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Development: The panacea or the plague

June 21 (NS) Development has been an ever present feature in the social debate in every country in the world irrespective of developmental status since the culmination of the last Great War in 1945. The drive to development in the modern era can be classified as materialistically motivated by the policy orientation which has been adopted by governments the world over. From the emphasis placed upon Industrialization and Rapid Capital Accumulation as the ends as opposed to the means of more..

Sri Lanka Sumithrayo: 40 years of listening

June 21 (NS) Sarah’s husband had just told her that he intends to divorce her with three children, as he has found another girl who loves him more than she does. Sarah is devastated, worried and frustrated with her life. “I eloped and got married to him as my parents were against the affair. I gave up my job after the first child. My family is still angry and is not in contact with me. How can I go back to them? But how do I take care of my kids? more..

Editorial: Unstoppable psychos

June 21 (Island) Prabhakaran is long dead and his mindless violence is a thing of the past. But, the country is not yet free from terrorism as has been seen from Sunday’s violence. Close on the heels of anti-Muslim attacks in Alutgama and Beruwala has come a dastardly assault on a Buddhist monk—not by non-Buddhists but by a group in yellow robes, according to the victim. Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera was abducted, assaulted and dumped on a road in the early hours of Thursday. more..

Merv’s conjugal path to ethnic harmony

June 21 (Island) The question of ethnic harmony may have bothered us from as far back as the 1950s, or even earlier, and many are the theories that have been put forward to ensure the peace and harmony we seek. Dr. Colvin R de Silva is on record stating "one language, two nations and two languages one nation" at the height of the language issue debate. There are others who have disagreed with him and insist that one language, that of the majority, is the only path to achieve this goal, more..

Cornel’s 16-year-long battle against Colombo Hilton ends

June 21 (ST) A 16-year-old case filed by Cornel Perera and Co, who introduced the Colombo Hilton hotel in the early 1980s, against the hotel’s owning company and others, was dismissed by the Colombo District Court on May 26. The case was filed in March 1998 by Cornel & Co seeking an injunction to prevent the implementation of a series of Settlement Agreements entered into between parties other than Cornel&Company more..

Colombo’s real estate market still targets top -end clientele and premium customers

June 21 (ST) Colombo’s real estate market still mainly focuses on residential properties in the upper-income and premium sectors, due to investments being more speculative in nature, with 50% “pure profits” on off plan, or under construction, disposals being common, according to Sri Lanka-based Vox and Co. (Vox), a strategy consultancy operating in multiple sectors locally. Commenting in its recently-issued March 2014 report, titled “Growing Up: Unlocking Colombo’s more..

Anxious wait for Sri Lankan families in Watford after island riots

June 21 (WO) Watford MP Richard Harrington has taken up the concerns of Sri Lankan Muslims in the town after seeing photographs of the "horrific" aftermath of rioting in the county. Sri Lankans in Watford spent a distressing weekend waiting for news of loved-ones after violence erupted in the Western region of the country. Official reports say at least three people were killed and scores were injured in the predominantly Muslim area following a demonstration organised by hardline more..

Jaffna University and Kelani Cables in vital connection

June 21 (Island) Generally, collaboration between a university and a manufacturer of high tension cables, and adjunct equipment, does not occur in the normal course of events. Early this week the exeptional event did take place. An agreement was reached between the University of Jaffna and Kelani Cables for a training programme that would involve training electrical technicians, with input from Uni of Jaffna. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the Crossroads

June 21 (Island) It is evident that after the anti-Muslim action in Alutgama and Beruwela on June 15 and the days following, the Sri Lankan Muslim problem has entered a new phase. There is no need for me to recapitulate the well-known details pointing to the government’s complicity in the anti-Muslim action. Indeed it is more than complicity, and what happened should be properly regarded as a governmental anti-Muslim racist pogrom. What happened is not novel because more..

England's potent attack overcomes errors

June 21 (CI) A maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket is "just the beginning," according to Liam Plunkett. Recalled to the Test side for the first time in seven years in the first Test of this series, he produced a display of pace, skill and heart to prevent embarrassment on the first day of the second Test. England squandered half-a-dozen chances and gambled on inserting Sri Lanka in conditions that offered little to their seamers but, thanks to Plunkett's sustained hostility and more..

Slapstick Sri Lanka give it away

June 21 (CI) As Sri Lanka's hero and nearly-villain from the last over at Lord's came together in the middle in the third session, the innings took a turn toward slapstick. England's quick bowlers launched throat-high bouncers at Nuwan Pradeep, and the batsman made it seem like they were firing cannonballs. He spent more time on the ground than a bank-robbery hostage, but quickly learned to back away instead. more..

Plunkett finds the shock factor

June 21 (CI) Alastair Cook spent most of the time in the second Ashes watching Michael Clarke's never ending orgasm of delight. And at the end, as you might do in a rom-com set in Katz's Deli, he asked for what Clarke was having. He wanted a Mitchell Johnson. Sport teams have quite a clear history in being beaten by a style or tactic, and then trying to replicate it themselves. It is how sport works. It is how music works. It is how movies works. It is how life works. This idea works. Let's do this idea. more..

Maverick monks of Lanka

June 21 (KT) The strange spectacle of monks, of Buddhist monks, actively inciting and mobilising mobs of people with the intention of bringing harm to others became visible again in mid-June, in Sri Lanka, in Aluthgama, urged on by members of the extremist BBS, mobs burned down shops and houses owned by Muslims who had lived there, quite peaceably for several generations. When the attackers finally had their fill of violence, arson and looting, two people were dead more..

Day 1: Plunkett and Broad rattle through SL

June 21 (CI) Stuart Broad became the first England bowler to take two hat-tricks in Test cricket, and only the fourth bowler of all time, as England tore through SL's lower order on the opening day of the Headingley Test. It was a day of thrust and counter thrust, a far cry from the footslogging atmosphere of the opening Test at Lord's and left England with a definite advantage in a Test that will decide outcome of the series. more..

External sector performance – April 2014

June 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s external sector strengthened further in April 2014, with continued foreign currency inflows in the form of earnings from exports, tourism, workers’ remittances, as well as inflows to the financial account. The trade deficit continued to narrow during the first four months of 2014 as a result of healthy growth in exports. The contraction of the trade deficit and higher inflows to services and income accounts contributed to reducing the current account deficit. more..

Testing times for tea

June 21 (FT) The tea industry may have hoped for 2014 to be another outstanding year for production, but the recent setback has evoked mixed sentiments among brokers, with the majority expecting a likely drop in the yearend crop. With unfavourable weather conditions having negatively impacted the crop, resulting in January to April cumulative production dropping to 102.5M/kgs compared to 115.5M/kgs in 2013, the industry expressed it was unlikely the dampened growth could be more..

Murali working on new carrom delivery

June 21 (AFP) Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan says he is working on a new delivery for Australia's top spinner Nathan Lyon and expects it to be perfected for their series against Pakistan. The world's leading Test wicket taker has been helping Lyon in Colombo and this week agreed to join the Australian coaching team more formally for the showdown with Pakistan in UAE in October. He said that mastering the trick of the "doosra", more..

Freak gust of wind brings death to schoolgirl

June 21 (Island) An 11-year-old schoolgirl was killed in a freak accident in the Mahawa police area, on Thursday. She faced the tragedy when she was returning home on her bicycle with her friends and a father of one of them also following in single file in their bicycles after attending a tuition class. Victim, Navodya Herath of Balalla had been run over by a speeding private bus plying to Kurunegala from Galigamuwa after she had fallen off the cycle due to a sudden gust of wind around more..

Carsons group to buy Millers Brewery

June 21 (LBO) Carsons Cumberbatch group said it has struck a deal to buy Millers Brewery Limited, from Cargills Ceylon Plc for 5.15 billion rupees. The acquisition will be through Lion Brewery (Ceylon) and Pearl Springs (Pvt) Ltd. Cargills said in a stock exchange filing that it will give the firm to Carsons, debt free. Cargills acquired the brewer during a credit bubble fired by low interest rates and also invested in improving its facilities, but became more leveraged in the process. more..

President's usual talk: It's Them not Me

June 21 (FT) The entire nation is faced with an unfortunate situation because some politicians don’t have the reconciliation which exists among the people in this country, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “Some politicians want to betray the country for their narrow political ends, he added. Those who pretend to represent the nation merely for power betray the country in the international forums, the President said. more..

'Religion for transformation, not oppression'

June 21 (DN) "Religion tends to become more like an item that can be bought in the supermarkets of the search for self satisfaction, and tends to be measured on its usefulness to humanity to live one's life here on earth without any commitment to personal and societal transformation, a kind of religion a la Carte. Then there is also the other tendency, in reaction to the above mentioned marginalization, to make religion a basis of justification for oppression, dominance, more..

Fully equipped language labs for universities

June 21 (GDI) Minister SB Dissanayake told Parliament that action had been initiated to establish fully-equipped language laboratories in all universities. He said that the University of Peradeniya already had a language lab but action had been taken to construct a sophisticated language laboratory for the use of students of the Arts Faculty under Higher Education for 21st Century Project by the end of this year. University of Kelanaiya has four multimedia language labs. more..

'US creating a Taliban in Sri Lanka'

June 21 (DM) Similar to how the US nurtured Taliban, which later targeted strategic locations in New York, US Ambassador Michele J. Sison is nurturing the SL Jihadist groups thus jeopardizing the security of not only SL and US but of the entire world, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. “US is repeating the mistakes it made in Afghanistan by distorting Aluthgama incidents and very soon will suffer dire consequences. more..

TNA demands more security

June 21 (CT) The TNA, while welcoming a UNHRC investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka, has requested the visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Atul Keshap, to ensure the safety of those who are expected to give evidence during the proposed investigation. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, MPs Suresh Premachandran, and Selvam Adaikalanathan, met the visiting US State Department official in the presence of more..

Civil society urges Govt. to take urgent action to stop attacks on Muslims

June 21 (FT) We the undersigned organisations, individuals and members of Sri Lankan and international civil society condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest wave of horrific violence led by the extreme right-wing Sinhala Buddhist organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS – The Buddhist Power Force) against the Muslim community of south-western Sri Lanka in the towns of Aluthgama, Beruwala, Welipenna and Dharga Town. According to reliable sources in the area, more..

MR rejects call for banning groups over Alutgama mayhem

June 21 (Island) President Rajapaksa has said that proscription of extremist organisations isn’t a problem, but such action does not guarantee that there won’t be further religious strife. He said so in response to leader of the ACMC and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, at last Thursday’s UPFA party leaders’ meeting. Among those present were Ministers, Basil Rajapaksa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena, Rauff Hakeem, more..

Is the law applied equally everywhere?

June 21 (DM) The incident in which Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekara’s driver was imposed a spot fine by a policeman for driving the vehicle with the Minister in it at high speed and the follow-up incidents are a good case study to identify the way the law is implemented selectively in this country. According to reports the vehicle in which the Minister was driven to Colombo had exceeded the speed limit of the Southern Expressway, violating traffic regulations. more..

Tweets and ‘mechanisms’ will solve no problem

June 21 (DM) Friday Forum is appalled at the violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and other areas over the period June 14-16. Three deaths, an estimated 80 injured and extensive damage to houses and shops have been reported in the international and private media creating fear and tension in the country. We condemn these violent acts and call for the law to take its course with the perpetrators. We welcome the declaration of a curfew in the affected areas and the calls for more..

Swiss cement giant fails to ‘inspire’ Sri Lanka

June 21 (SL) Swiss global cement manufacturer Holcim continues to run aground in its operations in Sri Lanka. Amidst a litany of charges and claims from a variety of fronts, the Swiss-based CEO Bernard Fontana arrived in Sri Lanka ostensibly to formally open a facility in Galle, only to run straight into controversy when his local communications staff at Holcim Lanka blocked attempts by Sunday Leader and Irudina more..

Fowzie wants violence probed

June 21 (CT) Senior Minister of Urban Affairs, A.H.M. Fowzie has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to call for an investigation into the violence that erupted in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town, in order to determine if it was a coup targetting the President. Minister Fowzie had wanted to meet President Rajapaksa at the height of the clashes this week, but had been unable to do so as the President had been in Bolivia, more..

Another Tamil asylum-seeker attempts self-immolation in Melbourne

June 21 (Guardian) Another Tamil asylum-seeker has attempted self-immolation in Melbourne as fear of being returned to torture in Sri Lanka grips the Tamil refugee community in Australia. The man was taken by ambulance to Dandenong Hospital late last night after he splashed petrol on himself and tried to set himself alight at his house in the south-eastern suburb of Noble Park, according to a statement by the Tamil Refugee Council. more..

Rejected by society, shunned by schools, these kids need help

June 21 (ST) As a tug-of-war continues between four ministries, officials are failing to find a way to support children with special needs, especially those with intellectual disabilities. Lacking proper treatment, rejected from schools, and little public awareness of the challenges the children and social stigma the children face, parents are left with very little access to help. Single parent Rajitha Priyadarshini from Kolonnawa has a more..

President to open oil tank farm at Hambantota port tomorrow

June 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will open the Fuel Hydrant System and Aviation Refueling Terminal of the MRIA at Mattala, Hambantota tomorrow, widening the capacity to supply aviation fuel to any large aircraft. "With the launching of this fuel hydrant system and aviation refueling terminal, the CPC will be able to supply fuel with modern technology and high quality assurance to aircraft arriving at MRIA," more..

UNP accuses govt. of mismanaging health sector

June 21 (Island) Main Opposition UNP said in Parliament people were suffering due to the mismanagement of the health sector. Acting Opposition Leader John Amaratunga making a special statement said the country’s health sector was in a mess. Problems of various types cropped up in the health sector every single week. There were countless strikes or agitations and they resulted in various other crises, he added. more..

Dilshan signs for Surrey stint

June 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lankan batsman, will play English domestic cricket for the first time after signing for Surrey as Hashim Amla's replacement. Dilshan, who was part of the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka's current tour, does not play Test cricket any more is likely to make his debut in the Championship match against Hampshire on June 28 and play in the NatWest T20 Blast match against Kent on July 2 before more..

Sri Lanka on US trafficking watch list

June 21 (CG) Sri Lanka has been placed on the Tier 2 watch list in the human trafficking annual report of the US State Department which was released today. The Tier 2 watch list include countries whose govts do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards while the absolute number of victims of more..

Panadura Nolimit store burnt down completely

June 21 (AM) Panadura Nolimit store has been burnt down early this morning. It is the biggest store in the Nolimit chain, owned by a prominent Muslim businessman. Shop has completely been destroyed due to the fire. No body has been injured due to the fire. Although the Police do not give out any information about the exact cause of the fire, eye witnesses say the nature of the fire is suggestive of a petrol bomb attack. more..

Police security withdrawn two weeks before brutal attack on monk

June 21 (Island) Police protection for Ven. Wetarekka Vijitha Thera had been withdrawn two weeks before Thursday’s brutal attack on him. SSP Ajith Rohana, contacted for comment, said that the thera had been given police protection for one and a half months following an attempt by a mob allegedly instigated by the BBS to attack the Thera, at the Mahiyanganaya Pradeshiya Sabha, when he came to attend its sitting in April. more..

Together with all the Christians in Sri Lanka, I say, enough

June 21 (CT) I am deeply perturbed and concerned at the large scale violence unleashed on members of the Muslim community last weekend (15th June 2014), in Aluthgama, Beruwala, Dharga Town, Walpitiya and Welipenna areas. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected in their time of sorrow. This violence was wholly avoidable; that it was allowed to happen brings us shame as a country and as Sri Lankans. God is especially concerned for the victims of this world. more..

Combating religious extremism!

June 21 (CT) Watareka Vijitha Thera, a monk who has been at loggerheads with the extremist Buddhist association, BBS was on Thursday found with grievous injuries, abandoned under a bridge in Hirana, Panadura. The monk was abducted in the previous night from his temple by unidentified men, who reportedly tortured him, before he was dumped in Hirana with his arms and legs bound. Vijitha Thera, who is receiving treatment at the National Hospital has accused the BBS for the attack. more..