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Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village

May 6 (BBC) Villagers in Sri Lanka have said they have been surprised and delighted by an unusual rainfall of small fish. The edible fish fell during a storm and are believed to have been lifted out of a river during a strong wind. Villagers in Chilaw said they heard something heavy falling and found scores of fish with a total weight of 50kg. It is not the first such incident in SL, in 2012, a case of "prawn rain" was recorded in the south. more..

Broad misses Sri Lanka series

May 6 (CI) Stuart Broad has confirmed that he will miss the limited-overs internationals with Sri Lanka because of the tendonitis in his knee which troubled him throughout the latter stages of the West Indies one-day tour and England's failed World Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean. He will miss the one-off NatWest T20I against Sri Lanka on May 20 and the five Royal London ODIs which follow. Broad hopes to make his first appearance of the season in Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship more..

EU says concerns on Lanka serious

May 6 (CG) European Union (EU) says the concerns raised on Sri Lanka during the March session of the UNHRC in Geneva were serious. The Head of Delegation of the EU to Sri Lanka and Maldives David Daly said that the EU felt it was important to back the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted at the UNHRC. Speaking at an EU day function in Colombo this evening, Daly said that the EU sees Sri Lanka as a good friend and it was as part of that friendship that the EU raised its concerns more..

Sri Lanka beat Ireland by 79 runs in first ODI

May 6 (CW) Runs at the tail-end of Sri Lanka's innings helped set up a comprehensive 79-run win over Ireland in the first ODI in Dublin. Nuwan Kulasekara top scored with 42 not out in 34 balls as he hauled Sri Lanka to a score of 219 for eight after they had been reduced to 135 for six and 160 for seven batting first. Ireland lost two early wickets and were subsequently unable to build any sort of platform and more..

Political settlement or regime change!

May 7 (GV) This essay is premised on an ill-omened reading of the Geneva tea-leaves. What be this ominous message I see floating in the cup? For reasons I will lay out in the initial paragraphs I find it hard to refute the conclusion (more than just a suspicion) that the international powers that pushed through the UNHRC resolution in Geneva in March have made a strategic decision to carry through regime change in Colombo, in due course, and when conditions ripen. more..

Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated

May 7 (Island) Varigapurnikava has not been published in its entirety or what is remaining of it, but only some extracts of it by Ven. Manewe Vimalarathana Thero. Also when I mentioned that Varigapurnikava believed in Abhidhamma what was intended to say was that Varigapurnikava believes that Abhidhamma was taught by Budunvahanse, as there are some schools of thought such as Sauthranthikas that do not believe in Abhidhamma as one of the pitakas (baskets). more..

State university education system: Focus on student-centric learning

May 7 (SO) University education system has always been a controversial topic in Sri Lanka when it comes to the subject of employability of graduates produced through the state university network specially graduates from the arts faculties. Every year, govts in power are compelled to recruit many of these unemployed graduates to State service for the sake of solving the issue of unemployment among graduates more..

UNP can take a page from Mahinda Chinthana

May 7 (NS) The Govt, as usual, put its own spin on what happened in Hambantota when some UNP MPs decided to check out the airport and harbor. Mayor Eraj Fernando’s antics, however, were caught on camera. There’s no erasing that kind of belligerence (that’s a mild word, by the way) regardless of one’s spin-doctoring skills. Attempting to do so would invariably result in convincing the audience that its intelligence is being insulted. The next option is damage control. more..

Will an unsteady state of governance bring a lasting peace?

May 7 (CT) The message of Bhagavad Gita extends to the area of promoting good governance and sustainable development. Even Buddhism is indebted to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Gita stresses the concept of duty and its significance for good leadership. Duty needs to be done without attachment and without any discriminations whatsoever and for those who do their duty without attachment will attain the supreme goal. It is the steady state of governance which will more..

Giving back to her school the way she knows best

May 7 (ST) Kishani Jayasinghe will return next Sunday to the place she loves best; onstage, under the spotlight and performing for an audience she holds dear to her heart. With this show comes a hint of the nostalgia for she will be singing on the invitation of her alma mater Visakha Vidyalaya, returning to Colombo after a hiatus of almost four months for ‘Kishani sings for Visakha, On the Lighter Side’. more..

Rishad Bathiudeen shows political ‘maturity’

May 7 (NS) I am a seasoned politician. I can hunt with the horse and run with the hare. I know that at the end of the day, the most important thing for a politician is getting elected and re-elected. I know that elections are about people. I know everyone won’t vote for me, but I also know that a politician must have a good sense of his constituency. I know who are likely to vote for me and I know what should be done so that I can pocket their votes. I am a man of the people. more..

SL, India and the federalisation of Ukraine

May 7 (CT) Russia moved in its troops, without any national, formation or regimental markings on their uniforms, mounted on Russian vehicles and bearing state-of-the-art Russian weapons and communication equipment, into the Southern Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and rapidly annexed the region into the Russian Federation. The United Nations General Assembly condemned the move, and at the UN Security Council, Russia vetoed a Resolution condemning the move. more..

Story of a worn shoe & a callous teacher

May 7 (DM) A story ran recently of a pair of slippers been hung around the neck of a student who came to school without wearing slippers. The student resides in Sumedhankarapura, Seruvila, a village that was targeted by terrorists in the past. She has three brothers and sisters and her father was dead. The family lived in a half built house some portions of which were covered with polythene. Her mother kept the family going more..

Kasturi’s Progress

May 7 (GV) Kasturi was born in another century in what really was another country. It was called Ceylon, and the year, 1933. Two years earlier, exercising the newly granted universal adult franchise, the people of Ceylon had elected 50 members to the first State Council. The times were turbulent: the West was grappling with the Great Depression, while in the East, agitation for self determination and end of colonialism was gathering momentum. Kasturi was too young to grasp more..

Thwarting an attempt to revive the LTTE in North: Part 2

May 7 (DBS) Preliminary information gleaned by the Police in Pallai from 34 year old Kumarasingham Kulasankar alias Muhunthan and 28 year old Augustine Gnanaseelan alias Gnana revealed vague details of a plot to revive the LTTE and commence operations in Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough the large military presence in the North and East did not play any significant role in the detection of the LTTE revival attempt initially. It was the suspicion of the Police on a routine patrol that more..

Thwarting an attempt to revive the LTTE in North: Part 1

May 7 (DBS) Mazhai Nindraalum Thooral Nitkavillai is a saying in Tamil meaning though the rain has ceased the drizzle is not over. In similar vein, the recent attempt by tiger elements to revive the LTTE has been foiled by the security apparatus but mopping up efforts continue in the country. The deaths of Theiveegan, Appan and Gobi in the northern jungles has virtually ended the LTTE revival project in Sri Lanka but security more..

'No North-South divide in Indian cinema'

May 7 (LR) South Indian actor and songwriter Dhanush says times have changed in Indian cinema, making the transition between Southern and Northern cinema much easier. He made these comments to The Sri Lanka Reporter backstage, shortly after he received the IIFA award for Best Debutant Male Actor for his critically acclaimed role in the Hindi movie Raanjhanaa. “No difference between North India and South India, it’s just India,” he said backstage. “Times have changed.” more..

UNP reformists in the dark

May 7 (Island) Two leading UNP reformists and former Provincial Councillors Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka insisted that they were unaware of any negotiations by Party Chairman Kabir Hashim to get them back into the party fold as claimed by UNP MP Harin Fernando, who said that all must be brought back to work as a team for UNP’s success at the Uva PC elections later this year. Gunaratne said that he was not aware of such moves and for all intents and purposes they more..

An end to monk militancy in sight?

May 7 (Island) The unsuccessful suicide attempt by a Buddhist monk protesting against cattle slaughter some time ago was the second such event staged by a bhikkhu over a couple of months. In the first incident that occurred in Kandy, a young monk died by burning himself. The apparently suicidal desperation of certain young Bhikkhus demonstrated in these cases may have in some measure catalysed the emergence of a more..

A painful labour room tussle

May 7 (Island) The hurly-burly is done and warring nurses are back at work. Their crippling strike has been suspended following the appointment by the govt of a high-powered committee to look into the issue of their midwifery training. The question is why the govt let the grass grow under its feet all these weeks without making such an intervention at an earlier stage to prevent trade union action by both midwives and nurses. Midwives are on the warpath as they fear that nurses are trying to more..

Touchwood’s small investors furious about new management stance

May 7 (ST) Touchwood investors this week vehemently criticised the latest outburst of the organisation’s new chief Lanka Kiwlegedara for downplaying those who had made small investments in the company. Investors pointed out that this was “insulting” as they were made to feel that their investments though small were not worth it, an investor said. On the other hand investors pointed out that all investments whether big or small were made and these could not be ignored. more..

AAC launches road safety programme for motorcyclists

May 7 (ST) The issue of wearing helmets by motorcyclists is apparently becoming an issue, specially the full face helmets as there are a spate of robberies committed by the thieves wearing helmets, while the law requires the rider as well as the pillion rider to wear helmets. Police recently said they were enforcing rules that the visor should be removed to clearly see the face. The vital importance of wearing the helmet by more..

'SL must embracefree-enterprise culture'

May 7 (CT) Sri Lanka shows a clear ambition and ability to succeed as a strong economy, but the country needs to embrace an intensified free-enterprise economy in this transition period, AIA Group Executive Director, Mark Edward Tucker said. Economists have highlighted that the present rent-seeking economy was stifling private sector growth, with the govt crowding out the sector for bank credit; and the absence of rule of law and transparency creating an environment not conducive to more..

Athauda throws paper ball at Opposition

May 7 (CT) An angry Minister of Rural Affairs, Athauda Seneviratne, threw the piece of paper, on which his speech was written, at the Opposition when he was criticized by UNP Parliamentarian, Joseph Michael Perera. Following Minister Seneviratne's speech on the National Thoroughfares Act, regarding the fee levied from motorists on the national highways, UNP MP Perera criticized the minister claiming that he did not speak a world regarding the aforementioned Act or its levy. more..

Trade unionists in soup over violating court order

May 7 (DM) Three trade union leaders including Ceylon Teachers’ Union President Joseph Stalin and Health Services Trade Union Alliance President Saman Ratnapriya were noticed to appear in Court on June 2 for the alleged violation of a Court order. Colombo Fort Magistrate had earlier issued an order preventing the three trade union leaders attached to the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) from entering or organising more..

Speaker allows six adjournment questions weekly in P’ment

May 7 (FT) In lieu of the adjournment motions, the Parliament will allow six adjournment questions equally distributed among the Govt and Opposition members from today. According to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, both Opposition and the Govt members can raise three questions on important public matters once a week after the adjournment debate; a decision taken by Committee on Parliamentary Business. “One hour will be allocated for adjournment questions on the days after more..

Coke to remove controversial chemical from Fanta, other drinks

May 7 (Reuters) The Coca-Cola Company said on Monday it will remove a controversial flavoring stabilizer from some of its drinks, following rival PepsiCo Inc's announcement earlier this year that it would drop the same ingredient from its drinks. The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is a chemical containing bromine, which is found in fire retardants. Small quantities of BVO are used legally in some citrus-flavored drinks in the United States to keep the flavor evenly distributed. more..

'Colombo Process should be in a re-branding exercise'

May 7 (DN) The 'Colombo Process' should be in a re-branding exercise with member countries focusing their energies more on the product development of its migrant workers through re-skilling, by upgrading skills to outsmart competitors and to have an edge in the global labour markets, Chair-in-Office, Colombo Process and Minister Dilan Perera said. He was addressing the inaugural session of the meeting of senior officials of more..

More luxury bus services from this month

May 7 (FT) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will commence three super luxury bus services from this month. SLTB Chief Operations Superintendent H.M. Chandrasiri said these new luxury buses will run from Colombo to Galle, Colombo to Matara, and Colombo to Kuliyapitiya. They will start from Colombo Central Bus Stand. The SLTB has already deployed over 70 super luxury buses to transport passengers on both the Southern and Katunayake Expressways. more..

Drought cuts March tea crop by 22%

May 7 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tea output fell for the second straight month in March, down 21.9% from a year earlier, data showed, which officials attributed to an extended drought condition. Output of Sri Lanka’s top agricultural export commodity also fell 9.9% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. The country’s annual tea production rose 4.2% last year to a record high of 340.2 million kg, surpassing its previous all-time peak of 331.4 million kg in 2010. more..

Khuram killing: JMO says stab injury was fatal

May 7 (DM) Dr. Kithsiri Wijeweera, who is the former Tangalle Hospital JMO, testifying in the Khuram Sheik murder trial said it was not the gunshot injury on Khuram’s forehead but the stab injury on his face that had caused instant death. Dr. Wijeweera’s evidence before Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama was led by Senior State Counsel Thusith Mudalige. He revealed this at the trial into the killing of Khuram Sheik and more..

Historic Sri Lanka listed oil palm firms to go private after interventionist rule

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka listed palm oil plantations in East Asia that date back to the British Colonial period are on track to be de-listed following an interventionist rule requiring a minimum 'public float'. Shalimar (Malay), Selinsing, Good Hope and Indo Malay, were companies set up in then Ceylon to raise capital to start plantations in Malaysia at a time when plantations stock was traded in Colombo and it was a fledgling financial centre in Asia. The firms are part of SL's Carson Cumberbatch group, more..

Two nurses unions continue strike at K’gala Teaching Hospital

May 7 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) warned that the strike at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital would continue despite its decision to call off the strike as the midwives in the hospital continued to sign in a separate register. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said the Health Ministry had authorised midwives to sign in another register whereas they usually signed in the same register as the nurses. He said that steps had not been taken to annul the instructions. more..

President tells 15th World Conference on Youth: Don't subvert country for others

May 7 (DN) President Rajapaksa said youths sensitivity to influence and their proneness to be misguided are the chief attractions for terrorists to recruit them as combatants to their cadres. “As we all know, the minds of youth are extremely sensitive to influence and can be easily misguided. This is the attraction for terrorist groups, to recruit youth combatants to their cadres often ending as cannon fodder, a traumatised and more..

India to grill Lankan terror suspect

May 7 (CG) Intelligence officials from Andhra Pradesh are to interrogate Mohammed Zakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan arrested by the Tamil Nadu police days before recent terror attack in Chennai, Deputy police chief B. Prasada Rao said. They would elicit information if Hussain and his handlers had planned any attacks here, he said at a press conference replying to a question if the terror operatives behind Chennai attack had targeted Andhra Pradesh. more..

Atchchuvely triple murder suspect remanded

May 7 (CT) The suspect in Sunday's Atchchuvely triple murder case was produced before the Mallakam Magistrate, by the Kopai Police and remanded till 15 May, 2014. It is learnt that a group of angry residents had assembled in front of the Atchchuvely Police, while the suspect was being taken to Court, demanding that the police hand over the man to them. The man has been charged with hacking to death three and injuring two others, all of the same family. more..

AHS degree dispute: Speaker accepts JVP leader’s proposal to settle crisis

May 7 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa welcomed and appreciated a proposal made by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake that a special parliamentary committee be appointed to look into the crisis situation with regard to the reduction of the duration of the Allied Health Sciences degree programme from four years to three. He said the MP’s proposal was prudent and timely and many other problems, too, more..

Railway employees want dept. lapses probed as well

May 7 (Island) Railway employees urged the Transport Minister Kumara Welgama to probe the lapses and shortcomings of the Railway Department as part of the on-going inquiry against those responsible for the Pothuhera rail accident on April 30. President of ACREGU S.P. Vithanage said that always inquiries conducted against employees when an accident took place, but the lapses of the department including the technical problems of train engines should also be looked into. more..

Weerawansa’s public threats to quit UPFA laughed at

May 7 (Island) Minister Wijitha Wijayamuni Zoysa yesterday said that Minister Wimal Weerawansa was blowing his own trumpet obviously referring to the latter’s public threat to pull out of the ruling alliance. The Wildlife Minister likened his ministerial colleague’s rhetoric to the din that emanates when a kottu roti was made in a wayside boutique. Simply by making a big noise National Freedom Front leader Weerawansa could not scare the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, he added. more..

Police shaken by daring abduction of two cops and killing of one

May 7 (Island) Two unarmed traffic constables attached to Kurunegala police station were abducted, while they were on duty, by unidentified armed men, who arrived in a white van in the early hours of yesterday at Barawedapola junction in the Kurunegala town and one of them was shot dead about 2km away near a jungle. The deceased had received two gun shot injuries to his back. He was lying fully naked on the ground. more..