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Religious Police; Another ploy to hoodwink Muslims and the country

May 1 (CT) Muslims as a whole dismissed the Special Police Unit set up by President Rajapaksa to handle religious disputes at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs as an “eyewash”. They believe that this new unit is yet another ploy to hoodwink them and the country by the govt which remained indifferent to all calls to prosecute the extremists Sinhalese monks who violated, and continue to violate, laws and remain hell bent on setting Sinhalese against Muslims. more..

JVP’s vision and policy framework: A lapse in the ‘vision’!

May 1 (CT) Without any shame, capitalists do admit that “human greed” is driving the economic progress. In a response to my previous article on this same subject, a reader of CT made a blunt comment of this fact. It is interesting. Let me quote it. “Until JVP believes that every human has a right to work hard and become rich, JVP will not be successful in their Politics. Becoming rich through hard work and through sheer talent is one’s own right. Therefore JVP cannot dictate terms or more..

Manmunai Bridge, a boon to Batticaloa and its environs

May 1 (SO) The 210 meter-long Manmunai Bridge that was declared open by President Rajapaksa on April 19 stands across the Batticaloa lagoon connecting the Elavankarai and Paduwankarai regions that remained virtually separated for centuries, with access available from one region to the other, only through the hazardous ferry service that was in existence for many decades. more..

Buddhism, Dhamma, collectivism and individualism

May 1 (FT) In today’s context in Sri Lanka it is difficult to understand the role of certain Buddhist monks and lay Buddhists where they do engage in certain activities in order to protect Buddhism but in fact by those very actions they attack the very basics of Buddhism and pave the way to destroy it. In this article the writer tries to review this situation by analysing the prevalent culture in Sri Lanka and the impact on it to Buddhism. Individualism and collectivism are concepts developed by more..

Sajith’s laughter and tears

May 1 (NS) To be frank I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I could laugh for many reasons. I could cry too. Let me explain why. Recently some of my colleagues in the UNP visited Hambantota. Now President Rajapaksa, his brothers, sons and other relatives act as though Hambantota belongs to them. Sure, they’ve been there for generations. I am a relative newcomer. But then again, it’s my ‘home base’ now and the people have thought fit to elect me to represent them. more..

Racists under robes of righteousness

May 1 (NS) All major religions preach peace as their major precept. But then again it depends on the kind of peace they genuinely hope to achieve. And not all kinds of peace are equal. One type of peace that advocates total acceptance is based on the principle which allows everyone to live freely. Others require that some submit to subjugation. Although mainstream religious faiths are regularly perceived as forces for peace, more..

Opportunistic alliances and Indo-Lanka ties

May 1 (CT) "Among all the countries that attained freedom after the Second World War, in Africa and Asia, only your nation and our nation have preserved the democratic traditions without any interruption. "We were the first to change our govts by constitutional process. We have done this on several occasions and I have been at the receiving end of several of those changes. Today, I am the President of Sri Lanka by the choice of its people and not by any constitutional or military coup. more..

Elite failure in Sri Lanka

May 1 (GV) I write from a particular standpoint (derivative and illustrative of a distinct worldview), best delineated by a critical observer rather than by myself. Izeth Hussein, literary critic and former Ambassador wrote in After Geneva, What?: “Between 1995 and 2000, and even more during the years of the peace process, the widespread assumption was that the LTTE could never be defeated militarily. There were very few dissentient voices against that conventional wisdom more..

SL attempt 'Fijian fix' for Hong Kong clash

May 1 (SCMP) Hong Kong could run into a wall of Fijians with Sri Lanka making hasty plans to field three Pacific Islanders in their Asian Five Nations clash on Saturday. It is understood the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is trying to fast-track passports for a forward and two backs. Sri Lanka are captained by Namal Rajapaksa, whose father is the president of the country. While there was opposition in the past to Sri Lanka more..

Editorial: Bride in the kitchen

May 1 (Island) Today, the International Workers’ Day is celebrated on a grand scale the world over. Elaborate arrangements have been made in this country as well for today’s event. We hope the weather gods will have mercy upon hapless workers and refrain from training heavenly water cannon on May Day processions. However, the problem with May Day rallies here is that they are like Hamlet without Prince of Denmark or Julius Caesar staged with Brutus as the protagonist. more..

Mahindananda and Hemasiri in amicable discussion!

May 1 (Island) A special meeting has been held between the Minister of Sports, Mahindanada Aluthgamage and Chairman of National Olympic Committee (NOC), Hemasiri Fernando last afternoon at the Sports Ministry. The purpose of the meeting, it says, is to have an ‘exclusive aim of evolving and promoting the future of the country’s sports, through a systematical plan’. Minister Aluthgamage and Mr. Fernando has decided to establish a new programme with the more..

Is Arugam Bay being abandoned to human wolves?

May 1 (Island) Environmenatalists, nature lovers and some holidaymakers are up in arms against the rapid haphazard development taking place in Arugam Bay which is one of the most sought after and un-spoilt tourist resorts in Sri Lanka. Michelle Mitchel of Sydney, Australia, born to Sri Lankan parents, expressed her displeasure at the adhoc and rapid development taking place in the area and added more..

Wilpattu encroached

May 1 (NS) The ‘battle’ which has erupted between Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and BBS over the alleged clearance of land belonging to the Wilpattu National Park for settling displaced Muslim people has grown in intensity within the last few weeks. It began earlier this month with BBS General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera accusing the govt including President Rajapaksa for ‘keeping silent’ on the large scale housing complex constructed in the Wilpattu National Park. more..

Indian Coast Guard arrests 5 SL fishermen

May 1 (PTI) Five Sri Lankan fishermen were apprehended and a vessel containing huge quantity of fish was seized by Indian Coast Guard off Paradip coast in Odisha, police said today. The foreign fishing trawler carrying the Sri Lankan fishermen was intercepted yesterday during patrolling by Coast Guard ship 'Bajra' about 139 nautical miles from Paradip coastline. The five fishermen were handed over to the police at Marine police station at Paradip and were arrested for trespassing more..

Big moment for Captain Angelo

May 1 (Island) The national cricket team will leave for the United Kingdom tomorrow and more than anyone else, Captain Angelo Mathews is excited about the challenge ahead for several reasons. To start with, this is going to be Mathews’ first series as captain after being given an extended run as team’s Test and ODI captain. Last week, Mathews was confirmed as the captain until the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. more..

HNB’s Jonathan Alles: ‘Mergers are messy’

May 1 (Island) ‘Mergers are messy, it means staff displacement, re-allocation of functions, personnel movement, re-deployment of funds, and generally, it would result in dislocation of a going organization merely for some monetary gain. That too an untested situation, CEO HNB Jonathan Alles asked at a MTI Consulting initiated banking forum. Alles asked,’ Why should you merge? If finance companies think they should minimize their funds base, or broad base their functions, let them. more..

Tobacco farmers transitioning to diversified, sustainable agriculture

May 1 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), announced the introduction of a sustainable agriculture programme for tobacco leaf farmers across the country in 2013, aimed at introducing the farmers to better crop management techniques, improving their contribution to the National food production and promoting the growing of vegetables to fulfil their dietary requirements. Conducted as an extension of the Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme (SADP), more..

No ‘mercy’ for veteran actress from finance Cos.

May 1 (ST) Mercy Edirisinghe, the lovable, female comedian of Sinhala cinema who died recently, was one of the victims of the crisis in some finance companies that has afflicted many of Sri Lanka’s elderly citizens. Ms. Edirisinghe, a veteran theatre, stage and TV actress, was an investor of the failed Central Investment and Finance (CIFL) along with her sisters and their pleas from the management to pay her hospital bills more..

More taxes on imported goods to raise revenue

May 1 (ST) Sri Lankan govt is to further increase import duty and cess on some of the imported goods soon to increase state revenue, official sources said. Revenue from import duties last year increased only by 3.7% to Rs. 83.1 billion due to lower import duties and exemptions granted to selected items last year, according to the Central Bank 2013 annual report. Accordingly, import duties as a share of tax revenue decreased to 8.3% in 2013 from 8.8% in the previous year, Central Bank revealed. more..

Pre inspection company for used vehciles visits Sri Lanka

May 1 (Island) Representatives of Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre (JEVIC) one of Japan’s leading Certification Company for used Vehicles visited Sri Lanka recently to meet their representatives Premium Trading and Logistics, for discussions on their marketing strategy and to meet with the industry. Sri Lankan Govt in mid 2013 approved Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre Company (JEVIC) as one of the authorized Vehicle inspection companies for used vehicles more..

HR guru enthrals corporates, executives

May 1 (FT) “The next wave of HR is ‘outside-in,’ looking through the window of strategy to what’s happening outside the company,” said Dave Ulrich, during his visit to Sri Lanka, as he led a practical, interactive and insightful session on ‘The Future of HR’ for an enthralled audience of 750 professionals from a variety of industries. HR Forum was held at Waters Edge yesterday and was jointly organised by several professional bodies, more..

Kalutara doctors boycott duties

May 1 (CT) Doctors attached to the Kalutara Hospital have left patients out on a limb and have refused to visit their respective wards, on the charge that unauthorized personnel were interfering with their duties, the GMOA said. GMOA Spokesman, Dr. Navin Soyza, stated that confusion is reigning in the Kalutara Hospital and many other places as nurses have started to play the role of doctors, and are taking over doctors' duties. Nurses have also begun to assume the role of midwives; more..

Over hundred events at the Junior Athletics Nationals

May 1 (ST) Closer to 3500 entries, which is a new record in numbers, have been received for the Junior National Athletics Championship which will be held on May 2,3,4 and 5 at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. This year’s tally of entries outnumbers the so far best of 3300, which was recorded last year according to G.L.S. Perera, the vice president of Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL), the organiser of the four-day meet. The meet will begin on May 2 at 7.00am, more..

President Rajapaksa meets with Sri Lankan community in Bahrain

May 1 (FT) President Rajapaksa met with members of the Sri Lankan community living in Bahrain at the Ritz-Carlton on Tuesday evening at a reception organised by the Sri Lankan Embassy. “Even though it took time, we are happy we were able to establish diplomatic ties with Bahrain,” President said when he took the opportunity to speak briefly to those who had gathered. He added that because of the opening of the Embassy more..

May Day message of the JVP

May 1 (LT) Today is May Day, the day the heroes and heroines of the working class, who shed their blood and sweat and sacrificed their lives in a bitter, protracted struggle carried out to win an eight hour working day, are commemorated. Today is also the day millions of working masses together with anti-imperialist, progressive, democratic, humanitarian and environment friendly people display strength of their unity and camaraderie by raising the red banners of international solidarity. more..

May Day message of the President

May 1 (GDI) President Rajapaksa in his message to mark the International Worker's Day said “We need to be constantly cautious of conspiracies to disrupt the work force of the country. However, I have the fullest confidence that our working people will safeguard the workers’ rights and unitedly defeat such conspiracies that come with ulterior motives”. President further said that he trust the workers of the country will cooperate with the govt to overcome all local and international challenges. more..

TNA ready to register Alliance

May 1 (CT) TNA on Tuesday appointed a 5-member committee to look into the possibility of registering the Alliance as a political party. Committee includes MPs Mavai Senathiraja, Suresh Premachandran, M.A. Sumanthiran, Selvam Adaikalanathan and Provincial Councillor, D. Siddharthan. TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, warned the Alliance membership to be on their guard as the govt was scheming to dismantle the TNA. more..

Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA)

May 1 (GDI) Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) Scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt of India aims to facilitate admission of Foreign Nationals / Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) / Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) for Undergraduate & Postgraduate programmes in Engineering / Architecture / Planning and MBA in National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), Schools of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) and more..

No fuel subsidy to fishers

May 1 (CT) The govt yesterday said it plans to scrap the fuel subsidy promised to fishermen and will distribute fishing equipment instead. Director General of the Fisheries Department, Nimal Hettiarachchi, told Ceylon Today that since it's difficult to implement the fuel subsidy, the ministry has decided to replace it with fishing equipment in order to 'capitalize the industry.' "We have encountered difficulties in the distribution of fuel district wise," he said. more..

US says LTTE getting diaspora funds

May 1 (CG) The US says the LTTE uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies. In its latest annual report on terrorism, the US State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism says the LTTE employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for their activities. “Despite its military defeat more..

Man jailed over Srilankan bomb hoax

May 1 (CG) A British man was today been jailed for three years for endangering an aircraft by making a bomb hoax which resulted in a plane being diverted to Stansted Airport. Alan Patey, 49, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to making a bomb hoax. It happened while he was on board a Sri Lankan Airlines A330 Airbus which was flying from Sri Lanka to Heathrow on Friday, September 20. As a result of his threats, the aircraft had to be diverted to Stansted Airport, causing more..

Immigration on hot line

May 1 (Island) Immigration and Emigration Department could be contacted on phone number 1962 to seek information and it requests the public to make use of the opportunity. Assistant Controller Jayaweera Fernando said that the public were not aware of the service provided by the new unit established last December. The Public Information Unit is open from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. He said that about 600 calls were received per day and his officials would provide a better service to more..

High level probe ordered into alleged negligence

May 1 (Island) 75 passengers were injured, five critically when Rajarata Rajina plying from Vavuniya to Matara and the Colombo to Palai Deyata Kirula Intercity power set collided head-on outside the Pothuhera Railway Station yesterday. Commercial Superintend of Sri Lanka Railways G.W.S Sisirakumara said that a full investigation had been launched into the tragedy to find out whether there had been negligence on the part of more..

Sri Lanka gets Avurudu gift from international hackers

May 1 (ST) Local technology blog is reporting the April 15 and 16 coordinated hacking attack on 129 Sri Lankan websites, including top-level sites like (LK domain registrar), (Official Country Portal), (Central Bank) and, as well as corporate sites including (SriLankan Airlines), (IT body), (Vallibel Finance), (CIC Agri Businesses), (SL Ports Authority) among others. more..

Witness says first accused the most aggressive

May 1 (CT) Basil Samarasinghe, who was a guest at The Nature Hotel in Tangalle, giving evidence before the Colombo High Court yesterday said, while Khuram Shaikh, who was bleeding from his face, had fallen down and Victoria was wailing while embracing him, he saw an individual who arrived at the scene with a burning stick, brutally assaulting Victoria until the fire on the stick was extinguished. He said he found it difficult to watch the scene. The first accused was most aggressive that day, more..

Political parties not interested in working class: Sri Lankan Trade Unions

May 1 (Hindu) Amid an apparently weakening labour movement — that leaders attribute to growing affiliation to parliamentary politics and a neoliberal state — Sri Lanka’s trade unions say there is more reason now to continue the struggle. Rather busy preparing for May Day, trade unionists on Wednesday were in meetings, giving final revisions to their resolutions and getting things in order for the rallies. more..

What’s happening to Rajapaksa’s National Workers’ Charter?

May 1 (DM) As thousands of workers and party supporters gather in Colombo and elsewhere for May Day processions and rallies today, we need to go beyond the big crowds and platform rhetoric to reflect on the deep inner significance of this important day for millions of workers and their families in Sri Lanka. Otherwise, if May Day is confined to May Day today, it will be just a hollow holiday with most people attending processions or rallies not as part of the battle for more..

Champika bravely walks political tight rope

May 1 (DM) Minister of Technology and Research Champika Ranawaka is walking a political tight rope these days. His stance and that of his party, the JHU has brought him into conflict with the ruling UPFA in no uncertain terms. When legislation related to the setting up of development projects mooted by casino operators was brought to Parliament last week and while there were many ministers and MPs who abstained; Ranawaka was the only cabinet minister to vote against it. more..

Despite clouded atmosphere govt wins vote on notifications

May 1 (DM) A heavy shower, accompanied by thunder and lightning was pouring when Parliament took up the vote on the two gazette notifications, which critics say, will legalize Casinos and other forms of gaming activities. It was scaring, and the opposition legislators made fun of the change of weather pattern in the evening. A similar climatic condition developed when the govt attempted to more..

Terror suspect took photos of consulates

May 1 (Hindu) Mohammed Zakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan Tamil arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police here on Tuesday, had allegedly conducted a reconnaissance mission as part of a conspiracy to attack foreign missions in southern India. Hussain had taken photographs of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the Israeli Consulate in Bangalore and other vital installations, and studied their topography at the behest of Pakistani diplomat more..