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'Sri Lanka’s economic progress commendable'

May 14 (FT) A discussion between Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Relations took place recently at the Ministry of Economic Development. Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Seiji Kihara, commenting on Sri Lanka, stated: “There is a historical relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka. Therefore, Japan is always ready to extend its unstinted support to Sri Lanka. more..

Maithripala vows to achieve ‘80% target’

May 14 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena expressed dissatisfaction with the Appeal Court verdict on pictorial warnings on cigarette packets. He said he would leave no stone unturned in his efforts to bring in fresh legislation to implement the government decision to print pictorial warnings on 80% of the display areas of cigarette packets. The tobacco industry pointed out that Health Minister had no right to issue special more..

I was tortured in SL for harbouring Tamils

May 14 (Vice) Last week, the Australian govt decided not to co-sponsor a UN inquiry into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan govt praised its "bold" decision, and defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa posed for a celebratory shot with Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison as the former handed the latter a premium box of Dilmah tea. The deal – which is essentially the Australian govt turning more..

Wimal to seek meeting with President after briefing Mahanayake theras

May 14 (Island) The NFF, now on a collision course with the SLFP, the dominant partner of their ruling coalition intends to seek a meeting with President Rajapaksa to discuss a set of controversial proposals the breakaway JVP faction had adopted at its second National Convention on May 2. The NFF has proposed that there shouldn’t be negotiations whatsoever with any country or ‘non-state actor’ as regards more..

President set not to attend Glasgow 2014 after fears presence will overshadow Games

May 14 (ITG) A potentially harmful diplomatic challenge for Glasgow 2014 is likely to be avoided due to the fact President Rajapaksa is not planning to attend the Commonwealth Games. This comes after two letters were sent to British Foreign Secretary William Hague voicing concerns the presence of the controversial leader would mean Games are overshadowed by questions relating to genocide and human rights abuse. more..

Vesak and its significance today

May 14 (CT) Vesak Poya represents a very important trio of events Buddhists all over the world celebrate, more with a sense of religious devotion than the pomp and pageantry usually associated with similar events of other religions. Being a religion that pontifies the utter futility of worldly desires and material wealth, true Buddhism, among other things, focuses on the impermanency of life, validity of cause and effect, and the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path. more..

Why the LTTE was defeated

May 14 (CT) It is natural that many reasons are ascribed for the defeat of the LTTE; none is exclusively true, they are interconnected and some more significant than others. After five years it is timely to invite Colombo Telegraph readers to separate the wheat from the chaff and enter into a thoughtful (not polemical) discussion so as to gain some maturity of perspective in these post-Geneva-2014 days. Most oft proclaimed in the South is that a determination of leadership more..

Should Sri Lanka panic about international war crimes prosecutions yet?

May 14 (CT) I have observed with amazement the current discourse in Sri Lanka about the possibility of an international war crimes prosecution with regard to the Sri Lankan war. The discourse is largely incomplete, biased and often misleading. Hence, I felt it opportune to write a succinct piece on this issue just to put the matter into perspective for the layman who has no expertise on the workings of international criminal justice. more..

Canada felicitates work of Sri Lanka Women’s Conference

May 14 (Island) The High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting, acknowledged and appreciated the work done by Sri Lanka Women’s Conference (SLWC), a multi-ethnic organisation, founded by Dr Mary Rutnam, a Canadian medical doctor, who arrived in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1896. A felicitation event was held on 12 May for the nine members of the organization who have contributed immensely to the work of the organization. The Ceylon Women’s Conference (as SLWC more..

Being green is of utmost importance at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

May 14 (eTN) Green Globe Elite Member, the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, has continued to grow as a beacon amongst Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, managed by the John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s premier conglomerate. The hotel’s continued efforts demonstrate its sustainability commitments, in keeping up with the John Keells Leisure Sector pledge “I Will Be Green.” Commemorating Earth Day on April 22, the Learning and Development Department at more..

UN special rapporteur on human rights of migrants to visit Sri Lanka

May 14 (NJ) The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Sri Lanka from 19 to 26 May 2014 to assess the human rights situation of Sri Lankans migrating abroad for work, and the related recruitment practices. "Migration plays a key role in the economic development of Sri Lanka. Foreign workers form 24% of the labour force, and remittances form 33% of the country's more..

Neighbour cuts cop to death

May 14 (Island) A 50-year-old police constable attached to the Alutgama police station was killed by one of his neighbours, after an argument over a trivial matter in the Welipenna police area on Monday night. The 40-year-old suspect from the same village surrendered to the police soon after the killing. The victim and two of his children had been returning home on a motorcycle after a party about five hundred metres away from his home, when the suspect attacked him with a katty. more..

University teachers’ struggle gearing up

May 14 (LT) The FUTA has informed the Ministry of Higher Education that the academic staff of all universities in the island will engage in a strike action on 3rd of June as there has been no response for their demands. Communique sent yesterday by FUTA states they would have to take stern trade union actions if they do not receive a response that is acceptable to them. Pointing out that the conditions necessary to get the research allowance that was agreed to make available more..

High-level Chinese defense delegation visits Sri Lanka

May 14 (CT) A delegation from China led by Gen Xu Qiliang arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday. The delegation was received at the BIA by the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Commanders of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. General Xu Qiliang, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, vice chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, and a member of the Central Military Commission of China, more..

New Palestinian ambassador presents credentials in Sri Lanka

May 14 (Ma’an) The new Palestinian ambassador in Sri Lanka, Zuheir Hamadallah Zaid, presented his credentials to president Rajapaksa on Tuesday. Zaid greeted the Sri Lankan president on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas and passed along the appreciation of the Palestinian people and leadership for what he called Sri Lanka's support of Palestinian rights. Rajapaksa welcomed the new Palestinian ambassador and emphasized Sri Lanka's support for Palestinian rights, more..

'Be ready to face presidential poll soon'

May 14 (Island) UPFA MP Mahinda Amaraweera urged the Opposition to find a suitable candidate to face incumbent President Rajapaksa at the next presidential election. He said that the UPFA would definitely go for presidential poll after the Uva Provincial Council election. Although various Opposition members had been challenging the govt to call for a national election, they weren’t ready to face either presidential or parliamentary polls, the MP said. more..

UNP to back Maithripala on warnings

May 14 (CG) UNP today offered to support Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena if he submits a bill in Parliament to have 80% of cigarette packs covered with a warning against smoking. UNP MP Ajith Perera said that the gazette on the pictorial warning had already been approved by Parliament but the Appeal Court had ruled that only between 50-60% of cigarette packs have the pictorial warnings. more..

Minister asks protesting undergrads to attend lectures

May 14 (DN) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake urged protesting undergraduates of the Allied Health Sciences Degree Program of Peradeniya and Ruhuna Universities to attend lectures before discussions to solve their issue. Minister said he is ready to consider the issue only if the undergraduates of the Allied Health Sciences Degree Program attend lectures. He said he will also be ready to bring the undergraduates before President Rajapaksa for discussions more..

Indian companies declined to construct H’tota Port – UNP

May 14 (Island) Indian companies had refused to undertake the construction of the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaka Port in Hambantota, the first phase of which alone had cost USD 508 million, as its financial viability was in question, the UNP said. Queries remained over the conduct of proper studies and evaluations to determine the suitability of the Port location as well as the expected returns justifying the investments and help to service the loans and interest. more..

'Rajapaksa did not succumb to int'l pressure in 2009'

May 14 (PTI) President Rajapaksa refused to succumb to pressures exerted by some countries to end the military campaign against the LTTE in 2009, a minister has said. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said some countries had put pressure on SL when the war was reaching a decisive stage in 2009. "Some countries sent advance teams and even were ready to send ships. But President (Rajapaksa) refused to give in," more..

Iran planning to participate in Ozone layer meeting in Sri Lanka

May 14 (FNA) Iran plans to take part in the South Asia Network of Ozone Officers meeting which is scheduled to be held from May 27-30 at the Grand Oriental Hotel in Colombo. The meeting is organized by the Uunited Nations Environment Program (UNEP) - Compliance Assistance Program (CAP) in collaboration with the National Ozone Unit. This Network Meeting is an annual event planned by the Ozone Secretariat of the Montreal Protocol. Ozone Officers Network for South Asia is more..

TGTE to go ahead with events in UK

May 14 (CG) Britain has not imposed any ban on events organized by the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) over the weekend despite the Govt claiming it had sent evidence against organizations proscribed recently under a UN Security council resolution, including the TGTE. The TGTE, in a press statement today, reconfirmed that it will be hosting the “Say No to Sri Lanka” international Conference on May 17th in London, to formulate innovative political & legal more..

Bassendean's Sri Lankan star who wasn't

May 14 (CI) There's an endearing image of former Sri Lanka allrounder Suresh Perera on the internet. A crop of jet-black hair and a broad smile showcasing a set of pearly white teeth - the Perera pictured was a baby-faced prodigy set to showcase his talents on the Test stage in the late 1990s. Now the 36-year-old is the captain of Bassendean Cricket Club, a humble suburban team in Perth. He has no hair, although it's unclear more..

Wimal laughs at S.B’s views on P.B

May 14 (CG) Minister Wimal Weerawansa today played down the backing given by Minister S.B. Dissanayake to the capabilities of Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, saying Minister Dissanayake often makes a u-turn on his views. Speaking to reporters after meeting Chief Prelates, Weerawansa recalled that Dissanayake had left Chandrika Kumarathunga Govt under which P.B. Jayasundara was also in the Finance Ministry, accusing it of damaging the economy. more..

'Capital punishment a pressing need'

May 14 (Island) Police spokesman and attorney-at-law, SSP Ajith Rohana yesterday called for the urgent implementation of the death penalty to tackle serious crime. SSP Rohana said that capital punishment should be restored without delay. Responding to a query, the official said that death penalty would be a powerful deterrent. The recent abduction, assault and the killing of a traffic policeman in the Kurunegala police area couldn’t be ignored, he said. more..

Fishermen’s talks fail: Rajitha wants discussions between govts

May 14 (Island) Following failure on the part of SL and Indian fishermen to reach an agreement during their bilateral talks on Monday in Colombo, Minister Rajitha Senaratne urged the Indian govt to hold inter-governmental level talks on the poaching issue at the earliest. 2nd rounds of talks between SL and Indian fishermen aimed at reaching a sustainable solution to the poaching issue ended inconclusively. more..

Lankan city inspires Ranchi Municipal Corporation to take up new projects

May 14 (TOI) A city in Sri Lanka's Central Province has inspired the local civic body so much that it is planning to implement some of the projects which can change the face of Ranchi. CEO of Ranchi Municipal Corporation, Sanjiv Vijayavargiya, who recently took part in an urban development programme at Kandy, the second largest city in Sri Lanka, said he was impressed by Kandy Municipal Council's projects and is planning to implement some of them. more..

Sangakkara shows his class at Hove

May 14 (TA) Kumar Sangakkara made his highest ever score on English soil as the bat continued to dominate in Sussex’s clash with Durham. Sangakkara went to the 47th first class century of his illustrious career off 202 balls and then hit Luke Wright and Ashar Zaidi for sixes as he took only another 55 deliveries to reach 150. The Sri Lanka international was out just before tea for 159 when he was caught on the square leg boundary off the bowling of Steve Magoffin as more..

'Buddhism links India, Sri Lanka'

May 14 (IANS) Buddhism stands for harmony, tolerance ad equity, and has been one of the many links between India and Sri Lanka, the island country's envoy said here Wednesday. "Buddhism is a religion of peace and therefore its followers should spread the message of peace in the world," High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam said. He was speaking at a function to celebrate the 2,558th Buddha Jayanti organised by YMBA more..

Courting the consequences of political hubris

May 15 (ST) Classical Greek mythology beautifully dramatizes the high price extracted by the goddesses of justice or the three Furies on kings and princes who through extreme hubris, mocked at the Gods themselves. Poetically, this is the nemesis which visits rulers who believe that their power is unassailable and perpetrate profound injustices. Somewhat aptly moreover, nemesis is cast in the female form, giving justice where it is due. Its modern-day portrayal of a terrifying hand of more..

Will Sobhitha Thera become another Khomeini?

May 15 (CT) "A man will rise from God's land and he will lead the Iranians in the right path." This was the gospel of the clergy of Iran when the people queried about a leader to unite the people against their Shah. When Ayatolla Khomeini rose to unite the people to defeat Shah, people said the prediction of the priests had come true. Shah was afraid and kept Khomeini under house arrest. He was expelled and harassed in many other ways. But he could not stop Khomeini. This story was recalled when more..

'Drug free Sri Lanka by 2020'

May 15 (SO) Drug abuse is one of the prominent problems that affects the country in many aspects including social, economic, educational and health. The most highlighting issue with regard to drug abuse is that prisons in Sri Lanka accommodate approximately 40% of drug related offenders compelling the Govt to spend large sums of money on them. So it has become a glaring problem for the country as they have more..

Death to paste Queen’s stamp upside down

May 15 (ST) Oh to be in England! Last month there was a flurry of activity in the British Foreign Office stemming from its present keen obsession with Lanka, declaring that it was ‘a country of concern’. Whilst the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire was declaring that he had no plans to visit Lanka in the near future, the British Foreign Office was busy updating their travel advisory on Lanka to its citizens making them aware that, though the Eelam War has ended and more..

Right to live in a corruption free world

May 15 (CT) The World Conference on Youth 2014 culminated with the Colombo Declaration. The by-products of this gathering, networking, exchange of ideas, cultural exposures and so on, all would be an excellent experience for these tomorrow's leaders. But the reality is waiting for them as they return to their respective countries: the imperfections of our systems of governance and its adversities on youth. As a collective global village, over the years the world has made tremendous more..

Renewal of Vesak glory

May 15 (SO) The supreme teachings of the Buddha are co-eternal with eternity. His words are timeless. Each age rediscovers his thoughts. Men and women continue to be awakened into the reality of the truths he declared about the nature of life. His spiritual influence kindles an urge in mankind to embark upon a quest for liberation. His gentle ways have illuminated for the totality of mankind an unfailing path towards more..

Editorial: Wimal vs SB

May 15 (Island) Some political observers have dismissed Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s noisy quarrel with the government as a mere storm in a teacup. We don’t think so. That is something more serious, we reckon. It, in our book, is a storm in a teapot! Minister Weerawansa’s revolt boils down to a running battle he has had with his bête noire, Treasury Chief Dr. P. B. Jayasundera. He wants the top bureaucrat ousted. But, President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs both of them. more..

Between Modi and MoD: Mahinda’s choice

May 15 (Island) Mahinda Rajapaksa has just won the Sri Lankan Presidential election of 2015. The Modi mood sweeping India has given a second wind and a fresh momentum to the Mahinda incumbency. However, the dramatic new chapter in the Indian epic, if misunderstood and underutilized by President Rajapaksa, can enhance rather than decrease the pressures on Sri Lanka. Given that he is named after the son of a great leader of India —Ashoka—who bore the message of the more..

ශ්රිමත් අනගාරික ධර්මපාල සමරුව

Attitudinal change necessary to give momentum to the Provincial councils

May 15 (GV) Sri Lanka on the threshold of change needs an overhaul of the entire democratic process and good governance. The three decade old war is over and expectations have been raised for a more tranquil future. People are looking forward to a life enriched by greater equity in society, guided by enlightened leadership, with emphasis on fairness in governance, quality education, health and reasonably habitable housing along with accelerated progress in arts and culture and sports. more..

Mahaweli water for North Western Province

May 15 (DN) The govt has planned to implement a special project to obtain Mahaweli water for the North Western Province. Work on this project is scheduled to commence in December. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 13,000 million. The Asian Development Bank is funding the project. This was revealed at the Kurunegala District Co-ordinating Committee monthly meeting. Deduruoya project coordinator Ashoka Perera explained about the proposed project. more..