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Amarapura Mahanayaka urges unity

June 17 (CG) Mahanayaka of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, the most venerable Davuldena Sri Gnanissara thero, has called for unity among all communities in Sri Lanka. In a statement issued today the Mahanayake said that the recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala have created a tense situation in the country. He said that Buddhists have for long lived peacefully with all other communities in Sri Lanka and if there are any issues those issues must be resolved through negotiations. more..

SLFP agrees with NFF’s proposals

June 17 (DM) SLFP came to an agreement with the NFF based on its proposals, at a discussion held between the two parties on Monday, NFF Spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said. Twelve proposals were approved at the second National Convention of the NFF with the objective of urging the govt to follow a different political direction. “The two parties discussed the 12 proposals of the NFF. SLFP representatives commended the more..

Govt launches mudslinging campaign against JVP

June 17 (LT) An organized mudslinging exercise has been unleashed by the govt against the JVP and its Leader Anura Dissanayaka say reports. The govt that has used a canard fabricated by BBS as the front page lead of ‘Silumina’ on the 15th is now inquiring from private media institutions whether videos are available that could confirm its story. Meanwhile, Minister Wimal Weerawansa of NFF, has been employed to hold a seminar to carry out a malicious propaganda against JVP. more..

Palitha Thevarapperuma attacked while transporting injured Muslims

June 17 (AM) UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma has come under attack from Sinhala mobs yesterday evening while transporting injured Muslims. Although the MP has managed to escape the attack, his vehicle has been severely damaged. The mob had attacked MP Thevarapperuma's vehicle on the grounds that he was "supporting" Muslims. The MP, according to our correspondents in Aluthgama, has been instrumental in rescuing a large number of Muslims from angry Sinhala mobs. more..

Police begin investigation into Buddhist-Muslim clashes in Sri Lanka: PM

June 17 (Xinhua) Investigations have begun into sectarian violence that erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lanka, prime minister told the parliament on Tuesday. The CID under the police have begun investigations, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne told the parliament. He also insisted only two people were killed while 44 others including 6 policemen and one Buddhist monk were injured in the violence. more..

TN Muslim outfits protest attack on Sri Lankan Muslims

June 17 (PTI) Protesting the attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka, members of two Tamil Nadu-based outfits of the community held demonstrations outside the island nation's Deputy High Commission here on Tuesday. Members of Tamil Nadu Thowheedh Jamaath (TNTJ) and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) staged separate protests outside the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission office at Nungambakkam. About 50 protesters were detained and later let off. more..

British MP seeks Foreign Office help over aid worker murder trial

June 17 (ITV) Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk wants the UK govt to apply pressure to the President of Sri Lanka not to interfere in the trial of Khuram Shaikh. The High Court there has already heard several months of evidence regarding the death of the aid worker from Rochdale. Khuram Shaikh was killed while on holiday in the country in December 2011. Now its emerged that the presiding judge has been put forward for promotion to the Appeal courts. If accepted, a new judge would be appointed more..

UNSG urges Sri Lankan govt. to ensure safety of all Sri Lankans

June 17 (DM) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, while expressing his concern on the communal violence that erupted in Southern Sri Lanka, has urged the Sri Lankan Govt to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of all Sri Lankans. “The Secretary-General recalled the UNHRC Resolution HRC25/L1/Rev.1 on Sri Lanka that urges the Govt to investigate alleged attacks on members of religious minority groups,” more..

Dissolve the impotent SLMC

June 18 (CT) I wrote this before (CT, 10 Sep 2013) and I am writing it again that the Muslim politicians in Sri Lanka, particularly of the SLMC variety are a bane and shame to their community. There is a limit even for an abject slave to bear physical torture and mental humiliation from the master, but this bunch of slaves seems to have limitless power of endurance. Otherwise how does one explain their continued partnership with a govt that remains totally immune to all the torture, destruction and humiliation more..

Reality of ethno-religious relations in SL

June 18 (CT) On the weekend of June 14th and 15th, new attacks against minorities were successfully mobilized in SL. This time it was not against Tamils, but against Muslims in the Aluthgama and then Beruwala areas in the South-West coastal areas. BBS, right wing, racist, nationalist group has claimed and used the tired but ever-effective rhetoric of Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism: SL belongs to the Sinhala Buddhists; all minorities must know their place or else. more..

'EPF track record commendable'

June 18 (SO) The EPF has been earning above-average profits in the recent past, but unfortunately, there has been grossly unfair criticism and outrageous allegations made by certain parties against the EPF, said Nihal Rodrigo, Superintendent, EPF. “The EPF is, by far, the biggest profit earning entity in the country,” he said. However people are made to believe otherwise. “Therefore a detailed analysis seems to be warranted.” more..

D-Day for nationalism

June 18 (Island) Parliament will vote this evening on the resolution by some MPs, which effectively demands not to allow the UNHRC committee appointed to "investigate comprehensively" to come to Sri Lanka. What is interesting is that Navi Pillai the outgoing commissioner is determined to get the committee to act before she leaves her office. She has already issued a statement on the Aluthgama Beruwala incidents following the Ambassador of USA in Sri Lanka. more..

The limits of tolerance

June 18 (GV) There is a limit to tolerance, and this is it. In its short history as an independent republic, Sri Lanka has seen more bloodshed than seems fair. Many of our citizens have been active participants in the bombing, burning, shooting, hacking and torturing of each other, and many more have supported this both actively and tacitly. And yet, without diminishing their culpability for these violent acts, it is necessary that we apportion even greater responsibility to those who led, commanded, more..

While Dengue deals a deadly blow!

June 18 (CT) Dengue fever has reached epidemic proportions ringing alarm bells, or rather the death knell, to households in SL. Country's National Hospital beds are overflowing, and doctors are overwhelmed by the influx of patients, numbers they are unable to cope with. What disconcerts the nation is, while the numbers keep spiralling, the health authorities are unable to come up with a tangible solution to the problem. more..

Editorial: Sickos runing unity

June 18 (Island) Life is limping back to normal in Aluthgama and Beruwala following communal clashes which left two persons dead, many injured and dozens of houses and shops destroyed. The situation had remained volatile in Aluthgama, where violence erupted on Sunday, for several weeks following a child abuse case which resulted in an arson attack on a shop in the area. The trigger for Sunday’s communal disturbances was an attack on a monk on Poson Poya Day. more..

Are you perhaps a ‘Naga?’

June 18 (NS) I had a dream. Professor K. Indrapala was standing before me in a supplicating attitude. I asked him sternly “Are you perhaps a Naga?”, whereupon a bashful, almost hunted look flitted across his face and in the fraction of the second it took me to flick my eyelids over my stern eyes, he turned into a snake and disappeared through a crack in the floor. “Wait a minute”, I said to myself, for I was still in the dream and in the grip of fantastic logic, “that was all wrong! more..

Wattrappalai Kannagi Amman Kovil Festival-Faith, myth and harsh reality

June 18 (CT) It is the final day of the Wattrappalai Kannagi Amman Kovil festival in Mullaitivu, widely known as 'Prabhakaran's Kovil' festival. The festival took place from 2-9 June, and close to 600,000 Hindu devotees congregated to receive blessings from Goddess Kannagi. An Air Force helicopter hovers above, showering the kovil and the devotees with flowers. The devotees momentarily cease their prayers and look up, more..

How must we respond to religious extremism and incitement to violence?

June 18 (GV) Those who incite hatred and violence, their supporters, victims, onlookers, observers, those who are dismayed by communal violence and those who secretly support it, those who want to stop it, criticize it and others who don’t care as much: they all act out of their innersprings of motivation and covert or overt desires. It is almost universally true that every individual is spurred to action by any their aspirations and desires, because we all need something to aspire to. more..

'Bureaucracy hampering renewable energy sector'

June 18 (CT) Although, the govt claims to encourage the expansion of the non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) sector, bureaucracy is hampering its growth. "Time consuming lengthy procedures involved in the approval process causes delays in projects, making the renewable energy industry a difficult investment option to investors," Vidullanka PLC Chairman Osman Kassim told shareholders in the company's 2013/14 annual report. The NCRE sector's contribution to the more..

What happened to Rajapaksa’s 1995 Workers Charter, asks Bala Tampoe

June 18 (ST) The rights of workers have deteriorated to such an extent that it is now a violation of human rights equivalent to crimes against humanity, and this accusation came from no less a person than Bala Tampoe, Sri Lanka’s iconic and most venerated trade unionist who recently celebrated his 92nd birthday. Mr. Tampoe, still the General Secretary of Ceylon Mercantile Union who was seen sturdily riding on the pillion of a more..

Making Sense of Bodu Bala Sena

June 18 (Island) Dear Mr. Editor, please allow me to comment on ex-diplomat Izeth Hussain’s well-considered response to the hypothesis I postulated to make sense of the Bodu Bala Sena phenomenon. I suggested that the BBS phenomenon is perhaps most accurately understood as the reaction of the members of a particular group (in-group) in our pluralist society to some behavioral aspects of the members of another group (whom they happen to regard as an ‘out-group’). more..

Advocating a different political project

June 18 (ST) The normalisation of the abnormal is an inevitable result of conflict. This is hoary wisdom. Yet there is a lived-reality of this truth which needs to be meditated on with painful clarity. The breakdown of the Rule of Law and the clear-headed compulsion of the State to oppress without much resistance are symptoms. So too is the ability of many to shrug their shoulders and turn away. Some do this cynically, others through a sheer sense of frustration. Regardless, this is a reflection of more..

Indigenous community to get electricity

June 18 (LBO) A remote area where indigenous original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are living will get electricity later this month, as plans are on track to electrify the entire island, the power ministry said. The power distribution scheme in Rathugala, Moneragala will be switched on by President Rajapaksa on June 23. "The Rathugala project will illuminate the lives of indigenous people and their living standards will also be improved," more..

G-77 Summit in Santa Cruz: Game changer?

June 18 (IPS) As the Group of 77, celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, the largest single coalition of developing nations remains ever more relevant today than it was when it was founded in 1964. But the Group, which comprises 132 countries plus China, needs a fresh thrust to work towards delivering on the aspirations of the global South. The 50th anniversary meeting in Santa Cruz Bolivia, scheduled for June 14-15, was preceded last month by a meeting in Algeria under the auspices more..

Clashes in Sri Lanka

June 18 (KT) The recent clashes in the otherwise little known town of Aluthgama in southern Sri Lanka are too unnerving, as they seem to have a communal touch. In the last several days of violence, which was widely out of media focus for unknown reasons, six people have died and hundreds were injured. Clashes between Buddhists and Muslim groups have a long history of altercations, and this new phase of violence is an instant outcome of a hate-speech more..

Counting the cost of Sri Lanka’s violence

June 18 (FT) Concern about the worst bout of communal fighting to hit Sri Lanka’s since the end of its civil war in 2009 deepened on Tuesday, after a second evening of clashes between Muslims and Buddhist groups resulted in at least one further death, despite an overnight curfew. But while daylight appeared to bring relative calm to the streets of two southern towns that endured the worst of this weekend’s disturbances, any further more..

Sri Lanka may encourage smaller insurers to merge: CB Governor

June 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's smaller insurers should merge to become larger players and which will give an assurance to customers that they will survive in the longer term, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "I would like to see bigger and more stable insurers," He said, with insurers being ideally placed to offer retirement products such as annuities. "People will be more discerning; they will evaluate insurers more carefully. They will not only look at pension products; more..

SriLankan Airlines proposed dollar bond rated 'BB-(EXP) by Fitch

June 18 (LBO) Fitch Ratings has assigned SriLankan Airlines Limited's (SLA) proposed issue of US dollar denominated govt guaranteed bonds an expected rating of 'BB-(EXP)'. The proceeds of the issuance are likely to be used to acquire aircraft and as working capital. The final rating is contingent upon receipt of final documents conforming to information already received. The bonds are rated at the same level at SLA's parent, the govt of Sri Lanka (BB-/Stable), due to the more..

Take military action against SL Navy: TVL

June 18 (NIE) Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) leader Panrutti Velumurugan urged the Central govt to form a strong foreign policy to protect the fishermen of the State from the Sri Lankan Navy. He asked the Union govt to also take military action against the navy of the island nation for killing hundreds of fishermen. Talking to media after meeting the three life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case more..

Dhamma, the Dickwella way!

June 18 (FT) In contrast to gory scenes a few miles away in Aluthgama, the Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in and around Dickwella led by Dickwella Shasana Bala Mandalaya President Ven. Godellewela Rathananda in an exemplary move spent two hours on Monday night at the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella. The act of solidarity was to strengthen communal ties and avert any fears of an extremist uprising in the area as an aftermath of more..

Cipla buys 60% stake in Sri Lankan firm

June 18 (PTI) Pharmaceutical firm Cipla today said it has acquired 60% stake in a new company in Sri Lanka for USD 14 million to market its product in the country. Cipla (Mauritius), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian company, has signed a definitive agreement with its existing Sri Lankan distributor for acquisition of 60% stake in a new company, Cipla said in a filing to the BSE. New company will market the Cipla's products in Sri Lanka, the filing said, adding that proposed acquisition was more..

TNA leader rejects LLRC,welcomes UN probe

June 18 (Island) TNA Leader R Sampanthan told Parliament that his party unequivocally welcomed the UNHRC investigation into alleged human rights violations in SL. Participating in the debate on a motion by a group of UPFA members, he said the forthcoming investigation by the UN was not against Sri Lanka; it was against the perpetrators of gross violations of human rights law. It is against the culture of impunity that affected more..

Two swan boat riders arrested for indecent behaviour

June 18 (DM) Two men aged between 45 and 50 were arrested on charges of having engaged in acts of indecency while riding on a swan boat in the Beira Lake. They were produced in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and after being found guilty of the charges were each fined Rs. 2,500. The arrests were made by the Slave Island Police after they were tipped off by an anonymous caller. The Police told Magistrate Thilina Gamage that the two men were under the influence of liquor and more..

Sri Lanka commercial vehicle registrations down in May

June 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's car, sports utility vehicles and motor bike registrations were up in May 2014 from a year earlier, but commercial vehicle were sharply down amid lease defaults. The total new registrations fell 3.3% to 26,460 units in May 2014 from a year earlier driven down by commercial vehicles. Registrations of three wheelers, mainly used as taxis, were down 15.8% from a year to 5,724 units in May. Mini truck were down 20% to 999 units, light trucks were down 20% more..

Act now to prevent further bloodshed in anti-Muslim violence: Amnesty International

June 18 (AI) Sri Lankan authorities must act immediately to end anti-Muslim violence in the country, and to rein in groups that violently target religious minorities, Amnesty International said. At least four people have been reported killed and scores injured in the southern coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala since an anti-Muslim riot broke out following a rally organized by the hard-line Buddhist group BBS on Sunday. more..

India hands over 39 Sri Lankan fishermen released from custody

June 18 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of thirty-nine (39) Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from the Indian custody on 16th June 2014. The fishermen were handed over to SLN officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship "Rajtharang" at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas North of Kankasanthurei. They were brought to the KKS Harbour by Sri Lanka Naval Ship L 820 and Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship CG 46. more..

Hambantota Port gets brand new STS and RTG cranes

June 18 (FT) Hambantota Port has received two brand new ZPMC Ship to Shore (STS) Gantry cranes and one Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) crane from China on 17 June, which will be set up inside the port. Cranes arrived on the vessel MV Zhen Hua 13. Each new STS Crane has a capacity of 50T under speader, with an outreach of 50m, backreach of 16m and a rail guage of 35m. The RTG Crane has a capacity of 41T under speader with a span of 23.47m and a lifting height of 18m. more..

'UN has irrefutable evidence on exact casualties in Lanka, but is ignoring them'

June 18 (Island) The UN was having irrefutable evidence that would contradict the much touted allegation that indiscriminate military action had caused the deaths of 40,000 civilians during the last phase of the war on the Vanni east front, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said. Pointing out that that many referred to the January-May 19, 2009 period as the final phase, he said that the UN mission in Colombo had more..

Sectarian violence in south declared off-limits for media

June 18 (RSF) The Sri Lankan authorities asked the local media not to cover the clashes between Buddhists and Moslems that erupted in the southern region of Aluthgama on the night of 15 June. A curfew was also imposed in an attempt to contain a situation described by the govt as “tense.” Although the media have been asked not to report the truth about these and other events of late, coverage of the clashes in Aluthgama has been posted on websites that are blocked in Sri Lanka but more..

JHU wants all religious asylum seekers deported

June 18 (Island) JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday requested the govt to deport all religious asylum seekers specially from India, the Maldives and Pakistan as it could be a tremendous problem to Sri Lanka. His comments were made following violent clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwala on Sunday. In 2013 around 1,200,000 tourists had arrived in Sri Lanka. Among them around 400,000 tourists were from India, the Maldives and Pakistan. more..