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Meeting with VC to find solution for lecturer shortage ends inconclusively

May 30 (Island) A discussion between the Colombo University Vice Chancellor and Arts faculty officials over a lecturer shortage ended without a solution on Wednesday evening. Initially, the discussion was scheduled for the morning, but it was postponed to the evening as the Vice Chancellor had to attend a meeting with Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, the Secretary of the Finance Ministry. Dean and all department heads of more..

Cabinet nod for President's proposal for Artistes' Fund

May 30 (DN) The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the establishment of a Fund to assist aged artistes, journalists and writers who had been previously engaged in creative work as professional artistes and journalists on a full time basis, and are now in retirement. This is in order to ensure their future well being. This proposal was made by President Rajapaksa to the Cabinet. Cabinet also granted appoval for instructing the Legal Draftsman to draft legislation for this purpose. more..

JVP in overseas membership drive under its new leader

May 30 (Island) Under JVP new leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake the party has launched a programme to improve its membership overseas and also to enhance its image. It followed the party’s improved performance at the recently concluded Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the party leader Anura Dissanayake was in the UK addressing a series of meetings. "We will meet our membership with Our Vision policy document," Herath said more..

Video: Education Minister doesn’t possess even an ‘average’ intelligence – Akila

May 30 (AD) UNP today charged that the country’s Minister of Education does not possess even an “average” intelligence to identify the difference between an ‘agreement’ and an ‘understanding.’ Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, during a recent press briefing, had alleged that the govt has reached a MoU with the IMF to cut down on the state’s financial allocation for education. Minister Bandula Gunawardena, responding more..

War, Peace and the Manufacturing of Rajapaksa Myths

May 31 (GV) Lankans in general are distressingly indifferent to the plight of the country’s most majestic mammal, the elephant. But an unaccustomed wave of public outrage ensued when a plan to send two elephant-calves to a private zoo in South Korea leaked out. One of the claves marked for exportation was five year old ‘Dinuda’. And Dinuda, it was claimed and believed, was born on the day the Tigers were defeated. Thus the name, Dinu-da: ‘Victory Day’. Omens, both propitious and more..

Clarion call is made: Continuous attack on Muslim shops

May 31 (CT) Mawanella is a town situated in Kegalle district, Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. It lies between Kegalle and Kadugannawa along the Colombo-Kandy road. There are considerable Moors and few Malays or Muslims population in the township and Mawanella quarters. The area is home to less than half a million people. Most of the contiguous areas are by and large occupied by Muslim and Sinhalese; Mawanella’s urbanized area is predominantly of Muslim communities. more..

Sri Lanka tea draws highest world prices

May 31 (SO) The future of Sri Lanka's 150 year old tea industry is bright and the UPFA govt is doing everything necessary for the long term sustainability and prosperity of the industry, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and other main stakeholders said. Sri Lanka continues to produce the best brand which has a demand and fetches the highest price in the world tea market, promising a bright future, they said. more..

Buddhism for sale

May 31 (CT) Buddhism is the world’s most fashionable religion. Men and women of the affluent West are seen seeking relief from their living anxieties, in Buddhist practices like meditation and Zen craft. This trend goes along with an increasing decline in Christian Church attendances in these parts of the world. The popularity of Buddhism in the West is observed across social strata. The intellectual types have abandoned creation theories and beliefs in a supervising God. more..

Return of India: New realities for Govt & TNA

May 31 (FT) Something happened. Things just changed. Unnoticed by the Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan civil society intelligentsia which was engaged in “much wailing and gnashing of teeth” (as the Bible has it), and “how many angels can dance on a pinhead?” type disputations (convoluted and obfuscatory, with much lost in translation), the tectonic plates just shifted. The five post-war years were largely wasted because the South and North, the Sinhalese and Tamil political elites more..

Stitching together a colourful past

May 31 (ST) In his heyday as a tailor, 76-year-old Esakkita Pillai Kathiravel would spend hours working the foot paddle of a Singer sewing machine in a comfortable room at “Braemer’, residence of former President J.R. Jayewardene at Ward Place, making stylish and intricate saree blouses for the First Lady Elina Jayewardene. Being a much sought after tailor of ladies’ clothes, he would also spend hours working in the more..

Overcoming the post-war malaise

May 31 (GV) There are those on each side of the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide for whom what happened last week five years ago is either an unadulterated triumph or an unmitigated disaster. For more thoughtful Sri Lankans, however, I suspect the dominant feeling today is of an overpowering sense of malaise, that something is very seriously wrong about our post-war condition, that we are storing up problems for the future through hubris, myopia, spite and folly, and that we may more..

Jaffna Mayor's visit to New Delhi

May 31 (CT) Jaffna Mayor, Yogeswari Patkunarajah, was part of the Presidential entourage that participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Indian PM, Narendra Modi, following the refusal of Northern Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, to accompany the high-profile delegation to New Delhi. CM Wigneswaran has professed himself an admirer of Indian Prime Minister Modi and praised the Indian leader even during his inaugural address at the newly-formed NPC last year. more..

Boston Lanka: May 31, 2014

ICTA CEO urges keeping Sri Lanka in global ICT forefront

May 31 (CT) Sri Lanka is a country that is looking to its ICT industry to be a catalyst for economic growth. It also considers it as being in the top bracket of bringing in net foreign exchange to the country. This being so it is vitally important to continuously grow and develop, probably at a rapid or exponential rate, this ICT Industry. Thus it is vitally important to keep Sri Lanka in the fore-front of the global ICT sphere. Dewapura said so while participating at a press conference recently to mark the more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at crossroads – 3

May 31 (Island) In the second part (Island of May 17) of this series of articles on SL Muslims at the cross-roads I dealt with the bizarre case of a Muslim who reportedly made outrageous statements against Buddhism at a public meeting, He had reportedly stated that in worshipping the Triple Gem the Buddhists are worshipping stones, that Buddhism encourages cannibalism, that the Buddha himself had once eaten human flesh, and that the Buddha had spoken about Allah. more..

Law students caught in quagmire

May 31 (NS) Established in 1874 the Sri Lanka Law College is considered as one of the most prestigious education institutions in Sri Lanka. Gaining entrance through a very competitive exam, it is with pride that students declare to be a student of Law College as can be seen in and around the College. The sole institution which educates and nurtures Lawyers, who stand for justice-now appears to be sadly riddled with more..

Editorial: Modi’s example

May 31 (Island) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got off to a flying start in his new job. Having risen to that position through sheer hard work and dedication to the cause he believes in, he seems to know what he is doing and what needs to be done to achieve success. PM Modi has already extended the hand of friendship to India’s neighbours and stressed the need for unity among SAARC member states to overcome international challenges as a regional grouping. more..

Tredwell still clings to Test hopes

May 31 (CI) James Tredwell is still harbouring hopes that he can be the man to fill England's spin void in the Test side even though he has lost his place in Kent's Championship team this season. In a joint decision between Tredwell and Kent it was decided to withdraw him from four-day cricket after one early-season appearance when Tredwell admitted he was struggling with his game after a large diet of limited-overs matches. It followed a poor 2013 Championship where he took 17 wickets more..

Paddy cultivation in crisis

May 31 (CT) Govt may boast of an unassailable two-thirds majority in the Parliament and two frontline Cabinet-ranked ministers managing water. Leader of the House, Nimal Siripala de Silva, is Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Chief Govt Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena, is Minister of Water Supply and Drainage. But, what the govt, albeit its unbridled power, has not been successfully able to do, more..

Insurance coverage on declining trend

May 31 (FT) Despite the insurance industry having recorded a phenomenal Gross Written Premium (GWP) and asset growth in the recent years, the penetration as a percentage of GDP is on declining trend, the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka Chief pointed out. “The industry has phenomenal GWP and asset growth but the penetration remains low. Instead of improving, the penetration reduced further to 1.1% in 2013,” shared IBSL Chairperson Indrani Sugathadasa while delivering more..

Huawei donates high-tech e-education system for rural schools

May 31 (Island) Huawei, the leading global ICT solutions provider announced that President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a meeting with chairwoman Ms. Sun Yafang during the Head of State’s official visit to the CICA conference in Shanghai. Huawei, as the largest telecom vendor in Sri Lanka, has been in operation for nearly a decade. Huawei officially launched its consumer device since June 2012 introducing economical smart phones to the Sri Lankan consumers; more..

Sri Lankan motor traders worry over Customs valuation of imported vehicles

May 31 (ST) Sri Lankan motor traders have urged the Treasury to direct the Department of Customs to ensure valuation of imported vehicles in a transparent manner when calculating duty and taxes on vehicle imports. According to Finance Ministry guidelines issued recently, the customs authorities have been empowered to make the valuation of the imported vehicle without considering the declared imported value more..

NTUC warns of action if allowances are not included in basic salary of state employees

May 31 (NF) Chairman of the National Trade Union Centre K.D. Lalkantha notes that they will begin a trade union movement demanding that the allowances granted to state employees since 2006 be included as part of the employees salary. He made this statement during a meeting held on the cancellation of gratuity payments for state employees. “The basic salary of govt employees has not increased since January 2006. Individuals who retire today will retire on the salary that they more..

Hemas closes eventful year with 39% operating profit growth

May 31 (FT) Hemas Holdings yesterday posted consolidated net earnings of Rs. 2,409 m, a 45.2% year-on-year growth, and operating profits of Rs. 3,379 m, a growth of 38.6%, for the financial year 2013/14. As per interim results released, for the year under review, operating profits were largely on account of strong performance of Healthcare, FMCG and Transportation sectors. Operating profits were positively impacted by the capital gain and fair value gain relating to more..

Govt debt increases by Rs.793bn in 2013

May 31 (DM) The total govt debt increased to Rs.6793 billion in 2013 from Rs.6000 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 annual report of the Finance and Planning Ministry. Domestic debt of Rs.3,833 billion accounted for 56.4% of total debt, while foreign debt of Rs.2,960.4 billion formed the balance 43.6% of the total debt. “The debt to GDP declined to 78.3% from 79.2% in 2012 mainly due the increase in the nominal value of GDP. more..

4th ODI: Sun could shine on SL at Lord's

May 31 (CI) Eighty-one runs was the difference between the teams in the first match of the series. The margins have expanded alarmingly since, to 157 runs, then 10 wickets and 227 balls. They might not be numbers that suggest a compelling series, but Sri Lanka's tilt at England has held interest, if only because of the unpredictability of the results. Sri Lanka arrived favourites at the first match, on the back of a T20 international win and an unbeaten 2014 in ODIs, then faltered dramatically. more..

Tri-servicemen’s ‘Veterans’ Home’ receives a surprise guest

May 31 (SLA) A group of tri-service veterans, now in their dotage at the Veterans’ Home in Bolagala, Katana, managed by Ex-Servicemen’s Association, were awestruck by the presence of a special visitor to their home of rest and recreation on Thursday with a bagful of gifts and surprises. Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army with the intention of looking into the well-being of 19 ex-servicemen who had rendered a yeoman service to SL’s tri-services in 1940s, 50s & 60s, more..

Fabrace defection a sign of 'out-dated' sports governance — TI

May 31 (IC) England's decision to poach Sri Lanka's head coach Paul Farbrace and immediately thereafter utilise him in a series against the Sri Lankans has raised eyebrows, with questions being raised on whether the move was ethical and in line with the spirit of cricket. Sri Lanka, who are currently in England, will meet their hosts again when the fourth match of the ongoing five-match series gets underway on Sunday at Lord's — home to more..

Fishing season begins in the backdrop of deadlock in talks

May 31 (Hindu) Setting sail under the shadows of the deadlock in the second round of talks between the fishermen of Sri Lanka and India on the issue of phasing out trawling, fishing boats of the district ended the 45-day ban in the early hours of Friday. It was both anticipation and anxiety at the commencement of the new season and a new year, what with the spot light heavily on the fishermen of the State for their use of banned and unsustainable fishing practices. more..

E-Nenasala to Help Mullaittivu Students Learning Maths & Science

May 31 (SLA) A new web service (E Patashala) for Science and Mathematics students learning in Tamil in Mullaittivu area was initiated on Monday during a ceremony attended by MP Namal Rajapaksa at the Mullaittivu Vidyananda Vidyalaya. During his tour in the area, together with Governor for Northern Province, Major General (Retd) G.A Chandrasiri, District Secretary for Mullaittivu, Mr N. Vedanayagam and Commander SFHQ-MLT Major General N.A.J.C Dias, more..

Common platform to rule country

May 31 (CT) JHU has set the wheels in motion for a mechanism to form a common platform to rule the country, with the participation of both the govt and the Opposition. Move has been spearheaded by JHU Leader, Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera. A National Policy Statement in this regard would be launched at the BMICH on 3 June. Some of the preliminary steps in the proposal will be the abolition of Executive Presidency more..

Large haul of chocolates past their shelf life

May 31 (Island) The CAA yesterday took into custody a stock of imported chocolates from Global Park Building, a major warehouse at Seeduwa. The raiding party had taken about 40,000 kilos of the chocolate imported from India into custody. The chocolate wrappings with labels had been removed and re-wrapped. Their shelf life had expired one year back. However, the new labels had new expiry dates, while the chocolates were retailed to consumers at a very high price. more..

Kandy school principal allegedly assaults children over payments

May 31 (NF) The parents of a student attached to a school in Kandy filed a complaint with the police stating that the principal of the school had assaulted their children as they were unable to make payments for additional classes. The parents pointed out that all three of their children have been barred from entering the school premises until the payment is made. The parents and their three children arrived at the Central Province Department of Education on Friday more..

Sri Lankans concerned over religious extremism - British HC

May 31 (Island) Having visited North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces this week, British High Commissioner John Rankin has said that people are concerned about religious extremism. "All those to whom I spoke made clear their concern about and opposition to religious extremism. This visit has reinforced my view that Sri Lanka’s tradition of religious coexistence is particularly important today, as more..

Tiger’s passport renewed by SL embassy

May 31 (Island) One of the three LTTE cadres whom the Malaysia govt handed over to the Terrorist Investigation Department recently after their arrest on May 15 in that country, has revealed that he got his passport renewed by Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. A high ranking police officer said that LTTE cadres now being grilled by the TID had said that they were to fly to Sri Lanka time and again after expanding the LTTE network in that country. They have said they left SL in 2004 and 2006 more..

Ravi’s passport released

May 31 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Mrs. Rohini Walgama on Wednesday allowed the release of the passport of UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake, indicted with having deposited Rs. 390 million in a private bank of Sri Lanka without informing the Central Bank. The money had been given by Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire, businessman of America, who was recently convicted for insider dealings. The passport had been in court custody since 2009. Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne P.C., more..

SB responds to CID probes powerful minister news story

May 31 (Island) Apropos our lead story headlined ‘Colombo 7 house grab: CID probes powerful minister’, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake has said that the house situated at Neta Avenue, Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo 7 had been taken over by University of Colombo on a judicial order given on Nov 11, 2011. He said that the University had also taken over all items found therein after having them listed. more..

NTC boss rules out bus fare revision next month

May 31 (Island) Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) Renuka Perera ruled out a bus fare hike in June in spite of a demand from the President of the Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA). He said that the govt had decided to extend the deadline of May by 31 two weeks up to June 16 for the bus commuting public, academics and members of civic society to send their written representation on improving the quality of the private bus service in the country. more..

Secret talks to woo JVP Leader

May 31 (CT) Several govt ministers and UNP MPs have held confidential discussions with Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, regarding forming a new alliance. According to sources, 8 govt ministers and 10 UNP MPs took part in the discussions. It is learnt that these discussions had started two months ago, with the participation of a few ministers representing the SLFP and minority parties in the govt. These MPs who met at several occasions had emphasized the requirement more..

SL fishermen demand end to poaching

May 31 (CG) Sri Lankan fishermen demanded an end to poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters, over two weeks after talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen ended in failure. Convenor of the National Fisheries Cooperative Movement Anthony Jesudasan said that a petition was also signed against poaching by Indian fishermen and other issues. A petition signing campaign was held outside Fort railway more..