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e-women national database launched

May 17 (DN) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs has launched e-women, a national database which includes the most comprehensive compilation on the status of women in Sri Lanka. The web based information system will include details related to women such as entrepreneurs, widows, gender based violence, education, health, employment etc. The Ministry will set up the national database in collaboration with the Census and Statistics Department, Computer Science more..

BCB in talks with Chandika Hathurusingha

May 17 (CI) BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said the board is in talks with former Sri Lanka batsman Chandika Hathurusingha for the role of Bangladesh head coach. Hathurusingha, the New South Wales assistant coach, is one of two candidates for the job and a decision will be made next week. Bangladesh's next series is against India at home in June and the BCB is looking to appoint a full-time coach before the more..

All set to celebrate fifth anniversary of the victory

May 17 (MoD) All set to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the victory over separatist terrorism tomorrow. The grand ceremony will be held at Matara under the patronage of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa inspected the final rehearsal today. All the contingents participating in the parade will display the nation's pride over the ever successful humanitarian mission conducted more..

Sri Pada Season ends, President pays homage to God Saman's statue

May 17 (GDI) The Sri Pada Pilgrimage season which commenced on the Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day came to an end on Wesak Full Moon Poya Day. Hundreds of thousands of devotees joined in the pilgrimage on the last day. The statue of God Saman and the the gold jewellery (devabharana) was taken to the Pelmadulla Rajamaha Viharaya with the end of the Sri Pada season on Friday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid homage to the statue at the Pelmadulla Rajamaha Viharaya. more..

'Honoured to play cricket at 42'

May 17 (WI) In an era where political correctness is the norm – and the easier way out – Muttiah Muralitharan comes across as a breath of fresh air. It is not that he is irreverent or disrespectful; Muralitharan has always put honesty ahead of expediency, and he isn’t going to change now. Murali takes great pride in being one of the oldest active cricketers, at 42, and while he is as keen as ever to a part of the playing XI more..

Modi's victory is matter of delight- BBS

May 17 (SM) CEO of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Dilantha Withanage has stated that his organization is extremely delighted about Narendra Modi led BJP victory as well as electing Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. He further stated “it is certain that Modi's victory will not only make an influence on India, but specially on Asia region and economic and political sectors of the rest of the world. We believe that PM will be able to eliminate extremism and separatism operating in this region." more..

Act fast to counter Modi, says Sri Lanka daily

May 17 (IANS) Sri Lankan leaders need to frame a clear-cut strategy before India's new govt headed by Narendra Modi acts tough against the island nation, a newspaper warned. "Sri Lankan leaders need to get their act together and work out a clear-cut strategy before Modi and (TN Chief Minister) J. Jayalalithaa start pushing and poaching or even think of doing what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing in Crimea," the Daily Mirror said. The editorial quoted most observers as saying more..

Academics condemn student activists arrest

May 17 (DM) University academics today condemned the abrupt arrest of the sixteen student activists yesterday evening, adding such actions will only further provoke students than solve their issue. FUTA President, Dr. Chandraguptha Thenuwara said intimidating students is not the response to the authorities’ failure to address student grievances. “Students’ demands and concerns regarding the issue more..

Japan's stand on UNHRC resolution is food for thought

May 18 (SO) Barely two months after the third successive US-led Resolution against Sri Lanka was passed at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva last March, Japan has openly said that the controversial Resolution would not help Sri Lanka in any way. Japan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seiji Kihara has said that his country abstained from voting on the US-backed resolution at the UNHRC, having decided that it would not help Sri Lanka. "We considered whether the Resolution against more..

Victory and reconciliation should come together

May 18 (SL) Today, SL’s armed forces and police celebrate the 5th victory anniversary over 30 years of the most vicious forms of terrorism the world has ever known. Time is a wonderful tranquilizer for memories we wish to forget. Colombo’s hair splitting intellectuals and airy-fairy theorists will now tell us: ‘Yes, you have won the war, but where is the peace that should have followed?’ True, the war has been won, the terrorists defeated but the Sinhalese and Tamils are not at peace. more..

'UNP unable to field presidential candidate'

May 18 (SO) North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said President Rajapaksa is the only common candidate who could win the next Presidential Election. President is the only leader who has formed a rainbow coalition of political parties from all sides of the political divide. He said if the UNP is a strong political party as they claim to be, they should field their leader as the next presidential candidate. more..

The Indian election

May 18 (Island) While none would be surprised about the world media dubbing 2014 as 'Modi’s year, India’s new prime minister-designate has gone on record saying 'India has won.' The scale of the BJP’s victory had not been seen since the 1980s after which electoral arithmetic compelled India to move into an era of coalition govt. While Modi’s party and its allies were widely expected to win, there were serious doubts on whether the BJP alone could collect a simple majority. more..

Other battles rage on

May 18 (NS) The end of war means different things to different people. Those who count themselves among the ‘winners’ will naturally celebrate. Those who believe they lost, lament, quietly for the most part. Whichever camp one belongs to, there’s common relief on one matter: the end of gunfire and bomb explosion. Time passes and those with a political bent re-assess strength and subsequent to a consideration of evolved circumstances re-invent themselves and redesign strategy. more..

'UNP gears to win Uva PC polls'

May 18 (SO) Provincial Council election for the Uva province is scheduled to be held shortly and all major political parties are actively engaged in selecting formidable candidates to run for the fray representing their respective political parties. The UNP has got a new lease of life with its reorganisational activities headed by the Leadership Council and also with the results of the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. more..

Yes to Pope; No to Dalai Lama

May 18 (ST) The announcement earlier this week that the popular Pope Francis would make a State visit to Colombo on the invitation of the Govt of Sri Lanka would have warmed the hearts of the Sri Lankan Catholic population. Visits by Sri Lankan leaders from the President onwards, regular pilgrim parties and a local Cardinal with strong links to the Papacy have ensured that healthy relations are maintained between Sri Lanka and the Vatican, as indeed they should be. more..

Making amends with Modi’s India

May 18 (ST) My Dear Narendra Modi, I am writing to congratulate you on your victory at the Indian elections, where they tell me that you have broken many records and emerged with a govt where your party alone will have control of Parliament because you have an absolute majority. This is of course good news for us in Paradise because you seem to have decisively ended — at least for the time being — the rule of the Congress Party led by the Gandhis and sent that chap Manmohan into more..

'There needs to be political will'

May 18 (SL) The Norwegian Govt played a key role in mediating between the govt and the LTTE during the war, including under the Rajapaksa govt. However as soon as the LTTE was defeated the Norwegians were accused by many within the Govt of playing into the hands of the LTTE and being biased towards the rebels. The man who took center stage as Norwegian mediator is former Minister Erik Solheim. more..

Modi’s victory: SL’s decisive moment

May 18 (Island) An Indian govt led by Narendra Modi is now officially upon us and Sri Lanka has to take stock of the situation and weigh its options. The good news is that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has secured a landslide victory winning 339 seats in the 543 member Lok Sabha. The BJP on its own has won 282 seats, more than the 272 required for a simple majority in parliament.  As such the BJP is in a position to form a govt even without its alliance partners. more..

Waging war against narcotics

May 18 (NS) The first two days of the next sitting week of Parliament starting May 20 (Tuesday) would be very promising. The two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, have been allocated for the debate on UNP’s no-confidence motion against the government. As it had been already reported in the media, this motion of No confidence has been regarding the government’s failure to prevent the country becoming the hub of international narcotic trade among other things. more..

'US wanted to prevent impunity'

May 18 (SL) During the past five years the US has been leading efforts to ensure accountability over the war in Sri Lanka and those efforts have mostly been centered at the UNHRC in Geneva. As the U.S. Ambassador to the UN in Geneva till before the 2014 March session, Eileen Donahoe led the efforts to gather support for resolutions submitted in Geneva following the end of the war in 2009. more..

The commemoration conundrum and the accountability trap

May 18 (NS) 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..

Return of seniors will boost Sri Lanka’s netball hopes

May 18 (ST) The Sri Lanka Netball Federation will be making every effort to send a strong team to compete in the forthcoming Asian Netball Championship. “Return of the senior players who kept away from playing will no doubt boost the morale of Sri Lanka national netball team in preparation for the ninth edition of the Asian Netball championship. The unity and corporation shown by both seniors and juniors is an indication of their courage and determination that the lasses more..

'Main focus on education'

May 18 (SL) Major General Udaya Perera took over duties as the Security Forces Commander of the North on January 10 this year. Having commenced many programs in the Killinochchi area, he is known for his commitment in paving the way for reconciliation in this country and for his commitment in helping the most vulnerable, especially children. While the army has been under fire by the TNA for maintaining large more..

SLSCA sees no wrong in STC’s action

May 18 (ST) The Sunday Times learns that the cricket authorities of Prince of Wales’ College Moratuwa are seriously contemplating on raising an official objection to the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) and the Ministry of Education against S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia. The objection according to Akila Bandara, the cricket Master-in-Charge of Prince of Wales’ is related to the Thomians ‘poaching’ two of their key players from the Under-17 cricket team. more..

Roy reminisees maiden Test win in England

May 18 (Island) Sri Lankans have not produced stellar performances in Test cricket away from home over the years and the team’s bowling deficiencies has been pointed out as the sole reason for that. However, the team has never been short of batting talent and the best thing is they come in pairs. In the last ten years, we have had Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara dominating having taken over the mantle from Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya. more..

SLC voting system to be restructured

May 18 (ST) In one of the most progressive moves in the Lankan cricket administrative annals, SLC is seriously contemplating a restructure of its voting system. Right now they have obtained all details about the individual clubs and are scrutinising ways of formalising the voting system according to the merit of each individual member club. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Vice President Mohan de Silva, answering more..

President to open new Customs Hqrs in June

May 18 (SO) President Rajapaksa will open the new building to house the Sri Lanka Customs Headquarters at Chalmers Jetty on June 23. The much anticipated official opening of the building will take place along with the launch of the first ever Customs museum in the world to showcase its long-standing history in the country and exhibit the samples of various unlawful items detected in the course of time. Construction work on the massive building at the Chalmers Jetty in Fort more..

Weerawansa ‘Saga’ Continues

May 18 (SL) Opposition Leader and the National Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was on a study tour to the US, returned to the country in the wee hours of Thursday, along with his wife Maithree Wickremesinghe. On his way back to Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe also visited London where he met an important person who was actually in charge of day to day activities of the party in the Opposition Leader’s absence. He was none other than the LC Chairman of the UNP, more..

PM clarifies gov't stance on South China Sea situation

May 18 (Xinhua) PM D.M. Jayaratne has clarified a statement made in Vietnam regarding the South China Sea issue when he met Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka and reiterated the country's support of China, an embassy official said on Saturday. PM D.M. Jayaratne had assured the Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao on 12 May that he and Sri Lanka took the stance that the South China Sea issue should be resolved more..

Foreign borrowing by companies and banks boost external debt in 2013

May 18 (Island) Sri Lanka’s 2013 external debt had increased on account of the relaxation of foreign exchange controls along with the opportunities for private companies and banks to raise foreign funds, a leading stockbroker said in a research report. The country’s total external debt position was up 7.1% year-on-year in 2013 with total external debt rising 7.1% of GDP during the year, a report from Acuity Stockbrokers said. However, the country’s external debt sustainability indicators more..

Sri Lanka’s Fijian show a no-go

May 18 (NS) It was a match that Sri Lanka was not supposed to win with an envious margin but when the final whistle was blown it signalled the climax of a contest where the Philippines which played as the better team escaped losing by a whisker as the home side lost 25-26 in the final minute of play in their last Asian Five Nations rugby match at the Race Course ground in Colombo yesterday. Historically Sri Lanka has won and lost matches in the international rugby arena but more..

All 54 CHOGM Mercs’ cars sold

May 18 (ST) All 54 Super Luxury Mercedes Benz S 400 class Hybrid cars imported for the CHOGM 2013 in Colombo have been sold, the head of DIMO which acted as the indenting agent for the import of these cars, revealed. DIMO has sold all these cars to private individuals, Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman of the company said. A senior official of the Finance Ministry, confirming this development, said the buyers have made payments to BoC. more..

Tsotsobe out of Sri Lanka tour

May 18 (CI) Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the South Africa left-arm seamer, has been ruled out of the tour to Sri Lanka in July to facilitate his recovery from ankle surgery scheduled on April 16. He will be sidelined for up to three months. South Africa's team manager and doctor Mohammad Moosajee said Tsotsobe had been struggling for some time and a gap in the calender had finally emerged for treatment. "Lonwabo has been suffering from this ankle problem for the last year and a half," more..

Pakistan clinch J.R. Jayewardene Trophy

May 18 (Dawn) Pakistan won the J.R. Jayewardene Trophy beating Sri Lanka in the 53rd National Amateur Golf Championship at the Royal Palm Golf Club here on Saturday. Pakistan team comprising Salman Jehangir and Taimur Khan overcame the Sri Lankan duo of Sisri Kumara and P. Hemanta. On Friday, Pakistan had also won the international team title during which both Salman and Taimur played key roles. The contest for the Inter Association Team Trophy featuring Balochistan, more..

Tata’s unusual deal with UDA; free 8-acre land with trade-offs

May 18 (ST) In an unconventional deal, India’s Tata Housing, the real estate arm of the Tata Group and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons this week launched a US$ 400 million mixed development project in Slave Island Colombo, The project is in collaboration with the UDA as a major township rejuvenation initiative, at the same time resettling shanty dwellers in the area in improved housing units. The unusual deal is more..

Sri Lanka, India must keep nationalists at bay to grow economies

May 18 (CT) A senior economist says both Sri Lanka and India must keep a check on nationalism and religious extremism so that both governments could deliver pro-business and pro-poor economic growth. India's next Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP and its coalition partners had overwhelming success at the recently concluded general elections in the world's largest democracy with the Hindu nationalists campaigning on a pro-business growth ticket. "Economic growth slowed down and more..

Tobacco industry smoked out by Monaragala villagers

May 18 (NS) A fresh anti-tobacco initiative by a group of villagers and health officials in Moneragala has smashed hefty cigarette companies by cutting down cigarette sales by nearly 60% in several parts of the District. A group of Medical Officers of Health (MOH) in Buttala and Wellawaya PS Divisions launched a series of awareness campaigns with the backing of the respective villagers on the ill-effects of tobacco use. MOH, Buttala PS Division, Dr. S.H. Piyasumana said more..

Amidst intense lobbying for top Health Secretary slot Nihal Jayathilake out

May 18 (Island) The abrupt move to transfer Dr. Nihal Jayathilake, the incumbent Health Secretary, in an "out of the blue development", last week triggered intense lobbying and pulling a few strings by aspirants vying for this top administrative position in the govt health sector. With mounting speculation of Jayathilake’s unexpected exit, many clamored to throw their hats into the ring, but in separating the wheat from the chaff, more..

'BJP’s majority, a blessing for Sri Lanka'

May 18 (SO) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said, that the BJP having secured a big majority singlehandedly at the recently concluded Indian election is a blessing for Sri Lanka, since it lessens the likelihood of the Centre bowing down to regional political compulsions. He said the BJP led NDA secured 318 parliamentary seats with the BJP winning the majority 277 seats singlehandedly. Therefore, the Govt would be strong not needing to be dictated to by raucous regional leaders. more..

Delay in ID for students

May 18 (SL) Issuing of National Identity (ID) cards to students who are sitting for the GCE A/L Exam this year is to be delayed. According to Commissioner of the Department of Registration of Persons, issuing ID cards for the A/L students is being delayed due to many incomplete applications. “Many applications are being sent either without the Principal’s signature and seal or without the applicant’s signature or photo. There are also some details missing in many applications,” more..