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Working together to save their paddylands

June 22 (ST) While communal disharmony simmers in the South, farmer organisations in the East from the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities are working together to save more than 20,000 acres of paddy affected by the prevailing drought. The dry spell has resulted in the Mavil Aru anicut (watergate), a tributary of the Mahaweli river not getting sufficient water. This has affected over 22,500 acres of paddy lands in the Verugal, Serunuwara and Muttur areas. more..

'IGP must resign or I will'

June 22 (AD) UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma accused BBS Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero of throwing “straw” into an already ignited fire in Aluthgama and the govt of pouring “petrol” on to it. MP also demanded the resignation of IGP N.K. Illangakoon over the recent clashes which broke out in Aluthgama and Beruwala and said if the police chief does not step down he will resign from parliament. more..

Case against SL Navy filed in Tamil Nadu

June 22 (Hindu) The marine police of the Coastal Security Group (CSG) have registered an attempt-to-murder case against the Sri Lankan Navy for sinking a fishing boat and forcing five fishermen to jump into the sea on Thursday. On a complaint lodged by A. Baviyan, on whose name the sunken boat was registered (IND TN 10 MM 038), the marine police have registered an FIR charging the Lankan Navy with Sections 3 and 4 of the Tamil Nadu Property Act, more..

'I wrote songs for ’71 generation'

June 22 (LT) He didn't directly take part in the ’71 uprising but he loved the struggle carried out by youths in 1971 without expecting any gains says Prof. Sunil Ariyaratna participating in an interview with a weekend newspaper. He said he wrote lyrics praising the 1971 uprising and the youths who took part in it. “I loved the uprising despite not directly joining it. This is why songs like ‘පිළිම නෙළා නැති විරුවන්’ (Heroes who had no statues fashioned after them) were written by me. more..

Three student activists remanded

June 22 (NS) Former Convener of the IUSF, Sanjeewa Bandara and two other student activists were remanded till June 23 for allegedly threatening security officers at the Peradeniya University. Police media unit said the three were remanded after being produced before the Kandy Magistrate’s Court on charges of threatening three campus security officers, obstructing them from carrying out their duties and for unlawful entry more..

GMOF deeply perturbed over unfortunate developments

June 22 (Island) The Government Medical Officers Forum (GMOF) yesterday said that it is deeply perturbed over the attacks on a section of the community, whose safety and wellbeing as citizens of Sri Lanka have come under threat. Expressing profound concern over the unfortunate developments, the GMOF noted in a statement that it is the bounden duty of the govt to ensure the security of all citizens, whatever their ethnicity or religious beliefs may be. more..

Sri Lanka warned it may suffer same fate as Vietnam

June 22 (LBO) SL's Communist Party recognized Vietnam's claims to islands which are at a centre of a dispute with China a top official said, amid warnings that Sri Lanka could suffer the same fate from aggressive large nations. "As far as we are concerned we recognize the right of the Vietnamese govt to claim these islands," Communist Party chief Raja Collure told a meeting of Sri Lanka Vietnam Friendship Association. "We cannot in the present circumstance partake in the dispute. more.. launched

June 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka Apparel Brands Association (SLABA), launched Sri Lanka’s first ever Sri Lanka Apparel Brands portal with a view of developing Sri Lankan apparel industry under the patronage of Minister Basil Rajapakse and a large gathering of key apparel industry players at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo. “Sri Lanka’s retail apparel market today is estimated to be in the region of US$ 2 billion. more..

Brazil to help Sri Lanka without intrusion

June 22 (SO) Minister G.L. Peiris met the Defence Minister of Brazil Celso Amorim on the sidelines of the G77 Summit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Two Ministers discussed appropriate areas of defence co-operation including training and patrolling. Brazilian Minister noted that there was genuine interest in both countries to enhance co-operation and towards this end, he encouraged better exchange of information. Peiris reiterated that SL welcomed defence co-operation with Brazil, more..

University of Ruhuna to resume activity

June 22 (NF) The University of Ruhuna that was temporarily closed owing to concerns related to the security of students will resume activity in four faculties on Monday. Professor Gamini Senanayake , vice-chancellor of the university, says that the faculties that are due to commence activities on Monday include the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Management and Finance faculty and the faculties of Ocean Sciences and Technology. more..

Police claim Watareka staged attack

June 22 (CG) Police claim investigations had revealed that the venerable Watareka vijitha thero, a Buddhist monk who openly spoke against the BBS, had staged the attack on him last week. SSP Ajith Rohana said today that legal action is to be filed against the monk over the alleged attack. The monk was was found assaulted and left on the road in the Panadura area last week with his hands tied to the back and cut wound on his body. more..

Sri Lanka's foreign reserves at US$8.9bn in April 2014

June 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rose to US$ 8.9 billion in June 2014 from 8.05 billion in March, boosted by foreign borrowings and weak credit that reduced outflows. Central Bank said foreign reserves were now equal to 5.9 months of imports. The central bank has been buying dollars heavily in the forex market as weak credit curtailed imports and the trade gap narrowed, amid a pick-up in exports. In April, the govt the govt also sold a 500 million US dollars sovereign bond, more..

Sri Lanka police hit back after media flak over anti-Muslim riots

June 22 (AFP) Sri Lankan police announced Sunday they were tightening security in the capital after local media, in a rare show of unity, condemned them for failing to control Buddhist extremists behind deadly anti-Muslim riots. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said security would be stepped up in Colombo Monday following reports that a Muslim group was planning a demonstration to denounce an alleged arson attack at a Muslim-owned shop over the weekend. more..

TNA shares key information with UN

June 22 (CG) TNA says it shared with the UN information related to the war and post war situation in the north. The information had been shared at a meeting held between a TNA delegation and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco today. The TNA had met the UN official yesterday but another meeting was scheduled for today for more discussions. Fernandez-Taranco has told the more..

Dengue Prevention Program ends today

June 22 (NS) A three-day Dengue Prevention Program which was conducted by the Emergency Dengue Prevention Presidential Task Force comes to an end today. Emergency Dengue Prevention Presidential Task Force which was formed in order to curb the Dengue epidemic in the island. Task Force had planned to cover 84 Grama Niladari divisions in Colombo and almost all the Grama Niladari divisions in Gampaha and Kalutara districts as the most number of cases have been more..

BBS wants Champika Ranawaka to be the 'Sinhalese' president

June 22 (AM) BBS and several Sinhala-Buddhist organizations have started a social media campaign promoting JHU stalwart Minister Champika Ranawaka as the next "President of Sri Lanka". BBS backed social media pages state that Sri Lanka needs a 'Sinhalalese President' to rescue the nation from "various challenges" that have emerged not only from without, but also from within. In his controversial speech in Aluthgama just before the clashes, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thero more..

Sri Lankan filmmaker seeks Jayalalithaa's help to screen With You Without You in TN

June 22 (TOI) The screening of Sri Lankan film "With You Without You" was cancelled in Chennai on Saturday after officials at two multiplexes received threat calls from Tamil groups. "With You, Without You" is an Indo-Sri Lanka joint collaboration directed by acclaimed Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage. Rahul Roy, a prominent documentary filmmaker from Delhi and the co-producer of the movie, and Vithanage more..

Mission redemption need of the hour

June 23 (SL) AFTER Sri Lanka’s winless Asian Five Nations rugby campaign last month, the SLRFU, if serious about improving fortunes, ought to tagline the forthcoming Asian Seven series: Mission Redemption. The hard-earned reputation of last year is all but in tatters and begs the union’s commitment to restoration. 2013 had been a good year, with promotion to Asia’s top division high on the list of achievements. Although highfalutin claims of World Cup qualifications were more..

Police powers and 13-A

June 23 (SL) Independent of claims to the contrary, the events and developments of the past week and beyond would show that Police powers in the hands of the provinces by itself alone need not be an unsustainable proposition. They have shown that the Centre too need to exercise precaution and pre-emptive responsibilities in ensuring that the Police powers now exclusively available to it ensure law and order across the country. It is easy to dismiss the riots and communal clashes more..

'Promoting harmony is everyone's responsibility'

June 23 (SO) Prof. Rohan Gunaratna who specialises in terrorism, fundamentalism and religious extremism, says Sri Lanka must immediately pass laws to counter emerging threats from religious and communal extremism. “The greatest challenge to Sri Lanka after the state dismantled the LTTE is communalism in the north and sectarianism in the south.“ “In the larger national and strategic interest of building the Sri Lankan identity more..

'Social harmony key for growth of financial sector'

June 23 (Island) As an asset class, Private Equity across both developed and emerging economies has generated annual returns of around 13% over the last decade. However, for the industry to sustain itself, a nation’s people should also invest in their own health, keep up appropriate rates of reproduction, and should invest in social harmony, without which, all the efforts to build a world class financial sector will not be possible, Steven Enderby, CEO, Hema’s Holdings said. more..

CB clarifies on debt sustainability: But it begs more questions than ones answered

June 23 (CT) Central Bank in a right move has clarified the debt sustainability issues raised by this writer in a previous My View by means of a Press Release. The My View under reference was a critique of a previous press release issued by the bank on 13 May, informing the public of the improvement of the country’s external debt sustainability numbers. My View brought to focus the discrepancy in the debt sustainability numbers in the bank’s Annual Report for 2013. more..

Aluthgama: Let us all stay within slapping distance

June 23 (NS) The BBS holds a rally following an ‘incident’. A second, more violent incident follows. That’s an easy line to draw, i.e. from BBS to violence. It holds. The language, the whipping up of emotions, creation and/or exacerbation of apprehensions regarding another community do not add up to prthagjanas reverting to the foundational tenets, especially wisdom and compassion, or the inhabiting of the sathara brahma viharana more..

Time to contain racial violence

June 23 (NS) The recent events at Aluthgama where a minor incident flared into racial riots that left two people dead, dozens injured and many properties burnt to the ground are a sinister sign that ethnic harmony in the country is a distant dream at this point in time. Many questions are being asked about the incident itself, the most pertinent among them being why a meeting of the BBS organization was allowed to go ahead in Aluthgama when even govt ministers themselves were more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

June 23 (NS) The Bodu Bala Sena is in a fix. Having done enough chest-thumbing, arms-throwing, spewing invective and inciting people to violence, the BBS is now forced to deal with the monster it helped create. There are BBS clones using the ‘BBS’ tag sprouting in various parts of the island. The BBS says ‘not us’. Well, that may be the case, but the rhetoric is word-for-word scripted from BBS (official) speeches. Now what, BBS? Days after the announcement that Sri Lanka had decided to more..

'Victims must be compensated'

June 23 (SL) With the mayhem that was caused by mobs in the Aluthgama and Beruwela areas last week, various parties have expressed their displeasure regarding the indifference shown by the law enforcement authorities. Even politicians within the govt have voiced their displeasure at the incident and have called for action to be taken against the BBS. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that his party had appealed more..

Editorial: Time for Sangha to act decisively

June 23 (Island) The govt has reportedly decided to appoint a high level commission to investigate violence against Muslims. A thorough probe is, no doubt, called for, especially into the recent incidents, but people have lost faith in such investigations over the years. For, nothing usually comes of them and successive govts have made use of them to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. What needs to be done is to have the masterminds of ethnic violence arrested and prosecuted forthwith. more..

Re: 40,000 reasons why Sri Lanka is no model for Nigeria

June 23 (Leadership) The knack by some foreign writers, especially the ones now hiding under the banner of human rights watch to willfully twist facts and deliberately impute ulterior motives all with a view to discrediting Nigeria’s counter-insurgency operation is becoming legendary. For instance, a certain Andrew Stroehlein has written an article in this spirit captioned “40,000 Reasons Why Sri Lanka is No Model for Nigeria”, published in the Human Rights Watch news publication . more..

Army provides welfare facilities to Kataragama Pada Yathris

June 23 (Island) The military has arranged welfare facilities for the participants of the Kataragama ‘Pada Yathra’ as the first group reached Kumana and crossed the Kummbukan Oya to enter the Yala jungles on Friday. Army, assisted by the police, will provide security until the pilgrims reach the Ruhunu-Kataragama Maha Devalaya for the annual festivities scheduled to commence next Saturday, more..

Lankan among 118 illegal residents in Pakistan

June 23 (CG) At least 118 illegal residents, including a Sri Lankan national, were arrested during a massive search operation on Sunday in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tribal region in Pakistan. SSP Najeeb-ur-Rehman said more than 700 police officials, including lady police personnel, and sniffer dogs took part in the operation in Hayatabad Township. Rehman said that the operation in North Waziristan was also a reason that the suspects intrude in posh Township areas. more..

Maskeliya Plantations mulls fruit, cinnamon exports

June 23 (CT) Maskeliya Plantations, a subsidiary of Richard Peiris Group, in an bid to further diversify its export portfolio has invested Rs 16 million in Bandarawela for fruit and cinnamon cultivation. "We have used an extent in the Bandarawela region, which has low elevation and marginal teas, where we have cultivated 27 hectares of pears, oranges and mandarins, which we will be supplying to local and export markets," Richard Peiris Plantations Sector Group Managing Director more..

Sanga equals consecutive Test fifty record

June 23 (CI) When Kumar Sangakkara arrived at the crease on day three, Liam Plunkett hurled a rocket at his chest. The Headingley pitch had been misbehaving since the second afternoon, and this was one of its naughtiest moments. The game's fastest bowler was provoking it to mischief. In the first innings, Lahiru Thirimanne had got a similar delivery first-up, and he fended a catch to short leg. Given abysmal series Thirimanne more..

Blood on Bodu Bala robe

June 23 (ST) Today the BBS stands in the dock indicted with the heinous charge of attempting to return this nation to the blood-soaked barbaric age of violence from which it had risen so recently. It stands accused of repeated anti-Muslim attacks that have now resulted in inevitable bloodshed and death; and it stands condemned for outraging the religious sensitivities of the Buddhists by presenting to the world’s reproach and contempt, its distorted, savage and warped version as the sworn more..

Dangerously fraught chapter in post-war SL

June 23 (ST) The atrocity that is Aluthgama 2014 happened at the instigation of outsiders brought into the area. That much is clear. As said by stricken Sinhala and Muslim residents, ‘this had no involvement with our communities, we live next to each other; but when outsiders came and attacked, everyone was attacking each other.’ Put baldly, a simple altercation between two local groups, a Buddhist monk with his driver and a few Muslim youths, spiraled out of control due to more..

Staffing professionals for hotels hits crisis

June 23 (ST) The lack of a new professional breed of specially trained hotel staff has become a growing concern among Sri Lankan hoteliers as most are found to be moving out faster than they get in. The industry in the post-war era is currently looking at serving 2.5 million visitors by 2016 but retaining staff has become an issue since most employees were found to be leaving for better prospects in other hotels within or more..

Cross party young MPs denounce hate speech

June 23 (FT) A group of young MPs from the Govt and opposition have, in a joint statement, denounced speeches that instigate hate especially through the use of media and social media, which they say could only lead to irreversible actions that are often guided by rage and anger. The MPs from the ‘Forum’ have urged all citizens to act in restraint and to remain calm and wise despite the recent circumstances. Young Political Leaders’ Forum includes UPFA MP Vasantha Senanayake, more..

Nature’s Secrets funds research projects at Peradeniya Uni

June 23 (ST) Nature’s Beauty Creations, touted as Sri Lanka’s top herbal cosmetics brand ‘Nature’s Secrets’, is allocating a part of its funds for research studies. The ‘Nature’s Secrets Research Award’ is a concept that is aligned with the company’s commitment to promote applied research that would be beneficial to the country. “Although local universities produce a large number of scientists financial allocations for research and development as a percentage of GDP is minute. more..

'Extensive plans to develop Uva Province'

June 23 (FT) Govt has focused special attention on the development of the Uva Province and extensive plans are in place to improve all sectors, President Rajapaksa said on Saturday. He said the province has experienced a significant development during last year as many development projects have been implemented in the Badulla district and Govt has plans to develop the infrastructure facilities, health, education, more..

Will Sri Lanka become a killing field again?

June 23 (CT) According to Karuna Amman there had been only 80 LTTE armed cadres by July 1983. JR who did almost nothing to protect the Tamils and their properties during the Black July Days in 1983 had no alternative but to send those who managed to save their lives to the Northern and Eastern provinces. It is in the public domain that a large number of Tamil youths who were sent to the North and East willingly joined the LTTE either to get revenge on the Sinhalese or on the belief that more..

Moeen hints at his future worth

June 23 (CI) The knives were out for Moeen Ali long before he bowled on Sunday afternoon. "He's useless," the pundit in the press box roared when Alastair Cook finally threw Moeen the ball. "He can't bat and he certainly can't bowl." The pundit's opinion is, up to a point, understandable. Having heard the England coach, Peter Moores, describe the spin position as "a weakness" after the Lord's Test and having heard the captain, Cook, describe the spin position as "a cause for concern," more..