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Arawakkalu paleobiodiversity area to be declared national heritage site

May 27 (Island) The Department of Archaeology has taken action to declare the Aruwakkalu paleobiodiversity site in Puttalam a national heritage site, Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senerath Dissanayake said. He said that it was the first time in the country’s history a paleobiodiversity site had been named a site of archaeologically importance. He said that until 1998, the Department of Archaeology had not paid special attention to conducting research and studies on more..

PB Jayasundara should not be publicly insulted, Rajiva writes to Mahinda

May 27 (CT) Sending a letter to the President Rajapaksa, ruling coalition MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha urged not to insult the Secretary to the Treasury PB Jayasundara. He said that he hope “suitable action will be taken to make it clear that the Secretary to the Treasury should not be publicly insulted when following govt directives and that such conduct is not acceptable in a Member of the Cabinet.” more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.4%

May 27 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.41% with telco stocks losing ground despite continued low foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 25.58 points lower at 6,267.44 down 0.41%. The S&P SL20 closed 15.72 points lower at 3,447.17, down 0.45%. Turnover was 1.39 billion rupees, up from 291.32 million rupees a day earlier with 90 stocks closed positive against 95 negative. Entrust Securities closed 30 cents higher at 20.80 rupees with an off market transaction of 587.40 more..

Gramaseva Niladhari dropout rate surprising

May 27 (Island) Out of the latest batch of 3,802 Gramaseva Niladhari recruits selected by the govt from amongst many thousands of applicants to undergo three months’ training, quite a number would have dropped out or not been able to obtain the compulsory 80% attendance to be absorbed into the permanent cadre. "Though this post is one of the most sought after in the public service, providing many perks, benefits and much respect to the holder thereof, we believe that as in the past more..

MR-NFF discussion meets predictable end

May 27 (CT) The crucial discussion between President Rajapaksa and the NFF led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa reached its expected end – with the President agreeing to consider NFF's 'well-thought-out' points – and the NFF accepting the presidential assurance. The meeting held at Temple Trees was attended by NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, NFF Spokesman Mohamed Muzzamil, Deputy Minister Weerakumara more..

Ian Bell is better than Sachin Tendulkar

May 27 (CI) It's a reasonably well-known fact among web publishers that a large proportion of internet users generally don't read anything beyond the headline of an article. Plenty of people won't even read the first sentence. They just react, as if all the writer wanted to say was being expressed in that handful of words in bold type at the top of the page. I thought of this phenomenon this week. I was away from home, out of touch, and wanted to check the final score in the 2nd ODI between England more..

Sri Lanka needs network sharing; broadband tariffs below cost: Dialog

May 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's telecom companies have to share networks and invest together to cut broadband costs as higher margin voice usage gives way to cheaper data based services, head of Dialog Axiata, the island's largest mobile firm has said. Dialog group chief executive Hans Wijayasuriya said Sri Lanka has been recognized among the lowest priced broadband markets in the world even by the International Telecommunications Union but costs were higher than revenues. more..

SLAF confirms debris belongs to Mi-24 gunship

May 27 (DM) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) today confirmed that the debris found by the SL Navy in the seas off Chalai was that of a Russian built Mi-24 Hind gunship which went missing in March 1997 with eight airmen including two Russian nationals. Navy divers located the debris including the rotor and engine kit at a depth of 12 feet and one nautical mile east of Chalai in Mullaitivu. The debris which was inspected more..

Engagement, not boycott, for Sri Lanka

May 27 (ET) It is welcome that Narendra Modi has chosen to override the protest from his newfound allies in Tamil Nadu, apart from the main Tamil parties, to go ahead with his invitation to Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa to his swearing-in ceremony. It is also welcome that Rajapaksa has demonstrated his willingness to reciprocate this show of goodwill by releasing fishermen from TN, who often stray beyond India's own territorial waters, who had been jailed in Sri Lanka. more..

SAARC and Modi: A glimmer of hope

May 27 (CT) Through a single calculated decision, the new Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has revived the hopes for the SAARC, which has been a talk shop throughout its existence. Six South Asian leaders, including Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghan President Hameed Karzai, and the Speaker of Bangladesh Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury were present yesterday at Rasthrapathi Bhawan as Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India. more..

Sri Lankan tea players to benefit from world’s aging population: report

May 27 (DM) Sri Lanka’s tea sector players are likely to benefit from the new demand coming from the ageing population in the global market place, particularly from countries such as Japan, Europe and the US, according to a recent study by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The study, which analysed the performance of t he global tea sector in 2012 and 2013, had shown that the increasing level of awareness among more..

UNHCR to examine all facts following detention of alleged Tamil Tigers members

May 27 (TS) The UNHCR vows to perform a close and full examination of all facts following the detention of Tamil Tigers members bearing the commission’s cards. UNHCR spokesperson Yante Ismail said in principle, refugee protection was for those who are in genuine need of international protection when they have been forced to flee their countries due to armed conflict, persecution and serious human rights abuses. “Refugee protection is not extended to individuals who have more..

Bogus cop caught extorting money from lovers

May 27 (Island) A team of sleuths from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Kandy police yesterday arrested an eating house employee for allegedly extorting money from young couples at George E de Silva Park in the city, posing as a policeman. The SIU team in civvies pounced on the suspect taking him by surprise as he was threatening to expose some young couples. The suspect has been identified as a resident of Kadugannawa. The arrest was made by more..

'We'll beat Mahinda if better person comes forward'

May 27 (LT) The executive president grabbing the majority of ministries in the country is a glaring error and it becomes more unbecoming as he is not accountable to the Parliament or committees says Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera. Rathana Thera further said multi-national companies have bought the executive and the judiciary and control everything in the country. “If the govt is good it is not necessary to defeat it. more..

Cops warn journalist outside Court

May 27 (CG) Two senior police officers today warned a video journalist who had attempted to take video footage from outside the Mount Lavinia District Court of those arriving for a case involving The Sunday Leader newspaper, including Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Both officers told the video journalist not to take video footage of the Defence Secretary or his motorcade when they arrive at the Court premises. When asked why, one police officer responded by saying more..

Luxury bus operators complain to SC

May 27 (Island) Two luxury bus service operators have complained to the Supreme Court of the failure of the National Transport Commission to issue them with four temporary licences to operate buses on the Southern Expressway. The complaint said other operators had been issued similar licences which were renewed thereafter. They have requested that they too be given temporary permits till they are issued licences. The temporary licences given to the petitioners have not been extended beyond more..

SLC Exco appoints its own member to paid honorary job

May 27 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is set to appoint Chairman of the Tournament Committee Roshan Iddamalgoda as the manager of the Sri Lanka national women’s team, an appointment that could be a violation of the body’s own constitution. His appointment has been ratified by the SLC Executive Committee in which Iddamalgoda is also a member. As the manager of the team he will receive Rs. 100,000 as remuneration more..

Bigger Lanka-Pak trade in the offing

May 27 (GDI) As bilateral trade crossed $ 460 Mn mark, Sri Lanka’s second largest trade partner in SAARC hinted at bigger engagement with the country and post ‘JEC modalities’ between the historic partners are now moving towards their final shape. “We look forward to expand FTA trade by reducing sensitive items, and the positive result of this would be more opportunities for Lankan exporters” said Maj Gen (R) Qasim Qureshi, the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Colombo more..

Sri Lanka borrows US$275mn from ADB for roads, education

May 27 (LBO) Asian Development Bank said it would loan 175 million US dollars to build roads and boost the state university system to generate graduates that more employable. ADB will give US$ 100 million for Sri Lanka govt's skills sector development program which plans to reduce a mismatch between the competencies of graduates and skills needed by employers. "Targeted education for the workers of tomorrow is essential to economic growth but businesses and more..

Malaysian police chief challenged to prove arrested foreigners are Tamil Tigers

May 27 (Bernama) Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy today challenged Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to show proof that the three Sri Lankan nationals arrested recently were LTTE militants. He said the LTTE had long been disbanded and the arrested Sri Lankan nationals held cards issued by the Office of the UNHCR to stay in this country without action being taken against them by the authorities. more..

Video: Use separate SIM for web transactions: Police

May 27 (DM) The Police Department today advised issued a warning to the general public “to be more vigilant when using internet, especially for e-banking services and online transactions” citing rising number of cyber crimes. Police also advised to use a separate SIM card or a special line for web based transactions. “Use the real website of banks when e-banking and avoid various other links which come via emails claiming to be the website of their bank,” SSP Ajith Rohana said. more..

Principals, teachers to stage protest march seeking solutions to their problems

May 27 (Island) Principals and Teachers have planned a protest march to the Education Ministry, Isurupaya from Parliament roundabout near Waters Edge, Battaramulla, tomorrow at 12.00 noon, followed by a demonstration opposite the Ministry, against the govt’s alleged failure to address their grievances. Spokesman for the Teachers-Principals Trade Union Joint Committee, Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they had decided to hold a protest march and a demonstration as the Minister had more..

SEC watchful of stock bubble amid low interest rates

May 27 (Reuters) Stock market regulator is monitoring the risk of a potential bubble forming with a surge in trading activities and amid low interest rates, the head of the SEC said. Average daily turnover has risen to $7.8 million this year compared with $6.4 million last year, with stockbrokers saying lower interest rates have compelled local investors to shift funds to riskier stocks from lower yielding fixed-income assets. more..

In the north, Tamils defy govt to remember Fr Sara, who died during the Civil War

May 27 (AN) Challenging a government ban, priests, religious, family, friends and parishioners came together in Uruthirapuram (Kilinochchi District) on 17 May for a special Mass to remember a young Tamil priest, Fr Mariampillai Sarathjeevan, who stood by his people until his death, as well as the other victims of Sri Lanka's bloody 30-year civil war. Despite a blockade imposed by the authorities and the massive presence of soldiers and police, scores of people still managed to gather to pray more..

Iron nails driven into Matale skulls

May 27 (SM) The persons, whose skeletal remains had been found from a mass grave in Matale, had been tortured, according to Kurunegala JMO’s report to the Matale magistrate’s court. Lawyer Sunil Watagala who appears on behalf of the missing persons, has told BBC that most of the skulls, belonging to 153 persons, had iron nails driven into them. Sharp instruments had also been driven into the fingertips and organs of these persons, he has said quoting the JMO’s report. more..

Mahinda briefs Pranab on progress

May 27 (CG) President Rajapaksa today briefed Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on the steps Sri Lanka has taken with regard to development and the ongoing reconciliation process in the country. The two leaders met today for bilateral talks at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, where President Mukherjee exchanged pleasantries with President Rajapaksa. The two leaders discussed matters of mutual concern for both nations, more..

Wimal's venom goes to waste

May 28 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has been levelling scathing attacks on Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, for quite some time now. He called Jayasundera, an economic killer and vowed to take tough action unless he is removed from the post. But govt sources say PB will remain in office, despite the venom filled charges. Now what will Wimal do? All eyes are eagerly waiting to see. A ceremony will be held in Moneragala next Friday to felicitate MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara more..

Questions, five years on

May 28 (GV) Five years ago the demise of V Prabhakaran was a fast-spreading secret-on-the-block several days before it was made official and the war was pronounced to have ended. One felt a sense of relief yet mixed with apprehension. Finally terrorism was ended by Mahinda Rajapakse. Will he be statesman enough to take the next step and bring forth a political solution to usher in peace to this nation tortured by war for thirty years? Or will he prove to be a mere politician trapped in more..

Galle Dutch Hospital restored to former glory

May 28 (SO) Galle has always been a great attraction of local and foreign tourists since ancient times. The place of great historic value is a compulsory visiting point for all travellers and during each tourist season it becomes one of the most crowded tourist locations. Over a period of time and change, Galle still retains - as few other towns in Sri Lanka - an atmosphere of the past. The Galle Fort which is the main attraction of the city is more..

Celebrating 5 years of post-war conflict

May 28 (GV) Kiru is a soft spoken but hard-nosed activist from Jaffna. He and I both attended the opening ceremony of the recently concluded World Conference on Youth (WCY) in Hambantota, and he and I both watched as the President got up on stage and spoke about the eradication of terrorists, and of the successful re-integration of ex-combatants into society. The tone was heroic, victorious, Sri Lanka had ‘done away with terror’ and was ‘on its way’ to paraphrase Bathiya and Santhush’s more..

Govt on fence mending ahead of presidential poll

May 28 (CT) When even the govt Ministers and MPs were wondering as to which national election would immediately follow the Uva PC election due to be held this year, we in these columns predicted that the Presidential poll would come first. Of course, the govt top brass wavered over the question for some time, as a pressure group within the govt urged that a general Parliamentary election be held first. However, at the end of the day the authorities after weighing pros and cons more..

Good women and bad women of the post-war nation

May 28 (GV) Since the end of war in May 2009, the UPFA govt has sought to forge a new overarching Sri Lanka identity inclusive of all ethnic and religious communities. As articulated by the President himself in his first post-war speech to parliament: “the word minorities have been removed from our vocabulary” and “no longer are the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and any others minorities.” However, five years later, more..

BJP’s landslide victory a blessing for SL

May 28 (NS) The votes have now all been counted in the world’ largest democracy and Narendra Modi has been elected as India’s 14th PM. The BJP commands an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, first time in 30 years that a ruling party has done so. Indian polls have played out in a manner that has confounded observers in this country. Many were anticipating that the elections would disadvantage Sri Lanka as Modi and the BJP was expected form a govt with the help of the AIADMK. more..

Expecting too much from Modi govt?

May 28 (SL) The Sri Lankan Govt sees in the Indian PM-elect Narendra Modi a new opportunity to win India over to its side. With his congratulatory phone call to Modi, President Mahinda 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 own prevarication regarding promises of devolution of power made to the previous Indian govt. The relations that plunged following more..

Shortening AHS course duration - Downgrades degree standard - IUSF

May 28 (NS) Six universities in Sri Lanka introduced an allied health sciences program in 2005. Program consisted of 6 units, including nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy and course duration was four years. However, following a court case involving the Peradeniya University, it was decided that decisions regarding the university would be taken by the university advisory committee and other relevant parties, including the GMOA. more..

TISL’s ‘The Sri Lanka Governance Report 2012/13’ to be launched tomorrow

May 28 (FT) The only publication that exclusively focuses on the status of governance in Sri Lanka ‘The Sri Lanka Governance Report 2012/13’ will be launched at BMICH tomorrow. The Governance Report is a regular publication of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) which brings into focus key governance issues and discusses the main incidents, trends and best practices pertaining to governance within a given year. This report covers 2012/2013 period and focuses on more..

Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated

May 28 (Island) We have identified Sinhala Buddhism as a culture and the main question that has drawn our attention is the survival of this culture in Sri Lanka while many forms of Theravada cultures had disappeared from the face of the earth. We have also said that prior to the arrival of Arhant Mahinda there had been a Hela Buddhist culture according to Varigapurnikava which even claims that Rathnavali or Agnipali, the mother of Kuveni (Mahapali according to Varigapurnikava. more..

Herath offers Sri Lanka third spin threat

May 28 (CI) Angelo Mathews was typically measured ahead of the third ODI at Old Trafford, but he did suggest Sri Lanka held an important edge on a surface he expected to be conducive to spin. Sri Lanka have added Rangana Herath to the squad in place of injured Suranga Lakmal, taking their number of frontline spin options to three, with slow-bowling allrounder Chaturanga de Silva also in reserve. more..

Editorial: Adopt this Indian model, too

May 28 (Island) India’s new Prime Minister has taken over the reins of govt. In spite of his mammoth victory and the sheer size of his coalition consisting of as many as 30 parties, PM Narendra Modi has appointed a small Cabinet. If he had emulated Sri Lanka, he would have had to appoint a Cabinet as big as our Parliament to rule the world’s largest democracy! Besides the size of the Cabinet of ministers, there is a lot that Sri Lankan politicians could learn from India. more..

Cook needs senior support - Anderson

May 28 (CI) Alastair Cook has taken a lot of criticism for England's recent slide but he could not be blamed for their latest batting calamity, as they subsided to 99 all out in Durham. Ruled out with injury, all he could do was watch on grim-faced at the procession of batsmen. It is not yet confirmed whether Cook will take his place for the third one-day international at Old Trafford although a lengthy net - he arrived well before his team-mates on Wednesday morning - suggested his chances more..