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Water purification plant launched to tackle chronic kidney disease threat

Mar 2 (Island) A new Reverse Osmosis water purification plant was commissioned at Padaviya, Parakramapura, in the Anuradhapura district to supply safe drinking water to Chronic Kidney Disease Unknown (CKDU) patients and their families. This is a joint project of the National Water Supply & Drainage Board and Coca Cola Sri Lanka. The estimated cost of launching this project is Rs. 15 million. The capacity of this plant, which can filter harmful metals such arsenic, cadmium, more..

Govt. to form a broad national front to take on the Geneva challenge

Mar 2 (CT) The battle that the govt is facing in Geneva has led to a mini-battle within the UPFA ruling coalition. This mini-battle, which has arisen over the issue as to how the govt should fight out the major battle in Geneva had been brewing behind the scenes for some time. Fighting came out into the open only last week. Two ministerial groups in a mini-battle over Geneva: This mini-battle, which is no more a secret, continues between two groups of ministers –one group insists that the govt more..

Real life tragicomedy of Roger Seneviratne

Mar 2 (CT) Roger Seneviratne is a talented and popular actor, and outside the celluloid world, a politician. But, he became a villain after he broke the leg of his mistress' husband. Now many wonder whether Roger can contest the PC election as he is serving a suspended sentence. Roger entered politics as a member of the WPC representing the UPFA. He currently represents the NFF led by Wimal Weerawansa and is more..

Lankan American writes to US lawmakers

Mar 2 (Island) An American of SL origin has written a concise four paragraph letter to two Senators from Maryland and seven Congressmen from that state drawing their attention to issues related to the forthcoming US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Letter was described as "concise, benefits the recipient and focuses on only one issue." It noted that "our people write lengthy letters with the history of Ceylon without realizing it is of no interest to the recipient". more..

The Informal Economy and its Enemies

Mar 2 (Island) The informal sector of the economy is the bedrock of an open society in third-world countries. When the bulldozers of the UDA roll in, there is no place the poor can run, nowhere to hide. The assault of the regime’s corporate-state neoliberalism on the Informal Economy (InfEc) is a paradoxical turning of tables on Karl Popper who preached that the great facilitator of an Open Society was capitalist individualism. The PPP (Popper-popping-paradox) then is that more..

Mihin Lanka to take over MRIA

Mar 2 (ST) Mihin Lanka will take over the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport operations from SriLankan Airlines soon, Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. He said the move would mean that Mihin Lanka, now based at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, would shift to Mattala and undertake the operations including ground handling, maintenance and refuelling among other functions. more..

Luxury train service to Pallai

Mar 2 (SO) A luxury train service with fully air-conditioned compartments from Colombo to Pallai will be launched on March 7, CGR officials said. This train service starts with the completion of reconstruction of the Northern railway track from Kilinochchi to Pallai. The Kilinochchi to Pallai train service will be opened by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama on Tuesday. The new air-conditioned train will depart Colombo Fort railway station at 2.25 pm and reach Pallai at 8.28 pm. more..

Food, Packaging and Agriculture Expo

Mar 2 (Island) Pro Food / Pro Pack & Agbiz 2014, Sri Lanka’s only comprehensive food, agriculture and packaging exhibition will be held for the 13th consecutive year on August 22, 23 & 24 at the BMICH. The exhibition is organized by the Sri Lanka Food Processors Association together with Presidential Award Winning Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services. The event which has witnessed an evolutionary increase over the decade has been in existence & will be held under more..

'A TRC not govt’s sole property'

Mar 2 (CT) A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) should deal publicly and not behind closed doors. It is not a property confined only to a govt, Dr. Albert 'Albie' Louis Sachs, former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, who is in town, revealed in an informal chat he had with a group of people he had met in Sri Lanka. Albie Sachs, who was appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by more..

DFCC-NDB merger ‘not forced’

Mar 2 (NS) The CEO of National Development Bank (NDB), Rajendra Theagarajah last week denied claims by a former head of the bank that the two private development banks, NDB and DFCC have been ‘forced’ by the banking regulator, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to go for a merger. In a recent interview UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne had said the Central Bank had compelled the merger by hinting in their Master Plan that their expected outcome in consolidation is where more..

'Running after foreign countries won’t help TNA'

Mar 2 (SO) Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said whenever an issue crops up, his brotherly advice to the TNA is not to run after foreign countries for help - India, US, UK or meet their Heads of States. It is time that the TNA takes into account the 30-year war against terrorism and the people’s sufferings. Whenever an issue crops up, the TNA prefers to meet foreign leaders without meeting President Rajapaksa and PM D.M. Jayaratne. There is a limit to which even what Indian govt can do, more..

11 US Senators introduce resolution in support of Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (USE) 11 senior Members of the US Senate introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution on Thursday, expressing support for Sri Lanka’s internal reconciliation process and the significant overall progress the Country has made since the end of the civil war–some 5 years ago. Senators also called on the President of the US to develop a “comprehensive and well balanced policy towards Sri Lanka”, more..

Nawaloka lies to ‘The Nation’

Mar 2 (NS) Nawaloka Hospital, one of Sri Lanka’s largest private hospitals, lied to The Nation on Saturday, February 22 when the newspaper questioned the hospital regarding the death of a 73-year-old patient due to alleged medical negligence on the part of hospital authorities. 73-year-old Dona Winifrida Jayasuriya who was admitted to Nawaloka Hospital at 2.40 pm on February 17 died at around 8 pm the same night, around two minutes after an injection administered to the patient. more..

ACC probes drug lord's departure

Mar 2 (Haveeru) Convicted drug kingpin Ibrahim 'Shafaa' Shafaz Abdul Razzaq's sudden departure to Sri Lanka whilst he was serving his sentence, citing medical reasons is being probed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Shafaz, who was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment on charges of drug trafficking in November 2013, had in early February departed to Sri Lanka alleging medical reasons. No members of the correctional service had accompanied him to Sri Lanka, more..

Karunanidhi slams PM over plans to meet Rajapaksa

Mar 2 (PTI) DMK today hit out at PM Manmohan Singh for the Centre's "indifferent" approach toward Sri Lankan Tamils issue and came down on his reported plans to meet the island nation's President Mahinda Rajapaksa for bilateral talks at the upcoming BIMSTEC summit. "At a time when Tamils, Tamil outfits and even India are seeking a resolution for an independent probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka, Singh is holding talks with more..

Leopards and elephants supply the animal magic on safari in Yala National Park

Mar 2 (DT) It must sound strange that the whiff of musty animal dung can send shivers of anticipation up the spine. But there’s no denying the excitement as we jump into the four-wheel-drive to set off on a safari in Yala National Park, 300km south of Colombo. We are on the lookout for wildlife in Sri Lanka’s premier 14,000ha national park where 32 species of mammals can be found, including elephants, wild buffalo, wild boar, spotted deer and the prince of cats, the leopard. more..

Minsitry addresses Facebook-phobia

Mar 2 (DM) The Education Ministry today said steps had been taken to educate school principals about social network sites such as Facebook, and other issues related to internet usage. Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake said as a preliminary measure a seminar would be held in Colombo, with focus on the dangers of Facebook and other social media sites, school children and drug-related activities and action to be taken with regard to children playing truant. “The seminars will be carried out in more..

'80% disappearance cases in Sri Lanka point finger at Tigers'

Mar 2 (ENS) 80% of the complaints of forced disappearance made to the Sri Lankan Presidential Commission of Disappearances, blame the LTTE, according to a well-placed source in the Presidential Secretariat. Quoting members of the commission, the official said that majority of the complaints from Tamils in the Northern Province pertained to children being abducted by the LTTE to fight its war against the Lankan forces. more..

Govt remains confident

Mar 2 (CG) The Govt says it is confident of proving its case at the UNHRC in Geneva during the 25th session which begins tomorrow. President Rajapaksa’s spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said that while the final text of the proposed resolution is still not known, the President and the Govt are ready to face any challenge. He said that Sri Lanka was united in its stand against the allegations expected to be raised at the Geneva sessions. Meanwhile Minister Wimal Weerawanse said more..

UNP calls for Presidential polls

Mar 2 (CG) The UNP today called on the Govt to hold early Presidential elections and use it as a referendum to gauge public opinion on several issues. UNP MP Ajith Perera said that after November this year, under the constitution, the President can call for early Presidential election. President had told Colombo based foreign correspondents last Friday that he will hold a Presidential election only in 2016 when his term ends. However Perera challenged the Govt to more..

'Next round of fishermen level talks in Colombo on March 13'

Mar 2 (ENS) TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has announced that the second round of ongoing talks between fishermen’s organisations of India and Sri Lanka is set to be held in Colombo on March 13. She has asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure the release of 121 Tamil Nadu fishermen and their boats before the talks. Jayalalithaa also announced that the 13 fishermen’s representatives who took part in the talks more..

Lankan student leaders to attend Leadership Summit

Mar 2 (Island) This year, many Sri Lankan student leaders from leading schools have shown keen interest to attend the annual "Leadership Summits" at prestigious American Ivy League Universities. The majority of them have opted for Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, Stanford University in Palo Alto California and University of Chicago in Illinois. Already 15 delegates have been selected and interviews are in progress. Delegates are selected on the recommendation of their parents or more..

Ministers violating election laws

Mar 2 (CG) Election monitors have accused Government Ministers of violating election laws by opening more than one political office at several locations in the Southern Province. The PAFFREL said that yesterday there was also an incident where farming equipment was to be handed over to some people in the South by Government officials. Election monitors had lodged a complaint over the incident and the attempt was eventually stopped as it violates election laws. more..

20,000 cows coming from Australia

Mar 2 (ST) A staggering milk food import bill of US $ 300 million (or more than Rs 39 billion) a year has prompted the Govt to import 20,000 cows from Australia. The move comes on a recommendation from Minister Basil Rajapaksa who says the country needs an estimated 900 million litres of milk but could only produce 300 million litres. This is despite 30% of the workforce of Sri Lanka being engaged in animal farming, more..

Plea for redress

Mar 3 (SL) The distraught depositors of Central Investment & Finance Limited (CIF) are protesting in front of the CIF office for more than a month after they were deprived of their life-time’s savings deposited in the company. Some 4000 depositors have been put into much distress, disappointment and helplessness as a result of the collapse of the company over which they had no control whatever. Already three depositors died due to the shock of hearing the collapse of the company. more..

2013/14 League: Navy wasn’t the only winner

Mar 3 (SL) ANY reluctance to acknowledge Navy’s emergence as worthy rugby league champions would be churlish. Throughout the three-and-half-month-long ten-team tournament, the sailors remained invincible, a feat unquestionably deserving of the title. But, of course, there won’t be a lack of critics and rivals who will, as they frequently did during the competition, grouch about partiality shown to the sailors by the administration and local referees, without which, they’ll claim, more..

'Asia leads the world economy today'

Mar 3 (SO) Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said we have to identify the three elements in the whole Geneva scenario such as US and Western global strategy and geopolitics, the genuine human rights and reconciliation process and the propaganda drive carried out by the Western funded NGOs under the pretext of human rights. They are really carrying out the agenda of the West. He said in our country, some people more..

Sri Lanka’s third showdown at UNHRC

Mar 3 (CT) Sri Lanka will face the flak at the 25th session of the UNHRC for the third time this week when the US fields its draft resolution on Sri Lanka’s accountability over its conduct during and after the Eelam War. US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of his country’s keenness to do so as Sri Lanka govt “still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities sadly, continue.” more..

A less unethical way to face Geneva

Mar 3 (CT) Tony Abbott came to Sri Lanka’s defense at CHOGM in Colombo when he said, “in difficult times difficult things happen.” There were many who criticized him for putting bilateral interests above Australia’s wider interests of human rights espousal. I am wondering if the govt of Sri Lanka could not use this classic Abbott statement as a clue for a more sensible and honest response to the international criticism of human rights violation during the last stages of the war. more..

'Reconciliation difficult with TNA'

Mar 3 (CT) Minister Douglas Devananda, Leader of the EPDP and the govt's front man in Jaffna, says a political solution and reconciliation has been made difficult by the TNA. Minister Devananda, who was a member of the govt's delegation that visited South Africa to explore the South African experience in truth and reconciliation spoke to Ranga Jayasuriya about the latest govt initiative and rejected claims that it was a more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Mar 3 (NS) The President says it is the Opposition. It’s hard to say. These days there is hardly any opposition to talk about. The line separating government and opposition is smudged because so many have crossed over. If every highhanded act peels off a bit of color from the country’s image, then it’s not the opposition that’s doing the tarnishing. Sure, the opposition is the happy play-thing of forces intent on destabilizing Sri Lanka, but that’s just one kind of tarnishing. more..

Jayalalithaa getting too big for her boots

Mar 3 (NS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram is a versatile woman. She has been an award winning actress and has been elected as Chief Minister thrice in her state. She has also been convicted of corruption. Through all this, she has been in consistent in her anti-Sri Lanka stance. Last week she made two significant announcements. First she ordered the release of those convicted of assassinating then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. more..

Lakshman Joseph de Saram

Treating the chief justice worse than a common criminal

Mar 3 (ST) Last week’s judgment by a Divisional Bench of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court affirming that parliamentary processes relating to the impeachment of superior court judges cannot be judicially reviewed has, quite tellingly, occasioned scarcely a ripple of surprise in public opinion. But putting inevitable cynicism aside, this should not be treated as just another phase in the historic tussle between branches of govt. Since independence, crude political attempts by the executive more..

Chance for Sri Lanka to seal final berth

Mar 3 (CI) With wins against Pakistan and India, Sri Lanka have been the dominant side in the tournament and one more win will confirm their place in the final. But they would not want to slip up against Afghanistan, who surprised the hosts on Saturday with a 32-run win. Watching Afghanistan's all-round display was perhaps the most refreshing sight of this Asia Cup. Mohammad Nabi leads a group of hungry cricketers who do not look out of place in ODI cricket. more..

Hoof and mouth disease: Milk in peril?

Mar 3 (CT) Milk production in the country could come to a standstill, if the hoof and mouth disease afflicting cattle spreads to the Nuwara Eliya District, the Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, Dr. W.K. de Silva, warned. He said that at present, the hoof and mouth disease had spread in five districts - Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Ampara and Vavuniya, and added that necessary measures were being more..

HR a casualty of duplicity

Mar 3 (Island) UNHRC has come under fire even before the commencement of its sessions in Geneva today. Sri Lanka has taken exception to the circulation, among the council members, of a report by UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay on the human rights situation here without the govt’s full reply attached thereto. Pillay has been asked to explain why such a procedural violation has occurred, we are told. Following SL’s objections, some changes have reportedly been effected to Pillay’s document. more..

Difficult Dads

Mar 3 (Island) Q1 My spouse is out of work and a house husband while I go out to work to earn the pennies to pay the bills. He resents this arrangement very much of being the house husband. What can be done? A1 He either has to find himself a job or continue to be a house husband. Some men find caring for children at home out to look after the chores of housekeeping both below their dignity and "unworthy". However, the present trend is that one is the breadwinner while more..

'Fin. sector consolidation satisfactory'

Mar 3 (Island) The progress in the consolidation effort has been satisfactory during the month of February 2014, the CBSL said in a release. Meetings with foreign bank representatives: One-to-one meetings took place with regional representatives and senior management of foreign banks at which the foreign banks agreed to play an increasingly active role in the economic activities of the country. Merger between NDB more..

Asia Cup: Pakistan beat India

Mar 3 (CI) No other cricketer in his generation blends genius so liberally with lunacy as Shahid Afridi, and though there were glimpses of both in Mirpur, Afridi sent Pakistan's fans into raptures and endeared himself to them again, as only he can, with two mighty blows during an incredibly tense final over. The India-Pakistan clash was given a finish deserving of its profile, as Pakistan ran India's 245 down with two balls and one wicket remaining. Unless a major upset occurs more..