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France backs a united Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (CG) The French Govt says reconciliation in Sri Lanka can be achieved in the setting of a united country and with the assistance of other countries. The Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Jean-Paul Monchau, who visited the North this week, said in a statement today that reconciliation can only be carried out by the will of all Sri Lankans themselves. During his visit to the North, the French envoy met the Governor more..

Tourist arrivals up 28.5%

Mar 14 (CT) Tourist arrivals in the first two months of this year increased 28.5% to 288,453 from 224,511 a year earlier. Arrivals in February reached 141,878 up 24.5% from 113,968 recorded in 2013, Sri Lanka Tourism data showed. The govt and the hospitality industry expects more than 1.5 million arrivals to support the ambitious goal of 2.5 million arrivals by 2016 to earn more than US$ 2.75 billion foreign exchange. more..

Sri Lanka donates 50,000 MTs of rice to 10 countries through WFP

Mar 14 (PRIU) Sri Lanka donated 50,000 metric tons of rice to the World Food Program (WFP) for free supply to 10 countries in Central Africa and South Asia. President Rajapaksa made a symbolic handover of the consignment of rice to the WFP Representative and Country Director Ismail Omer at the Presidential Secretariat today. The President stated in the 2014 Budget that Sri Lanka would make a donation of rice to the WFP more..

'Sri Lanka norm deals sans competitive bidding; breeding corruption, high costs'

Mar 14 (LBO) Unsolicited deals and awarding massive state contracts without competitive bidding has become the norm in Sri Lanka paving the way for corruption and inflated costs for the tax payer, legislators have charged. "In Sri Lanka now unsolicited deals have become the norm rather than the exception," opposition UNP legislator Eran Wickramaratne told reporters. He said established procedures set by Treasury circulars more..

Dozen PS members move court against their ouster

Mar 14 (Island) District Judge of Colombo Sujatha Alahapperuma, yesterday allowed time till June 9, 2014 for UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and the members of the UNP Working Committee to file objections and answer to the complaint filed by 12 Pradeshiya Sabha members of the UNP, who had been dismissed, on alleged disciplinary grounds. The Pradeshiya Sabha members, mostly from North-Western more..

Allied Health Science undergrads take their protest to Ratnapura

Mar 14 (Island) Undergraduates following Allied Health Science (AHS) degrees staged a massive protest in Ratnapura town yesterday as their Sabaragamuwa Province demonstration of their countrywide agitation against cutting down the duration of the degree programme from four years to three. President of the AHS Students Union of the University of Peradeniya, Rajitha Prasad told The Island that their Satyagrahas being performed at the Galaha junction in Peradeniya and more..

Beware when buying a car

Mar 14 (CT) According to authoritative sources, fraud and malpractice are rampant in the business of buying and selling of vehicles, and many are the people who had fallen prey to the unscrupulous persons who engage in such unlawful activities. Recently, the Fraud Investigation Bureau (FIB), Colombo, received a complaint from a person who had been duped by a seller. "I bought a Toyota Corolla car paying more..

Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.3%

Mar 14 (LBO) Stocks end lower for the fifth straight day with tobacco and diversified stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 17.71 points lower at 5,896.23 down 0.30%. The S&P SL20 closed 15.02 points lower at 3,207.11, down 0.47%. Turnover was 251.77 million rupees, down from 336.48 million rupees a day earlier with 65 stocks close positive against 82 negative. Foreign investors bought 100.17 million rupees worth shares while selling 120.45 million rupees of shares. more..

Post JVP dilemmas

Mar 14 (CT) For the elite, the threat to life was over by early 1990. They wanted to forget all about the JVP episode and get back to the pre- 1987 status quo. But there were many things that could not be wished away besides their own complicity in mass murder. What about the hundreds of thousands of largely rural folk living ‘out of sight and out of mind’ tormented by the loss of their young husbands, sons, daughters and breadwinners? Was it even remotely fair to tell them that ‘fire had to be more..

Dilshan's World T20 participation in doubt

Mar 14 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has until March 19 to recover sufficiently from a thumb fracture or risk being recalled from the World Twenty20, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said. Dilshan sustained a blow to his right thumb while batting during the second ODI against Bangladesh on Feb 20, and had since been recovering in Sri Lanka. Dilshan will travel with the World Twenty20 squad to Bangladesh on Sunday, but the selectors more..

Sri Lanka rupee up from near two-week low on banks' dollar sales

Mar 14 (Reuters) Rupee edged up on Friday from a near two-week low hit in the previous session as dollar sales by banks outpaced late dollar demand from importers. Spot rupee strengthened to 130.52/57 per dollar during the session before closing at 130.62/65, firmer from Thursday's close of 130.68/75, which was its weakest close since Feb. 28. "There was erratic volatility. There was bank selling in the morning and then we saw importer (dollar) demand coming in later part of more..

Unruly behaviour: Police warn big-match revellers

Mar 14 (DM) Big match revelry in Kandy Town came to an end with the police today taking into custody several people including some 50 students who were found driving their vehicles and sports go-carts in a reckless manner causing severe obstructions to the normal flow of traffic. Sources said the big match between the two leading Kandy Schools -- St Anthony’s and the Trinity was an excuse for students and well-wishers to run riot in the Kandy Town. more..

Sri Lankan police arrest war-missing kin

Mar 14 (AP) Sri Lanka's police have arrested a woman and her 13-year-old daughter in what human rights activists say is part of the govt's continuing efforts to intimidate families of the country's civil war-missing into silence, a human rights activist said. Balendran Jeyakumari and her daughter Vithushaini were arrested in the northern Kilinochchi district Thursday night after hundreds of military and police held them house-bound more..

Flight MH370

Mar 14 (CT) The disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which went off the radar somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on Saturday, 8 March, with 239 passengers and crew on board, will probably continue to remain one of those great unsolved mysteries for the time being. Six days into one of the most extensive multi-pronged search operations, there hasn't been any indication as to what happened to the Boeing 777-200, deemed a safe aircraft under more..

New collective agreement for plantations

Mar 14 (Island) The Ceylon Estate Staff Union (CESU) which engaged in tri-partite negotiations with the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the Plantation Services Employers Group (PSEG) for a 45% salary increase, finally settled for a 25% pay hike on Wednesday, according to Treasurer of the CESU Robert Francis. The collective agreements had been signed since 1958 once every two years but in 2003 at the request of the plantation companies the validity of collective more..

Army denies claims on recruitment

Mar 14 (CG) Army denied claims and allegations made over the recruitment of Tamil women adding that anyone with the required qualifications can join. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that SL Armed Forces are open for any citizen of the country fulfilling criteria including educational qualifications, physical attributes. “LTTE prevented citizens from the north and east from joining Forces prior to 2009. more..

Cardinal tells Catholic candidates: ‘Thou shalt not make false promises’

Mar 14 (Island) Catholic candidates contesting the Western Province PC election visited the Colombo Archbishop’s house and obtained blessings and advice from Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on Wednesday. The Cardinal asked them to look into the burning problems of the people and find solutions without making false promises. They were also advised to refrain from unpleasant activities taking place in the political arena today and to live a spiritually advanced life. more..

Per Capita Income: Big difference between Govt and Statistics Dept. figures — Harsha

Mar 14 (Island) There was a huge discrepancy between the per capita incomes stated by the govt and the Census and Statistics Department, the UNP said. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said that according to the Finance Ministry, the Gross Domestic Product had improved and the annual per capita income stood at US$ 3000,which worked out to Rs.36,000 a month. In stark contrast the Census and Statistics Department had placed the monthly per capita income at Rs.12,000,he noted. more..

'Figures on child prostitutes wrong': UNICEF & ILO

Mar 14 (CG) UNICEF and ILO raised concerns today about recent “factually incorrect reports” in the media that state there are over 40,000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka. Statistics quoted UNICEF and ILO data but the two agencies said they have not conducted any research in the past decade on children involved in commercial sexual exploitation in Sri Lanka. “Statistics from that studies older than 2003 cannot be used to more..

Nimal Siripala orders officials-Complete all projects in time

Mar 14 (CT) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, had ordered the relevant officials to take steps to complete all the development projects initiated by his ministry within the stipulated time frame, stressing that the completion of the projects should not be delayed, under any circumstances. "Every development project launched by the government is for the betterment of the people of the country, and they are funded by the taxes paid by the general public. more..

TNA shocked at Kilinochchi arrest

Mar 14 (CG) The TNA has protested in the strongest terms the arrest of a widow named Balendra Jeyakumari and her thirteen-year-old daughter Vidushika from Dharmapuram in the Kilinochchi District last evening. The police claims that gunshots were heard in the vicinity of their home and that a policeman was injured. They also claim that the alleged attackers appeared to have taken shelter in Jeyakumari’s house. Jeyakumari and Vidushika are active participants in most protests more..

NTPC consultancy wing bags contract in SL

Mar 14 (PTI) State-run NTPC's consultancy wing has bagged a contract for providing services to Trincomalee Power Company for setting up 2x250 MW Coal Based Power Project at Trincomalee. Contract Agreement between NTPC and Trincomalee Power Company was signed at Colombo on March 13, 2014 in Sri Lanka, NTPC said in a statement. Contract Agreement was signed by Atul Srivastava, MD M C Wickramasekara, more..

Transporting cattle, selling beef temporarily prohibited in NCP

Mar 14 (AD) Transporting cattle, slaughtering cattle for meat and selling beef have been temporarily prohibited in the North Central Province owing to reports of the spread of Foot-and-Mouth disease. Incidents with regards to the disease have been reported from several areas in the island, North Central Province Agriculture Minister R.M.P.B. Rathnayake stated. Reports indicate that the disease has spread most in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts. more..

Churches in Sri Lanka experiencing intimidation and violence

Mar 14 (CT) A campaign of violence and intimidation is being waged by Buddhists against Christians in Sri Lanka, Release International has warned. The organisation says religious intolerance has been increasing for a decade and that in the past year, churches have been forced to close down and Christians prevented from holding prayer meetings or Bible studies in their homes. There has been a wave of anti-Christian violence, with murder and arson among the 450-plus documented acts more..

Ranil vows to topple govt, like he did in 2001

Mar 14 (DM) UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe vowed to topple this govt in the same way he toppled the govt of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He told a rally at Avissawela that UNP would form the next govt in 2015. Mr. Wickremesinghe said there were several who asked him about the recent discussions with the former President and whether he had discussed the ouster of this Govt with her. more..

Chandrika, an NGO cat's paw - JHU

Mar 14 (SM) Govt affiliated JHU says that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is a cat's paw of NGOs. Party national organiser and UPFA candidate for the upcoming WPC polls - Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. Noting that Ms. Kumaratunga was tarnishing the dignity of Buddhists and the country by joining with NGOs, he added that she is attempting to recreate historical betrayals committed by Don Juan Dharmapala and Dona Catherina by exchanging reports with Ranil more..

'Last stage? Why not first stage?'

Mar 14 (DN) The National Christian Alliance has questioned as to what legitimate right UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneethan Pillay or anybody else has to focus on the last stage of the operation against terrorism in Sri Lanka without investigating the role of those among the international community who built up the terrorist outfit from a rag tag band of youth in the 1970s, to an outfit that was capable of challenging any army. Bishop of Kurunegala Rev. Shantha more..

Spoken English exam for O/L from next year

Mar 14 (DM) Education Ministry has sought Cabinet approval to allocate 20 marks to students for their listening and spoken abilities of the English language at the G.C.E. O/L Exam from next year onwards. Ministry has taken a policy decision to conduct such a test along with the O/L Exam. Accordingly, the Ministry, in a Cabinet memorandum submitted recently, has sought approval to conduct the listening test in the exam centres on more..

A paradigm shift for agricultural development

Mar 15 (NS) Our conventional approach to agricultural technology development is ‘top down’. technology is designed by scientists who make decisions on what to recommend to farmers without giving farmers a direct say in the process. This approach is like a doctor-patient relationship. The researcher (like the doctor) is supposed to formulate a prescription to cure the farmer patient’s illness. When the doctor or scientist is unable to diagnose problems correctly, or formulate appropriate more..

Being true sons of our soil!

Mar 15 (FT) Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, once declared that the nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. He had many reasons to make such a profound statement having seen the impact of bad practices firsthand in a nation that was trying to grow at a pace that was above average. In the early 1930s, the United States witnessed a significant harvest after turning a significant land area under the plough to grow wheat, etc. more..

A day in the life of a dentist

Mar 15 (CT) Most of us see a dentist as a health care practitioner who is specialized in the field of oral health. Dr. Miraz Mukthar, a dental surgeon by profession and a father of three is the example of balancing things in life. He is more a friendly patriotic dentist who works on time and has a list for everything. Being the President of both the College Council of General Dental Practitioners of Sri Lanka and Private Dental Surgeons Association more..

‘75% of our exporters are SMEs’

Mar 15 (Island) SMEs are the backbone of our economy and more importantly, they are at the level of exports too! "Of the more than 4000 of Sri Lankan export firms, 75% are SMEs. Therefore we have a huge responsibility to groom them to become large scale export firms" said Sujatha Weerakoon (DG-EDB). She was addressing the EDB facilitated "Internationalisation of SMEs session by PUM Netherlands senior experts" session held at EDB on March 14. more..

Indo-Lanka relations: Refreshing resetting

Mar 15 (CT) The article Resetting Indo-Lanka relations by Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman of the Pathfinder Foundation had a large number of propositions for positive relations building with India. Also, I have seen a more detailed version of the recommendations in another media exposure. The experts have done a commendable job. However, I am confident that the experts would have considered that “resetting” is required because the earlier settings have been displaced more..

Geneva: Will it impact Sri Lanka’s economy?

Mar 15 (SL) Much has been made of the United Nations meeting starting this week in Geneva. The doomsday soothsayers have joined some of the Diaspora warning of dire consequences. The hype has not reached the more liberal minded lateral thinkers who choose to downplay the real effects on Sri Lanka’s progress dismissing the outcome as more PR-led hype than anything else. Faraz Shauketaly spoke to a selection of the more..

The Cardinal Sin of electoral politics

Mar 15 (Island) The Catholic candidates contesting the Western Provincial Council election are reportedly facing a major problem. When they visited the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, for blessings, they did receive an abundance of blessings that came with a catch or caveat. His Eminence asked them to look into the burning problems of the people and find solutions without making false promises. "Did you hear that…we were asked not to make false promises," more..

How Mervyn Silva talks Govt. policy?

Mar 15 (CT) Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Just like Mervyn Silva, who is sounding like the self-appointed spokesman of the govt, unleashed a wave of vitriol against the Muslim Congress, early this week. He warned SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem, that the fate of the Tiger supremo, V Prabhakaran, awaits any traitor. Controversial minister, who is a close confidante of President Rajapaksa, has regularly indulged in fiery rhetoric and invectives against more..

Boston Lanka: March 15, 2014

Rights of Tamil nation are to be restored: An appeal to members Of UNHRC

Mar 15 (CT) Sri Lanka an Island is presently inhabited by multilingual (Sinhala, Tamil and English) multireligious (Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians) and multiethnic (Sinhala, Tamil, Arab and European descendents) peoples. Sinhala and Tamil peoples have lived in the Island for a few millennium. Seventy million Tamils, a sea-faring Nation, spread the subcontinent culture in South East Asia and live across the Palk straight, were the first settlers in the island, as seen in more..

Editorial: Cop in the dock

Mar 15 (Island) This world has never been short of brave knights on crusades to protect human rights. They are ten a penny these days. Most vociferous among them is intrepid Uncle Sam, in shining armour, exporting democracy and human rights to Global South—or any other part of the world for that matter—via drones or fighter jets. As part of his democracy-for-all campaign, he annually hauls Sri Lanka over the coals for human rights violations and alleged war crimes. more..

’What am I going to do without this guy’

Mar 15 (DT) Only hours after arriving in Australia from Malaysia one of Vissa Esan’s three brothers Murali stood just metres from where the real estate agent was stabbed to death in the small arcade at the rear entrance to his Pendle Hill office. Across from a saloon and next to a money exchange business in a narrow alley was where the 47-year-old was allegedly fatally stabbed in the chest. His brother told friends he had been more..