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Crime among Sri Lanka soldiers on rise

June 6 (AJ) Crime and desertion in Sri Lanka's armed forces are on the rise five years since the end of the country’s civil war because of a lack of adequate counselling, psychologists have said. Police statistics suggest that in the first four months of 2014, nearly 18% of reported crimes were committed by members of the armed forces - a large increase on the 5% reported for the whole of 2013. Experts are now advising against the more..

Revaluation of values: Applying the Pullman Principle to Post-War Sri Lanka

June 7 (GV) This past couple of weeks I’ve been rereading Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I first picked up ‘Northern Lights’ (Book 1) in 2003 while at University in Scotland. My MPhil Thesis (completed in 2004) starts with a quote from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ (Book 3), and right now in May of 2014 I am perhaps on my tenth reading of ‘The Subtle Knife’ (Book 2). These three books have journeyed with me, as I lived my somewhat nomadic life around India and now Sri Lanka. more..

13th amendment in driblets or plus or beyond

June 7 (CT) There cannot be a more apt depiction of the state of mind of Sri Lankans, of the two major ethnicities. A change of government in India taking the form of a resounding victory for BJP and a devastating rout of Congress was known for certain for some months up to May 16. The prospect had inspired hope among Indians and Tamils of Sri Lanka. Anxieties had gripped a major section of the Sri Lankan population ahead of May and more so since the results. more..

Gratiaen Prize winner: Malinda Seneviratne

June 7 (ST) When working at a newspaper, persistently immersing yourself and constantly engaging in a world of words is inevitable. “The sum total of human knowledge is a speck of dust compared to the universe of our ignorance,” says Malinda Seneviratne slowly, explaining that the learning which takes place on a daily basis wards off any saturation or word-weariness that may be an occupational more..

When chickens come home to roost

June 7 (CT) Habitually, the Sri Lankan govt tells its people only what it wants them to hear. This proclivity has so overwhelmed the govt that the same practice is applied in the official statements on bilateral meetings. The concurrence of the other party is never sought and the statements, which are issued unilaterally to a receptive local audience rarely, give an accurate reflection of the discussions. Until now, the govt was spared from controversy only because the leaders, more..

Police powers for Provinces a long-felt need

June 7 (CT) While Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, was briefing the media on govt's position on devolving police powers to the provinces under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, a police constable had attempted to attack TNA MP, Suresh K. Premachandran, in Mullaitivu. He was taking part in a demonstration organized by the families of the disappeared persons in the Mullaitivu District, a region which had suffered immensely during the last phase of civil war that ended in 2009. more..

Shedding more light on a sacred site

June 7 (ST) A heavily pregnant Queen Mahamaya was on her way to her parental home from the palace of her husband King Suddodhana at Tilaurakot-Kapilavastu. The palanquin bearing her had travelled for several days covering a distance of nearly 28 kilometres from Kapilavastu when the Queen decided to make a stop at the flower garden at Lumbini. It was here, under the shade of a Sal tree, that she gave birth more..

Counter-Thuggery doesn’t pay

June 7 (GV) Out there, in the northern parts of post-war Sri Lanka, anyone who cares to look will see a difficult situation prevailing. There live people who have not been re-settled in places they were displaced from, there is out of proportionately high presence of the armed forces, there are people who are still searching for their loved ones whom they last saw with their hands held high, and they are being watched all the time. They can be taken in at any time, released or not at will. more..

Kent’s illustrious exiles: Sir John Kotelawala

June 7 (CT) When a character, encountered only in books, suddenly steps off the page, it is an electrifying experience. Nothing prepares you for that moment when the bare bones of history suddenly acquire flesh. You do not know where the discovery will come, or when. It is so unexpected that it seems surreal. Yet one thing is certain, it is always accompanied by a frisson of excitement. I was fortunate enough to have such an experience at a birthday party held in a converted barn more..

Maid ‘mothers’ of the Middle East

June 7 (NS) SL maids seek jobs in foreign countries with the hope of a brighter future for their families, their children, and also to the country. They bring in millions of rupees to the country. But the road they take is not a bed of roses, but have more thorns, sometimes nails, than roses. It’s a tough and rough path. Many have taken away their lives, many have returned, not being able to cope with pressure in place they were employed. more..

Editorial: Mums and dads worse than brats

June 7 (Island) Parents often lament about growing indiscipline among schoolchildren who even get involved in illegal activities like substance abuse. They nostalgically reminisce of the good old days when such problems were seldom or never heard of and schools used to be the places where even bratty children were on their best behaviour. Time was when errant schoolboys shivered and stammered when confronted by principals who punished miscreants and even expelled them if more..

Mankading to Sachithring: Keeping alive the spirit of cricket

June 7 (Island) It’s time to raise my glass to Sachithra Senanayake, Cheers young man, keep up the good spirit; we will cheer you on all the way. With all the media and cricketing fuss that has been made about his well calculated and completely lawful move, in getting Jos Buttler out in the last 50-over match that Sri Lanka won against England, helping us win the series, followed by the victory in the T20 series too, it has hardly been noticed that Sachithra with his limited games more..

‘The regulator should allow the markets to evolve within accepted parameters’

June 7 (Island) What is your view on the practicality of term and age limits for Directors as finding good directors to sit on a PLC Board is no easy task? Also, the question is whether term limits should be decided by the shareholders or by the regulator? At this stage of development in our market it is more appropriate to allow the shareholders to decide whether there should be an age limit for a board director and if so, what more..

Dilshan to play county cricket?

June 7 (NS) At practice at Lord’s, a day before the fourth One-Day International against England, Tillakaratne Dilshan said, “I have only another five days in England after that I will be going home”.By that statement he did not mean that he was keen to go home, but the fact that he would have finished his part of the tour for Sri Lanka having played in the one-off T20 international and the five-match ODI series. The fifth and final ODI starts at Edgbaston on June 3 after which the one-day specialists more..

Day 2: Sri Lanka pacemen vie for Test place

June 7 (CI) The Sri Lankans continued to do much as they pleased against Northamptonshire. The home side, who have a dire first-class batting record this season, having only passed 300 once, stumbled to 146 for 5 in reply to 558 which had been compiled at a merry clip of four an over. The period where the visitors had the ball was the most instructive of the day despite not being confronted with the strongest of batting orders. There is, perhaps, one seam bowling place up for the grabs in SL Test side more..

Dinuka fights back to make hosts only quarter final berth

June 7 (Island) Dinuka Karunaratne recovered from a 18-21 first set defeat, to beat Indian counterpart Sameer Verma 2-1 as he kept alive hosts’ hopes by booking a berth in the quarter final stage of the men’s singles in the Sri Lanka Open International Badminton Challenge 2014 at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Dinuka beat unceeded Verma 22-20 and 21-15 in the last two sets to the consolation of some 200 local more..

Construction of Iconic 110 Parliament Road nearing completion

June 7 (CT) Iconic -110 Parliament Road, located on the border of the city of Colombo, will be a land-mark project with quiet neighbourhood surroundings and views of the Golf Course and the bird sanctuary. Rajagiriya has developed into an elite area sought by many in the last couple of years. Buyers of Iconic 110 Parliament Road apartments will soon be able to move into their new homes as the project nears completion as per its scheduled deadline. With 90% of the apartments already sold, more..

President cuts ribbon on Centara's Ceysands Resort & Spa

June 7 (SB) President Rajapksa was on hand to launch the Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa last week, which is situated on the southwest Bentota Peninsula – sandwiched between the Bentota River and the Indian Ocean. The 165-key resort features a Spa Cenvaree with traditional Sri Lankan and Ayurvedic Indian treatments along with its range of signature Thai therapies. The spa is connected to a fitness centre, an oceanfront swimming pool with whirlpool and a children’s pool. more..

Pakistan awards prestigious Jinnah Scholarship to 69 students in Kandy

June 7 (HCP) Govt of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded SL Rs 1.7 Million worth of educational scholarships last evening to 69 bright students of O/L and A/L under the first Phase of Jinnah Scholarship Programme 2014. Under the auspices of High Commission of Pakistan, award ceremony of Jinnah Educational Scholarship 2014 was held at Jinnah Hall, Kandy. more..

Red light on exports, FDI

June 7 (CT) While many see opportunities opening for Sri Lanka with India's Narendra Singh Modi's ascension to power, a senior businessman opined that the opportunities for Sri Lanka could be outweighed by difficulties and challenges as the neighbourhood giant gets its act together. National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka President Sunil Wijesinha said that despite some visible opportunities, Sri Lanka would face greater difficulties and threats from India. more..

Digambaram likely to join Opposition

June 7 (CT) Leader of the Upcountry Peoples' Front (UPF), MP P. Digambaram, is likely to join the opposition. The MP has held two discussions in relation to this last week and is expected to have more discussions on the matter in India this week. Sources however say that the Opposition is yet to respond favourably to the proposals put forward by the MP. Digambaram has fallen out with the govt as it had failed to provide him with the promised portfolio of deputy minister more..

Harsha faults Govt. for raw deal to migrant worker deposits at NSB

June 7 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva found fault with the Govt for discriminating against migrant worker depositors that receive an interest rate of 2.25% as against other bonds issued by NSB at 8.875%. According to Dr. de Silva such impudent action has forced NSB to reduce its net profits and also increase its NPLs. “Govt holds that it is the Chairman’s responsibility is to monitor the bank’s Directors. more..

Monorail, two more roads to Colombo to ease rush hour traffic: Govt.

June 7 (FT) The Govt will soon establish a monorail system between Moratuwa and Thalangama in addition to using a redundant railway line to transport containers to the Colombo Port, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena confirmed in parliament yesterday, in response to a question for oral answer raised by UNP MP P. Harrison.According to Minister Gunawardena both measures will help reduce the soaring traffic congestion in the Colombo town, especially before and after office hours. more..

Africa wakes up to Sri Lanka's ‘world class garments’

June 7 (Island) As Sri Lanka's trade with the African continent topped 322 Mn, Sri Lanka's world class apparel sector too has garnered the attention of African investors looking to diversify. Meanwhile, Lanka trade officers in Africa 'actively promote the country' to the Land of Sahara. "Africa's relations with Sri Lanka have been historic. Sri Lanka's apparels are well known the world over -as well as Ceylon Tea. Today, these two sectors offer great investment potential for African investors to more..

President directs to provide immediate relief to flood, landslide victims

June 7 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructs officials to continue to provide aid and assistance to those affected by adverse weather, immediately. Speaking at a meeting of the Ministerial Sub Committee on Food Safety and Cost of Living Control on Friday evening, the President emphasized that it is the responsibility of all officials to ensure the needs of all flood and landslide victims are taken care of. more..

JVP criticises the release of Indians

June 7 (CG) The JVP slammed the Government for releasing Indian fishermen while Sri Lankan fishermen still remained in Indian custody. JVP sources said that the issue was discussed at the JVP central committee meeting held this week with the participation of the JVP leadership. Speaking at the meeting JVP MP Sunil Handunetti had said that the Sri Lankan Government is showing little concern to the issues faced by Sri Lankan fishermen at the hands of India. more..

Coast Guard arrests 12 SL fishermen

June 7 (PTI) Twelve Sri Lankan fishermen were on Friday arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in Indian waters. Coast Guard ship ICGS Abheek spotted two Sri Lankan boats some 120 nautical miles east of Chennai and arrested the 12 fishermen aboard. The boats, which had 750 kg of fish catch, were seized and the fishermen booked under Maritime Zones of India Act, 1981, it said, adding that they would be handed over to Tamil Nadu Police soon. more..

Ban on sites used for character assassinations: Govt.

June 7 (DM) Measures have to be taken to stop character assignations carried out on certain websites by those who want to fulfill their own private agendas, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Parliament. He made this point in response to a question raised by UNP MPs at an adjournment motion on whether the govt would ban websites. Minister said that the govt would take the steps necessary to suppress the efforts of websites that have become more..

'Sri Lanka needs to increase fish production but mindful of sustainability of resources'

June 7 (PRIU) Sri Lanka needs to increase production of fish to meet the protein requirement of the public while paying attention not to deplete resources, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing 18th Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization at BMICH, he explained that fish provides over 70% of the animal protein intake of Sri Lankans and although the per capita intake of seafood has gone up over the years, more..

Govt allocated Rs.240mn to provide fresh milk to children

June 7 (PRIU) The Govt in last year's budget has allocated Rs.240 million to provide fresh milk to children, Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadde told Parliament. The Govt has planned to provide a fresh glass of milk to the children of 2 to 5 years and allocated Rs.240 million in the Budget in 2013 for this purpose. He said that there were 226,494 children who were eligible to benefit from the Govt's program to provide a fresh glass of milk to each child. more..

FUTA threatens strike unless govt. stops harassing lecturers

June 7 (Island) The FUTA asked the govt to stop harassing its members following a recent goon attack on the Ruhuna University students or face a countrywide strike. FUTA President Chandragupta Thenuwara said that govt sponsored thugs had attacked the vehicle of a lecturer of the Ruhuna University during the protest on Monday, demanding that Deyata Kirula exhibition be held within the university premises. more..

Gota, SLFP Colombo organizer

June 7 (SM) Leader of SLFP Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the SLFP organizer of Colombo district, report party internal sources. Later on, he is to be elected from the national list to the parliament and appointed as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development. In an interview the Defence Secretary had emphasized that he is ready to enter politics at President's discretion. more..

Chandrika to lead a movement to save SLFP

June 7 (SM) The former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to return to Sri Lanka at the end of June, says a senior minister of the govt. He that she is not to engage in any foreign tours lately again and she is to make an active contribution towards the 'Protect SLFP' organization established by a group of ministers. Though due to her children's persuasion she does not wish to stand in for the presidential election, she is prepared to face any challenge in the process of handing over more..

MEP wants UPFA ex-co summoned to discuss ‘ground realities’

June 7 (Island) The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) said that the executive committee of the ruling UPFA should be summoned to discuss political developments, especially in view of calls by some UPFA constituents for the abolition of the executive presidency. MEP General Secretary and lecturer Karunatilleke Dissanayake said that the coalition couldn’t ignore the urgent need to explore ways and means of addressing internal issues. more..

'Family of Leo Seemanpillai may not get visas for funeral'

June 7 (SMH) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said the family of a refugee, who died after setting himself alight, would face "very real difficulties" in obtaining visitor visas to attend his funeral if held in Australia. Mr Morrison said he could not instruct his department to issue visitor visas for the family and had instead offered to repatriate the man's remains. Leo Seemanpillai, 29, doused himself in petrol and set himself alight in Geelong last Saturday night. more..

'Tangalle has become the latest Chicago'

June 7 (SM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera says the ‘godfather, god son and god uncle’ are behind the killings taking place now. Tangalle town has become the latest ‘Chicago’, where those who speak and act against those in power are murdered in broad daylight while the police and the people look on. MP noted that the private bus conductor Prabhath Chandana was shot in the head at the Tangalle bus halt in the high security zone within which the president’s home is located. more..

'My staff ready to launch Sri Lanka probe'

June 7 (FT) Opening a UNHRC session for the final time on Tuesday UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay will inform the body of 47 member states that her staff team was ready to launch an investigation into allegations of major abuses during the seven years of Sri Lanka’s civil war. “My office has now put in place a staff team that will be supported by several experts and Special Procedures mandate holders to conduct the more..

Raise your voice, not the sea level

June 7 (DM) Environmentalist Ravi Prasad Herat in a thought-provoking feature published in the Daily Mirror on Thursday to mark World Environment Day said of the 30 million species of flora and fauna that the scientists believe exists in the world, only 1.4 million have been positively identified by the 20th century. Most of them live in the developing countries of the tropical zone. In a shocking revelation, he said it had been confirmed that as a result of the present so-called progress, more..

13A and separation of Temple from State

June 7 (CT) The sacred constitutional principle of the separation between the Church and the State (or the Temple and the State to that effect) refers to the distance in the relationship between the State and the organized religion. The wall of separation between the Church and the State, as Thomas Jefferson called it, evolved after centuries of temporal intervention into the affairs of the State and vice versa in Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe and pre-revolutionary France. more..

Ranil, Sajith to unite?

June 7 (CT) With the announcement of a Presidential Election, probably to be held in November, the two camps in the UNP are in discussions to set aside their differences and unite. Several rounds of negotiations have been conducted between those in support of Party Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe and those backing Sajith Premadasa, in a bid to bring about unity and consensus on several matters. more..