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Hats Ahoy!

Mar 1 (Island) A long dormant interest in men’s headgear (wear?) was revived when TV news began displaying the unusual hats worn, as official dress, by quite a few African Heads of State. Nigeria’s, delightfully named President, Goodluck Jonathan is never seen without his tall black felt hat incongruously topping his multicoloured robe. President Museveni of Uganda completes his Savile Row suit with a wide brimmed white hat a la Indiana Jones. The similarly suited President of more..

Conversation on the problem of words

Mar 1 (CT) You’ll never know how grateful I am for you listening to me. The reason for such great gratitude is the very reason that I have been telling you over and over again; that is, I am talking to you because among the human beings there is no one willing to hear the things I am thinking about, that I am now talking about. I told you that in our species we use words to communicate. The problem today is that these words no longer carry common meanings. This simply means that what more..

Sri Lanka's indigenous Tamil dance forms

Mar 1 (SO) The term 'Koothu' was generally used in Tamil to refer to the dance form. That's why the dancing deity Lord Nataraja is often referred to by numerous names such as Koothapiran, Koothuandavan and Kootharasan. The ancient Sanskrit stage was often referred to as Koothuambalam. The ancient Tamil classic Silappadikaram was written by the royal ascetic Illangoadikal in the second century A.D. more..

A planeload of defenders!

Mar 1 (FT) Once upon a time a redoubtable farmer from the Deep South retained an up-and-coming lawyer in a land dispute. On the day of the hearing the lawyer appeared in court with the customary bundle of law books .The counsel appearing for the opposing party was also similarly armed, but being somewhat a veteran also had a junior accompanying him. During the lunch adjournment, the farmer approached his lawyer insisting that he too bring another lawyer into the team. more..

Ceylon Tea to follow the Kodak saga?

Mar 1 (FT) If one were to track the psyche of a consumer of today, a key attribute that influences the purchase decision is value for money. For instance, if we take the automobile industry of Sri Lanka, at one time the preferred vehicle was French origin brands like Peugeot and then people turned to Japanese vehicles like the Toyota and Nissan. With the entry of Korean vehicles into Sri Lanka, brands like Kia that have become very popular, maybe tomorrow the roads will belong to Indian more..

Gang activity persists in the North

Mar 1 (NS) Ravaged by war for years, the civilians in the Northern Province are now settling back into their lives. While the war ended over four years ago and peace prevails, there have been news reports of increased gang activity in the North. These groups have been extorting money from Northern inhabitants. Even though the groups are not armed with guns, gang members are said to travel on motorbikes carrying swords and more..

The cosmic dance of Siva

Mar 1 (CT) The ancient Hindu literature describes Sri Lanka as the 'Land of Siva' (Siva Boomi). According to the Ramayana epic, Lankan King Ravana with 10 heads was a devotee of God Siva. The temples for God Siva, the foremost deity of the Hindus, were built in Sri Lanka during the Pallava and Chola periods in India. The Rock Temple for God Siva, popularly known among the Sinhalese people as Siva Deviyo, in Trincomalee, Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar and more..

Editorial: The way forward

Mar 1 (Island) Our front-page picture, on Friday, of Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama Buddharakkitha Thera and two Hindu prelates engrossed in conversation in Nallur must have warmed the cockles of many a heart. Thera who visited Jaffna the other day, received a warm welcome from a group of highly respected Hindu priests, followed by a fruitful discussion on several vital issues, as we reported yesterday. He stressed that religious amity was a prerequisite more..

Thisara Perera

No wonder Sri Lanka’s Rich and Powerful need CCTV protection!

Mar 1 (CT) February began with news of the senseless killing of Mel Gunasekera, a well known financial analyst and journalist. She had been stabbed to death allegedly by a would be burglar, who was caught within hours of the heinous crime, by police who identified him through the images caught on a Closed Circuit Television camera installed in a neighbouring home. Hurrah then for the availability of CCTV camera’s in Sri Lanka. If only they are used to apprehend the villains of more..

A case for the racism paradigm

Mar 1 (Island) What are ethnic problems about? Almost invariably they are about discrimination. Sometimes ethnic groups claim the right to establish a separate state on the principle of self-determination and that is the source of some ethnic problems. But for the most part even they are willing to forego the claim to a separate state if they are given fair and equal treatment – that is, if they are not subjected to discrimination. So, discrimination is of the very essence of ethnic problems. more..

Fumbles prove costly for slapdash India

Mar 1 (CI) Two matches into the Asia Cup, India have already made a rich contribution to the tournament's blooper bank: two collisions, one bowler taken out of the attack for bowling two high full-tosses, four dropped catches and a missed stumping. Six of those eight moments came against Sri Lanka. All of them added up. In a match of wafer-thin margins, in which an edged boundary from Sri Lanka's No. 10 may have had a more..

Empire Teas produces official tea caddy souvenirs for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Mar 1 (FT) In a landmark accomplishment, which has brought both fame and honour to Sri Lanka, leading tea exporter Empire Teas marked its presence at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as a producer of the official tea caddy souvenirs for this year’s games. Empire Teas, which is one of the leading tea exporters to Russia over the past few years, was selected by JSC Russian Railways, a National Partner of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, to produce the tea caddy souvenir for more..

SEC Chief tells investors to look to fundamentals than merely following the herd

Mar 1 (FT) With the Colombo stock market turning bearish in recent weeks, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa on Wednesday urged investors to look at fundamentals rather than merely following the herd instinct. “Most industries are doing well and showing high potential for growth and it is time for us to look at fundamentals and facts over mere trends,” said SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa during his address at the Capital Market Conference more..

A run-machine called Sangakkara

Mar 1 (CI) Quiz question: have a look at this sequence of numbers and identify it - 142, 105, 139, 55, 75, 319, 105. For anyone who has followed international cricket over the last 12 months, that's a pretty easy one - that's the sequence of scores that Kumar Sangakkara has racked up in Tests against Bangladesh since March 2013. Add up those numbers, and the total reads 940 runs from seven innings, at an average of 134.28, with five hundreds and two fifties. more..

'We did those little things right' - Mathews

Mar 1 (CI) Sri Lanka have won their first two matches of the Asia Cup, beating their two strongest opponents on paper, Pakistan and India. Both were close matches, and Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's captain, said they had won because they had grabbed the important moments. "We've been winning those close games," Mathews said. "Once again it was a nervous game but we do those little things right. But we need to play better cricket against stronger teams. more..

Mahela's Sri Lankan rope trick

Mar 1 (CI) Chasing back from mid-on to get under a lofted shot from R Ashwin off Lasith Malinga, Mahela Jayawardene realised he didn't have a chance to catch it and turned his attention to stopping the boundary as the ball bounced and rolled towards the prism-shaped blocks of advertising that, for the sake of convenience, shall henceforth be known as the rope. Jayawardene slid past the rope, pulling the ball back before it could join him on the other side, but saw that he hadn't retarded its momentum more..

Sri Lanka as diving medicine hub

Mar 1 (ST) One was on holiday here and the other was in the Maldives with the second part of her tour bringing her to Sri Lanka. The 30-year-old Sri Lankan now domiciled in England was in Hikkaduwa and the 30-year-old New Zealander was in the Maldives when they were both hit by lethargy and numbness just last month. There was only one common factor – both had been diving before these symptoms surfaced. more..

Top educationist raises concerns over degrees by ‘questionable’ institutions

Mar 1 (ST) Concern has been expressed by a top Sri Lankan educationist over degrees being awarded by a variety of higher education institutions (HEI) which conduct courses. These degrees could ultimately prove to be “questionable” unless the HEI in question is properly recognised, warned Prof. Dayantha Wijeyesekera, a top Sri Lankan educator who formerly headed two local national universities, the University of Moratuwa and the Open University. In a statement, Prof. Wijeyesekera added; more..

Faiszer woos investments, trade in Brussels biz meetings

Mar 1 (FT) Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha spent two days in Brussels meeting potential business investors and politicians from across Europe. He told packed meetings of Wallonian and Flemish business people that he would facilitate partnerships personally to ensure that projects were taken forward to a successful conclusion. He also pledged to handle any red tape that slowed progress down. The companies queuing up to speak to the Minister about potential opportunities more..

‘SL-China trade only 3 bn dollars - wake up’

Mar 1 (Island) ‘The Free Trade Agreement between SL and China is currently being discussed. Expectations are that both Sri Lanka and China will be equal trade partners. But considering the on-going trade imbalance the question could be asked, ‘How could Sri Lanka benefit’. Last year trade between both countries was barely 3 billion dollars. If you are to be equal trade partners then it is time you took stock of more..

Cargills Square opens in Jaffna

Mar 1 (ST) The landmark Rs. 500 million worth mall project in Jaffna by Cargills was opened for operations as ‘Cargills Square’ late last year, a media statement by the company said. The 74,000 square foot mini-mall comprising a cineplex with 3 screens including a 3 D cinema, food court, a Cargills Food City Supermarket, KFC and a range of shops was opened in the last quarter ended 31st December 2013, the statement said. Apart from te latest investment, Cargills in the past year more..

Customs detect 20 kg of sandalwood oil

Mar 1 (Island) The Customs Bio-diversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Division thwarted an attempt of a BOI company to smuggle out 20 kilos of sandalwood oil worth Rs. 7.2 million to Australia in the early hours of yesterday at Air Cargo, Katunayake. It was the second time the company had breached the law and they would be severely dealt with, Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. BOI company in Horana had declared the consignment as cinnamon bark oil worth more..

'Why Katchatheevu issue can't be reviewed'

Mar 1 (PTI) Minister G K Vasan lent his voice to the demand for a review of Indo-Sri Lankan agreement over the Katchatheevu issue. "There is a feeling in the fishermen community and most of the people in TN, why a review cannot take place. I am only telling you the feeling of the public," the Congress leader told reporters. Earlier this week, AIADMK manifesto has said that it will take all necessary steps to retrieve Katchatheevu more..

18 Sri J'pura undergrads suspended

Mar 1 (Island) Sri Jayewardenepura University administration has decided to suspend the studentships of 18 undergraduates allegedly involved in assaulting its security officers and causing damage to university property recently. The majority facing suspensions were from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, sources said. They said those 18 had been accused of instigating other students to attack the university’s security officials on the night of Feb 24. more..

A bridge across languages

Mar 1 (Hindu) In 2007, the National Book Trust brought out Bridging Connections, an anthology of Sri Lankan short stories edited by Rajiva Wijesinha, member of the Sri Lankan Parliament, and a distinguished writer and academic. Spurred by its success, it considered bringing out a companion anthology of Sri Lankan poetry. After hesitating initially, Wijesinha agreed to edit this volume as well. Launched recently, Mirrored Images contains selections from English poetry more..

Real estate gems in SL with Steradian Capital

Mar 1 (Forbes) The island of Sri Lanka’s capital markets are going through a period of high capital investment. With the end of a 26-year civil war in 2009, the country is opening up tourism, international shipping, international trade and scaling up domestic businesses. There are many commercial and investment opportunities in the Sri Lankan real estate markets. This interview with Hardy Jamaldeen covers the full array more..

Sri Lanka connection

Mar 1 (FT) Home Finance Company is grateful for the tremendous support and help from the Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon (DFCC) Bank for its strategic partnership. HFC chairman Tom Ricketts said HFC was delighted with its partnership with DFCC Bank in Sri Lanka. "They have been of tremendous help to us and we are indeed grateful for this strategic partnership," Mr Ricketts said. "The DFCC bank of Sri Lanka which is a fast growing institution in terms of more..

SL Muslim will brave all odds for 'Natyam'

Mar 1 (ENS) Samsul Labdeen Mohomad Rashan stands out among dancers in Sri Lanka. This 25 year old from Kurunegala is the first Muslim Bharatanatyam and Kandyan dancer in the country. And if the sullen disapproval in his increasingly Wahabi community is any indication, he may well be the last Muslim dancer in Lanka. “My father is a good singer with mastery over many instruments, but he too thinks that dancing is undesirable. My family’s plea is: Do anything but dance!,” more..

Killers' release puts Tamil state in a bind

Mar 1 (NST) With impending division of Andhra Pradesh, TN, along with Puducherry (Pondicherry), has emerged as southern India's largest political entity. Take any pre-poll assessment as parliamentary election nears, and all indicate TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is poised to win a bulk of the 39 seats, the 40th being Puducherry. Strong state-level alliance places her in an unassailable position. more..

The case of the LTTE

Mar 1 (TN) A man of easy manners, comfortable among the people, Rajapakse seemed the farthest from any trappings of academic or intellectual pretension. His nation was, however, caught in the viciousness of a three-decade old insurgency wrought by the inimitable LTTE – in many ways the founders of modern trends in terror. Many a Sri Lankan political leader and an Indian – Rajiv Gandhi – had lost their lives to its most heinous tactic, the suicide bomber, first introduced to Asia more..

Perera in joint lead with Rashid at DGC

Mar 1 (ToI) The portly Mithun Perera confessed to devouring 100 burgers during a month travelling on the Asian Tour last year. McDonald's filet-o-fish and chocolate drinks, particularly Milo, are his weaknesses, the Sri Lankan admitted. Having already celebrated three wins in the last three weeks on Indian soil, and jointly leading the proceedings with local hero Rashid Khan after three-and-a-half rounds at the rain-hit $300,000 SAIL-SBI Open, you would think that size hardly matters. more..

Obama urged to Sri Lanka policy reflecting security, economic interests etc.

Mar 1 (Island) In the wake of a group of US Senators calling for the establishment of an independent international accountability mechanism to investigate wartime atrocities as well as other human rights abuses, another group of Senators is proposing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), similar to the one set up by South Africa, to address grievances of those who had been effected by the Eelam conflict. more..

'India line on UN resolution tied to LS poll compulsions'

Mar 1 (ENS) President Rajapaksa told foreign correspondents here on Friday that he understands India’s electoral compulsions in regard to its stand on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the March session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Asked if he has an inkling of how India may vote, Rajapaksa said: “I don’t know. But we are aware that the Indians are going to face an election a month after the March session. India’s leaders have to think of their future and take into account more..

Adulterated chilli powder, turmeric seized

Mar 1 (Island) More than 5, 000 kilos of chilli powder and 3000 kilos of turmeric unfit for human consumption were seized by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) from a manufacturing facility at Armour Street, Colombo 13, yesterday. Nipun Ekanayake, Media Secretary to the Minister Johnston Fernando told The Island that 3, 000 kilos of old bread crumbs, too, had been seized. Ekanayake said that the chilli powder and turmeric had been adulterated with more..

'We have done the best we can'

Mar 1 (FT) As the days tick down, President Rajapaksa yesterday said he is “uncomfortable” with the US-led resolution to be presented at the UNHRC and believes there should be no resolution at all. SL govt faces a US-led resolution before the UNHRC next month for failing to implement adequate reconciliation measures and investigate allegations of war crimes. Resolution, which is the 3rd consecutive one faced by the Govt, more..

Now, poisonous food, tomorrow poisonous water

Mar 1 (DM) On Thursday President Rajapaksa declared opened a huge overhead water tank at Kolonnawa to distribute water to the people in surrounding areas including Kolonnawa, Rajagiriya and Angoda. This tank, financed by the Asian Development Bank was built on part of the land belonging to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) which was built by the British in the 1840s on the highest part of Colombo to minimise the spread of infectious diseases to the community. more..

Making History Colombo Art Biennale 2014

Mar 1 (DM) To Colombo Art Biennale 2014 (CAB 2014) was controversial, with a cultural ‘cold war’ brewing from the start. The main exhibition was housed at a university which produces artists (in painting, sculpture, pottery) but attendance by students was abysmally low. “Do you call this art?” Someone asked me indignantly. He was outraged that considerable amounts of money have been spent on ‘junk’ – he took Bandu Manamperi’s ‘Iron Man’ event as an example. more..

Big miracle for Land Rover

Mar 1 (SL) The world famous Land Rover Discovery vehicle has been available in Sri Lanka ever since its launch and – if the advertisements are anything to go by – Sri Lanka is the cheapest place on earth to buy this fabulously appointed top of the range vehicle. Although selling in its native Britain for the equivalent of USD 57,909, the Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 Sv6 is advertised in Sri Lanka for USD 35,000 cif. more..

'I will never let Hashan contest through UNP'

Mar 1 (DM) The wife of former cricketer Hashan Tillekaratne spoke to Dailymirror on her sudden decision to cross over to the SLFP, the alleged injustices faced by her husband in the UNP and of her future plans in politics. Q: What prompted your decision to obtain membership in the SLFP? A: My obtaining membership in the SLFP was a spur-of-the-moment decision but the issues that led me to make that decision had been developing more..