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New Delhi’s anti-Tamil maneuverings challenged in Jaffna

Nov 1 (LG) New Delhi’s Congress parliamentarian Dr. Sudharshana Natchiappan who was leading a team of ‘international parliamentarians’ visiting Jaffna, was asked by news reporters, whether the visit was planned by India to bail out Colombo from war crimes accusations when a momentum is building up for international investigations of the crimes. The visit of the team brought by Natchiappan was timed for the Commonwealth Meet in Perth where war crimes more..

A Review of 'The Muslim Heritage of Eastern Sri Lanka'

Nov 1 (LG) The Muslim Heritage of Eastern Sri Lanka, is a major project completed and published by Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum. I have been closely associated with Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum for the last twenty years as a well wisher and a contributor. I have participated in some of their workshops and seminars and also contributed to some of their publications. Ideologically MWRAF is very close to me. more..

Move to ease traffic congestion in Indepedence Square

Nov 1 (SO) The smooth flow of traffic in the Colombo city, the commercial capital of the country is a must considering the number of vehicles entering the city on a daily basis. To make this a reality, from time to time, the Police Traffic Division along with the other relevant agencies have come up with innovative traffic plans in different parts of the city. All these traffic plans have been introduced to support the uniflow traffic system now more..

Getting to the truth of Nandikadal

Nov 1 (LG) In these most heated debates on accountability in Sri Lanka, some truths are more self evident than others. While all previous administrations nervously tiptoed around questions of accountability and only displayed one or two prosecutions as best practices, this Government delights in showing its total contempt towards even minimum adherence. Drug dealers turned politicians are protected by their political patrons, unexplained murders, assaults and rapes go by more..

Beware of Western imperialism

Nov 1 (LG) The foul and wholly unforgivable murder and subsequent desecration of the corpse of Muammar Al Gadaffi horrified virtually the whole world – that murder was particularly horrifying to Sri Lanka because Gadaffi was a true friend of Sri Lanka, namely `a friend in need’. It would be recalled and must never ever be forgotten that when the sanctimonious affluent western nations such as United States and Great Britain strained every nerve, muscle and fibre of more..

Surgery in an ancient kingdom

Nov 1 (ST) The most recent “surgical” first in Sri Lanka to hit the headlines is a liver transplant from a live donor just weeks ago. Skilled surgeons, modern technology and well-equipped hospitals are prerequisites to perform complex surgery in this advanced 21st century. Veteran archaeologist Prof. Leelananda Prematilleke, however, leaves the modern behind and takes a walk down the corridors of time to 12th Century Polonnaruwa. more..

Musings on some recent happenings

Nov 1 (LB) The Jaffna man is not famed for his virility, no poet sings ballads in celebration; nor are the women renowned for their fecundity. The Muslims are the champions, and even Sinhalese villagers are blessed with more fruitful loins. Nonetheless, fertility trends alone do not explain the strange case of the disappearing Tamil at local government polls. True, hundreds of thousands have, very wisely, left the land of their birth after ghoulish 1983; more..

Sri Lanka Unites – School Tour

Nov 1 (SL) Sri Lanka Unites is a group of young people changing the country, and they are keeping at it. After bringing students from all over the island to two youth leadership conferences, they are now on a bus tour of the island. I have been following their videos and stories online and it is really amazing to see. Some people believe in boycotting Sri Lanka or punishing the government before reconciliation begins, but I don’t think that works. What about the young people more..

Book Review: Biography uncovers forgotten lessons of Sri Lanka’s JVP

Nov 1 (Links) Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A lot of popular non-fiction literature seems very straightforward, to the point. The kind of writing you might expect from a journalist – easy to read, not too many tangents or complicating factors; usually nothing too far from the comfort zone of the average punter. This book, while written well enough that it reads quite easily, does not generally match that description. more..

Editorial: Heads govt. wins, tails we lose

Nov 1 (Island) The forthcoming Budget 2012 is not likely to cause any hardships to the public. For, all economic burdens will have been placed on people by the time it is presented to Parliament so that President Mahinda Rajapaksa could turn his budget speech into a political circus––as usual––promising a rupee worth of relief to the public. Saturday's fuel price increase has sent the people reeling. It is sure to trigger an economic tsunami of sorts across the country. more..

Oppressed North; Lawless South

Nov 1 (TC) A despot sees himself not as the First Citizen in a country of peers but as the Patriarch of an infantile-nation. He thereby arrogates unto himself the triple-roles of traditional-fatherhood, becoming, at least in his self-besotted eyes, the wise-guide, the caring-provider and the dauntless-protector of his people. In Sri Lanka’s one-family state, these triple despotic-roles have been appropriated by the Rajapaksa-troika: Mahinda Rajapaksa the sage-guide; more..

Struggle for a Test win without Murali continues

Nov 1 (Island) The barren period for Sri Lanka without a Test win continues as the national cricket team has now spent 15 months without tasting success in Test cricket. In that period Sri Lanka has played 13 Test Matches, losing four games and drawing nine matches. Naturally, Sri Lanka’s bowling deficiencies due to the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan and the absence of Lasith Malinga is seen as the main reason for the disappointing run. more..

Qantas chaos casts shadow on Gold Coast bid for 2018 CW Games?

Nov 1 (FT) The chaos caused to global passenger travel over the weekend following the unprecedented grounding of its entire fleet by Qantas Airways could be a blow for Australian Gold Coast’s bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games. On Saturday Qantas took the drastic step to ground its fleet cancelling over 450 flights affecting 70,000 passengers. The unprecedented move was amidst Australia holding the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). more..

Dubai Govt. buying throws open Galadari for attractive leisure play in post-war Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (FT) The buying of a 16% stake in Galadari Hotel (Lanka) Plc by the Dubai Government for Rs. 1.18 billion yesterday is expected to throw open the city five star as an attractive investment in the rebounding post-war leisure industry in Sri Lanka. The stake amounting to 29.5 million shares was done at Rs. 40 each via seven crossings whilst overall Galadari saw a 18% stake or 32.74 million of its shares traded for Rs. 1.286 billion, bolstering turnover at the more..

Battaramulla – Janakala Kendraya: The paradise of traditional craftsmen

Nov 1 (SO) The handicrafts are beautiful and elegant and also of high quality, it is unbelievable that items which cost so much to produce are sold at such low prices, that’s why we came all the way from Hikkaduwa to your centre, a young Australian tourist Mark Gregory and his wife Jennie who were at Battaramulla, `Janakala Kendraya’ said. Mark and Jennie had come to Sri Lanka to the spend their holidays for just two weeks and more..

Running the economy: Sanity, vanity or reality

Nov 1 (Island) Retired Central Bank Assistant Governor and outspoken Economist Dr Anila Dias Bandaranaike, recently, took on the government on policy related issues in post war Sri Lanka, adding that: "The country’s development potential is unlimited but we need to develop it with wisdom and balance." Addressing the 32nd National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka at the Waters Edge under the theme: Sanity, Vanity and Reality, more..

Vietnam businessmen keen on investing here

Nov 1 (DN) The Sri Lanka-Vietnam Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held a number of one-to-one business matchmaking sessions between Vietnam and Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Sri Lanka-Vietnam Business Forum. This event coincided the visit of Truong Tan Sang, the President of Vietnam and a high powered business delegation from Vietnam that included a number of senior ministers such as Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vice Minister of Defence, more..

Low crowd at Pongu Thamizh event, big blow to ‘Nediyavan’ led LTTE faction

Nov 1 (DBS) Less than 3000 people attended “pongu Thamizh”(Tamil Upsurge)event staged by Nediyavan led faction of pro-LTTE elements in Toronto on Oct 29. While the crowd was large by Canadian standards it was a massive drop in numbers compared to earlier LTTE events conducted at the same venue. A “Pongu Thamizh” event at the same venue QueensPark in 2004 had crowds of 35,000 participating.Other pro-LTTE meetings also drew big crowds more..

Indian scientists map Sri Lankan genetic code

Nov 1 (Island) Indian scientists have mapped the genetic code of a Sri Lankan individual, thus proclaiming this country’s arrival in the blooming global industry of commercial human genome sequencing. The project involved the Centre for Genomic Application, a public-private company floated by the state-owned Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Kolkata-based Institute of Molecular Medicine, leading business daily "Mint" reported on Saturday. more..

TNA report to Parliament exposes negative peace

Nov 1 (Island) The government has laid much emphasis on the behaviour of the LTTE over the course of the past three decades in justifying its conduct during the war to the international community. Much of what the LTTE did was indefensible from a human rights perspective. Although there was a high level of destruction of life and property in the course of eliminating the LTTE, this cost has been justified on the basis that it ended the war restored peace to the country. more..

One-day strike by Uni non – academic staff tomorrow

Nov 1 (Island) University non-academic staff, including administrative officers, will stage a one-day token strike tomorrow (02) demanding an immediate solution problems surrounding the rectification of their salary anomalies. President of the Inter University Trade Union Federation (IUTUF) R. M. Chandrapala said that they decided to hold a token strike as the government was keeping silent over their agitation. more..

Youngest mayor assumes duties

Nov 1 (DN) Sri Lanka’s youngest mayor D.G. Mahinda Kumara assumed office at the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council amid cheers and applause, where Central Provincial Council Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and a large crowd were present. Newly elected Nuwara Eliya Mayor D.G. Mahinda Kumara signing the first official letters, while his wife Mrs. Puspika and Nuwara Eliya Municipal Commissioner Lalith Ethampaela look on. UPFA mayor Mahinda Kumara is a leading hotelier more..

Sri Lanka Fonterra brands withdrawn after discount rumpus

Nov 1 (LBO) Dairy multinational Fonterra's Sri Lanka unit has stopped supplying dairy products to the Food City supermarket chain after protests from traders they were being undercut by discounts offered by the retailer. Customers said supermarkets operated by the Cargills group had put up notices that Fonterra had withdrawn dairy brands like Anchor owing to a dispute over discounts given by the chain. Cargills officials were not available for comment but more..

Lightning claims 4 lives in less than one week

Nov 1 (Island) The Meteorological Department yesterday warned of continuing a lightning threat and advised the general public to adopt precautionary measures to minimize the lightning related hazards. In less than a week four people have been killed by lightning across the country. The lightning threat would prevail until end of November. What was being experienced was the inter monsoon season and thundershowers would continue until end of this month. more..

Rs 70 m Japanese grant for Northern demining

Nov 1 (DN) The Japanese government has extended an additional grant of Rs. 70 million for demining in the North through Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony Sri Lanka (DASH),a Sri Lankan Mine Action NGO,to expedite the efforts of the Sri Lankan govt to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka, said Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo. The agreement was signed between Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo and DASH Demining Programme Manager Ananda Chandrasiri at the Ambassador’s residence, more..

Chaminda Vaas calls it a day from all forms of cricket

Nov 1 (PTI) Chaminda Vaas announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. Vaas, Sri Lanka's fast bowler, was here to unveil the "Chaminda Vaas benefit T20 cricket match" trophy being played between Sri Lankan cricketers and Mangalore Cricket Club on Nov 19. The match would provide an opportunity to locals to play with international players. Vaas said he has signed a six-month contract with an English county side and would turn a coach after completing it. more..

Connections | October 24, 2011

Media clash on sidelines of CHOGAM

Nov 1 (DM) A heated argument was said to have taken place between the Spokesperson for the President Bandula Jayasekera, Sri Lankan journalists and the producer of the Channel 4 documentary “Killing Fields” Callum Macrae at the Media Centre used for the Commonwealth Heads of Govt meeting in Perth, Australia. “Macrae was there lobbying against Sri Lanka. He was videotaping our materials such as the ‘Lies Agreed Upon’ documentary and other booklets that were distributed by our mission. more..

A dazzling display of Sri Lankan drums and dance

Nov 1 (DS) The lights gradually zoomed in on the soft beating of drums intensifying, accompanied by the blowing of the conch shell as the curtain rose on the first item of 'Nrithyabhimana' -- a traditional Sri Lankan drum and dance performance -- at the Shilpakala Academy last Friday. Chants and “Magul bera”, as it is known, were performed to invoke the blessings of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sanga (three pillars of Buddhism) and the goddess Saraswathi, patron of the arts. more..

‘Do not consider TNA as sole rep of Tamil public’

Nov 1 (DN) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has asked United Nations Under Secretary for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe and UN Secretary General’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar, not to consider the TNA as the sole representative of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Samarasinghe who attended the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said that he made it known to Nambiar and Pascoe that TNA is not the only representative of the Tamil people. more..

Railways to earn Rs 200 m through ads

Nov 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Railways has planned to earn a revenue of Rs.200 million annually through advertisements outsides train compartments. The entire rail network will be fully wrapped in advertisements, as part of Sri Lanka Railways attempts to draw in more advertising revenue. Scalene Holdings Pvt Ltd won the sole right to wrap up in an advertisements, the exterior of all trains for the next three years after it entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka Railways. more..

Chelvanayakam statue decapitated in Trincomalee

Nov 1 (TN) The statue of Thanthai Chelva (SJV Chelvanayakam) located near the Sivan Temple at Thirugnaanasampanthar Street in Trincomalee was decapitated on Sunday night. People who were enraged to notice the desecration on Monday morning placed a cloth on the headless statue. Local people suspect genocidal elements occupying Trincomalee for timing the act, when the TNA team led by Mr. R. Sampanthan, MP for Trincomalee, is on an international visit seeking solutions for more..

Electricity tariff hike in January: Small domestic consumer the target?

Nov 1 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) officials argue that going by the present losses, a tariff hike of between 10 and 20 per cent is needed for their debt ridden institution to break even. However, there are moves from a number of quarters to minimise the percentage of the hike. Senior CEB sources said that they had no alternative but to increase tariff for those who used less than 90 units per month, if the Board was to minimise losses. more..

Doctor gave contract to kill doctor

Nov 1 (Island) A doctor’s son running a channelling centre at Karandeniya has told the CID that he got a friend in the Army to kill Dr. Priyanka Ranasinghe (40) over business rivalry. The suspect’s mother is also working at his channelling centre. He has told investigators that his income had drastically dropped as the slain doctor was popular among the patients. The Army Captain who undertook the contract to kill the doctor has also been arrested by the police. The Captain asked two soldiers attached to his camp to kill the doctor. more..

Ten policemen arrested in connection with a death

Nov 1 (DM) Ten policemen attached to the Colombo North Anti Vice Squad, including the OIC were arrested by the CID over a death of a person called Gamini also known as ‘Kalu Gamini’ on Sept 7 which was reported in Grandpass. The policemen had gone to the area on information that the victim had possession of a weapon and he was about to sell the firearm to another person. During the raid, a confrontation had taken place between the victim and the policemen leaving him dead, more..

The Expropriation Act: Draconian act to serve national interest

Nov 1 (Island) A government minister says a new act (Expropriation Act) passed to law recently whereby the government will seek to take control of underperforming or underutilised assets, mostly land, of 37 enterprises including 2 companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, was of national interest while an opposition MP says the bill was draconian and the government has crossed the line and was at risk of further denting the country’s credibility. more..

Somawansa, Tilvin ditched by their docs

Nov 1 (Island) A majority of the doctors affiliated to the JVP, including the two specialists treating incumbent leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and General Secretary Tilvin Silva, have joined the party’s dissident group. They announced their allegiance to the party rebels during a meeting held at the party head office yesterday morning, party sources said. The leaders who met with the doctors seeking their solidarity were not known but they had failed to respond to more..

No power rate hikes for one year – Basil

Nov 1 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said electricity tariffs would not be increased for at least one year. Responding to a question raised by The Island as to whether electricity rates would be increased so that the loss making Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would come close to breaking-even by the year’s end he said, "With rains coming down and with proper management, we can get by without raising electricity rates. I can confidently say there would be no upward revision for at least one year." more..

Is Strong Man politics bucking the trend in Sri Lanka?

Nov 1 (SL) Harold MacMillan was perhaps the first world leader to give prominence to the global political change way back in 1960 when he signalled the British governments’ determination to grant independence to its colonies and permit free men to be masters of their own destinies. Growing events all over the world have indicated that ‘strong arm’ and dynastic politics never last. Its downfall usually brings about in its wake, national disasters which all too frequently invite more..

Stalemate: Ranil still running the show, dissidents still desisting

Nov 1 (LB) The UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe once again demonstrated that the numbers are in the party’s Working Committee (WC) are in his favour on Thursday (Oct 27) when he successfully overturned a plea by co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa to remove the temporary suspension on Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana and Western Provincial Councillor Shiral Lakthilake. more..