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A Liberal Dilemma

Apr 21 (GV) ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ was the lead slogan of the French Revolution which has been an inspiration to many movements around the globe. Many political initiatives have claimed to be based on Liberty and/or Equality. Several national constitutions and UN and other international agreements have upheld both Liberty and Equality as their guiding principles. The question arises: are Liberty and Equality fully compatible or more..

'Sri Lanka’s new parliament must drop emergency laws'

Apr 21 (AI) Sri Lanka's first post-war parliament must get rid of draconian emergency laws that have allowed for decades of widespread human rights abuses, Amnesty International said today. Ahead of the first sitting of Sri Lanka’s first post-war parliament on April 22, Amnesty International is calling on Sri Lanka to lift the State of Emergency that has been in force almost continuously since 1971, and more..

Taming ‘5 monsters’ new Govt.’s priority – economists

Apr 21 (BL) Restructuring of loss making state enterprises which were once dubbed as ‘five monsters’ by a former Lankan finance minister should be the top priority of the newly elected government to fast track the island’s economic growth following the end of the long drawn-out war, senior economists in the country stress. According to recent data released by the Central Bank (CB), most of the State Owned Enterprises (SOE) namely more..

Editorial: Our economic growth expectations need higher national productivity

Apr 21 (BL) Sri Lanka, now with a GDP per capita of USD 4,300, was named a middle income country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early this year. Although this may help to project Sri Lanka positively to foreign investors to an extent, we cannot forget still we experience one of the lowest rates of productivity growth in Asia. There is much to be achieved if Sri Lanka is to reach the status of more..

UPFA secures Kandy

Apr 21 (DM) The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has won the General Elections in the Kandy District by polling in 339,819 votes and securing 8 seats while the UNP has obtained 192,798 votes and secured 4 seats. The DNA obtained 23,728 votes but no seats.

IIFA set to boost Lankan tourism

Apr 21 (BL) Chairman of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), Sabbas Joseph yesterday predicted that Sri Lanka will record a 50% increase in tourism following the IIFA Weekend which will commence on June 3, during a press briefing held in Colombo to officially announce Sri Lanka as the host destination for the event. Joseph noted that the last city to host the IIFA Awards, the Venetian Macao recorded a 56% increase in its tourism. more..

On the lovely pastime called ‘Cabinetting’

Apr 21 (BL) The April 8, 2010 election did not and could not generate a fraction of the excitement associated with the Presidential Election of January 26, 2010 and the reasons are too obvious to warrant repetition. The only thing to look forward to was how President Mahinda Rajapaksa sorted out the vexed issue of downsising his cabinet. Now, thanks to ugly infighting among UPFA candidates in the Central Province, we had to wait for a re-poll in certain areas. more..

President Rajapaksa must complete what SWRD and JR failed to do

Apr 21 (TC) One hasn’t the slightest inkling at the time of writing but one does hope that President Rajapaksa’s choice of a Cabinet will be heavily laden with the most popular and qualified among the true-blue ‘middle path’ SLFP moderates, which would not only reflect the balance of forces in the government and the country at large, but be a vehicle for the tasks that face the post war, second term Rajapaksa administration. more..

Upcountry Tamil politicians of Sri Lanka divide and lose in Badulla

Apr 21 (LP) The election result of Upcountry Badulla district of Sri Lanka proves the fact that the minorities may lose when they are divided. Upcountry Tamils failed to win a single seat in Badulla district despite they have a considerable population there. This is notable in the context they have secured this seat since a long time and they had two seats in the previous parliament. more..

13th Amendment: valid any more?

Apr 21 (LG) This paper seeks to examine the question of legitimacy of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution. It seems necessary to re-visit this topic time and time again as, the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is advanced by different sources as the ‘solution’ to the ‘conflict’ yet said to be persisting after the military defeat of the LTTE. This discussion will be done with the historical background of more..

IIFA goes to Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (Hindu) The icon of Hindi films, Amitabh Bachchan made an appearance at a glittering function here to mark the media awareness of the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), scheduled to be held here from June 3 to 5. Coming exactly a year after the military defeat of the LTTE, the event is expected to give a major boost to the island nation's cinema as well as tourism industry. more..

Absorbing tapestry for the reader

Apr 21 (LB) Address delivered by Prof. Ashley Halpe at the launch of Peace at Last in Paradise by Dr Ananda Guruge: ladies and gentlemen, I am most grateful to the author and the publisher for asking me to give this address. I agreed as soon as I was asked, because, I had a very personal reason for being grateful to Dr. Guruge. Way back in 1956 when I was just a temporary assistant lecturer in the University of Ceylon, I asked him to be one of my referees for more..

Foul play suspected in the death of wife

Apr 21 (LG) According information received from the close circles of Seevaratnam Nimalan, his wife Nivetha is said have died under suspicious circumstances in India. Nimalan is the only son of one time LTTE fund manager Nagendram Seevaratnam. Unemployed Nimalan who devotes himself to a life of pleasure without commitments or responsibilities married an upper class Bramin girl of Indian origin from Tamil Nadu a few years ago. more..

Some comments on results of general elections

Apr 21 (LG) The UPFA has narrowly missed a two-thirds majority in Parliament. With the results of 20 districts released UPFA has 117 MPs. It is unlikely that the alliance would be able to nominate more than 18 MPs from the national list making it to get elected at least 15MPs from the remaining two districts that can send only 16 MPs, in order to have a two thirds majority. more..

F.C De Saram – Incomparable icon

Apr 21 (SLC) His hand upon his precious heart, Derrick De Saram did what he thought was best for Royal College, Sinhalese Sports Club and his Country. As folklore has it he was arguably the most opinionated Royalist to have drawn breath. His characteristically colourful and robust language delighted his acquaintances and no doubt made Mother blush. Royalists in particular had more than a sneaking affection for the outrageous Colonel. more..

Sarana Gunawardene gets teacher to worship him in public as punishment for supporting another candidate

Apr 21 (LT) UPFA candidate for Gampaha District at the recently held general election Sarana Gunawardene has got a teacher to worship him in public in front of students of the school the teacher is teaching as a punishment for supporting another candidate of the same party. Mr. Dhananjaya Kumara, a teacher of Ranpokunugama Vidyalaya at Attanagalla, has supported Ruwan Ranatunga, more..

'Sri Lanka must develop a righteous nation and not only the economy'

Apr 21 (AN) A crowd of 2,500 faithful, patient and medical staff attended the Mass for the inauguration of the Chapel of Divine Mercy at the renowned chest Hospital -Welisara Ragama, in the Diocese of Colombo, on April 18. Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, celebrated Mass along with the vicar general Father Marcus Fernando, and Fr. Sam Quintus from the parish of Saints Peter and more..

Slow process of reconciliation is on track in Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (TC) (This article is placed before public knowledge in an effort to rectify erroneous and callous reporting and not for purposes of engaging in a public debate. As much as the reader is free to express his or her views on this subject, the author will not respond to supporting or opposing views any further). Time and again the ‘Empire Strikes Back’, both, literally and metaphorically! Throughout the Modern Period, the long arm of Colonialism visited and more..

Special housing loans for North

Apr 21 (MoD) The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has implemented a special housing loan program with "Uthuru Vasanthaya" activities. This will be implemented in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar districts and NHDA expects to implement this loan program in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu within the next few months. With this loan program 1,000 families will benefit. Nearly 350 families in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar have been identified for more..

First police academy to be launched

Apr 21 (MoD) The first Police Academy in Sri Lanka will be launched at the Old Police College premises at Katana, Thimbirigaskatuwa in Negombo on April 26. The Sri Lanka Police Academy was initiated under the patronage of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to make the police service more professional. Police Higher Training Institute was converted to the Sri Lanka Police Academy to more..

Young woman abducted, sexually abused in Jaffna

Apr 21 (TN) Two young men in Chu’n’naakam area in Valikaamam abducted Monday a young woman who had come from an internment camp in Vavuniyaa to visit her uncle in Chu’n’naakam and sexually abused her, sources in Jaffna said. The woman had managed to escape Tuesday morning from where she was held in the night and told what had happened to her to local people. The local people with the help of the hand phone which the young men had taken from the woman caught the two men and more..

Indian aid to resettled Vanni civilians left undistributed along A9 road

Apr 21 (TN) Materials to construct shelters given as aid by India meant for the resettled families in Vanni have not been fully distributed to them and are left unattended along A9 road due to noncooperation of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities in Vanni and their refusal to grant permission for distribution. SLA authorities purposely delay and obstruct distribution of these materials with the aim to give them to Sinhalese families to be colonized in places more..

Senior LTTE cadres held to be produced in High Court for trial

Apr 21 (TN) Around 2,000 senior cadres and combatants of LTTE held in custody are to be soon produced in High Court for trial with the sole aim to find them guilty of war crimes and subject them to long-term imprisonment, according to legal circles in Colombo. Meanwhile, persons of an organization called Home for Human Rights (HHR) are already at work to exploit the above situation and fleece money from Tamil Diaspora more..

Jaffna companies to seek stock exchange listing

Apr 21 (MoD) New businesses from Jaffna are likely to get listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) within the next few months, says a top official. The CSE Jaffna branch office, expected to begin operations on April 27 at Hospital Street, is likely to boost trading activities in the region, market sources pointed out. Seven stock brokering companies in Capital Alliance, Bartleet Mallory, SMB Securities, Asha Phillip Securities, SKM Holdings, more..

Sri Lanka to achieve healthy growth rates in 2010 - ADB

Apr 21 (MoD) Sri Lankan economy, which grew at 3.5 percent last year, is expected to recover to healthy growth rates, buoyed by renewed confidence following the end of the three-decade long civil war, says the ADB. With the global economy in recovery mode and with higher domestic and foreign investment, growth momentum is likely to strengthen and reach around 6 percent this year and 7 percent in 2011, more..

Sri Lankan defence secretary proposes further security laws

Apr 21 (wsws) In an interview with the Island newspaper on April 17, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse called for the next parliament to enact new security laws to crack down on “separatism” and “terrorism”. While nominally directed against the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the remarks foreshadow a broader attack on the democratic rights of working people. more..

Tourist corridor in East

Apr 21 (MoD) The government plans to set up a tourist corridor along the coastal line connecting Arugam Bay, Pasikudah Beach in Batticaloa and Nilaweli Beach in Trincomalee, sources said. The announcement came as local and foreign tourists flocked to the North and East visiting places of worship and natural attractions. This follows the successful conclusion of the three-decade-long war last May. The re-opening of the A-9 Highway linking the North and the South has also enticed visitors. more..

Foreign Ministry coordinates efforts through Sri Lanka....

Apr 21 (GDI) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, taking cognizance of the difficulties encountered by Sri Lankan nationals in European capitals who have been affected by the cancellation of a large number of flights to and from many European capitals due to the volcanic eruptions in Iceland during the past few days which resulted in vast clouds of smoke, ashes and dust covering the skies, has instructed all Sri Lanka Missions in Europe to take necessary action to more..

LTTE medical equipment recovered by Army delivered to Mulaitivu Hospital

Apr 21 (MoD) A massive stock of LTTE used medical accessories and equipment uncovered by Army troops from Mullaittivu areas during Wanni Humanitarian Operations and kept safe hitherto was recently delivered back to the newly-opened Mullaittivu General Hospital authorities by the Security Forces Headquarters, Mullaittivu at a simple ceremony. more..

Gampaha district development to be accelerated

Apr 21 (GDI) Development within the Gampaha district will be accelerated. Basil Rajapaksa solicits the support of public officials for this effort. He said that a majority of the public, that is at least 85 to 90 percent, visit Government offices to find solutions to problems which can be sorted out without any delay. Divisional Secretaries and heads of Departments should be able to solve their problems. more..

First Lady invites Deputy President of the Chinese Women’s Association

Apr 21 (GDI) A delegation including the Deputy President of the Chinese Women’s Association is now on a visit to Sri Lanka. They have arrived at the invitation of First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. The entourage headed by the Deputy President of the Chinese Women’s Association Hong Tan Heu reached the island yesterday morning. They met the First Lady and had a cordial discussion on several matters related to both countries. more..

Editorial: Why Vijayabahu

Apr 21 (DM) King Vijayabahu the Great is undoubtedly the greatest king who ever lived in Sri Lanka. With Dutugemunu being the favourite of chroniclers, the best king to live in Sri Lanka was deprived of the prime slot in history books. Not that anybody is grumbling about the mess since Dutugemunu is also known for his great feats. It was a case of the better one against the best. more..

Dr. Nesiah on national reconciliation

The uninspiring politics of the Western Province

Apr 21 (LNP) The mood in Colombo since the election has been quiet verging on apathetic. We knew who was going to win, and we had a good idea of by how much. Whether or not we were happy about it, there was nothing very surprising in what happened on April 8th. Except for Mervyn Silva. Many of us had been salivating at the prospect of this man - best known for his foul mouth and thuggish behaviour - getting ejected from Parliament. more..

Flight cancellations freese seafood export to Europe

Apr 21 (NF) The export of several sea food items to European countries from Sri Lanka has come to a standstill due to flight cancellations owing to the volcano eruption in Iceland. According to Roshan Fernando, President of the Seafood Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka, the purchasing of fish from fishermen has also come to a standstill. “The situation has also led to those whose livelihood revolve around the industry being severely affected,” more..

CPC Chairman complains of harassment

Apr 21 (Island) The Central Provincial Council’s Chairman Saliya Bandara Dissanayaka, had travelled from Badulla remand prison escorted by prison officers’ to preside at yesterday’s meeting of the Council. The Council meeting was held at Pallekele auditorium of the Central Provincial Council. Saliya Bandara Dissanayaka was remanded by the Nuwara Eliya Magistrate in connection with an alleged post-election incident at Ragala on April 09. more..

SriLankan Airlines recommences flights to London, Paris and Milan

Apr 21 (LP) SriLankan Airlines has re-commenced flights to London, Paris, and Milan following the lifting of restrictions by Eurocontrol, and is planning several additional flights for the convenience of passengers whose travel was disrupted. SriLankan operated flights to Paris and Milan early Wednesday (21st April). Flights to London were to commence today. more..

Editorial: When stratagems recoil

Apr 21 (LNP) Time was when the UPFA leaders used to praise former Army Chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka to high heavens. He was even called the best army commander in the world and they pandered to all his whims and fancies! During the war and in its immediate aftermath, Gen. Fonseka also showered accolades on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabhaya. The general said the war would not have been won but for the Rajapaksa duo. more..

Maha purchases over 37,000 MT: PMB stabilises paddy prices

Apr 21 (DN) The Paddy Marketing Board had purchased the highest quantity of 37,000 metric tons of paddy from the farmers, spending over Rs.1,061 million during the Maha season. The main objective of the Government to intervene in paddy purchasing is to stabilize the certified price for farmers’ paddy crop in the Maha season, so that there would not be price fluctuation to the disadvantage of farmers, more..

Election promises: The views