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Ven. Sobitha Thero meets JVP

May 18 (LT) A discussion between a team of representatives from ‘People’s Movement for Social Justice’ including Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and the JVP was held at the JVP head office at Pelawatta today. JVP was represented by its leader Anura Dissanayaka and the Member of the Political Bureau and MP Sunil Handunneththi. Attorney at Law Krishanthe Weliamuna, Attorney at Law Nimal Punchihewa, President’s Counsel Jayampathy Wickremaratna also participated more..

Expressway bus permits: Committee to decide

May 18 (ST) Permits to operate private buses on expressways will be given by a high-level committee instead of by open tenders, the Cabinet has decided. Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayake said the decision was taken because of shortcomings in the open tender procedure. He said the committee would comprise the Transport Minister, the Treasury Secretary, the Sri Lanka Transport Board chairman and himself. A separate committee would scrutinise applications. more..

Dilshan and Vithanage blitz Sussex in record time

May 18 (CI) With the sun shining on the UK's hottest weekend of the year so far, Sri Lanka scorched to a ten-wicket win in less than half the allotted overs to complete their warm-up matches ahead of the limited-overs series against England in dashing style. Tillakaratne Dilshan slashed and burned his way to an 18-ball half-century, with Kithuruwan Vithanage only a little more circumspect in his fifty from 22. more..

Thrashings not a reflection of our talent, but

May 19 (SL) WITH the outcome of the final gameagainst Philippines yesterday reduced to irrelevance even before kick-off, anevaluation of our 2014A5N campaignbefore its ending wouldn’t be premature. Before the evaluation, however, a few remarks on the relegation of yesterday’s game to nothingness would not be out of place.The meeting, of the dwarfs if you like, was not supposed to be of inconsequential value. Admittedly, the incapability of either the Sri Lankans more..

Promises are not to be kept only as promises

May 19 (SL) With the outgoing Congress-led UPA Govt of PM Manmohan Singh having made a significant departure on the UNHRC front before demitting office, Sri Lanka can expect ‘continuity with change’ on post-poll India’s approach and policy towards the southern neighbour. While the temptation in Colombo may be to believe that a new prime minister, particularly if it is BJP’s Narendra Modi or anyone else from the north of the Vindhyas, will be easy to do business with owing to more..

'Defeating the ruthless LTTE: We achieved the impossible in May 2009'

May 19 (SO) Putting the record straight with regard to the US's and India's involvement in the tail end of the humanitarian operation which eliminated the LTTE, former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama says the two countries never created a passage or made an attempt even to see that Prabhakaran could be assisted in a fleeing operation. “I can categorically state that the US nor India never had a more..

No ending: Touching Muslim shops goes to Mawanella

May 19 (CT) It is reported that a hardware shop belonging a Muslim man was set on fire last night by unidentified people in Mawanella town. Muslims in the area believe that this was done deliberately by some anti- Muslim elements. This follows series anti- Muslim attacks and anti- Muslims campaign started by BBS two years ago. These continuous attacks on Muslim properties and Muslim places of worship are aimed at destroying Muslim business and Muslims livelihood in Sri Lanka. more..

Reflections on post war five years

May 19 (CT) Although the way in which it came to an end may not be in congruence with my normative principles on the issue of ending armed conflicts, I am still happy with the fact that war to an end five years ago. Notwithstanding the fact that conventional conflict resolution theory posits that negotiated settlement rather than military victory is more favorable for peace-building or conflict transformation, I believe that war-ending in either way would have created a more..

'I don’t see an Opposition'

May 19 (CT) Chandima Weerakkody, a lawyer by profession, is an SLFP MP from the Galle District and is the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Weerakkody, while explaining the working of Parliament, said the UNP, is trying to ‘fabricate’ stories of assault at Hambantota to bring disrepute to the govt and hide the rifts within its own party. Q: On several occasions in Parliament, there was lack of quorum and Parliament more..

No, Mr. Minister, women cannot wait for the next Buddha

May 19 (ST) When the Buddha was asked by his chief disciple the Venerable Ananda whether a woman could attain enlightenment, the Buddha’s reply was a definite yes. Thus emboldened by the Buddha’s unequivocal answer that both genders possessed the same potential to become Arahaths and that the Savaka-Bodhi status of arahathship was not the exclusive preserve of men but that women too had every right to aspire to that exalted state and attain it, Venerable Ananda more..

Wimal's next move hinges on MR's response to 12 proposals

May 19 (CT) The govt has taken a firm decision to dissolve the Uva PC in two to three months time to make way for the holding of the election before the year end. However, it has again plunged into a state of indecision over which national election is to be held first. The bout of wavering this time round has come in the wake of one group within the govt lobbying for the presidential poll first while another group was pressing for holding a Parliamentary election first. more..

'President seems to be just a figurehead'

May 19 (CT) Minister and Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa, said his Party would not need to think twice before leaving the UPFA Govt, if it failed to get back on the correct path in driving the country forward. In an interview with Ceylon Today, Minister Weerawansa, also criticized the govt for spending huge amounts of foreign borrowings on infrastructure facilities and failing to invest in income generating ventures. more..

A fractured Sri Lankan identity five years on

May 19 (ST) This week, the five year anniversary on the 2009 victory of Sri Lankan troops over the LTTE is to be held in Matara, located in the deep South and in the perceived Sinhala heartland of this Presidency. I used the term ‘perceived’ quite deliberately as the assumption that all is well and good in the Southern Sinhala heartland, is certainly not the case. We saw this in the recently concluded SPC elections. Aptly enough, when questioned in regard to visible road development more..

Hirunika-Duminda clash resurfaces

May 19 (CT) The clash between Hirunika Premachandra and Duminda Silva is yet to be resolved, despite both being people's representatives of the ruling UPFA. The clash resurfaced during a recent discussion held at the Wimalaramaya Temple in Wellampitiya. The discussion was for preparing a list of guests for the opening ceremony of the three-storey building of the temple. Duminda Silva was among the participants. As one person proposed to invite Hirunika, more..

A ‘victory day’ sketch

May 19 (GV) Sri Lanka celebrated that very first victory day one day later than it has been marked in the four years since. It was the 19th of May, 2009. V Prabhakaran had been killed the previous day. News of his death had to filter through before celebrations could begin. Ever since, Sri Lanka has marked his death anniversary as its most triumphal calendar day, with military parades and air-shows, chest-thumping speeches about more..

Nimali’s bold attempt, Chandika’s usual best highlight final day

May 19 (Island) Middle distance runner Nimali Liyanarachchi’s bold attempt to break Olympian Dhammika Menike’s 800 metres national record spurred her to one of the best performances of the meet before sprinter Chandrika Subashini topped the women’s events of the two-day athletics trial with her usual best at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. After US based hurdler Christine Merrill had hogged limelight on day one, both Subashini and Nimali gave consolation for enthusiasts more..

Engaging issues of caste: The forbidden subject

May 19 (Island) Caste is observed by the overwhelming majority of Sinhalese and Tamils but the subject remains virtually taboo in public discussions. If it is mentioned in public, it is often either to hurl abuse or to negotiate a marriage. The latter is because for many of us caste is the most important factor in marriage. The former is because caste is yet widely accepted as a measure of social status; the latter because for many caste is the most important factor in marriage, more..

'Team looking up to Sanga to deliver'

May 19 (Island) While the onus is on left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to deliver in the bowling department, the national cricket team looks up to Kumar Sangakkara to shoulder the burden with the bat. The star player is world’s number two ranked batsman in Test cricket while in ODIs he is ranked fifth. A Test average of 58 and an ODI average of 40 means Sri Lanka’s number three has few peers in the world. more..

Editorial: The Modi Magic

May 19 (Island) The Modi tsunami has decimated the Congress, as the headline of our New Delhi Special Correspondent’s report on the outcome of the Indian general election read on Saturday. Narendra Modi’s BJP has secured an outright majority by winning 282 seats as the main constituent of an alliance which obtained a staggering 336 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The Modi victory is reminiscent of the JRJ tsunami here in 1977 to some extent. more..

Hundreds protest against Norway in SL

May 19 (Local) Norway acted as peacebroker but failed to secure agreement from the parties to a peaceful end to the conflict. Sinhalese nationalists accuse it of supporting the rebels, a charge Oslo has repeatedly rejected. The Sri Lankan government at the end of April sent out an alert over Interpol demanding that Norway's govt arrest Perinpanayagam Sivaparan, an Oslo-based Tamil, claiming that he is the new leader of the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

CBSL prints money to induce credit growth

May 19 (CT) In a seeming attempt to get credit going, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) enhanced its Treasury bill holdings by more than 1,200% (Rs 32,323.9 million) Friday over the previous working day (Tuesday) to Rs 32,323.9 million; thereby enhancing excess liquidity by more than 5,000% (Rs 46,687 million) to Rs 47,611 million. Wednesday and Thursday were Vesak holidays for the stock, money, govt securities and more..

CTU calls for disciplinary action

May 19 (CT) Addressing concerns over the alarming increase in incidents of teachers causing grievous harm to students through punishments, the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) called for amendments to the govt education sector circulars to include disciplinary action that can be taken against the transgressing teachers. The 2005 circular protects children's rights by expressly forbidding physical punishments. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers' Union, Joseph Stalin said, more..

SLT Group posts Rs.984m profit before tax

May 19 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) released its Group and Company financial results for the 1st quarter 2014 today. The group comprises of holding Company SLT and 7 subsidiaries including mobile arm Mobitel. The group has reported 6% Year on Year growth of revenue during the 1st quarter 2014, to Rs. 15.3 billion. The growth was contributed by all the operational segments of the group. Operating Cost of the group was up by 13% Year on Year (YoY) to Rs. 11.1 billion. more..

A marketing manager is at the steering wheel of free education – SSU

May 19 (LT) Govt is causing disarray and confusion in the state university system and the steering wheel of free education has been handed over to a marketing manager says the National Organizer of Socialist Students’ Union (SSU) Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. He said, “The agenda of the Rajapaksa regime is to privatize what is left of the free education. This is why the talk about private universities surface annually and why more..

Philippines edge Sri Lanka with last kick of the game

May 19 (DM) Philippines recorded a 26 points (3 goals, 1 try) to 25 (2 goals, 1 try and 2 penalties) victory over hosts Sri Lanka in their Asian Five Nations 2014 Division I match played at Race Course ground. At half-time Philippines led 19-17. Sri Lanka full back Nuwan Hettiarachchi opened the scoring with a penalty in the first minute of play. Sri Lanka led 3-0. In the 22nd minute Philippines centre Matthew Saunders scored a try, converted by captain and fly half Oliver Saunders. more..

Abercrombie and Kent travel with high end tourists to Sri Lanka

May 19 (ST) In a bid to bring down upmarket tourists to the country, United Holidays has signed up with Abercrombie and Kent, a leading global travel company, to generate increased arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka is positioned to also be the location for the company’s next set of luxury camping units as well in the country next year. Abercrombie and Kent (A&K) Sri Lanka Chairman Afghar Mohideen said their aim was to try to attract the high end luxury market to the country and more..

Suspected Indian Intelligence agent nabbed in A'pura

May 19 (DM) The Police arrested a person an Indian National who had impersonated himself as a Sri Lankan using a false name for nineteen years from Koliyabenda wewa area in Parasangaswewa in Anuradhapura today. The Police had been able to confiscate the documents, photocopies and the identity cards in his possession issued from various countries when he was taken into custody by a by a Special Detection Unit more..

Frustrated Hales wants to shake T20 tag

May 19 (CI) Alex Hales has admitted his frustrations at the disjointed start to his season that has seen him bat in three positions for two counties while being unable to force his way into England's one-day side. Hales will have a day back in the spotlight on Tuesday when he faces Sri Lanka, the team he scored an unbeaten 116 against in the World T20 - England's first hundred in the format - but believes it is unfair if he is already considered purely a T20 cricketer. more..

Gobal accounting body CEO in Colombo

May 19 (FT) International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Chief Executive Officer Fayez Choudhury will be a special guest in Colombo today at the South Asia Conference on Financial Reporting for Economic Development hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka). During the conference inauguration, Choudhury will deliver a speech while also moderating a plenary session on the Financial Reporting Supply Chain: Who is accountable for what? more..

Police insist main suspect attempted to hurl grenade

May 19 (Island) The main suspect in the recent abduction and killing of police constable, Chandana Sampath in the Kurunegala police division was killed in the early hours of yesterday. The police identified the suspect as Tharuka Nilusha alias Tharuka Nilan, a 32-year-old gangster allegedly involved in a spate of armed robberies including the recent Rs. 1.9 mn heist at a Commercial Bank branch at Katunayake. more..

Sri Lanka blocks Tamil memorials amid war parade

May 19 (BBC) Sri Lanka has held a victory parade on the fifth anniversary of the end of its civil war, while stopping Tamils from commemorating their war dead. Security forces in the north surrounded party offices and religious sites, blocking memorial ceremonies for Tamils killed in the separatist war. Tens of thousands were killed in the long conflict between govt troops and Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels. The UN has backed an inquiry into rights abuses from both sides. more..

Reservoir capacity to be expanded

May 19 (DN) The Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry will launch a new project to improve the storage capacity of all irrigation reservoirs to face the impact of climate change. The World Bank's International Development Association approved a US $ 110 million loan to carry out this project island wide under the climate change mitigation program. "There is a tendency for the growth of intense rainfalls and extended droughts due to climate changes. more..

Army surrounds Jaffna newspaper office

May 19 (Hindu) Sri Lankan army personnel surrounded the offices of the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, its employees said on Sunday. Over 50 uniform-clad army personnel surrounded the popular Tamil daily’s premises and the situation in the locality was tense for a few hours, said E. Saravanapavan, TNA PM and Uthayan’s managing director. “Later, the ground commander asked me for assurance that more..

SLMC threatens to leave the UPFA

May 19 (CG) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has threatened to leave the ruling UPFA Govt over differences of opinion on several issues. SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem says there are accusations that the SLMC only wants posts in the Govt. However he insisted that the party is not focused on Govt positions and added that the SLMC will not hesitate to resign. Hakeem and the SLMC have had several rifts with the Govt which have been reported in the media. more..

Ranil, prelates in closed door talks

May 19 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe after his recent tour of the US paid courtesy called on the prelates of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters of Siyam Nikaya on Saturday. Opposition Leader had talks with the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayaka Thera of Asgiriya and the Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of Malatte for more than one hour each. However the discussions were not open to the media. more..

'Sri Lanka’s right to celebrate triumph over terrorism cannot be disputed'

May 19 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka’s right to celebrate the eradication of terrorism couldn’t be disputed. He said that the government would not under any circumstance succumb to international pressure to do away with the annual Victory Day parade. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa was speaking to The Island shortly after the conclusion of the victory day parade held in Matara, yesterday. more..

CSE lets primary dealers trade listed corporate debt

May 19 (FT) The Stock Exchange has invited primary dealers and debt market specialists to register as trading members of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) for debt securities. Three primary dealers have already obtained trading membership and the fourth primary dealer has submitted an application to the CSE. These members are in addition to the existing debt trading members, COO of the CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane disclosed. The CSE has taken a series of aggressive more..

Thirumavalavan queers pitch for reviewing Sri Lankan policy

May 19 (Hindu) Even before the Narendra Modi government is to be formed at the Centre the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi has queered the pitch for reviewing the Indo-Sri Lankan policy to render justice to the Sri Lankan Tamils. VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan made this observation in a statement released here on Sunday in remembrance of the fifth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide in which several innocent Tamils were massacred by the Sri Lankan forces on May 18, 2009. more..

Tamils say barred from commemorating war dead, Sri Lanka denies

May 19 (Reuters) Minority ethnic Tamils said on Sunday they had been banned from commemorating the deaths of their relatives five years ago in the final battle of a 26-year war with Sri Lanka's military, a charge denied by the army. While President Rajapaksa, who is under international pressure to investigate war crimes in the battle, watched a victory parade in the south of the island, Tamils said they had been barred more..

Banking sector: Where it is heading?

May 19 (DM) The performance of Sri Lanka’s banking sector during the past two quarters has given us things to ponder about. The sector, which successfully weathered the global financial crisis in 2009 thanks to its conventional banking practices and not exposing itself to toxic financial instruments, appears to be in distress. Though the situation has not clearly threatened the stability of any bank in the country, it has evidently hindered their growth to some extent. more..