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Rotaract keeps Negombo’s jewels intact

Aug 1 (NS) Jewels, in a metaphorical sense, are found in all parts of Sri Lanka. This perhaps could be the very reason why the country has also been acknowledged as the ‘paradise isle’ of the Indian Ocean since time immemorial. These jewels or in other words talented folks are the country’s assets. Having realized this, Raveen Liyanage of Negombo, decided to bring together all the jewels scattered in town, and put them in a cluster so they can shine even brighter, once unified. more..

Tamil University Part III: The Needham report

Aug 1 (SL) With S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s 1956 language policies, the universities faced uncertainty. A Ceylon University Commission (a.k.a. the Needham Commission) was appointed by the Governor General Sir Oliver Goonetilleke in Feb. 1958 under Dr Joseph Needham, FRS (Reader in Biochemistry, Cambridge and China expert), Professor Gyanesh C. Chatterji (Vice Chancellor, Rajastan a.k.a Rajputana) and Leopold James de Silva Seneviratne, CCS. more..

A better future for children and women

Aug 1 (SO) When the govt of Sri Lanka adopted the National Action Plan for the Protection of Human Rights from 2011- 2016 it envisaged a series of action plans for the protection and promotion of children and women's rights dedicating more than 25 pages to detail the required action for the protection of child rights and nine pages for women's rights. The Action Plan for the protection of children's rights also calls for the more..

Nationhood and National Parks

Aug 1 (GV) National parks in Sri Lanka that traverse the lines of nature reserves are held in reverence in the Sri Lankan psyche. Ideas of nature reserves in Sri Lanka are often traced back to King Devanmanpiyatissa, having converted to Buddhism came to the realization that all beings have an equal right to the land and that as the ruler the king was only the guardian of the land, subsequently creating a sanctuary for wildlife in Mihinthale. Since then the idea of nature reserves and national parks more..

The Story of a Sri Lankan Constant

Aug 1 (GV) Have you ever observed Physicists? They are usually searching for constants, and separating them from variable quantities aren’t they? You must have heard of Plank’s constant, gravitational constant, the speed of light and so on. I am no physicist, but I know enough of the subject to be able to say that if you don’t recognize the existence of some constants, you are in danger of solving the wrong problem. Let me tell you a story about a particular constant to do with SL. more..

‘Every drop matters’

Aug 1 (ST) From the skies, Trincomalee is a sight for sore eyes – lush greenery alongside brown fields. Yet on the ground the reality is different. For those who live here, the dry and extremely arid conditions make life a daily struggle. The war might be over, but the fight for survival is still hard. One of the most persistent problems the people face is in getting clean water-here is the quintessential story of families walking for more..

Can Sampanthan regain lost political clout of the minorities?

Aug 1 (CT) Recent weeks saw the emergence of two new political trends in two different camps that are indicative of diverse repercussions yet to be assessed. One was the unanimous decision of the TNA to nominate former Supreme Court Judge, C.V. Vigneswaran as its chief ministerial candidate, having successfully ironed out the differences of opinion that prevailed among the contending parties until the final moment. The other was the ominous threat by Ministers Wimal Weerawansa and more..

Black July commemoration to rationalize terrorism

Aug 1 (NS) Over the years, we used to witness organized campaigns to commemorate unfortunate incidents that took place in July 1983 in our country. Certain vested interests and organizations are hell-bent to assert those incidents as a genocidal attack on Tamils by Sinhalese; hence they call it, Black July. Some academics, members of certain organizations and political parties are much inclined to portray themselves as secular activists by way of commemorating the so-called Black July, more..

Sri Lanka: The new persecution

Aug 1 (FT) “Is there no woman here? …Is there no man in this land? Is there no honest man or only the sort of man who nourishes and protects the sons of his own blood? Is there no god in this country? Is there no god in this country where the sword of the king is used for the murder of innocent strangers?” – Kannahi’s lament outside the Madurai court from the 3rd Century Tamil epic, Silapathikaram as referenced by Dr. Vasuki more..

Sri Lanka: Coercion for political realism

Aug 1 (CT) The young Sri Lankan man in the audience did not like it as the former editor of The Sunday Leader’s Frederica Jansz spoke about her persecution at the hands of the dictatorial and authoritarian Rajapakse regime. The occasion was a seminar organised by a Sri Lankan professor at the University of Pittsburgh to discuss the issue of militarism and humanitarianism in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The editor had to flee her country within a few days to avoid being killed as more..

The persecution of Muslims in Sri Lanka and the indifference of Muslim MPs

Aug 1 (CT) The LTTE was fiercely decimated purely because they forcefully expelled the Muslims from the Northern province at gunpoint, and abruptly put an end to the call for prayers (Athan), thereby closing the mosques in the province. As such, let those who attempt to close mosques currently in Southern Sri Lanka be decimated in the same way and I am sure that they will also face the consequences sooner or later. I deliver this speech today in this parliament, more..

SLPA sets sail on Vision 2020 for logistics excellence on Silk Route

Aug 1 (FT) Giving a further boost to the targeted achievement of becoming a maritime hub in the region, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on Tuesday introduced a corporate plan titled ‘Vision 2020 – Logistic Excellence in the Silk Route’ with a redefined vision and mission, shifting from the original aim of being a container hub to being a global logistical centre. With a mission to deliver world class services more..

Much work needed on several fronts for South Africa

Aug 1 (CI) If South Africa are looking for comfort, they should avoid statistics. The numbers will only serve to depress after a series in Sri Lanka that was supposed to mark the start of a new dawn for the one-day team but now represents one of their worst points. Some of the lowlights include losing two matches by margins of more than 100 runs for the first time ever and the supposed leader of the attack Morne Morkel, sending down the most wides by a South Africa bowler in a bilateral series ever. more..

Dayasiri’s crossover hatched many years ago by the President?

Aug 1 (NS) A conversation took place between a singer, a lyricist and a journalist, in Kaduwela. This was 3-4 years ago. The topic was the charisma and charm of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The singer, Kithsiri Jayasekara, brother of the in-the-news Dayasiri Jayasekara, told a story. He had no reason to lie. Chaaminda Ratnasuriya was witness. This writer remembers. Kithsiri spoke in Sinhala. Here’s a translation. ‘Lokka (that’s the President), called Malli (younger brother). more..

Kulasekara back in Sri Lanka T20 squad

Aug 1 (CI) Nuwan Kulasekara has been named in the Sri Lanka squad for the Twenty20 series against South Africa after missing the ODI leg of the tour, while Jeevan Mendis has also earned a place. Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Perera and Angelo Perera, all of whom played in the ODI series, have also been included. Kulasekara had been sidelined for three weeks by a finger injury he sustained in the tri-series in the Caribbean, more..

Dilshan's skip and anti-climax

Aug 1 (CI) One run off 22 deliveries constitutes a poor innings in almost any ODI, but in a chase of over 300, it is nearly unforgivable. Farhaan Behardien has had fine moments with the ball in this series, but his final innings in the series was one he'd hope the selectors were not watching closely. Uncomfortable against the pace of Thisara Perera and clueless against Ajantha Mendis, who dismissed Behardien for 2 and 0 in his two other matches in the series, he missed, more..

A nation of poison swallowers

Aug 1 (Island) Researchers are working themselves into the ground in a desperate bid to contain the Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDU) responsible for many deaths in the North Central Province. Doctors, scientists and environmentalists are calling for bans on agrochemicals with arsenic, and rightly so. But, lamentably, nobody seems to care a damn about the tonnes of other harmful chemicals that unscrupulous traders shove down unsuspecting people’s more..

Sri Lanka: No justice in aid worker massacre

Aug 1 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt has made no real progress in holding accountable those responsible for the execution style slaying of 17 aid workers seven years ago despite renewed international calls for action. On August 4, 2006, gunmen executed 17 Sri Lankan aid workers – 16 ethnic Tamils, four of them women, and a Muslim – with the Paris-based international humanitarian agency Action Contre La Faim (ACF) more..

JEDB estates on the brink of insolvency

Aug 1 (Island) Plantations managed by state controlled Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB) are nearing insolvency. Apart from financial inputs for payment of wages, working capital funding have been withdrawn by the govt which controls the JEDB, sources said. The Secretary General of the Ceylon Planters’ Society Lt. Col. (Ret) Leslie Marshal said reports received from these estates were so serious that the JEDB estates numbering about 20 faced closure. more..

Colombo tea auction turns 130

Aug 1 (FT) The world’s biggest of its kind, the Colombo Tea Auction this week celebrated its 130th anniversary. Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers, one of the pioneering broking firms since the inception, said the anniversary fell on Tuesday and expressed hope for continued success for Colombo Auctions. Somerville & Co in 1878, Forbes & Walker in 1881 and Keell & Waldock, which later became John Keells Ltd., were the original brokers. An extract from the Ceylon Observer of more..

Health sector in crisis

Aug 1 (CT) Food supplies to hospitals will come to a standstill by next week, if arrears of Rs 600 million owed to food suppliers are not settled immediately, the Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) revealed. President of the HSTUA, Saman Ratnapriya, said the Health Ministry had approached the Treasury twice in the recent past, to get funds to meet costs incurred on food. Though Rs 700 million has been allocated more..

'Port potential draws foreign attention'

Aug 1 (FT) Sri Lanka’s potential in the ports sector has not gone unnoticed by the international community, MP Namal Rajapaksa said, as is evident by the flow of investment coming into the sector. Acknowledging China as a country that realised and cashed in on the sector’s prospects before many others, he expressed that Saudi Arabia, Japan, Russia and Seychelles have now expressed interest in the sector. “China recognised that Sri Lanka was poised for growth some time ago. more..

Double tragedy for Navy

Aug 1 (Island) A Commander and a Lieutenant Commander of the Navy were killed in the early hours of yesterday after their car crashed head-on with a container truck at Karuwelagawewa ninth mile post on the Anuradhapura-Puttalam main road. The victims, Commander G. D. Janaka Priyantha (44) of Horana and Lieutenant Commander D. Charith Sanira Kaluthanthrie (32) of Madiwela, Kotte had been on their way back to Colombo after attending a passing out parade in Anuradhapura. more..

'Reveal godfathers of Deraniyagala criminals'

Aug 1 (Island) A thorough investigation into the killing of Nihal Perera (69), Superintendent of Noori estate in Deraniyagala would expose the godfathers of those arrested for the high profile killing, UNP MP Champika Premadasa said. Premadasa, who had been a longstanding SLFPer before switching his allegiance to the UNP, said that people of Deraniyagala had been terrorised by the gang responsible for more..

Ceylinco Shriram says settled 62% in cash to 80% of their investors

Aug 1 (Island) Ceylinco Shriram has successfully made payments in cash to 4,639 which represents 80 % of their investors, amounting to over 62% of their deposits, as at now. The balance 1,150 which represents 20 % of the investors have received payments averaging to over 22% of their investments in cash. The payments have been made In conformity with the payment plan submitted by the Board of Directors of Ceylinco Shriram to the Courts and its investors. more..

Cardinal laments conduct of some LG politicos

Aug 1 (Island) The deplorable conduct of some Pradeshiya Sabha members and chairmen tarnished the image of the country, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said. He said politicians should set an example to the people who voted them into office. The Cardinal expressed these views when he was asked what he thought of the deteriorating law and order situation in the country and the situation at Deraniyagala, where an estate superintendent was killed by politically connected goons. more..

Sathosa on fire: 30 m damage, vital documents burnt

Aug 1 (DN) A fire at the Sathosa Building at Vauxhall Street, Slave Island early yesterday caused damage to the building's seventh floor and destroyed several offices of the Cooperative and Trade Ministry. The damage was estimated at Rs 30 million. Documents belonging to the CWE pertaining to court cases that deal with CWE dealings in the time of Ravi Karunanayake, were also destroyed along with all other more..

Over 10,000 obtain NICs, other vital documents in North

Aug 1 (CT) More than 10,371 people had utilized the services offered by 37 mobile service units in the Northern Province, which were deployed to assist the people who do not possess National Identity Cards and other relevant personal documents. CaFFE, CHR and the Department of Registration of Persons, jointly organized the mobile services. CaFFE said, the service was provided for the people in the Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts, over a period of 15 days, free of charge. more..

Sri Lanka clears tax anomaly, making Indian trucks cheaper

Aug 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has cleared a tax anomaly which can make single cab trucks, especially some Indian brands, cheaper, Deputy Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Until imported single cab trucks were charged two rates of taxes based on whether the engine was protruding forward or not which made some Indian made trucks more expensive compared to others like Chinese-made ones. Attygalle said following representations by the motor traders the anomaly had been cleared and more..

Indian fishermen caught: Organized poaching?

Aug 1 (DN) The Navy yesterday arrested 65 Indian fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan waters, bringing the total number of arrested to 272, during the last seven months. The number of Indian fishing boats that were accosted by the Sri Lanka Navy during this period tops 51. The navy arrested 34 fishermen fishing in the seas off Point Pedro in five trawlers. The rest were arrested in the seas off Trincomalee along with four boats. more..

All big players hand in nominations for NPC

Aug 1 (Island) The UPFA, UNP and the JVP handed in their nominations to contest the Jaffna District to the Chief Returning Officer Sundaram Arumainayagam at the Jaffna District Secretariat yesterday morning. Minister Susil Premajayanth flew to Jaffna last morning to hand over the nominations of the UPFA for the Jaffna district. Premajayanth who was accompanied by EPDP Leader Minister Douglas Devananda and Group Leader representing the EPDP Ex-MP S. Thavarasa and more..

Kabir won't support UNP

Aug 1 (CT) UNP MP, Kabir Hashim, vowed not to support the UNP at the forthcoming Central Provincial Council polls due to alleged irregularities in the nomination list. He is currently overseas. Hashim has expressed grave displeasure at the manner in which the names of several active UNP members had been taken out of the list of candidates by the Nominations Board led by Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and with regard to preference being given to the team led by more..

Yapa faults COPE for not giving fixes

Aug 1 (FT) A pumped-up Petroleum Minister criticised the COPE report on the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) because it did not present pragmatic solutions to colossal losses. Responding to questions on the COPE report, Yapa defended the CPC and insisted that the losses were only due to fuel subsidies provided by the Govt and not due to corruption and mismanagement. COPE had highlighted the latter and insisted that more..

Suspects are not my supporters - CM

Aug 1 (Island) Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath strongly denied being the political godfather of former Deraniyagala Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Anil Champika Wijesinghe and his gang. CM Herath claimed that he and his son, Kanaka in Parliament hadn’t supported Wijesinghe. The SLFP veteran was responding to a query by The Island. CM Herath said that he would be consulting lawyers over the coming weekend to discuss legal action against those defaming him and his son.

US concerned over Deraniyagala atrocities

Aug 1 (DM) The United States has said it was concerned about the allegations horrendous atrocities including killings and rapes in the vicinity of a Deraniyagala Tea Estate managed by a US company and urged that a thorough investigation be carried out and the miscreants prosecuted. “The US Embassy remains concerned about the incidents and we urge a swift and thorough investigation and prosecution,” US Embassy Information Officer Juliana A. Spaven said while referring to more..

Deraniyagala terror probe on police top brass

Aug 1 (DM) The Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has launched an investigation into the activities of the senior police officers, who were in charge of the Deraniyagala Police Division during the period gangsters led by former Deraniyagala PS Chairman Anil Champika Wijesinghe alias Athakota were alleged to have committed their atrocities. The SIU would look into the negligence of duties by the more..

Taxing the evil: Why selective treatment?

Aug 1 (DM) The govt yet again has increased the prices of cigarettes to boost its tax revenue. The lower end fag prices were jacked up by Rs.2 and the high end by Rs.3. Interestingly Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara had told media a few days back that the tax revenue of the government was on the rise. The IMF has been calling for the govt to increase its tax revenue highlighting the fact that Sri Lanka has the lowest tax revenue (11% of the Gross Domestic Product) in the region. more..

Neelan Thiruchelvam - Stood for civil rights, pluralism and justice

Aug 1 (DM) A memorial lecture on the late Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam was delivered by Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice, New York University at the BMICH last week. Following are some excerpts from her lecture. The theme of public and private morality in the mourning of the dead after a war, the post-war social structure and coming to terms with pluralism for a more democratic future were focused at an in- depth presentation by Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice, more..

Plague of the Silvas

Aug 1 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva and his son Malaka have always courted controversy. Never out of the limelight, they again attracted attention for the wrong reasons this week; Malaka was assaulted at a clothing store in the heart of the city; Mervyn ordered the closure of a controversial factory in Gampaha. Malaka Silva was admitted to a private hospital following the assault. His injuries were not of a serious nature and more..

PC Polls: An uphill task for many

Aug 1 (SL) The upcoming PC elections are on every politician’s mind. First blood has already been drawn as former UNP stalwart Dayasiri Jayasekara crossed over to the govt, reportedly in return for a Chief Ministerial position in one of the provinces. As each of the political parties readied themselves for electoral battle, The Sunday Leader spoke to some of the parties on their strategy for the upcoming election. more..