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Land acquisition, 'demonstration of military power'

Mar 12 (SM) TNA has charged that security forces are attempting to demonstrate their power by forcefully acquiring lands of Tamil residents. NPC member M.K. Sivajilingam has made these comments raising the objection of TNA towards the posters pasted with regard to the military acquisition of nearly 300 acres of civilian owned land in Keerimale, Jaffna. He stated that nearly 6,400 acres of land belonging to residents of Jaffna peninsula has already been acquired by the Army. more..

Pakistan Naval ship to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (PTI) A Pakistani Naval ship will arrive here tomorrow for a three-day goodwill visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties with Sri Lanka. PNS Shamsheer's visit is a manifestation of the strong, diplomatic, economic, cultural and defence ties between the two friendly countries, a Pakistani diplomat said. "As part of goodwill, Pakistan Navy ships frequently pay port calls to Sri Lanka. These visits are aimed at more..

UN Chief greets Buddhists for Vesak

May 12 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon today greeted Buddhists around the world for Vesak Day which falls this week and urged the people to pledge to work together for the common good, and for the betterment of all humankind. Ban ki-moon said that on Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, the United Nations joins millions of people — Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike — in reflecting on his life and teachings. “The Buddha’s message of more..

Don't arrest SL Tamils: Rights activists

Mar 12 (ENS) The arrest of 10 Sri Lankan Tamils, who fled the island nation following persecution, has evoked angry reactions from rights activists and Tamil outfits here. The 10 Lankan Tamils, including five children, who arrived in Dhanushkodi, were arrested under the Foreigners Act and sent to Puzhal Prison in Chennai on May 5. The refugees came in two batches. Many Tamils have sought asylum in India during the decades-old war between the LTTE and the Lankan defence forces. more..

CJ 43 refuses to plead guilty or not guilty

May 12 (DM) Former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake today declined to plead guilty or not guilty when the case filed by the Bribery Commission was heard in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on the grounds that her lawyers were not allowed full access to the bank accounts on which the case was based. During the inquiry State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake informed Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya that the case was fixed to more..

The search for a political solution five years after the war

May 13 (GV) Sri Lanka’s post-war politics has come to be defined by her inability to address two distinct, but inter-related, issues concerning its constituent peoples, especially the Tamil people. The first is that of accountability; the second, and the more enduring one, being that of a political solution to the national question. These are two issues that can make or break Sri Lanka. The question of accountability which is a pressing and controversial one is a question that the present govt more..

Problems of success? Post-war Sri Lanka’s international challenges

May 13 (GV) Since the end of Sri Lanka’s 30 year-long war against the LTTE, the island is often evoked internationally in relation to the UNHRC in Geneva. UNHRC remains the only supranational body where the case of Sri Lanka has been evoked on a regular basis since the 1980s. Right from the outset of Eelam War IV, Sri Lanka attracted much criticism from policy research lobbies and senior personalities such as the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and present more..

'He who discerns the Dhamma discerns me'

May 13 (SO) There are two salient characteristics in any religion which has a long history. One of them points to the fact that the fundamental nature of the religion should continue to exist in its original form. The other points to the necessity of transformations of these from country to country into which the religion spreads in keeping with the contemporary happenings, changes and modernization of religious rites. more..

Why SL failed in 80% of pictorial warning

May 13 (NS) We are thoroughly UNHAPPY about the NEW percentage AS this is what the tobacco company wanted. Experiences from other countries prove that it is the 80% which has been effective in discouraging the people which the people of this country also wanted. Sri Lanka is a Party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the WHO which is the best international health treaty adopted to protect people from tobacco menace. more..

The apparent Opposition and the real Opposition

May 13 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa knows better than most how to make the best out of a bad situation. He showed once again what an astute politician he is on May Day when he turned things around after key members of the ruling coalition declined to support what has been dubbed the ‘Casino Bill’. He said that there is room in the Govt for dissent. More importantly he said that things had come to a point where the only discernible opposition was already within the UPFA. more..

Former shadow coach Hathurusingha open to Sri Lanka role

May 13 (CI) New South Wales assistant coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said he is not averse to considering a position with Sri Lanka Cricket, if the board approaches him as it seeks a new head coach. Hathurusingha had forged a reputation for clear, incisive coaching and a firm, even-handed approach, during his time as a coach in Sri Lanka, but he had his SLC contract terminated in 2010 for disciplinary reasons. more..

Editorial: Cops as cooks

May 13 (Island) Two police bodyguards who were allegedly made to perform household chores for a female UPFA MP have been sent back to police stations following their complaint to higher-ups and the attendant hue and cry raised by the media. The IGP himself stepped in to bring them relief and a probe has been ordered into their allegation, we are told. However, let’s not be so optimistic as to expect anything to come of that investigation. It is heartening that the MP’s khaki-clad slaves more..

Facebook, mirror of our evil self

May 13 (CT) I was a guest speaker at a recent book launch titled 'Computer and Your Child.' The other guest speaker was the Head of the Cybercrimes Division of the Police Department, IP Senaratne, who told me they receive at least 50 complaints daily with regard to cybercrimes and 90% of those are related to sexual issues. Use of internet spread across the world in the 1990s. Those days, the majority of cybercrimes were with regard to financial transactions. more..

Eshantha Peiris

President frowns on attacks on Bhikkhu by State media

May 13 (CT) Is the Presidential Poll or the General Election likely to come first? This question has provided an interesting topic for the people in all parts of the country to talk about these days. This question has triggered a debate even among the VIPs within the govt. Last week saw two groups within the govt conducting two separate studies on which election should come first in the interest of the govt. A report compiled by one of these two groups has, going by the results of the more..

Regaining national unity five years on

May 13 (Island) The govt has made plans to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the end of the war with a "Victory Day" celebration in Matara in the Southern Province. But at the opposite side of the country there will be no such celebration. Govt has prohibited any public commemoration of the war’s end in the Northern Province. Speaking on behalf of the govt, the military spokesperson has said that "Individuals may have religious services to commemorate their loved ones more..

Highflying Balooshi helps lift SL motocross

May 13 (ST) Veteran Red Bull motocross champion Mohammed Balooshi recently travelled to Sri Lanka, where he involved himself in a redesign of the Foxhill Super Cross racetrack at Diyatalawa- aligning it with international standards- and conducted a series of helpful workshops. The Dubai-based motocross champion consulted extensively with engineers and designers working on the track rebuild in the lead-up to the races more..

Critically acclaimed Sri Lankan director casts Bong Bomkesh

May 13 (TOI) He is that old wine that gets better with age. After gearing up to give his younger counterparts a run for their money as the oldest Bomkesh in Sajarur Kanta, Dhritiman Chatterjee is set to put on the professor's glasses for a Sri Lankan film by Asoka Handagama. Pairing up with him in this English-Sinhala film will be Swarna, also known as the 'Golden star of Sinhalese cinema'. Asoka, a popular name in the indie film circuit in Sri Lanka, has been feted in the country more..

Com Bank posts Q1 pre-tax profit of Rs 3.291b

May 13 (Island) The Commercial Bank has made a measured start to 2014 despite excess liquidity, lower demand for credit and thinning margins. 'The Bank has reported operating profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 3.897 billion for the three months ended 31st March 2014, reflecting growth of 4.73% over the first quarter of 2013. Operating profit after VAT and NBT (PBT) grew by a modest 1.88% to Rs 3.291 billion, with VAT and NBT for the three months totalling Rs 606.3 million, more..

‘Although casinos are govt’s priority, future is with industries’

May 13 (Island) UNP MP Sujeeva Senasinghe said that the main aim of the UPFA govt is to make casinos an economic priority, ‘but what it must realise is that the future lies with industries and take steps to manufacture well known brands like cars and motorcycles, like what’s happening in India.’ he said that no licence had been issued to anyone to operate casinos, which is illegal, and Minister more..

‘Sri Lanka notable for per capita consumption of Unilever products’

May 13 (Island) Sanjiv Mehta, visiting Unilever Colombo, met the press last week. Although sections of the press expressed some reservations on local economic progress, he said he was impressed with Sri Lanka’s achievements in the sphere of commercial development. He said of South East Asian countries, Sri Lanka’s per capita consumption or absorption of Unilever products was at level 10; indicating Sri Lanka was three times higher than, for instance, India in this respect. more..

Chandrika addresses forum on post 2015 agenda in Azerbaijan

May 13 (FT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was in Baku, Azerbaijan last week to attend a Conference on ‘Post 2015 Agenda and Shared Societies’. She made an address on the ‘Importance of Inclusion In the post 2015 Agenda’. The conclusions of this conference will be fed into the draft of the Post 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development, under preparation by the UN High Level Panel. The final document is scheduled to be presented to the UNGA in September 2014. more..

Come hell or high water, they find new ways to go

May 13 (ST) Extensive campaigning and tightened surveillance by law enforcement authorities have succeeded in reducing the number of Sri Lankans attempting to enter Australia illegally by boat. However, new trends in human smuggling are emerging as some smugglers have started operating from other countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Since the authorities started cracking down on the smugglers, 225 have been more..

SL tourism anticipates over $ 2 b earnings

May 13 (FT) Sri Lanka can surpass the $ 2 billion foreign revenue injection from the tourism industry by end this year, if conditions remain stable and arrival numbers continue on an increasing trend. An anticipated 10-12% increase in domestic tourism activity this year, exceeding the six million listed last year, would add to the victory, in the backdrop of domestic travel exceeding two million by end March this year. Sri Lanka Tourism Director General Dr. D.S. Jayaweera noted that more..

Saree by Su Dharmapala – book review

May 13 (Guardian) Su Dharmapala’s second novel Saree weaves together six intricate stories around a six-yard sub-continental masterpiece. While a long way from the urbane thirty-some-things of Melbourne in her first book, The Wedding Season, Dharmapala clearly has a talent for presenting new perspectives on life and love, telling stories that are not often told in contemporary Australian literature. Saree begins with a devotion to the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, patron of knowledge, more..

High failure rate in O/L maths: Expert committee appointed to find solution

May 13 (Island) Education Ministry has appointed an expert committee to look into high failure rate in Mathematics at the GCE O/L Exam, which results in a large number of students dropping out of further education. After handing over appointment letters to the 10-member committee, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that 71% students had failed in Mathematics at GCE (O/L) in 1995 and 280,000 students had dropped out more..

‘Sri Lanka must join hands with India in investigating Hussain’s case’

May 13 (Island) Former MP M.M. Zuhair, PC, said that the he Govt should engage immediately with the Indian authorities for a top Sri Lankan police team to visit Chennai and join in the investigations underway into the case of Sri Lankan national Zakir Hussain, who was arrested in Chennai on 29 April under India’s anti- terror laws. The following is the full text of statement issued by the former Additional Solicitor General and one-time Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Teheran: "Govt’s obligation in more..

Essex v Sri Lanka: Match preview

May 13 (EC) Sri Lanka team are in town to face Essex Eagles at The E.C.G in a 50-over day/night match commencing at 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday). The tourists, who are set to meet England in two Test matches, five ODI’s and a Twenty20 international this summer, bring with them a highly-talented squad who only last month, lifted the World Twenty20 title. They have also proved themselves a competitive side in other International formats of the game since 1982 when they became a more..

Rejigged tour can help Sri Lanka

May 13 (CI) Sri Lanka may have their best chance of winning a Test series in England for many years. A schedule more sympathetic to their needs, an opposition in transitional mode and confidence gained from success in Bangladesh has given Sri Lanka an optimism not always shared by some of their predecessors. The English leg of their tour begins on Tuesday. Sri Lanka will take on an Essex side including more..

Driver fined for spitting betel chewing

May 13 (DM) A bus driver, arrested on the charge of spitting betel-chewing out of a bus at a public place in Colombo Fort was fined Rs.1,500 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. The accused, a driver of a private bus plying between Pettah and Katunayake, was arrested by the Fort Police spitting out chewed betel residue onto a roadside near the Lotus Road in Colombo Fort. Producing the accused S.M. Gunasinghe of Nikaweratiya before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage, more..

Sri Lanka opens new Manmunai Bridge

May 13 (KSA) Residents of eastern Sri Lanka say the newly minted, Rs. 1.87 billion Manmunai Bridge spanning Batticaloa Lagoon, improves their lives by making it easier for people and goods to cross. Construction of the 210-metre long, 9.8-metre wide span and adjoining causeway, was made possible through a grant of Rs. 1.54 billion from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), according to Sri Lankan government officials. Construction began in 2012, which marked the more..

US grants $100,000 towards conservation of Rajagala Buddhist monastery

May 13 (FT) Ambassador Michele J. Sison toured the Rajagala Buddhist monastery archaeological site with senior officials of the Department of Archaeology on 9 May. Expert conservation work at this heritage site is being performed thanks to a US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation grant of Rs. 13 million. US Embassy awarded this grant to the University of Sri J'pura in 2013 and is working closely with more..

Test players to get specialized training in England

May 13 (Island) Lead up to the national cricket team’s tour of England, the team management had lined up intense training as preparation for the tour. The Sri Lankans trained with the Dukes balls used in England, left grass on the wickets and started training early when the moisture was still on the wickets. Now there’s a move to get the Test specialists early to England to go through specialized training. Accordingly about six players who are likely to feature more..

Pupils send big letter to Sri Lanka pals

May 13 (Chad) Year 8 students at Tibshelf Community School continue to develop their friendship with pupils at Thotogoda School in Sri Lanka. As well as collaborating on a Language Leader project at Key Stage 4, these students have been keeping in touch with their penpals following modern languages teacher Emily Gunn’s visit to SL in October. School has had ongoing links with Sri Lanka for four years and pupils have visited to help build a school there and teach English. more..

UN to look at reports of North ban

May 13 (CG) The UN says it will look into reports that the Govt has banned public events being held in the North to commemorate those killed during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. When asked about the ban, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said he had not seen those reports but will look into it. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya had earlier said that public events to commemorate more..

CMC fails to keep promise

May 13 (Island) The Municipal Council administration of Colombo has failed to appoint Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, Deputy Commissioner Health in spite of a promise made by Deputy Mayor, Colombo, Titus Perera at a press briefing on the city’s dengue situation held recently. MMC Roy Bogahawatte yesterday said that the appointment would have helped extend his term considering the services rendered to it by him for over 20 years. more..

Onyx launches first Ozo hotel in Sri Lanka

May 13 (TDM) Thailand’s Onyx Hospitality Group has unveiled the first of three Ozo hotels it plans to launch in Sri Lanka. Located on Marine Drive in Sri Lanka’s capital, Ozo Colombo offers 158 guest rooms and suites in four categories: Sleep, Dream, Dream Ocean and Ozo Suites. All rooms come with IPTV, multimedia connectivity panels and free Wi-Fi. Guests will be able to use a paperless check-in service, while hotel facilities include a restaurant, snack bar, rooftop lounge more..

Ban on glyphosate lifted

May 13 (CT) The ban on glyphosate has been officially lifted with the Registrar of Pesticides, Department of Agriculture, announcing that they would not be banning glyphosate as there is no justifiable reason to do so. A committee appointed by President Rajapaksa, to look into Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu), in March this year announced they had found glyphosate to be directly linked to CKDu. more..

CTC responds to Buddhika Pathirana

May 13 (CT) We publish below the Ceylon Tobacco Company's (CTC) response to what it deems as false allegations that have been levelled against the organization. The CTC has operated lawfully in Sri Lanka for over 100 years. It is one of the best governed companies in the country with an impeccable reputation built on the highest standards of corporate conduct and responsibility. As the only legal cigarette manufacturer in Sri Lanka and being the single corporate by more..

Extortionists target students of Kandy school

May 13 (CT) The minor complaints division of the Kandy Police is investigating an incident in a leading popular school in Kandy, where it was discovered past pupils of the school, together with some current pupils, have attacked the students of the school and extorted money from them. The Police Media unit said that this group had been collecting up to Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 from the students as extortion money, after assaulting them. One of the students, who had fallen victim to more..