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Lord Naseby has misled the Lords over SL

June 4 (Telegraph) Veteran political correspondents like me recall Michael Morris, Deputy Speaker of the Commons from 1992-97, with a great deal of affection. He carried off the role with plenty of brio and style. Michael Morris has since been deservedly elevated to the House of Lords, where he has taken the name of Lord Naseby. As sometimes happens, he has gone sharply downhill since entering the upper house. Most troublingly he has become an apologist for the Sri Lankan govt. more..

Govt says SF not a General

June 4 (CG) Govt today insisted that by virtue of the court martial ruling against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka he cannot be recognized as a “General” anymore. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, responding to a question raised in parliament today, said that Fonseka had been stripped of his title after being found guilty of the allegations raised against him. President Rajapaksa, had in August 2010, more..

Court orders release of 29 TN fishermen

June 4 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka on Wednesday ordered the release of 29 fishermen from this coastal town, arrested by Sri Lankan Navy personnel on May 31 near Katchteevu islet. The magistrate of the court in Mannar, ordered their release today after the fishermen were produced in court, they said. However, the magistrate said their six boats had been seized as they had used banned nets for fishing. The fishermen were part of a group who set out in 727 boats from here on more..

Votes but no heart in asylum seeker stance

June 4 (BT) On the day before Leo Seemanpillai doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire, he made an appointment to donate blood. But his generosity didn’t stop there, and today five Australians owe their lives to this young man who grew up in a refugee camp in TN but who desperately wanted to call Australia home. One Australian has been given Leo’s lung. Another his eye. Two have his kidneys, and a fifth person received his liver after his distraught parents more..

Buttler should have been recalled: Arjuna

June 4 (AFP) Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga said Sri Lanka was right to run out England's Jos Buttler, but felt he should have been recalled in the spirit of the game. "We should have got him out and then (Sri Lankan captain) Angelo (Mathews) called him back to play," Ranatunga told AFP. "I am not blaming Angelo or (bowler) Sachithra (Senanayake), but that is what I would have done." "Our (on field) warning to Buttler a couple of more..

Missing British tourist located in Sri Lanka

June 4 (DG) The family of a young woman from Colchester reported missing in Sri Lanka have spoken of their relief after she was found. Lauren Smith’s family and friends launched a frantic appeal for information via social media after the “hardcore” traveller uncharacteristically vanished. Lauren, 26, of Highwoods, had not been seen since she left a B&B she had been staying at in Colombo, at 6.30am local time on Monday. She’d told the owner she was going to the local shops but left all her more..

Sri Lanka wants NAM values respected

June 4 (CG) Sri Lanka and Algeria have recognized the importance of upholding the core values of the Non-Aligned Movement, in their application to contemporary situations, and of ensuring the absence of pressure seeking to diminish the space available to countries to resolve issues in keeping with their own priorities and aspirations. A comprehensive agreement with regard to political consultations on a regular basis was signed at the Palace of Nations in Algiers by more..

Sri Lanka says Modi was briefed on 13A

June 4 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt says its stand on the 13th Amendment to the constitution was made clear to India during the recent meeting between President Rajapaksa and Indian PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Minister G.L Peiris, told parliament today that the Sri Lankan delegation led by the President had stated that there is no room to devolve police powers to the provinces under the 13th Amendment. more..

Protest in Malaysia against treatment of Sri Lankan Tamils

June 4 (FMT) About 30 representatives of NGOs, led by Suaram, protested at the police headquarters in Bukit Aman against the deportation of three Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. Two of the three have UNHCR status while the other’s asylum request is still pending. Representatives of Suaram and the NGOs marched to the police headquarters to protest against the action taken against the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. “This protest is to send in a memorandum to IGP Khalid Abu Bakar,” more..

Special memorandum to Cabinet by President on ensuring secrecy

June 4 (AM) A special memorandum would be presented to Cabinet Ministers on 'secrecy' of cabinet matters and collective responsibility of the govt, highly placed govt sources said. According to the memorandum, ministers will pledge to protect 'secrecy' of cabinet related matters and ensure collective responsibility of the govt by not criticizing decisions made by the cabinet in public. At the last cabinet meeting which was held at Temple Trees, President Rajapaksa categorically stated that more..

Video: SF says no obsession about common candidate

June 4 (DM) Democratic Party (DP) Leader Sarath Fonseka said today that his party doesn’t have an obsession of a common candidate to be put forward in an upcoming Presidential election unlike other political parties have. “We don’t have a common candidate obsession unlike other political parties but we agree that there should be a strong candidate from the Opposition to contest in a Presidential Election,” he said today. more..

Senior Kawaiti MP meets Minister Rishard Badurdeen

June 4 (KUNA) Visiting Kuwait's Deputy National Assembly Speaker Mubarak Al-Khurainij met Minister of Trade and Industry Rashad Badi Al-Din on several issues, primarily investment in Sri Lanka. During the meeting, they also discussed how to rally up support for Kuwait's non-permanent UN Security Council membership bid for 2018-2019. Al-Khurainij vowed that the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) would help and support friendly countries, including Sri Lanka, more..

Police arrest 13 illegal migrants bound for Australia

June 4 (DM) A group of thirteen Tamil youth had been arrested in Lunawa last morning while attempting to illegally set sail to Australia, SSP Ajith Rohana said. The suspects were found at a rest house in Lunawa, Moratuwa where they were staying since May 26. An individual from Jaffna had promised them take to Australia for a fee of Rs. 10,000 each and send them to Australia from Moratuwa. Group was arrested on a tip-off received by Moratuwa Mobile Police patrol. more..

Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to ease tension with Tamils

June 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Wednesday again rejected devolving police powers to the provinces as requested by new Indian PM Narendra Modi and required by the constitution as a means to ease tension with minority Tamils. Sri Lanka agreed with India in 1987 to devolve powers, including over police and land, to a regional level as a means to improve relations between Tamils and majority Sinhalese. more..

Some reflections on Rajiva Wijesinha’s 'How negotiations with the TNA failed'

June 5 (CT) Those who are concerned with political reconciliation and long term peace in the country must thank Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP (UPFA) for his recent revelations, although those might be construed by the govt circles as back stabbing and/or betrayal. Although the revealed documentation, limited to a five point discussion note and three sketchy communications between Wijesinha and Sajin Vas Gunawardane, again a UPFA MP but a monitoring one, does not more..

Post-election 2015 scenario: Gotabhaya's entry to electorial politics

June 5 (GV) The news, based on an exclusive interview, that Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light — some may say shadow— on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015. The declaration of willingness by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to toss his hat into the ring is a response to more..

'Let’s think out of the box'

June 5 (Island) Duraiswamy Kumaran Thangarajah is a Lankan Tamil professional who has returned to Sri Lanka having left the country in the aftermath of the July ’83 riots and after nearly 30 years abroad during which he has rendered service to the world, especially during a stint with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation. Kumaran is no ordinary person either as he is hailing from a political stock dating more..

Deviation of Buddhist philosophy in SL

June 5 (CT) Buddhism was established around 500 BC. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to overcome conflict in the consciousness of the individual. Buddhist teachings maintain that under any circumstances (whether it be political, religious, cultural or ethnic) violence cannot be accepted in solving disputes. It asserts that violence is a perversion of Buddhism and a rejection of Buddhist heritage. As such it has become a questionable issue whether the conduct of the political more..

The story of a meditating Sri Lankan man

June 5 (GV) The other day, on the banks of the Diyawanna waterfront close to the Sri Lankan Parliament, I noticed a man sitting in meditation. What a surprise? He is none other than my drinking partner from Bridgetown — the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram. I wondered what the thoughts of this meditating man were. Forgive me for this experiment, for it is oxymoronic to try and guess what a meditating fellow is thinking. After all, meditation is about controlling the wandering more..

An undergrad's untimely fate

June 5 (SO) Dimasha was the village beauty. Her waist-length tresses gave her a lot of character. She had an olive tan complexion and this showed off her sharp features. In addition she had brains as well. She did her A/L exam and had done well. She was later selected to enter the Arts Faculty in Colombo. Dimasha was overjoyed as this was her dream come true. Her beauty and her comeliness drew villagers as well as the u'grads more..

Why SL should not antagonize Jayalalithaa

June 5 (CT) TN Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has been the target of Sri Lanka's State and pro-government media since the day the results of the Indian general election were out. They jubilantly reported Jayalalithaa losing the grip she had on the centre due to the outright victory of the BJP. Many cartoonists in Sri Lankan newspapers also mocked Jayalalithaa. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the non-dependence of the Modi's Govt on Jayalalithaa was a victory for Sri Lanka. more..

Modi-fying the Indian stand on ethnic issue

June 5 (SL) If anyone thought that they could fool around with India’s new, ‘inexperienced’ and ‘un-tested’ PM Narendra Modi on foreign policy issues in particular, news reports about his post-inauguration meetings with visiting Heads of Govts from SAARC nations suggest otherwise. Not only were those meeting more than a courtesy call, PM Modi is also reported to have discussed bilateral issues with each one of them in some detail. It was no different when Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa met more..

'We need a new political package'

June 5 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka, during a discussion with the Dailymirror provided reasoning behind the recent meeting with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who is widely considered to come forward as the common opposition candidate opposing the incumbent President. The national movement of this country has over the years never looked for gaining power in this country; instead the focus was to guide more..

Editorial: Jayalalithaa’s wish list

June 5 (Island) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has, at her very first meeting with Narendra Modi after the latter’s assumption of duties as Prime Minister, submitted a 64-page memorandum containing a long wish list among other things. As regards, Sri Lanka, she has sought the Centre’s intervention to take over Kachchativu and conduct a UN-sponsored referendum on Eelam. These, she has been harping on for a long time without success. more..

Have homestays failed to impress?

June 5 (Island) Homestays is an effective and a cheaper way of experiencing the lifestyle of people living in a country and this mode of accommodation has become quite popular in many parts of the world and in the region. It has helped to sustain the tourism industry in those countries. Dr D.S.Jayaweera, Director General, Sri Lanka Tourism responding to a query by this writer at a recent news conference said that last year the number of homestays were only 250. more..

The uncommon problem

June 5 (FT) When the poll is declared, President Rajapaksa will create history in Sri Lanka as the only incumbent to contest a presidential election for the third consecutive time. 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed by a two-thirds majority garnered artificially by the UPFA in Sept 2010, paved the way for this third time candidacy in 2015. In the first flush of the Rajapaksa administration war triumph, coalition allies more..

Boosting the MICE sector to the status of a separate industry

June 5 (CT) The govt arm entrusted with the development of the MICE industry — Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) said that with the large scale facilities now being made available, meetings, incentives travel, conferences, exhibitions and events (MICE) will eventually gain the status of a separate industry. SLCB CEO Vipula Wanigasekera said the need for a multipurpose convention centre to host at least 5,000 delegates or large scale exhibitions was now being addressed. more..

Burnt, rebuilt: Jaffna library reminds of Sri Lanka conflict

June 5 (AA) Jaffna Public Library has a painful history behind its pure white walls. It was burnt down during days of mob violence between May 31, 1981 and June 2.Sri Lankan state-sponsored authorities had been involved in days of violence in the country's north, against ethnic Tamil political activists who were pushing for better representation in the Sinhala-majority country. Many considered the library one of Asia's biggest and best at the time of the attack. It housed 97,000 precious more..

Is EPF mismanaged?

June 5 (Island) The EPF which is administered by the Central Bank is the country’s premier provident fund with an asset base of Rs. 1300 billion and over 2.4 million contributing members. Members’ contributions have been growing year after year with an increase of 12.9% in 2011, 13.4% in 2012 and 14.7% in 2013 and the rate of interest paid on members’ balances was 12.5% in 2010, 11.5% in 2011 and 2012 and more..

Testing times for Sri Lanka

June 5 (CI) Sri Lanka are well into their tour of England and Ireland, but the real meat of the tour is yet to start. On June 12, Sri Lanka will play England at Lord's in the first match of that latter-day abomination, a two-Test series. Sri Lanka suffered the indignity of desultory single-Test tours for almost 20 years, before the ECB deigned to grant them a Test series in 2002, six years after Sri Lanka had thrashed England on their way to winning the World Cup. For a brief period Sri Lanka played more..

LOLC posts 22% PBT growth

June 5 (Island) ‘The LOLC Group completed a year of consolidation and steady growth in Profits recording a Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 4.5Bn, a 22% growth over last year. The Profit of the Group is mainly derived from its core business of financial services, complemented by the rest of the businesses. To achieve the 22% growth profits, the Group made a Rs. 45Bn Gross income and interest income of Rs. 28Bn which is a 20% growth over last year. ‘The year 2013/14 was considered more..

'No smoke without fire over fags'

June 5 (FT) MP Buddhika Pathirana exposed the cigarette companies by revealing their strategy used to “mislead the public justifying the self-imposed price increases” by way of “advertising false information”. According to MP Pathirana, based on the price revisions that took place in March 2012, Govt collects 71 cents and the tobacco company receives 29 cents from each rupee by which the price of a cigarette goes up. more..

'Public service balloons, quality challenged'

June 5 (CT) The public sector continues to balloon, but remains underutilized with quality improvements remaining a challenge due to low level of skills in languages, science, mathematics and technical subjects, the Treasury said. "The actual number of public servants attached to direct govt services at national and provincial level, which was 633,729 persons, or 75% of the actual cadre in 2006, has increased to more than one million, or 89% of the authorized cadre in 2013. more..

State enterprises profits grow 162%

June 5 (CT) The asset base of 55 State-owned enterprises (SOEs) grew 12% year-on-year to Rs 5.13 trillion in 2013, amounting to 59% of GDP with 43 of them generating profits. Combined profits of the 55 entities grew 162% to Rs 44 billion in 2013. "The policy reforms introduced in early 2012 and 2013, which involved upward revision of the administrative prices of petroleum products, electricity, passenger transportation and water, were particularly conducive to improve more..

Archaeologists find Buddhist ruins in Kilinochchi

June 5 (SLA) Archaeologists in the Northern Province have affirmed that the ruins recovered from Shivanagar, Uriththirapuram in Kilinochchi, containing slates, stacks of ancient bricks, Sri Paada symbols, etc, belong to the historic Polonnaruwa era. 20 SL Light Infantry troops of the 662 Brigade came across the site lying in their area of responsibility by accident and kept the SFHQ-KLN informed of their findings, few days ago. more..

Akbar Brothers marks 20 years as Sri Lanka’s largest tea exporter

June 5 (FT) Akbar Brothers has marked 20 years as Sri Lanka’s largest tea exporter with 2013 shipments topping 50 million kilos worth over Rs. 32 billion in valuable foreign exchange to the country. “These earnings represent 17% of the foreign exchange earnings generated by Sri Lanka on total tea exports and almost 2.5% of the country’s total exports,” a spokesman for Akbar Brothers said, adding it was no minor feat in a highly-competitive international business arena. more..

'Sri Siddhartha Gautama: A grave insult to life of Buddha'

June 5 (AM) The film 'Sri Siddhartha Gautama', which was screened in Sri Lanka with much media fanfare, is an insult to Buddhism as well as to the life of Buddha, leading Buddhist monks have said. Medhagoda Abhayathissa Thera, an outspoken Buddhist monk, had said the film 'Sri Siddhartha Gautama' painted a wrong picture about the life of Buddha. "This film is the greatest insult to Lord Buddha I've even seen. It distorts important facts about the life of Gautama Buddha. more..

Jaffna bishop: India needs to do more in rebuilding Lanka

June 5 (TOI) The resettlement process currently on in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India's assistance and the country can do more to help the thousands who have been rendered orphans or widows or have been otherwise victimised, Rt Rev Daniel S Thiagarajah has said. The Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, who was in Chennai for the two-day visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, talking exclusively to TOI on Tuesday, more..

Mahapola allowance woefully insufficient

June 5 (Island) Mahapola allowance granted to university undergraduates has remained unchanged for over nine years despite the ever constant rise in the cost of living, undergrads claim. IUSF alleged that while the sum of Rs 2,500 is insufficient to cover even the most basic of costs, it is not even made available to the students on time. IUSF Convener Najith Indika pointed out that the govt always claims to be short of money, yet has enough funds to spend on pointless pursuits. more..

SriLankan Airlines marks Environment Day

June 5 (LBT) SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka marks the World Environment Day today, at the In-flight Auditorium, Airline Centre, Katunayake with a day-long line up of green events. Working under the theme, ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level,’ the Green Team of SriLankan Airlines has organized many programmes to raise awareness on environmental conservation among the employees. The highlight of the day will be the launch of SriLankan Airlines Environmental Policies more..