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To end Erik Solheim’s misery

Apr 13 (Island) The literature on Sri Lanka’s 30-year war is characterised by the undue preponderance of material on Norway’s failed operation outnumbering all other analyses by a ratio of 3:1. The evaluations have begun well before their role ended in 2007, with studies of Norwegian efficacy dating back to 2005. A large number of more comprehensive retrospective evaluations (e.g. 2011 paper Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2009 by more..

'Kumar Gunaratnam was not in the JVP'

Apr 13 (CT) General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva says some of those who broke off from the JVP are now in Mahinda Rajapaksa's lap. "Another group has become a very small faction without a vote base". Q: What is the objective of holding the April Heroes Commemoration? A: The April Heroes Commemoration is being held for the 45th occasion, this time. 45 years ago on 5 April 1971, first generation of comrades who laid foundation more..

President’s Fund: Right to know

Apr 13 (FT) As famously said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Where bright light shines, disease cannot thrive. Good systems go hand in hand with transparency and openness. The right to information, which is now being debated, is not just good, it is absolutely essential. Every citizen, rich or poor, contributes towards the public sector. It is their taxes that fund the entire State structure, President’s office, ministries, departments and the millions of public servants. more..

Out with the old, in with the new?!

Apr 13 (FT) Sri Lanka is on the cusp of something. Not just #avurudu, which is *aluth* every new year... when the sun transits from the House of Mina (Pisces) to the House of Mesha (Aries), metaphorically showing a new face to a world it supposedly rules. But literally in the sphere of civics and governance and our worldly rulers also... The problem is – unlike the metaphysical transit of >Sol, which is astronomically predictable and astrologically predicated more..

Towards a National New Year

Apr 13 (DN) We are called Sinhala or Sinhalese because Sinhala language is our mother tongue. In scientific language Sinhala is not a race. Language is not a sign or an instrument to identify a race. It is an important symbol of a free people with a distinct culture of their own. Anthropologists group the French, English, German, Russian, Scot, Irish all under one Caucasian race. Yet by their language & culture they have their distinct identities. more..

Do not be economical with the truth

Apr 13 (NS) Almost seven years after the war against the LTTE was decisively won, the emergence of a suicide kit in Chavakachcheri has sent alarm bells, ringing in the country’s military and political establishments and rightly so, too. While a renaissance of the LTTE will not become a reality overnight, even the possibility that the terrorist organization has remnants that were planning a suicide attack is cause for serious concern. Unfortunately, however, response from govt, more..

Facts and Myths about heroin and addiction

Apr 13 (NS) We have all heard about the joint operation between the Sri Lanka Police and the Navy, busting a large scale heroin racket that was going on in the country. Fourteen foreign nationals along with one Sri Lankan were apprehended when the largest ever heroin haul in the sea, 110 kilogrammes, was nabbed. We know what heroin is and we have heard what it can do to us. However, there are still many myths that surround this very dangerously addictive drug. more..

Boston Lanka with Nehara

The whited Thomian sepulchres & The pharisees who cheat

Apr 13 (CT) Here you will find what I said four weeks ago. I write this because private mission schools have contributed immensely to whatever educational heritage we have in this country. The teachers of this country have borne an immense load in preparing our young to face lives on salaries that are quite inadequate. Partly for this reason there has been an institutional decline in the teaching profession, in the schools as well as in the universities. more..

Editorial: Taming the untamable

Apr 13 (Island) The draft Code of Conduct (CoC) for the MPs makes interesting reading. It is one of the main election pledges of the present administration. There is no reason why the MPs who have already got copies of the draft CoC for their perusal should object to it. However, if anyone expects the MPs to abide by it he or she is being as optimistic as the penniless wayfarer who ordered oysters for dinner at a restaurant hoping to settle the bill with pearls to be found on his plate. more..

Fooling all the people all the time

Apr 13 (SL) Last week saw several changes being made within the rank and file of the ruling UNFGG and its main coalition partner – UNP. The UNP and the UPFA appointed a State Minister along with two deputy ministers from each party making the jumbo cabinet to go up to 91- one of the biggest in a small, democratic nation. This might further go up and certainly not down, many a Sri Lankan believe. more..

SLC to adopt one captain policy

Apr 13 (DN) Sri Lanka will pursue with a one captain policy for all three formats of the game. SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala addressing a media conference yesterday at the SLC headquarters said that Angelo Mathews would be captain and Dinesh Chandimal his deputy for the Test, ODI and T20Is in future tours and series. "In the past we have had captains and vice-captains working successfully in pairs. We had Duleep Mendis and Roy Dias, Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva, more..

Chava explosives cause turmoil

Apr 13 (Island) Amidst continuing upheaval in the wake of Chavakachcheri explosives recovery, President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the Deshamanaya N.U. Jayawardena room on the second floor of Jetwing Jaffna. Among those present were Ministers John Amaratunga, Faiszer Musthapha, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana, MMBL - Pathfinder Group Head, Milinda Moragoda, Governor of the Northern Province, Reginald Cooray, Mrs. Wijayakala Maheswarn M.P. more..

New govt, old story: The ongoing persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (CT) Sri Lanka has a turbulent history. From multiple invasions and colonial rule to growing nationalism and ethnic conflict, the small island nation has seen it all. The country's 30 year war saw violence between the majority Sinhalese ethnic group and minority Tamil Tiger rebels. However, after the Tamil's final defeat in 2009, Christians are the new target. Miriam* is a religious liberties lawyer in SL who works to defend more..

Current constitutional reform process: Periodic replay; Or new beginnings?

Apr 13 (CT) The present constitutional reform is of interest since it comes after the end of a bitter protracted war that bled us all morally and spiritually. Instead of the values of love, peace, coexistence and solidarity, based on a way of life of sharing and caring, we were led to slaughter each other for territory, geography, power, dominance and supremacy. Each side promoted forms of chauvinism where the other was demonized, and the whole social order became permeated and more..

Sri Lankan tea and rubber smallholders to gain from IFAD loan

Apr 13 (FNA) Sri Lanka has taken a UN loan to improve food security and increase incomes for 32,000 rural households dependent on tea and rubber plantations in central and southern regions of the country. The US$65.4m project, including a US$25.8m loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, aims to help smallholders’ business more productive, profitable and resilient to market volatility. It will help small farmers who grow tea or rubber to improve production and more..

Pakistan President confers prestigious civil award on Sri Lankan

Apr 13 (CG) Govt of Pakistan has awarded prestigious civil award Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) to the veteran Sri Lankan broadcaster, media consultant and Chairman Kashmir Study Forum SL Mohamed Jamaludeen. He was decorated with Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain in an impressive ceremony on the National Day of Pakistan held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, in Islamabad. more..

Charith Senanayake returns as manager

Apr 13 (DN) Former SL cricketer Charith Senanayake has been appointed manager of the Sri Lanka cricket team for the tour to England starting next month and for the home series against Australia beginning in July. Senanayake was sacked as manager of the team in Feb 2013 and replaced by Michael de Zoysa following indifference with the then SLC hierarachy. A former opening bat Senanayake 53, played three Tests against New Zealand on the 1991 tour, and seven ODIs more..

SL needs to reboot its image in Norway

Apr 13 (ST) Sri Lanka needs to refurbish a battered profile if it is to attract significant tourist numbers as well as more investments from Norway, according to a top official from the Scandinavian country. Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, believes an awareness challenge is the biggest hurdle facing the island nation as it bids to increase trading links and lure tourists from his country and the rest of the Nordic region. Make Sri Lanka known in Norway, was the plea more..

Wholesale giant Sathosa returns to Lankan FMCG after 13 years

Apr 13 (FT) After a 13-year long hiatus, Sri Lanka's State-controlled wholesale giant CWE has actively re-entered the domestic FMCG market. Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE), the 1949-born Sri Lanka’s oldest State-owned corporation to be active even today after 67 years, unveiled its new northern wholesale hub in Vavuniya on 10 April. “Today is a great day for our consumers. more..

Finance Minister leaves for IMF, G24 meetings

Apr 13 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake will leave for US to participate Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group today. This Summit, which will be held in Washington from April 13 to 17 with the participation of Finance Ministers and Governors of the central bank representing 187 member counties of IMF & World Bank. This summit is of much importance to SL as it is envisaged to discuss World Bank and IMF assistance towards future development plans of SL. more..

SLNS Samudura leaves for Indonesia to take part in Exercise Komodo

Apr 13 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura left for Indonesia from Port of Colombo on 5th April, to take part in the multilateral naval exercise Komodo and International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016. Samudura arrived in Port of Teluk Bayur, Padang Indonesia on 10th April and was ceremonially welcomed in accordance with the Indonesian traditions. Crew of Samudura is comprised with 186 officers and sailors. Exercise Komodo 2016 will be held more..

Sri Lanka warns lethal autonomous weapons threat to global stability

Apr 13 (IL) Sri Lanka has cautioned that the potential military advantages of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) would risk proliferation and thereby lower the threshold of the rules of warfare, undermining regional as well as global stability. SL also alerted on the risk of non-state actors gaining access to such weapons and potential breach of cyber security in autonomous technology used in weapons systems. more..

Police probe popular actor’s disappearance

Apr 13 (Island) Borella police have launched an investigation into a complaint lodged by family members of popular film and teledrama actor Upali Keerthisena that he has gone missing since February. Family members suspect that the friend with whom the missing actor Keerthisena left for an alms giving in Anuradhapura in February would have had a hand in his disappearance. The missing actor’s elder sister said: "Our brother left for Anuradhapura with a close friend and more..

Royal Ceramics to open outlets in the US

Apr 13 (ST) Royal Ceramics is to venture into the US and will open 15 outlets there soon. The company planned to do this through the purchase of a defunct firm in a related business which has outlets in 15 locations in the US, they said. The company is also venturing into export markets which accounts for a mere 6% of top line, in order to create a market for excess stocks during a slowdown in domestic demand, they added further. Royal Ceramics is already operating in Australia more..

Policy tightening unlikely: CB

Apr 13 (FT) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran dialled down the likelihood of further policy tightening after the New Year, insisting it would not be needed if the economy manages a soft landing with core inflation in check. Wrapping up an evaluation visit this week, the IMF on Monday warned the Central Bank should be prepared to tighten policies further ahead of a three-year Extended Fund Facility being finalised. more..

Singapore squander lead to lose 2-1 to SL

Apr 13 (TNP) There were some envious Singaporean glances as the Sri Lanka hockey team gathered around the goal, whooping and cheering. It was only the fourth day of the World League (WL) Round 1 tournament, but the Sri Lankan men's team celebrated - and even posed for pictures - like they had already assured themselves of qualification into the next round as one of the top three sides here. And, in all likelihood, they have. The South Asians awoke from a 20-minute slumber to more..

SL's tourism sector woos UAE investors

Apr 13 (KT) Sri Lanka's safe haven status as a destination of foreign direct investment has increased its appeal to investors from the UAE. Speaking at the Annual Investment Meeting, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, said there are number of mechanism in place to protect investors. Sri Lanka's constitution guarantees the safety of investment of foreigners in the country. "We have received a numerous inquiries from interested parties from UAE in the tourism sector and more..

President's New Year message

Apr 13 (Island) President Sirisena in his New Year message observes that both major communities celebrate the occasion using identical auspicious times, which is a link that promotes and strengthens reconciliation among the communities. Message: The New Year is the foremost national and cultural festival of the Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka. The importance of the New Year is that they celebrate it upholding more..

NPC on path to divide country: JHU

Apr 13 (DN) JHU is against the initiatives taken by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) based on language issues as they are on a path to divide the country, JHU Western Provincial councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. He said measures are being taken to canvass the matter before court. Pointing out that the system followed by the NPC is against the Constitution, Warnasinghe added that the President, the PM and Governor should look into these issues. more..

MR's New Year message

Apr 13 (Island) I wish the people of Sri Lanka a happy and prosperous new year. This is a time when the Sinhala and Tamil people conduct traditional New Year observances to the same auspicious times, symbolising national unity and reconciliation. The New Year is an annual celebration of North-South unity which could not be shattered even by the gunfire and bombs of terrorists. The New Year is celebrated with hopes of prosperity and well-being in the coming year. more..

Arjuna to stay put as Ports Minister?

Apr 13 (Island) Ports and Shipping Ministry strongly denied reports that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had indicated to some Port trade unionists his intention to remove Arjuna Ranatunga from the post of Ports and Shipping Minister. Ministry spokesperson said PM hadn’t made any such indication during a meeting held at Temple Trees on Monday to resolve week-long work-to-rule campaign by port workers demanding a staggering more..

PM's New Year message

Apr 13 (Island) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year message calls on all Lankans to come together to celebrate the occasion in fellowship, hope and unity. This year, Sri Lankans come together to celebrate The Sinhala and Tamil New Year as a nation in which democracy reigns and human dignity is respected; where people of all ethnicities and religious backgrounds are free to rejoice during a season of fellowship, hope and unity. more..

Better conditions for Sri Lankan tea workers, urges Caritas

Apr 13 (UCAN) Caritas has urged the Sri Lankan govt to increase the wages and housing rights for marginalized tea workers whose ancestors were brought from India by the British. Tea production is one of the country's major sources of wealth but tea workers suffer from low income and inadequate housing. "Tea workers don't have basic rights or facilities. Currently they are paid a daily wage of 450 rupees (US$3.20)," said Father Desmond Perera, director of Caritas Kandy, more..

GoSL yet to probe 2013 leak; moves slowly on Panama Papers revelations

Apr 13 (Island) The previous govt hadn’t inquired into June 2013 disclosure of data called Offshore Leaks pertaining to about 40 Sri Lankans/SL companies having offshore accounts, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. The revelation made in June 2013 had been erroneously included among recently revealed Panama Papers. In spite of the change of govt in Jan, 2015, present administration hadn’t initiated an inquiry into more..

A ray of hope flickers in the sky

Apr 13 (DM) The National New Year beginning tonight is perhaps one of the most important in recent decades. For the first time, the two major parties have come together to form a National Govt and pave the way to build a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural Sri Lanka where we see deep and sincere unity in diversity. Since Independence in 1948, and especially after 1956 when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike proposed the Sinhala only policy for personal or party-political gain, more..

A win-win game for the tobacco industry

Apr 13 (DM) Implementation of Article 11 (Pictorial Health Warnings on tobacco products) (PHWs) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the WHO has already been implemented in many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka at a coverage of 80 percent on the front and back of the packs. However when the majority of smokers purchase cigarettes in loose form, the objective of introducing PHWs may not be achieved in full. As countries implement tobacco control policies more..

A true democrat and a gentleman in politics

Apr 13 (DM) Unprecedented massive crowds gathered at the old Parliament and Independence Square, a sea of heads from Colombo one to seven was filled with people who thronged to pay homage to this great leader. Dudley was a gentleman in politics and a true democrat. His extreme popularity among the Sri Lankans was revealed in ample measure by the record crowds that thronged to Colombo for his funeral. more..

The story of a weeping island

Apr 13 (DM) The roads look narrower than they really are. It’s the optics. Not that they have shrunk in their measure; the traffic has increased to such a choking level, once broad-looking motorways can no longer accommodate the daily-increasing numbers of vehicles, two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers are all competing for the same narrow space. Honking kills you and the congestion chokes every breathing person in or more..

SDIG Pujith Jayasundara: If I were...

Apr 13 (DM) The 33rd IGP retired on Monday, leaving space for the appointment of the next most suitable officer as his successor. Although the appointment of a Police Chief lies within the discretion of the President, the recommendations that would be made by the 10-member Constitutional Council are vital. When focus is much on the decision taken by the CC that is scheduled to sit next Monday, a cold tussle more..