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That illusive Northern Election

May 11 (CT) From time to time, politicians from the South, especially during various phases of political negotiations with the LTTE, have dangled a particular carrot before the Tamil community from the North and East – elections in the provinces to elect their own representatives. Tamil political parties for their part, particularly the TNA, for years had resisted the idea, claiming the absence of civil administration and a suitable climate for more..

When extreme compassion invites double trouble

May 11 (NS) Bodu Bala Sena is a Bhikku organization which came into being sometime back to safeguard the diminishing rights of the Buddhists. It recently held centre stage by campaigning against the controversial enforcement of Halal certification by Islamic clerics known as Ulamas. This whole episode was criticized right round particularly by the English print media in an apparent attempt to show that only one side of the story was being highlighted. The officiating Bikkus of the front strongly more..

Muslim patriotism in Sri Lanka: My questions to BBS

May 11 (CT) This article should be read contextually with all previous parts. It is not my objective to make any derogatory criticism of any community or any religion. An attempt has been made here to illustrate how Sinhalese people have been sympathetic and companionate towards all other religious groups in the past. Though Portuguese and Hindu invaders from South India try to destroy cultural heritage of Sinhalese Buddhist people during the colonial and pre-colonial periods, Sinhalese kings more..

Resurrecting a glorious landmark

May 11 (CT) Colombo has been, for centuries, a city that has enamoured ancient Chinese and Arab traders and European colonists and continues to do so, even today, with modern-day travellers and the thousands who call it their home. Although the political and economical turmoil of the past years stifled the development of the city, Colombo has begun a steady progress towards reshaping itself, with many streets more..

Editorial : Of that not-so-epic celluloid war

May 11 (Island) In what may be described as a queer turn of events a group of anti-terror activists claiming to be followers of the mythical Lankan monarch, Ravana, who according to legend invented the world’s first flying machine or Dandumonara, millennia before the Wright brothers’ contraption came into being, have sought to wage a cultural war of sorts on Tamil Nadu. Angered by pro-LTTE activities and unprovoked attacks on Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu and CM Jayalalithaa’s ban more..

Laying to rest hopes of reconciliation and harmony

May 11 (Island) The freedom to hold an opinion and to express them is a fundamental right of an individual in a democracy. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the member states of the United Nations in 1948, makes this clear. However, like all rights, this right too is not an absolute one. If free speech infringes on the rights or dignity of any other individual or group, then it has to be tempered. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does this when more..

Sri Lanka automates revenue administration

May 11 (Island) The Ministry of Finance is moving towards the automation of its core activities in a bid to improve efficiency, transparency and financial flexibility in a govt saddled by dwindling revenue. The ministry will be introducing an Integrated Treasury Management Information System (ITMIS) to automate its key departments and cut across various functions of the treasury activities, a senior official said. more..

Growth robust, but challenges remain: IMF

May 11 (Island) IMF said SL has achieved robust economic growth with notable progress in several areas, but warned that with inflation elevated and growth slowing, monetary policy was facing a challenging task. "Sri Lanka has achieved notable progress on a number of economic fronts in recent years, although there have also been challenges. While slowing recently, growth has been generally robust, fiscal consolidation has taken place, and poverty and inequality have declined," more..

Long-term solutions needed for power crisis

May 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s electricity crisis has in recent days, gripped the attention of the public with the CEB decision to dramatically raise electricity tariffs, triggering a public outcry. On Wednesday President Rajapaksa, during a May Day rally, announced concessions for lower end users of power. The current power crisis climate is surprisingly similar to a situation in 2008. The CEB in March 2008 increased its tariff rates for the supply of electricity by imposing a mandatory 30% more..

Accidents, experiences and writing from your heart

May 11 (FT) The 20th anniversary event of the Gratiaen Prize was hosted by Standard Chartered at the Park Street Mews’ Stables on 4 May. The winner’s certificate of the 2012 Gratiaen Prize, for the best work of creative writing in English, was awarded to Lal Medawattegedera for his unpublished novel ‘Playing Pillow Politics at MGK’. The Daily FT sat down with Medawattegedara to talk about his more..

BOI signs agreement for US$ 2.6mn luxury hotel near BIA

May 11 (Island) Coco Agro Hotels has finalised plans to construct and operate a 4 to 5 Star class Hotel and conference center in close proximity to the Colombo International Airport, at Naiwala, Veyangoda, the BOI said in a statement. This new facility will comprise of luxurious accommodation on par with 4 to 5 Star class Hotel standards and will focus on convention and conference facilities with its large banquet halls, capable of hosting functions for over 700 people. more..

Lankans charged at Ricky Martin event

May 11 (CG) Two Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been charged with indecent assaults on two women and a girl at a Ricky Martin event in Sydney last night, the Australian reported. The women aged 39 and 31 and a 14-year-old girl were in the crowd at Martin’s promotional appearance at Parramatta Westfield when they were allegedly attacked by the men who are on bridging visas and living in the community at Westmead. Police swooped on the Sri Lankans, aged 47 and 20. more..

Sakvithi allowed bail, but back in remand

May 11 (Island) Nugegoda District Judge Ajith N. Masinghe yesterday allowed Sakvithi Ranasinghe bail in Rs. 500,000 cash and two sureties in Rs. 5 million. Sakvithi Ranasinghe has been charged with operating a bogus finance company and cheating over 2,000 depositors out of Rs 1,050 million. The suspect was ordered to report to the Commercial Crimes section of the CID, every Saturday between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. more..

Jogging tracks, parks reason for flooding-SF

May 11 (DM) DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka said that the recent flash floods in Colombo and Gampaha was due to the incorrectly-built jogging tracks and parks. “The jogging tracks and parks built by the authorities are not up to proper standards and were built without knowledge on the requirements of such infrastructure. The Katunayake-Colombo Expressway was also a reason for flash floods in Gampaha as it is not built up to accepted standards,” he said. more..

Programme to test fluoride level in well water

May 11 (DN) The Health Ministry commenced a special programme to test fluoride levels in well water in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala districts to protect people from various diseases. People in these districts suffer from kidney diseases, urinary track problems, dental fluorosis and bone fluorosis due to the high fluoride content of water in some districts. During a recent study, it was discovered that well water in 8,000 wells in Anuradhapura had high levels of fluoride. more..

FUTA ready to blow the whistle on backdoor entrants

May 11 (Island) The FUTA said that they were ready to announce a list of political appointees in universities and the UGC. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the university system had been highly politicized during the past four years. Dr. Dewasiri alleged that appointments of Peradeniya Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor served as examples. The senior academic said that the FUTA would more..

More funds needed to eradicate landmines in SL: Prince Harry

May 11 (DM) Prince Harry, who is currently on a visit to the US has said Sri Lanka is among the countries where landmines can be eradicated in the next five years, if funding is sustained, UK based Express News Agency said. Harry gave a speech in support of the Halo Trust at a British embassy reception in Washington attended by US policy-makers, supporters of the anti-landmine charity and potential donors. The royal, who is patron of the trust's 25th anniversary appeal, told the guests: more..

Four white elephants to be liquidated

May 11 (Island) There were eight non-functional public institutions and four of them had been marked for liquidation, Deputy Finance and International Monetary Cooperation Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Parliament yesterday. Responding to a query raised by UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake, the minister said that Janatha Fertiliser Company, Hingurana Sugar Corporation, Sri Lanka Rubber Manufacturing and Export Ltd. and Lanka Fabric Ltd. would be liquidated soon. more..

'Electricity tariff won’t affect bread prices'

May 11 (DM) The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA) yesterday rejected claims that bread prices would be soon increased in the light of the recent electricity tariff hike. ACBOA President N.K. Jayawardena said bread prices would not be raised anytime soon and was unlikely to be increased within the next few months either. He said bread prices would only be raised if the price of a kilo of flour was increased by more..

UNDP’s Twinning Schools Programme unearthed talents,drew the stars

May 11 (Island) The UNDP’s Twinning Schools Programme (TSP), held at the Uva Wellassa University premises recently, brought out the multi-faceted talents of children in various fields including art, music, dance and sport. Over 200 students from 21 schools in the Northern, North Central and Eastern Provinces, selected by their respective schools , enlivened the campus while learning, sharing and building bridges of friendship over a four-day period which concluded on April 21, more..

Political Consultations between Sri Lanka and Viet Nam

May 11 (GDI) The Second Round of Political Consultations between Sri Lanka and Viet Nam was held on 4th May in Hanoi. Karunatilaka Amunugama Secretary, External Affairs of Sri Lanka led the Sri Lankan delegation with Dr. Ivan Amarasinghe, the Ambassador in Viet Nam in attendance. Ms. Nguyen Phuong Nga, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam led the Vietnamese delegation with Vuong Hai Nam, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Viet Nam in attendance. more..

UNP promises to take part in PSC

May 11 (CT) The UNP said, in Parliament that it would attend the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to find a solution to the national problem, if the govt is ready to bring back the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said his Party will definitely support the PSC, in the event the govt shows similar commitment by reinstating the independent commissions proposed under more..

BBS admits US tour was funded by Norway

May 11 (CT) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, confirmed that he and certain other members of the movement had met with some of the members of the Tamil Diaspora in the US and the meeting was initiated by a Norwegian well-wisher. The Thera also said the movement's US tour had taken place with the blessings of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Planning. Commenting further on the movement's US tour, the Thera said they more..

Bribery and corruption allegations against Ex-CJ: enough evidence to prove her guilt

May 11 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption was in possesion of enough evidence pertaining to ex-CJ Shiranee Bandaranayake to prove bribery and corruption allegations against her. The charges include the amassing of wealth beyond the means of an ordinary public servant and the submission of falsified reports regarding her assets and liabilities. The Commission had subject these allegations received several months ago to an initial more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Farewell lunch hosted by India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association

May 11 (AT) High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha was hosted for a farewell lunch by the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association on 8th May 2013. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga as well as members of various parties across the political spectrum were present on the occasion. more..

TNA, CMU support strike against power tariff hike

May 11 (Island) The TNA and the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) have pledged their support for the strike the Trade Union Alliance (TUA) is scheduled to hold on May 21 against the electricity tariff hikes. TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah, M. K. Sivajilingam and M. A. Sumathiran yesterday told a delegation of the TUA that their party would support the strike. They also lashed out at the government for acquiring land belonging to civilians in the North for military purposes. more..

President opens new laboratory complex at Govt Analyst’s Dept.

May 11 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday opened the new office and laboratory complex of the Govt Analyst’s Department at Pelawatte, Battaramulla. The state-of-the-art facility also includes the first state owned DNA laboratory in the country. Rs. 1,393 million has been spent on the construction of the six storey building complex. The Department of the Govt Analyst was earlier located at the Torrington Square adjacent to the more..

Ten Sports awarded rights for 2017 India tour of Sri Lanka

May 11 (PTI) The Dubai based Taj Television's Ten Sports has been awarded the TV broadcast rights for India's 2017 tour of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sources said that the contract was awarded for USD 25.5 million. The tour will have two Tests, five ODIs and three T20 Internationals. The Indian tour deal was approved by the new executive committee of SLC which took office after elections held last month. The new executive committee has also approved central contracts for more..

87 blood samples tested positive for influenza

May 11 (CT) The Ministry of Health revealed yesterday that 87 blood samples tested for the presence of influenza had returned with positive results, with 24 positive tested samples belonging to pregnant women. The samples belong to a batch collected between 1 and 8 May, from persons suspected of having influenza. A total of 221 samples from males and non-pregnant females and 43 samples from pregnant females had been tested. The ministry further reports the number of more..

'Sri Lanka won't go by Angelo Mathews' Pune performance'

May 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka's national chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya on Friday said he was concerned after Angelo Mathews was dropped as skipper of struggling Pune Warriors in the ongoing Indian Premier League. "It is unfortunate that Angelo was dropped as a captain. I think this was a concern for myself being chairman of selector. He is the Sri Lankan captain in Tests and one-dayers. It was unfortunate. But Angelo has played more..

Is this the way to win over the US

May 11 (DM) The US has been targeting Sri Lanka at every turn at the instance of the Tamil Diaspora ever since the LTTE was wiped out and the govt appears to be at a loss on how to counter this campaign; but we Lankans living in the US are shocked surprised and perturbed to learn that the govt of Sri Lanka has retained the services of two PR firms in the US at a colossal fee by any standards (USD 66,000 and USD 50,000 per month respectively) to counter this anti-Lanka more..

Dump this bunch of Super Class Citizens

May 11 (DM) Commenting on yesterday’s Daily Mirror front page lead story headlined ‘Duty Free Cars for Ex-PC members,’ a reader quoted a famous cynic “Democracy is a system in which a dumb stupid majority elects dumb stupid leaders.” Though it may be cynical it is also to a large extent a fact in today’s Sri Lankan political scenario as the majority continue to fool themselves and maintain a deafening silence—a silence of the graveyard—on any damn decision at the cost of hundreds of more..

Carry out sentence, lament women on death row

May 11 (SL) In certain instances where women have killed their husbands or partners, there is most often a history of domestic violence that causes these women to suddenly act violently. When a woman is subjected to abuse over time it can drive these desperate women to attack or kill their partner. But when battered women fight back, the law does not always truly take into account the circumstances under which the violence took more..

Mother's love shines on the destitute

May 11 (DM) Upon arrival we were greeted with the noisy chatter and the laughter of young children. All around us there was a flurry of activity with several adults bustling about and girls and boys whizzing past, some on their feet, some in wheel­chairs and one boy on his hands. We were stand­ing in­side MarcSri Sarana Seva, home for disabled orphans and the destitute. Undisturbed by all the activity around her sat a serene more..

Raped and raped again

May 11 (CT) A 15-year-old girl attending a leading school in Colombo was allegedly raped by her 16-year-old boyfriend, and thereafter raped again by an Afghan national, who was introduced to her by the boyfriend, according to police sources. The boy and the Afghan national have been taken into custody, consequent to the girl's mother lodging a complaint with the Dehiwela Police. It is revealed the girl had sat for the more..

Mahasen may affect Sri Lanka

May 11 (CG) The low-pressure area over Southeast Bay of Bengal has undergone intensification twice last night to become a deep depression, just a spin away from being a tropical cyclone, the Hindu newspaper reported today. When declared one, it would be named ‘Mahasen’ (contributed by Sri Lanka) as per World Meteorology Organisation protocol. The deep depression lay 360 km southwest of more..

New law to enable people displaced from North to vote

May 11 (DM) In the wake of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections likely to be held in September, the Cabinet approval was granted to enact legislation enabling those who were displaced from the North between May 1, 1983 and May 18, 2009 to vote at the election. However, this opportunity will be provided only if they have not been registered as voters in other electoral districts. The Cabinet memorandum for this purpose more..

Education Ministry deaf and blind to woes of vision impaired

May 11 (Island) The Administration of the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind (CDBS) appealed to the Education Ministry to make the necessary arrangements, for the vision impaired students, before they sit competitive exams, to ensure that they too received the exam paper on time. Co-vice Principal of the Blind School, Surani Fernando, addressing a media conference on Thursday, at the CDBS, said that students more..

Bribery Commission: Ousted CJ says two commissioners biased

May 11 (DM) Ousted Chief Justice Shirani Banadaranayake who appeared before the Commission Investigating Allegations of Bribery Commission yesterday raised objections to the presence of Chairman Justice Balapatabendi and member Jayantha Wickeramaratne. She asked that they disqualified from participating in the proceedings against her. Filing her objections, she said that former CJ Asoka De Silva more..