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Modi’s ‘Civis Romanus Sum’ speech

Apr 19 (CT) Reproduced is an exceprt of a 40 minute speech made by Narendra Modi in Chennai on April 13, 2014. This news item is from Colombo Gazette. “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 government to take care of their well-being and he promised to do so if a BJP-led Government assumes power after the elections. more..

BJP will push for power devolution

Apr 19 (CG) The BJP says it will push for early devolution of powers and a political settlement in Sri Lanka if it wins the ongoing elections in India. BJP president Rajnath Singh, speaking at an election rally, said that the rainbow alliance forged by the BJP has emerged as a major political force and would provide an alternative to the people of Tamil Nadu. Accusing the Congress-led UPA govt of failing to help the cause of SL Tamils, more..

Monk kills monk in Elpitiya temple

Apr 19 (ST) A Buddhist monk who was stabbed by a fellow priest of the same temple on the day after the Sinhala New Year succumbed to his injuries today at the Karapitiya Hospital, police said. They identified the victim as the Ven. Vathave Pananaga Keerthi Chief Priest to the Saranankara Vihara Temple. According to police the suspect is a junior monk. He is alleged to have attacked the victim after he was reprimanded for using a mobile phone inside the temple premises. more..

Aralaganwila accident – reason revealed

Apr 19 (NF) The postmortem examinations of nine individuals who were killed in an accident in Aralaganwila, were conducted at the Polonnaruwa Hospital on Friday night. The postmortem examination of the remaining individual is scheduled to be conducted on Saturday. Our area correspondents reported that the magisterial investigation into the incident was conducted by Acting Polonnaruwa Magistrate Sandya Kumari. Ten individuals were killed in the accident when more..

Former WNBA players to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (USDS) From April 21-25, former WNBA players Tamika Williams and Edna Campbell will visit Sri Lanka as State Department Sports Envoys. They will teach basketball skills with a focus on empowerment of girls and with an emphasis on teamwork and cross-cultural communication. The exchange is part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative. more..

75 complaints against private bus operators

Apr 19 (CT) Seventy five complaints had been received during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, against private bus operators, the National Transport Commission (NTC) said. These complaints cover the period 11-16 April, with the NTC anticipating the receipt of more complaints by 22 April when the NTC’s New Year special bus services programme concludes. NTC said that of the 75 complaints received, 43 were with regard to increased fares charged by bus conductors. more..

Netting profits the traditional way

Apr 19 (ST) With the high cost of expenditure for fuel and the govt’s inability to implement a fuel subsidy scheme for fishermen, many fishermen now opt to use traditional fishing methods, without going out to sea. Fishermen in the Puttalam district use the traditional nets known as ‘Madel’ for fishing and say that the cheaper method nets them higher profits. Some 40 labourers draw the fishing nets ashore after they are laid in the sea. “We are getting bigger profits these days and more..

Asgiriya Mahanayaka Thera hands over an appeal to the President

Apr 19 (IL) President Rajapaksa worshipped at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy this morning (18) and received blessings for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The President participated in many religious observances before the Sacred Tooth Relic. Later he paid separate visits to the Chief Prelates of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters and received the blessings for the New Year. First the President called on more..

Welikada Prison guards foil inmate’s escape attempt

Apr 19 (AD) An inmate who attempted to escape from the Welikada Prison in the early hours of Saturday morning has been caught by prison officers, an official said. The inmate had attempted to escape through the roof of the prison toilets at around 2.30am today, however he was captured by the guards, Superintendent of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said. The inmate in question is currently serving a two year sentence at the Welikada Prison. Meanwhile the spokesman for the more..

Strong call for sterilisation with Rs. 6m dog ‘shelter’ to be shut

Apr 19 (ST) The Anuradhapura Municipal Council has decided to close down a controversial dog shelter on April 15 following protests from villagers and animal rights activists over negligence resulting in the death and suffering of dozens of dogs. The Rs. 6 million shelter was built by the Health Ministry last year in a 4.5 acre property bordering the forest at Nellikuluma, 13km from Anuradhapura town, to provide veterinary care close for 500 strays in Anuradhapura town. more..

PM pledges to bring code of conduct for Maha Sangha before parliament

Apr 19 (DM) PM and Minister of Buddhist Affairs D.M. Jayaratne said the Sangha Kathikawatha (code of conduct for the Maha Sangha) would be presented to parliament to prevent any defamation of the Maha Sangha and to maintain its respect among the people at large. The PM charged there were some who had donned robes who were bringing disrepute to the entire Maha Sangha. He said anyone could don robes and by so doing more..

Mobile phone companies offer to open up the drug trade

Apr 19 (Island) In a bid to provide a customer-friendly pharmaceutical service two major mobile phone companies had agreed to make the people aware of the kinds of drugs available in the market and their prices through their systems. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that last week two major mobile phone companies had met him and offered to make available information about pharmaceuticals so that they could make informed decisions when they purchased medicinal drugs. more..

CMC receives closure order from courts for eateries

Apr 19 (DN) As a follow-up to the crackdown on eateries that have been selling food unfit for human consumption, the Health Department of the CMC has received closure orders for two well known eateries in Colombo East. “Even if eateries sell food unfit for human consumption, we have no legal authority to force them to close down, even during instances where they are not operating with valid trade license,” said Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, the Chief Medical Office of the CMC. more..

TNA softens stand on PSC participation

Apr 19 (DM) TNA yesterday said it would reconsider its decision to boycott the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to seek a political solution to the national question, provided the govt addressed issues of mutual concern. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran said there had been several attempts in the recent past to woo the TNA to talks while ignoring its concerns. He was responding to PSC Chairman Nimal Siripala more..

'Avert conflicts over energy-food nexus'

Apr 19 (ST) Water for food is a core issue that can no longer be tackled through a narrow sectorial approach, a major international conference held in Colombo last week was told. Nearly 500 experts from 40 countries participated in the three-day Fifth International Conference on Water Resources and Hydropower Development in Asia at the BMICH. Addressing the summit, senior minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama said native topography meant that Sri Lanka “was made for hydropower”, more..

Drought dries up the ‘two leaves and a bud’

Apr 19 (ST) Januka Rangoda has seen no leaf growth this year in his small tea plantation at Imaduwa in the Galle district, and his average monthly production of 700kg per acre has fallen to 300kg. Mr Rangoda is among thousands of low country tea small-holders in Galle, Matara, Ratnapura and Kalutara who are experiencing heavy losses due to extreme warm weather conditions and shortage of rainfall. “The usual lifespan of a tea plant is about 20 years. more..

Kurunegala, Matara MP slots reduced

Apr 19 (DM) The number of Members of Parliament to be elected from the Kurunegala and Matara electoral districts has reduced by one each, whereas the number from the Wanni and Nuwara-Eliya districts has increased according to the electoral register, a statement said. Annually, in keeping with the constitutional requirement, the Elections Commissioner announces the number of MPs allocated for each electoral district more..

Video: Five dead after van falls into lake

Apr 19 (AD) Five persons, including three women, have been reported dead after the van they were traveling in fell into the Datagamuwa lake in Kataragama this morning, SSP Ajith Rohana said. A van transporting a group of persons from Kandy to Kataragama was involved in the accident, which occurred at around 5.30am today. Police suspect that the driver of the vehicles had fallen asleep on the wheel, causing the incident. Three women and two men are among the deceased more..

Malinga, Thisara free to play IPL: Jayasuriya

Apr 19 (DM) The two Sri Lanka players in the current IPL, Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera, would be free to continue playing in the IPL if they don’t make themselves available for the forthcoming tour of Ireland and England, Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. The chief selector said the two senior players, Sangakkara and Mahela J along with Malinga, would anyway not be considered for the Irish leg of the tour. With the contract dispute between SLC and the players yet to resolved, more..

Sri Lanka police reject kidney racket behind Indian's death

Apr 19 (PTI) Sri Lankan police today rejected reports of a suspected kidney racket behind the death of a 26-year-old Indian, saying he died of heart failure. Police in Hyderabad were probing a suspected Colombo- based kidney racket following death of Dinesh, who had arrived here looking for a job late last month but died days later, media reports said. His family had alleged foul play behind his death after accessing his more..

Malinga responds to claims that he was captain in name only

Apr 19 (IC) Responding to a question on a live talk show on a Sri Lankan TV channel recently, Lasith Malinga set the record straight on claims that it was actually Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara who were in charge in the middle in Sri Lanka's final three ICC World Twenty20 2014 matches. Vice-captain Malinga took over captaincy of Sri Lanka's T20 side from the out of form Dinesh Chandimal, who was dropped from the side during the World Twenty20 tournament, but TV more..

Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges

Apr 19 (Reuters) Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Friday lost a bid to dismiss some of the insider trading charges leveled against him last year. U.S. District in Manhattan ruled that the indictment adequately alleged the essential elements of the crimes charged. Buchwald agreed that four securities fraud counts were "internally inconsistent" with a conspiracy charge contained in the indictment. more..

Pakistani asylum seekers continue in limbo while living on the edge

Apr 19 (ST) An influx of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka is putting a strain on the authorities dealing with the issue, as religious organisations supporting them are strapped for finances. At least 100 more Pakistani asylum seekers arrived in the first two months of this year, after a sudden increase of arrivals since mid 2013. In 2013 alone they registered 1,489 asylum seekers, against 102 arrivals in the previous year. more..

Military presence in North, a sine qua non

Apr 20 (SO) Sri Lanka achieved the near impossible almost five years ago when its valiant Security Forces militarily crushed the world's most ruthless terrorist organisation - the LTTE, and vanquished its leadership at the Nandikadal lagoon. The crushing of the LTTE outfit by May 18, 2009 ushered in peace to the country and people breathed a sigh of relief after three decades of terrorism which inflicted untold misery on a 21 million people. Govt gave top priority to development in the North and East more..

Of renewal and life restored

Apr 20 (CT) Today is Easter, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar that will see the more than two billion Christians the world over celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and give thanks for the eternal life granted to all those who believe in Him. The day is not only a powerful reminder of renewal and of life restored but also about the value and importance of tolerance, a vanishing component in today's world of religious bigotry and growing prejudices. more..

'Hard won peace must be preserved'

Apr 20 (SO) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said laws under the UN system have been drafted to intervene in disputes between countries. He said that as far as he is aware, there is no provision to intervene in a situation where one party is a state and the other is a non-entity. Even in a court of law, the technicalities of the process have to be gone into by them first. The UN has to see whether proper systems are more..

One heck of a nation

Apr 20 (NS) Eraj Ravindra Fernando is one heck of a politician. Following the incident in Hambantota where a set of UNP MPs were attacked by a mob, Fernando, captured on camera with pistol in hand made a series of statements. First he said he didn’t have a gun and that he had come to protect the said parliamentarians. Then he said it was a toy gun that he carried. Finally, he said he was instructed to go to Magampura, where it all happened, by UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa. more..

Smokes and booze: Walking the tightrope

Apr 20 (Island) We had a phone call from a young lady from an advertising agency handling the Ceylon Tobacco account asking us who wrote our business page story off the CTC annual report a couple of weeks ago. She said that they wanted to call the writer and thank him/her for the article because CTC was pleased about it. We gave her an answer of sorts but there was no thank you call! Perhaps CTC did owe us a word of thanks because we did not sock the information in the report as more..

'Gopi incident was not staged'

Apr 20 (SL) Last week three local leaders in the attempted resurgence of the LTTE were killed in a shootout during a search operation conducted by the Army in the off Padaviya on April 11. Those killed were identified as Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan (who was involved in aerial attacks on Anuradhapura Air Base and Kollonnawa Petroleum Storage in year 2007), Kajeepan alias Gobi, and Navaneethan alias Appan. more..

Modi & Sri Lanka: Good news and bad news

Apr 20 (Island) As everything went into hibernation in Sri Lanka for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, events were moving fast elsewhere. The Tamil Nadu leg of the Indian general election will be held on April 24. All threats to Sri Lanka throughout history have emanated from across the Palk Straits and even in the 21st century, nothing has changed.  The poll in Tamil Nadu should be closely observed by all Lankans. In this regard, there is both good news and bad news. more..

The know-all Presidential peththappu

Apr 20 (ST) My Dear Peththappus, I was greatly distressed to hear that you had escaped from Mahinda maama’s bird cages, sparking a nationwide hunt for the four of you. I know many people are criticising this and asking why the Police are so keen on locating you, when they should have been looking for ‘Nediyavan’ or ‘Vinayagam’. You must pardon all these people who are criticising the efforts being made to locate you, my dear ‘Peththappus. They do not know that because you live more..

Boston Lanka: April 20, 2014

India: Vibrant democracy, but no Pancha Seela

Apr 20 (ST) India — the ‘biggest democracy on planet Earth’ is now voting to elect a new Govt. There is no hint of vote rigging. There is no abuse of State machinery, and even if there was, a truly independent Elections Commission with ‘teeth’ to prosecute the high and mighty can impose strictures. These are elections where the Elections Commission is above board and suspicion and the chief does not go missing for hours on polling day only to surface later and complain that more..

Singer expects to be market leader in furniture

Apr 20 (Island) Singer (Sri Lanka) expects to be the national category leader in furniture in the not too distant future, company’s Chairman, Hemaka Amarasuriya has said in the company’s annual report which is themed this year on "Furnishing Results." "Furniture is the category that blends the household durables offer together, commanding space in every room of the modern home. Singer is the style and quality leader and we predict that as distribution unfolds island-wide, more..

'Truth is on our side, we believe in social justice'

Apr 20 (SL) BBS has come under the limelight regarding the events that transpired in Wilpattu. Many believe that the BBS is acting in this manner due to the backing of a powerful politician. There are others who believe that there is a certain service that is being done by this group of monks and others raising these issues. The CEO of the BBS Dilantha Withanage said that, even if they were killed or criticised by anyone, more..

Failing to learn from mistakes

Apr 20 (NS) Five UNP MPs are planning to raise privilege issues when Parliament meets on April 24. They are Ajith P Perera, Eran Wickremaratne, R. Yogarajan, Ajith Mannapperuma and Nalin Bandara. Their grievance is that they had been obstructed when visiting Mattala airport and Hambantota harbor by people. Their grievance has also been fuelled by police failing to ensure a safe passage for them while on the tour. As known to everybody the five MPs had been booed out and hit with more..

An offering of rotten fruits

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, participated in an offering at Munneswaram Kovil of Chilaw recently. He bought a basket of fruits for Rs 1,500 from a stall outside and offered it to the Kovil. The priest at the Kovil came across a strong odour when he was clearing the basket. The reason was the fruits at the bottom of the basket were rotten. Priest promptly complained to the police and taught a lesson to the unscrupulous vendor. UNP was in near bankruptcy in recent times. more..

'BBS cannot be compared to the LTTE'

Apr 20 (SL) Recent actions of the BBS have increased fears of extremist groups continuing to terrorize religious minorities violating democracy and breaking law and order in the country. While the govt denies encouraging such extremist groups, many feel that there is an invisible hand that is helping spread extremism in the country. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that there is sufficient evidence to suspect that more..

Clarke backstabs Sri Lankan cricket

Apr 20 (Island) In Jackie Chan’s suspense thriller movie Rush Hour, the character Thomas Griffin played by actor Tom Wilkinson falls from grace dramatically. Griffin, a close aide of Chinese Counsel Solon Han, gives him the assurance that he will do everything within his means to save Counsel Han’s daughter, who had been kidnapped by the notorious gang led by Juntao. The climax of the movie is when spellbound viewers realize that Griffin is in fact Juntao and was responsible for more..

Parents suspect foul play over Jaffna girl’s death

Apr 20 (NS) Police are yet to receive statements from the alleged two Catholic priests over the murder of the 22-year-old girl in Jaffna. Jeron Consoleeta (22), a resident of Adappan Street in Gurunagar, Jaffna was found dead on April 14 and her body was found in a well. The parents and the relatives of the deceased complained that they are suspicious of two priests to whom she had gone for her missionary education. They alleged that there must be an involvement of two catholic more..