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Maithri takes on the Bodu bala sena

June 21 (CT) having built a reputation for having been very vocal against minority religions, has been categorized as a terrorist group by international organizations such as Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC). TRAC had said they had assessed BBS on their statements, levels of intolerance towards other religions and other accusations of BBS members getting involved in acts of violence against more..

Has history repeated itself?

June 21 (CT) One would wonder whether history repeats itself, exactly in the same manner, observing the riots against Muslims in Aluthgama a few days ago. In 1915, the first communal riots against Muslims broke out when a Buddhist procession was interrupted by Muslims, when it was proceeding through an area where the Muslims lived in the hill capital Kandy. The riots spread to other areas such as North Western, Western, Southern and Sabragamuwa Provinces. more..

Separate DNA testing unit to tag animals

June 21 (Island) Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Wijayamuni Zoyza told Parliament that a separate DNA testing unit would be set up under his ministry in order to issue DNA identification tags for each elephant. The minister said the govt research institutions were currently doing DNA tests on registered elephants. Minister said that he had received reports that many jumbos were held illegally by some owners by furnishing false information to the ministry. more..

Sri Lanka propose new plans for 2017 Asian Youth Games

June 21 (ITG) Sri Lanka has proposed hosting most of the 2017 Asian Youth Games in Colombo with the rest taking place in Hambantota, the city originally awarded the event. Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is close to stripping Sri Lanka of the event because of the lack of organisational progress, including setting-up an Organising Committee. National Olympic Committee of SL chairman Hemasiri Fernando now plans to more..

President needs evidence; listen to this barbaric, uncultured so called ‘monk’

June 21 (CT) Finally, after all these atrocities against innocent Muslims in Aluthgama, President Rajapaksa has requested Muslim MPs to produce evidence for the racist attacks. This is a rather sarcastic, mocking request from our President. One wonders, where does our president live? Does he live in Sri Lanka or on another planet? It is self-evident that all these racist attacks are carried out by BBS cohorts following the inflammatory speech of its Secretary General. more..

No UNP backing, No Sobhitha Thera

June 21 (SM) Though Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera has initially expressed willingness to become the common candidate of the opposition, the Thera has decided not to do so if the UNP does not back the move, reports say. Party sources say that the UNP as well as other political parties joined under the 'Wipakshaye Wirodhaya' might not back the move to name Sobhitha Thera as the common candidate. Leaders of the opposition have recently discussed about naming a common more..

Is Muslim identity a liability in Sri Lanka?

June 21 (AJ) Never again 1983! Sri Lankans had so resolved after the horrors of the July 1983 - the darkest and the bloodiest month in the island nation's post-independence history, the month that plunged this country into a 26-year separatist war, the month that brought an international shame on the South Asian country. Even when Buddhism's holiest shrine in Sri Lanka - the Temple of the Tooth, the Buddhist equivalent of Muslim Mecca more..

SC affirms judgment in favour of Ambewela

June 21 (Island) The Supreme Court has affirmed Commercial High Court judgment in favour of Lanka Milk Foods subsidiary Ambewela Livestock Company against MARKFED in 100 MT potato seedling dispute with heavy costs. In the action instituted by Ambewela Livestock Company Limited against the Sri Lanka Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited (MARKFED) in the Commercial High Court of Colombo, the Plaintiff Ambewela Livestock Company Limited succeeded in more..

'This govt has no need for intellectuals'

June 21 (LT) The President, who appoints fraudsters and others who have involved in various irregularities as presidential coordinating secretaries and legal advisers, has no use for intellectuals says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. Education is not a necessary factor to the present government when an environment is created to revere black economy he added. He said this delivering the Memorial Day address at the National Student Heroes Day commemoration more..

Rs.41 million to sustain 38 presidential consultants

June 21 (DM) Govt has spent as much as Rs.41 million to sustain 38 officials appointed as consultants to President Rajapaksa on various subjects during the past three years, Parliament was informed. Minister Gunwardene disclosed these figures in response to a question asked by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake who asked it for the second time. He said the govt already spent a colossal amount of money to maintain more..

Audio: 'Bankrupt govt. creates canards against JVP'

June 21 (LT) The UPFA govt that is fast moving towards bankruptcy is fabricating canards against the JVP says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. He said this regarding the fabrications created by the presidential media unit to discredit the JVP. The presidential media unit in an announcement stated today morning that a group of JVP activists joined the SLFP after meeting the President and last Sunday the ‘Silumina’ had as its front page lead a canard discrediting JVP leader Anura Dissanayaka. more..

'Objective view of Sri Lankan issues needed'

June 21 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris met the Vice-President of Costa Rica Ana Echeverr on the sidelines of the G77 Summit in Bolivia. Minister explained that the purpose of the meeting was to update on developments that have taken place in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict. He highlighted the disproportionate and intense pressure placed on SL by a segment of the international community through UNHRC, which did not acknowledge the achievements despite many challenges. more..

Legal constraints prevent revealing names

June 21 (DM) Govt in Parliament declined to reveal the names of Ministers accused of bribery charges since 2005, due to legal constraints. UNP MP Dunesh Gankanda raised a question in this regard, asking for the names of such ministers accused of bribery charges. He also asked about the number of complaints made against them with the Bribery Commission. However, Minsiter Dinesh Gunawardane said such details could not be more..

Unions divided on what is essential for govt. hospitals

June 21 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) claimed that the inability of govt hospitals to perform a crucial test to identify dengue compelled the public to got to private laboratories. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya said that the Dengue Antigen Test which helped identify dengue was not performed in most govt hospitals. It is available to patients seeking free medical health care only at the Negombo Base Hospital and the Medical Research Institute. more..

Law enforcement postponed on banned flavouring substances due to lobbying

June 21 (Island) Medical experts warn that children are prone to kidney complications as some food items consumed by them contain food flavouring substances and flavouring enhancers harmful to their health. Nutritionist Dr. Mrs. Renuka Jayatissa said that a special gazette notification had been issued on Feb 1, 2013 to ban artificial flavouring substances and flavouring enhancers under the section 31 of the Food Act No. 26 of 1980 in consultation with Food Advisory Committee, more..

By way of tax inconsistencies in past 5 years govt loses Rs.40 Bn

June 21 (DM) Tax inconsistencies on cigarettes over the past five years has resulted in the Govt losing nearly Rs.40 billion and as such it is vital to formulate a systematic method of taxation and a comprehensive pricing system for cigarettes, a leading economist said yesterday. Economist and Researcher Dr. Nishan De Mel said taxes should be increased so that the Government could collect a larger revenue. more..

Buddhist of SE Asia donate 200 cows to low income families in Kilinochchi

June 21 (Island) Buddhists in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong distributed 200 cows among low income Kilinochchi civilians at the Harmony Centre, Kilinochchi on Monday during a ceremony presided by Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, Chairman, Sri Bodhi Raja Foundation. Monks and representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong at the invitation of Ven. Dr. Omalpe Thera, together with a few foreign TV channels had sponsored more..

ADB President, Nakao visits Colombo Port expansion project

June 21 (DN) A team headed by the President of ADB, Takehiko Nakao visited Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) on Wednesday. ADB has granted a soft loan of US$ 300 million for the harbour infrastructure works of the Colombo Port Expansion Project (SLPA) and closely worked with SLPA in successful completion of the project in time. SLPA has spent US$ 100 million in addition to the ADB loan in this regard. ADB President appreciated the development works of SLPA more..

President's usual talk: 'I will appoint high-level panel on Aluthgama incident'

June 21 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that he will be appointing a high-level panel to inquire into the recent disturbances in Aluthgama and Beruwala areas. “I will be appointing a high-level panel to inquire into recent disturbances,” the President said in his official Twitter and Facebook accounts. At least two persons died and over 40 other were injured following religious clashes in Aluthgama more..

Minorities in Sri Lanka face growing terror

June 21 (GN) The region is deeply engrossed in events around Iraq and the implication of a wider scale sectarian conflict that may spill across several borders. Lost in the quagmire of such a troubling issue is the conflict against minorities, and particularly Muslim minorities, in several countries. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) a body of 45 Muslim member countries was formed some 45 years ago to deal with such issues. Although its founding members agreed on more..

UNP to maintain focus on Uva polls

June 21 (CG) UNP says the immediate focus of the party is on the Uva PC elections and not a Presidential election. UNP MP John Amarathunga said the UNP has not taken any decision on the candidate for the next presidential election nor have they given any consideration over backing a common candidate. “We have not taken any decision on who would be the candidate of the party for the next presidential election. We have also not considered as to whether we will support more..

Video: Sajith wants ‘eternal full stop’ to extremism in Sri Lanka

June 21 (AD) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa today called on the President, govt and security forces to take necessary action in order to put an “eternal full stop” to extremism in Sri Lanka. The shameful incidents which took place in our country in the past couple of days are extremely harmful to the country and its people, he said. “They are an insult, disgrace and shame to the entire country.” “I would especially like to make a request to more..

Sri Lankan courts remand arrested Indian fishermen to custody

June 21 (PTI) At least 46 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy this week for allegedly poaching into the country's water have been sent to judicial custody by courts in the country's north. The fishermen were produced before the Mannar and Trincomalee Magistrates' Courts yesterday. They were arrested by SL Navy on June 19 from two different locations in the country. 22 of the fishermen will remain in judicial custody until June 27 while 24 others have been remanded till July 2, more..

Mahinda to visit Maldives next week

June 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa has decided to visit the Maldives on Wednesday. President will be staying in the Maldives for two days. No details on the purpose or nature of his visit were immediately clear. Rajapaksa’s intention to visit the Maldives was first announced when President Abdulla Gayoom had met him in India at the sidelines of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony. President had last visited the Maldives during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s rule in 2010. more..

External experts yet to be confirmed

June 21 (CG) The external experts to advise and support the investigation team of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the war in Sri Lanka, have yet to be finalised. OHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville said that once the experts have been confirmed OHCHR will make a formal announcement on the team and the commencement of investigations. In addition to providing more..

UNP and JVP's great betrayal bared

June 22 (SO) The true colours of the UNP and the JVP were bared when they abstained from voting on Wednesday after the two-day parliamentary debate against the proposed investigation on the alleged war crimes by a UNHRC panel. The motion, submitted by nine MPs against the UNHRC investigation, was adopted with a massive majority of 134 votes. It received 144 votes in favour and 10 members voted against. 37 members abstained from voting while 33 members were absent. more..

Take immediate action against BBS

June 22 (SL) Religious extremism and racial violence are the horrendous forces that threaten the political stability of the Asian and African continents and even other continents as well, bringing in its wake death, destruction and suffering. Islamic extremism in North East China’s Xinjiang province, Afghanistan and other Central Asian regions through the Middle East right down to African countries like Nigeria and Kenya has severely destabilised these countries. more..

'Sri Lanka can resolve its own issues'

June 22 (SO) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Govt is not prepared to accept the proposed UNHRC probe against Sri Lanka. He said we are ready to face the consequences and ready to take up the challenge because we have a strong basis on which we are working. Therefore, we feel that our course of action is right. We have explained over and over again that we are a sovereign nation and the reason for more..

Sitting on a tinder box

June 22 (Island) Sri Lanka was only a few weeks away from the 31st anniversary of the July 1983 race riots which blackened the country’s image globally, strengthened the LTTE immeasurably and prolonged the civil war that ended five years ago when incidents at Beruwela and Aluthgama exploded. Fortunately, unlike in July `83 the tense situation was quickly brought under control but not before it caused three or four deaths, scores injured and substantial property damage. more..

Rights and wrongs of the UNP position

June 22 (NS) Some may believe that it was a masterstroke by the Govt to go to Parliament with the issue of the team appointed by the UNHRC. The ruling party has the number. Secondly, the opposition (barring the TNA of course) would be caught in a bind because if they oppose the Govt’s position it would amount to (or at least interpreted as amounting to) complicity in ill-willed, pernicious, selective action against Sri Lanka by sections of the international community which, more..

'BBS actions contrary to buddhist teachings'

June 22 (SL) With the Aluthgama incident the BBS has come under severe criticism from numerous quarters regarding the behaviour of General Secretary of BBS Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. The leader of the BBS Venerable Kirama Wimalajothi Thero said that he did not condone the actions of Ven. Gnanasara Thero and said that by what they had done brought disrepute to Buddhism. He said that Ven. Gnanasara Thero’s actions more..

Buddhism betrayed by extremist monks

June 22 (ST) It is the supreme irony of our time that, in claiming to defend Buddhism, a handful of monks with their hate speech and instigation to violence have managed to do quite the opposite. The mob attacks this week on Muslim houses and businesses in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town drew international censure. Attracting equal, if not more alarm was video footage of a radical Buddhist monk spewing revulsion and animosity at the Muslim community during a public rally just hours more..

Stop dark June from becoming Black July

June 22 (ST) My Dear Mahinda maama, I thought I must write to you because, while you were visiting Bolivia, Aluthgama was burning. Now, two people are dead, a lot of property has been destroyed and there are many questions that need urgent answers. I know you visited Aluthgama soon after you returned from overseas, despite having a busy schedule. I am sure you would have reassured everyone with your characteristic charm that all would be well, eventually-and it made for more..

Boston Lanka: June 21, 2013

Allies abandon Govt. in its Motion against UNHRC intervention

June 22 (ST) Govt could not have chosen a worse time to bring a Motion to Parliament with the hope of winning bipartisan support against moves by the UNHRC to begin an international investigation against SL. Far from winning any new support, Govt, in fact, lost support for the Motion from its own constituent parties, in the wake of the flare up of violence against the Muslim community living in the Aluthgama and Beruwela areas, that coincided with the two-day debate in the House. more..

Clearing path to take up motion for debate

June 22 (NS) A special meeting of party leaders was held at the Parliamentary complex on Friday. Summoned at short notice it was so special because the intention of the meeting was to change a previously agreed plan regarding the next sitting week. Going by the previous schedule there were plans to take up for discussion a motion submitted by nine UPFA members, which showed disapproval against a UNHRC investigation to be held against Sri Lanka. more..

‘We didn’t start the fire’

June 22 (NS) In the wake of fears that communal tensions may once again be on the rise post-Aluthgama and Beruwala violence, the BBS, already under intense criticism and scrutiny over its alleged role in the unrest, asked the country’s citizens to stop engaging in provocations and violence ‘immediately’. Addressing a media briefing, Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera appealed to Sinhalese not to be misled by rumors more..

Cabinet meeting heated over Aluthgama

June 22 (SL) Addressing the meeting of religious representatives, President Rajapaksa said there would be a comprehensive inquiry into the incident and the perpetrators would certainly be punished. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped into the Regional Secretariat of Beruwala, fresh from his visit to Bolivia, even the President’s Media Unit did not know that the President had decided to visit the areas that were affected by violent clashes between Sinhalese and Muslim groups. more..

Alutgama: Early warning for govt

June 22 (Island) When this writer logged onto the Colombo US Embassy website at 8.30pm on Friday, we found a statement issued on 16 June which went as follows: "The U.S. Embassy condemns the violence that has spread over the weekend in Alutgama and Beruwela. We urge the govt to ensure that order is preserved and the lives of all citizens, places of worship, and property are protected. We urge the authorities to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice. more..

Eranga leads Sri Lanka's survivors

June 22 (CI) The Sri Lankan community in Leeds is small and scattered. Only a smattering turned out at a sold-out Headingley on Saturday. It is partly because the Sri Lanka fans abroad are yet to develop a taste for days out at a Test, much like the hordes at home. Maybe there are more pragmatic reasons as well. This Sri Lanka team, with this bowling attack, will inevitably spend long, tortuous days in the field. more..