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Sri Lanka's baby jumbo won't fly

Mar 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka stopped a baby elephant from being given as a gift to South Korea after discovering it was born on an auspicious day, a minister said today. The baby "Dinu Daa" -- meaning day of victory -- was born on May 18, 2009, the same day troops killed Tamil rebel leader V Prabhakaran, ending the country's civil war. With the killing of Prabhakaran and his entire military leadership, Colombo declared an end to more..

Good, Bad and Ugly of the draft resolution in UNHRC

Mar 13 (CT) Looking at history, we see there have been political and ethnic conflicts attempting secession from aggressors. Some were successful, a few are pending and a very few had sad endings. It is too early to consider whether the political and ethnic conflict of the Tamils in the Island of Sri Lanka has to come to an end. Of course there are many tragic and disappointing incidents which have occurred. There are many questions to be answered. Biafran conflict between 1967 to more..

PMRP will keep campaigning for the cause until the policy is implemented

Mar 13 (NS) The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) which has been campainign for the speedy implementation of the National Drug Policy (NDP) had its case taken up at Supreme Court on Friday. At the hearing, the Attorney General’s Department revealed that the draft bill had been finalized and sent back from the legal draftsman. According to the lawyers present, the Bill will need to be submitted to the Cabinet, since there had been some altercations to it. more..

Police to crack down on loud horns

Mar 13 (SO) Loud noise irritates, disturbs the mind and leads to medical complications. It is a major pollution factor which can have detrimental effects on the health of people. Constant exposure to loud noise, contributes to hearing impairment and keeps the mind in agitated state. Some drivers specially those who drive vehicles such as private buses, lorries and Tippers toot loud horns to intimidate or annoy other road users. more..

Democracy: Role of the Opposition

Mar 13 (NS) The origins of democracy in its Athenian context always maintained and sustained the philosophical moorings of a proposition and an opposition perspectives and views. As the human mind and thought evolved, they managed to expand these notions and practicalities in structural forms within various governing bodies through history of ideas. It is interesting that even certain religious, social, economic institutions, community and civic groups too have adopted more..

Dudley S’ “Mismatch” and Sri Lanka’s Youth

Mar 13 (CT) The words skills mismatch entered SL’s job market vocabulary after the first youth revolt in 1971. Govt of the day obtained the assistance of UNDP and ILO to get the services of Prof. Dudley Seers, Director of the Institute of Development Studies of University of Sussex, to look into the reasons for youth unrest. In a groundbreaking report, Dr. Seers pinpointed the skills mismatch which existed in the SL employment scene as the fundamental reason for the unrest. more..

Are the young ruled by Facebook?

Mar 13 (CT) Consequent to the two recent suicides over issues concerning postings in the social media network, Facebook, there have been emotive exchanges among the public about the pros and cons of social networking, with a few declaring Facebook should be banned. However, President Rajapaksa has maintained SL will not ban Facebook, much to the relief of many. Is Facebook ruling the lives of the young, more..

Decoding India's stance on the UNHRC resolution

Mar 13 (CT) The guessing game has been on for months as to how India would vote when the US-sponsored resolution is up for a vote by the UNHRC, in Geneva this month. For some politicians, analysts and even citizens – generally dispassionate about matters of foreign policy – debating which way India would move has become important. In reality, it is not rocket science and there is no mystery associated with Indian behaviour at present. There may be the official govt position that more..

Toothless UNHRC resolution stays Rajapaksa ‘Spring’ against US

Mar 13 (CT) The anticipation of a strong UNHRC resolution in Geneva, which caused immense angst among the ruling cabal of the Rajapaksa regime, by all indications, is going to end up a damp squib. Even though the final draft of the resolution is yet to appear at UNHRC, it is almost certain now that much talked about international investigation will not be in it. It is now emerging that the Rajapaksa ruling coterie had planned a series of protest rallies, marches and demonstrations against the US more..

The two Sri Lankas

Mar 13 (FT) Five years after the end of a brutal war, the north and south of Sri Lanka have vastly different heroes. On a humid November day last year, throngs of men, women and children flocked to the dusty grounds of the Nallur Temple in Jaffna. At the appointed time, they moved near the Duraiyappah Stadium, a place where VVIP helicopters typically land. Placards, photographs and black armbands come out, as the crowd more..

Editorial: Achieving religious amity in SL

Mar 13 (Island) The launch by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, on Tuesday, of a South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) commissioned report on measures to be adopted to ensure respect and tolerance of religions in Sri Lanka, could not have come at a worse time for President Mahinda Rajapaksa troubled by a US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC. The timing of its release suggests that it was calculated to aggravate the govt’s Geneva woes. more..

Enhanced interaction among Pak, Sri Lankan trade bodies emphasised

Mar 13 (AAP) President KCCI Aamir Abdullah Zaki and Sri Lanka's Consul General here, H.M.B. Herath on Wednesday emphasized on enhanced interaction especially among trade bodies of the two countries including exchange of trade delegations for promoting bilateral trade and investment. Both the countries should take further practical steps to strengthen economic cooperation for the benefit of both the nations, they said. SL diplomat called on the President of Karachi Chamber of more..

Lankan fishermen ‘guarding my islands in the sun’

Mar 13 (ST) Goats, donkeys, men, women and school children roaming about freely in Kalpitiya, off Puttalam on Sri Lanka’s northwest coast, set the mood for a laid-back lifestyle with the newest addition being the construction of the road leading upto Palavi that is landscaped with coconut lands, and other plantations including the ocean and salterns on either side on the ride to the town. People here may seem rustic and innocent more..

Free egg burgers at Mcdonald’s on March 17 National Breakfast Day

Mar 13 (Island) McDonald’s National Breakfast Day will be celebrated by giving away millions of Egg Burgers free on March 17 2014. Over 6000 McDonald’s outlets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa will each give away 1000 Egg Burgers free to their customers during breakfast. In keeping with McDonald’s National Breakfast Day programme, McDonald’s in Kollupitiya, Racecourse, Rajagiriya, Kotahena, Nugegoda and Welisara will each give away 1000 egg burgers free more..

SLT launches cloud computing service ‘akaza’

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) launched its breakthrough cloud computing service, akaza, raising the bar in cloud computing in Sri Lanka to new heights. Launch took place recently at the company's Customer Forum organized for govt institutions, at Water's Edge, 'akaza' provides end-to-end cloud computing services providing business organizations with enhanced agility, quick service delivery, and cost efficiencies, whilst providing maximum ROI and improved scalability. more..

First ever skydiving venture to be launched

Mar 13 (ST) Sky Club, Sri Lanka’s first institution for sky sports, will launch ‘Tandem Parachuting’ which allows ‘adrenalin’ and adventure seeker enthusiasts to experience the thrill of freefall skydiving. “We plan to launch this in two months,” Suren De Silva, Director of Sky Club said. Skydiving as a sport is available only in a few countries, due to the level of expertise, experienced personal and year around weather patterns required. more..

Under siege: SL in Geneva, March 2014

Mar 13 (Island) Political correctness or the fear of it makes Sri Lankan commentators on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka as well as the calls for an international inquiry at the UNHRC in Geneva blame the Govt, the West (‘imperialism’) or the Tamil Diaspora. This uni-dimensional analysis fails to regard the thing holistically, and neither traces the chain of causation nor unearths the root of the matter. While it is the myopic and misplaced post-war policies, national and external, more..

EFC says informal economy shouldn’t be killed but upgraded

Mar 13 (FT) Last week the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) launched its latest publication ‘The Dilemma of the Informal Economy,’ in response to the announcement by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), that the issue of the informal economy will again be discussed at their Geneva conference this year. Its author, Sriyan de Silva, former CEO of the EFC, having served as Deputy Director for the Bureau of Employers Activities of the ILO (ACT-EMP) and thereafter as a more..

Mervyn warns Hakeem: Prabha’s fate awaits any traitor

Mar 13 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva on Tuesday warned Minister of Justice and SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem, that Prabhakaran's fate awaits anyone resorting to treacherous activities against the country. He said: "I would advise Minister Hakeem not to stir up communal feelings by making inappropriate speeches. It is far better for him to keep his mouth shut and retain his ministry without losing it." more..

8 hour water cut in Colombo/suburbs

Mar 13 (DM) The supply of water to Colombo and its suburbs would be interrupted from 12 noon to 8 p.m. tomorrow due to urgent maintenance work that was to take place at the pump house located in Kotte. The areas affected by the water cut would be Nugegoda, the stretch of road leading from Nugegoda Junction to Wijerama Junction, Pita Kotte, Etul Kotte, Mirihana, Udahamulla, Wijerama, Pagoda, Nawala, Madiwela, Thalapathpitiya, Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa and more..

Son of WP UPFA candidate stabbed

Mar 13 (Island) Son of UPFA Western Provincial Council candidate Kithsiri Kahatapitiya was stabbed during a clash between the UPFA and UNP supporters at the Yahala Junction in Anguruvathota on Tuesday night. Police investigating the clash nabbed one of the suspects responsible for stabbing the candidate’s son, Don Malith. The suspect owns a liquor shop in the area. The victims who received serious injuries was admitted to the National Hospital, Colombo. more..

Kelaniya undergrad squatters refuse to budge

Mar 13 (Island) Nearly 300 female undergraduates who have forcibly occupied the Students’ Centre of the Kelaniya University in protest against lack of hostel facilities refused to vacate the place yesterday though the university administration promised to solve the problem by next week. 2nd year female students from Science, Commerce and Management, Humanities and Social Sciences faculties had been occupying more..

India-Sri Lanka fishermen dispute remains complicated despite modest advances

Mar 13 (TD) Sri Lankan court on Wednesday ordered the release of 116 Indian fishermen who had been arrested over the last two months for allegedly crossing the IMBL that demarcates Indian and Sri Lankan waters. Prisoner release comes after talks that took place in late January between Indian and Sri Lankan officials and their respective fishermen’s associations. The release of the fishermen was intended to ease the next round of talks between officials, which were expected more..

Perceived Economic Opportunity Index: Confidence dips in Feb.

Mar 13 (FT) The slight increase in the Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) for January was once again short lived with a dip experienced in February, according to its compiler Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka (FEFSL). “Notwithstanding positive developments in the macroeconomic framework and also new and expensive infrastructure coming on line; both roads and railways, the sentiments of the people have not turned optimistic,” FEFSL said. more..

Cancer drug shortage: Bureaucrats fight over file while patients suffer

Mar 13 (Island) Lives of more than 1,000 cancer patients awaiting highly expensive cancer injection ‘Albumin Bound Paclitaxel’ are in danger due to the Health Ministry’s long delay in furnishing the required information to the Sri Lanka Oncological Association (SLOA) for final approval. SLOA President Consultant Oncologist Dr. Mahendra Perera, contacted for comment, said that many cancer patients in dire need of more..

19-year-old girl raped in cemetery

Mar 13 (E24|7) A 19-year-old girl had been raped by three men, at the Yakkarai Cemetery in Thunnalai, Jaffna, Nelliyadi Police said. The victim, a resident of Thenmaratchi-Varani, had gone to the Vallipuram Alvaar Temple in Vadamarachchi with a male friend from the same village. According to the police, she and her friend had been intercepted by three men while returning from the temple. The men had attacked her friend and had dragged her to the Yakkarai Cemetery where she was raped. more..

LTTE show in Canada a flop

Mar 13 (Island) An LTTE rally held at Dundas Square, Toronto last Sunday (March 9) in support of an international war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka attracted fewer than 300 persons though Toronto is home to over 200,000 Canadians of Sri Lankan origin. Canada based sources told The Island that the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) had declared thousands would attend what it called Tamil Genocide Awareness Rally, but participation had been very low. more..

US to lobby support against Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (DM) The US, prime mover of the resolution on Sri Lanka while calling for an international inquiry into human rights violations, has called for another side event in Geneva on March 18 to lobby for support, a spokesman said. Previously, the US called for a similar informal session on March 7, on the sidelines of the UNHRC session, and around 30 countries interested in Sri Lanka’s issue attended the event. more..

Nadeesha’s campaign manager replaced

Mar 13 (CT) UNP candidate for the SPC election, Nadeesha Hemamali, has allegedly assaulted her campaign manager for spreading rumours about having an affair with her. Sources added the campaign manager of the actress-turned-politician had allegedly revealed in public that he had been having an affair with the popular actress. Nadeesha had reportedly been outraged by his actions and had attempted to assault him. Reports further allege that MP Mangala Samaraweera, had been more..

Douglas tells TNA: ‘Look for home-grown solution’

Mar 13 (CT) Minister Douglas Devananda, has said that the UNHRC sessions in Geneva is not going to solve the problems of the Tamils in the island and that the TNA should not depend on the international community to address their grievances. He was addressing a press briefing in Jaffna yesterday, when he explained his Party's stance on the 25th UNHRC sessions being held in Geneva. Devananda said the TNA was not taking a firm stand over a political solution for the Tamils. more..

'Muslim, Sinhala IDPs’ right to return to NP should be recognised'

Mar 13 (Island) President Rajapaksa early this week declared that since the vast majority of internally displaced Tamil people in the Northern Province had been resettled, it was now the responsibility of the govt to resettle the Sinhalese and the Muslims chased away by the LTTE. President emphasised that the right of all those evicted by terrorists at gunpoint more than 20 years ago to return should be recognised. more..

Elephant bites on pumpkin filled with explosive, dies

Mar 13 (E24|7) In a horrific incident in Sri Lanka, some villagers had hidden explosives inside a pumpkin and left it for a wild elephant to consume it. Wildlife officials in Madhu area found a malnourished baby elephant besides the carcass of its dead mother, which was lying by the side of the road in the village of KK Kulam in Murungan. The female elephant had died on Sunday night. The post mortem conducted on the elephant revealed that she had swallowed a pumpkin, more..

Bakery owners cannot reduce weight of a loaf – Johnston

Mar 13 (CT) Minister Johnston Fernando, declared he would not allow the All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA), to reduce the weight of a loaf of bread unless there is a reduction in the price of the same. His comment comes in the wake of the ACBOA making a request that they be permitted to reduce the weight of a loaf of bread from 450g to 400g, with no change in price. He said such changes can be made only if the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), gives its approval to do so. more..

First UNP provincial manifestos released

Mar 13 (FT) UNP yesterday unveiled its first manifesto for a provincial election, pledging that forthcoming polls in the Southern and Western Provinces would prove catalysts for regime change in the country. Entitled ‘Bala Peraliyata Kola Eliyak’ (A green light for change) with a clever wordplay alluding to the party colour, the main Opposition released two separate policy statements for the two provinces, pledging changes more..

Elections Chief asks for additional police

Mar 13 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has asked the IGP to provide additional police security to Kaduwela, Kesbewa and Maharagama areas in view of possible clashes during the postal voting. The Commissioner said that he had made the request after closely monitoring political developments there during the last couple of days. Commissioner Deshapriya said that he had ordered that no propaganda activities be allowed within a 500-metre radius of polling booths. more..

Player contract issue now with SLC Ex-co

Mar 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced yesterday that its office-bearers met with the Sri Lanka National team players on Wednesday and had a discussion with regard to the player contract payments. ‘The players have expressed their concern and the SLC office-bearers stated their point-of-view on the subject matter and there was an exchange of views between both parties,’ an SLC media release stated on Wednesday. SLC office-bearers are to communicate the views more..

Indo-Lanka fishermen talks postponed

Mar 13 (ENS) A day after the State govt reminded the Centre that the second round of talks between fishermen representatives of TN and SL could take place in Colombo only if 177 fishermen and their 44 boats in Lankan custody were freed, island nation blinked and announced their release on Wednesday. However, since the announcement was made at the eleventh hour, the talks were postponed and could now be held later in March. more..

Choose the milky way

Mar 13 (DM) With Buddhist monks and animal rights groups vowing to intensify their campaign for a ban on cattle slaughter before the celebration of Buddhist revivalist Anagarika Dharmapala’s 150th birth anniversary in September, Denmark has set a poser to Sri Lanka and the world on the precept of respecting animal rights and compassion to all beings. Denmark’s Govt has brought in a ban on the slaughter of animals according to religious rites, after years of campaigning by activists. more..

Reliving the Ramayana

Mar 13 (DM) Tamil liberals who were expecting strong action against the Mahinda regime at the UNHRC are now disappointed. Some of them have now turned towards the Lankan society and started analysing the roles played by the Sinhala politicians and diplomats. They have realised that Dayan Jayathilaka is an ardent Sinhala nationalist. Though he puts on the show of a great intellectual and diplomat, they say, that deep in his heart he believes that SL belongs to the Sinhala. more..

US intensifies lobbying in Geneva

Mar 13 (DM) As the vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC is nearing, the concerned parties have intensified their lobbying sprees. The draft resolution, calling for an international inquiry into allegations of human rights violations and accountability issues during the final years of the war, have been sponsored by five countries this time-the US (prime mover), UK, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius. more..