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'Unawareness of languages a reason for the prolonged conflict'

May 10 (MoD) The unawareness of Sinhala and Tamil languages between the two communities was one of the reasons for the prolonged conflict that had plagued the nation for three decades said the State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene during a ceremony held at the Security Forces Headquarters Jaffna on Friday. He made this comment while addressing the service personnel who had completed a Tamil language more..

50% of sexual abuse against children committed by parents, care-givers or ...

May 10 (Island) State Minister for Child Affairs, Rosy Senanayake, said that irrespective of whatever discussions that continue, the ultimate aim of determining factors must be to wipe out child abuse. Obviously, whatever action that is planned for implementation could not have significant solutions in the short-term. She highlighted the medical problems stemming from Sexually Transmitted Diseases and plight of more..

NDB and DFCC boards decide to abandon merger

May 10 (ST) NDB Bank PLC and DFCC Bank PLC which were supposed to merge under the Central Bank’s financial sector consolidation are to abandon the plan, officials said. A DFCC official said that at their recent board meeting, the directors decided not to go ahead with it. “We were awaiting an indication on the govt’s stance on this matter and after the releasing of the report by the committee headed by more..

Distiller linked to former minister fined Rs. 21 million

May 10 (ST) A private distillery owner linked to a former minister was on Thursday fined more than Rs. 21 million for suddenly moving more than 68,000 bottles of liquour to Dematagoda in violation of operating licence regulations, senior Excise officials disclosed. They said the owner was widely believed to be a mere idle partner while the former minister was allegedly the proprietor of the distillery in the Kurunegala District. more..

JVP wants the NEC dissolved

May 10 (CG) JVP today called for the National Executive Council (NEC) to be dissolved. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the NEC had a mandate to work only for 100 days and so now its mandate is over. Dissanayake, who is part of the NEC, said that the NEC was formed with the intention of giving advise to the Govt from the day the new Govt took office. However he said that while new Govt was to be in office more..

Two pro-LTTE Conservative MPs defeated

May 10 (Island) Pro-LTTE Conservative MPs, Lee Scott and Nick De Bois, were routed in Thursday’s British election. Their failure to win their constituencies is considered a big blow to LTTE propaganda in the UK, political observers said. Amal Abeyawardene of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka (CFSL) said the outcome of the British election is good news for Sri Lanka. more..

Smaller parties challenge 20A in court

May 10 (CT) Fourteen smaller political parties have taken a unanimous decision to go to Courts against the govt if they attempt to adopt the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which includes electoral reforms, as an Emergency Bill. Ceylon Today learns that under the present circumstances the govt will not be able to get the 20th Amendment to the Constitution passed in Parliament. more..

Mangala taking sagacious initiatives

May 10 (Island) Many have been wary of Mangala Samaweera (ManSam) because of Wayamba and because he has jumped from one party to another rather too often. Sunday Leader once said "The infamous Wayamba 1999 election is the biggest black mark in Sri Lanka’s violence riddled election history" and ManSam was the point man who masterminded this infamy; a shame not to be forgotten or forgiven! He has somersaulted between UNP and anti-UNP camps more often than more..

Once muted voices of UPFA MPs have suddenly turned shrill

May 10 (Island) 19th amendment was passed much to the relief of those who wanted and worked for political change. The passage of 19A even in its diminutive form is without a doubt a breakthrough for democracy. 19A has made it more difficult for the constitution to be manipulated for adventurous authoritarian interventions in governance. Removing the immunity of the President and making him answerable to Parliament makes way for a law abiding President who will be more mindful of more..

Sathyagaraya - Kotakethana Murder

'US technology giant Honeywell scouts SL'

May 10 (EN) US technology firm Honeywell International, a US$ 40 billion firm has interests in avionics, energy and advanced materials is scouting Sri Lanka, with its chairman paying a personal visit to meet Deputy Investment Minister Eran Wickramaratne. "There is a new wind blowing and that is something they are taking cognizance," Wickramaratne said after the meeting with Honeywell Chief Executive David M Cote. "It augurs well from the country's point of view." more..

First ‘A’ Test ends in draw

May 10 (Dawn) The last day of the opening four-day unofficial Test between Sri Lanka ‘A’ and Pakistan ‘A’ was washed out without a ball being bowled at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday. The Sri Lankans, who were replying to the tourists’ 401, were due to resume their first innings at 313-5 but umpires Asanga Jayasooriya and Rohitha Kottahachchi decided to call off play since the outfield was saturated by heavy rains in the Sri Lankan capital. more..

Sri Lanka assures investors of level playing field, no expropriation

May 10 (EN) Investors in Sri Lanka can now be assured of a level playing field with no strings attached or corruption where the rule of law is maintained, the new head of the island’s investment promotion agency said. Upul Jayasuriya, chairman of the Board of Investment, said they were burning midnight oil to draft a new set of investment rules for the long term that would be announced soon. “The least investors would expect in more..

SLC in talks with Rhodes for brief coaching stint

May 10 (CI) SLC is in talks with Jonty Rhodes, the former South Africa batsman and current Mumbai Indians fielding coach, to work with the Sri Lankan team for a ten-day stint in the lead-up to the home series against Pakistan in June. "Jonty has given us an offer and we hoping to talk to him and finalise the deal," an SLC interim committee source said. "We have asked him for a program and how he plans to get on with the coaching." Rhodes will also coach the coaches apart from more..

State media distorting facts: Dullas

May 10 (SO) UPFA MPs who represented former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Maithri-Mahinda talks on Wednesday alleged that the state media was deliberately attempting to give a distorted picture of what was not even discussed at the meeting, to destroy the SLFP's internal cohesion. The sole purpose of the discussion between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa was to strengthen the SLFP. The following day, the state media had given a completely distorted more..

Udayanga to be branded fugitive

May 10 (SO) Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to the Ukraine, Udayanga Weeratunga, is to be declared a fugitive shortly as his whereabouts remain unknown. Two countries, Sri Lanka and Ukraine, are trailing him for alleged arms deals and threatening national security by collaborating with rebel forces. Mid week, a senior Foreign Ministry official, accompanied by a small police team is scheduled to visit Ukraine to more..

Lanka Sathosa streamlines its services

May 10 (Island) In a bid to further cushion the impact of the cost of living, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has embarked on an ambitious initiative to offer more relief to consumers by focusing primarily on the sale of quality essential food items at the lowest prices through Lanka Sathosa outlets island-wide, trade officials said. With the change of government, Lanka Sathosa has witnessed a positive transformation with the cutting down of waste, corruption and streamlining of more..

Why they are unhappy now...

May 10 (CT) "I think that when the people of this country voted on January 8 they clearly carried out both a transformation and a revolution through the use of their democratic right. The manner in which the freedom and democracy obtained by this transformation and revolution has been used by certain elements in the past three months, their political decisions and activities, bring to my mind the occasions in world history when countries that experienced such revolutions more..

Sweltering conditions keep people indoors, in baths – and shopping less

May 10 (ST) Despite the intermittent rains and thunderstorms being experienced temperatures continued to soar in the past two weeks, leaving many people huffing and puffing during the day. According to the CMD the temperature in Colombo is around 33C with the relative humidity ranging from 75-100%, prompting several complaints from the public on the extreme heat conditions being experienced. more..

Thunder, lightning delay baggage clearance at BIA

May 10 (ST) Passengers arriving in late night flights at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Friday had to wait for up to three hours for their baggage to reach them. It was all because baggage handling teams refused to unload claiming it was raining heavily and there was thunder. Baggage handling at BIA is carried out by Sri Lankan Airlines. Particularly for passengers who arrived from Kuala Lumpur, the waiting time was almost three and half hours, the same as the time taken for the flight. more..

Sri Lanka wants more liberalized economic ties with India: Eran

May 10 (EN) Sri Lanka’s new govt wants to have more liberalized economic relations with India and supply better quality professionals to serve regional markets, while exploiting its distinct economic location and efficiency, an official said. "We have to live together and therefore we have to work together," Deputy Minister Eran Wickremeratne, said. "Our future is tied with yours," he told the third Indo Ceylon Economic Dialogue forum organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce more..

Lankans dump the Volcanoes to win Asian5Nations

May 10 (ST) Sri Lanka recorded runaway 27-14 victory against the Philippines in the final of the Asian5Nations Division I rugby tournament match played in Manila yesterday. With this SL wins ARFU Asian5Nations Division I championship, earning a shot in the Top Division if they beat the third placed team from the top tier in a relegation match. Despite conceding mistakes SL held the first half with a lead of 21-11. more..

Some SLFPers to contest under Swan

May 10 (SL) Some members of the SLFP who are now in the Govt, may join the UNP or contest the Parliament elections under the Swan symbol. SLFP sources said that at least one top SLFP member has indicated he will join the UNP in the event former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is made the SLFP Prime Ministerial candidate. Several SLFP members have already expressed support to Rajapaksa but most of those who have Govt portfolios are not backing him. more..

Farmers up in arms

May 10 (SL) The farming communities of this country are once again left in the lurch by politicians and agriculture officials and their grievances are once again ignored. National Organiser of the All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation, Namal Karunaratne said that the farmers had been promised Rs. 2800 to assist them with the purchase of seed paddy, as their crops had been destroyed by floods. “The previous govt paid some of the farmers this compensation but over 75% of the affected more..

EU seeks solution for Tamils

May 10 (SL) EU has called on Sri Lanka to address the issues faced by the Tamils, as the country prepares to celebrate six years since the end of the war. EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka David Daly said that the EU would like to see Sri Lanka finding mechanisms to be able to work through complicated issues with all of the stake holders. “I think there needs to be some sort of process that works on these issues at a political level. more..

CoI and Desmond discuss mandate

May 10 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into missing persons had discussions with Sir Desmond de Silva on drafting a report related to the expanded mandate of the CoI. Chairman of the CoI, Maxwell Paranagama said that the commission met with the international expert last Wednesday. “The commission met Sir Desmond de Silva, the Chairman of the international advisory board to discuss about various matters related to the commission’s second mandate. more..

SL expresses grief over Pakistan crash

May 10 (CG) The Govt today expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family members of the bereaved passengers of the Pakistan helicopter crash. A Foreign Ministry statement said that the Govt learned with deep shock and consternation the unexpected crash of the Pakistan Army Helicopter in a mountainous area in Northern Pakistan on Friday, and the tragic loss of lives including the Ambassador of the Philippines and Ambassador of Norway and spouses of the Ambassador of Indonesia more..

CBK fears threat to good governance

May 10 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga today warned that there is a threat to good governance and to those who accept good governance in Sri Lanka. Speaking at an event in Colombo today, former President noted that while there are several political parties working together in the Govt, all are working for good governance. “There are those who were in the former Govt and who reaped the benefits in the wrong way. more..

Vesak accidents: Doctors and police give different reasons

May 10 (ST) Doctors blamed poor traffic control as the cause for several accidents during the Vesak season, but police denied the charge. The accusations by doctors came after they heard statements from victims they treated Deputy Director, Accidents and Orthopaedic Service at the National Hospital, Dr. H.M.K. Wikramanyake said there was a high rate of casualties. “We received 59 traffic accident patients on Vesak Day and 62 on the day after, and 89 patients on Tuesday,” more..

Sri Lankan Airlines probe: Weliamuna yet to disclose fee breakdown

May 10 (CT) J.C. Weliamuna, one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent good governence activists, the former Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka is yet to reveal the amount of money he received as the head of first govt-commissioned inquiry into the previous govt’s corruption and malpractices. Aviation Minister’s ordered probe into the Sri Lankan Airlines costs Rs 3.5 million. Two days ago Weliamuna speaking to Colombo Telegraph confirmed that he along more..

Sri Lanka's first-ever unity monument with bricks from across the island

May 10 (ENS) Sri Lanka’s first-ever Unity Monument is to be built with bricks from every part of the island nation to symbolize the need for reconciliation among its ethnic and religious groups after 30 years of bloodletting in pursuit of narrow goals. Lankan equivalent of the Indian Kar Sewa is the brainchild of Capital Maharaja Organization, which runs popular TV stations catering to all three linguistic groups in the island. more..

Expedite probe on Siriliya Bank account funds: JVP

May 10 (DM) The JVP today urged the govt authorities to question former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa immediately on the misuse of Siriliya Bank account funds. There are allegations of misuse of funds in the bank account of Siriliya programme and several persons involved in them have been questioned so far. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the former first lady should also be questioned. He said this should be done as she was the head of this programme. more..

Ranil invites Kanchi Sankaracharya to SL

May 10 (ENS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has invited the Sankaracharya of Kanchi, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, to visit Lanka to advice the govt on Hindu religious affairs and the training of Hindu priests. Invitation was conveyed to the Sankaracharya by Saman Athuadahetti, Additional Secretary to the PM, when he met the Seer at the Kanchi mutt earlier in the week. “At the meeting we sought his advice on ways and means of protecting Hindu religious customs & places of worship more..

20A to introduce NZ system to Sri Lanka

May 10 (CT) Highly placed govt sources said that the mixed electoral system practised in New Zealand will be introduced to Sri Lanka through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The sources explained that the MPs will be selected according to the overall island-wide results based on the proportional representation and the candidates who won the respective electoral divisions will be allocated that division. more..

For a civilised parliament – A decent govt

May 11 (CT) Abolition of the Executive Presidency was proposed as a solution to almost all evil issues from mega corruption to fraud, to nepotism to crony capitalism, to breakdown of rule of law to dictatorial rule. 19th Amendment that would include the establishment of Independent Commissions was thus projected as the main solution for ills and was campaigned for over an year resulting in a Common Opposition Candidate at the presidential polls. During the presidential elections more..

Banning historical memory in Jaffna

May 11 (CT) A community that has seen decades of intense violence carries a myriad wounds and trauma that need to be healed in order that life could become human. While the community can more easily absorb the violence inflicted from without, the internal violence, its divisiveness, fractured families and guilt are much harder to heal. Healing requires that the truth be told and the victims given the voice to speak it. The local university must be the first place that resists ideological twisting of more..

Why did Rathana Thera meet Basil?

May 11 (CT) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera says that he discussed constitutional amendments with MP Basil Rajapaksa who is hospitalized at the Merchant's Ward though under remand custody. Q: You have always believed that the Executive Presidency must be safeguarded but without too many powers vested in it. Did you achieve what you wanted through the 19th Amendment. A: We stood for a revision of more..

Ban ministerial moonlighting

May 11 (ST) This Sunday morning, if Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe should happen to notice from his Colombo digs that there has been a significant increase in his private legal practice and that a long queue of new clients has formed outside his law chambers, many of them importers of various goods, including ethanol and grease, wishing to retain him as their legal counsel, he will not be crediting the new and sudden demand at his door to his legal acumen or more..

Maharaja Gemunu: A cinematic poem with great lessons

May 11 (CT) I cannot recall the event or the year. It was a tele-award ceremony. A television journalist posed a question to senior artiste Tissa Abeysekera. The question was "What will be the future of Sinhala cinema and teledrama industry?" He looked around without answering the question. He dragged Jayantha Chandrasiri who was in the vicinity towards him and replied "This is the future of cinema in Sri Lanka." By then Jayantha had produced two revolutionary teledramas, more..

'Bring back Mahinda campaign losing momentum'

May 11 (CT) The assault on former head of FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri by the supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa near their May Day rally in Kirulapone made headlines last week. Dr. Dewasiri, who was a vocal critic of the Rajapaksa administration, speaks about the incident as well as the dangers of regressive political forces such as the alliance to bring Rajapaksa back into politics. more..