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‘Palmyra Solution’ ending the Human-Elephant conflict

Jan 30 (NS) The Human-Elephant conflict in Sri Lanka has been ongoing for decades. The battle over land which started mildly has now taken a much larger dimension, making it a national issue which has been adversely affecting humans as well as elephants. ‘The Palmyra solution’ is now being presented as the answer which will put an end to this long-standing conflict. Using indigenous knowledge Janathakshan, a non-profit company along with the Department of Wildlife more..

Future of milk powder in limbo?

Jan 30 (NS) From price hikes, to shortages and the much talked about DCD fiasco of last year, milk power has been a topic of much public discussion in the recent past. Now the GMOA is supporting the Ministry of Health in a task that may strike fear in the hearts of the general public, the task being reduction of milk powder imports and the halt of it in years to come. GMOA believes there is a link between milk powder consumption more..

Let’s return to our respective doctrines

Jan 30 (NS) We are living in an era where religion, and not a weapon, has the potential to trigger a conflict. In fact it has led to unrest among different communities. Sometimes we’ve seen bloodshed. It can be safe to say that those who are not so religious have been given enough reason to think that conflicts among religions can lead to another global war. This could happen because there are so many religions in the world. Anyone who supports democracy will encourage different religions more..

Remembering the abduction of TRO staff

Jan 30 (CT) January 29 and 30 mark eight years since the abduction and execution of seven humanitarian staff of the Tamil’s Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO). The abductions occurred in two separate incidents. The seven TRO staff were travelling from Batticaloa to the TRO Headquarters in Kilinochchi for training on 29 and 30 January, 2006 when they were forced to stopped, in full view of a Sri Lanka Army checkpoint at Welikande on the Batticaloa – Polonnaruwa border, more..

The burning fate that befell a cabaret dancer

Jan 30 (SO) A shapely hour-glass figure, a beautiful tan, rosy lips and a sensual body, these physical traits were her bane. Kanchana Abeyratne, a village damsel turned out to be a cabaret dancer, not that she knew what it all meant - all she needed was money as she was always cash strapped having no money for herself. She was born in Rambukkana to villagers who had nothing to call their own. Her husband whom she was more..

Blessed are our politicians

Jan 30 (SL) The Servants of the People certainly serve themselves very well. Last week, while we were trying to help a newly married couple find an ‘annexe’ of one room with a toilet attached in the Sri Jayewardenepura area for less than Rs 20,000 a month, with ‘5 months key money’ came the stunning news. The Cabinet had approved a ‘luxury high rise condominium’ to provide facilities to parliamentarians at a cost of Rs 6 billion. The proposal has to be evaluated by more..

Today’s enemy is tomorrow’s friend

Jan 30 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Planning, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has severely criticized US Ambassador in Colombo, Michele J. Sison, in a speech he had delivered recently at a public meeting in Batticaloa. This is how ‘Island’ newspaper reported his speech; “Addressing a public gathering in the Batticaloa District on Thursday, the Defence Secretary alleged the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka was interfering in domestic affairs. more..

A pauper’s choice

Jan 30 (FT) On 31 August 2013, with less than a month to go for the historic NPC election Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunesekera publicly made some prophetic statements. Hailing the TNA candidate list, the Communist Party Leader said Supreme Court judges and former MPs of vast experience had been chosen to represent the country’s main Tamil party at the election that has meant the most to its people since 1989. more..

Editorial: Queen feels the pinch

Jan 30 (Island) The on-going austerity measures are said to be hurting Britons. The British police have asked for more powers and tools to quell possible street protests. They, like their Sri Lankan counterparts, are planning to buy expensive water cannon for that purpose. Even the Queen is apparently feeling the pinch, so to speak. Having exhausted funds from the Sovereign Grant, she has had to obtain more money from the Reserve Fund to meet the Royal Household’s expenditure more..

What Bill Gates could have missed out on

Jan 30 (Island) Over the past week the world has had two assessments of the prospects of the global poor. One was from Bill Gates – generally seen as the world’s wealthiest individual and the other from British charity Oxfam, known for its wide-ranging work relating to poverty alleviation. Striking a highly optimistic note, Gates was quoted as saying, among other things, in a report in ‘The Independent’: ‘Poor countries are not doomed to stay poor. I am optimistic enough about this that I am more..

Sri Lanka commit to the grind

Jan 30 (CI) As the Sri Lanka middle order, led by Mahela, ground Bangladesh into the Mirpur dirt on day three, perhaps little was revealed about the extent of their skill, or the depth of their character. Mahela did not admit this had been the easiest of his seven double-centuries - even if it had brought the most muted celebrations - but he did concede that, at times, the hosts' efforts subsided to allow his team easier progress. more..

Bangladesh err by picking three quicks

Jan 30 (CI) First-innings figures of 81-5-311-1 are a damning assessment of Bangladesh's pace bowlers. The decision to play all three seamers in the squad has been questioned a number of times, but it will probably be only answered after the game is lost. The number of catches that went down can be another way of explaining the poor performance. But whatever happened in the last two days has not, apparently, disheartened the pace bowlers. Robiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain looked to more..

Ranfer to explore fascinating Jaffna

Jan 30 (Island) Jaffna remains much the buzz word within the international and domestic tourism. It’s historic past and the fascinating features of nature’s providence continue to place the entire peninsular as a key tourist destination of the country. Ranfer Travels is scheduled to embark its 2nd exciting excursion on 14th Feb. On the way to Jaffna there will be a night’s stay at Anuradhapura, newly refurbished 3+ star Nuwarawewa R.H (as known as the Lakeside at Nuwarawewa now). more..

Textured Jersey to commission US$ 4.2 m boiler plant

Jan 30 (DN) Sri Lanka's premier knitting manufacturer Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) will commission a multi-fuel boiler plant at a cost of US $ 4.2 million in July, which will meet total furnace oil and electricity requirement as part of its value addition process. "The company has got a very good order book from a top clientele portfolio. Therefore the company has invested US $ 4.7 million for a capacity building process which more..

Online tax remittance to CMC since early January launch exceeds Rs. 1.6 m

Jan 30 (FT) With the introduction of the CMC online tax payment system, the total amount of remittances received online by the CMC as tax payment has now exceeded Rs. 1.6 million. The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) says that during the past 20 days since the launch of the new CMC online tax payment system, more than 200 persons have made use of the facility. CMC tax payments which do not require any supplementary documents/manual interventions could be made online using this new facility. more..

Emirates to upgrade Moscow to double daily A380 operation

Jan 30 (Island) Emirates, a global connector of people and places, will serve its Moscow route with a double daily A380 service from 1st August this year. This second A380, which will operate as flight EK133/134, replaces the existing Boeing 777 operation and increases seat capacity on the route by 15%. "Since launching services between Dubai and Moscow on 1st July 2003, we have received a very positive response from Russian customers and trade partners to the Emirates product. more..

Australia and UNICEF open new school for children in Kilinochchi

Jan 30 (IL) Australia is contributing LKR 1 bn to rebuild or repair 23 schools in the Northern Province. The schools will serve up to 12,000 children. Australian High Commissioner, Ms Robyn Mudie, officially opened Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam, which has 2000 students, at a ceremony. “Australian Govt is very pleased to be able to make such a significant contribution to the lives of children and families in Kilinochchi. more..

Is Import Substitution all that bad?

Jan 30 (Island) I am always hesitant to comment on Budget. This is for two reasons. Firstly, preparation of Budget is a time consuming strenuous task which involves meticulous planning, patience, consultation, compromise and consensus. At the end of a lengthy process Treasury is expected to present an appealing, balanced budget. I equate this process to preparation and presentation of a bride by the bridal dress designer. Budget review is similar to bridegroom’s impatient merciless speedy job more..

Gayesha goes nude for Sri Lankan women

Jan 30 (CT) Actress and candidate of the SLFP at the upcoming Western Provincial Council elections, Gayesha Perera, said she played a nude role in the film, Flying Fish, for the sake of women in the country. “I have the capability to grasp the essence of any character I portray. I say this to all the intelligent viewers, do not confuse yourself with the role an actress plays in cinema to that of her real life. In films, we simply act, and we bring someone else’s character to life,” more..

New pension scheme for farmers launched

Jan 30 (FT) President Rajapaksa on Monday launched a new pension scheme for farmers that would provide more benefits than an earlier scheme. He launched the new pension scheme at a ceremony held in the Hambantota International Conference Center and symbolically presented pensions to 30 farmers representing all districts of the island. Addressing the function President said his govt secured the rights of farmers more..

Chimp bites finger of zookeeper

Jan 30 (DM) A chimpanzee had bitten off part of the finger of the zookeeper who used to look after it at the Dehiwala Zoo today causing serious injury, sources said. The victim Tilak Pushpa Kumara was admitted to Kalubowila Hospital after the incident. The keeper had looked after the animal who is named ‘Tony’ since it was an infant. It has been caged in the zoo for six years after its mother abandoned it. It shares the cage with another chimpanzee. Mr. Kumara had been bitten more..

World Bank Vice President meets Minister Rajapaksa

Jan 30 (FT) World Bank South Asia Region Vice president Philippe H. Le Houerou met Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa this week. During the discussion Sri Lanka’s economic development process and the present and future cooperation between the World Bank and Sri Lanka were highlighted. Houerou said that after his arrival he had visited the North, the East and several other parts of the country and spoken to government officials and people of all walks of life. more..

Tamil Nadu's opinion sought in sale of warships to Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (TOI) The Madras high court on Wednesday sought the opinion of the Tamil Nadu govt on Central Govt's reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) on the alleged move to sell two naval ships to Sri Lanka. A PIL filed by advocate B Stalin sought the court's intervention to cancel the Centre's move to sell two naval ships to Sri Lanka. It sought an interim injunction restraining the Centre from selling the warships to Sri Lanka. more..

TN fisherman held for bid to smuggle ganja

Jan 30 (Hindu) Pamban police have arrested a fisherman on a charge of attempting to smuggle 60 kg of ganja to Sri Lanka and seized the contraband. Acting on a tip-off, the police arrested V. Easwaran (24) near Pamban on Wednesday. He was found in possession of the ganja in his ‘vallam’ (country boat) off Thoppukadu. Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan said he planned to take the contraband to mid-sea and wait for the ‘contacts’ to come from Sri Lanka to deliver it. more..

PM absent from his own media conference

Jan 30 (CT) Due to the lack of coordination and miscommunication among the officials, PM and Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, D.M. Jayaratne, was not present at his own media briefing, as he was not able to arrive from Gampaha in time for the meeting scheduled to be held in Colombo. Ministry of Buddha Sasana had informed the media that a conference would be convened by PM Jayaratne, and had confirmed the date, time and venue of the same. more..

Pavithra tries to fit a mouse in an elephant’s shoe

Jan 30 (CT) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi tried to fit a mouse in an elephant’s shoe, by comparing Sri Lanka to China. According to her, the contrivances on the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) were unnecessary attempts to create national issues. Assuring uninterrupted electricity distribution, she said that the media was trying to create unnecessary issues on the breakdowns at the NCPP, more..

Norochcholai top managers rewarded with joy ride

Jan 30 (Island) Trade Unions of the Ceylon Electricity Board blasted the CEB management for granting permission for sending Norochcholai Plant’s Phase 1 and Phase 11 managers for an awareness programme to Japan. Trade unionists questioned on what basis the plant managers were rewarded especially when those plants were faced with huge issues costing billions of rupees to the Board and foreigners were here to assist the local engineers on crucial repair work. more..

'Resolution reflects people’s feelings'

Jan 30 (Hindu) The NPC resolution calling for an international probe into the alleged war crimes committed during the military operation against the LTTE only reflected the feelings of the Tamil people in Northern Sri Lanka, Chief Minister of the province C.V. Wigneswaran said. “If the Sri Lankan State did not commit war crimes, why should they resist an international probe? It is one thing to speak in terms of an international inquiry. At another level, it is about people who have lost their dear ones,” more..

War crimes: No response to NPC’s demand

Jan 30 (Hindu) Two days after the NPC demanded an international inquiry into alleged war crimes, the Sri Lankan govt has not responded to the resolution that goes against its own position on an outside investigation, but an official aide to President Rajapaksa said in Washington that holding an international probe would only cause chaos. Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, currently in the US to lobby more..

Docs call off countrywide strike

Jan 30 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) called off its country-wide indefinite strike scheduled to be launched from today after Minister Maithripala Sirisena agreed to get the Cabinet to approve the doctors’ service minute within two weeks. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that GMOA had had a lengthy discussion with Minister Sirisena, Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and several other high officials of the Ministry to resolve the service minute issue. more..

CEB thermal power bill continues to rise

Jan 30 (Island) The CEB spends an additional Rs. 45 million a day on thermal power to meet a shortfall due to frequent breakdowns at the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant. The amount has reached Rs. 1.5 billion by now due to the intake of power from Kelanitissa Gas Turbine. Some experts are of the view that the CEB should renew contracts to get 75 MW from the Lakdanavi, Sapugaskanda and ASCE plants (in Horana and Matara), all three contributing 25 MW each. more..

LTTE rump divided over post-war strategy

Jan 30 (Island) In the wake of growing differences among various Tamil Diaspora groups ahead of the forthcoming Geneva-based UNHRC session over post-war strategy vis a vis the govt of Sri Lanka, the influential British Tamil Forum (BTF) has organized a two-day conference in the UK to censure Sri Lanka. The inaugural session of the conference meant to target the Sri Lankan govt and the military over alleged state takeover of more..

'SL’s new consulate will help repair ties'

Jan 30 (Hindu) Officials of the new consulate of Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram, to be formally opened next week, believe that it will play a ‘crucial’ role in repairing bilateral ties because of the growing bonhomie between Colombo and Beijing. It will also be a help because “India’s hard posture during the recent times on the Tamil issue caused a dent in its relations with Sri Lanka,” said A. Jayaprakash, adviser to honorary counsel Joemon Joseph, whose appointment has received the sanction of more..

‘Japan to cooperate with India in Trinco power project’

Jan 30 (Island) ‘Japan will increase its level of cooperation with India in the energy sector in South Asia which will include promoting energy related investment in the thermal power plant building project in Trincomalee’, The Hindu of Jan 28 said. Referring to Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s recent three-day official visit to India, the report went on to say that ‘the two countries agreed to explore the possibilities for further cooperation in the power sector by enabling cost-effective more..

Polls Chief decides against inviting Western observers

Jan 30 (Island) Polls Chief said that the country did not have any intention to invite observers from western countries to monitor upcoming PC elections. Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya said that he wished to invite observers from South Asian countries to monitor the polls. The western election observers were setting standards which were not adhered to in their own countries, the polls chief said, adding that more..

Take the middle path for religious harmony

Jan 30 (DM) Sri Lanka’s only living former President Chandrika Kumaratunga whose family was at the helm of the country for more than 25 years has come out strongly against prevailing religious tensions and called on all leaders and the people to follow the hallowed middle path of religious unity in diversity. This was the path taken by the great son of Indian Emperor Asoka who was instrumental in introducing the Buddha’s teachings to Sri Lanka. The rock edicts of Asoka are a testimony more..

The case for skilled diplomacy and diplomats

Jan 30 (DM) The administrative system, adopted and incorporated into Sri Lanka's first constitution after independence, suffered serious interference in 1972, when the Civil Service Commission was abolished and most of its functions were passed on to the cabinet of ministers. The most important of these functions were the appointments, promotions and disciplinary control of all civil servants. The taking of these by the cabinet resulted in a discontinuity with the traditions of civil service more..

'TNA is looking beyond provincial council system'

Jan 30 (DM) TNA Member of the NPC Dharmalingam Sithadthan says it is always important to maintain cordiality with the central govt to run the council smoothly. Sithadthan, the leader of PLOTE, aligned with the TNA recently. Beginning as an anti-LTTE Tamil militant group, it embraced democratic politics after the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord. He says the campaign for a power sharing arrangement should not be more..

‘If only …’ grieving mother relates biggest dengue death trap

Jan 30 (ST) 13-year-old Imesh’s dream to be a crack motorcycle rider one day was shattered as a deadly mosquito snatched his young life, leaving his parents in shock over the sudden loss of their only son. Today his mother, Anoma, wishes she had admitted her son to hospital earlier despite his protests. “After two days of continuous fever I took him to the closest clinic and doctor advised me to get a full blood count test if fever continued,” more..

UNP LC says not divided

Jan 30 (Island) UNP Leadership Council (LC) said it had not taken a vote on the appeal by dissidents Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthillake, that they be nominated to contest the PC Elections. Some were speculating on the issue without proper knowledge of how the LC functioned, a spokesperson for the Council said adding that the appeal made by Gunaratne and Lakthillake had to be placed in proper perspective. more..