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Developed road from Polonnaruwa-Somawathi vested with the people

June 12 (GDI) President Rajapaksa vested with the people the developed Polonnaruwa-Somawathi road Wednesday. A total cost of Rs.3500 million has been incurred to carpet the road from Polonnaruwa to Somawathi Sacred area. The total investment to develop the roadway which includes 109 culverts and 3 large bridges, has been borne by the RDA. The total length of the road is 38 kms. Out of this 26 kms has been developed by laying carpet while the other 12 kms has been concreted. more..

Colombo Port to elevate to 21st position in Top 50 World Container Ports List

June 12 (GDI) Colombo, the commercial hub and capital of Sri Lanka, will go up to the 21st position in the top 50 World Container Ports list 2014 with the operations of the new berths of the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT). Earlier Colombo was in the 32nd position in the Top 50 Wprld Container Ports list. The new CICT terminals, developed over three stages, opened the third phase of its facility in April 2014 enabling addition of 2.5 milllion teu to the Colombo shipping hub. more..

Journalists fear new govt crackdown

June 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan media rights activists on Wednesday accused the govt of a new crackdown against reporters as the country faced a UN-led international war crimes probe. Dozens of pro-govt supporters threatened violence and broke up an investigative journalism training workshop at the weekend, said Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) which organised the training. TISL Senior Manager Shan Wijetunga said 14 Tamil more..

UN says women in N-E feel unsafe

June 12 (CG) The United Nations (UN) says based on available research nearly 40% of women in former conflict zones in Sri Lanka feel they are not safe at home even after the war. The UN Population Fund country Representative in Sri Lanka Alain Sibenale said this at an event held at the British High Commission in Colombo today to mark the conference being held in London against sexual violence in conflict. He noted that one of the reasons women feel unsafe is because more..

Condemned sugar released to market

June 12 (Island) Modera police have nabbed five persons who sold a large stock of sugar which was to be destroyed in keeping with a court order as it was not fit for human consumption. The consignment of sugar would have fetched as much as Rs. 15 million, police said. Imported by a billionaire businessman, it was detected by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) in a warehouse at Modera. The CAA officials later produced the stock of sugar before the court which ordered more..

'Govt has no option but to face UN probe'

June 12 (Island) President’s Counsel and UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the govt had no option but to face the proposed UN investigation conducted in terms of the UNHRC resolution 25/1. The former President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Rajapakshe was responding on behalf of the UNP to the SLFP’s decision that Sri Lanka’s participation in the investigative process would be decided by parliament. more..

Owners and Custodians

June 12 (DM) Vesak is universally celebrated by Buddhists. Poson is different in that it is of special significance to Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Even though it is now acknowledged that the word of the Buddha reached the island before the arrival of Arahat Mahinda it is hard to dispute that the ‘Mahindagamanaya’ was a turning point in our philosophical, cultural and political history. It is perhaps for this reason that Poson is embraced in ways that Vesak is not, by the vast majority more..

Ariya Samatha as Expounded by Buddha

June 12 (DM) Samatha refers to the serenity of mind. It has a much deeper meaning in the Buddhist tradition as opposed to what is popularly referred to as Samatha today. First it is important to understand what causes mental turbulence or agitation which results in loss of serenity. There are two traditions that demonstrate how Samatha is achieved. Pre-Buddhist traditions involve Jainist, Vedic and Yogi Teachings and the other being what is expounded as Samatha in the Buddhist tradition. more..

Practice of Buddhist Wisdom and loving Kindness

June 12 (DM) In the Karaniya Metta Sutta, Buddha has indicated many ways of leading a happy and contented life here on earth and also hereafter which ultimately leads to the eradication of all suffering. To achieve this happiness one has to be; 1) Clever, efficient, able - “sakko” 2) Upright in Conduct, Safeguarding the Precepts by abstaining for example from Killing, Stealing, Sexual Misconduct, Lying, Partaking of Intoxicants, more..

Flood-hit villagers wait helplessly in watery desolation

June 12 (ST) The flash flood waters are receding but the victims who were displaced are left hungry and yearning for help. Her denim trousers hiked to her knees, Dushmanthi Siriwardena, 24, stands in the mud outside her house. Her baby, who will turn two this year, clings to her neck, unaware of the tears that roll down Dushmanthi’s cheeks as she gazes at what remains of her newly-completed house. more..

Exploiting games for terrorist propaganda

June 12 (SL) LTTE built global capacity to influence Tamils both at home and abroad by controlling all aspects of their lives. Like a Stalinist regime, Prabhakaran built a system that did not permit dissent. In order to ensure full compliance and discipline, LTTE ruthlessly coerced and when necessary, punished Tamils who deviated from the rules. LTTE dominated not only the political but also social space of their expatriate communities. more..

Consumers milked by Govt.

June 12 (ST) The Govt faces heavy criticism of making money at the expense of the local consumer after reducing a tax concession given for imported milk powder. The concession was reduced by Rs. 25 effective from last Monday because the global market prices have “rapidly plunged,” the Ministry of Finance and Planning stated. The actual tariff is Rs. 125, out of which the importers will now pay Rs. 82. more..

Russia lauds Sri Lanka's handling of post conflict issues

June 12 (DN) Russia appreciated Sri Lanka's efforts in solving the post conflict problems on the basis of integrity, multinational consent and respect for the rights of all ethnic and religious groups. Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava said cooperation between Sri Lanka and Russia are expanding beyond the traditional arena of education. "Our cooperation has widened in the field of science and technology, more..

Future screening of films restricted to three circuits

June 12 (DN) It has been decided to streamline the present system of exhibition and distribution of films by restricting it to three distribution circuits. The Gazette notification announcing the three circuits and the cinema halls belonging to them will be issued within the next two weeks, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. He disclosed this at a meeting with representatives of the cinema industry to discuss more..

CEB buys SUVs for engineers, Chairman clueless

June 12 (Island) A top official in the CEB is being investigated by the Govt Audit Department for procuring SUVs for several mid-level engineers in violation of Treasury regulations. CEB received Treasury approval to replace about 30 old vehicles used by its field staff. However, tender board chaired by the official in question purchased several SUVs, instead of the field vehicles. Tender board minutes identify these vehicles as more..

Clear lack of commitment to address gender equality in Sri Lanka: UNFPA Rep.

June 12 (DM) Recent statements made by certain ministers indicate a lack of importance in addressing issues of gender equality in Sri Lanka and they are of grave concern, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka, Alain Sibenaler, said. Despite the commitment shown by the Sri Lankan Govt to address issues of gender based violence and the positive measures implemented in that direction, Sibenaler said statements by more..

'Invest in Mullaitivu, help war affected people'

June 12 (Island) Security Forces Commander Mullaitivu, Major General Jagath Dias, who is concerned about the future of the youth there who had lost their valuable documents such as birth and educational certificates due to conflict, requested the business community to invest in the district and help the war affected people rebuild their lives. Maj. Gen. Dias thanked one of the top garment manufacturers who had already more..

'Start accountability with KP & Karuna'

June 12 (AM) UNP has urged the govt to start the accountability process by taking action against Kumaran Pathmanathan, who was at one time the main arms procurer of the LTTE, and V Muralitharan, who was technically the second in command of the terrorist organization. Both of them have shifted their allegiance to the govt and Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman holds a ministerial position in the govt while being more..

A time to reflect on the teachings of Buddha

June 12 (CT) Today is Poson Poya, a day that commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahat Maha Mahinda (son of King Asoka of India) in the third century BC, who in converting the then ruler King Devanampiyatissa and his court to the ways of the Buddha, set in motion a series of events that finally made Sri Lanka the home of Theravada Buddhism. And as we mark the day with the appropriate rituals and reverence, it is worth reflecting on the battle Prince Siddhartha more..

War crimes, war heroes and soldiers

June 12 (CT) The UNP and the JVP have it right. Govt must face the UN war crimes investigation. There is nothing to be achieved – and quite a bit to be lost – through non-participation. Whether Colombo cooperates or not, the investigation will go ahead and a verdict will be given. Some of the extreme Diaspora elements will make the case for the LTTE. As the UNP pointed out, Colombo must use the investigation as an opportunity to make the case against LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka at Carnival of Cultures in Berlin

June 12 (IL) Every year the City of Berlin is proud to show its Multicultural flair of the City with a 3 day celebration of “Karneval der Kulturen” (Carnival of Cultures). The street parade of Karneval der Kulturen is being loved by both the capital's residents and tourists. It has established itself as the “Summer Celebration of Berlin”. This year was the 19th year with around 800,000 spectators witnessing the spectacular parade more..

Russia probes murder of Sri Lankan

June 12 (CG) The Russian authorities have launched an investigation onto the death of a Sri Lankan attached to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that an employee of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia died on the night of June 11 in Rostov-on-Don as a result of a conflict with employees of a transport company engaged in transporting the baggage of a Sri Lankan delegation, which had arrived in this city, a statement on Ministry’s website says. more..

Writ Application postponed

June 12 (CT) The Writ Application filed by the Vice Chairman of the Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha in the Court of Appeal, was postponed to 13 June. Petitioner Indika Koralage filed the Writ Application against the decision of the UPFA to remove him from the post of Chairman of the Council. According to his petition, the 2014 budget of the Council was defeated in the Council and then Chairman A.D. Kumarasiri was removed from his post and he (Koralage) was appointed as the chairman. more..

‘Sam’s Story’ a landmark in Sinhala cinema

June 12 (LR) Priyankara Vittanachchi is juggling with too many careers. By profession he is a banker in Toronto doing a nine to five job, a partner in his family-run business in Sri Lanka and a talented filmmaker whose debut, Sameege Kathawa (Sam’s Story), brought prestige and fame to his native land by winning the Award for Best Actor for 2013 at the New York International Film Festival. This is the first Sri Lankan film to win more..

Substandard Atapirikara seized in CAA raids

June 12 (Island) Sleuths of the CAA in a raid at Atalugama in Bandaragama yesterday and had seized substandard atapirikara (eight monastic requisites) worth around one million rupees, spokesman for the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, Nipun Ekanayake said in a press release. CAA officials had raided several houses where atapirikaras were packed and sent to market. The atapirikara includes an iron bowl, three robes, a needle with thread, more..

Excessive consumption of beef main reason for bowel cancer here

June 12 (Island) Deputy Director Maharagama Cancer Institute, Dr. Wasantha Dissanayaka ysaid that 60% of bowel cancer patients detected in the country had developed the disease due to excessive consumption of beef. Out of approximately 500 bowel cancer patients detected annually, 350 had contacted bowel cancer due to beef eating. He said patients had revealed that they had eaten beef three times a day. Red meat such as beef, mutton and pork contained highly saturated fatty acids more..

Hemal Gunasekara now says he can't remember the 'forged' number plate

June 12 (AM) Responding to the revelation made by the Police that Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera's vehicle had a forged number plate, the Deputy Minister had said he could not remember anything about the number plate of his vehicle! "I didn't see the number plate of the vehicle. I don't even remember it. It is not my business either. It's not important whether my vehicle had a forged number plate or not. more..

60% jump in dengue in Colombo this month so far

June 12 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Deputy Commissioner (Health), Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, called for an urgent clean-up campaign in the city to prevent a dengue epidemic with the onset of rains. He said that there were over 188 cases in the city. There were 1,365 cases reported since the beginning of the year. The Deputy Commissioner said that the increase this month was approximately 60% higher than during the corresponding period last year. more..

MRL Corporation starts coring first Sri Lanka graphite drill hole

June 12 (PI) MRL Corporation has starting coring activities at the first drill hole of its Pandeniya graphite project in SL. MRL holds 6,300 hectares of Exploration Licenses that could potentially produce 5,000tpa of vein graphite and has applied for further exploration areas surrounding its granted licenses. Training on the core orientation tools is complete and the tools are in operation. Down hole survey equipment will arrive in SL on 16 June and MRL crew training will be undertaken. more..

Large haul of heroin seized: Who’s behind the racket?

June 12 (LT) 86 kilos of heroin being transported in a luxury vehicle was seized by STF in a sudden road check carried out at Biyagama area today. Vehicle too was taken into custody. Operation was carried out on information received by the STF. This is the largest haul of heroin apprehended by the raids carried out by security sections. Earlier 262 kilos of heroin smuggled in a container was taken into custody. more..

Bhikku undergrads continue occupation of building for third week

June 12 (Island) 1st year Bhikku undergraduates who forcibly occupied the Sumangala building over a hostel issue claimed that university administration was planning to allocate two floors of Kotagama Vachissara bhikku hostel for foreign monks. Convener of the IUBF Ven. Thenne Gnanaloka Thera said that the university administration had denied the first year students accommodation in the bhikku hostel though the two floors were vacant in the four storeyed building. more..

Tense situation in Aluthgama after assault on a buddhist monk

June 12 (AM) A tense situation occurred in Aluthgama when a large number of protesters surrounded the Aluthgama Police station over an incident where a Muslim youth had allegedly assaulted a Buddhist monk. The protesters demanded the Police to arrest those who assaulted the Buddhist monk. Protesters also blocked the vehicle movement on the Colombo- Galle main road and as a result, a heavy traffic was reported in the area. They also pelted stones at the vehicle more..

Sri Lanka to get US$1.4bn from ADB over four years

June 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka will get 1.4 billion US dollars from the Asian Development Bank over the next four years to finance health, sanitation education and energy. In 2014 ADB is expected to disburse 406 million US dollars for ongoing projects. "ADB remains active in Sri Lanka and we want to do more," newly appointed ADB Country Director for Sri Lanka Sri Widowati said. "ADB will continue to focus on infrastructure development, more..

Video: President vows express travel to Polonnaruwa

June 12 (DM) President Rajapaksa said he would provide opportunities for the people to travel between Colombo and Polonnaruwa within 90 minutes in two more years and assured the provisions would be made to begin work immediately. “It took seven hours to travel from Medamulana to Colombo in the past but now it takes only four hours to complete the journey. I will assure that the people in Polonnaruwa will be able to travel to Colombo in 1 1/2 hours in two years,” more..

Prabhakaran never entered temple named after him

June 12 (Island) Chief Pusari of Vatrapalai Kannegi Amman kovil, in Mullaitivu Krishna Bawan said that LTTE leader Prabhakaran had never entered the place of religious worship, though it was called Prabhakaran’s kovil. Although Prabhakaran had accompanied his wife and children, he remained outside while family members entered the kovil to perform religious rites, pusari said. He was responding to a query at the conclusion of the annual pongal festival from June 2 to 9. more..

Injured Sri Lankan diplomat in Russia is a ministerial son

June 12 (AM) It has now been revealed that the Second Secretary of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia - who was injured following a street-brawl in Moscow - is Minister C.B. Rathnayake's son. Nuwan Rathnayake, an old boy of Royal College, is employed as the Second Secretary of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon on the street in the backyard of Suvorov Hotel Don Plaza. more..

Aitken Spence in US $ 25mn Indian hotel acquisition

June 12 (DM) Leading leisure sector operator Aitken Spence said it purchased a brand-new five-star hotel with 143 rooms in Chennai for a consideration of US $ 25 million. The acquisition has been carried out through Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (South India). Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (South India) is effectively owned by Aitken Spence and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings in the ratio of 49:51. Aitken Spence effectively controls 74% of the equity shares of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings. more..

Indians claim Sri Lanka navy attacked boats

June 12 (CG) As many as 36 of the 82 fishermen, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday and set free by the Kayts court, reached Mandapam in Tamil Nadu yesterday evening, carrying tales of woes. Emotional scenes were witnessed outside the Mandapam station of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) as fishermen, whose boats were sunk and damaged by the Sri Lankan navy, broke down, saying they had returned after losing their livelihood. more..

Japan wants to learn from Sri Lanka

June 12 (CG) Japan says it would like to learn from Sri Lanka’s experience in its fight against terrorism especially the role played by the navy. Admiral Katsutosi Kawano, the chief of staff of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, called on President Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Anuradhapura today. The discussion centered mainly on enhanced cooperation between the two countries in the area of maritime security and more..

Fonseka ready to answer at war crimes probe

June 12 (SM) Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka, says he is ready to answer war crimes allegations before an international inquiry by the UN. Saying that there should be no fear at all to face such a committee, he requests it to meet with him first thing it arrives in the country. President has decided to consult parliament whether to allow members of the committee into the country. The president has decided to consult parliament whether to allow members of the committee into the country. more..