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Saumiamoorthy Thondaman: The patriarch of plantation Tamils

Sep 7 (DBS) The birth centenary of Saumiamoorthy (spelled sometimes as Saumyamoorthy or Saumiyamoorthy) Thondaman was on August 30th. Thondaman was the undisputed “Thalaiver” (leader) of Sri Lanka’s predominantly Indian Tamil plantation proletariat for several decades. The founder leader of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Sri Lanka’s largest Trade Union in the estate sector, was born in more..

Politics of dispossession

Sep 7 (CT) Four years after the end of the devastating war in northern Sri Lanka, much delayed elections are to be held shortly for the first civil administration of the Northern Province. There are many debates on the viability of such a Provincial Council, including the kind of powers it will enjoy and the possibility of it becoming the starting point for a political solution that has plagued the country since the late colonial period and pummelled the North and East of the country with a more..

Tamashas with bana

Sep 7 (CT) Kumari very recently went to a bana preaching. Not a usual monk’s sermon at a temple or meditation hall. This was in a rich home in memory of a departed dearly beloved, six years previous. Kumari was set thinking by the ‘advancements’ obvious at this function. Kumari remembers going to the annual bana preachings in memory of this particular beloved for the last six years. They started off simple – only close relatives and very close friends were invited. more..

Body po­lit­ic awaits vot­ers’ cru­cial mes­sage from Jaff­na

Sep 7 (DM) For Peter Yoheswari (55), a woman from Kilinochchi, the post-war benefits are visible in the form of low commodity prices, increased mobility of people, better roads, and electrification of her village. But, she, as a Tamil, is more concerned about the sole identity of her community when deciding who is to be voted in at the NPC Election. She has mixed views on the post-war ground situation in the North. more..

Rajapaksa regime needs suitable enemies just as living beings need Oxygen

Sep 7 (DBS) Where would all the fairy tales be without the monsters? How does a hero escape irrelevance, once the last monster is slain? Can a king muster armies and stifle opponents, if the land is not menaced? Sans a suitable enemy, how can the Rajapaksas insist on their indispensability? Or justify satiating a gargantuan military machine when ordinary people, from North to South, suffer from want? Or excuse the steady asphyxiating of basic rights, the brutal suppression of more..

Randeniya, Thilina come up with notable feats

Sep 7 (Island) Ranabima Royal, Gannoruwa hurdler Supun Viraj Randeniya smashed the Under-20 boys’ 110 metres record, while Royal College athlete Thilina Karunaratne produced a scintillating high jump feat which was just two centimeters shy of what his coach and Sri Lanka record holder Manjula Kumara produced on a grass track, a week ago, on the first day of the Sir John Tarbet Senior Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium, on Friday. The performances of Randeniya more..

World’s largest floating book fair at Colombo port till Sept.30

Sep 7 (Island) There is something great about being a young volunteer that gives him or her Knowledge, Help and Hope. Most youth have unlimited energy and they sometimes feel that, given the right tools and connections, they can change the world! MV Logos Hope hosted by GBA ships, is one such event which has been performed when the wind is fair. It links over 45 different nationalities from every corner of the world as they set sail on the MV Logos more..

Editorial: Inviting disaster

Sep 7 (Island) Villagers engaged in subsistence farming in the dry zone run the risk of being hauled up before courts for clearing woodlands for chena cultivation. They are made to pay heavy fines for slash-and-burn though they have no other way of eking out a living in a hostile terrain. Farmers who occupy state land for want of a better alternative are evicted mercilessly and reduced to penury. But, big businesses could grab state land anywhere and destroy vast extents of forests with more..

True professionalism and the Sanga blues

Sep 7 (ST) I often wonder if I had to face a huge pay-cut from my company as a result of a decision it had taken for its benefit. This predicament could befall all professionals who live in this commercial society where payment for one’s skill is a fundamental right. There are different scenarios. For instance, we could take one angle. First you are also bound by a contract to the employer to serve him. And at the same time you also have signed up with another entity (this is a luxury that more..

Asian Championship medalist Sachith quits in disgust

Sep 7 (Island) National javelin record holder and Asian Athletics Championship silver medalist Sachith Maduranga said that he was quitting athletics due to many dissapointments. He cited the lack of recognition for international achievements and lack of foresight in steering local sports among the reasons for his premature retirement, at the age of 23. Maduranga said that he was not going to point fingers at more..

Appeal Court issues notice on Wesley Col. principal

Sep 7 (Island) The Court of Appeal, on July 30, 2013, presided over by the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Sriskandarajah, made an order issuing notice, returnable on September 18, 2013, on the Principal of Wesley College, Colombo 9 and on the President and Immediate Past President of the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, Colombo 3. This follows an application to Court of Appeal by Chandima de Silva, former Hony. Secretary of Wesley College Old Boys’ Union, more..

BOI Chairman hosts Israeli biz delegation

Sep 7 (Island) A Business delegation from Israel consisting of 18 entrepreneurs was hosted by the BOI recently. Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka briefed the delegation on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and on the country’s improved business climate. The Israeli delegation was led by Ms. Anat Bernstein – Reich, Vice President of the Israel –Asia Chamber of Commerce and Chairperson of the Israel-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce. more..

India International Fabric Expo in Sri Lanka

Sep 7 (GDI) The Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) is organizing a mega event “India International Fabric Expo (IIFE-2013)” at Hotel Galadari, Colombo, from 8-10, Sept. The mega event is being organized with the objective of expanding the textile trade for the mutual benefit of the two countries with the support of Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India and more..

Zohra-led Indian textile delegation in town

Sep 7 (FT) As both neighbours work towards trade levels exceeding $ 5 b by 2015, a three-member textile delegation is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka today. The delegation is headed by Secretary of Indian Ministry of Textiles Zohra Chaterji. Chaterji has made a name in the Indian administration circles when she was appointed in 2012 as the first woman Chairman and Managing Director of the world’s largest coal producer, Coal India Ltd. (CIL), which reported $ 11.8 b revenue in 2012. more..

'Echo of LTTE policies'

Sep 7 (CT) Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa, yesterday said the recently unveiled manifesto of the TNA contains the policies of former LTTE Leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Addressing an event at the National Youth Centre, Maharagama on 4 September, he said though the LTTE was defeated in 2009, the political threat of the emergence of a separate State still prevails. “In their manifesto, the TNA is demanding land, police, education, social and economic powers. more..

New Court House to hear terrorism, child abuse cases

Sep 7 (CT) The govt implemented another one of the recommendations made by the LLRC by establishing a new Court House in Anuradhapura to hear cases pertaining to terrorism and child abuse. The reason for setting up this Court House is to circumvent the delays in the cases involving terrorism suspects, while also appreciating the need to have an independent Court House for hearing child abuse cases, Minister Rauff Hakeem, more..

Multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism

Sep 7 (AHRC) We need to define the concepts of multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism before entering into a debate on their application, practice and future direction in Sri Lanka. Multiculturalism refers to that trend in the society where the different cultures are made inclusive, tolerated and accommodated, and these trends are institutionalised in legislation to respect other cultures. Canada, Australia and other western countries, where multiculturalism is more..

Mervyn’s disciplinary report being finalized

Sep 7 (CT) The report of a disciplinary inquiry conducted against Minister Mervyn Silva is to be presented to the SLFP Central Committee within the next two weeks. A senior member of the SLFP Disciplinary Committee, said the report has already been prepared and certain amendments are being made at present. The report has been prepared based on a complaint filed by Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabaha, Prasanna Ranaweera, along with other members due to a clash more..

Cascading Jaffna land returns

Sep 7 (DN) More houses and lands used by the Army in Jaffna will be released to their owners as part of the govt's continuous efforts to better lives and conditions of civilians, Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe said. He said that over 22 acres of land and 66 houses will be released to civilians next week. The lands and houses located in the Uduvil, Adampan, Chavakachcheri, Point Pedro and Velvetithurai etc. belong to different owners. more..

AG’s role in bribery cases debated in Court

Sep 7 (CT) When the case against former CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake’s husband, Pradeep Kariyawasam, was taken before Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya, Counsel for the accused Saliya Peries raised a preliminary objection and argued the Attorney General or his representatives cannot prosecute the case. He submitted the Bribery Commission Act No. 19 of 1994 was passed by Parliament to establish an Independent Commission. more..

'Don’t mislead South'

Sep 7 (CT) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, has cautioned the southern political forces not to criticize the Alliance’s NPC manifesto with malicious intentions, as it has been prepared in a manner to ensure the dignity of the minorities and to uphold the integrity of the country. Sampanthan, along with TNA’s Chief Ministerial candidate, C.V. Wigneswaran and other candidates of the Alliance, addressed a media briefing at the Green Grass on the TNA’s manifesto on Thursday more..

Execution killing haunts Canterbury couple

Sep 7 (Stuff) The gruesome execution-style killing of Sameera Battelage has forever scarred a Canterbury dairy farm. Some ashes from the man's badly burned body remain at Oxford Pastures and the murder still haunts owners Chris and Odette Reilly. "The memory of the flames coming out of the house, the smell of the fire and sight of Sameera's burnt remains will stay with us forever," Chris Reilly said through tears as he more..

TN fishermen announce indefinite stir

Sep 7 (Hindu) Fishermen on Friday announced the launch of an indefinite strike, protesting further extension of judicial remand of 41 fishermen from Rameswaram and demanding the immediate release of all the 146 fishermen incarcerated in Sri Lankan prisons. As news broke out that the Mannar district court has extended the judicial remand of 41 Rameswaram fishermen till September 20, leaders of 11 fishermen associations convened an emergency meeting here on Friday and more..

SL begins ‘systematic targeting’ of gays

Sep 7 (GSN) After state-supported homophobic campaigns in Russia, Zimbabwe and several other African countries, Sri Lanka has also begun a systematic crackdown on its gay community, rights activists say. President Rajapaksa’s govt, which controls the army, law enforcement agencies and the media, is now orchestrating a smear campaign against the community to project its members as criminals and pedophiles and alienate them from civil society, more..

SF says DP can do better than UNP, JVP

Sep 7 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that his party would fare better than the UNP at the forthcoming Provincial Council polls. The DP is also in the fray in the Northern Province comprising the electoral districts of Jaffna and Vanni. Former army commander Gen. Fonseka said that those who had been disgruntled with the UNP as well as the JVP were backing his party. more..

Award winning Sri Lankan Film Director in South Africa

Sep 7 (GDI) The award winning film 'A Common Man' was screened by the Sri Lankan High Commission in South Africa. The screening took place in Johannesburg and the movie-goers had the good fortune to meet with Chandran Rutnam, the award winning director of the film. Rutnam was in the country to promote the film and also to promote Sri Lanka as a great filmmaking destination. 'A Common Man' won three awards at the Madrid International Film Festival for ‘Best Picture’, more..

Chile and Sri Lanka discuss to strengthen relations

Sep 7 (GDI) The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Brazil, Raja Edirisuriya, met the Director-General of Asia Pacific, Fernando Varela Palma, and Ambassador and Director of Ceremonial, James Sinclair, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago, Chile ewcently. Ambassador Sinclair requested a Sri Lanka trade mission to visit Chile in order to generate more business opportunities between the two countries. He further highlighted the importance of having a Sri Lankan business delegation more..

'Will not allow separation of Sri Lanka'

Sep 7 (PTI) Striking a nationalist tone, President Rajapaksa today asserted that he would not allow separation of the island ahead of a crucial provincial election in the Tamil-dominated north. In a veiled reference to the main Tamil party, TNA's poll manifesto for the Sept 21 NPC election, Rajapaksa said, "I will not allow the separation of the country." "What Prabakaran could not do none of today's ones will ever be able to do," more..

'State banks to be guillotined by Govt.'

Sep 7 (CT) State banking enterprises have fallen victim to the govt’s guillotine, the All Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (ACBEU), alleged yesterday. Union President, Wasantha Samarasinghe, speaking about Amendments proposed to be made to the Peoples’ Bank Act, stated that there was no reason to amend the Act at all, as the bank’s capital can be increased without any such amendments. He claimed that the Act was merely the first step for the govt to privatize the State banks. more..

Poser from Harsha on $ 200 m fund raiser by CB sans details

Sep 7 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva alleged lack of transparency on the part of the Central Bank over the reported raising of $ 200 million from several Middle Eastern banks last week. Full statement: When the Central Bank raises funds for the Govt, information on tenor and rate at which such funds are raised is always made public. The last such statement was on 24 June when US$ 254 million was raised via Sri Lanka Development Bonds at rates ranging from LIBOR + 400 to more..

Gotabhaya reiterates concern over extremism

Sep 7 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that extremism posed a severe threat not only to post-war Sri Lanka but many countries in the region as well as the industrialised world. The war veteran was responding to a statement issued by Minister Hakeem, who is also the SLMC leader, in the wake of Rajapaksa’s address to the Defence Seminar in Colombo early this week. more..

The presstitution of democracy

Sep 7 (DM) As we move into September, closer to the provincial elections on September 21 and the Budget in November, the people need to reflect deeply on the major issues facing the country instead of being distracted by emotional conflicts which politicians often bring up. One of these major issues is good governance, vital for a people-friendly democracy where there is a Govt of the people, for the people and by the people. Abraham Lincoln’s dream seems to have become a nightmare more..

Objective peace in conflict resolution

Sep 7 (DM) A presentation was delivered at a seminar held at Marga Institute, Centre for Development Studies, on August 30, on the topic ‘Achieving Just Peace’. Following are some excerpts from that presentation. As the discussion in Sri Lanka continues as to how justice can be achieved, it is worth identifying key ideas on the subject that could inform a possible way forward in cracking the somewhat binary stalemate that exists on the topic. The following is an attempt to provide more..

SL youth delegates to UN will echo voice of the generation

Sep 7 (DM) Filled with youthful enthusiasm and passion, they are eager to make a positive change in the world as they prepare to leave their mark at the United Nations General Assembly. Adhil Bakeer Markar and Hansani Perera, both in their early twenties, have been selected to represent Sri Lanka as the youth delegates to the UN for the year 2013-2014. Selected amongst more than 400 other applicants, they are the second group more..

Govt committed to providing basic facilities to masses - Basil

Sep 7 (DN) The government is committed to provide basic facilities such as housing, water, electricity and sanitation to the public, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Participating as the Chief Guest at the launching of the draft of the National Housing Policy at the BMICH yesterday, Minister said basic needs of the public will be provided under the Mahinda Chinthanaya Forward Vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

International Conference of Eastern Uni

Sep 7 (N360) Sri Lanka’s Eastern University will hold an International Conference during the next week to discuss “Knowledge and Technology for Post-war Recovery”. The two day conference which will start on the 12th of September, will see Prof. Syed Jamil Ahmed of University of Dhaka delivering the key note speech. Dr. Rahul Mukherji- Associate Professor, South Asian studies, National University of more..

Pillay fails to dispel charges of bias

Sep 7 (CT) Giving a press conference at the end of a seven-day visit to Sri Lanka, UNHRC head Navi Pillay, a South African, said that she was highly offended by comments in the Sri Lankan media accusing her of bias because of her Indian Tamil ethnicity. “Some media, ministers, bloggers and various propagandists in Sri Lanka have, for several years now, on the basis of my Indian Tamil heritage, described me as a tool more..

Severe weather advisory issued

Sep 7 (CG) The Department of Meteorology has issued a severe weather advisory for 48 hours beginning at 1pm this afternoon. The Early Warning Centre of the Department of Meteorology says heavy rain will continue in the Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Northern and North-Western provinces. Very heavy rain falls (about 150mm) are also expected at some places. There is a high possibility for more..

Bad side of ‘free’ education

Sep 7 (ST) Like most things in life, many good things can become bad and destructive – fire, water, electricity, medicine are all the same. Over the centuries, we have mastered the safe use of these essential and dangerous tools by learning through bad experiences, and generating rules of safety from successive generation to generation. The ‘free education’ is no exception. How come it can harm? more..

Cancer Hospital: 28 doctors transferred without replacements

Sep 7 (Island) Several patients scheduled to undergo surgery at the Maharagama Cancer Institute (MCI) are in difficulty as 28 doctors have been transferred without replacements. Urgent surgical operations had been postponed due to lack of trained anaesthetists and doctors trained in surgery, the GMOA said. GMOA media spokesman said that though the MCI had released around 28 doctors without replacements. more..