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President invites Wimal for meeting

May 23 (SM) The president has asked NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa to meet him tomorrow morning with his party’s 12 proposals for state reforms. NFF spokesman Mohamed Muzammil says the invitation came this morning. Senior leaders of the party will also attend the discussion, he says. Minister had been seeking a meeting with the president to discuss the proposals that were adopted at the second convention of the NFF on May 05, and warned that the proposals should be more..

J'pura bhikku undergrads occupy building

May 23 (Island) First year bhikkhu undergraduates of the Sri J'pura University forcibly occupied a part of Sri Sumangala building from yesterday in protest against lack of hostel facilities. Student Council spokesman Sampath Wickremasinghe said that the university administration had not provided hostel facilities for first year bhikkhu undergraduates at the bhikkhu hostel although it could accommodate all of them. "University administration has asked first year bhikkhu undergraduates to move to more..

Ranjith banned from attending FIFA and AFC

May 23 (Island) Colombo District Court judge Sujatha Alahapperuma has issued an injunction order against the president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), Ranjith Rodrigo, banning him of attending FIFA and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) as a representative of Sri Lanka. The order was issued yesterday which will take effect until June 04. She further ordered to limit the expenses held by FFSL to his day to day more..

Court orders bone samples be tested in US

May 23 (CT) Matale Magistrate Sampath Gamage yesterday ordered that bone samples, from the skeletal remains, found at the Matale Hospital mass grave site in November 2012, be sent to the US for investigation. Lawyer and member of the JVP, Sunil Watagala said that the samples will be sent to Beta Analytic in Miami, Florida for Radio Carbon dating to determine the time period to which the bones belong. It is learnt that the Presidential Committee had requested that the bones be sent more..

New Chief of Staff takes over duties at AHQ

May 23 (MoD) Major General S.A.P.P Samarasinghe, new Chief of Staff of the Army assumed duties Tuesday morning during a simple ceremony at his office at the Army Headquarters. A brief religious ceremony, headed by Ven Dodangoda Assaji Thero invoked blessings on Major General Samarasinghe and his office soon after he lit the traditional oil lamp upon his arrival at the office. Afterwards, Major General Samarasinghe symbolically signed the first formal document more..

Talks on setting up joint opp. pact underway

May 23 (DM) Discussions on establishing a joint opposition understanding is underway with initial talks being held today between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and DPF leader Mano Ganesan with both deciding to start a dialogue among opposition political parties in this regard. During today’s talks with Mr. Ganesan, Mr. Wickremesinghe had expressed his desire to bring in the TNA, JVP and the DP led by more..

'SL showed world how to eliminate malaria'

May 23 (OWSA) Sri Lanka can be taken as a role model in the elimination of malaria. Not a single case of malaria has been reported in the country since 2012, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Addressing the Ministers’ Meeting of the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland recently, Minister Sirisena quoting the director of Global Health Group Sir Richard Feachem said Sri Lanka has shown the world how to eliminate malaria. “The country has made more..

CTC continues fight over warning

May 23 (CG) The Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) says it is compelled to seek clarity from the Supreme Court on some of the regulations issued by the Health Ministry on the pictorial warning for cigarette packs. Earlier this month the Court of Appeal gave its decision on the writ pending before it, relating to the legality of the Tobacco Products (Labeling & Packaging) Regulations published by the Minister of Health. In its judgment the Court has dealt with the regulation requiring pictorial health warnings more..

Hirunika clarifies statement made by Champika

May 23 (NF) UPFA Western Provincial Councillor Hirunika Premachandra responded to a statement made by Minister Champika Ranawaka recently. Hirunika expressed the following views: “I am disappointed about the statement made by Minister Champika Ranawaka on drugs, at a media briefing held recently. He is a Cabinet Minister who should act with responsibility. His statement is ambiguous and could be more..

This stronger, newer India could bring more trade, investments - Rishad

May 23 (GDI) The historic political changes in India and the new waves could strongly boost Sri Lanka’s trade fortunes-and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s acceptance of invitation to attend the swearing in ceremony of India’s Prime Minister elect Narendra Modi has now been acclaimed by a top Indian delegation currently visiting Sri Lanka, revealing the post-elections Indian view on the country for the first time. “We congratulate people of India for their decision. more..

10 hour water cut in Colombo 12

May 23 (AD) A 10 hour water cut from 8pm today to 6am tomorrow in Colombo 12 and 15 other areas due to the laying of pipelines in Greater Colombo areas, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board said. Accordingly Mattakkuliya, Kotahena, Modera, Muthuwella, Madampitiya, Mahawatte, Roger R. De Silva Mawatha, Fort, Maha Vidyala Mawatha, Centre Road, Arduruppu lane, Jinthupitiya, Wolfendhal mawatha, Heenniappuhami Mawatha, Vivekananda, 1stMosque road, more..

Mahabodhi Society congratulates Modi

May 23 (NF) Chairman of the Mahabodhi Society Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero has once again congratulated Indian PM elect Narendra Modi. In a letter to Modi, Venerable Thero notes that the people of india had elected him to lead the nation with near unanimity. Ven. Banagala Upatissa notes that The Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka — which is dedicated to the fostering of the ancient ties with the land of the Buddha more..

‘Race’ and Racism: Sharing some thoughts

May 24 (CT) “Racism” in discourse is a palimpsest written differently to suit varying emotions and agenda. For example, Caryl Phillips’ novel Cambridge and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children are said to deal, inter alia, with the issue of “racism”. But the “racism” in these novels is different, one based on colour, and the other primarily on religious affiliation, and secondly/secondarily, on notions of “race”. In the West, the phrase “race problem” or “race conflict” invariably more..

When the broken Lute sings

May 24 (CT) Lodged somewhere in a crease between memory and forgetting is my stillborn Sri Lanka. I have it embalmed in a jar filled with nostalgia, faded photographs, and all the shattered verses in my heart that lament for the red earth and pouring rain in Jaffna. Every so often, I take out my jar and carefully study it under the dim moonlight of my emotions where reality and imagination dissolve each other. There is one memory so vivid that I no longer know if it is real or created in absentia. more..

Different views, but SLC is united for cause of cricket: Mohan

May 24 (ST) Sometimes I wonder how this ship ever sails the way it does. Then when I come across a piece of news that talks about crossings of swords inside the den, I think the time has come for the ship to sink. But, it doesn’t. Yet, it never fails to astound me as this is a unique model that works on any given power on earth — wind, coal, electricity, raw fuel or nuclear power. Your guess is right; we are talking about SLC and more..

Diplomatic move to overcome strained India-Lanka relations

May 24 (CT) India's direct involvement in Sri Lanka's North and East Tamil issue first came in the form of the Indo-Lanka Accord, which was followed by the arrival of the IPKF in the island in 1987. Indian High Commissioner in Colombo at that time, J.N. Dixit, was all out to facilitate the implementation of the Indo-Lanka Accord and he even went to the extent of meeting LTTE Leader, V. Prabhakaran, to ensure the successful implementation of the Accord without leaving any room for the military more..

Editorial: A Chinthana clash

May 24 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has seen red over a snide remark attributed to President Rajapaksa that he would have learnt something useful if he had visited Medamulana (the birthplace of the Rajapaksas) instead of the US. Having just returned from the US, where he was on a study cum lecture tour, the UNP leader is of the view that one’s efforts to gain and share knowledge should not be ridiculed. Had he needed any lessons on corruption, thuggery and profligacy, more..

It was a conspiracy – Ananda Sarath Kumara

May 24 (CT) Former UPFA WPC member, Ananda Sarath Kumara, says he is guilty of forcing a teacher to kneel. He, however, alleged that he is a victim of a conspiracy. Kumara also alleged that he was unaware that the compensation money paid to the abused teacher was placed in a scholarship fund as claimed. Q: You lost the case eventually despite whatever the claims of conspiracies against you? more..

Rallying round the flagman who ‘knows’

May 24 (NS) A chit-chat with a Dematagoda merchant who underscores Buddha’s teachings through his business dealings. “When the Buddha attained enlightenment, an aura with the colors that now make the Buddhist flag, emanated from his body,” Hemapala says, explaining how, what is known as the Buddhist flag got it’s colors. He complained that, “people hoist the flag, but they do not know it’s meaning.” Hemapala shows interest in the history of the Buddhist flag because more..

Long journey towards a political solution

May 24 (NS) “The sovereignty of Sri Lanka is very much intact. And we want it to remain intact. We are Sri Lankans… And we don’t want Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to be impacted upon.” R. Sampanthan (Leader of the TNA), Al-Jazeera, 26 March 2014. Sri Lanka’s post-war politics has come to be defined by her inability to address two distinct, but inter-related, issues concerning its constituent peoples, especially the Tamil people. The first is that of accountability; the second, and the more enduring one, more..

Indirect attempts were made to reach a settlement – Susila Herath

May 24 (CT) Teacher Susila Herath, who was forced to kneel down before former UPFA Wayamba Provincial Councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara, said she is not angry with Kumara, but what she wanted was justice. Herath also alleged that she may have had found it difficult to proceed with the case in the event Kumara hadn't resigned from his seat and had won at the recently concluded Wayamba PC Elections. more..

Post-War problems can undermine govt’s present stability

May 24 (SL) Tantrums being thrown by alliance partners of the govt, and their symbolic acts of defiance, may catch the eye of the general public. But there are less evident problems that are boiling beneath the surface of the body politic. These arise from Sri Lanka being a post-war society in which there are unresolved issues. The war victory celebrations taking place in Matara in the Southern Province have contrasted starkly with the ban on the public commemoration of the end of more..

Commercial Bank-funded eco-friendly boat launched

May 24 (FT) The dream of a Sri Lankan inventor was brought to fruition with the assistance of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon this week when Indresri Karunatilaka launched his eco-friendly boat on the waters of the Beira Lake. Members of the family of the legendary inventor Ray Wijewardene were among the first passengers on board the 12-foot, eco-friendly ‘Nadee Yathra’ – the winner of the inaugural ‘The Ray’ award for invention presented in 2012 by Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust more..

'I will not give up struggle against tobacco companies'

May 24 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, says the SLFP already has a candidate for the next Presidential Election, whereas the Opposition is desperately looking for a common candidate. Q: Do you consider the Court verdict on the graphic warnings on cigarette packs as a victory? A: First and foremost, I must say that we have won the struggle, but there is a defeat too. The tobacco company argued that the minister had no powers to more..

BJP and Sri Lanka ethnic problem

May 24 (Island) What does the BJP tsunami portend for Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem? I think we should first of all get our perspectives right on certain matters. Narendra Modi may have a ghastly record over the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims, but haven’t there been men of power with even ghastlier records nearer home? In 2002 Modi made an injudicious speech, indeed, one showing criminal irresponsibility, which led to anti-Muslim riots resulting in the deaths of 1,000, may be more more..

Among those present

May 24 (Island) Among those present at a recent get together, to celebrate half a century of our entering the ‘noble’ profession (I wanted to say taking the Hippocratic Oath but then realised we actually did not do so), was Dr. Suranjan De Silva. In fact, he was the chief organizer and we harassed him no end, from the time he sent an email announcing ‘the 1964 Batch get-together’, as each of us wanted to do things ‘our way’. ‘Sura’, as we fondly called him, was ever obliging and did his best to more..

Understanding the national question as a pre-democratic problem

May 24 (GV) Five years after the end of the war, the Govt has now started arguing that the war is not over. The Govt doesn’t think the LTTE is finished. Even US and India seem to think that sections of the Tamil Diaspora are raising funds for a possible regroup (or this might be just their inventing of a reason to continue the ban on the LTTE). For the first few years after May 2009, the claim to have won the war was important for the Govt to more..

Modi’s zero-sum game: Inviting Sri Lanka, turning away Jayalalithaa, Tamils

May 24 (FP) So, Narendra Modi’s much awaited swearing in is going to be a bitter experience for TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the BJP’s allies in the state, thanks to the possible presence of SL president Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa has accepted the invitation to attend the swearing in and the BJP cannot now withdraw the invitation. At the same time, Jayalalithaa and the Tamil parties can hardly share a stage with Rajapaksa against whom whey have been seeking international action. more..

Docs threaten strike over fight with PHI union secretary

May 24 (Island) The GMOA warned they would strike from June 6 at two major hospitals in the North Central Province if the Health Ministry and the North Central Province since authorities failed to take action against the General Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), A.M. Senarath Bandara. GMOA Secretary Dr. Saman Abewardhane said that the strike would be held at the Anuradhpura Teaching and Polonnaruwa General Hospitals. more..

Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka: Is it socialist?

May 24 (DM) Presently there is a substantial discourse on whether the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is waning in its commitment to the institutions of democracy. This insight explores a different question, is it waning its commitments to social institutions? Govt expenditure can be classified into three categories: expenditure on public services, social services and economic services. In this classification, social services more..

For Vaiko, little room to negotiate

May 24 (IE) The last time SL President Rajapaksa visited India was in September 2012 to inaugurate an international Buddhist university and research centre in Madhya Pradesh. MDMK leader Vaiko was there to protest at the venue. The target was not just the Lankan president, but CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his party as well. For a leader who has made so much political investment on the issue of welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils, Vaiko is unlikely to back off on his opposition to the invitation to more..

Let’s shed some tears for Jayalalithaa!

May 24 (Island) It’s time to feel sad for Jayalalithaa, none other than the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She is feeling hurt, terribly hurt it seems, at India’s prime minister-elect Narendra Modi’s invitation to President Rajapaksa for his ceremonial swearing-in at New Delhi. It seems obvious that Jayalalithaa and her defeated and saddened co-activist in the Tamil separatist cause, Vaiko, do not seem to know what the South Asia Association of Regional Cooperation or SAARC, by its very name it is meant for more..

Sobitha Thera to meet JHU

May 24 (CT) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera and the JHU are expected to hold a meeting on Monday, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. "As the Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ), Sobhitha Thera invited us for a discussion. We accepted the invitation. NMSJ sent us several proposals. Through this discussion we hope we can come to an agreement with regard to the proposals. more..

Liquidity crisis for fertiliser importers

May 24 (ST) The Treasury recently paid Rs.3.5 billion to settle last year’s arrears of fertiliser subsidy re-imbursements but still owes at least Rs. 10 billion to importers A. Baur & Co, CIC Agri Business, Hayleys Agro Fertilisers, AgStar Fertilisers and McLarens International, a senior official of the National Fertilizer Secretariat (NFS) said. A spokesperson for one of the importers noted that the companies find it difficult to survive as the industry is faced with a lack of liquidity due to more..

SL nabs returning refugee family from India

May 24 (PTI) Sri Lanka Navy has detained a family of five who were trying to enter the country via sea after staying in India as refugees for few years, police said today. Police spokesman and Superintendent Ajith Rohana said the family members were arrested yesterday off the coast of Talaimannar in the north as they were returning via sea. They had fled to India in 2004 from Mannar and spent time in Rameshwaram. Navy intercepted their boat yesterday. more..

DPL passports dilemma dumbfounds Parliament

May 24 (FT) A major flaw in the issue of diplomatic passports to non-diplomats, who are not entitled to hold such important internationally-valid documents, was taken up at Parliament. Diplomatic passports issued by the Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration during a “nine-year period since 2005 now exceeds 2,872” regardless of the “exclusivity of a list of pre-approved personalities” more..

HC sets aside Magistrate's order

May 24 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge, M.C.B.S. Moraes, yesterday set aside the order issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate, in the case against former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. Colombo Chief Magistrate had ordered the National Development Bank (NDB) to permit the former CJ's lawyers and computer experts to check the Bank's computers for the purpose of examining evidence for the case filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. more..

Only four inbound flights at MRIA daily

May 24 (ST) More than a year after the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Hambantota opened an average of only four flights have been arriving daily. It’s mostly SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka flights that fly to MRIA. Rotana Jet, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia also fly to MRIA but on-and-off. When the Business Times requested for the flight schedule of the flights that arrive and depart at the MRIA, the Information Desk at the airport provided the above details. more..

Peradeniya Uni Senate approves four year duration for AHS degrees

May 24 (Island) Senate of the Peradeniya University had approved the four year duration of the Allied Health Sciences degree course at its latest meeting held on Wednesday, Peradeniya AHS Faculty Dean Dr. D.B.M. Wickremeratne said. He said that the university’s supreme body Senate had recognised it and approved the making of syllabi accordingly for four years. AHS Faculty was started in 2007 in the Peradeniya University and more..

Ranil wants parliament to request Thai military to release ousted PM

May 24 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon Parliament to request Thailand military that seized power from the caretaker govt of former PM Yingluck Shinawatra to release her from detention. Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lankan parliament had a right to make that request as former PM Yingluck Shinawatra had arrived in Sri Lanka May 31 last year to attend a higher ordaining ceremony and thereafter addressed the Lankan parliament. more..