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President meets South Asian leaders

Apr 28 (GDI) President Rajapaksa today held bilateral discussions with South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the 16th SAARC Summit being held in Thimphu, Bhutan. The summit will commence this afternoon and will continue until 30th April 2010. The President of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed called on President Rajapaksa today at the Sri Lanka House at SAARC Village in Thimphu. more..

Adhi Vesak fullmoon poya day today

Apr 28 (LP) There is an additional (Adhi) month according to the 2010 Sinhala calendar, astrologically and therefore, this year records 13 Pasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Days. Accordingly the Adhi Poya falls today (28) and it is called Adhi vesak full moon poya day. Although the recognised Vesak Full Moon Poya Day falls on Thursday 27, May 2010, there is an additional Vesak Poya called "Adhi Vesak Full Moon Poya Day" on Wednesday 28, April 2010. more..

Editorial: Egos of Ministers

Apr 28 (DM) Politicians, in their most egoist and self-important moments believe themselves as tools of country’s destiny even when they lack the intellect or the drive to be so. As such they are often tempted to exaggerate their achievements, both past and present, and play down mistakes. People in this country have over the years got used to this reality and each government would have at least handful of overly ambitious but ineffective ministers. more..

SL celebrates 125th anniversary of hoisting the Buddhist flag today

Apr 28 (MoD) Sri Lanka celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Buddhist flag on the Adhi Vesak Poya Day, today. The Most Ven Wadisinghe Migettuwatte Gunananda thera hoisted the Buddhist flag for the first time in this country on April 28, 1885 at the Deepaduttaramaya Temple, Kotahena. Religious ceremonies have been organised in temples countrywide to mark the day. more..

'Lakshman Perera who was made to win by us cant go home: water supply too cut'

Apr 28 (LeN) There has sprung up a gigantic problem for UPFA supporters of Lakshman Perera, Matale District UPFA inexperienced but President Rajapakse backed candidate who won with the most number of preferential votes at the last General election. Some of them allege that because of the threats and intimidations of two powerful UPFA leaders, they are unable to go back to their homes. more..

Priority to be given to the Dehiwala Zoo

Apr 28 (GDI) Locations which will be an impetus for the promotion of the Tourism industry are to be developed. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa said priority would be given to the Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela. The Dehiwela Zoo is a main attraction of local as well as foreign tourists. There are plans to further expand the facilities available at the Zoo. Minister Basil Rajapaksa undertook an inspection tour of the Zoo to look into the necessary requirements. more..

Through the Eastern Eyes II: Kaaraitheevu

Apr 28 (HA) The youth of Karaitheevu have taken a new turn in their lives today. They have had their maiden photo exhibition in their village. The 12 member Photo Voice team has undergone a professional training in Photo Journalism for one year, which was provided by Terre des hommes. The youth were trained professionally to handle still cameras, light, angles, composition, capture various moments, write caption and make a photo journal. more..

Ministry of Health suffers from indecision

Apr 28 (LT) Despite the government of Sri Lanka bragging that BTI bacteria would be used to eradicate dengue from Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Health has not taken any measures to get the bacteria from Cuba say reports. There were plans to import BTI, bacteria that act against mosquitoes, from Cuba in January. As there were reports that the bacteria has not been imported to Sri Lanka yet ‘Lankatruth’ inquired from the Ministry of Health regarding the scheme. more..

Felix makes off with vehicles in his old ministry

Apr 28 (LT) The new Minister of Social Services Felix Perera is reported to have taken away several vehicles belonging to the Ministry of fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The new Minister of Fisheries Rajithe Senaratne wanted to reserve a vehicle for his usage and he had been enraged when he found that all the vehicles belonging to his new ministry had been taken away by Minister Felix Perera. more..

'Police responsible if any harm befalls Prageeth'

Apr 28 (LT) What the police and the government said regarding her husband, Prageeth Eknaligoda has changed by now and authorities have not been able to provide any information regarding him says Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda who disappeared 91 days ago. She said the police should take the responsibility if any harm befalls her husband. more..

'No need for more than two parties'

Apr 28 (NF) The chief prelate of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siyam Sect, the most venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera says that two political parties are sufficient for the country. The Mahanayake Thera expressed these views during a meeting with the Deputy Leader of the UNP, Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. “If everyone gets together, there will be no need for parties. When that is not the case, one section attempts to rise to the top while another section is put down, leading to the creation of parties. more..

D M + Premier Jayarathne takes up duties officially

Apr 28 (LP) At the auspicious time in the early hours (07.40 am) of today, Prime Minister D M Jayarathne took up his official duties at the Prime Minister’s office on Flower Road Colombo 7. Religious Dignitaries led by Most Rev, Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Rev Bellanwila Wimalarathne, religious dignitaries from Hindu, Christian and Islam also blessed the PM and wished him a successful political future in the service of the people. more..

PM tells politicians: Unite to develop country

Apr 28 (DN) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne Monday called on politicians to set-aside their sectarian political agendas at party level and unite to develop the country as true representatives of the people. The Premier addressing the polity of his home electorate – Gampola for the first time in his new capacity, underscored the need for a common approach sans political differences when more..

On Federalist ululation and ‘ululators’

Apr 28 (DN) At the time the Cabinet had not been announced. A few days later, it was. Most of the ululating that happened was in private, naturally. We are told that there weren’t many happy faces. The arithmetic rebels against happy faces, but that’s hardly consolation for people who have staked much on getting elected and getting a ministerial appointment. As I said, some were downgraded and some sidelined. more..

Hemas to build model ‘Piyawara’ pre-school in Jaffna

Apr 28 (DN) Hemas Holdings PLC Ltd recently laid the foundation stone for a new Hemas Piyawara Pre-School in Jaffna under the distinguished patronage of Douglas Devananda and the Jaffna Mayor Yoga Patgunarajah. Situated in Nallur, Jaffna this Pre-School is funded by Hemas Holdings PLC at an estimated cost of Rs. 7.5 million. The project will be implemented by UNOPS and is expected to be completed by October this year more..

Saving Murali’s doosra: Five unsung heroes

Apr 28 (LG) Gunasekara, Wijesinghe, Dhillon, Wijesuriya, Foster. These are five names that should be etched into the commemorative epitaph marking the third stage of the saga around Muttiah Muralitharan. Muralitharan, best known as “Murali,” has been a cricketing-weapon extraordinary for some time and, as such, is a national icon in Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: Private buses and PCs

Apr 28 (Island) While the government is working on a homegrown devolution model, a powerful trade union has called for the abolition of the Provincial Councils (PCs). It is not our Rathu Sahodarayas or their allies averse to the 13th Amendment who want the PCs scrapped but the private bus owners. Why are they against the PCs? Chairman of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijeratne said that the PCs cannot even prepare time schedules for buses and, therefore, they must be done away with. more..

Snakes for lunch

Apr 28 (Island) Believe it or not! A youth, who purchased a packet of rice and curry from an eatery in the Kurunegala town, got the shock of his life midway through the meal. He discovered, to his horror, two baby snakes in the tempered Kankun. "I vomited all I had eaten," the 25-year-old private sector employee, Muthumal, told The Island. He said that when he took the half eaten meal to the eatery management, instead of being apologetic, they had refused to believe him. more..

Education consultants have it good

Apr 28 (Island) The Education Ministry has employed 10 consultants aged over 60 years. One of them appointed Director General of a key institution under the Education Ministry, is paid Rs 60,000 per month. This bureaucrat is also entitled to vehicle and fuel allowances. There are two other consultants whose monthly salaries amount to Rs 85,000. They too are entitled to vehicles, according to sources. more..

'Britain always stood by Lankans'

Apr 28 (Island) The most Venerable Mahanayake Thera of Malwatta on Monday (26) received British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Dr. Peter Hayes. The British envoy said Sri Lanka was likely to receive more foreign support and expressed hope that post-war Sri Lanka’s prospects of rapid growth would be a reality. He said more overseas visitors would also arrive in the country. more..

A way forward for Sri Lankan Canadians

Apr 28 (NP) Sri Lanka: To many, it is a small island off the Indian coast, torn asunder by decades of civil war. Yet few understand the complexity of its conflicts or its people. Sri Lanka's demography is both Tamil and Sinhalese (along with a number of other significant subcultures). The ethnic profile of the Sri Lankan diaspora in Canada is representative of this diversity, but more..

Thonda’s portfolio after MR returns

Apr 28 (DM) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugan Thondaman is to be sworn in as a Cabinet Minister after President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns from Bhutan, CWC sources claimed yesterday. They said Mr. Thondman was likely to get the portfolio of Livestock Development as well as some additional subjects relevant to estate workers. more..

'Discipline vital for media'

Apr 28 (GDI) Discipline within the media is vital. Acting Media Minister Mervyn Silva is of the view that a proud nation can be built only through a disciplined media. The Minister called on the media to maintain discipline. He said both he and the media should be determined and work courageously. Finally the media should appear on behalf of a proud nation and a younger generation. more..

UN awaits Lanka’s nod for Pascoe visit

Apr 28 (DM) The United Nations has sought permission from the Sri Lankan government to facilitate a visit by its Political Affairs Under-Secretary General Lynn Pascoe next month to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka. The purpose of Mr. Pascoe’s visit as stated earlier was to discuss the appointment of the UN’s panel of experts, but it was unsure if such discussions were still on the agenda. more..

The long reach of Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa dynasty

Apr 28 (Time) He won his first presidential election in 2005 by a razor thin margin of 180,000 votes. Five years later, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected, by a victory margin of over 1.8 million votes. Since then, the man hailing from the deep south of the country has proved countless detracters and arm-chair critics wrong. more..

Colombo to get Rs75 M facelift

Apr 28 (DM) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is to spend Rs 75 million to ready Colombo City for the 11th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony which is to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium from June 3 to June 5 this year. CMC Special Commissioner Omar Kamil said that this sum would be used to give the city a full facelift for the awards ceremony and two other events that are to be held in conjunction with it. more..

South Asian leaders admit to collective failures

Apr 28 (AFP) South Asian leaders admitted Wednesday a collective failure to develop their conflict-ridden region and to forge a united front against the threats of climate change and terrorism. Opening a summit of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Bhutan, the host nation's Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, said it was time for the bloc to take a long, critical look at itself. more..

'Build new structures to achieve full potential of SAARC'

Apr 28 (GDI) “Let us within our own grouping be bold enough to introspect. We must take measures to improve the existing mechanisms through review, rationalization and re-invigoration. If there is a need, we should not hesitate to build new structures and mechanisms, to enable SAARC to reach its full potential,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to 16th SAARC Summit at Thimphu, Bhutan today. more..

'Reforms to allow Sri Lanka president to retain power'

Apr 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's ruling party will press ahead with constitutional reforms to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to run for a third term in office, a press report said Wednesday. Rajapakse's party won 144 seats in the 225-member parliament at elections earlier this month, consolidating his firm grip on power after his re-election at presidential polls in January. The Daily Mirror said the reforms would be brought in before November. more..

Wickramasinghe and his troupe mesmerise Kuwait

Apr 29 (KT) For those who are not very conversant with the art and culture of the small island nation referred to as ‘paradise’ by Chekov and “the pearl of the Indian Ocean” by the Indian poet philosopher Tagore, which has shared centuries of trade relations with the Gulf particularly Kuwait, its beautiful waters providing a rich harvest of pearls and fish to Kuwaiti sailors, should avail of the opportunity afforded by the Sri Cultural Week, more..

‘We didn’t stop the function’

Apr 29 (KUNA) Interior Ministry confirmed on Tuesday it had not licensed the sports cultural celebration held by the Embassy of Sri Lanka at Al-Jahra Sports Stadium last Friday, as reported in some local newspapers. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the celebration was made according to an agreement between the Sri Lankan community and officials in Al-Jahra Sports Club. The statement said the security men came to the place of the celebration to more..

Buddhism with monsters

Apr 29 (Guardian) A couple of months ago I arrived in Sri Lanka and visited a Buddhist temple for the first time. I had discarded my fascination with Eastern philosophies and religions when I became a Christian in my early 20s. Yet over the years I continued to encounter friends and relatives who practised Buddhism. It seemed mysterious and dangerous for a Christian to take an interest in Buddhist belief systems. more..

Paddy purchasing continues; Priority to Anuradhapura district

Apr 29 (NF) The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Services says that purchasing of paddy stocks will continue. “At present our attention is focused on purchasing paddy from farmers in the Anuradhapura district. Reasoning behind this decision is that paddy harvesting in the Anuradhapura district was delayed this season,” said W. Sakalasooriya, Additional Secretary to the Ministry. more..

Reconstruction work on the Mihintala stupa begins

Apr 29 (NF) Reconstruction work on the Minihtala stupa, damaged due to lightening, began yesterday. Assistant Director of archaeology Mahinda Weeerakkody said that several teams had been deployed for this purpose. He noted that a 20-foot section with the intricate carvings on the Dagoba had been damaged as a result of the lightening strike. They have not yet been able to determine as to whether the spire or the crown jewel had been damaged in the incident. more..

Post-LTTE, Sri Lanka's tourism soars

Apr 29 (IANS) After over a quarter century of civil war, Sri Lanka is finally witnessing an upswing in tourism. The island with abundant natural beauty is luring visitors, particularly from India, not just with sun, sand and sea but also with new attractions like ayurveda and adventure. "The tourism figures in the first quarter have doubled in comparison to last year, with nearly 16 percent of it being tourist arrivals from India," more..

Whither the Left movement in Sri Lanka?

Apr 29 (TC) The decline of the socialist movement in Sri Lanka, which began in the 1960’s with the decision of the LSSP to join the coalition government of Mrs. Bandaranaike has continued unabated. It is no exaggeration to say that the parties of the left have little no influence in country. The traditional left parties and their splinter groups have largely become political non-entities. Although the JVP managed to win 30 odd seats in more..

Sri Lankan English: The state of the debate

Apr 29 (GV) In the two and a half years since I published my book, A Dictionary of Sri Lankan English, I have followed the ongoing debate on the subject with interest. The good news is that there is a debate, and it seems to have entered the public domain rather than being confined to academic circles. There seems to be increasing acceptance of the idea that such a thing as Sri Lankan English exists, that it deserves to be recognised as more..

PBJ recalls NM's words of wisdom on revenue and expenditure

Apr 29 (NF) The Ministry of Finance points out that the government’s recurrent expenditure needs to be controlled as the country’s revenue is low. When compared to 2008, the government’s revenue in 2009 grew by 7 per cent to Rs. 702 billion. However due to an 18 per cent increase in expenditure, the budget deficit increased to 10 per cent. more..

Beyond Triumphalism

Apr 29 (LG) The opportunities of the nascent peace in Sri Lanka have never been as great as they now are, since the emergence of the now-defeated LTTE in 1976, nor have the mandarins in Colombo ever been as empowered to realize these. President Mahinda Rajapakse, after engineering the military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, secured landslide victory in the January 2010 Presidential Elections. He has now led the UPFA to a sweeping victory in the Parliamentary Elections held of April 8, 2010. more..

Jaffna undergrads held as prisoners, charges IUSF

Apr 29 (TN) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Wednesday charged that more than 150 students of the Jaffna University are still being held in rehabilitation centers and are being prevented from attending classes in the University campus. IUSF made the statement on return to Colombo after a fact-finding visit to universities in Jaffna and Batticaloa, and prepared a report of the plight of students. more..