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Avoid guessing on elections & write a book

Oct 8 (SL) Parliamentary or presidential elections for the man-on–the-street usually amount to cheering your side if victorious and booing the defeated rivals. But to those high up in society, victory or defeat means a prosperous and happy life at least for a few more years or being down in the dumps and kicked around by all kinds of riff- raff. To big business persons, backing the winner or loser could mean a good life or virtually temporary cessation of life. This is not a revelation but a fact of life more..

Lessons from Scotland

Oct 8 (GV) Scotland has much to teach us. The democratic decision of the UK govt to hold a Referendum in Scotland in response to persistent demands from a section of the Scottish people for an independent Scotland (to which the govt and a large majority of the population were totally opposed) and the happy outcome (a decisive No vote in Scotland by a majority significantly greater than widely predicted) has many lessons for us. To consolidate the vote against secession, more..

‘The face of Buddhist terror?’

Oct 8 (SL) For a majority Buddhist country, the politics of Myanmar is complex. And if one wants to, it’s not difficult to draw comparisons between Myanmar and Sri Lanka, given the religious history shared between the two states. Sadly, the comparisons drawn today are not along these lines. Neither are they ones that are comparable to the teachings of the Buddha. They are based on the violence that the notorious 969 Movement more..

On Hypocrisy

Oct 8 (Island) In the preparations for the visit of His Holiness The Pope, it will serve us well to reflect on the values that he espouses. Last year, in the homily of the Mass (in Korea), the pope urged listeners to "combat the allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife". It is also salutatory to consider these words in a Buddhist country. In the second noble truth, Buddha states that more..

Knowledge as construction III

Oct 8 (Island) Newton introduced the concept of gravitational force to explain the motion of the earth round the sun or that of the moon around the earth, though his gravitational force was not consistent with the concept of force as used by his contemporaries. If the western scientists were consistent they would not have accepted the gravitational force but that is not the way western science works or how theories (explanations) are constructed in that system of knowledge. more..

Today is Vap Poya Day

Oct 8 (DN) This year's Vap Poya Day marks the last month of “Vassana Period” Rain-Retreat and offering of “Katina Cheevara” for the Buddhist Monks. This event will be one of the highlights of this Vap Poya Day. The temples in the island will be filled to the capacity on this day with devotees. Sil campaigns, alms givings, delivering of sermons, meditation, Pirith recitals. Buddhist discussion will be the order of the day. more..

The quest for meaning

Oct 8 (Island) However much the modern world may pride itself on its triumphs over the follies and foibles of the past, it appears that the progress we credit ourselves with has been bought at a price so steep as to throw into question the worth of our achievements. This price has been nothing less than the shared conviction that our lives are endowed with ultimate meaning. Though in earlier ages men and women lived in a space populated largely by figments of the collective imagination, more..

Should Buddhists continue to eat meat?

Oct 8 (DM) The Katina or Cheevara month is approaching. The most meritorious act (kusalakamma), Buddhists believe is the offering of Katina cheevara (robe) to monks who practise this age-old tradition of rain retreat or Vassana, though it has little relevance today considering the highly unpredictable weather patterns. It is the usual practice to offer non-vegetarian meals to the Sangha, during and at the end of Vassana on Katina pooja, as usually done at any alms giving, more..

External trade’s upward momentum continues

Oct 8 (FT) Central Bank said that the upward momentum in the external sector continued with a further improvement of export earnings in August 2014. It said expenditure on imports also recorded an increase for the second consecutive month of the year. Cumulative trade deficit was lower during the first eight months of 2014, compared to the same in 2013, helping to improve the current account of BOP. more..

SLT conducts awareness programs to commemorate World Children’s Day

Oct 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), in collaboration with the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has carried out a series of island wide awareness programmes focused on protecting children against all forms of abuse on 1st October to coincide with World Children’s Day. Further, the employees of SLT also volunteered to distribute leaflets in selected schools island wide to raise awareness among children as well as the community at large about the urgent need to more..

IIT launches software engineering degree

Oct 8 (CT) With information communication technology constantly evolving and playing a critical role in the day-to-day lives of people, the need for systematic Software System Development and maintenance together with a method to ensure its reliability and efficiency is paramount. In order to develop such software and IT solutions, innovative minds that are able to solve complex IT issues is the need of the hour in a world driven by technology. The Informatics Institute of Technology more..

SL cashes in on the export of mineral sands

Oct 8 (ST) Sri Lanka is currently cashing in on the export of mineral sands by refining it to ilmenite, rutile, and zircon at its Pulmoddai plant with limited human resources and expertise, officials of the Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL), a state-owned company, said. The present production is now limited to 6000 tons of ilmenite, 1,800 tons of rutile and 600 tons of zircon as the price of ilmenite in the international market has come down to more..

Ex-UNP MP released on bail

Oct 8 (CT) Former UNP Jaffna district MP Thiyagarasa Thuvarakeswaran was arrested for using abusive language against Traffic police constables. He was later released on surety bail by Jaffna Magistrate P. Sivakumar. A luxury passenger bus operated between Colombo and Jaffna, by Thuvarakeswaran, was stopped by a group of Traffic cops when it was heading towards Colombo without a proper route permit. As the driver of the bus had informed Thuvarakeswaran about incident, more..

Private credit growth falls to new low

Oct 8 (DM) Despite much optimism over the 2H14 private sector credit growth, the latest data shows that Sri Lanka’s banking sector credit to the private sector firms and the personal customers in July has dipped to a new low of 0.8% from a year ago. According to a monthly economic and business sector bulletin issued by a local management consultancy, the 0.8% credit growth has been the lowest since more than six and a half years ago. “Credit to private businesses and personal more..

Sri Lanka peace keeping troops in Haiti receive commendation from UN

Oct 8 (SLA) 19th Sri Lankan UN contingent of the armed forces, currently engaged in welfare and emergency relief operations in Haiti under UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), has received commendation from the MINUSTAH Force Commander Lieutenant General Jose Jaborandy for its exclusive contribution, made in the evacuation of victims in a bus accident that claimed 23 lives in September, this year. more..

Children flock to Odel for ‘The Whale Song’ on World Animal Day

Oct 8 (Island) Eager children turned up in large numbers at Odel on World Animal Day (4) to show their enthusiasm for whales by participating in a series of fun events organised by the fashion retailer to promote responsible whale watching. Colourful whale puppets were used to educate visitors to ‘The Whale Song’ about the planet’s largest mammal, as one of the activities. Children were also offered the opportunity to create whale-inspired arts and crafts, engage in exciting games, more..

Four drug peddlers arrested near school

Oct 8 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, Panadura Walana Anti-Vice Strike Force (AVSF) on Monday evening arrested four suspects for selling heroin to schoolchildren near a prominent school in Horana. The suspects had been arrested with 1410 milligrammes of heroin in their possession. The suspects had been peddling heroin under the guise of running a retail shop located near the school and they were arrested on information received by the OIC of AVSF, Inspector Duminda Balasuriya. more..

Waters Edge to expand with new complexes

Oct 8 (MoD) A massive earth work was set in motion widening the 'Waters Edge' hotel in Battaramulla in the presence of the Secretary Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (6). Along with this giant step forward, situated in the hub of the administrative capital, Waters Edge would be added another 15 storied 4 new complexes embedded with state-of-art facilities. UDA in collaboration with the Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd will more..

A lunar and solar eclipse in this month

Oct 8 (AD) Out of the four eclipses due for this year the last lunar eclipse and the last solar eclipse would take place in this month within a gap of two weeks, according to Prof. Chandana Jayaratne. The total lunar eclipse due on October 8 begins at 1.46 p.m. Sri Lanka Time and will end up at 7.04 p.m. Since this occurs mostly during day time for Sri Lanka only the latter part of this eclipse is visible to us as a partial lunar eclipse for a period of about 3 minutes from from 6.00 p.m. to 6.03 p.m. with more..

'Malaka to contest at a General Election'

Oct 8 (DM) Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva said today his son Malaka would definitely come into politics at a future General Election. When asked whether the minister had fulfilled his promises given to the people at the previous election and whether he was ready to contest at the next General Election, he said he had a little more work to be finished and unless the government supported him to do that he would leave the govt. more..

Top international tourism research confab opens in Colombo

Oct 8 (FT) A two-day international conference on hospitality and tourism management kicked off in Colombo yesterday, with the focus on finding practical and innovative solutions for challenges in the tourism sector. The event is organised by The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM) in association with Master of Tourism Economics and Hotel Management, University of Colombo, more..

Public and private sectors urged to end ‘bickering’

Oct 8 (Island) ‘The key to forging ahead on the exports front would essentially be Research and Development. Enhancing quality of exports cannot be avoided. The public and private sectors do not see eye-to-eye. This must stop. This attempt at one-upmanship and constant bickering get us nowhere. Get on with the job. That should be our prime concern. So said President, National Chamber of Exporters of SL Mangala Yapa addressing an audience at NCE Export Awards ceremony more..

MMBL-Pathfinder in joint investment promotion thrust in Northern Province

Oct 8 (Island) The Board of Investment (BOI) has focussed its attention on the Northern Province with a view to opening up of the province for investment, both foreign and local. The programme would go a long way to address unemployment and give a fillip to the economy of the province that has gone through difficult times for several decades. The idea of spearheading an investment promotion effort was a brainchild of Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana, who chaired the meeting of more..

Presidential poll: Second preference can be decisive - DEW

Oct 8 (Island) General Secretary of the CP, Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera, said that those in the presidential fray would have to vigorously campaign for the second preference among minorities as well as the JVPers in case the latter fielded a candidate of its own. He was speaking to The Island, soon after the conclusion of the party leaders’ meeting in Parliament. Minister stressed that the SLFP-led ruling coalition more..

UK affirms its backing to OHCHR probe

Oct 8 (CG) The British Govt today affirmed its strong commitment to the investigation on Sri Lanka by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Hugo Swire, said this after he met a group of Tamil diaspora groups in London today. The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) together with some other Tamil groups met Swire today to discuss the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. more..

Presidential Election in March 2015?

Oct 8 (Island) The Presidential Election is most likely to be held in March next year, political sources said. They observed that with Pope Francis due to visit Sri Lanka on January 9, 2015 it was unlikely that an election could be held in the same month. Meanwhile, the govt has advanced the budget debate which usually commenced in November and concluded in December to October. It is now scheduled to commence on October 24 with the final vote being fixed for November 18. more..

Labuduwa Siridhamma College principal arrested for accepting bribe

Oct 8 (AD) The principal of the Labuduwa Siridhamma College, Galle has been arrested by the Bribery Commission while accepting a bribe of Rs 300,000 to enroll a child to a Grade 1 class. Suspect was arrested while soliciting the bribe from a father seeking to enroll his son into the school. Child’s brother is also said to be a student of the same school. However, principal had demanded Rs 300,000 in order to enroll the student. more..

Sabaragamuwa University students continue protest

Oct 8 (CT) Sabaragamuwa University students will continue their Satyagraha, which is continuing for the last 36 days, until their demands are met. University Students' Group President, Rasindu Jayasinghe said "the university is closed. The girls have left the hostels and gone home. "A few male students have decided to continue the protest until their demands are met." Demands include, rescinding the suspension orders on the eight students, re-laying foundation for new hostel more..

Northern farmers ask President for RDB branch

Oct 8 (Island) The farmers of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts who produce vegetables and fruits for export plan to request President Rajapaksa to assist them by opening a branch of the Regional Development Bank (RDB) in Vanni when he visits the North next week. They discussed the move at a workshop organised by the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) in collaboration with Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) project initiative of more..

Jayalalithaa's bail plea rejected, AIADMK stunned

Oct 8 (IANS) The Karnataka High Court Tuesday rejected the bail plea of jailed former TN chief minister Jayalalithaa, abruptly ending frenzied celebrations by her supporters after one of her lawyers earlier said she had got conditional bail. Justice Chandrashekara, who heard Jayalalithaa's petition, also declined to suspend her 4-year jail term even after Special Public Prosecutor submitted he had no objection to her bail application. more..

Meaningful constitutional reforms

Oct 8 (DM) Hardly a day passes without something being said in the media about the need to abolish the Executive Presidency. I am of the view that anyone is entitled to his or her own opinion on this matter. Whatever the form of govt, a monopoly of power in the State would be the end of all civilized politics whether it is in the form of Presidential-Executive or Parliamentary-Executive. Constant experience has shown us that every man/women invested with power is apt to abuse it to more..

Nexus between corruption and politics

Oct 8 (DM) Former TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram’s bail application, which she had submitted last week after she was given a four-year prison sentence in the disproportionate assets case, was taken up at the Karnataka High Court yesterday. Many Sri Lankans especially those who support the incumbent govt were seen upbeat when she was convicted and given a four-year prison term, but not because they are against corruption, but because Jayalalithaa has been a die-hard anti-SL more..

They come seeking the missing …

Oct 8 (SL) Presidential Commission on Disappearances and War Crimes, that held their sittings in Killinochchi from Sept 27 to 30, had heard 317 cases of disappearances. However the commission was of the view that some cases needed to be investigated properly. Hence they asked President to establish an Investigating Team to help it pursue cases of alleged involuntary disappearances, as it is not within their mandate. more..

SC: Galle police apologise for attacking DNA MPs

Oct 8 (Island) A group of police officers from the Galle Police Station, yesterday apologised, before the Supreme Court, to petitioners, MPs of the DNA, who were attacked in August, 2012 at Galle while participating in a protest rally condemning the incarceration of former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka and demanding the restoration of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Petitioners were Vijitha Herath, Ajith Kumara, more..

Lak Muthu Sewana housing scheme vested on Public

Oct 8 (MoD) The newly constructed 'Lak Muthu Sewana' housing scheme for low income families in Wellawatte, Colombo was ceremonially declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (7). Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the driving force behind the project was also present at the occasion. Chairperson of the UDA Mr. Nimal Perera delivered the welcome address at the outset of the event. more..

Vocational training for low income groups uplifts rural life

Oct 8 (ST) Around 10,000 persons are receiving Vocational training in the Western Province (WP), while the Education Ministry intends to increase the number next year. Vocational training is provided in over 40 different courses and there are many who benefit from them. Family members of school children and those from low income backgrounds are the main focus in our project. They are trained in embroidery, tailoring, beauty more..

Spearheading Buddhist knowledge and education in Sri Lanka

Oct 8 (DM) Buddhism is one of the oldest and most valuable heritages of Sri Lanka. Today, at a time when there is much hullabaloo about Buddhism being destroyed, it is important to protect the true teachings of the Buddhist philosophy. Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (PGIPBS) is one place in SL which is dedicated to spreading knowledge of Buddhism around the world and preserving Buddhism through education. more..

Sri Lanka: Water for elephants

Oct 8 (NZH) How do you tell a male from a female elephant?" our guide Amiter asked, with a glint in his eye, as we bumped our way toward the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle, central Sri Lanka. "The male has longer legs at the front - to make it easier when he mounts the female!" He tossed his head back and roared a toothy laugh, before telling us that the length of an elephant's front legs is twice the circumference of its footprint, more..

'Harin defeated President at Uva PC Election'

Oct 8 (Island) At the recently concluded Uva PC Election the UNP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Harin Fernando had defeated President Rajapaksa, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking after administering the oath of office to those elected to the UPC on the UNP ticket at Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe said that President Rajapaksa had led the UPFA’s campaign in Uva though it was only a PC election. more..

Depression turns into a cyclonic storm

Oct 8 (CG) The depression in the South-east Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm and is expected to move towards the Indian east coast, the Department of Meteorology said this afternoon. As a result, the Department of Meteorology said that showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts. more..