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Temples asked to educate people on road dangers

May 15 (Island) President of the National Council for Road Safety and Attorney at Law, Gamini Ekanayake requests chief incumbents of all temples to educate people on the dangers of travelling in unprotected vehicles such as tractors and open trucks. He said that according to a study done by the council 89 out of 859 accidents during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season from April 10 to 20 had been fatal and reasons for those mishaps had been carelessness, drunk driving, high speed, more..

Denied timely hospital care, child dies of dengue

May 15 (Island) A 14 -year-old student of Maharagama Janadhipathi Vidyalaya, Kawisha Wickremaratne, who was rushed to the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital with dengue on May 5, was refused admission by the two lady doctors attached to its OPD and the child died five days later at a private hospital. On the advice of a senior physician the student had been admitted to a private hospital, where he died after five days. Sri J'pura hospital Director Dr. S. Gamage, contacted more..

Bank of Ceylon profits down 1.9%, cushioned by loss reversals

May 15 (LBO) Profits at state-run Bank of Ceylon group fell 1.9% from a year earlier to 2.64 billion rupees in the March 2014 quarter with loan loss reversals and trading gains, offsetting flat net interest income. Group interest income rose 2% to 27.9 billion rupees and interest expenses rose at a slower 1.8% to 19.0 billion rupees helping net interest income grow 2.6% to 8.9 billion rupees. SL's is recovering from a balance of payments more..

Censoring of Mirror shows govt.’s media freedom

May 15 (SM) The censoring of the Sri Lanka Mirror website is an indication of the serious plight of media freedom in Sri Lanka, says the Professional Web Journalists Association in a statement. The Assn. says the internet service providers have been told by the TRC to block the SLM website. It raises several questions: What is the legal provision for the internet service providers to receive such an order, and do they have a written evidence to support the claim? What right does the TRC has to more..

Sri Siddhartha Gautama bags five awards at World Buddhist Film Festival

May 15 (NF) The film Sri Siddhartha Gauthama has won five awards at the World Buddhist Film Festival in Vietnam. The awards ceremony was held in Vietnam on Thursday. The World Buddhist Film Festival was organised by the UN in line with the Vesak Festival. Sri Siddhartha Gautama bagged the awards for best film, best director, best editing, best music direction and best actor – surpassing films that had been put forward by countries including Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Thailand. more..

Relic ant in danger of being wiped out

May 15 (CT) The Sri Lankan relic ant (Aneuretus simoni),which is the only living species of its kind in the world, having survived since the time of dinosaurs, is fighting to survive as its habitat at the Pompakele Reserve which is being cleared for a new water purification plant for the town of Ratnapura. At a time where many species are becoming extinct due to changing climates or land use, one small ant has managed to stick it more..

Sirasa Vesak Zone on its second day

May 15 (NF) Today is day two of the Sirasa Vesak Zone organised to commemorate Vesak Poya Day which marks the birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana of Lord Buddha. Devotees visiting the Sirasa Vesak Kalapaya have the opportunity to pay homage to the sacred hair relic of Lord Buddha, the sacred relics of twelve disciples and the sacred Agrashawaka relics of Sariyuth and Mugalan. Sirasa Vesak Kalapaya is sponsored by John Keells. The venture is supported by the S-Lon Lanka more..

CMC: Dr. Kariyawasam’s application goes missing

May 15 (Island) Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam has not yet applied for an extension, Commissioner Badrani Jayawardena said. She said that Dr. Kariyawasam’s application had not been received up to last Monday, and there was a procedure to be followed once she received his application; it had to be forwarded to the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils. Dr. Kariyawasam has over 20 years of service more..

Video: LPBOA wants 6-7% hike or compulsory prepaid cards

May 15 (DM) While claiming that it was ready to provide relief to commuters if the use of prepaid cards were made compulsory, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) said it was expecting a 6 to 7% fare increase at present circumstances. However, the Association said that it would not demand the increase if the Ministry made the prepaid cards compulsory. “If the Private Bus Services Ministry agrees to more..

Police open fire on a three-wheeler

May 15 (CG) The police fired on a three-wheeler in Wadduwa last night after the vehicle failed to comply with an order to stop at a police checkpoint. According to the police media unit, the three-wheeler was ordered to stop when it approached the police checkpoint. It however failed to do so and the police then gave chase and fired on the vehicle injuring two people, the police media unit said. The police said that one person was also arrested while another two had fled. more..

SLS certifications for full face helmets

May 15 (DN) The National Committee for Road Protection has held meetings with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution as well as the Police to formulate a set of regulations in an effort to clamp down on the widespread use of full face helmets. “The SLS has been tasked with formulating a regulation governing full face helmets in keeping with International standards,” said Gamini Ekanayake, the Chairman of the NCRP. “Once that is complete, steps would be taken to publish more..

'Halt Mattala Int’l Airport second phase pending investigation on first phase'

May 15 (Island) The UNP urged the govt not to proceed with construction of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) second phase until such time vital information on the bidding process and costs incurred in constructing the first phase of the project were made public. Eran Wickremeratne, UNP MP said that in the interest of transparency and good governance it was essential that many unanswered questions more..

UN Population Fund praises Lanka’s nutritional programme

May 15 (Island) UN Population Fund’s Zonal Directress Nobuke Horibe, who paid a courtesy call on Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala, appreciated the government’s nutritional programme. The directress had been impressed by Sri Lanka’s low child and maternal mortality rates in comparison to the neighbouring countries, the Health Ministry said. Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said that for around 80 years more..

'People relying on litigation as democracy fails'

May 15 (CT) The importance of public interest litigation shows nothing but the failure of democratic institutions, elected Chairman of LAWASIA, Prashant Kumar, said. Addressing a panel discussion organized by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) under the theme 'To a Symposium on Different Aspects of Public Interest Litigation' he said democratic institutions had failed miserably and that is why people tended to rely on public interest litigation. more..

PayPal wants report from SL: Sampath, three other banks to introduce service

May 15 (AD) Though the Central Bank (CB) was first to introduce PayPal to Sri Lanka through the Sampath Bank, it is revealed that three other banks too have been now earmarked by the CB. A CB official said, “We were to first introduce PayPal through the Sampath Bank. However, we now plan to introduce this service to the country through four banks. We also plan to gradually involve the rest of the banks more..

'Sri Lanka, Bangladesh have beaten India in healthcare'

May 15 (OW) Harpal Singh, Mentor and Chairman Emeritus of Fortis Healthcare, in an interview to OneWorld, on the sidelines of UN Corporate MDG Conclave held in New Delhi, said that responsibility to society should be integral to working of business. Q: What has been the most outstanding achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in South Asia? A: One of the most significant thing is that the global community came together to create the MDGs. more..

Suspect being questioned over killing of Peliyagoda Urban Councillor

May 15 (Island) Peliyagoda police have taken a person named Ranga for questioning over the killing of Peliyagoda Urban Council member Shamila Sandaruwan on Monday. He was gunned down by unidentified gunmen who came on a motorcycle, while he was driving his car along Dalugama Old Road with another. The police said that Ranga and the slain urban councillor had a strained relationship and in all probability it was Ranga who had planned the killing. more..

Sri Lanka hardly needs two govt-owned airlines: Report

May 15 (CEPA) Sri Lankan hybrid carrier Mihin Lanka plans to transition from A320 family aircraft to 737-800s and introduce a business class product. But the government-owned carrier is expected to remain very small with a fleet of only three aircraft. While Mihin Lanka has had some success opening secondary routes, the carrier is too small to generate any significant economies. The Sri Lankan govt should relook at the more..

Proposed drug policy total distortion of Prof. Bibile’s vision: PMRP

May 15 (Island) The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) and other health action groups will come together to expose the proposed Act for the setting up of the Medicinal Drugs and Devices Regulatory Authority as a distortion of Professor Senaka Bibile’s vision. Speakers addressing a seminar at Centre for Society and Religion in view of the Dr. K. Balasubramaniam commemoration, said the 84-page Act was a far cry from the Bibile Drug Policy. more..

President pressed to hold referendum

May 15 (SM) Several advisers to the President have requested the President hold a referendum immediately, govt internal sources say. Sources add that the advisers had requested the President to hold a referendum with regard to extending the tenure of MPs by another 6 years as well as bringing about a constitutional amendment aimed at abolishing Executive Presidency and establish an office of Executive Prime Minister. Pointing out the risk of certain groups within the UPFA more..

India extends LTTE ban by 5 years

May 15 (Hindu) Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued a fresh notification extending ban on the LTTE in India for five years. “The Govt of India, under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has proscribed the LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’. Declaration of LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’ has been extended for a further period of five years with effect from May 14, 2014,” said an more..

Never glad confident morning again? The decline of the last five years

May 16 (CT) Five years ago, I spent the week of my 55th birthday in Geneva. I had been summoned there urgently, because some Western nations had been trying to get sufficient signatures to hold a Special Session of the Human Rights Council in an attempt to stop our imminent conquest of the Tigers. By the time I got to Geneva though, the danger was over, and there was much to celebrate. The superb diplomacy of Dayan Jayatilleka, our Representative in Geneva, supported admirably more..

Post colonial era and bifurcations of countries, Is Sri Lanka an exception?

May 16 (CT) The fifth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s military victory against Tamil Tigers on 18 May 2009 will be celebrated by Sinhala Nation, but the Tamil Nation worldwide will commemorate the loss of loved ones and demanding equal rights between Nations, which demonstrates the country remains divided and Sinhala-Tamil conflict remains unresolved. At the end of military conflict, there was a golden opportunity to resolve the long standing conflict by establishing accountability for more..

Practise Ahimsa, save animals from slaughter

May 16 (SO) A leading hotelier catering to the up-end customer base in the city believes there is an increase in the number of young people who shun fish and meat dishes: they go for a non-meat menu. However, the display of live crustaceans in super class eateries patronised by super-rich has attracted a large number of diners as well. A large majority of Buddhists are now meat-eaters who seek protection under more..

Sri Lankan think tank criticises mass evictions in Colombo

May 16 (wsws) A report entitled Forced Eviction in Colombo—The Ugly Price of Beauti fi cation, issued by a Sri Lankan think tank, has highlighted aspects of the mass evictions of poor families from the capital. The removal of hundreds of thousands of people is a central project of President Rajapakse’s govt, intended to convert Colombo into the “commercial hub of South Asia” and attract foreign investors. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) report explains that, according to more..

When ICES Colombo made excursions into the lunatic fringe

May 16 (NS) Once upon a time, when the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo was not as respectable as they are now, they commissioned. A. ThevaRajan, currently a member of the Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam, to conduct a study on the status of Tamil in Sri Lanka, past and present, as part of an ICES project to promote the official language provisions of the 13th and 16th amendments to the constitution. more..

De Pilo Pendet: Reconciliation and the Catholic Church’s role in post-war Sri Lanka

May 16 (GV) I have a memory that dates back several years. It is of a Good Friday Service at my family’s parish in Kotte, Sri Lanka and of the length of time I spent standing outside in overcast weather. A Good Friday service calls for a special liturgy, sober reflection, and patience. It’s a long-standing joke amongst Catholics that during the Triduum, every lapsed Catholic remembers to attend Mass ‘just in case.’ Churches are packed more..

Executive Office under intense siege

May 16 (NS) The raging debate over the Executive Presidency has been going on ad nauseam for as long as one can remember. The contentious issue keeps popping up periodically and the public have become sick and tired of it. It keeps simmering sporadically with a lot of froth and foam and then ineffectually bubbles over. Now over the past few days many politicians are calling for the abolition of the office and a return to a Prime Ministerial system of government. more..

Astrological predictions on Sajith, Ranil

May 16 (CT) Astrology consists of many ways to predict the future of persons. In this country, politicians are heavily bent on astrology to know their future. Many predictions are based on horoscope readings. There are also some who make predictions on human features (Deha Lakshana). Such predictions are not based on calendar systems. Today, we recall episodes of an astrologer who made a prediction on the eve of the 2005 presidential election that UNP Leader, more..

Boston Lanka: May 16, 2014

The Strategic Development Act: Is it a success or should it be reviewed?

May 16 (Island) All govts have attached high priority to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) since the 1970s. It is important to understand why this has been the case and pose the question whether Strategic Development Act contributes to creating an investor friendly environment. Development is a multidimensional process involving economic, political and structural factors. However, enhancing productivity through increased and improved investment is an extremely integral part of this process. more..

Why students succeed or fail

May 16 (Island) There have been volumes of research on this topic by many universities throughout the world, although little if any from universities in Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa is rightly concerned about standards of education in his aspirations to promote Sri Lanka as the Educational Hub of South Asia. However, he must realise that this objective is still far from realisation. Recent statements from Ministry of Education concerning the poor GCE O/L exam results, more..

For the army from the army

May 16 (ST) The image is simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming. A severely-wounded soldier is being helped or literally carried by a brother soldier, just as success is within reach. In the euphoria of victory, the fallen and the injured are not forgotten………this is the emotive sculpture that greets all those who enter the premises of the brand-new 1,024-bed Army Hospital at Narahenpita, among the largest in terms of more..

Sonali here to compete at athletics trials

May 16 (Island) US based Sri Lankan Olympian Christine Sonali Merrill is scheduled to compete here at the Sugathadasa Stadium at the weekend’s Athletics Selection Trials which has been made compulsory for all athletes in the national pool. The hurdler is among leading contenders vying for places in the teams for upcoming Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. According to Athletics Association of Sri Lanka sources, the national record holder in the women’s 400 metres hurdles more..

Sri Lanka take on Kent today

May 16 (Island) The Sri Lankans will take on English county Kent in a 50 over day night warm-up game at Canterbury today. The tourists arrived in Canterbury on Wednesday and had a net session yesterday. Former captain Kumar Sangakkara has joined the touring party after ending his brief stint with county champions Durham. The star batsman warmed up for the challenge against England by smashing 159 against Sussex at Hove on Wednesday before joining the national team. more..

Govt servants’ pension comes under close scrutiny

May 16 (Island) 'About 70% of govt servants vote for the govt, but the govt has hit them below the belt by tampering with their pension benefits, Transparency International Sri Lanka Executive Director S.Ranugge said during a panel discussion titled 'Pension-What Next?'. "Pension benefits are the only means govt employees have to depend on after retirement. For authorities it’s a gratuity, but for pensioners it’s life. more..

Re-thinking the rules of brand building at Sri Lanka's LBR-LBO Summit

May 16 (LBO) Senior corporates leaders and marketing professionals from Sri Lanka and the region will come together at a one day conference in Colombo this month to share their expertise and experience as disruptive digital technologies change rules of brand building. Digital technologies are influencing the tastes and preferences of consumers, and are fast re-shaping consumer behaviors as never before in the history of modern marketing. more..

Editorial: When duplicity nourishes evil

May 16 (Island) The abduction by Boko Haram terrorists of about 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria has jolted the world into action. All leading nations have sunk differences, in a spirit of harambee, to help Abuja secure the release of the victims the terrorists are threatening to sell unless their fellow combatants in prison are released. The Nigerian govt yesterday rejected the proposed swap. The Boko Haram terrorists must be made to realise that the civilized world cannot be frightened into submission. more..

Guide to travelling like a local in Sri Lanka

May 16 (HB) With gorgeous golden beaches, ancient ruins and elephant safaris on offer – there's a reason why Sri Lanka is becoming a popular destination on the tourist trail. But while the south and west coasts draw in the masses, the east remains reasonably untouched. Here, it's all about kicking back with the locals, indulging in great food and the long, wide (and almost always, near-empty) palm-fringed beaches. Sounds amazing, more..

SL Embassy in Tokyo Celebrates Vesak

May 16 (AT) The staff of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo celebrated Vesak on Friday, 14th May 2014 at the Embassy premises in Tokyo. The Embassy premises was decorated and illuminated with colourful bulbs, Vesak buckets and Vesak lanterns made by the staff of the Embassy bringing the Sri Lankan Vesak atmosphere to Tokyo. The guests along with the staff participated in lighting of buckets, reflecting Buddha’s message of peace and harmony. A ‘Dansala’ was also arranged by more..