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Coleman’s Tattoo ordeal: Cutting a sorry figure

May 19 (DM) The fiasco regarding British tourist Naomi Coleman and her Buddha tattoo ended by deeply embarrassing moderate Sri Lankans. One should say it embarrassed the government, but this isn’t one which is embarrassed by anything, especially the sort of incident which made the Chief Sanghanayake of the United States offer a personal apology to Coleman, a professed Buddhist with affectionate memories of the country – until her last visit to the country, that is. more..

Canada may be hoist by her own petard

May 19 (SL) A terrorist ideologue is masquerading as a politician in Canada. He is planning to contest the forthcoming Ontario Provincial election in the riding of Scarborough Rouge River on June 12, 2014. Having penetrated the Provincial political system, his mission is to penetrate the Canadian political system at a federal level. He is none other than Neethan Shanmugaraja who operates under the name Neethan Shan. more..

UC member’s killers caught on camera

May 19 (Island) Video footage from CCTV cameras installed in several homes on the old Kelaniya-Dalugama Road close to the tyre factory, where Peliyagoda UC member Chamila Sandaruwan was gunned down last Monday, had helped the police get a glimpse of the two-member killer squad. Recordings on three of the cameras clearly showed the two killers on a motorcycle, but as both were wearing helmets, more..

FUTA threatens union action if Govt. fails to implement 2012 proposals

May 19 (ST) The FUTA has threatened to resume its trade union action as the Govt has failed to implement the proposals agreed to in 2012. In a letter addressed to Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. S.J. Nawaratne, FUTA has demanded that using political influence in university matters and suppressing students be immediately stopped while rectifying the salary anomalies of academics as promised in the 2012 agreement. more..

Baby jumbo case Notice issued on Monk

May 19 (CT) Provincial High Court (PHC) Judge of Gampaha, W. Mathurata, reissued notice on Rev. Kolonnawe Sri Sumangala Thera and Assistant Forest Conservator, W.A.A.D.U Indrajith, returnable on 6 June 2014 after considering a revision petition regarding ownership of a baby elephant. Environmental Cultural Education, Kottawa in Pannipitiya and Irangani de Silva of 93/20 Elivitigala Mawatha Colombo 8 more..

AHS undergraduate activists assaulted in police custody and hospitalised

May 19 (ST) Of the 17 student activists arrested on Friday, four were admitted to the Accident Ward in the National Hospital, after sustaining injuries while in police custody. However, the activists claim that two of the more seriously injured students have not been hospitalised despite pleas, a claim denied by the police. Student Unions claim that the 13 students were brutally beaten by the police while in custody. more..

Sri Lanka should learn lessons from India’s free and fair elections: UNP

May 19 (DM) The UNP said today that Sri Lanka too should learn lessons from the democratic manner in which the Indian elections were conducted. “The Indian General Election is an example of how a vibrant democracy works. The lessons from how the election was held must be used in countries even across the Palk Straits. There are lessons particularly relevant to Sri Lanka today. The power of the franchise will triumph over the more..

Iran selling oil to Sri Lanka: Official

May 19 (PTV) Iran has started exporting crude oil to South Africa and Sri Lanka following the easing of sanctions against Tehran as a result of the Geneva nuclear deal, a senior Iranian oil official says. Oil exports to the two countries are carried out under “single-shipment” contracts for the time being, said Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). more..

Wimal insists ready to quit the UPFA

May 19 (CG) NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa insisted today his party is ready to withdraw from the ruling UPFA Govt if the Govt fails to accept proposals put forward by the NFF. Speaking to reporters after meeting Catholic Bishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today, Weerawansa said that his party will be presenting a 12 point proposal to the President which was adopted at the NFF convention recently. more..

CHR and CaFFE condemn ‘torture’ of students

May 19 (AD) The Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR) and Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) today strongly condemned the assault, arrest and the alleged torture on the Allied Health Sciences students by Slave Island police. Issuing a joint statement, the groups expressed hope that the country’s judicial system will do justice to the arrested students. During a protest opposite the UGC more..

Maithripala Sirisena elected WHO Vice President

May 19 (AD) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has been elected as the Vice President of the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the World Health Assembly held in Switzerland. Sirisena is leading the Sri Lankan delegation currently attending the sixty-seventh session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) taking place in Geneva during 19–24 May 2014. Today’s meeting was opened by Dr Shigeru Omi of Japan, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

May 19 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.06% higher Monday with banking and telco stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 4.05 points higher at 6,319.24 up 0.06%. The S&P SL20 closed 6.38 points lower at 3,472.79, down 0.18%. Turnover was 589.93 million rupees, down from 1.61 billion rupees last Friday with 93 stocks closed positive against 101 negative. Commercial Bank closed 60 cents lower at 129.00 rupees with market transactions of 67.11 million rupees more..

Overdue EPF accounts

May 19 (CT) Central Bank has defaulted on its legal and ethical obligation to present to Parliament the audited accounts of the EPF for the years 2011 and 2012 despite many requests from the public as well as EPF members. Disregarding these requests, the Central Bank has at various times been issuing statements with incomplete accounts to mislead the public and sidetrack the issue, when it should have presented the accounts to Parliament to enable them to be examined and debated by more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon: Home-grown Solutions

India’s Modi wave and Lanka’s Moda (Foolish) wave

May 19 (CT) Sharp on the heels of the Modi electoral phenomenon that swept mighty India, Sri Lankan leaders from their humble podium have had the guts to add their two cents’ worth. Inasmuch as these imbecilic utterances did not generate serious response from anyone it did add to the unending fodder for comic relief and wind- release that ordinary powerless people in Lanka have been experiencing over the whole period of the current regime: what with the antics of Dr Mervyn, more..

Killing of suspect: Magistrate orders report

May 19 (Island) Teldeniya Magistrate Rohan Jayawardana held the magisterial inquiry into the death of Tharusha Niluka said to be the Key suspect in the murder of Kurunegala policeman. He was arrested by the CID on Saturday morning in the Teldeniya area and later shot dead in an alleged altercation with the police in the early hours of Sunday (18) in a jungle in Udadumbara. The body of the dead suspect was identified by his widow Chandani Adikari (32). more..

Modi's hometown an ancient Buddhist site

May 19 (CT) Sri Lankans will be delighted to know that India's Prime Minister-elect, Narendra Modi, has strong historical links with Buddhism. Firstly, there are some striking similarities in the personal lives of the Buddha and Modi. Secondly, Modi's hometown, Vadnagar in Gujarat, was a major centre of Buddhism in Western India when the famous Chinese traveller, Huen Tsang or more correctly, Xuanzang (602-664 AD), visited it. more..

SriLankan Airlines, Finnair codeshare flights take-off from June 02

May 19 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines and Finanair will begin code share flights from June 02, with flights to Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, London, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen from Helsinki. Sri Lanka said Finnair will in turn codeshare with flights out of Colombo to Bankok, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome and London. "We are confident that this partnership with Finnair will expand SriLankan’s reach to the Scandinavian region; thereby increasing Scandinavian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka and more..

Academics, GMOA call for probe into pesticide control officials’s assets

May 19 (Island) University teachers such as Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe, Dr. Channa Jayasumana and GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya would request President Rajapaksa to issue an order to declare the assets of officials attached to the Pesticide Technical Advisory Committee. Dr. Jayasumana said that though President had issued an order to ban glyphosate but they had not been carried out by the relevant officials so far. The academics who were in favour with the more..

Sri Lanka 'happy' Jayalalithaa lost clout in New Delhi

May 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it is pleased that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has lost any bargaining power with the Narendra Modi government because of the majority BJP has on its own in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration was pleased that it could do business with the Centre without Tamil Nadu exercising undue influence, more..

PS member arrested over attempt to remove lightning rod

May 19 (AD) A member of the Uva Paranagama Pradeshiya Sabha who attempted to remove a lightning conductor fixed at a tea factory in Downside Estate has been arrested by police. UNP PS member had entered the tea factory with a group of supporters last night and had attempted to remove the lightning conductor, which was fixed onto the roof of the factory. Security guards at the factory had alerted police regarding the incident and the PS member was arrested. more..

Japanese medical tourists lured by Sri Lanka’s Ayurvedic care

May 19 (Island) Sri Lanka's Ayurveda healthcare is garnering the attention of high end tourist market. "Lately, the Japanese travel sector has shown stronger interest in Sri Lanka's Ayurveda tourism. Last week a Japanese MP touring Sri Lanka also had expressed of Japan's interest in Sri Lanka's Ayurvedic care for Japanese medical tourists" revealed an upbeat minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 16 May. He was addressing the simultaneous launch event of AROGYA 2014 and more..

'Will use international mechanisms, if India exploits our fishing resources'

May 19 (PTI) Amid the deadlock in its talks with India over the fishermen issue, Sri Lanka today cautioned against anyone "exploiting" its fisheries resources saying it could take the matter to international forums. "If anyone tried to exploit Sri Lanka's fishing resources, we will resort to international mechanisms available to tackle the issue", Lankan fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. However, he expressed hope that more..

Caught with ‘croc gecko’

May 19 (Island) The anti-vice branch of the Kandy police on Friday arrested a 22-year-old man from Giriulla at the Kandy Goods Shed bus stand with a rare species of a gecko known as Kimbul Hoona (Crocodile Gecko) and 2.5 grammes of Wallapatta. Police said that inquiries disclosed that the gecko was found in a jungle area of Rangala in Teldeniya and was to be sold to a resident of Avissawella for Rs. 100,000. Further investigations are conducted by anti-vice branch on the directions of more..

Paul Farbrace key role - Eoin Morgan

May 19 (BBC) England assistant coach Paul Farbrace's knowledge of Sri Lanka could be key to the home side's chances this summer, said Twenty20 captain Eoin Morgan. Farbrace led Sri Lanka to the World Twenty20 title in April before becoming number two to England's Peter Moores. "Paul's knowledge of Sri Lanka and cricket in general is high," said Morgan, who will lead England in a T20 international at The Oval on Tuesday. "He has a great cricket brain. more..

'Army ready to face any threat against the country'

May 19 (SLBC) Army Commander Daya Rathnayaka says that the army is ready to face any threat against the country and its national security. The security forces have the revolving strength in this regard. President Rajapakse continuously acts as the commander in chief of security forces since 2009. He is dedicated to protect the sovereignty and establish the security of this island. Accordingly, stability has been setup in this island. more..

Macksons Properties in serviced apartment complex in Colombo

May 19 (LBO) Macksons Properties Ltd, will build a 655 million rupee, 100-room serviced apartment complex in Colombo. Macksons Holdings has interests in consumer goods, automobiles and building materials including Multilac branded paints, the BoI of Sri Lanka which approves and gives tax breaks for investment projects said. An agreement had been signed between Deputy Chairman of Macksons Properties Milfer Makeen and BOI chief Lakshman Jayaweera. more..

Commission probing disappearances regret TNA decision

May 19 (ST) Presidential Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons today said that it regrets a decision taken by the TNA and the Northern Provincial Council, to reject the commission. Commission’s Chairman Maxwell Paranagama, was responding to reports that the TNA and the NPC adopted a resolution to reject the Commission on the basis that it had no faith in the Commission. A statement by the Commission says that despite TNA’s decision to reject more..

With talks deadlocked, fishermen pin hopes on Jayalalithaa, Modi

May 19 (Hindu) After the second round of talks with the Sri Lankan fishermen on the dispute over fishing in the Palk Bay ended in a deadlock, Rameswaram fishermen have pinned their hopes on the NDA government being formed at the Centre to resolve the problem. After the first round of talks in Chennai on January 27, the Indian fishermen from TN and Sri Lankan fishermen sat down for the second round in Colombo on May 12. more..

LLRC not a Bible says Govt

May 19 (CG) Govt says the report of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will not be seen as a Bible and all the recommendations will not be implemented. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Govt will only implement recommendations it feels can be done. He noted that while there are some recommendations which can be implemented in the short term there are others which need constitutional amendments which will take a longer time. more..

Ties with China strong says Lanka

May 19 (CG) Sri Lanka – China relations have remained strong with several high-level visits taking place, President Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement. President Rajapaksa will be in China this week for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The President is expected to address the Conference, which, this year, is being organized under the theme “Strengthening the Trust and Cooperation and Building a Peaceful and Stable New Asia.” more..

'It's been an amazing privilege to play the game'

May 19 (Guardian) Kumar Sangakkara is freezing at the end of an abandoned day of county cricket in Sussex. Wearing a huge borrowed jumper from the visitors' dressing room occupied by Durham, for whom he played two matches while preparing for Sri Lanka's one-day and Test series against England, the great batsman still smiles through the rainy cold. The longer he talks, and the deeper he thinks, the more his eloquent more..

Unmerciful assault is not minimum force: Magistrate

May 19 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate today criticised the police on their definition of ‘minimum force’ and said minimum force did not mean assaulting someone till his or her eyes popped out. He advised the police to be more responsible and restrained when handling situations such as students’ protests. Magistrate expressed these views when the police said it had used ‘minimum force’ in the arrest of 13 students belonging to the IUSF during a protest rally on Friday. more..

Hathurusingha named Bangladesh coach

May 19 (CI) The BCB has appointed Chandika Hathurusingha, the former Sri Lanka batsman, as Bangladesh's head coach for a two-year period. He has left his position as the assistant coach of New South Wales and coach of Sydney Thunder, and is expected to arrive in Dhaka on June 10. This will be his first stint as head coach of an international side. "The two-year agreement has been finalised with Chandika Hathurusingha," BCB president Nazmul Hassan told reporters. more..

The ghost of Prabhakaran

May 19 (R&K) On May 18, 2009, the Sri Lankan Army killed the Tamil Tiger separatist leader V Prabhakaran. The cause of death was believed to be a single shot to the head at close range. The army had two former Prabhakaran allies turned govt mercenaries visually ID the body; they also took a DNA sample. Then they cremated him. With Prabhakaran’s death, the bloody 26-year Sri Lankan civil war came to an abrupt end. more..

Economy thrives amidst peace

May 20 (NS) This week marked not only Vesak, the holiest day of the Buddhist calendar but also the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Eelam war. It is an opportune moment to reflect on events since then as Sri Lanka still struggles to cope with the global backlash from the Tamil Diaspora. Is the country better off as a result of winning the war against the LTTE? The answer must be an emphatic ‘yes’ even after taking into account the fallout that have culminated in events at the UNHRC. more..

Five years on, What have we got here?

May 20 (CT) I write this with mixed feelings, believing in some opportunities and mindful of enormous problems or difficulties. Five years on, the problems have enlarged and the opportunities dwindled. Yet, as a perennial optimist, I stick to the opportunities perhaps as the last straws. Let me begin with by commenting on the termination of the war in May 2009, as it is from that lamppost that we count the five years. On that Monday, 18th May 2009, I was at the Navy Cantonment at more..

Pictorial health warnings, a deterrent for smoking?

May 20 (SO) After a long time all the 225 members of the State legislature of Sri Lanka had showed their consent on one cause amidst all their divisions and agendas. All raised their hands last February 19th in favour of the introduction of compulsory pictorial health warnings to be displayed on cigarette packets as a cost effective way of increasing the public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use. more..

Let us at least save the judiciary from this monocracy

May 20 (CT) Your Lordship Justice Sisira De Abrew is a product of Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda. Your Lordship excelled at Law College and obtained classes at the Preliminary and the Final exams. Thereafter you took oaths as an Attorney at Law in 1981 and joined the AG’s Department as a State Counsel in 1982. You were promoted to the rank of Senior State Counsel in 1996. During this period you conducted prosecutions before courts in almost every province. more..

International stakes continue to rise with change next door

May 20 (Island) The election of a new govt in India opens up new vistas for Sri Lanka’s relationship with its closest neigbour. With his congratulatory phone call to the Indian PM-elect Narendra Modi, President Rajapaksa took the initiative to rebuild ties with India. Relations with India have grown strained due to the Indian stance on issues relating to the country’s Tamil problem and the govt’s prevarication regarding promises of devolution of power made to the Indian govt. more..