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Herbicide ban on hold in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (CPI) Facing political opposition and questions about its scientific evidence, Sri Lanka’s govt has placed on hold its decision to ban the top-selling Monsanto herbicide glyphosate based on the weed killer’s alleged role in a deadly epidemic of kidney disease. The delay represents a setback to efforts by some scientists and health officials, primarily in Sri Lanka and El Salvador, to remove the herbicide for its potential link to more..

‘Abstain Now’ speaks out

Apr 12 (NS) We’ve had enough of people claiming to speak on our behalf. We’ve been named and in that naming we’ve been shamed. Words never uttered have been attributed to us. Preferences have been discussed and determined where none have been made. It’s largely our fault. Those who abstain tend to stay home, tend to keep their mouths shut. Now don’t get us wrong. We do not make a monolithic entity. We come from all walks of life, all ages, ethnicities, religious faiths, colors and sizes. more..

Eulogy for Dinesh Chandimal

Apr 12 (Island) On 10 July 2011 I wrote to The Island to salute Angelo Mathews for the brilliant strategic prescience and incredible generosity of spirit with which he egged on young Dinesh Chandimal to the heights of greatness during his maiden appearance at the Lord’s cricket ground in London. In the event, Chandimal achieved every batsman’s dearest dream and crowning glory, namely, a century at Lord’s in his maiden appearance. When he cruised to his century more..

Largest-ever Rosewood detection

Apr 12 (SO) Colombo Port being the most crucial shipping hub of the South East Asia connecting the East and West plays a major role in transshipment activities in the world. Thousands of containers carrying cargo is being loaded and unloaded everyday with vessels bound to various destinations. The location which was used by numerous shipping agencies with confidence for the legitimate flow of goods for many years has more..

Accountable Govt

Apr 12 (CT) The events concerning Sri Lanka at the UNHRC at Geneva have focused our minds on the issue of the accountability of a govt. A liberal democracy is, by any objective standard, the only system of governance which has within it the checks and balances, mechanisms, processes and procedures that can, up to some extent even, provide for a responsive system of govt, where the rulers have even a modicum of accountability to the people they govern. But it is not perfect. more..

Geneva gloom broods after pollsf sunshine

Apr 12 (ST) As the Lankan Govt gives itself a hearty pat on its back and calls for a rousing round of hurrahs over its victory last Saturday at the PC elections, the UNfs General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday raps the Govt on its bare knuckles; and, erecalling the commitments made to him on accountability by the President of Sri Lanka in their Joint Statement of 2009Œ, urges Lanka to engage gconstructivelyh and cooperate with its human rights body to implement the international inquiry. more..

Panama land issue: Politically instigated?

Apr 12 (SL) Sri Lanka Navy and the STF were accused of grabbing 1,220 acres of forestlands in Shasthrawela, Ragamwela, Ulpassawela, Horowkanda and Ella in Panama, supposedly for the construction of a hotel and setting up of a camp, in a complaint lodged by the residents with the Human Rights Commission. However, they claim that, in spite of the complaint, no action has been taken so far regarding their grievances. more..

Universities, research and public good

Apr 12 (ST) must-read for our readers keen on seeing the country develop sans politicisation and a corrupt system, is the feature on this page on universities by a retired public servant. Consider his point: “Sri Lanka has failed to keep pace with global trends and challenges, and be responsive to local needs. The nation has invested heavily and pinned high hopes on education, especially at the university level. The dream of many children and parents irrespective of their social class, more..

Shaping minds

Apr 12 (ST) If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic at the Borella kanatte (cemetery) junction, then you would have spent a few seconds drinking in the sweeping curves of the British School in Colombo. Set against the backdrop of other high-rise buildings, nestled in the heart of the city with the disparate worlds of the very much alive apartment complex on one end and the serene Borella cemetery on the other, the school is a familiar landmark for anyone on Elvitigala Mawatha. more..

Boston Lanka: April 11, 2014

Jathika Namal Uyana: From tree house to national heritage

Apr 12 (NS) Jathika Namal Uyana is the largest Na (Ironwood) forest in Sri Lanka. Located close to the village of Galkiriyagama, in the Anuradhapura Districts, it covers an area of over 2,500 acres. It can be reached by turning off at Madatugama junction, which is 15km from Dambulla, towards Anuradhapura along the A9 road. From Madatugama, one should travel towards Aandiyagala and the entrance to the sanctuary is just two kilometers from Pubbogama. more..

Dialog to focus on new submarine cable and IDC, expanding coverage

Apr 12 (ST) The corporate arm of locally dominant celco Dialog recently signalled that, over the next few years, its key focus areas would include projects such as a new submarine cable system for Sri Lanka, a new tier-3 level IDC (Internet Data Centre) infrastructure facility, and expanding its fibre optics as well as its 3G and 4G coverage. These revelations were made as a part of a statement by Dialog Enterprise wherein it highlighted a recently concluded forum held by more..

Sannaliayane reveberates Sinhala oriental music

Apr 12 (CT) A packed audience of near 5,000 including President Rajapaksa, was awestruck at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, last Sunday, by soothing and mellifluous music of Maestro W.D. Amaradeva whose 'Sannaliyane music fiesta', organized and hosted by the Sri Lanka Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU), interpreted and articulated the meaning of the cyclic nature of the 'Samsara,' dramatized by artistes. more..

Editorial: On rumble strip

Apr 12 (Island) The govt had apparently been cherishing many delusions until the last PC polls, one being that the people would keep giving it thumping majorities in spite of their economic difficulties simply because it defeated terrorism. The outcome of those electoral contests shook it awake, jolting it to go into damage control mode though there is no imminent danger of its collapse. The Opposition is still struggling to get out of a political mire of its own making and more..

'Focus should now shift to long-term targets'

Apr 12 (DM) Sri Lanka is on course to achieve macro-economic targets in the near-medium term, and focus must now shift towards longer-term targets up-to and beyond 2030, according to Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal. “We can clearly see that the country is on a much better trajectory than it has ever been in the past and as we move closer to our targets for 2016. The macrofundamentals have become much more predictable, therefore it is now the right time more..

'Port City one of the best investments SLPA attracted'

Apr 12 (FT) SL-Germany Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast meeting with SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama to learn about the proposed Port City and the country’s journey towards becoming South Asia’s maritime hub and a logistics centre. Meeting, which took place recently in Colombo, with attendance of several business leaders of the local business community, more..

Sri Lanka ‘touches’ 450,000 in 2013 smartphones sales

Apr 12 (ST) Smartphone sales in terms of units shipped to Sri Lanka “touched” 120,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013, and 450,000 cumulatively, over 2013, according to a report dated March 27, issued by CyberMedia Research. Additionally, the publication also noted that “[during] 4Q 2013 Samsung emerged as the leader in the smartphones segment with a 21.2 per cent share followed by Huawei with 19.6% and E-tel at third place with a 16.1% shipments share”. more..

Sri Lankan entrepreneurs explore rapidly growing business opportunities in Myanmar

Apr 12 (ST) A group of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs is exploring rapidly growing business opportunities in Myanmar particularly for companies that find it difficult to start new enterprises here. With the aim of setting up of joint ventures in Myanmar, the Sri Lanka Myanmar Economic Cooperation Council (SLMECC) was recently formed by several prominent members of Sri Lankan and Burmese business community. The concept of SLMECC was originally conceived by Ravi Randeniya, more..

The arrest, detention and torture of Tamils in post-war Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (GV) There is an alarming trend in the Sri Lankan security forces operation, of arresting the family members of suspects and keeping them as hostages in detention camps. Irrespective of their age, gender and connection to those suspects, the family members are kept under arrest/ detention most notably in the infamous 4th/ 2nd floors in Fort and in Boosa Detention camp under the control of TID. more..

'Replanting tea a national issue'

Apr 12 (CT) Replanting tea is a national issue warned Plantation Association of Ceylon Chairman Roshan Rajadurai "One of the fundamental reasons for low yields has been the senility of tea bushes, some of which are nearly one hundred years old. Replanting is very labour and capital intensive - one hectare being replanted costs Rs 3.9 million. Furthermore, it will take 20 years to cover the initial investment," Rajadurai said. As a solution for both inadequate manpower and more..

Navy 'Avurudhu Pola' at Welisara

Apr 12 (MoD) The annual 'Avurudhu Pola' (New Year Trade Fair) organized by the Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) of the Sri Lanka Navy was declared opened by the Chairperson of the SVU of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa at the Naval complex in Welisara today (11). President of the Navy's SVU Mrs. Srima Colombage and Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera were also present. All varieties of consumer commodities including more..

'Kusal Perera played same role as Jayasuriya'

Apr 12 (Island) Former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has likened the talented Kusal Perera to erstwhile opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya was renowned for flashy cameos and substantial strike-rates during a prolific limited-overs career that spanned almost two decades. Perera, meanwhile, is developing into a pivotal force at the top of the order - and was key to the SL's triumphant World Twenty20 more..

Eye doctor’s act which went beyond the call of duty

Apr 12 (ST) He dis-assembled the machine weighing 60kg, went to the 1-£ (Pound) Shop in England, bought a bundle of bubble-wrap and wrapped the machine parts well. The next layer of ‘wrapping’ was with his thick and heavy winter-clothing, which he would not need as he was coming back to Sri Lanka. Then it was time to ship the machine, for which he paid £200 out of his pocket and kept his fingers crossed that the machine would be intact when it arrived back home. more..

New bird species arrives

Apr 12 (CT) A bird watcher has, for the first time, spotted the Blue and White Flycatcher at the Sinharaja Forest Reserve on 3 March 2014. The Blue and White Flycatcher, a new bird species to the Sri Lankan inventory of birds, had been identified by naturalist tour guide Amila Salgado. Salgado said while guiding a group of six British bird watchers in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, he was made aware, by a local guide, of an unusual species of bird seen by him and others. more..

Siri Aluth Avurudu

Apr 12 (Island) This is the ‘Aluth Avurudu’ or the New Year season. This age old Sinhala and Hindu New Year or what is sometimes referred to as the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a time for joy and merriment. It occurs when the sun enters Aries (Mesha) from the sign of Pisces (Meena) in accordance with the astrological calculations every year on April 13 and 14. This is the major festival in our country where the festive rites have to more..

Working Journalists concerned over-CID questioning Lakbima Editor

Apr 12 (CT) The Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association yesterday, in a media release, expressed concern over the CID questioning Lakbima newspaper Editor Saman Wagarachchi over a satirical picture headline depicting Seva Vanitha Chairperson Ioma Rajapaksa, receiving a donation from a well-wisher. The SLWJA release stated: The Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) is disturbed by the questioning of Saman Wagarachchi, Editor of Lakbima more..

Don’t repeat the mistakes that B'desh and SL made with the Pakistan Super League!

Apr 12 (PT) This is not the first time that the PCB has made an announcement about the window for the PSL. In 2012, the PCB hired former International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Haroon Lorgat, to drive the board in the correct direction towards a proposed T20 League. Then in January 2013, the PCB officially launched the logo for such a league, named it the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and announced March 26 as the starting date for the league. more..

Pakistan announces tariff concessions to Sri Lankan imports

Apr 12 (BR) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) announces tariff concessions on the import of 993 items from Sri Lanka under Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In this regard, the FBR superseded SRO 570(I)/2005 dated June 6, 2005, through SRO 280(I)/2014 issued here on Friday. According to the notification, the Federal Govt exempts import to Pakistan from Sri Lanka, if made in conformity with "rules of Determination more..

'Gnanasara and Vijitha Theros need psychological help'

Apr 12 (AD) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thero and Secretary of the Jathika Bala Sena Watareka Vijitha Thero should both get psychological help, Minister Dilan Perera stated. He told Ada Derana that he calls upon medical specialists to help cure the psychological problems of these two Theros as their behaviour was discrediting and bringing shame upon Buddhism adding that they were two sides of the same coin. more..

No channel practice by docs during strike

Apr 12 (Island) Doctors would refrain from engaging in channel practice during their indefinite strike from April 22, the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that in accordance with their constitution there was no provision for their members to do channel practice during any trade union action and the GMOA General Committee had asked its members not to engage in channel practice during the strike. more..

CEB posts profits, with rains, tariff hike

Apr 12 (LBO) CEB has made operating profits of 24.6 billion rupees in 2013, amid reports that it had lost 24.3 billion rupees in the 1st quarter of 2014 due to a drought. 2013 profit was an improvement on the 2012 loss of 62.1 billion rupees helped by a 2.5 billion rupee monthly increase in revenues from a tariff hike. Total fuel bill had fallen 30.8% to 29.4 billion in 2013 despite a increase of 25 rupees a litre due to higher hydro more..

Right thoughts can transform Sri Lanka into a better place - Ranil

Apr 12 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message said. "With the dawn of the Sinhala - Hindu New Year, we, as a nation, tend to go back to our rituals, values and roots. Although one may find it difficult to practice New Year rituals in their truest form nowadays, it should not prevent one from identifying the real values behind our own traditional New Year rituals. "The common objective of each and every New Year ritual is to spread good will not only within the minds of people, but more..

President calls on people to celebrate New Year with pride

Apr 12 (Island) President Rajapaksa has called upon the people to celebrate the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with pride "in our success towards building a nation self-sufficient from an abundant harvest of nature’s blessings. The President says in his New Year message: "Only a great cultural heritage and righteous values could provide the world with people who are rich in humane values. The foundation for this is provided to us by great celebrations of national culture more..

SLMC condemns BBS actions

Apr 12 (FT) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem issued the following statement yesterday on the disruption of meeting by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS): How the press conference organised by a body that calls itself a ‘Jathika Bala Sena’ was disrupted by a group of venerable monks led by the Venerable Galaboda Aththe Gnanansara Thera, General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena is now in the public domain. more..

Man with genitals cut off dies at hospital

Apr 12 (SM) A man found on the road at Wanguwa on Dambulla-Kurunegala main road with his genitals cut off has died in hospital. Police had gone to the scene on a tip off to emergency no. 119 in the early hours of today (11) and discovered the man with wounds caused by a sharp instrument. Aged between 45 and 50 years of age, he died after admission to Dambulla Hospital. Meanwhile, a 24-year-old married man has been hospitalized due to injuries caused after he cut his own genitals. more..

Kerry sees an opportunity for Lanka

Apr 12 (CG) US Secretary of State John Kerry says the traditional New Year brings a new opportunity for all Sri Lankans to join together in the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation, and peace. In a statement today to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Kerry said that as Sri Lanka continues to build a prosperous, democratic Sri Lanka, he offers his best wishes for a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous, peaceful year ahead. “On behalf of President Obama and the American people, more..

Counseling for war affected people

Apr 12 (CG) A coordinated and comprehensive approach to provide psychosocial support and counseling for conflict-affected persons in the North and East will soon be in operation, a Govt statement said today. Secretary to the President and Chairman of the Committee Monitoring LLRC Recommendations Lalith Weeratunga emphasized the importance of adopting a holistic and coordinated approach, linking all programs more..

May the National New Year be a new beginning for reconciliation

Apr 12 (DM) The Aluth Avurudda, the Puththandu or the National New Year which dawns on Monday has deep astronomical significance with the sun moving from the last constellation of Meena Rashiya (Pisces) to the first constellation Mesha Rashiya (Aries). Millions of people also give astrological significance to this event mainly through auspicious times. But more importantly, it is the biggest cultural festival that Sri Lanka’s two main communities, the Buddhists and the Hindus celebrate together, more..

Significance of Bak Full Moon Poya Day Buddha’s Second visit to Lanka

Apr 12 (DM) Five years after the Enlightenment Gautama Buddha visited Sri Lanka for the second occasion. The objective of this visit was to convince the rulers of Lanka- Naga Kings and their followers that hatred is not appeased by hatred but by non-hatred. Naga kings Chulodara and Mahodara were in dispute over a gem studded throne. Mahodara was Chulodara’s uncle. Chulodara was the son of Mahodara’s sister. Her husband was the ruler of the central hills of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka generates one third of electric energy from coal

Apr 12 (LBO) With a second 300 MegaWatt power plant beginning test runs, more than one third of Sri Lanka's daily electricity needs are now being generated from coal-fired energy. On the April 09, out of the daily energy requirement of 35.6 GigaWatt hours, 35.6% came from coal. On April 08, 36.8% came from coal. Coal accounted for a little over 20% of daily energy needs, when the first plant was commissioned. more..