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Access denied!

May 21 (CT) Despite a Gazette Notification and a Supreme Court ruling that equal access to public places be provided, more than 20% of the population is unable to access public places due to improper architectural designing. As per the Gazette Notification 1,467/15, every public place should be accessible to all people including those who are with restricted ability. The Gazette Notification specified that within more..

'LTTE wanted medics to take cyanide instead of surrender'

May 21 (CT) A LTTE front organization in London wanted rebels medics to take their cyanide capsules instead of surrender to the Sri Lankan govt, Frances Harrison reveals. “I was left wondering if they just wanted to score a propaganda point in the media, rather than actually save lives”, Harrison, a former BBC Correspondent, writes in her book – Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War about the last phase of the conflict. In the chapter “ The Spokesman”, she detailed more..

Chandrika inclusive, whom have we Tamils spared?

May 21 (CT) Jiddu Krishnamurthy said in arresting words “Everyone is good at making morals for others”. Yes we Tamils are best at it. That’s our forte. Do we ask for a moment are we so impeccable as to cast the first stone? So innocent as to ward off the guillotine if it comes to our neck? Is it not time to realize that we have unlocked horns for now and earned a respite to search for fresh pastures? Instead we engage in levity. With no thought we use the same brush on everyone. more..

Sri Lanka's third coal plant to start test runs

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's third 300 MegaWatt coal plant is to begin testing in two months and the second plant has just been handed over to CEB by its Chinese contractor after initial test runs. China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), the turnkey contractor for the Norochcholai complex said a recent shutdown at the plant was scheduled and was not a 'breakdown'. The shutdown for servicing in the boiler was more..

Paikiasothy seeks UN expert post

May 21 (CG) The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu has applied to fill a vacancy as an independent UN expert which falls under the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). According to OHCHR, Saravanamuttu has been nominated among 10 candidates for the post in the ‘Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, member from Asia-Pacific States’ and the appointment of the most suitable candidate more..

Kuragala recognised the oldest archaeological site in Intermediate Zone

May 21 (Island) Beta Analytic Institute of Miami, Florida that analysed the soil samples excavated from the ancient Kuragala site in Balangoda, has said it is the oldest archaeological find so far in the Intermediate Zone of the country, according to Director General of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake. He said that according to the radio-carbon dating, the Kuragala site had five layers of human habitations from 16,000 to to 6,000 years before the present age (BPA). more..

Tension sparks as India arrests 14 Sri Lankan fishermen

May 21 (Xinhua) As 14 Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested by India tension is sparking again between neighbors, with a govt minister on Wednesday saying international mechanisms could be used to resolve the dragging poaching issue. Sri Lanka could use "international mechanisms" to deal with fishermen poaching in SL waters, Minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters hours ahead of reports on 14 fishermen being arrested more..

Sri Lanka stocks slip from over 11-mth high on profit-taking

May 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks ended weaker on Wednesday from a more than 11 month high hit in the previous session, as investors booked profits in blue-chips, but stockbrokers said the outlook was still positive due to multi-year low interest rates. The main stock index ended 0.51%, or 32.29 points, weaker at 6,289.32, slipping from its highest close since June 10 last year. "Profit-taking in blue-chips dragged the market down," a stockbroker said asking not to be named. more..

Powerful railway union accuses GMR of instigating commuters

May 21 (Island) All Ceylon Railway Employees’ General Union (ACREGU) President S.P. Vithanage yesterday accused General Manager Railway (GMR) B.A.P. Ariyaratne and the Railway high officials of instigating the people to attack railway employees. He said that the funds allocated for the maintenance of railway network were being spent on the political activities such as holding exhibitions and fairs. Although the railway high officials had instructed the railway employees to more..

Maldivian drug lord arrested in Lanka

May 21 (MN) Convicted drug kingpin Ibrahim Razzak has been caught in Colombo in a joint operation by the Maldivian and Sri Lankan security services. Shafaz, commonly known as Shafa, was temporarily released in February for three months to seek medical treatment said to be unavailable in the Maldives. However, he failed to return during the allocated time period and did not ask for an extension. more..

J'pura undergrads stage protest march

May 21 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sri J'pura University held a protest march from the university to the Wijerama Junction at Gangodawila yesterday against its administration’s failure to respond to their sathyagraha which had lasted for two weeks. President of the Students’ Council Sanath Bandara said that they had requested a discussion from the university administration several times, but in vain. "We started the sathyagraha opposite the university’s main gate on May 08 more..

CTC holds Memorial for 5th year anniversary of may 2009 in the Canadian Parliament

May 21 (Island) Several MPs and Senators from all political parties attended the 5th year Anniversary of May 2009, ‘Vanished Voices Memorial’ on May 15, in the historic Commonwealth Room of the Canadian Parliament. MPs joined Tamil Canadians to remember the tens of thousands of innocent lives lost in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war. Organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress, the memorial was held to mark the immense bloodshed that occurred during the last stages of the war and featured more..

Subramanian Swamy bats for India-Lanka cooperation to counter terrorism

May 21 (PTI) BJP leader Subramanian Swamy called for close cooperation between India and Sri Lanka to counter terrorist activities in the Indian sub-continent. "India must enter into constructive dialogue with Sri Lanka and on counter-terror strategy in the sub-continent particularly in view of the fact that many Pakistani trained Islamic fundamentalists from Sri Lanka are sneaking into India to carry out terrorist attack in TN," more..

Sri Lankan athletes in fray for Youth Olympics qualification

May 21 (DM) Four out of the eight Sri Lankan youth athletes will be in action today in a bid to earn qualification for the Youth Olympics Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August. Arosha Kariyawasam will be amongst those ten sprinters in the men’s 100m dash vying for one of the three spots available for the region while Chanchala Dissanayake will be up against 22 other competitors to grab the single spot available to the region. Also in action today is hurdler Akila Ravisanka more..

NCPA invites NGOs to work together on child protection

May 21 (Island) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) invited all civil and non govt organisations working for the protection of children to join hands with them. Acting Assistant Manager (Programmes and Communication), Ediriweera Gunasekara urged all such organisations to send their details to the NCPA Chairman, No. 330, Talawathugoda Road, Madiwela, Kotte as early as possible. He said that the NCPA had formulated a database. Gunasekara observed that child protection had not only more..

MR invites Ban to visit Lanka again

May 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa today invited UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon to visit Sri Lanka for a second time since the end of the war to see for himself the latest developments in the country. Rajapaksa and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met this afternoon on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in China. President briefed Secretary-General more..

Corruption rampant in South Asia: Report

May 21 (AP) South Asia is the most corrupt region of the world and govts must strengthen their anti-graft agencies to prevent political interference and protect whistleblowers, Transparency International said Wednesday. The watchdog group found serious problems with anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "South Asia now is the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption based on our studies," said Srirak Plipat, group's regional director more..

India remembers Rajiv Gandhi on 23rd death anniversay

May 21 (IBT) India remembered former PM Rajiv Gandhi on Wednesday on his 23rd death anniversary. He was assassinated in Sri Perumbudur near Chennai by a Sri Lankan suicide bomber at an election rally on 21 May 1991. Several leaders, including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, outgoing PM Manmohan Singh, Rajiv's widow and Congress president Sonia Gandhi paid floral tributes at Vir Bhumi in Delhi at 6.20am. more..

SL emerge as rivals to resurgent Australia as leaders in world cricket, albeit belatedly

May 21 (Telegraph) Take the opposite of a bow, you gentlemen of the International Cricket Council – for there has never been a woman involved at a high level, let alone now, which may be one of the causes of its inherent failings. Why was cricket in Sri Lanka not encouraged when England and Australia ruled the ICC and the global game, as they did until less than 20 years ago? Sri Lanka has become a vital force in world cricket. more..

Teacher forced to kneel down starts ‘Ahinsa’ fund

May 21 (SM) Priyani Herath, the teacher who had been forced to kneel down by a former north western provincial councillor, today led the formation of a fund called ‘Ahinsa’ to assist harassed schoolchildren and teachers. Pursuant to the Puttalam high court’s verdict on May 12 in favour of the former teacher at Nawagattegama Navodya School, she was paid a Rs. 300,000 compensation. The teacher offered to hand the money over to the Ceylon Teachers Union, but the union’s more..

Senior cops of retiring age kept to do dirty work of politicos – BASL

May 21 (LT) Senior police officers who have past their retiring age are being retained in serviced to act according to the whims and fancies of politicians says President of Bar Association of SL (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya. Pointing out that the police wrongfully arrested a group of university students on an alleged court order and had assaulted them, he said his Association would file contempt of court action against police officials, including senior DIG Anura Senanayake, over the arrests and assaults. more..

Sri Lanka wants stronger ties with Iran

May 21 (CG) Sri Lanka is keen on further strengthening ties with Iran, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. President Rajapaksa and Iranian President Rouhani held bilateral talks this evening on the sidelines of the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), taking place in Shanghai, China. more..

UNP no-confidence motion defeated

May 21 (AD) The No-Confidence Motion against the government was defeated at the Parliament with a majority of 94 votes today. Only 57 members voted in favor while 151 voted against the motion tabled by the UNP) on Tuesday over the failure of the govt to stop the spread of drugs in the country. MPs of the NFF and the JHU, constituent parties of the ruling UPFA, were absent during vote which took place this evening. The TNA and the JVP voted for the motion.

Commission on Missing Persons launches its website

May 21 (GDI) Official Website of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons was launched on Tuesday at the Commission Office. Website is Addressing the media at the launch, Maxwell Paranagama, Chairman of the Commission stated that the launching of the website will enhance the independence and transparency of the work of the Commission and provide better access to information to the public. more..

Ending terrorism in Lanka given rise to punitive campaigns: Rajapaksa

May 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka is being penalised by "interested parties" for eradicating terrorism in the country, President Rajapaksa said today. "Regrettably, the eradication of terrorism in Sri Lanka, has now given rise to a punitive campaign being carried out by interested parties for their own ends. It is unfortunate that this campaign has introduced continuing obstacles," he said. Rajapaksa was apparently referring to more..

A stitch in time saves nine

May 22 (CT) The recent news that the LTTE was trying to raise its head again, should receive the closest attention of every Sri Lankan, irrespective of race and creed. Opponents of the ruling Party are content with laughing off the Govt’s warning as a hoax to subdue the growing disenchantment caused by rising costs, corruption and misrule. Even at this late hour, those in power do not appear to seek a solution to the problem behind this alleged threat, short of bravado and demagogy. more..

Can the establishment win over Modi

May 22 (CT) Deception and Intrigue have been traditional instruments of foreign policy in the Kautilya tradition which have been used by our rulers in the past. It was successfully used to oust the Portuguese. It was also used against the Dutch to dampen their enthusiasm for conquest. It was used less successfully against the British who after their early experiences with the Sinhala Establishment did not trust anybody. In the 1980s, President J.R Jayewardene played more..

Deduru Oya reservoir project, a milestone for NWP farmers

May 22 (SO) The multi-purpose Deduru Oya Reservoir Project which is due to be commissioned in November this year will mark an important milestone in the life of the agricultural communities of the North Western Province (NWP), who time and again have faced hardships and livelihood problems due to changing weather patterns and failed seasonal rains. The impounding of the reservoir of 75 MCM capacity will more..

Promises are not to be kept only as promises, post-poll India will tell Sri Lanka

May 22 (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 more..

Who'll be Modi's point man to take decisions on Sri Lanka?

May 22 (CT) The way the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime thinks about India's new PM is different. They estimate that Narendra Modi may take about a year to consolidate power at the centre. By that time he would not have time to focus on Sri Lanka and other regional issues, or so they think. They also think that Modi may not support the US agenda on Sri Lanka since he himself had no good relations with the US when he was Gujarat's Chief Minister. Modi is not that exposed to international more..

Political patronage deepens squatter problem

May 22 (NS) Squatters of Railway Avenue, Nawinna have been promised land and housing by various politicians in power, since 1984. But these promises are yet to be fulfilled. This stretch of railway, with shacks close to the railway line, has been the site of over 150 accidents and 10 deaths over the past two decades. To make matters worse, the squatters have been increasing in number and this has resulted in friction more..

The five-year tongue twisters

May 22 (GV) The misters assisted in shelling these shells on the seashore war, The shells they shelled were not sea-shells, I’m sure. Some of the people they shelled aren’t there any more. And if they shelled the seashore during the war. Then I’m sure that whoever sells them the shells has more. Hard to say. Hard to ring any bells. What are tongue-twisters for? The terrorists failed to resist state terror and in fact assisted. In placing the targets that were shelled in the seashore war, more..

Happy Families

May 22 (GV) I am having a somewhat surreal conversation with a young man. He is describing a telephone conversation with a woman calling from Australia who, ‘speaks with a Sinhala accent’. When I ask him what he means by that, he says, she sounds the way I do. What does that mean I ask confused. He repeats that she sounds like a Sinhala. I tell him that I am ethnically and religiously a Muslim and perhaps he means a Sri Lankan accent, instead of a Sinhala accent. His response is more..

Govt must listen to youth – UN SG’s Envoy

May 22 (CT) UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi who was in Sri Lanka as a distinguished guest of the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 last week, said as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had stated, the world should learn to listen to the youth, answer their calls and young people everywhere deserve the power to get information and ask hard questions about justice, equality and opportunity. more..

Editorial: Calculated risks

May 22 (Island) There are risks worth taking in life. T.S. Eliot, the great poet, it was who said only those who would risk going too far could possibly find out how far they could go. A person who is scared of taking risks will get nowhere in any of his endeavours though blind plunges are fraught with the danger of leading to disaster. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at a meeting with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, on the sidelines of the 4th Summit of the CICA in in Shanghai, more..

Today is the Republic Day of Sri Lanka

May 22 (Island) Today, May 22, is the Republic Day of Sri Lanka, which is as important a day as February 4, which is Independence Day. It was on May 22, 1972, exactly 42 years ago today, that the Republic of Sri Lanka was born. It was the day that our country became truly free and independent. The British, who got hold of the Kandyan provinces on March 2, 1815, helped by dissension among the Kandyan chieftains who were divided in their loyalty to the King, simultaneously more..

Sri Lankan Youth Desperate for Change

May 22 (IPS) It has been five years since SL’s brutal three-decades-long civil conflict came to an end in May 2009, but for the country’s youth, true national reconciliation is still a long way off. They blame a lack of understanding, and the older generation’s unwillingness to compromise, for on-going divisions in this country where years of ethnic strife created a culture of discord that was not defeated on the battlefield. more..

National interest to remain predominant in India’s ties with Sri Lanka

May 22 (Island) The position that India’s national interest will remain predominant in her ties with Sri Lanka, regardless of which political party coalition or personality comes to power at that country’s centre, should be a self-evident truth to those knowledgeable about inter-state relations and behaviour. But it would need to be reiterated here, on account of some lingering Lankan misperceptions on these issues. For example, there is a naïve belief among some influential local sections that more..

Ravi K blows whistle on alleged financial misappropriation of fertiliser subsidy

May 22 (FT) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake alleged “financial misappropriation” and a clear “violation of the finance regulations” followed at the Ministry of Agriculture to provide the fertiliser subsidy. “There is no allocation of Rs. 50 billion in the Budget, nor have you raised it through a supplementary budget. Where have you received this money? Parliamentary approval is required for Govt spending,” said Karunanayake, referring to Clause 148 of the Finance Act. more..

Vae victis

May 22 (FT) Beside the aquamarine seas of Keerimalai, at the island’s northernmost tip stands a Hindu holy of holies. One of five Sivan kovils in Sri Lanka, the unique convergence of land, sea and freshwater have etched the significance of the Naguleswaram temple into the Hindu psyche for millennia. For Hindus, the waters here are doubly sacred. The devoted believe freshwater springs at the site have divine more..