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Bawa’s original designs under threat

Apr 25 (CT) The works of Sri Lanka’s most internationally renowned architect, Geoffrey Manning Bawa, (23 July 1919 – 27 May 2003) has been raped and butchered, both literally and metaphorically. Bawa, who was among the most influential Asian architects of his generation, who was the principal force behind what is today known globally as ‘tropical modernism’, was the livewire behind a cultural and more..

SLC expells journalist, then apologises

Apr 25 (Island) Yesterday Sri Lanka Cricket made a mockery of itself trying to expel a veteran sport journalist from the cricket board premises when he attended the media briefing conducted by the national selection committee. The said journalist, Ranjan Paranawithana, was given a letter at the cricket board gate quite bizarrely saying he was not permitted to enter the board premises as he has written an article criticising cricket administration, in a recent publication. more..

Karapitiya kidney transplant unit sick

Apr 25 (Island) Kidney Transplant Unit of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle, which started operations nearly one and a half years ago has performed only five transplants so far due to lack of facilities, according to health sector trade unions. General Secretary of the All Ceylon Health Services Union said the Kidney Transplant Unit had been opened without all required facilities. Two operating theatres were needed for the unit, but there was only one at the moment. more..

Mixed reactions of Sangha to BBS antics

Apr 25 (SL) After BBS stormed a press conference recently and verbally abused a monk and a Muslim cleric, the claim that some extremist groups are getting out of hand is back again as a hot topic. While many people disapproved of the behavior of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera and criticized him for violating the democracy of other religious leaders, a few actually thought it was a justifiable move. more..

Editorial: Prez to grasp the nettle

Apr 25 (Island) Govt has, at long last, awoken to the danger of religious extremism. President Rajapaksa has told a group of editors and heads of media institutions that he will step in to prevent religious conflicts. Regrettably, govt chose to let the grass grow under its feet over religious tensions in spite of calls for it to act decisively against that evil, and the situation naturally took a turn for the worse. However, the President’s offer to make a direct intervention to solve the problem is welcome. more..

Govt of turning blind eye to TNA antics – NFF

Apr 25 (CT) The NFF charged that the Govt has not taken any action against the TNA for attempting to establish a separate state in the country. NFF Media Spokesperson, Mohamad Mussamil, said that it is the hope of TNA and its MP M. A Sumanthiran to tie a cyanide capsule around the neck of every Tamil youth by disseminating sentiments of racial hatred. "MP Sumanthiran has said that the govt is falsely enacting the resurgence of the LTTE in the North. He has said that by doing this more..

Chamari Atapattu named new SL captain

Apr 25 (CW) Chamari Atapattu has been named as the new captain of Sri Lanka Women with Udeshika Prabodhani appointed as her vice-captain. Atapattu takes over from Shashikala Siriwardene, who resigned the captaincy earlier this month. She had led the side in 100 matches, first captaining the team as far back as 2005. In a short statement confirming the new appointments, which come one day after Lasith Malinga replaced more..

Navy receives Australia-gifted patrol boat

Apr 25 (FT) The first patrol boat gifted to the Sri Lanka Navy by Australia arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24 April. It was ceremonially welcomed in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie and Commander of the SL Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage were among the distinguished persons who were present at the ceremonial reception. Bay Class boat served Australian Customs and Border Protection Service the name ‘Corio Bay’ more..

'Youth for Human Rights' summit in Colombo

Apr 25 (DN) Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) will be holding its gSouth Asia Summit on Youth and Human Rights 2014 from the 25th to 27th this month. President of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) Dr. Mary Shuttleworth addressed a press conference yesterday where she said she was impressed to see developments in highways and infrastructure since her last visit in 2006. The summit will be held from 25th to 27th April at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Sports more..

'Coach’s departure leaves us with big challenge'

Apr 25 (Island) Revealing what he says ‘the biggest challenge’ which SLC faces after the unexpected departure of national coach Paul Farbrace, selection committee chairman Sanath Jayasuriya said that "we need a lot of effort to come out of this situation as he (Farbrace) knows our team inside out." Jayasuriya said so as he met the media, along with his fellow selection committee members Pramodya Wickramasinghe, more..

Friday Forum calls for public discussion on role of Parliamentary Opposition

Apr 25 (FT) The Friday Forum has called for a public discussion on the role and responsibility of the Parliamentary Opposition. “We would like to draw the attention of readers and promote public discussion on certain key issues with which the country is faced,” said a statement issued by Jayantha Dhanapala and Professor. Savitri Goonesekere on behalf of The Friday Forum. “For the moment we raise the following, which we hope may assist citizens to focus on certain more..

Sajith group demands ouster of Ranil to bring UNP victory

Apr 25 (Island) The "Sa" faction of the UNP is confident of victory at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council election only if the party contested with a new leader. One of its stalwart Shrilal Laktilaka in a media interview in Kandy said that the UNP would not only capture Uva Provincial Council at the election but also would be capable of posing a shocking challenge to the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt in two months’ if the present leadership of the party was replaced. more..

SLT inks $ 415 m ICT investment deal with BOI

Apr 25 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) announced that the company has received flagship status from the BOI after committing a total investment of $ 415.44 million to undertake telecommunication, information technology, broadband and infrastructure expansion in the country within the next two years. On Wednesday the company entered into this landmark multi-million dollar telecom investment agreement with the BOI. more..

Wilpattu ‘encroachers’ get bail

Apr 25 (Island) Mannar Magistrate Anandi Kanagaratnam released four persons on Rs. 25,000 personal bail each when the case filed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation against the people who had encroached on three acres of the Wilpattu North Sanctuary, was taken up yesterday. The Magistrate also ordered them to give statements to the Eluwankulam Wildlife Range Office on April 26 (Saturday). Ten persons had been ordered to appear before the court yesterday more..

'Total eradication of malaria, a major victory'

Apr 25 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark World Malaria Day said it was a matter of pride to issue a message to mark the occasion since Sri Lanka has totally eradicated this disease. The release states: "Sri Lanka recorded 400,000 Malaria patients two decades ago and this number had been brought down to zero by October 2012. "Total eradication of Malaria was a major victory achieved by the country as the disease had taken many lives and spread poverty earlier. more..

Zoo staff want elephant shows resumed

Apr 25 (CT) SLFP Common Employees' Trade Union (CETU) of the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) has urged Zoo officials to recommence the elephant show. At a protest held outside the NZG yesterday Trade Union employees said veterinary surgeons have stopped the elephant shows because they think the elephants that had tested positive for tuberculosis could infect the visitors watching the show. more..

15-year-olds can apply for NICs from 2016

Apr 25 (CT) The govt will bring down the eligible age to apply for a National Identity Card (NIC) from 16 to 15 years from 2016. Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of Persons (DRP), R.N. Sarath Kumara, said this will be done in parallel with the implementation of the Electronic NIC (e-NIC) in 2016. Creating the database will be completed within the next year and e-NICs will be issued before end of 2016. In the process of implementing e-NICs, grama niladaries and Divisional Secretariats more..

ECB paid SLC US$ 150,000

Apr 25 (Island) English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is believed to have paid a hefty sum to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in acquiring the services of Paul Farbrace, who joined England coaching staff as Head Coach Peter Moores’ Assistant. Farbrace quit Sri Lanka’s Head Coach position on Tuesday after a mere five month period into a two-year contract that was to end in Dec 2015. ECB said, "Following negotiations between the ECB and SLC an agreement was reached to allow Farbrace to more..

NGO funding to go under microscope

Apr 25 (CT) The present laws regarding foreign funding specially to NGOs, is to be amended soon, giving the govt legal clout to closely scrutinize any and all funding these organizations receive. The plans were revealed during a meeting between President Rajapaksa and newspaper editors. An editor of a newspaper brought it to the notice of the President that there is no transparency when it comes to funds received or spent by NGOs more..

‘Sri Lanka’s share market unaffected by third anti-Lanka UNHRC resolution’

Apr 25 (Island) ‘The third anti-Lanka resolution passed by the UNHRC in late March this year is having no negative impact on Sri Lanka’s share market. The market, in fact, is doing very well, SEC chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said. Godahewa explained that he had predicted, even before the latest resolution against Lanka was passed, that it would not adversely impact this country’s share market. ’We were of the view that the resolution would in no way nagatively affect our more..

On Sri Lanka, UN official Bangura worried about Rapes, raised to Kohona

Apr 25 (ICP) Amid reports of rapes in Sri Lanka targeted at Tamils, Inner City Press on April 24 asked the UN's Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, what if anything the UN is doing about it. Bangura replied that she is "concerned, worried" and has spoken with Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative, Palitha Kohona, about it, urging him that Sri Lanka designate a "focal person" on the issue. more..

UNP rejects President’s assurance of ‘no more casinos’ as ‘mere rhetoric’

Apr 25 (Island) UNP rejected President Rajapaksa’s assurance that the Draft Strategic Development Project Bill which would not provide for Casino’s as ‘mere rhetoric’. The party went ahead with its planned protest demanding that the Bill which it described as nothing more than a camouflaged ‘Buruwa Panatha’ (Gambling Bill) be ditched.The demonstration began opposite the Regal Theatre, Fort at the entrance to more..

Paul Farbrace explains why he traded Sri Lanka for England

Apr 25 (SKY) England's new assistant coach Paul Farbrace says he understands why former employers Sri Lanka are disappointed by his departure but the opportunity to work with England was just too good to resist. Farbrace met up with returning head coach Peter Moores and a handful of players at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough on Thursday, just 24 hours after his release from Sri Lanka Cricket was completed. The former Kent wicketkeeper enjoyed more..

UN names 21 countries with rape in conflict

Apr 25 (AP) A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts, from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report, launched Thursday, says there is now unprecedented political momentum globally to end conflict-related sexual violence, but more action is needed regionally and nationally to respond to these crimes. "Covering 21 countries of more..

'New police unit to tackle religious conflicts'

Apr 25 (Island) Having acknowledged that ongoing religious tensions could destabilise the country, President Rajapaksa announced the setting up of a special law enforcement unit to tackle the situation. He was responding to a query at a meeting with newspaper editors at Temple Trees yesterday. Turning towards IGP N.K. Illangakoon, President said that the decision had been taken following more..

Foolish bravado: Nobody becomes a somebody

Apr 25 (DM) A week ago, he was virtually a political non-entity, a man who was one of many in a long list of ruling UPFA politicians who held sway in their regional strongholds. A few minutes of foolish bravado have now changed the life of Eraj Fernando. The hitherto little known Mayor of Hambantota leapt into the spotlight this week after brandishing a pistol and intimidating a group of opposition UNP MPs while they were on a visit to the MRIA at Mattala. more..

Tragic April

Apr 25 (CT) The war is over, but it seems another kind of war is being waged on the highways and byways of Sri Lanka, reaping a gory harvest of death and injuries on a daily basis. Just how dangerous our roads have become was revealed by the police who claimed that 108 people had lost their lives in 89 motor mishaps in just 10 days, from 10 to 20 April, transforming the month of flowers and festivities into a month of tragedy. The April fatalities averaging over 10 deaths a day are more..

'Few can adjust their game like Thirimanne'

Apr 25 (CI) Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya made a resounding endorsement of Lahiru Thirimanne's temperament and talent, one day after his panel had appointed the 24-year-old batsman vice-captain across all formats. Thirimanne replaced Dinesh Chandimal as vice-captain of the ODI and Test teams, and Jayasuriya confirmed Chandimal's removal from those positions, and from the T20 captaincy, more..

Stop flow of Pakistani asylum seekers to SL

Apr 25 (ST) Pakistani Ahamadiyya Muslim asylum seekers living in Sri Lanka have been asked to discourage any more from their community from coming to Sri Lanka. Dr. Ifthikar Ahmad Ayaz, who was in Sri Lanka and is an eminent member representing the world-wide Ahamadiyya Muslim community, has made this request from the asylum seekers’ community concentrated in Negombo. more..

'No room for LTTE to regroup in Sri Lanka or overseas'

Apr 25 (SL) With the military claiming to have shot dead Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gobi and two others who were said to be attempting to revive the LTTE in the North, several Tamil political parties and civil society organisations have raised doubts on the possibility of any such rebellious activities. According to some, the whole incident seems like an attempt by the govt to maintain a strong military presence in the North. more..

Banana cultivators advised on Panama disease control

Apr 25 (CT) Banana cultivators have been advised to adopt preventive methods to control the spread of the Panama disease among plantations in the country. This advice was given by Agriculture Department officials, who claim that a permanent cure for the disease is yet to be found. The Panama disease was first discovered in Panama in 1910 and it succeeded in wiping out an entire plantation by 1960. more..

NMEC urges Govt. to discontinue fuel surcharge

Apr 25 (CT) National Movement of Electricity Consumers (NMEC) urged the govt to discontinue the fuel surcharge, as both phases of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant are now functioning. They state that the govt must take steps to pass on this benefit to the consumers. In 2012, when the govt raised electricity tariffs and imposed a fuel surcharge, they promised to withdraw it once the two phases of the Norochcholai power plant more..

JVP wants action against officials who made loss making investments

Apr 25 (Island) DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded to know from the Govt in parliament yesterday what action it would take against the officials who had decided to invest the monies of the Employees Provident Fund in loss making institutions. He said the people, civil organisations, political parties and trade unions had opposed the govt’s decision to invest EPF funds in private institutions. more..

World Youth Conference to cost Rs. 500 mn

Apr 25 (Island) The World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014, scheduled to be held in Colombo this month would cost an estimated Rs. 500 million, according to Deputy Minister Mohan Lal Grero. Govt had allocated Rs. 250 million directly to the WCY and another Rs. 250 million was collected from Sri Lankan sponsors. WCY would take place from May 6 to 10 at BMICH under theme "Mainstreaming Youth in Post-2015 Development Agenda". more..

Marvan Atapattu appointed SL head coach

Apr 25 (CI) Marvan Atapattu has been named Sri Lanka's interim head coach, following the resignation of Paul Farbrace earlier this week. Ruwan Kalpage, Sri Lanka's fielding coach and former offspinner, has been appointed his assistant. The appointments were for Sri Lanka's upcoming tour of the Ireland and England as well as the home series against South Africa to follow, SLC confirmed on Friday. more..

Economic sanctions on Sri Lanka not in UK's interest: envoy

Apr 25 (LBO) Economic sanctions on Sri Lanka are not in the interests of his country, and movers of a UN resolution are expecting progress which would make such questions redundant, UK's envoy to Colombo said. "Sanctions are not currently an issue," High Commissioner (ambassador) John Rankin told an LBR-LBO CEO forum on meeting the challenges of a resolution on Sri Lanka by UNHRC. more..

Rajiv Gandhi's killers not to be released for now: Supreme Court

Apr 25 (ZN) In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday deferred the verdict in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and referred the case to a larger Constitution Bench. The Constitution Bench will now decide whether the Tamil Nadu govt can release a life term convict whose death sentence has been converted into life imprisonment. Saying that an interim order staying TN govt's decision on remission more..

Are we turning Lanka into a Macau?

Apr 25 (DM) Despite strong and widespread protest by Mahanayaka Theras, hundreds of Buddhist monks, leaders of other religions and civic action groups, the Rajapaksa regime made a second attempt in Parliament yesterday and succeeded in pushing through colour-washed regulations for the setting up of two huge casinos. The religious leaders and Opposition critics say that, besides the moral decay through large scale money laundering, narcotics-smuggling, crime syndicates, more..

Tattoo of the enlightened one

Apr 25 (CT) With reference to the tourist deported because she had on her person a tattoo of the Enlightened One, while Judaism and Islam strictly prohibit any depiction of Jehovah and Allah respectively, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism abound in representations of the divine. It seems to me that the step from representation to tattoo is not that far. Some Christians wear a cross to signal their belief but I personally haven’t seen Jesus or Mary tattooed on a human body. more..

WikiLeaks: Fonseka wanted a truth and reconciliation commission

Apr 25 (CT) “Samaraweera had no faith in the Rajapaksas to address meaningfully the questions of national reconciliation and accountability, despite their great importance for the health and future of Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapaksa was ‘not so bad,’ but his family (that is, brothers Gotabhaya and Basil) had made him a prisoner of the worst racist and chauvinist elements in society. Mahinda himself also was firmly opposed to any more..