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Surveillance and the Social Isolation of Ex-LTTE combatants in Sri Lanka

May 20 (GV) Talking to former members of the LTTE in Sri Lanka reveals much about their lives and their post-war challenges. Their stories are not only reflected in our conversations, but can also be read through their body language and mannerisms. The way they walk into a room, suspiciously saying hello and smiling reservedly, the way they stay silent for several minutes, feigning small-talk while judging whether you are more..

Bring back Welegedara for England!

May 20 (CT) Our last week's column centred on the key aspect of the England tour by the Sri Lanka cricketers and the importance of the pace attack standing up and being counted. We also felt that it was prudent to discuss the possible combination and the makeup of it. Whilst there is no question that the batting with so much of experience is the strong point it cannot be said of the bowling especially the seam attack. So what should the Sri Lankan bowling makeup be for the tour will is bound to more..

There's an ill wind blowing across the UNP...

May 20 (CT) There has been an ill wind blowing across the UNP over the past two decades. A string of electoral defeats and a weak leadership has caused this ill wind. It has now reached stormy levels. Caught up in a few minor 'cyclones' earlier that saw many stalwarts leaving the Party, there are signs that more are in the process of deciding their future, if they were to continue in politics. With the current division within the UNP, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe cannot dream of a more..

යළි මතුවන අභයගිරිය

‘No Lankan tea exports to Pakistan from Jan to March 2014’

May 20 (Island) Recently High Commissioner for Pakistan in Sri Lanka, General Qasim Qureshi, at a press conference convened by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, answering questions from the press conceded that Pakistan was not a major buyer of Ceylon Tea. He further said this would be corrected in the short run to increase tea purchases from Sri Lanka. He also made the point that Ceylon Tea was not affordable by the Pakistan end user, but the existing more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

May 20 (NS) Massaging the Masseuse seems to be the newest policy of the Department of Census and Statistics. It all started with the revelation made by Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament that the Department of Census and Statistics has been turned into a massage parlour with top rung officials of the department “massaging” statistics pertaining to the GDP and economic growth rate of the country. The statement was flatly denied not only by the Census Chief but also by the Central Bank more..

How young Sri Lankans see peace

May 20 (IRIN) Five years after Sri Lankan forces declared victory over the LTTE who had fought for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983, overcoming the divisions caused by the decades-long civil war remains a work in progress. According to human rights groups, national reconciliation continues to be tested by an official triumphalism (on full display at a victory parade in Colombo on 18 May to mark the anniversary more..

England ready to repay fans - Morgan

May 20 (CI) The last time England were at The Oval it concluded with some of the players urinating on the pitch during their late-night celebrations of the Ashes series victory. Even if it was a 'lads' moment in the afterglow of success, and they were perhaps unlucky to be caught in the act, that is not the point: it was crass and disrespectful. In hindsight, the malaise which was to destroy their winter had already started to set in during last summer, both in terms of how England played more..

England v Sri Lanka, only T20l: Preview

May 20 (CI) England's season began amid showers and sunshine in Aberdeen but the first serious test of their summer comes at The Oval. Having reversed the usual schedule for sides touring in May and June, they will begin engagements against Sri Lanka with a one-off T20 international, ahead of ODI and Test series, as the Peter Moores regime opens for a second run in front of a home audience. For quite different, though not entirely unrelated, reasons these are two teams in flux. more..

Rising Sri Lanka continue to defy turbulence

May 20 (CI) On the eve of the first tour of the English summer, it would seem as if their opponents are from some far off cricketing galaxy. Sri Lanka are so much that England are not, and vice versa. There are the contrasting philosophies to coaching: creativity subverts tradition in Sri Lanka but England's men are the better drilled, stronger, more organised. The visitors' team consists of one coach for each discipline, more..

Editorial: Marketing leaders

May 20 (Island) An article we published in the Leisureland section yesterday revealed how the Indian businesses were making the most of the Modi tsunami. They are marketing PM elect Narendra Modi’s image to boost sales. Sarees carrying his pictures have already flooded the market, we are told. The next few weeks will see many other commodities with the popular politician's mug selling like Harry Potter and Spider Man products. We witnessed a similar situation here in 1994, more..

Minister Basil’s role in school development comes in for praise

May 20 (DN) Minister Basil Rajapaksa plays a key role in supporting school development, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said the Economic Development Ministry was instrumental in providing funds to the tune of Rs. 5 million per school for the development of 5,000 primary schools. The ministry also provided funds for numerous programs including the development of sanitary facilities for all schools in the island, Minister Gunawardena said. more..

'Private credit will pick up in H2 to expected level'

May 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's private sector credit growth will pick up to around 15% by the end of this year and continue to improve through 2016, the central bank governor said on Monday amid concerns over sluggish loan growth. The $67 billion economy's private sector credit grew 4.4% year-on-year in Feb, the slowest expansion since May 2010, data showed. That compared with growth of 5.2% in Jan and 13.3% in Feb 2013. more..

CAHMa at SLIIT hosts ‘Masterclass’ by celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita

May 20 (Island) Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management (CAHM) at SLIIT hosted award winning celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita, who conducted a ‘Masterclass’ promoting the use of Australia’s finest produce to create amazing culinary delights. The ‘Masterclass’ was organised by the Australian High Commission, in conjunction with the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka which was represented by many top chefs from the very best hospitality establishments around the nation. more..

IGP tells Ceylon Chamber all Police stations informed to beef up security for biz

May 20 (FT) IGP N.K. Illangakoon has informed all the territorial Police stations to closely liaise with banks, financial institutions and other business enterprises in their respective Police jurisdictions to review and augment existing security measures in the respective establishments. This direction has been sent consequent to a meeting organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to brief its members on how to minimise risks to businesses by deciding on proper security measures to adopt. more..

Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan honored

May 20 (HCP) Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association (SLFPA) in collaboration with Pakistan High Commission held a felicitation dinner, last evening, to honour SLFPA’s Immediate Past President General Srilal Weerasuriya in recognition of the conferment of high civil award on him by the Government of Pakistan. The Ex Army Commander and Sri Lanka’s Former High Commissioner to Pakistan, more..

SAARC Film Festival commences today in Colombo

May 20 (GDI) SAARC Film festival will take place for the fourth consecutive year at the National Film Corporation Cinema in Colombo over a period of 5 days from the 20th– 25th of May. Festival will also include a workshop with well-known directors. The opening ceremony of the film festival will be held at 2:30 pm today at the same venue. SAARC Film festival in Colombo, marks an event unique to the region, where through the medium of cinema, the festival has become a forum more..

Rishad strongly condemns burning of Muslim shop in Mawanella

May 20 (FT) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that he condemns the torching of a Muslim-owned business in Mawanella on 18 May, while visiting the scene of the crime on Sunday. He said: “The hardware shop owned by a Muslim in Mawanella was torched on 18 May. When I visited the location of the incident, the Muslims of the area informed me that this was an intentional act by anti-Muslim elements to create tension between communities. I have instructed the Police in the area to more..

President felicitates students participated in Intel Science and Engineering Fair

May 20 (FT) Namal Piyasiri, 18, of Tabuthegama received the Development Focus Award from the USAID for his versatile field construction machine for paddy cultivation at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public. Namal, a student of Tabuththegama Central College, was also awarded under two other categories – the first award from more..

Sankili's heir aspires to Governorship of NP

May 20 (CT) Raja Remigius Kanagarajah, former king of Jaffna, Sankili's heir, is eagerly looking forward to serve as the Northern Province Governor, after the incumbent governor's term ends in June. He claims that political issues can be easily solved if Tamil politicians refrain from acting according to their selfish agendas. Raja Remigius said if the govt lifts the ban on him and officially invites him to return to the country, he will voluntarily come to serve the people in the North. more..

National Farmers' Week in September

May 20 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry launched several programs in line with the National Farmers' Week 2014 scheduled to be held in the Telijjawila Agriculture Training Centre, Matara from Sept 9 to 14, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said. He said the ministry has taken measures to cultivate all abandoned land by introducing suitable crops in these abandoned lands. "Home garden competitions will be conducted at all 16 divisional secretariats in the Matara district. more..

‘Sri Lanka lacking a clear, viable development policy’

May 20 (Island) UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva in an interview with Sanath Nanayakkare of The Island Financial Review last week on the status of the country’s economy. Q: Sri Lanka has decided to upgrade its GDP compilation method to reflect international standards for National Accounts from next year. What does this mean? A: The current methodology of calculating GDP based on IMF’s more..

Grade one admission guidelines only after Cabinet sub-committee report

May 20 (Island) Methodology of admitting students to Grade one of govt schools for 2015 would be decided after receiving the report of the Cabinet Sub Committee which was appointed to make guidelines for grade one admissions, Secretary of the Education Ministry Anura Dissanayake said yesterday. He said that the ministry was waiting for the report of the committee headed by the Irrigation and Water Resources Development Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Lankan war heroes honoured in Sydney

May 20 (DM) Consulate General of Sri Lanka and the Society for Peace, Unity and Reconciliation (SPUR) together with Sri Lankan- Australians in Sydney honoured the Sri Lanka security forces for liberating Sri Lanka from the clutches of terror. The ceremony which was held in the presence of ex Service personnel based in Sydney attracted over 150 Sri Lankans representing Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and Burgher communities with several Sydney based diplomats and more..

Comply with rights council investigation

May 20 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt should comply with the March 2014 UNHRC resolution creating an international investigation into allegations of serious abuses by both sides during Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The resolution calls on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate violations of the laws of war and serious human rights violations. more..

Travelport launches Smartpoint in Sri Lanka

May 20 (LBT) Travelport, a leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry, has announced the launch in Sri Lanka of Travelport Smartpoint, an enhanced version of its industry-leading travel agency point-of-sale application. To be distributed in Sri Lanka by ITQ Lanka, the regional Travelport partner, Travelport Smartpoint has been embraced by more than 110,000 travel agents worldwide. Owing to its user-friendly features, this desktop more..

MLTs, PSMs threaten strike

May 20 (Island) Medical Laboratory Technologists and other professions supplementary to medicine warned of a countrywide strike if the govt failed to respond to the demand made by students of Allied Health Sciences. Chairman of the SL Association of Govt Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLGMLT) and Deputy Secretary of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM), Janaka Nihsantha said that the union had staged a walk out last morning at the National Hospital, more..

IUSF pledges action against cops

May 20 (CT) IUSF pledged to take action against the police and prison officials who were instrumental in detaining and assaulting Allied Health Science (AHS) undergraduates during clashes last Friday. Convener of the student movement, Najith Indika, claimed that though many students sustained injuries in the encounter, two of the students were not given medical treatment despite severe injuries. more..

Mahesh Amalean joins Dialog Board

May 20 (FT) Dialog Axiata yesterday announced the appointment of Mahesh Amalean as an Independent Non-Executive Director to its Board with effect from 15 May 2014. The Chairman and visionary leader of apparel manufacturer, MAS Holdings, Amalean is highly regarded for his astute management vision and governance principles, which has steered MAS into one of the largest and most respected business entities in the region. He brings close to three decades of management experience more..

Pothuhera rail mishap report pending

May 20 (CT) The report of the committee, appointed by Sri Lanka Railway (SLR) on 5 May, to investigate the rail mishap, which took place at the Pothuhera Railway Station, will be submitted to the General Manager of SLR by 23 May. Chairman of the committee, Deputy Transport Manager of the SLR, A.D. Seneviratne said that completing the committee report got delayed as they had to record statements from nearly 40 people. "When we recorded a statement from one person it linked with more..

Advisory Council on law and order

May 20 (CT) An Advisory Council will be established to advise President Mahinda Rajapaksa on matters relating to law and order. The Council will help the President obtain 'expert knowledge necessary for compiling policies and plans'. The Advisory Council comes under the purview of the Ministry of Law and Order and will deal with issues related to the implementation of existing laws. more..

The Modi factor impact on Sri Lanka

May 20 (DM) Analyzing the election results in countries like Sri Lanka and India is a complicated task, since one factor attributed to a particular situation in one place cannot necessarily be applied to a similar situation in another place. This is more so in India than in many other countries owing to its strong diversity in ethnicity, languages and religions and due to its neighbourhood with several countries with different nationalities and interests. Many observers attribute the humiliating defeat of more..

Political culture, ethno-religious tension and way forward

May 20 (DM) The ethno-religious tension prevailing in the country casts a dark cloud over the country’s future and is the last thing that the hapless masses want. Moreover, the country can ill-afford another period of socio-political instability, given the backdrop of violent conflicts in the recent past. There are already many views expressed by various commentators on the causes of the present tensions. The need of the hour is not to split hairs on the causes and consequences of more..

'We can defeat this regime with a common opposition'

May 20 (DM) One of UNP’s ‘rebel’ or ‘reformist’ MPs Ashoka Abeysinghe who has constantly criticised the incumbent leadership of the UNP, and thereafter was viewed as a possible pole-vaulter to Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s party spoke to the on a wide range of issues that go to the heart of the political climate of Sri Lanka. Abeysinghe during the interview insisted that the only way to topple the ruling regime was through a common more..

Enter babul, beeda and mawa into the classroom

May 20 (ST) To most school-going children, babul, beeda and mawa may sound like names from their science text books. However they are not. These substances have begun to infiltrate the classrooms causing concern among school authorities, police and parents. This week, in Matale, CAA officials raided several places in the heart of the town on a tip off that babul and another intoxicating substance, mawa, more..

A glimmer of hope in the north

May 20 (SL) The Northern Province especially Jaffna, five years after the end of the war, is a bustling city while the people here are visibly relieved that they can live freely without the fear of bombs and killings and losing their children. However it is not to say that the people in this region are not facing hardships. Indeed they are facing many difficulties; especially unemployment which is an issue that is affecting them in a big way. more..

Vaiko, Modi discuss Lankan issue

May 20 (CG) MDMK chief Vaiko met Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday and said that the latter has promised attention to issues of minorities and killings of Tamils by Sri Lanka. MDMK is an ally of NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in Tamil Nadu. “He told me that the minorities within a short time will realize, I (Modi) am protecting everybody. In Kargil, where the minorities form the population, there BJP has won. more..

Sri Lanka holds rates; acts to boost sluggish credit growth

May 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank kept policy rates steady for the fourth straight month at multi-year lows on Tuesday, as forecast, and said it expected to introduce a new guarantee scheme for gold loans to boost credit growth that hit four-year low in March. The repurchase rate and reverse repurchase rate were left at 6.5% and 8%, respectively, as most analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast. more..

LLRC recommendations not a blanket solution to all issues – Govt

May 20 (Island) The LLRC recommendations were only a guideline and not "a blanket solution" to all issues confronting the country, the govt said. Responding to questions regarding the non implementation of key LLRC proposals nearly two and a half years after it was presented to Parliament,Minister Keheliya Rambukwella replied "All what is said in the LLRC Report cannot be accepted as the one and only remedy to more..

‘Cost-inflated road projects majorly accounting for growth’

May 20 (Island) ‘You need to dig a bit deeper to see where the 7.3% growth rate for 2013 came from, and then you see it basically came from the construction sector, led by cost-inflated road projects, and other govt projects, UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva said. "The rate of economic growth is questionable as current methodology of calculating the GDP is outdated, and also the fact that there was a public more..