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Aluthgama: Thinking about co-existence and resistance in a time of crisis

June 25 (CT) I come from a community that was both a victim and a villain in the thirty-year civil war that unsettled all of us. We were victims because the Sri Lankan state killed thousands of us, grabbed our lands and made us homeless; we were villains as we could not question the LTTE strongly when the movement massacred members of the Sinhala and Muslim communities and members of our own community who refused to conform to the movement’s ideology. more..

'New Act to provide universal access to education'

June 25 (SO) "The Ministry of Education has planned several development programs to improve the education sector. The thousand secondary schools development project and the introduction of the new A/L technology stream are some of the vital measures undertaken by the Ministry. Five thousand primary feeder schools around these secondary schools will also be developed. There will be a well-planned more..

MR was worried about Muslim rights when LTTE held sway

June 25 (CT) President J.R. Jayewardene also shared this fear that the Muslims in the Eastern Province might support the LTTE. But Muslims never supported the LTTE. Prabhakaran did not trust the Muslims. In the initial stage of his insurgency, Prabhakaran needed the support of the Muslims to infiltrate the Eastern Province. Farook, a resident of Akkaraipattu, joined the LTTE as its first Muslim member. He was soon promoted to Captain. Hasan of Trincomalee and Anna of Jaffna more..

Political and computer ‘jillmarts’ in the offing

June 25 (SL) The talk in Colombo’s Chattering class is slowly but surely zeroing in on elections, not the one in the Uva but the big two that are to follow. Yes, Geneva talks are in the limelight, so is the BBS and of course the Test Match at Headingly. The scores of people dying in the Dry Zone of kidney disease get only a cursory mention and are put aside after a moment of silence. The chatter is all about: So what do you think is going to happen, ah? Political analysts are keeping their cards more..

'Ban all forms of extremism'

June 26 (Island) Though only a provincial councillor at present, Azath Salley arguably plays a bigger role in Muslim politics than most Muslim MPs. No stranger to controversy, he was in the news recently for the role he played in organising a hartal in Colombo in the wake of the Aluthgama incident. He speaks to C.A. Chandraprema about Buddhist and Muslim extremism in this country. more..

Religious sobriety, fanaticism and violence in our land

June 25 (NS) It is generally expected of the people adhering to a socially accepted religion and therefore the leaders of religions to be sober in every way, to be open to people, to be with goodwill, to be modest and sensible, to be friendly and easily accessible, to be thinking good thoughts and to be doing good deeds, to be far removed from sentiments and feelings of anger and quarrelsomeness. People are persuaded by religious faith, religious upbringing and more..

Aluthgama aftermath: The official game of smoke and mirrors

June 25 (ST) In the aftermath of the violence unleashed against Muslims in Aluthgama someone said, in an interview published in a mainstream daily: “We strongly feel some extreme groups were behind this and there was a plan to cause trouble.” While this would seem to be a fair assessment of the situation, it was not a Muslim resident of Aluthgama who said it, not the police, or any rights group or civil society representative or Member of Parliament. It was the Bodu Bala Sena. more..

'People have lost confidence in the Courts'

June 26 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran interviewed with Ceylon Today said the TNA filed over 2,000 cases in respect of the Valikamam North land 'grab,' but with no result to date. "We shall continue to challenge illegal acts through Court action and through democratic means, but it would be naïve to expect succour from a Court in which the people have lost confidence," he said. more..

SL v Eng: Sri Lanka's marks out of ten

June 25 (CI) A fighting hundred and a stony rearguard at Lord's, then the innings of his career at Headingley His 160 is the stuff of legend - the kind of knock that transformed Sri Lanka's position in the game and lurched them towards their first series win against a top-eight team outside Asia, since 1995. Two other Sri Lanka batsmen have made great hundreds in England - Sidath Wettimuny in 1984 and Mahela Jayawardene in 2006 - but if this series win can kickstart a SL resurgence in Tests, more..

Editorial: Executing judges

June 26 (Island) No one seems to be able to halt the escalation of violence in Iraq. Those who bombed that country ‘back to the Stone Age’, killing hundreds of thousands of people in the process and hanged Saddam Hussein promised the hapless Iraqis a better future. But, democracy has remained pie in the sky for them ever since, and there is no end in sight to their suffering. They are without anyone to turn to. Hussein would guffaw from the depths of the netherworld in spite of perdition for his more..

Striking the match

June 26 (FT) Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little scripture learning room are smeared with fresh blood. Benches and desks are strewn around, chairs upturned, as villagers bore the wounded and bleeding into the small room beside the main mosque, tending to them there until the fighting subsided and they could be taken for medical treatment. 3 men, tile layer, day labourer more..

A spellbinding micro-series culminating in a marvellous pile-on

June 26 (CI) England's two-Test early summer series against Sri Lanka, the seventh-ranked of the eight major Test nations, scheduled directly against the football World Cup, would not have been expected to end in (a) defeat, (b) rabid excitement, (c) complaints that the series was too short, (d) recriminations, and (e) calls for the England captain's head. Even in the aftermath of England's Ashes Armageddon, and the sudden disintegration of a side that had been largely unchanged more..

Amunugama stresses need for efficient tax collection

June 26 (Island) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) should apply latest technologies to crackdown on tens of thousands of tax evaders and to close loopholes that allow essential tax payers to slip through the net, Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. Addressing the AGM of Commissioners of Inland Revenue, he explained the necessity of fair tax structure coupled with increased efficiency of tax collecting in a successful computerized system. more..

No escape

June 25 (CT) We hear of it in the news, read of it in the newspapers – the number of raids conducted this year are skyrocketing. Is it that we as a nation seem to attract soiled goods or are we more aware of the contamination that is spreading among consumer goods? From whole grain flour to spices, soap bars to medicinal drugs, consumer and pharmaceutical goods are being contaminated behind closed doors before it is being sold on the market. more..

Under siege

June 26 (CT) One may conclude that the destruction of businesses owned by any one community inevitably has an adverse impact on people from all communities. "In a context of instability, insurance premia increase exerting upward pressure on cost structures thereby reducing the competitiveness both of local producers vis à vis imports as well as exporters in foreign markets," the Pathfinder Foundation said. It highlighted a number of international ramifications which would more..

Sri Lanka macro-prudential indicator may be upgraded: Fitch official

June 26 (LBO) A Macro Prudential Indicator for Sri Lanka which was downgraded to '3', may be lifted in the future as risks recede, amid slower credit growth. Mark Young head of Asia Pacific Financial Institutions at Fitch Ratings said with weaker credit growth there was room for an improvement in the indicator. Fitch put Sri Lanka's financial system on category '3' when credit growth was high and there was a stock market bubble, amid fears of a spillover over to property. more..

Victorious Sri Lanka captain Mathews turns on Vaughan

June 26 (AFP) Sri Lankan Captain Angelo Mathews had the ideal response to criticism from former England skipper Michael Vaughan regarding the Islanders' "county" attack after the tourists completed a dramatic Test series win at Headingley. Mathews's men won the second Test by 100 runs after paceman Shaminda Eranga dismissed England No 11 James Anderson with the penultimate ball of Tuesday's final day. more..

President congratulates Sri Lanka Cricket for historic Test win against England

June 26 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday congratulated the Sri Lanka Cricket team for their first-ever Test series win in England. “Congratulations to the Sri Lanka Cricket team on the 1-0 series victory, Sri Lanka’s 1st multi-Test series win in England – MR,” the President said in a Twitter message. Sri Lanka for the first time in history won a Test series against England in the host country. The Sri Lankan team’s winning streak started with winning the tour in more..

Special rehabilitation centres for drug addicts opened

June 26 (MoD) Under a notion of the Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, drug addicts rehabilitation centres have been opened paying greater focus to Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Gampaha districts. The latest rehabilitation centre including counselling services and residential treatment facilities for the drug addicts was opened in Kandalkadu, Polonnarua, said the Assistant Director (Research) of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board more..

CBSL refutes ‘baseless falsehoods’ on EPF

June 26 (Island) The CBSL’s attention has been drawn to the news headline " EPF Act to be amended to avoid making lump sum payments to retiring employees" as attributed to a politician and appearing in the Daily Island of 24th June 2014. The CBSL categorically rejects all the accusations and insinuations leveled at the EPF by this politician and contained in the above story. Further, EPF wishes to inform its members more..

Sri Lanka, Oman MoU on labour training

June 26 (DN) A MoU was signed between Minister Dilan Perera and Oman's Manpower Minister Sheik Abdullah Al Bakari in relation to cooperation, promotion and development of labour and training. The MoU was signed at the Manpower Ministry in Muscat, Oman recently. It is expected to share information between the two countries to prevent illegal overseas recruiting and human trafficking. It was also agreed to provide technical, educational, professional and operational counselling for more..

Retrieve our boats, nets, urges TN Fishermen forum

June 26 (Hindu) The Tamil Nadu Meenavar Peravai has urged the Centre to take measures to safeguard the livelihood of Tamil Nadu fishermen. M. Subburayan, president of the Cuddalore chapter of the Peravai, told The Hindu that the forum’s consultative committee, which met here on Monday, passed a resolution in this regard. It said the Tamil Nadu fishermen were often targeted by Sri Lankan Navy personnel who assaulted them, impounded their boats and destroyed their nets. more..

Lankan troops to overcome conflict stress through meditation (Soldiers ➜ Monks)

June 26 (PTI) Over 3 lakh-strong SL army, a majority of them Buddhists, are set to receive meditation lessons to overcome stress in the post conflict phase. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said a foundation stone is to be laid tomorrow for a new meditation residential facility for the troops. "We have been often asked the question if the soldiers only receive arms training. This programme would help troops gain spiritual upliftment," more..

Touchwood breaks silence, files appeal against liquidation ruling

June 26 (FT) Troubled Touchwood Investments (TWOD) has finally spoken, following the landmark Commercial High Court ruling calling for its liquidation. Nearly 20 days after the Commercial High Court’s judgment, TWOD in a filing dated 24 June to the CSE, TWOD said that with regard to the case held on 5 June in relation to the company, the judgment was given for the company to be wound up. It said G.K. Sudath Kumar via a letter on 16 June had indicated that he had been more..

'State banks paying little heed to SME credit needs'

June 26 (Island) The last three budgets presented by the government envisioned credit lines and various incentives for Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) in the country. Sadly, the state banks paid little heed to that lofty goal, but private banks such as the Union Bank, came forward with enhanced financial solutions to energize this sector and help the economy grow, Mohideen Carder, president, Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI) said Tuesday. more..

13 BBS goons released after Thero threatens self-immolation (Monks ➜ Soldiers)

June 25 (DBS) In a shocking revelation that further erodes Sri Lankan public confidence in the upholding of the rule of law and in the impartiality of law enforcement agencies ,it is now leant that 13 Bodu Bala Sena goons who spearheaded much of the anti – Muslim violence in Aluthgama have been released from Police custody due to threats of self –immolation by BBS General Secretary Ven. Gnanasara Thero. more..

Army armed with legal powers to deal with 'dengue breeders'

June 26 (DN) The Army has been given legal powers to arrest and take legal action against those who ignore the instructions of the government with regard to the eradication of dengue mosquitoes. All directly or indirectly responsible for mosquito breeding spots in their surroundings will be punished without considering their status or position. About 503 positive dengue cases were detected from the Kurunegala district this year while 246 positive dengue patients have been detected more..

Sri Lanka's next Casino mogul in the making

June 26 (Forbes) Ravi Wijeratne, chairman-owner of conglomerate Rank Holdings, operates a port, builds real estate, handles waste-reclamation and is building hydro and wind energy plants. He also has two of the five casino licenses in Sri Lanka. The other three are held by a domestic counterpart, Dhammika Perera, whose worth FORBES ASIA estimated last year at $550 million. Wijeratne, 54, raised in a beach town south of the capital, followed up his schooling in Colombo with more..

Sri Lanka plans its own mini Vegas

June 26 (Forbes) In the heart of Colombo, next to a lake, John Keells, SL’s largest listed conglomerate, has giant excavators preparing the foundation for its new resort, the biggest in the country. $820 million project–the largest investment by a domestic company here–includes an 800-room luxury hotel, conference venues, a shopping mall, residential apartments, an office complex and the special attraction for more..

IFC funds $ 28 m for MAS to boost expansion, innovation

June 26 (FT) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is lending $ 28 million to Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer MAS Capital. and its subsidiaries to support the group’s expansion and innovation plans. IFC’s long-term loan will provide additional capital for MAS to expand its product portfolio and boost exports. The group is expected to create more jobs, predominantly for women. MAS CEO Sharad Amalean said: “This association is a significant milestone for both the company & country. more..

BOI signs agreement for Maldivian Higher Education Institute

June 26 (FT) The BOI of Sri Lanka signed an agreement with Villa Education Services Lanka Ltd which is a Maldivian Investment for a project to set up Higher Education Institutes in Sri Lanka. BOI Chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI while Villa Lanka CEO Dr. Ahmed Anwar signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldivian company. Villa College is the first private higher education institution recognised by the Govt of Maldives. more..

Mangala faces arrest

June 26 (CT) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera is to be questioned by the police regarding recent statements made by him with regard to the State Intelligence Services. SSP Ajith Rohana said, Samaraweera would be questioned for divulging official secrets. MP is to be questioned under the Official Secrets Act, which states that divulging information jeopardizing national security and the security forces is an offence. more..

Video: CID summons Mujibur Rahman

June 26 (DM) The CID recorded a statement today from Western Provincial Councillor Mujibur Rahman regarding allegations made by some suspects that he had forced the Nolimit outlets in Wellawatte and Dehiwela to close down on June 19. The five people who were arrested by the Police last Saturday regarding the incident had alleged that they had come from a provincial Councillor’s office in Maligawatte and this resulted in the CID summoning Mujibur Rahuman to record his statement. more..

Police religious affairs unit’s fate to be decided today

June 26 (AM) A key discussion on the ‘Religious Affairs Unit’ of the Police will be held today under the patronage of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order Nanda Mallawarachchi and Secretary to the Ministry of Religious Affairs will also take part in the discussion, highly placed govt sources said. Following the discussion, a decision would be taken on the ‘future’ of the Police Religious Affairs unit, a senior govt spokesman said. more..

‘Rein in violent elements or face the consequences’

June 26 (Island) SLMC Chairman and Minister Basheer Cegudawood has warned that the ruling coalition will have to face catastrophic consequences unless tangible action is taken immediately to rein in extremist Sinhala organisations. MP Cegudawood has asserted that President Rajapaksa will lose the support of the vast majority of Sinhala Buddhist electorate which abhorred sentiments propagated by more..

Torture: vilest act of humans

June 26 (DM) The UN has declared today as the International Day Against Torture and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement has urged States that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention against Torture, which this year marks 30 years since its adoption. “As we honour the victims on this International Day, let us pledge to strengthen our efforts to eradicate this heinous practice,” he adds. The UN has said, torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and more..

Rise of BBS and the rise of triumphalism

June 26 (DM) This has been told, not once, not twice, not thrice but an umpteen number of times. The BBS organization is not a fresh or novel manifestation of a particular sectoral thinking or a by-product of yesterday’s emotions. The character, substance, inner content and the driving force behind these civil organizations- although there is nothing remotely civil about this kind of groupings- is a tremendous sense of inexplicable yet remarkably acute inferiority felt all along the more..

Cinnamon diplomacy and WPC revelry amid ethnic strife

June 26 (DM) Sri Lanka is known for ‘tea diplomacy’ conducted to boost its volume of tea exports. Its renowned brand ‘Ceylon Tea’ is, in fact, Sri Lanka’s gift to the world. Now, the govt, in the revision of its foreign policy, is apparently engaged in cinnamon diplomacy in its novel approach to strengthen diplomatic links with Latin America. Sri Lanka is the largest cinnamon exporter in the world, and, in fact accounts for more..

Provincial Council undertakes to permit Muslim dress in Janadipathi Balika Vidyalaya

June 26 (AM) Counsel for the Provincial Authorities and the Counsel for the Principal of Janadipathi Balika Vidyalaya made an undertaking to Supreme court that they would permit The petitioner to enter the school in a Muslim cultural dress. When the case was taken up today before a bench headed by Justice Priyasath Depp, the Counsel for the Provincial Council authorities informed court that they have made the more..

Dengue teams carry ID to foil cheats

June 26 (ST) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to see that members of the public are not stung by pests bigger than mosquitoes when dengue control officers came knocking on doors this week to inspect residences. Residents were warned to check for the special identity card issued to members of the dengue control team before permitting them to enter homes for inspections of dengue breeding spots, and to make sure that PHIs and military more..