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Don’t interfere, UPFA tells world

Apr 12 (DM) The UPFA which won the April 8 election stressed yesterday that the ‘international forces’ should respect the massive mandate given to it by the people at the April 8 election, and not disturb them in governing the country accordingly for the next term. Former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that there were local and foreign elements that attempted to sabotage the government’s activities in the past. more..

Sri Lanka permit sought in Rajiv probe

Apr 13 (AA) The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), which is investigating the conspiracy angle in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has once again sought permission from the Sri Lankan authorities to question the financier of LTTE Selvarasa Pathmanathan. The MDMA, which comprises experts from CBI and other agencies, wrote a letter to Sri Lankan authorities in March. more..

Very low voter turn-out among IDPs

Apr 13 (IRIN) Voters in conflict-affected northern Sri Lanka failed to turn out in great numbers for parliamentary elections last week, with many citing dissatisfaction with their own plight since returning to their homes after months of displacement. "Why should we vote?” asked Koneshwaran Bala, a recent Tamil returnee to the town Oddusudan in Mullaitivu District. “As a community, we do not have leaders. There is no leader at the national level that talks about our sad state. more..

'Jaffna HSZ to be removed'

Apr 13 (DM) EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, who secured the most number of preferential votes in the Jaffna district, today assured that gradually all the High Security Zones (HSZ) in the peninsula will be removed as there is no more a security threat. He recalled that President Mahinda Rajapaksa also has a vision for the people in the Northern Province to experience the same freedom as experienced by the people in the South. more..

Policy on Sri Lankans ignores the dangers people face

Apr 13 (Age) The treatment of journalists is one bellwether of the human rights climate in Sri Lanka. But the Australian Government doesn't seem to be paying attention. It's decision to decision to suspend the claims of Sri Lankans seeking political asylum is at odds with the plight of media workers there. Despite the end to the country's civil war 10 months ago, voicing a critical opinion in Sri Lanka remains very dangerous. more..

Sri Lankan official expects fewer refugees to try boat crossing

Apr 13 (Age) One of Sri Lanka's top officials says the number of Tamil refugees trying to reach Australia by boat is likely to fall dramatically following the federal government's decision to suspend the processing of new Sri Lankan applications for asylum. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the United Nations and former foreign secretary, believes the tougher stance by the Australian government will make a difference. more..

Sri Lankan joins historic voyage on replica of 9th century Arab trading vessel

Apr 13 (ISRIA) Tuanie Ismail, a native of Kandy has joined the second leg of The Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a 9th century Arab trading vessel which left Oman on the 15th February 2010, The next port of call will be Galle where the ship is expected to reach on or around 18th April. Tuanie will be the only Sri Lankan represented on this trip, which will end in Singapore where it will be displayed as more..

Discussing Tamil National Interest

Apr 13 (LG) Recent, spontaneous discussions on the Sangam website show that there is a wide array of opinions about the pursuit of Tamil National Interest (TNI). Firstly, what exactly is TNI? TNI hinges around the physical and economic security of the Tamil nation. Of foremost importance is for the Eelam Tamils, as a nation, to be able to exercise their right to self- determination in their historic homeland. more..

Undocumented migrants arrested heading to Australia from Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (DPA) Forty-five undocumented migrants trying to travel to Australia on a boat have been arrested off Sri Lanka, police said Monday. The vessel had left from the fishing village of Passikudha in the Batticaloa district, 240 kilometres east of the capital, but was detected on Monday, police said. "They were all Sri Lankans and had stored food and water requiredfor about 25 days. They said they had been promised a safe passageto Australia," more..

'Majority in the country has rejected this government despite getting majority in Parliament'

Apr 13 (LT) The government, despite getting a majority at the general election, has been rejected by a majority of the masses in the country says Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Anura Dissasnayake adding that instead of boasting of the victory the government should commence providing relief to the people. more..

Rajiv’s assassin Nalini moves court for early release

Apr 13 (IANS) Nalini Sriharan, serving life sentence for assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Monday moved the Madras High Court against a Tamil Nadu government decision to reject her appeal for early release. The Madras High Court April 6 dismissed her appeal for premature release, basing the ruling on the state government’s decision to accept the report of prison advisory board to turn down her request. more..

Clinton greets Tamils and Sinhalese on New Year Day

Apr 13 (PTI) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today greeted Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka prepare on the occasion of New Year and said this is an opportunity for them to "renew their bonds" and work together to build a prosperous and democratic nation. "This is an opportunity for Sri Lankans of all backgrounds, living inside and outside the country, to renew their bonds and more..

'Sri Lanka Culture Week' celebrations in Kuwait

Apr 13 (IL) The "Sri Lanka Culture Week" in Kuwait, jointly hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka together with National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters will kick off 26th April to 02nd May 2010. The event, the first ever promotions of its kind is co-sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) with the support of a host of well-wishers. more..

Teen-age girl recovered dead from well in Jaffna

Apr 13 (TN) The body of a 17-year-old girl student of Jaffna Hindu Ladies’ College was recovered from a well near her home in Chemma’ni in Nalloor Monday. She had gone missing Saturday night. Meanwhile, the woman whose body was found in I’lavaalai Sunday had been sexually assaulted before being killed. Mysterious killings and persons going missing have increased in Jaffna peninsula in recent times causing its residents to be gripped in fear and anxiety, more..

North-East — Back To Business

Apr 13 (PA) The war ended almost an year back. The north bore the brunt of the carnage. Now it is reaping the benefits, slowly. There is no denying that the biggest boom for the north will come not from handouts, but from the economic and social interaction with the south. The change for V. Sagadevan (45), comes on two fronts. On one end, he gets more customers now than he did during the days when the town of Kilinochchi was controlled by the LTTE. more..

Beyond Diabetes... (English)

Indian banks looking to open branches in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (BL) Indian banks are being roped in to provide a fillip to rebuild economic activity in strife-prone parts of northern Sri Lanka. Indian Bank may be the first to re-open its branch in Jaffna to serve the Tamil community. Indian Overseas Bank, which has a branch in Colombo, has plans to open more branches in the Island nation. The Indian Bank is considering opening branches in areas with Tamil-centric population such as Jaffna and Kandy. more..

What’s a tuk-tuk? The terrifying, and popular, way to get around Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (TS) Most visitors to Sri Lanka depend on the tiny three-wheeled motorcycle called a tuk-tuk for short trip around town. They are common in south Asia and a few can be found in other cities around the globe. The name might come from the sound of the little engine, which gets about 80 miles per gallon of gasoline. Top speed is around 35 to 40 mph, but trust me it seems much faster. more..

SLA blocks public visiting Pirapaharan’s house in Valveddiththu’rai

Apr 13 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities in Jaffna deny permission to public visiting the house at Aaladi, Valveddiththu’rai (VVT) in Vadamaraadchi where the Leader of LTTE Velupillai Pirapaharan was born and raised. It has become an important tourist attraction for the people from South and foreign tourists who pour into Jaffna peninsula after the opening of A9 road, sources in Jaffna said. more..

The business of ‘reaching out’

Apr 13 (LB) Someone asked me on Friday in the context of a significant victory for the UPFA in the Parliamentary Elections, whether I thought President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be ‘magnanimous’. ‘Magnanimous’ to the minorities, that is. Now it seems that this business of ‘magnanimity’ is a desire of a lot of people. We have Rohan Edirisinghe who without using that charity-term, wishing that the UPFA will not get a two-thirds majority and more..

Sri Lanka vote will help unify the nation: US

Apr 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's first peacetime parliamentary polls won in a landslide by the country's ruling party can pave the way for President Mahinda Rajapakse to unify the nation, a US official said Monday. "I think one of the noteworthy things about the recent elections was that hardline Sinhalese nationalist parties took a severe beating in these elections," said US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake. more..

Will The President move forward through a 'Grand Bargain' with the TNA on constitutional reform?

Apr 13 (TC) The results of the election to Sri Lanka’s parliament came in almost on the eve of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Will the election usher in an auspicious new beginning for these constituent communities in post-war Sri Lanka? The back-to-back elections, Presidential and parliamentary, took place in a historical context and their results reflect that more..

Merak asylum seekers flee after visa rule change

Apr 13 (ABC) Thirty Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were part of a group refusing to leave their boat in the Indonesian port of Merak have run away. According to some who stayed behind, the people from the boat began fleeing when they heard about the Australian Government's decision to suspend new refugee applications for Afghans and Sri Lankans. "So the people are feared and went out. They left the boat," more..

Who and What Is Buddha, Really?

Apr 13 (HP) Last night PBS aired The Buddha, a new TV special about the sage's life, impact, and particular relevance to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. By filmmaker David Grubin, the documentary features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia have depicted the Buddha's life through art rich in beauty and complexity. more..

Film: The Buddha

Apr 13 (PBS) Two-thousand-five-hundred years ago in northern India, Prince Siddhartha left his palace where he had spent twenty-nine years indulging in pleasures. He was determined to comprehend the nature of human suffering. After a grueling spiritual quest that lasted six years, he at last attained enlightenment meditating under a fig tree. He became the Buddha, the “awakened one,” and more..

Cannabis addiction: A colossal mental health problem in the community

Apr 13 (LG) Cannabis is an illicit and also a dangerous drug. According to Police reports cannabis usage in Sri Lanka is increasing. A large number of people use cannabis day today basis in rural and urban areas. Many consider cannabis is a harmless also an Aurvedic preparation which cause no harm to the human body. This is totally a misconception. The empirical findings indicate that cannabis abuse can cause severe psychological more..

The theory of deconstruction and Munidasa Cumaratunga

Apr 13 (LG) The French philosopher Jacques Derrida questioned the fundamental conceptual distinctions of our understanding of the World through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. Derrida laboriously worked to formulate an exceptional theory of deconstruction since early Sixties. Deconstruction sees all writing as a complex historical, cultural process rooted in more..

Chinese inroads into Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (LG) * Sri Lanka has a right to develop close relations with China and Pakistan. India cannot legitimately oppose it. * At the same time, the Government of India has a duty to take note of the various aspects of the relations, which could be detrimental to our national security and evolve an appropriate policy response. * The policy response could be either actively countering their influence in Sri Lanka or more..

Caste origins of Sri Lanka's authoritarianism

Apr 13 (LG) Q: Today authoritarianism in Sri Lanka is a common topic which is very much discussed. You have written extensively on authoritarianism in Sri Lanka, particularly since the 1978 Constitution. Could you try to explain why a Sri Lanka which began its independence period as a democracy shifted to an authoritarian system? A: Recently, I was explaining to an American student about Sri Lanka's special history. more..

Sri Lanka exporters demand streamlined customs

Apr 13 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters have called for more streamlined customs clearance to help reduce costs and be more competitive in overseas markets. Proposals presented by the National Chamber of Exporters to government ahead of its budget for this year said streamlined customs clearance procedures and transparency in operations were "imperative" in a modern trading system. more..

Boston Lanka News Edition

Reviving the common cultural legacy of Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 13 (TC) Erabodu mal blossomed and withered, the Koha larked and flew back, crackers mingled with the volition of cannons, mothers and wives sighed at the avurudu nekatha. Kevum and Laddu tasted bitter, the air of kovils and temples enveloped with pleas of devotees invoking the powers of gods above to unite the brethren hailing from common roots. The avuduru or sithra pernal of war-smitten three decades confined to mere words, more..

Sumi Kailasapathy enters race for City Councilperson in Michigan

Apr 13 (TC) Hi! I am Sumangala (“Sumi”) Kailasapathy and have been an Ann Arbor resident for 13 years. I am originally from Sri Lanka, but have been living in this country for the past 19 years. I received my undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) from Wellesley College in economics and political science. I also have an MA and an MPhil in political science from the New School for Social Research. more..

Tamil rituals performed during Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 13 (TC) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a platform for national unity as people of both nationalities welcome the New Year with joyful celebrations. The Tamil people celebrate the New Year on April 14 to mark the transition of the Sun into nirayana Aries, which is called Nirayana Mesha Sankranti. Greetings are made as “puththandu nalvalththukal,” which is to say “Happy New Year.” more..

Sri Lankan writer arrested for offending Buddhism

Apr 13 (wsws) In a blatantly anti-democratic move, Sri Lanka police arrested writer Sarah Malini Perera, 38, on March 20 for allegedly offending Buddhism. Perera, who resides in Bahrain and was arrested while on holiday in Sri Lanka, has written two books in vernacular Sinhala detailing her conversion from Buddhism to Islam while working in the Middle East. Her lawyers filed a case on March 30 demanding her immediate release, but she remains in custody. more..

Smuggled cigarettes worth 10 million rupees seized

Apr 13 (GDI) A stock of smuggled cigarettes worth more than 10 Million rupees hasbeen seized, Commissioner General of Excise Wasantha Hapuarachchi said. He said that it was seized by the anti-narcotics division of the Excise Department. The commissioner said that the stock contained around thousand cartons of cigarettes. He requested the people to provide information in this connection to prevent further damage. more..

Special security programme in Colombo during festive season

Apr 13 (GDI) Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya said a special security programme will be in operation as a result of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. He said that shoppers in large numbers throng the City of Colombo and suburbs during these days of the festive season. Colombo City’s main shopping area Pettah is a buzz of activity with large crowds buying goods for the traditional New Year. more..

Canadians & Americans amongst others contribute to new surge in tourist arrivals

Apr 13 (GDI) March tourist arrivals have risen 53.7 percent to 52,352 from a year earlier with more visitors from Western Europe, Middle East and South Asia. Tourism Promotions Bureau data indicate that the tourist arrivals from Western Europe rose 48.6 percent to 21,797 in March from a year ago with arrivals from the UK up 30.1 percent to 8,559. Tourist arrivals from France increased by 63.1 percent to 2,872. more..

Marriage Encounter turns couples’ lives around

Apr 13 (UCAN) From his early days, Aquinas Fernando had always wanted his own way in dealing with others. This behavior continued into his married life and strained relations with his wife. “When things were not done my way, I would get angry and scold my wife. Sometimes I wouldn’t talk to her for days,” Fernando, now 50, told UCA News. His passion for movies too affected their relationship as he used to watch TV late into the night. more..

Mahinda's triple whammy & the opposition's organic crisis

Apr 13 (GV) Remember the “Bandaranaike yugaya” (the “Bandaranaike Era”)? Well it is now the Rajapakses’ round. The Rajapakse family now dominates the SLFP and Sri Lankan politics in much the same manner as did the Bandaranaikes (Sirima, Felix, Sunethra, Anura, Chandrika, and son in law Kumar, not to mention Mackie and Seewali Ratwatte and irate Ira). In the Gramscian sense, there has been a re-composition of the ‘power bloc’, and more..