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Avurudu hangover

Apr 16 (NS) Post-Christmas Stress Disorder is frequently observed in people of western countries after the Christmas season. Dr. Danister L Perera predicts that SL people are also on the verge of developing a Post-Sinhala Avurudu Stress Disorder if the current system persists. “Some people go insane due to the significant distress caused during the Christmas season. They become stressed when they fail to organize and plan, financial and social aspects during the season. more..

Buddhism betrayed

Apr 16 (Island) I am not a western sociologist by any means, but an academic trained in the western sociological tradition could study what happened on the 14th of April this year when the Sinhala Buddhists "betrayed" Buddhism and did not engage in the usual Poya Day practice of observing the eight (ten) precepts and engage in other discussions and meditations involved with the "Sila Programmes". The Sinhala Buddhists could be accused of betraying Buddhism by more..

The Mad Monk phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism

Apr 16 (GV) The marauding Buddhist monks, who appear to be tied to a long political leash, have run out of control. They need to be stopped. But it is equally necessary to take a cold look at the complexity of the phenomenon that groups such as BBS have come to represent. This is no freak show, and is hardly an aberration in post-war Sri Lanka; also because we know now that critics such as Ven. Dambara Amila (JVP) more..

Combat rations for UN agencies as Vanni battle gets underway

Apr 16 (Island) The Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned the then UN Resident Coordinator, Neil Bhune on Nov 28 and 29, 2007 to discuss the conduct of some UN personnel in the wake of the then JVP MP Wimal Weerawansa, accusing the global organization of clandestine activities, inimical to Sri Lanka’s national security interests. Bhune was accompanied by the then Country Representative of the UNICEF. Weerawansa didn’t mince words when he alleged that the UN was having a more..

Democracy and the change of govt

Apr 16 (CT) The stoutest defender of any government will grant that periodic renewal is good; universities recycle Deanships and companies CEOs. There is a reason for term limits though none can guarantee the next will be better. Term limits are imposed because fresh air brings vigour. It was good for Thatcher to go after long at the helm; I don’t like Narendra Modi but it will be good for Congress to take a back seat for a while. It will be good for Gota-Mahinda to go. more..

Renaissance in art and culture

Apr 16 (SO) D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Kelaniya. He is a well-established and recognised critic of the 20th century and post-colonial literature, and a leading authority on Sri Lankan English literature. He is an authority on British literature of the Empire and the Commonwealth in general, and Sri Lankan writing in particular. He was elected World Chairperson, Association for more..

D.B.S. Jeyaraj and the bogey of the reincarnation of the Tiger

Apr 16 (CT) The ethnic conflict and civil war in Sri Lanka have been fuelled by many actors from various ethnic communities from within the country as well as from abroad, especially since 1972. Three most critical groups of actors within the Tamil minority community who have fuelled this conflict are the entire armed Tamil militants, most Tamil democratic politicians, and few Tamil journalists. The most notable of the latter are David Buell Sabapathy Jeyaraj (popularly known as more..

Bandula Nanayakkarawasam’s ‘Mahagama Sekera Moment’

Apr 16 (NS) Perhaps it is because of a discernible suppression of Mahagama Sekera in the larger discourse of 20th Century Sinhala literature that people sometimes express the wish that the great man be elevated to his rightful place among literary greats. It might be for this very reason that some who attended an event at the Light House Galley on April 7, 2014 curiously titled ‘Rae Ira Pana’ with a ‘Sekera Mahima’ tag may have left believing that justice was done. more..

Drought threatens one of Asia’s favorite crops

Apr 15 (CNBC) A long dry season in the East has left Asia's premier tea-growing regions parched and could lead to a rise in tea prices, analysts said. The drought across Sri Lanka in the first three months of 2014 has contributed to a 50% fall in tea production on previously corresponding period, industry sources said. Some 400,000 small tea holders in Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle and Matara districts are among the worst affected, more..

Farmers have shown a great enthusiasm for big onion cultivation

Apr 15 (SLBC) A great enthusiasm is shown by big onion cultivators since they received a higher price for their products during the last cultivation season. The agriculture department informed that in addition to the Mahaweli zone cultivators farmers in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Mathale, Kurunegala and Puttlam as well as Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu farmers have also come forward to cultivate big onions in the forthcoming season. Accordingly big onions will be cultivated in more..

New MD/CEO at Colombo Dockyard

Apr 15 (DN) Sri Lanka’s leading ship builder, Colombo Dockyard has appointed Ranil Wijewardena as its new Managing Director/CEO. Onomichi Dockyard Co., Ltd, the major shareholder of Colombo Dockyard nominated Wijegunawardena, who was at the time General Manager (Finance)as the new MD/CEO following the retirement of Mangala Prema Banda Yapa. Yapa who was a nominee director of Onomichi Dockyard Co., Ltd, of Japan retired from his services on more..

Unclear path for Sri Lankan war probe

Apr 15 (IRIN) Human rights activists and academics in Sri Lanka remain divided over how best to proceed in the investigation of alleged war crimes committed during the final days of the country's decades-long civil war. “I think right now there is still room for a robust national inquiry that meets international standards,” Jehan Perera, director of the National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo-based advocacy group, told IRIN. more..

JHU calls for legal action against resettlement in National Parks

Apr 15 (DN) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), an ally of the Government, has called for legal action against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over the alleged resettlement of Muslims in the Wilpattu National Park. Western Provincial Council Minister, and JHU Legal Advisor, Udaya Gammanpila speaking to the local media has said that Muslims should be resettled in the North in the proper manner and should not be done illegally by clearing national parks, sanctuaries and forest reserves. more..

Unions submit proposals for National Wage Policy

Apr 15 (DN) Nine proposals have been submitted by trade unions to the National Pay Commission to assist the govt to formulate a National Wage Policy. According to reports, the unions have proposed a national minimum wage for private sector employees and have also called for the implementation of an unemployment benefit insurance scheme. In addition, the proposals also recommend the implementation of a pension scheme for members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), and more..

BBS classified as a terrorist group by TRAC; BBS rejects report

Apr 15 (AD) The US based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has classified Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) as a ‘Religious and Cult Terrorist Group’. The same organization has classified the LTTE, British Tamil Forum and the Canadian Tamil Congress as terrorist groups. TRAC based in Washington has published core analyses of 3,800+ groups that have been known to aid and abet political violence or terrorist organizations. more..

Milk like substance pours from the pinnacle of the Kirivehera on the eve of Avurudu

Apr 15 (ST) A milk like substance was seen trickling down from the pinnacle of the Kirivehera on the eve of Avurudu during the time of the ritual milk boiling in the morning at the premises of the Miracle in Kirivehera. Having seen this unusual scene nearly 1000 devotees who gathered to pay homage to this ancient Dagaba started chanting “Sadhu Sadhu ” in great veneration, our corespondent reported. The incumbent of the Kirivehera Ven. Sashtravedi Kobawaka Dhamminda Thero more..

Under-performing women MPs

Apr 15 (ST) For a South Asian Country, Sri Lanka might be considered relatively progressive, given the high positions that have been held by women: Sri Lanka boasts the world’s first woman prime minister (and head of state), has had a woman executive president, a woman chief justice and a woman attorney general. Yet, the current parliament does not reflect the boast. Women are not thriving in parliament: Only 13 of the 225 members of parliament (MPs) are women (5.8%). more..

'No evidence on some of the missing'

Apr 15 (CG) The Commission investigating persons reported missing during the war says there is no evidence on some of the people reported missing. Secretary to the Presidential Commission H.W Gunadasa says when investigating some complaints there is no information on where and how they went missing. “This is a big problem but we are still investigating those complaints as well,” he said more..

UN youth advisory panel launched

Apr 15 (AT) The United Nations Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP), officially launched on 7 April, is part of the wider UN-wide Action Plan on Youth to establish direct linkages between youth and the UN Country Team (UNCT). It was followed by a three-day orientation programme in Colombo. UNYAP brings together a group of fifteen Sri Lankan youth with a passion for myriad aspects of development work. The panel, chosen after a competitive process, will come together with more..

Gota holds talks with Malaysian PM

Apr 15 (CG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has had talks with Malaysian PM Najib Razak in Malaysia. Talks had taken place on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia 2014 summit taking place at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Rajapaksa is among several foreign Defence Ministers and officials taking part in the summit. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary and his delegation had talks with the Malaysian Premier for some 30 minutes but more..

'Canada using funds as political tool'

Apr 15 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt has accused Canada of using its voluntary funds to the Commonwealth Secretariat as a political tool based on the dictates of electoral compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom, through competing claims for power. Canada had yesterday decided to suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and reallocate more..

Chinese men arrested in Poonaryn

Apr 15 (CG) The police arrested two Chinese nationals in Pooneryn for engaging in business activities while in Sri Lanka in a tourist visa, the police media unit said today. The police said that the two men had been arrested yesterday while they were selling imitation items in the Pooneryn town claiming it was gold. The two men were produced before a Magistrate in Vavuniya and were remanded till April 24, the police media unit added. Further investigations are underway.

Woodhall Spa swoop to sign SL star Bandara

Apr 15 (HN) Woodhall Spa Cricket Club has pulled off another sensational signing ahead of the new season in the shape of Sri Lankan star Malinga Bandara. Test ace is a more than adequate replacement for fellow countryman Prasanna Jayawardene, who has to pull out of his planned return to Jubilee Park. Jayawardene, who made such a big impact at the club last season, is touring England this summer with Sri Lanka. He will also be involved in a home Test series against SA more..

Abuse of Presidential Pardon

Apr 15 (AHRC) Panadura High Court judge, Kusala Weerawardana, found ten Presidential Security Division (PSD) officers who were accused of assaulting two famous songsters Rookantha Gunathilike and Chandraleka Perera to be guilty of the charges and sentenced them to four and a half years of rigorous imprisonment. The PSD officers entered the living premises of the two famous singers, shaved their heads and assaulted more..

Big Trip: Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (TNT) Tucked away at the bottom of India and surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the island of Sri Lanka is a haven for wildlife, filled with solitary beaches and snorkelling opportunities, plates of spicy curries, bustling cities and temples galore. The usual mentality of people visiting Sri Lanka is to choose either the greenery and wildlife of the hill country and the north, or the relaxing vibe of the south, where all those beautiful beaches are. However, there’s no reason why more..

Police net 877 drunk drivers

Apr 15 (AD) The Police Department today revealed that 877 motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, following the special operation launched to curb road accidents in view of the festive season. 149 of them were nabbed within the past 24 hours. 76 motorcyclists, 61 three-wheeler drivers and 12 drivers of other vehicles are among the total DUI arrests in the 24 hours from 6am yesterday. Special operation to apprehend drunk drivers would continue more..

8 persons including a woman arrested in raid on Dehiwela bakery released

Apr 15 (DBS) Eight Persons including a woman who were under detention for more than three weeks breathed the air of freedom on the eve of the traditional April new year. These eight persons taken into custody by the Police after a lightning raid on a bakery in Dehiwela some weeks ago. Twelve persons including the eight released yesterday were taken into custody. Police suspected that bakery premises was being used as more..

For Sri Lanka bishops, Easter is a time of reconciliation for our people

Apr 15 (AN) "Whilst we observe certain positive signs of development in the country, the need is also felt to promote unity and reconciliation among the people in our motherland. This can only be done if we respect one another and safeguard each other's dignity," said the Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka in their Easter message. Released today in Sinhala, Tamil and English, the statement is signed by Card Malcolm Ranjith (Archdiocese of Colombo) and Mgr Valance Mendis (Diocese of Chilaw), more..

The great Indian betrayal: India voted twice for Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (CT) India proved once again that it cannot be trusted by anyone. When everyone who have been keenly following the Sri Lankan affairs expected India to vote for the US sponsored resolution seeking International Investigations, India abstained after giving an unwanted moral preaching at the 25th UNHRC in Geneva during the course of the passing of the resolution A/HRC/25/23. In all there were three voting on the 27th of March 2014. The first one was on a vote sought by more..

TID hails arrest of Prabhakaran’s confidant as great victory

Apr 15 (CT) The arrest of Subramaniam Kapilan a.k.a. Nandagopan by the TID is considered a great victory in the battle against the struggle of the Tamil Diaspora to resuscitate the LTTE. Nandagopan is believed to be the second-in-command to Nediyavan, a leader of the LTTE international network. Nandagopan was a close confidant of slain LTTE Leader, V Prabhakaran. He was among those who attempted to smuggle a submarine more..

Guilt by ethnicity: Liberal Sinhalese response

Apr 15 (CT) Dear Sinthujan, I read with bemusement your letter to the “Sinhalese ally”. Coming after the arrest of the human rights activist Ruki Fernando, such condescension may be untimely given how devoted Ruki and other have been towards advocating for the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil community as well as other minority groups. Notwithstanding the emotional reaction, the allegations and insinuations in your piece deserve a response. This is mine. more..

Police probe Gobi’s telephone calls

Apr 15 (CG) Police say they are investigating the telephone calls made by Gobi, a former LTTE cadre who was killed during a confrontation with the army last week. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the telephone calls of two other former rebels including Appan, who were also killed during the clash in Vavuniya are also under investigation. Once the details of the telephone conversations the three men had made are collected the next course of action will be taken. Earlier there were reports that politicians more..

First Family celebrates traditional New Year

Apr 15 (IL) When the entire country is gripped in a happy and festive mood, Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional ‘Aluth Avurudda’- Sinhala and Hindu New Year which marks the transit of the sun from the house of ‘Meena Rashiya’ to the house of the ‘Mesha Rashiya’. According to the reports, Sinhala and Tamil people throughout the country enthusiastically got ready to celebrate it in usual grand style. more..

Biswal and Solheim discuss Lanka

Apr 15 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian affairs, Nisha Biswal, had had discussions with former Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim on Sri Lanka. Solheim was a former peace envoy and mediator during the conflict in Sri Lanka and continues to follow the Sri Lankan issue while Biswal had in February visited Sri Lanka for the first time since taking over as Assistant Secretary of State. Both Biswal and Solheim tweeted about their meeting with Biswal saying she appreciated more..

Facts on coconut and oil production come to the surface

Apr 15 (NF) Reports from the Central Bank indicate a 14.5% drop in coconut production in 2013 compared to 2012. The reports add that this decline has been attributed to the decline in the production of coconut oil and other related products. The 2,940 million coconuts that were plucked in 2012 had dropped to 2,513. The report indicates that the low rainfall received in the coconut triangle has caused this drop in production. 72% of the total coconut oil production had been used for cooking more..

Canada suspends Commonwealth funding over Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (AFP) Canada's govt announced Monday the suspension of funding to the Commonwealth over rotating chair Sri Lanka's alleged rights abuses. While Sri Lanka remains chair of the 53-member bloc, Canada's US$9 million annual contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat will instead go for two years toward combatting the practice of child, early and forced marriage. "As host of the 2013 CHOGM and more..