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No state level felicitation for Malani Fonseka

May 17 (SM) This January, Sri Lanka’s screen queen Malani Fonseka completed 50-years in the Sinhala cinema. However, it is singular that no measures were taken to felicitate this milestone by arranging a film festival of felicitation event on a state level to honour her. Cinematic artists are deeply critical of this neglect. Though we Sri Lankans failed to felicitate her, Malani Fonseka’s contribution was highly recognized among international circles with her being felicitated more..

JHU calls for senior Tiger’s extradition

May 17 (Island) JHU has made arrangements to conduct a protest march from the Independence Square to the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo tomorrow. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that the march had been organised to protest against LTTE international leader Nediyawan, a criminal wanted in Sri Lanka living in that country. JHU march would commence at 2 pm and at the end of it the protesters would hand over a memorandum to the Embassy more..

‘Make Rajapaksa deliver on promises’

May 17 (Hindu) The Tamil political leadership of Sri Lanka has welcomed the new regime in India, expressing hope that the Narendra Modi-led govt will pressure President Rajapaksa to deliver on his promises to the country’s Tamils. Congratulating the PM-elect for the “historic win”, Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran said the Tamil people of Sri Lanka hoped that his govt would be actively more..

Injured Lanka maid remains comatose

May 17 (AN) The Sri Lankan maid, who was subject to severe burns as a result of a cylinder explosion, is reported to have disregarded the warning of her sponsor’s wife, who had forewarned her about the gas leak in the kitchen. Fathima Safaya, 38, was severely injured in an accident that took place in the early hours of Thursday in Riyadh. According to her sponsor’s son, a gas leak occurred in the kitchen and the house caught fire when Safaya switched on the room’s light. more..

Two persons being grilled over abduction and killing of cop

May 17 (Island) Two persons taken into custody over the killing of a policeman after abducting him and his colleague while they were on duty in the early hours of May 6 in Kurunegala were being questioned, a senior police officer said. "They were just freed from prison recently," he said. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that four notorious criminals imprisoned four years ago and released recently were engaged in crimes of this nature and robberies. more..

UNP: Why wasn’t H’tota port dredged during Phase I?

May 17 (Island) The country could have saved a greal of dunds if the dredging of Magampura Port had been carried out during the first phase, but for reasons best known to the powers that be, it had been postponed for a later date, the UNP charged. "It is a moot point why the dredging process to increase the present depth, which one would consider to be a vital aspect of a project of this nature, was not included in Phase I. more..

Prepaid tickets, alternative to bus fare hike

May 17 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) yesterday said they would not seek the annual bus fare hike this year if the government implements the prepaid card system countrywide. LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said in order to implement the prepaid card system the government must make it compulsory for passengers to use prepaid cards in public transport. "We have informed the Ministry of Private Transport Services of our suggestion. more..

Gang member killed by unknown assassin

May 17 (CT) An underworld figure indentified as 'Sifaq' (28) was shot dead on Thursday night at Hetehathewatte in Maligawatte, by an unidentified person. Police said the victim was killed by a person who had arrived in a three-wheeler at around 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and opened fire at the house where the victim was staying. The deceased is a resident of Grandpass and was involved in narcotics and underworld dealings. He was pronounced dead upon his admission to National Hospital more..

Cricket fixing scandal: Anti-corruption documents reveal full scale of fight

May 17 (Telegraph) The extent of cricket’s global war against fixers can be revealed for the first time with details of attempts to corrupt Test matches, one-day internationals and even club matches in England proving the problem permeates all levels of the game. The Telegraph has seen confidential ICC documents which reveal the desperate attempts by the anti-corruption unit (ACSU) to fight back against fixers preying more..

Quotation called for reclaiming land for Kottawa new city

May 17 (AD) The reclaiming and filling of the marshes for the proposed city near the Kottawa interchange of the Southern Expressway is to be handed over to the SL Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC). While commenting on this issue, UDA Deputy Director – Planning, Priyani Navaratne said, “We have requested for quotations for the filling and reclamation of the necessary land from the SLLRDC. The reclamation work will begin more..

Jayalalithaa wave gobbles up 37 of Tamil Nadu's 39 Lok Sabha seats

May 17 (IANS) Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK Friday rode on a Jayalalithaa wave to gobble up 37 of the state's 39 Lok Sabha seats to become one of the largest parties in the Lok Sabha. The wave was such that there will be no Congress or DMK representative from the state in the Lok Sabha for the next five years as things stand now. Many of the prominent candidates of these two parties as well as from others crashed to defeat. They included DMK's A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, more..

Canada’s boycott of Victory parade: Military spokesman responds

May 17 (Island) Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the Annual Victory Day Parade was meant to celebrate Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism in May 2009. It was in line with military celebrations in other parts of the world, Brigadier Wanigasooriya insisted, adding that nothing could be further from the truth than the assertion that the govt celebrated victory over Tamil speaking people. more..

India turns tables: Lessons for Lanka

May 17 (DM) In what analysts describe as a historic day and the beginning of a new era for India, the world’s largest democracy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by the charismatic 63-year-old Narendra Modi swept to the biggest landslide victory in 30 years. Most independent analysts and opinion polls during the past few months had indicated a victory for the hardliner Hindu BJP. But the magnitude of the victory, when the results were announced yesterday, was astounding. more..

Walking the political tightrope

May 17 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran caused ripples in political circles this week twice over - first, he was hospitalised for a heart ailment, then his name was proposed as a potential candidate at the next presidential election. Wigneswaran has recovered from his heart ailment and is now back at work, much to the relief of not only those in the TNA but also the powers that be in Colombo, and that is a measure of value of this Supreme Court Justice-turned-politician. more..

Sri Lankan war widows still struggle to support their families

May 17 (TRF) When Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war ended in May 2009 after raging for over two and half decades, it signaled the end of a long- running national nightmare. But, with many men killed, for thousands of women the war’s end meant the beginning of a new life of hardship. Viji, a 32-year-old widow from the village of Oddusuddan, deep in the northern Mullaittivu District where the last battles of the war were fought, lost her more..

Sri Lankan women photojournalists take women ‘out of the box’

May 17 (WNN) “The way women are being visually portrayed in Sri Lanka is something that has to be questioned,” says Liz Fernando, a photographer and visual artist in Colombo. Fernando sees two common trends in the visual portrayals of women. “Either the woman is objectified, or she is victimized,” she says. “There is nothing in between.” Fernando was one of 45 photographers who participated in “Women – Out of The Frame,” more..

Call to end five-year delay

May 17 (SL) The residents of Telawala Road, Ratmalana went to protest last week demanding the relevant authorities to take measures to repair the road which has been in poor condition for over five years. Telawala Road was dug up under a project handled by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) to lay the sewerage line which according to many residents was abandoned by a foreign contractor. more..

Is the National List serving its purpose?

May 17 (ST) The Parliament of Sri Lanka comprises 225 members: 196 (87%) are directly elected from the 24 districts while 29 (13%) are indirectly elected as National List MPs. Purpose of having an instrument such as a National list is to enable professionals, academics, and any such eminent persons to enter parliament, without being disadvantaged by their lack of pre-established constituencies and networks due to more..

Labour room tussle spreads

May 17 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) accused Visiting Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (VOGs) and midwives of the Matale Base Hospital (MBH) of transferring patients to Kandy Hospital without making use of the hospital labour room. President of the GNOA, said that the issue had cropped up when the midwives serving at the MBH started signing in on a different attendance register since Wednesday. more..

Head in my hands

May 17 (GV) Five years after the war I often think of how it could have been. A President who, the day after the war ends, speaks to the people of the North and East, emphasises that the govt was facing a ruthless enemy but expresses remorse for the suffering they have undergone and pledges to make amends, and does. An army, when faced with war crimes allegations, says categorically, discipline is important to us, more..

ITAK to commemorate war dead

May 17 (CT) The ITAK is gearing up to commemorate the civilians who died during the last phase of the war on 18 May. However, they will not reveal the venue of the ceremony due to 'security threats'. Chairman of the NPC, C.V.K. Sivagnanam, said the Northern Province is infiltrated by intelligence and TID officials and so it would create an unwanted uproar when commemorating and invoking blessings on the dead. more..

UN urges dialogue in post war Lanka

May 17 (CG) As Sri Lanka commemorates five years since the end of the war and the defeat of the LTTE, the UN called for broad dialogue among all Sri Lankans to bring about lasting reconciliation, peace and development in the country. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban ki moon, said in a statement that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities is of fundamental importance more..

Four involved in killing of PC arrested

May 17 (ST) Four persons including two army deserters have been arrested in connection with the murder of a police constable in Kurunegala. CID believes that the motive for the killing was that one of the two policemen abducted was having an affair with the wife of an airman who was part of the gang involved in the murder. However, the policeman reported to be having the affair had escaped while his colleague had been killed. more..

Modi for strong ties with Sri Lanka

May 17 (CG) Indian PM designate Narendra Modi says he looks forward to strong ties with Sri Lanka after his party, the BJP, won the Indian elections by a landslide. Modi tweeted saying it was “wonderful” speaking to President Rajapaksa yesterday after the President telephoned him to wish him on his victory. “It was wonderful speaking to you earlier today. I look forward to strong relations between SL & India,” more..

A new govt in New Delhi

May 17 (CT) Generally, 800 million-strong Indian voters, one third of who live below the poverty line, are not known to vote for the economic acumen of their political leaders. They have historically voted for dynastic political heirs, film stars, gangsters and fraudsters, all of whom were anything but competent policy makers and economic managers. Under such leaderships, India has repeatedly squandered its economic fortune and is lagging far behind its neighbour, China. more..

Five years after May 2009: Blues for SL

May 17 (CT) If Germany can celebrate its Reunification Day, when the Berlin Wall fell and the two halves of Germany were reunited, why should Sri Lanka not celebrate the day when the LTTE’s Iron Curtain was destroyed, a radical evil defeated, a monster (a South Asian Hitler) slain and the island reunified after decades? Not every reunification is peaceful. In most cases the unification or reunification of the national territory and state required civil wars, more..

Ada Cartoon

5 years bad enough ! 6 putrefying years post war ?

May 17 (CT) “Why should Tamils speaking of the war be such an explosive issue five years after it ended, a war in which neither side owned a monopoly on terrorism? The answer has to do with the ideological polarization that remains because there is even less hope now of a political settlement to the national question that has been with us from Independence. Let us not forget that the Govt is to observe the same anniversary in grand style in Matara, as the sole author of victory more..

Order on Green Movement challenge on May 21

May 17 (Island) The Court of Appeal, yesterday, fixed for May 21, 2014 the order in respect of the issue of notice and the granting of interim relief as regards the Writ Application filed by the Green Movement of Sri Lanka, citing as respondents the Minster of Environment and Renewable Energy, the Conservator of Forests and a few other officials. The petitioner has complained that 2,500 acres of forests land in Mullathivu, Vavuniya and Mannar district are to be allocated for the resettling of Muslims. more..

Special Police units and democratic governance

May 17 (GV) The recent govt decision to appoint a special police unit to deal with inter-religious conflict adds to the prevailing confusion on the freedom of religion and the rule of law. While the decision implies seriousness in arresting the current religious tensions, the govt’s reluctance to achieve this very aim through the existing and adequately mandated and deployed police force, is puzzling. More seriously the lack of more..

Lost city: Reflections on liberal space in SL

May 17 (CT) They are often warned that no conversation on reform in Sri Lanka is worth having unless had in the vernacular of the masses. They are constantly reminded that they are irrelevant. They are treated as non-entities in ideological warfare. The media seldom makes reference to them, while nationalists and hardliners make headlines. So they grieve amongst themselves in their anonymity, trapped within their walls of reason, surrounded by bigots and extremists. more..

MR orders over 1000 prisoners freed

May 17 (CG) Prisons Department is to set free over 1000 inmates to mark Vesak on the instructions of President Rajapaksa, Prison media spokesman T.N. Upuldeniya said. He said that the President had issued the instructions this week and the documentation in this regard is now being finalized before the inmates can go free. “The President had given a Presidential pardon and we are now working on that,” he said. Upuldeniya said that prisoners serving jail terms for minor crimes more..

Four arrested undergraduates hospitalized

May 17 (DM) The Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) today accused the Slave Island Police of ‘heavily’ assaulting the student activists who were arrested yesterday and depriving them of medical care for over 18 hours. According to IUSF Convener Najith Indika who spoke to the media a short while ago, four of the undergraduates who suffered injuries while in the Police custody have been admitted to General Hospital. more..

NFF to celebrate Heroes' Day separately

May 17 (CT) Whilst the govt celebrates the Victory Day in Matara, under the patronage of President Rajapaksa, the National Freedom Front (NFF), a coalition partner in the govt, has planned to hold its celebrations in Colombo on 18 May. The NFF, led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, will celebrate Victory Day at the Sausiripaya Auditorium at 3 p.m. on 18 May under the theme 'Viruwan Illana Rata' (the country that heroes asked for). Weerawansa will deliver the keynote address more..

Who cares for Sri Lanka’s main foreign exchange earners?

May 17 (ST) Some 300,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers left for West Asia and Lankan migrant workers remitted as much as Rs 884 billion last year. Saudi Arabia is one of the main destinations which attract Sri Lankan labour. But, these migrant workers -mostly those seeking employment as house-maids undergo severe difficulties in securing employment. After paying thousands of rupees to job agents they undergo further humiliation and difficulties when applying for their visas. more..

Sri Lanka police break up Tamil war remembrance service

May 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police have broken up a remembrance service for ethnic Tamils killed in the separatist war, residents say, as the military prepared to celebrate its victory over Tamil Tiger rebels five years ago. Tamil politicians attempted to stage the remembrance on Friday at local council offices in the northern battle-scarred town of Jaffna, defying a ban on public commemorations of war victims, more..

Prospective seafarers lose lakhs on bogus jobs while agents delay reimbursements

May 17 (ST) Hundreds of seafarer-hopefuls have been allegedly ripped off millions of rupees by two marine recruiting agents, after they were promised lucrative employment on foreign ships, in return for a large fee, it was revealed this week. International Transport-workers Federation’s (ITF) Ranjan Perera said that between 100 and 200 seafarer-hopefuls had been duped, allegedly by these two agents who claim to possess an operating licence. He said the victims included engineers, deck hands, more..

Lanka Sathosa provides better price for big onion farmers

May 17 (DN) Lanka Sathosa with the idea of of providing a better price for big onion farmers, commenced a program to purchase the big onion harvest from growers at a certified price of Rs. 60 per kilo. Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry Spokesman Nipuna Ekanayake said the first stock of big onions cultivated in the Hambantota district was purchased yesterday through Lanka Sathosa on the instructions of President Rajapaksa. He said that Minister Johnston Fernando more..

'Sri Lanka will have to rethink its India policy'

May 17 (PTI) Sri Lankan govt will have to rethink its policy in dealing with India after Narendra Modi takes over as the country's Prime Minister, main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday. "Look at the change. It is far-reaching and will have an impact on Sri Lanka and the region," he told a local radio. Wickremesinghe said Jayalalithaa's victory in Tamil Nadu was also a factor important for Sri Lanka. more..

Emirates helps promote Australia – SL links

May 17 (Island) Emirates played its role of a global connector of people, places and cultures to perfection recently when the airline helped the Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka to feature Australian celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita at a gala dinner at the High Commissioner’s newly rebuilt residence in Colombo. Business leaders, celebrities, and the cognoscenti of Sri Lanka’s commercial capital were hosted to a creative menu characteristic of Kuruvita’s genius at this first major more..