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No Championship, No Regrets

May 1 (SL) SRI Lanka’s fall at the final hurdle of the A5N rugby tournament in Manila last week evokes much regret. The failure to get among Asia’s top five nations is obviously disappointing, but more hurting was seeing the triumphant march of a team of brave young Sri Lankans finally come to grief. Though not an authentic reflection of a full-strength national outfit, the team pretty much performed like one. Without more than a few established national players from the champion side, more..

Wonder of Asia spotlight oil exploration

May 1 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight on oil exploration in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan society would aspire for such exploration to succeed as it would bring prosperity to our land although it may also spell danger due to the greed of Western powers yearning for oil supplies. Recently Reuters: reported that Sri Lanka plans to auction new oil exploration blocks in the western Mannar basin and the northern more..

'UNP should fulfill national responsibility'

May 1 (SO) Affable and flamboyant but tough at times, Minister S.B. Dissanayake is a seasoned politician who had held a number of important portfolios under successive Govts. Expressing his views to the Sunday Observer on the current political scenario, the Minister said some Western countries and international forces are attempting to exert undue pressure on Sri Lanka, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa who had his humble origins among more..

Buddhist Sangha may hold an inquiry and discipline those political un-Buddhist monks

May 1 (CT) Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography. The solution to the unfolding Dambulla Mosque crisis must hence build on, protect and nurture traditions of religious syncretism, pluralism and co-existence in the country. Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims have historically shared public space. more..

Religious extremism: The post-war reality in Sri Lanka

May 1 (CT) There is a lot of debate and controversy in the public discourses over the last few days following the malicious attack on a Mosque in Dambulla by a group of extremist Buddhist led by monks in robes, hampering to perform Muslims’ Jummah prayers on Friday, 20th April 2012, and claiming that the mosque should be demolished or relocated immediately since, what they regard, it is located in a Buddhist sacred area, but the Muslims, on the other hand, rebut the more..

President Premadasa was no ordinary leader but an ‘Epoch-Maker’

May 1 (TC) President Premadasa was no ordinary leader. He was a self made, self educated, self disciplined and self motivated man. Mentally and physically he was nothing but a computer operated human dynamo. He was a philosopher- politician, a thinker, a patriot and above all an extraordinary man. He devoted his full time and energy in the pursuit of an exemplary political career. It is said that he spent every second and every minute of his life more..

Immediate investigation needed for Dambulla Mosque incident

May 1 (DBS) This state of being was rudely shaken on April 20th when the Friday congregation prayers were disrupted by unruly mobs that took umbrage to the presence of the mosque which they described as being unauthorized, despite its existence without objection for over 50 years. What was even more surprising were the events that unfolded thereafter, which were disturbing both from the perspective of inter-community relations as well as from the perspective of law and order. more..

Tamil Diaspora cannot ignore realities and transparency

May 1 (TC) I humbly feel that if we don’t share our views openly and honestly, there is no use talking about unity. Therefore, I will be frank and honest. We Tamils from the North East or Eelam Tamils have had many rises and falls – the non violent struggle, the armed struggle in self-defence which came to a halt in May 2009 – the debacle of Mullivaigzhal. We were taken for a ride by all the aggressive rulers in Ceylon/Sri Lanka, so we are not ready to trust anyone, more..

The State and Religion in South Asia

May 1 (GV) Secularism implies the relationship between Religion and Politics, more specifically between Religion and the State. The concept of secularism has drawn its sources from the philosophy that Humans can order their lives and their societies without recourse to transcendant or supra natural powers, and hence they could also organize and manage the State and its govt, without direct connections with the religious establishment. more..

Editorial: Sa dukin pelena un …

May 1 (Island) Another May Day has dawned. Various events are being held today throughout the country to mark the International Workers' Day. However, it is not the workers who get the pride of place at these functions but political windbags. The govt is having a rally today in Colombo and the UNP-TNA alliance will stage a show of strength in Jaffna. What have politicians got to do with a workers' day? Sadly, workers have allowed themselves to be reduced to a bunch of more..

Sri Lankan Cricket, Nation and Tribe

May 1 (Island) In this article I want to make some observations on the connection between Sri Lankan cricket and the nation on the one hand, and between Sri Lankan cricket and tribalism on the other. I shall begin with some illustrative anecdotes. The ongoing Asia Cup series in Bangladesh has turned out to be historic as it marks the coming of age, at long last, of Bangladesh cricket. By defeating Sri Lanka with an innings of assured mastery by Tameem Iqbal and fine performances more..

May Day: The issues at stake

May 1 (Island) The workers have come to observe May 1st as an event to further working class unity and solidarity. The choice of this day derived from the historic struggle launched by the American workers to win an eight hour working day and the attack by the Police on a workers’ protest meeting held at Haymarket Square, Chicago on 4th May 1886.vDespite the day being set apart for the workers, in Sri Lanka it is more a political event to which political parties more..

Economic inequity marries political repression in Sri Lanka

May 1 (LB) There was a story, that a cake worth millions of dollars was made for a function in Lanka. It is extremely stupid of anybody to display such riches, in a country where 53 percent lack enough money to buy food and 46 percent struggle to find adequate shelter. These figures may have to be corrected with recent increase in living conditions. It is usual to refer to the French queen, Marie Antoinette, when ever such cruel display of excesses is made. more..

The world just got a bit smaller

May 1 (LB) Last week the IMF released its economic report on Lanka; it is available on the Fund’s website as Country Report 12/95 dated April 2012. It gave the govt mixed grades; expressing approval of the austerity and price cutting already implemented, criticizing delay in rupee depreciation and the consequent fall in reserves, and bemoaning the mess in implementing EPF legislation. The report lowered 2012 GDP growth forecast to below 7.5% and expressed concern about foreign reserves and more..

Connections | April 30, 2012

Indian construction expo in Colombo

Apr 1 (Island) Indian Chamber of Commerce organized a three-day programme "India INVESTRADE 2012" at Colombo, Sri Lanka from 26th April 2012 to 28th April, 2012. The programme dealt with "Realty Construction and Construction material" as the focus industrial sector. The programme consisted of conference, an exhibition and buyer-seller meets. ICC organized this event for the first time in Sri Lanka with support from Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. more..

Proper leadership needed to overcome Dambulla incident

Apr 1 (Island) The dispute over the presence of a Muslim mosque on Buddhist temple land in Dambulla points to an underlying tension in Sri Lanka’s multi religious society that is capable of being exploited by extremist forces. It is reassuring that the violence that suddenly manifested itself over the location of the mosque was not permitted to escalate after the ugly incident was publicized by the mass media. There was also no popular support for the actions taken by more..

Treasury Secy. says economy would stabilise, govt. forecasts

Apr 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating could be at risk if global oil prices continue to increase, Standard and Poor’s said yesterday, warning that subsidies would have to be adjusted accordingly in order to avoid a possible downgrade. A Standard and Poor’s report titled ‘The Asia-Pacific Sovereign Seesaw: If Oil Prices Soar, Some Ratings Could Fall’ said that oil subsidies can weaken fiscal and external indicators more..

Special traffic plan for May Day

Apr 1 (DN) A special traffic plan will be in operation today for the May Day celebrations in Colombo and several other cities. A police strength of 10,000 officers in uniform and in mufti will also be deployed to maintain law and order in the cities and venues of May Day celebrations, the Police Public Relations Unit said. Police officers will also be deployed on all access routes to the cities where May Day celebrations are held for traffic control and security of the participants. more..

World's top 40 rugby sevens starts say yes to Calton sevens

Apr 1 (Island) The organizer of the Carlton Sevens rugby tournament announced on Monday that the top 40 rugby sevens players in the world have committed themselves to play in Sri Lanka’s annual rugby showdown. Namal Rajapaksha, representing the Organizing Committee of Carlton Sports, the organizer of the tournament, told media representatives in Colombo that efforts are being made to lift the standard of the third edition of the Carlton Sevens a few notches, more..

Corpses of five poisoned crocodiles found

Apr 1 (CT) Corpses of five crocodiles believed to have been poisoned were found washed along the shores of the Nilwala River last week. The corpses of the crocodiles were found between Thursday and Saturday last week by residents of the area. Species Conservation Centre (SCC) Chairman, Pubudu Weeraratne said that investigations revealed a highly systematic insecticide known as Carbofuran was used for the poisoning of the crocodiles. more..

Nuclear Technology to boost agriculture

Apr 1 (Island) The use of nuclear technology for agricultural purposes would reap many benefits, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said. He said that nuclear technology could be used to improve the growth of plants and to produce quality plant varities, for eradicating harmful insects, to control them as well as to minimize diseases from food, biological nitrogen fixation and breeding varieties of high performance. He said that a new variety of more..

LTTE, Ranil did most damage to UNP - Maithri

Apr 1 (Island) The LTTE and Ranil Wickremesinghe had done the biggest damage to the UNP and now he would be one of the stakeholders at the TNA sponsored rally in the Jaffna Peninsula, UNP Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne said. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, yesterday, he said the TNA was the political wing of the LTTE and Wickremesinghe, despite representing a powerful party, was now going as one of the alliance forces of the TNA. more..

'Tamil Eelam must, but through peaceful means'

Apr 1 (Hindu) Reiterating that a Tamil Eelam alone will offer a permanent solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils, who have been subjected to the “biggest ethnic cleansing of the century,” DMK leader and Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) president M. Karunanidhi on Monday said that the goal should be achieved only through non-violent methods. Talking to reporters after the first meeting of the revived TESO, an organisation he founded in 1985, more..

Salesians fight recruitment of child solders in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (PR) Salesians are fighting the recruitment of child soldiers—even girls—in Sri Lanka, and working to heal the wounds of those forced to take part in the country’s civil war. “Childhood should be a time of innocence and schooling,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “But that’s not the reality for youth in Sri Lanka being recruited to fight the country’s civil war. For these youth, it’s weapons and war rather than school books and play.” more..

Kidnap gang netted

May 1 (Island) Swift action by Mount Lavinia police enabled them to arrest three members of a gang who had abducted a Guinean national and demanded a ransom of two million rupees to release him. According to police, a Nigerian, Guinean and a Cameroon national had been living in a house at Station road, Mount Lavinia on rent. On the day in question, the suspects had arrived in a motorcar and abducted the Guinean national at gun point and taken him to a house in Udammita, Ja-ela. more..

TNA demands release of arrested Tamil youth

May 1 (Island) TNA Leader and parliamentarian R. Sampanthan has sought President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to secure the release of several youth taken into custody during the recent search operations in the Eastern Province, particularly in the Trincomalee District. Sampanthan has in a letter, brought to the President’s notice that the arrested youth have been taken to Colombo and some undisclosed locations. more..

India, Sri Lanka & Maldives successfully conduct joint exercise in Maldives

May 1 (AT) The Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives participated in a joint exercise named “Dosti XI” in Maldives from 23 to 27 April 2012. The exercise was successfully conducted off Male with the three Coast Guards working together to hone their skills. Exercise “Dosti” (Friendship) till now was a bi-annual exercise started in 1991 with the objective of strengthening co-operation between the Coast Guards of India and Maldives. more..

Manzil protests to President over Mahroof’s appointment

May 1 (Island) The Chief Opposition Whip of the Colombo Municipal Council, M. H. Manzil, has protested to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the SLFP leader, against the ‘appointment’ of M. H. Maharoof as UPFA Group Leader following the resignation of Milinda Moragoda on April 25. Manzil states, in his letter of protest, that only Presdient Rajapaksa can appoint the Group Leader, the candidate for the Mayor and the Chief Opposition Whip. He had brought this to more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Austria hails SL’s post- conflict development

May 1 (DN) Austria yesterday hailed the tremendous achievements made by Sri Lanka in terms of development in the aftermath of the conflict that plagued the country’s progress for more than three decades. “Sri Lanka has made an enormous effort in development in almost all sectors after the conflict and Austria is ready to help achieve Sri Lanka’s development targets, Austrian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Dr Wolfgang Waldner told the Daily News. more..

All set for May Day ceremonies

May 1 (DN) The working class in Sri Lanka affiliated to various political parties and trade unions will parade the streets today chanting their assortment of slogans and letting out steam along with their counterparts across the world marking International Labour Day, commonly known as May Day. Today’s main May Day celebration will be held by the UPFA presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Colombo Town Hall under the theme Rata Ekata. The main May Day procession of more..

President warns of attempts to involve workers in destruction

May 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned of continuing attempts to involve the working class in destructive activities. The President, in a statement issued to mark the May Day, today, says: "We see the continued emergence of diverse conspiracies to drag the working people and country to the depths of destruction. I am confident that, as in the past, the working people of today too, would defeat more..

'Karunanidhi should explain why DMK pulled out of team'

Apr 1 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi should explain why his party pulled out of the all-party Parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka, D. Raja, National Secretary, Communist Party of India, has demanded. The DMK leader should spell out the reasons for not sending a representative. Was he trying to paint a picture that his party was not party to decisions taken by the Central Govt? If so, why was he a part of the ruling coalition? Mr. Raja was addressing the media in more..

Sri Lanka Mission in New York at last moved to its own premises

May 1 (AT) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York moved yesterday to a new location on Second Avenue. The Permanent Mission was previously located on Third Avenue. The Govt has been renting space for the mission for over 57 years. Last year, the Govt of Sri Lanka made a decision to purchase premises and the acquisition was facilitated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The new premises which exceed 10,000 square feet will save the country more..

Mosque issue: Hakeem happy after talks with MR

May 1 (DM) SLMC Leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said yesterday he had discussed the Dambulla Mosque dispute with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and that he was confident it would be resolved with justice to all. “The President assured me he would not let the dispute get out of hand and will resolve the contentious matter without harming the interests of any individual or community,” the minister said. more..

Jobs swindler surrenders when about to be apprehended

May 1 (Island) A fugitive, who evaded arrest for five months after swindling about 56 persons, to the tune of forty million rupees, promising them lucrative jobs overseas, surrendered when he was about to be apprehended by a special investigation unit of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). The racketeer, who had been a resident of Maharagama, had operated in the guise of an employment agency owner, using the name of an agency whose licence had been cancelled in 2011. more..

Avalanche of complaints regarding non-implementation of language regulations

May 1 (Island) Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu yesterday said that his organisation had received an avalanche of complaints regarding the violations of the language regulations. He said that the CPA had submitted 20 complaints to the Human Rights Commission, 22 to the Official Languages Commission (OLC), five to the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) and filed two Fundamental Rights (FR) cases in the Supreme Court. more..

India’s nuclear ambitions dark cloud over Sri Lanka

May 1 (LB) Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is mandated to protect Sri Lanka’s people and her environment from the effects of radiation and to plan a Radiological Emergency Preparedness Programme for Sri Lanka, in the event of any nuclear accident due to the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant that is under construction in Tamil Nadu in the Tirunelveli District, just 250km off Sri Lanka’s shores. more..

Galle Fort: World heritage site to be leased

May 1 (SL) Parts of the historic Galle Fort, a world heritage site, are to be sold via an open tender, to private companies to set up malls and other commercial outlets. As an initial step the Galle Kachcheri will be leased out to four establishments including a clothes shop, food outlet and a restaurant. The Galle Heritage Foundation said it will lease out the Kachcheri and use the money it gets to maintain the Galle Fort. Chairman of the Foundation Parakrama Dahanayaka more..