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Treasury Secretary emphasises the need of right to information on public finances

Apr 14 (ST) Sri Lanka should show the world that it has ensured the right to information by disseminating correct information on public finances handled by state institutions constantly on time, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said. He noted that heads of public sector institutions have a responsibility to release annual reports on time so that the people will get correct and credible information on their activities, handling of public finances, and progress of projects. more..

The Office of the Chief of Defence Staff celebrates Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 14 (MoD) The staff of the office of the Chief of Defence Staff celebrated Sinhala and Tamil New Year with a grand "Avurudu Uthsawaya" on 10 April 2014. This unprecedented event was organized on the initiative of the Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya. lt drew together the entire team of the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff; Tri Services, Police and Civil Staff to partake in the festivities of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Proceedings of the day were inaugurated by more..

Avurudu and Bak Poya 2014: Festival of sun and moon

Apr 14 (NS) The folk songs that go with the swing, Onchili Varam, they plead favor of the sun and moon: Saranai saranai Irudevi saranai – Saranai saranai Sandadevi saranai In a remarkable coincidence, the Bak full moon Poya this year falls on the same day as Sinhala-Tamil New Year on the 14. Some scholars believe that the evidence for worship of the Sun God by the Sinhala Buddhists are unimpressive and weak; and it is more..

New Year Festival

Apr 14 (SO) Time imposes agendas on humans. Men and women cannot escape those imperatives. They are born. They grow up. They die. Birth, growth, ageing and death are all determined by time. Man has but scant control - if at all - over his destinies. Then again, our planetary home - ‘Earth’ - too is a plaything of time. At the dictates of time, seasons alter. Autumn follows summer. On the heels of the fall, winter makes its bleak entry. After its cold and clammy hold on a good part of more..

New Year message of the JVP

Apr 14 (LT) New Year dawns on the 14th April, 2014. It becomes an important event among the cultural festivals in Sri Lanka as it is held this year at a time the people in Sri Lanka have marked a new victorious beginning. Sri Lankan society that had been crossing from one zodiac to another has turned towards an auspicious zodiac. It is evident that people are quickly realizing that the present regime has pushed Sri Lanka towards economic, political, social and moral bankruptcy. more..

Now it’s out with cupcakes and in with sweetmeats

Apr 14 (ST) With less than twenty four hours to the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, presents are wrapped and waiting to be distributed, the nekath times memorised or scribbled down last minute and the all important Avurudu kevili standing by, in boxes or air tight packages. Anyone lucky enough to experience an intricately authentic New Year, with its age-old customs and traditions will tell you that the New Year starts well into more..

Ajantha’s baby catch at Galle Face cricket party

Apr 14 (ST) It was a case of a human ball, or a little child, who fell on the hands of one Sri Lankan cricketer last Tuesday. The triumphant Sri Lankan team that won the T-20 International Cricket World Cup in Dhaka, arrived at the BIA on Tuesday. They boarded an open deck double decker bus for their journey, first to Temple Trees and later to the Galle Face Green. Crowds lined both sides of old road to the airport (not the expressway) to cheer their cricketing heroes. more..

Muslims like UPFA biriyani – not Govt.

Apr 14 (ST) SPC member Weerasumana Weerasinghe was the last to take his oaths as Minister at a ceremony before President Rajapaksa on Monday. The ceremony over, those present sat down to lunch at “Temple Trees.” Ministers Susil Premajayantha, D.E.W. Gunasekera and Mahindananda Aluthgamage were among those present. “Apita Muslim kattiya Chandey dunn nethe aie (Why didn’t the Muslims vote for us)?” asked President from Nauzer Fowzie. more..

Avurudu celebrations half a century ago

Apr 14 (SO) It was the melodious mating call of the koha (Asian Koel) mingling with the sweet chirping of mynahs, sparrows and our feathered visitors from cooler climes, that woke me this Avurudu morning. Like many other Avurudu mornings I had experienced in my long span of life, I step out into the garden awash with dew to breathe in the fragrant perfume of jasmine, araliya, frangipani and bougainvillea of our garden. more..

Lankan man arrested over stabbing

Apr 14 (CG) A Sri Lankan man has been arrested in Italy and has been charged with the attempted murder of two people, the Italian media reported. The 36 year old man was arrested in the Italian town of Naples after he stabbed two people and later resisted arrest. The incident occurred in the district of Montecalvario, where the man lives with his wife and a friend, reported today. Following a dispute with two men in his house he had stabbed both of them and run away. more..

Ports directors get Rs. 100m for 5 more years

Apr 14 (ST) For 5 more years, the board of directors of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will be empowered to utilise a financial limit up to Rs. 100 million, a ministerial source said. In May 2005, it had been decided to increase the limit to Rs. 100 million and that expired in May 2013. The new decision has thus extended the upper limit for ten years. Two other ministries — Water Supply and Drainage and Power and Energy — will also have increased maximum limits imposed on them. more..

Video: Jaffna shakes off scars of war

Apr 14 (BBC) Politically, Sri Lanka is under fire from the international community over its human rights record. But one of the government's responses is that it's fostering economic development in the north of the island, formerly a war zone. The BBC's Charles Haviland has been to Jaffna to see how a shopping centre is helping transform the once war-torn city - and observes the city's first-ever traffic light in operation. more..

30 on the mat: CID probe 500 internet crimes

Apr 14 (SO) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has started probing into over 500 crimes through the internet. The Computer Unit of the CID has already explored possibilities of filing cases on 450 other cases of internet crimes. At present, five cases were being heard at the High Courts against five suspects and 30 cases were being heard at Magistrates Courts against 30 persons. Thirty persons who were found guilty of committing internet crimes have been punished by law up to now. more..

Parents of every newborn to plant a coconut sapling

Apr 14 (SO) The Ministry of Coconut Development has launched a novel project to encourage people grow more coconut trees in the island. Accordingly, newly-born babies and their mothers are gifted with two quality coconut seedlings free of charge. The parents have to plant these coconut seedlings in their home gardens. “It is real dowry for the children and parents never forget the birthday of the child. We hope to distribute 2.5 million coconut seedlings during next two years under more..

SLT HCS to offer modern degree programmes

Apr 14 (Island) For the first time ever in country’s history, Sri Lanka Telecom Human Capital Solutions (SLT HCS), together with UGC, and the Uni of Colombo is to offer modern degree programmes in the field of technology and engineering without the involvement of foreign institutions. Expanding the much needed university-industry collaboration to contribute to the rapid national development of Sri Lanka jointly more..

'Lankan Tamils issue sure to influence poll'

Apr 14 (ENS) Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa alone can take up the Eelam issue in Parliament and find a solution to the miseries of Lankan Tamils, said Naam Thamizhar Katchi founder Seeman. Dismissing the argument that the Eelam Tamil issue would not influence the election results, Seeman, who has been touring the Southern districts campaigning for AIADMK candidates, said that the issue was still afresh in the minds of Tamils across the State. more..

BJP’s Modi puts Sri Lanka on notice

Apr 14 (CG) India’s BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi says with Tamils living all over the world, including in Malayasia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, it should be a priority of the Indian govt to take care of their well being and he promised to do so if a BJP-led Govt assumes power after the elections. He said a strong and determined govt was the need of the hour as small countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh were poking the country and they have to be met eye-on-eye and dealt with strongly, more..

TN stalled fishermen talks, says Vasan

Apr 14 (Hindu) Union Minister G.K. Vasan has charged that the Jayalalithaa govt had sabotaged the second round of talks between representatives of TN fishermen and their Sri Lankan counterparts when the Centre was keen on arranging the talks to find an amicable solution to the vexatious issue. He said after the first round of talks held in Chennai on Jan 27, 2014, the fishermen could have found a solution to their problems in the more..

From Geneva bashing to birthday bash

Apr 14 (ST) Minister G.L. Peiris briefed Colombo-based diplomats on Sri Lanka’s position vis-à-vis the latest US-sponsored resolution adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva last month. He asserted at the meeting on Wednesday that the UPFA Govt would neither accept nor cooperate with the OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) in any investigation. He did not stop at just the resolution. He was to wax eloquent on Sri Lanka’s victory at T-20 cricket tournament more..

CP health sector has big staff shortage

Apr 14 (Island) Central Province Health Minister Bandula Yalegama said that state health institutions in the province are experiencing a severe shortage of health workers. Provincial Health Minister Yalegama disclosed at the Provincial Council meeting on Tuesday that it was difficult to run the institutions without adequate personnel. Yalegama said that the provincial hospitals were short of 294 personnel and there were 195 vacancies in the Family Health Service. more..

Banned TGTE to hold meeting in UK

Apr 14 (CG) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), one of the groups listed by the Govt recently as a terrorist outfit, is to hold a conference in Britain on May 18, the TGTE said in a statement. Led by V. Rudrakumaran, the TGTE says it will intensify it’s campaign to realize Tamils’ political aspirations through peaceful, diplomatic and democratic means. “In order to create a measurable impact on the economic base of the SL more..

A response to Profs Kumar & Laksiri

Apr 14 (CT) Intervening in the debate on Tamil nationhood and self-determination Prof Kumar David accuses me of abandoning my youthful Leninism (‘Wiggie vs. Dayan and Self Determination as a 21–C Concept’, Kumar David, Colombo Telegraph, April 13th). I debated Prof Kumar David on the same question exactly three and a half decades ago in the Lanka Guardian. I was twenty two. In the latter half of my fifties I am far too old, and the Sri Lankan crisis has gone on for far too long, more..

A kindly response to Dayan Jayatilleka on the national question

Apr 14 (CT) I had a difficulty in understanding why Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka lumped Kumar David and me together and called ‘Trotskyists’ in his tortuous reply (“Minority Report: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Question,” Colombo Telegraph, 13 April) because we were never in one political party although the respective organizations we belonged were called ‘Trotskyists.’ On my part it was before 1982 as Dayan fully well know. It is not a good academic practice to label people to create prejudices. more..

Sri Lanka celebrates New Year as challenges on UN probe loom

Apr 14 (Xinhua) Fire crackers boomed on Monday morning announcing the start of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, a unique time that brings together the deeply divided main communities of Sri Lanka together in celebration. Many know Sri Lanka as the land that had a three decade civil war, which ended in 2009 and is making tenuous steps towards reconciliation. But what is unique is that the majority Sinhalese people more..

Sri Lanka president stresses to focus on reconciliation as UN probe looms

Apr 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka still needs to focus on reconciliation and development, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed in his statement for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on Monday, insisting that more needs to be done five years after the end of a three-decade war. Rajapaksa released his message to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year that falls on Monday. This is the only cultural festival jointly enjoyed by both communities. more..

Govt. bond-violating academics given pardon on condition

Apr 14 (ST) Academics who violated their bonds and agreements by remaining abroad after their study leave expires will be given a pardon, a new circular issued by the UGC said. According to the circular any academic who had not resumed duties after their study leave is over will not be disqualified from taking up new positions in any Govt higher education institutions under the purview of the UGC. more..

Sri Lanka cautioned on rising renewable energy costs

Apr 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has sounded a note of caution of caution and over the rising burden of renewable power on consumers as the proportion of non-conventional renewable power (NCRE) increases in the grid. Sources such as large conventional hydro plants have always been cheap and are widely used the world over without any political propaganda or tax payer money to subsidize them. more..

BBS On The Warpath

Apr 14 (SL) The Bodu Bala Sena was at it again! This time they stormed a press conference and verbally abused a monk and a Muslim cleric over a resettlement issue and all this in front of the police officers who stood there doing nothing. The press briefing was organized by the Jathika Bala Sena to inform what they said over the alleged resettlement of Muslims in the Wilpattu National Park were misgivings. more..

Tamil self-immolator shows recovery signs

Apr 14 (AAP) A Tamil man who doused himself with petrol and set himself alight after being refused settlement in Australia is showing signs of recovery. But he faces a long stint in hospital before his expected deportation. The man, in his 20s, suffered burns to 70% of his body when he set himself alight near a shipyard in the inner west Sydney suburb of Balmain on the night of April 9. Man, whose first name is Janarthanan, more..

The finest of Sri Lanka's early years

Apr 14 (CI) In recent articles I looked at the first great batsman from India and Pakistan. After watching Sri Lanka's meritorious victory in the World T20 recently, I was motivated to continue this wander through the history of some of my favourite cricket-playing countries and move on to consider who was Sri Lanka's first great with the blade. As I have noted previously, one of the difficulties in such an endeavour is trying to more..

Gopi’s mother released

Apr 14 (AD) The mother of slain LTTE suspect Kajeepan Ponniah Selvanayagam alias Gopi, who was killed in a confrontation with army soldiers in Nedunkerny, has been released on bail after being produced before a court in Colombo. She was arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) in Killinochchi several days back. Several suspects including Gopi’s mother were produced before the court more..

MPs pull out of Sri Lanka trip over UN inquiry

Apr 14 (SE) The representative for Washington and Sunderland West was due to travel to the country on an all-costs-covered visit, supported by Foundation of Goodness, founded by cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan. Bowler is an ethnic Tamil and has come under fire for his support of the SL Govt, which last week said it would refuse to co-operate with a UN inquiry into alleged war crimes and continued human rights abuse. more..

We have real concerns in Sri Lanka: UK

Apr 14 (DM) British Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire today said that his country has real concern in Sri Lanka. “Let us take values first. The Commonwealth Charter, agreed in 2012, is historic: the first ever declaration of our common values in a single document. But, frankly, implementation is patchy. We have real concerns in Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth’s Chair in Office, where more..

There aren’t 2 equal nations (or more) in SL

Apr 15 (CT) Laksiri feigns surprise that I sought to place Kumar David and him in the same category and rebut them in the same polemic. The reason should be obvious: they both defend Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s claim of Tamil nationhood and make the same claim themselves with some modifications. I reject it. Let me put it as bluntly as I can. There is no Tamil nation in Sri Lanka, but there is a Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. There is however a Sinhala nation in Sri Lanka. more..

If he continues to be adamant he will perish

Apr 15 (CT) A King, with none to censure him, bereft of Ministers who can rebuke him, will perish even though there be no one to destroy him. This is a quote from Thirukkural written in the form of couplets (two line poems) is an ethical treatise espousing various aspects of life. It is considered as the magnum opus of Tamil literature and culture with the highest and purest expressions of human thought. Thirukkural has three major parts. The first part (38 chapters) deals more..

Indigenous Medicine Institute to be on par with foreign universities

Apr 15 (SO) Steps have been taken to improve the standards of the Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM), University of Colombo to the level of an International University and the employability of graduates, Acting Director, IIM, Dr. M.W.S.J Kumari said. The need to protect and develop the indigenous medical system has become vital. The IIM has taken many steps to achieve this goal. more..

A visa, a vote and realities

Apr 15 (FT) “I have been to England so many times! But that is no consideration when it comes to visa formalities at the embassy. The number of questions they ask you is unbelievable! How much money do you earn, how much do you spend in a month? You have to answer all kinds of trick questions and then await a password to proceed to the next stage. My computer knowledge is only basic. After all I am only a housewife! This process is so taxing and so appalling!” Elderly lady was indignant. more..

Cricketing Gods to political Dogs

Apr 15 (NS) 18 years ago, I watched a portly left-handed genius deftly guide a ball past the vacant slips to the boundary. The “little Sri Lankans”, to use the words of the late Tony Grieg, had done the impossible and beaten the mighty Australians to win the Cricket World Cup. The words little and Sri Lankan were never to be used in the same sentence again! On Sunday, yet another left-hander, this one best described as “one big unit”, literally belted the leather out of the ball and hit it straight more..

Dropping Herath for finals

Apr 15 (Island) Playing a World Cup and if possible being a part of a winning team is every player’s dream. Those left out for the finals naturally feel disappointed especially if the individual had been involved in the semi-final. For Rangana Herath it happened not once but twice. Sri Lankans obsession with players with unusual styles – whether bowlers or batsmen is not anything new. There is a belief among the cricketing more..

Avurudu awakening

Apr 15 (FT) Another Avurudu is round the corner. Holidays give us time to refresh, reflect and renew. As Sinhalese and Tamils unite in enjoying the festive times together, it radiates the symbol of national unity. Today’s column on Humane Results is a relaxed reflection on the need to collectively awaken towards prosperity through productivity. Goodwill, happiness and joy fill the air and the hearts of people of Sinhala and Tamil homes during the New Year. more..