are filthy and derogatory. more..

The discontents of a foreign policy, made-in-Medamulana

Nov 28 (CT) In 2012, Mahinda Rajapaksa asked India to send the Kapilawastu relics to Sri Lanka for a public exposition. A new round of provincial elections was being planned and the regime wanted to use the relics to bolster its Sinhala-Buddhist credentials. MR GL After the 1995 exposition in Thailand, India had decided not to send the Kapilawastu relics out again, because of their ‘delicate nature’. But when Colombo made its request, Delhi complied: more..

Transition to middle income economy challenging but achievable

Nov 28 (CT) The Institute of Policy Studies or IPS, Sri Lanka’s independent economic policy think-tank, has issued its review of the State of the Sri Lanka’s Economy in 2013 or SOE 2013 under a theme which is both current and opportune. The theme is how Sri Lanka should ensure a smooth and seamless transition to a middle income economy. Ensuring sustainability and tackling middle income trap are issues in Sri Lanka. This may be puzzling to many because Sri Lanka is already in more..

Coming soon - the age of ‘My Radio’

Nov 28 (SO) It was a dull rainy Saturday in the late 1940s. I was a young boy living with my parents. To break the monotony of the day, my father said, “Let’s make a crystal radio set.” He had the items needed for the job, which included (as I remember) some enamel coated magnet wire, a Germanium diode, an old telephone handset, a set of alligator jumpers and stranded insulated wire for an antenna. For three hours, he guided me more..

Lionising Tigers

Nov 28 (Island) TNA MP S. Sritharan set the cat among the pigeons in Parliament on Tuesday, when he eulogised Prabhakaran and called for making the dead LTTE leader a national hero. He drew heavy flak from both sides of the House––and rightly so. Ironically, among the vociferous critics who flayed Sritharan were those who had not only praised Prabhakaran while he was alive but also been prominent members of govts that provided the Tiger chief with arms, ammunition, building more..

The endangered red sandalwood

Nov 28 (CT) Red sandalwood or 'red sanders' (Pterocarpus santalinus) has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in view of the high demand and over-exploitation over its medicinal properties. The plant is also a banned item in the list of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Apart from its medicinal properties, red sandalwood is also used for cosmetics, and more..

'Protect trade from misguided ideologists'

Nov 28 (FT) Tuesday’s IPS launch of the Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) for 2013 saw Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama calling for a proper policy mix to boost Sri Lanka’s economic development story. He stated that domestic agricultural production would help rebalance our economy and that our main export items – garments, commodities, tea and gems – are all managed privately despite the systematic more..

The Dutch Hospital heals in different ways

Nov 28 (NS) The Fort or Pettah, whichever name you call this part of Colombo, has a way of recharging the human ‘battery’. Colombo folk work hard, no argument. The competition to survive in the business scene in this part of Colombo is severe. From a commercial perspective the cake is small. Businessmen have to slog. Otherwise you are dead duck. There is something nice about the Fort that has a way of knocking off for the day. Life begins again late in the evening at more..

Saleemdeen, Janaka shine on day two

Nov 28 (Island) Mohamed Saleemdeen (SLEME) produced an impressive 400 metres hurdles feat, while Janaka Wimalasiri pipped leading contender Milantha Sampath Dissanayake putting him in the second place to win the men’s long jump in the two most notable performances on day two of the 50th Sri Lanka Army Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Former Trinity College athlete Saleemdeen clocked 52.21 seconds to win the men’s 400 metres hurdles ahead of more..

SL agrees to revise Sports Law-IOC

Nov 28 (DM) Sri Lanka today agreed to revise its sports law which is in force since 1973 in order to make it compatible with the basic principles which govern the Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement. The statement, which was published in its website, stated that this would be done having due regard to the autonomy, jurisdiction and responsibilities of each entity. Following is the full statement. more..

Mystery of the missing dogs deepen

Nov 28 (CT) The mystery of the sudden disappearance of dogs captured pre-CHOGM, has taken a new turn, with CMC officials claiming that the dogs were sent back to their original locations on Sunday. However, animal welfare activists are at a loss to understand why the dogs are not seen roaming on those particular roads, as before, if they had been returned to the original areas. Chief Veterinary Surgeon of the CMC ,Dr. I.V.P. Dharmawardane, more..

Rare collection of pictures and medals on display at Army athletic exhibition

Nov 28 (Island) The photograph of Duncan White being warmly welcomed by dignitaries on his arrival from London Olympics (1948), medals won be marathon runner Wimalasena Perera, a bronze plaque portraying legendary long distance runner S.L.B. Rosa are among the attractions at the ongoing exhibition displaying SL Army’s contribution to country’s track and field success. The three-day exhibition is held parallel to the ongoing 50th edition of the SL Army Athletics Championship more..

84% of Lankans believe their health is worse than 5 years ago: AIA survey

Nov 28 (FT) An interesting revelation that 84% of adults in Sri Lanka compared to 78% in India were of the opinion that their health is not as good as it was five years ago – even among those under 30 years – came from global research conducted by the insurance giant AIA. 15 out of its 17 markets in Asia including SL. Research shed light on people’s attitude towards healthy living paving the way to improved fitness. more..

Customs seize 400 grams of gold at Madurai airport

Nov 28 (Hindu) Within days after catching a passenger who had stuffed two gold biscuits in his anus, the Customs officials at Madurai airport caught another passenger on Wednesday for attempting to smuggle four gold biscuits by tying them with a handkerchief under his left armpit. Joint Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs A.S. Meenalochani said that her team of officials recovered the four gold biscuits, each weighing 100 grams and costing Rs. 12.3 lakh more..

NCE, EASL and JAAF welcome market free initiatives to improve export competitiveness

Nov 28 (FT) The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL), and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) welcomed market free initiatives to improve export competitiveness in a statement released. "We are delighted that the 2014 Budget presented to the Parliament by the President on 21 November 2013 has brought redress to the export sector, manufacturers and consumers. This bold and pragmatic policy decision taken has more..

Four major loss making SOEs to turn around

Nov 28 (Island) Four state-owned enterprises which account for more than 98 percent of the losses incurred by the state sector, according to the COPE, would reduce their losses while one major loss maker would show profits by the end of this year, a Treasury Report said. The report, compiled by the COPE, which was presented to parliament by chairman of the committee, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera, more..

Milco to cover losses and make profits

Nov 28 (Island) State owned loss making, Milco (Pvt) Limited launched four new products on Monday (25) at Temple Trees, to cover losses and generate a profit of Rs. 60 million by the end this year. The four new products are rocessed cheese, spiced processed cheese, cheese spread and cooking milk, while a 150 ML satchet of plain milk which could be kept for 36 days without refrigeration too was introduced at Rs. 25. The processed cheese comes in packets of 50, 100 and 200 grams more..

TN Police thwart LTTE Martyrs' Day

Nov 28 (CT) TN Police have thwarted attempts made by Sri Lankan refugees to commemorate LTTE martyrs at the Chenkalpattu refugee camp on Tuesday. A special police team stormed the camp and demolished the commemorative stone and removed all decorations put up in yellow and red inside the camp premises, reports from Chennai said. The Special Chenkalpattu Camp, which houses around 100 Lankan refugees, was also thoroughly searched by the police team, more..

Sri Lanka calls for ban on Tigers down under

Nov 28 (Island) Australia is yet to proscribe the LTTE, though the previous Labour govt listed the group under the UN Security Council Resolution 1317 to prevent it from collecting funds in the country. The resolution was introduced in 2001. TNA is expected to launch a fund raising campaign in Australia later this month. Sources based in Australia said that fund raising dinners would be held in Sydney and Melbourne. more..

Mullivaikkal memorial case: Nedumaran granted advance bail

Nov 28 (TOI) The Madras high court Madurai bench on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to Pazha Nedumaran in connection with a public nuisance case. Nedumaran was one among the organisers of a three-day function held from November 8 to 10 at the Mullivaikkal martyrs' memorial at Vilar in Thanjavur district. The martyrs' memorial was built by Ulaga Thamizhar Peramaippu which is headed by Nedumaran, in memory of the Tamils killed in Sri Lanka. Police had refused permission for more..

NPSMSF faults curtailing certain degree courses

Nov 28 (CT) The Nursing, Paramedics and Supplementary Medical Services Federation (NPSMSF) alleged that education opportunities for health sector professionals apart from doctors, have been curtailed by the Higher Education Ministry, specifically the degree awarding course for general health specialists. In 2005, the three-year degree course for nurses, physiotherapists, medical science laboratory technicians, pharmacists and radiologists had been extended to four years, more..

'CHOGM coronation will become Mahinda’s crown of thorns'

Nov 28 (FT) Former SLFP strongman, now opposition UNP Lawmaker Mangala Samaraweera, yesterday took on massive Government spending on the Commonwealth summit, claiming that heavy chunks of commission had been collected by a “certain family in Sri Lanka”. Samaraweera said Sri Lanka now boasts commission-led development common to bandit rulers in Libya, Indonesia and North Korea. more..

Rs 20 M of Samurdhi beneficiaries' contribution re-routed

Nov 28 (CT) The Samurdhi Officers' Association has charged that interest accumulated, amounting to Rs 20 million through contribution made by Samurdhi beneficiaries are being used to educate community organizations under the Divi Neguma programme. This programme is being conducted at present on a district basis to educate community organizations at the village level. A sum of Rs 20 million had been set aside to pay the Samurdhi District Managers and Organizing Officers and this sum, which more..

'Business is all about busts and booms'

Nov 28 (LBT) Business is all about busts and booms. While you are having those booms, you got to be prepared for the busts as well, said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday. “Those who can manage that process, even at the times of the busts, are the ones who are going to be successful and those are the companies which have been around for centuries,” said the governor addressing the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award ceremony more..

Sri Lanka foreign lenders led by China

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has 1.9 billion US dollars of new bilateral and multilateral commitments up to Sept 2013 led by China with export credit from other countries also showing increases. China has committed 517.9 million US dollars, Japan 421.5 million US dollars, Asian Development Bank 371.2 million US dollars, World Bank 196.4 million US dollars, UK 103.7 million US dollars and USA 64.9 million US dollars. more..

Fukushima accident had no impact on Sri Lanka’s marine environment

Nov 28 (DF) With technical support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Sri Lanka has successfully established a baseline data for marine radioactivity around the island. In the process, it has also been determined that there had not been any direct impact on its marine environment due to radioactive releases from the Fukushima accident. The conclusion is the result of a two-year study done under the auspices of an IAEA regional Technical Cooperation project, more..

Budget allocation for fishers woefully inadequate – UNP

Nov 28 (Island) UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera told Parliament the relief measures envisaged for the fishers, in the budget 2014, were woefully inadequate, as those measures would not be able to bring about the expected relief. MP Perera, participating in the second stage debate, on Budget 2014, said that the country had 2.6 million fishermen and the budget proposals had allocated only Rs. 4,439.87 million for them. "Last year, the govt allotted Rs. 2,287 million, but more..

Sri Lanka begins war tally after international pressure

Nov 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka was to begin compiling a death toll from its ethnic conflict Thursday as it seeks to fend off growing pressure over allegations of mass killings at the end of the war. Some 16,000 officials are expected to fan out across the island at the start of a six-month operation to compile a definitive toll from the conflict, which ran for 37 years and was one of the bloodiest in post-colonial Asia. In a brief statement on President Rajapakse's more..

Politically-motivated ‘Z-score court order’ led to a don’s death – Bandula

Nov 28 (Island) The Court order given to change and cancel the Z-score values last year achieved only one result––the sudden death of the one of its makers, Prof. K.R.M.T. Karunaratne, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene told Parliament yesterday. He said that the Supreme Court decision on the 2011 GCE A/L Z- score calculation had been politically motivated. That had delayed the enrolment of students at universities and colleges of education, he said. more..

Strike: Court restrains health sector TUs

Nov 28 (Island) Colombo District Judge yesterday issued an enjoining order, restraining 16 Health sector trade unions, including Para Medics, Nurses from engaging in a token strike today and tomorrow. A patient named Palitha Herath of Borella, who is seeking treatment at the National Hospital, Colombo, had complained that the impending strike would endanger his life and that it must be prohibited by a court order as it endangered the lives of hundreds of other patients as well. more..

SLA re-deployment in Jaffna underway

Nov 28 (Island) In accordance with the govt directive to release privately owned land, occupied by the army, as much as possible, the 17 battalion of the Gemunu Watch is preparing to vacate its base at Karampan on the Kayts Island. The 17 GW had been based at Karampan for nearly three years since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. Gemunu troops were in the process of setting up of a base on state-owned land at Araly more..

A gamble with casinos

Nov 28 (DM) If wealth, property and possessions are giving us security, success, prestige and power in life, then it means we are worshipping money in the end. Indian writer and social activist Arundathi Roy has described this present trend as the fifth major religion in the world. It is in such a global backdrop that plans to set up integrated resorts with casinos had stirred the pot in Sri Lanka in the last few months. Amid protests, pressure, conflicts and controversy over such plans, more..

Tribute to a Doyen of creativity: Dr. Tissa Abeysekara

Nov 28 (DM) Deshabandu Dr. Tissa Abeysekara, my school mate at Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya in the early 1950’s, and since then my friend for nearly six decades has departed, leaving an indelible impression of awe and admiration in the minds of all Sri Lankans devoted to indigenous culture, literature and the arts. Happy and eventful memories of the time we spent together in school during those carefree and idyllic days of the post-independence era still linger in my mind. more..

Exposing double standards

Nov 28 (SL) Last year, President Rajapaksa visited the UK to deliver a special oration at the Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Economic Forum in Westminster, London. All arrangements were made for this well publicized Forum, and President Rajapaksa travelled all the way from Colombo to London to participate at this event. Once in London, he had to travel a distance of around 400 metres from his hotel to the location where more..