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Narendra Modi woos Tamil community in Sri Lanka, lauds MGR, Muralitharan

May 12 (HT) PM Narendra Modi lauded the Tamil community on Friday, saying people like Tamil Nadu’s late former chief minister MG Ramachandran and cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan have left an indelible mark on society. Arriving to a rousing welcome at a public rally in Dickoya, Narendra Modi also recalled his association with tea, saying he shares something with the Tamil people of central Sri Lanka. more..

Video: You will find in India a friend and partner: PM Modi in Sri Lanka

May 12 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi addressed a grand gathering of people in Sri Lanka on the occasion of International Vesak Day celebrations, saying that “Buddhism and its various strands are deep seated in our governance, culture and philosophy”. In an aim to bolster ties between the two nations, PM Modi said, “You will find in India a friend and partner.” PM Modi – chief guest at the event – offered his prayers on the occasion of more..

Casteless or caste-blind? An important study

May 13 (CT) Casteless or Caste-blind? – Dynamics of Concealed Caste Discrimination, Social Exclusion and Protest in Sri Lanka – edited by Kalinga Tudor Silva, P.P. Sivapragasam and Paramasothy Thanges, is a very important addition to the studies on caste and its continued impact on the Sri Lankan society. To those who wish to or pretend to believe that caste is no longer a relevant issue for SL, this study should serve as an eye-opener. The research team who have contributed to this study more..

A global fraud

May 13 (CT) We are being made victims of a global fraud, one that ignores the scientific and economic reality of the Carbon cycle. The fossil fuel industry, be it, coal, oil or gas would have us believe that all Carbon is equal. The recent arguments of the CEBEU (CEB Engineers Union) suggesting that carbon dioxide emanated by burning coal can be countered by growing trees is totally wrong ! It demonstrates a very narrow understanding of the substances that they promote. more..

'Devolution of power to PCs Vital'

May 13 (CT) Inadequate financial allocations to the Provincial Councils inhibits development at Provincial level. Chief Ministers of the nine Provinces who took part in the 33rd Chief Ministers' Convention stressed that the devolution of power to Provincial Councils is needed in order to make the PC mechanism more effective. Hosted by North Central Province and chaired by President Sirisena, Convention was held at Habarana. more..

May Day Post-Mortem

May 13 (SL) The garbage crisis that reached epic proportions in the past weeks has been dumped into some unwilling Colombo suburb and forgotten. Now the national debate is on: Who had the bigger crowd? Which crowd was bigger? is the subject of the annual debate that follows every May Day, it being assumed that the party that had the biggest crowd wins the next election. So it generates much emotion and hopes among the hopeful wishing for regime change & make them do many things more..

Editorial: Sailing between Scylla & Charybdis

May 13 (Island) PM Narendra Modi may not have come all the way here just to switch on Vesak illuminations or open a hospital. The main purpose of his visit was to convey a message, which was loud and clear, we reckon. He declared that whether it was on land or in the waters of the Indian Ocean, the security of India and Sri Lanka was indivisible. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt may claim that what is reflected in Modi’s message is India’s concern about Sri Lanka’s security. more..

In Pictures: Making Vesak

May 13 (Roar) Every year, millions of Buddhists across the world celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. In Sri Lanka, where Theravada Buddhists make up around 70% of the population, the celebration of Vesak is particularly exuberant, with lanterns, Buddhist flags, and pandals adorning every street corner. In fact, it was Sri Lanka who played a key role in bringing Vesak to the world stage. more..

Strays unwanted

May 13 (DN) The number of stray dogs within the Sri J'pura University had got out of hand and in order to deal with the issue, the university authorities on April 8 and 9, contracted the company “Ultra Kill” to either kill or dump the 30 dogs which roamed the university at a different location. This measure taken by the University to control the dog menace raised many a protest among the general public and animal welfare activists even resorted to a vigil in support of the dogs.  more..

History: Conferences of UN Day of Vesak

May 13 (DN) 3 major events in the life of Buddha signal the birth of Buddhism, a great phenomenon in the history of mankind. For this reason many Buddhist countries such as SL, Myanmar and Laos observe the day. Commemoration of the Day of Vesak by Buddhists everywhere in the world aims to worship and honor the Compassion, the Wisdom and the Purity of the Buddha who taught humanity to be kind and tolerant towards each other, qualities which foster world peace. more..

සුදර්ශන් වැලිවලින් නිම කළ ලොව දිගම බුද්ධ ප්රතිමාව

Rapid industrialisation, hospitals pose risk to environment

May 13 (SL) Scientists, environmentalists and organisations that fight for the basic rights of people praised Minister Champika Ranawaka for coming out boldly on the fact that lakes and rivers are polluted islandwide due to hospital waste. However, they fear despite the Minister’s bold initiative to counter such action hospitals islandwide would continue to dump their mercury and discard chemicals and other waste to water bodies. Ranawaka told parliament how more..

Launch of Sri Lanka Design Code 2017

May 13 (Island) It’s well known that University of Moratuwa, is the most sought after technological university in Sri Lanka. Completing the entangle of creativity and technology, Department of Integrated Design, stands as the peerless govt university specialized in design field in Sri Lanka. Addressing the necessities of Sri Lankan design industry through a unique learning process, it acts as the integrated solution in design innovations. Carrying the above-mentioned mission more..

TNA and its role

May 13 (SL) The TNA is seen as the voice of the Tamils, particularly in the North and East. However despite election pledges for the betterment of the Tamil community, some feel they have not done enough for the betterment of the Tamil community. Sunday Leader spoke to a cross section of society and obtained their views on the TNA. Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF): At the moment the so called three Mr. Sampanthan, more..

Who are VIPs?

May 13 (NS) The beauty of democracy is that the people have the power to elect who they want. They decide on who is sent to Parliament and to the local bodies. No wonder these politicians exhaust themselves to get into the good books of the people. Politicians are representatives of the people. Whether they are in parliament, provincial councils, or any local body, their main objective is to represent the people and to address their issues in whatever ways they can. But does that happen? more..

Life on the slopes

May 13 (NS) The visit of Indian Premier, Narendra Modi to the Central Province of Sri Lanka gained widespread publicity owing to presence of Tamils of Indian origin in the estate sector. This was the first time that Modi visited the hill country in his two visits to the island nation. The estate sector has a history of its own. These workers were probably the forgotten segment of Sri Lanka for decades until recently. While all the focus went to the North and the Eastern provinces and more..

Lanka IOC posts Rs. 652 m loss in Q4; blames it on govt policy

May 13 (FT) Lanka IOC has recorded a loss of Rs. 652 million in the fourth quarter compared to a profit of Rs. 1.56 billion a year earlier but managed to achieve improved results for the full financial year of 2016/17. Profit achieved in FY17 was Rs. 3 billion, up from Rs. 2.2 billion in FY16. LIOC said the loss in the 4th quarter was mainly on account of losses incurred on sale of petrol and diesel. more..

Vesak revives memories of Olu Bakka humour

May 13 (Island) The IGP has been given just three days to submit a report on the recent killing of a Police Narcotics Bureau officer at a fiery event at Piliyandada. Will this report give any indication whether the Police team that carried out the raid at Piliyandala had properly carried out their assigned duty of meditation at the beginning of that tragic day? This is asked not because of the religious mood that prevails due to the Vesak celebrations, but to get some idea as to more..

Modi’s Lanka visit, a bi-lateral affair, not an international religious engagement

May 13 (Island) Why is this tongue-in-cheek affair or play of hide and seek over Indian PM’s two-day official visit to Sri Lanka? This is the question one may ask oneself if one reads the two Indian national newspapers. The Hindu and Indian Express on May 12 noted the diplomatic game skillfully played by both Sri Lankan and India governments. It would then seem that both countries had something to hide about the agenda of Indian Premier. One immediate reason is to avoid the black-flag more..

Unsung heroes likely to make team for Thailand Open Athletics Championship

May 13 (Island) Unsung heroes of SL’s still developing track and field disciplines, who had not been given opportunities to represent the country previously, are likely to form the team for the forthcoming Thailand Open Athletics Championship. According to SLAA selection sources national record holders of women’s pole vault, women’s hammer throw, women’s steeplechase and men’s decathlon are likely to be selected for the Thailand Open more..

FFSL Exco members want urgent meeting!

May 13 (CT) Seventeen executive committee members of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) have signed and sent a letter to the President of FFSL and Minister of Sports requesting them to conduct an urgent EXCO meeting to discuss pending issues due to it not being done since December 2016. Only one executive committee meeting has been held during the last six months. The seventeen executive members alleged that the president has been carrying out activities of more..

Indo-SL joint hydrographic survey completed

May 13 (SLN) Joint Hydrographic survey which was conducted by the Indian Navy Hydrographic Department and SL Navy Hydrographic Service, extending from Colombo to Sangamankanda was successfully completed and two fair sheets were officially handed over to the Commander of the Navy today (12). Accordingly, Commanding Officer of the Indian Naval Survey Ship INS Dharshak, Captain Peush Pawsey handed over fair sheets of Colombo to Sangamankanda & Weligama Bay more..

India closely tracking Chinese submarine

May 13 (ET) India is keeping close tabs on the Chinese submarine currently prowling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which is now likely to head for Karachi after being refused permission to dock at Colombo, even as it has dispatched four warships on an overseas deployment to south-east Asia and southern Indian Ocean. The Yuan-class conventional submarine was picked up by Indian Navy's Poseidon-8I more..

India gifts 16,000 handcrafted candles to SL

May 13 (PTI) India announced the gifting of 16,000 handcrafted Indian candles to Sri Lanka on the Int'l Vesak Day which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Candles have been specially handcrafted from the paraffin wax produced at the world's oldest operating refinery in Digboi in Assam. First consignment of candles will be handed over by Indian HC in Colombo to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic here that houses the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. more..

State banks left with more cash for SMEs as public sector borrows less

May 13 (Island) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the country have taken a larger share of the credit granted to the private sector by Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank as lending by the two state banks to the public sector has moderated, Governor, CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said in Colombo recently. Governor said," If you ask the two state banks they will tell you that SMEs have taken a larger share of their total credit pie to the private sector. Part of the reason for this is more..

China defends military ties with Sri Lanka after submarine visit blocked

May 13 (Reuters) China defended its military relationship with Sri Lanka as good for regional peace and stability after SL rejected a request from China to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month. SL last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in Colombo in Oct 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbor India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence. more..

Nothing controversial in Modi-Mahinda meet

May 13 (Hindu) PM Narendra Modi, who met former President Rajapaksa on Thursday, enquired about China’s thinking on current development projects in Sri Lanka, a top source said. The ex-President is a known ally of China and has in the past blamed India for his defeat in the January 2015 elections. The former strongman retains considerable public support. Describing Thursday’s meeting as cordial, the source close to Mr. Rajapaksa said there was nothing controversial. more..

Northern MPs with dual citizenship

May 13 (NS) Political sources last week revealed that the majority of politicians with dual citizenships hailed from the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The politicians include six Parliamentarians who are from the two provinces. According to sources the majority of the said politicians are representatives of Tamil political parties. Accordingly, the countries where they possess citizenship include, Britain, Canada, the United States of America, Switzerland, Germany. more..

TNA pitches merger idea to Indian PM

May 13 (PTI) Veteran Tamil leader R. Sampanthan told visiting PM Narendra Modi that the island’s northern and eastern provinces should be one unit, while expressing concern over the govt’s delay in drafting SL’s new Constitution. Leader of Opposition was referring to the Tamil leadership’s demand to re-merge the largely Tamil-speaking north and east. The provinces, which were merged following Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987, more..

PM Modi leaves for home after Lanka visit

May 13 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi today left for home after wrapping up his two-day Sri Lanka visit during which he took part in the the International Vesak Day celebrations and addressed Indian-origin Tamils. "Thank you Sri Lanka! This was a memorable visit, in which I got to take part in various programmes including Vesak Day celebrations," Modi tweeted before emplaning for New Delhi. "I thank President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe, the govt and (the) warm-hearted citizens of SL more..

9.3 Kgs of Heroin found floating in KKS

May 13 (NR) Navy has seized a parcel containing 9.3 kilograms of heroin found floating in seas off Kankesanthurai. The value of the haul has been estimated to be worth around 90 million rupees. The heroin was discovered upon inspection of a suspicious parcel floating 8 nautical miles off the coast of Kankesanthurai. Haul has been handed over to the Kankesanthurai Police for further investigations. Meanwhile alongside the discovery of 200kgs of heroin found on an island in Chilaw more..

Parliament Mafia: 90 MPs’ vehicles sold

May 13 (Island) All data pertaining to 90 sitting MPs transferring the ownership of vehicles imported by them in accordance with a specially implemented tax free car permit scheme have been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court. Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku filed the material relevant to his Dec 2016 petition against the CIABOC. SC has been moved over the CIABOC’s failure to take tangible measures against more..

Seafood exporters welcome GSP+ restoration

May 13 (FT) Seafood Exporters Association (SEA) welcomed Sri Lanka’s achievement of regaining the GSP+ concession from the European Union. SEA said Sri Lanka faced a major setback in fish exports due to the EU ban and the removal of GSP+. “Fish exports from Sri Lanka went down drastically and we lost our market share to our competitors in Maldives, Vietnam and Indonesia. It was not only the seafood exporters that were affected due to this EU ban and removal of GSP+, it also affected more..

Rs. 4 million recovered from heroin suspect’s residence

May 13 (Island) Police said the suspect arrested with 198 kilos of heroin in his possession in Chilaw on Thursday was believed to have transported 50 kilos of heroin on a previous occasion. The suspect was being interrogated while a police team was searching his Dehiwela residence. Subsequently, the search yielded four million rupees. An investigator said the suspect had received several overseas calls on his mobile phone and he had been overseas from time to time. more..

Video: Replace health minister with someone who understands job: GMOA

May 13 (DM) GMOA urged President Sirisena to appoint someone who has a better understanding of the responsibilities of a Health Minister to the post, without further risking the health-care services of the country. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that the President should either advice Minister Rajitha Senaratne to solve the issues within the health sector with assistant of the related parties, more..

UAE philanthropist donates 120 houses to Northern IDPs

May 13 (Island) An Abu Dhabi based philanthropist has stepped in to support Northern IDPs of Sri Lanka while praising the ethnic unity in the country.  "We are looking at giving ongoing support to displaced people of the North-Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim" said UAE businessman and philanthropist Mahmoud Al Khajeh who is leading four member family delegation of philanthropists to Sri Lanka, was in discussions with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in Colombo on yesterday (12).  more..

Modi addressing one ethnicity a slight on Buddhism: NJC

May 13 (DM) Indian premier Narendra Modi addressing just one ethnicity during his visit was a slight to the majority Buddhist population in the country, the National Joint Committee (NJC) said today. Member of the committee Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera said they had no issues with the Indian govt or its Prime Minister. “We do have an issue with the Sri Lankan govt,” the Thera said. The govt sometimes moves towards India, sometimes towards China or America. more..

India-funded ambulance service will be extended to all provinces: Modi

May 13 (CT) Indian PM Narendra Modi yesterday said that the 1990 emergency ambulance service, provided by his Govt and which is currently operating in the Western and Southern Provinces will be expanded throughout the entire country. Modi, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, yesterday visited Dickoya to inaugurate the new ward complex of Dickoya District Base Hospital that was built with Indian assistance. more..

Day to revere Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana

May 13 (DM) Vesak is a day for humanity to revere the Birth, the Enlightenment and the Parinibbana of the Buddha, the Tathagatha. It is a day to rejoice in the Buddha. A day to reflect on the supreme truth and timeless relevance of the Dhamma, and the four noble truths.  It is a day to contemplate the ten perfections of generosity, proper conduct, renunciation, wisdom, energy, tolerance, truthfulness, determination, loving kindness and equanimity.   more..

Nature, rationale and need for security

May 13 (DM) In early 1990 while in parliament, opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa who was then campaigning on human rights violations in the South during President Premadasa’s rule, was called by State Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne and told personally, he would be provided with two army personnel for security reasons. Mahinda first declined saying he had two police constables to provide him security. But Minister Wijeratne insisted he should have two army personnel for his more..