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UNP to draft new constitution for Sri Lanka

May 13 (LB) The UNP has taken measures to draft a new constitution for the country to address the current issues. The party has also decided to appoint a committee to draft the constitution. Its Colombo district MP and former Bar association President Wijedasa Rajapaksa is slated to be appointed as the Chairman of the committee. The committee would meet for the first time on May 29 to start the drafting of the constitution. more..

Kudos for Sri Lanka’s anti-poverty programme

May 13 (DN) Sri Lanka has made significant progress going by international criteria on poverty alleviation, Chairman and Managing Director of the Sovereign Rating Committee, Standard and Poor’s Sovereign Rating Mission John Chambers said. He is also impressed by the country’s development, and facilities provided for investors. Chambers made this observation when he and committee members met Minister more..

TU alliance tells President it wants all or nothing

May 13 (Island) The Trade Union Alliance has issued a warning to President Rajapaksa that if he fails to abolish the proposed electricity tariff hike, he will have to face a general strike. The Co–ordination Committee of the Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA), which is organising the May 21 token strike has, in a letter to President, who is currently on an official visit to Uganda, rejected his May Day promise to reduct electricity tariff more..

Speeding cab had two guns

May 13 (Island) Bandarawela Police found two locally manufactured guns (Gal Katas) inside a cab at Punagala on Saturday night. The vehicle sped past the police check point on the Bandarawela – Poonagala road without stopping when signaled to halt. The police mobile, which was at the checkpoint at the time, gave chase to the TATA cab, which came to a halt near the Poonagala estate and its two occupants took to their heels. The police found 15 shotgun pellets and a small amount of more..

Police too violate civil laws – DIG

May 13 (LT) Civil laws are violated by the police as well and police should make an attempt to prevent such violations says Senior DIG in charge of the Southern Province D.D. Wickremeratne. Speaking at a ceremony held at Lighthouse Hotel in Galle to acknowledge police officers who displayed special skills DIG Wickremeratne further said, "Police officers are always dedicated for the objectives of the service. The Objective of police services is to protect the public. more..

Mahinda, the right leader to make progress on a solution to ethnic problem – US

May 13 (CT) “PDAS Steven Mann, accompanied by Ambassador and Pol Chief, met Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa on March 8. Gothabaya, noting that an overwhelming majority of Sinhalese Buddhists had voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005, told us that his brother’s popularity among the majority community was still strong. However, Sri Lanka’s system of proportional representation in Parliament more..

Editorial : Ridiculing the intelligence of the people

May 13 (CT) Looking at how the govt is running the country, it appears a lesson on 'How not to rule a country' would be timely. Having broken all the pledges it gave the people at election time, the govt is now bent on strengthening its iron hold on the country, driving fear into the people through the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The arrest and detention of Azath Salley, the one-time Deputy Mayor of Colombo, for having given an interview to an Indian magazine while more..

Letter from Taipei: Reality is more complex than youthful prejudices

May 13 (CT) The majority of Lankans, of all hues, have not been favourably inclined to Taiwan (formerly Formosa) since the early 1950s. The love affair with the Peoples’ Republic commenced with the Rubber-Rice Pact (1953) and continued through Non-Alignment, notions of Peaceful Coexistence and Non-Interference in each other Internal Affairs (meaning non-interference in each others human rights violations) and the gift of the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall. more..

'While ancient Indians were using bronze, Lankans used iron'

May 13 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerwansa says that Sri Lanka is a land which can be proud of a heritage with its own distinct civilization. Participating in a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for a housing scheme at Lindula, Weerawansa said that there was archaeological evidence of ancient Lankans using iron some 4,000 years ago. "Yet the records from India do not go back more than 3,000 years. more..

Mischievious SMS spoils Sri Lankan festival

May 13 (E24|7) Due to large-scale non-participation by Muslims, Nuwara Eliya, the most picturesque town in Sri Lankan’s hill country, saw a drop of 35% in visitor arrivals in April this year compared with last year, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported. The drop came as a result of an SMS that was circulated, warning Muslims not to come to Nuwara Eliya during the season. The SMS scare began after a Muslim youth sent out a message requesting co-religionists to stay away from Nuwara Eliya. more..

Mobitel partners with SriLankan Airlines

May 13 (GDI) For the first time in Sri Lanka, the National Mobile Service Provider, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel along with the country’s national carrier – SriLankan Airlines recently began to offer customers the opportunity to reserve airline tickets via mobile phone. Expanding on Mobitel’s mTicketing platform, this collaboration breaks new ground, and makes it the only entity to offer this facility in the country. Reserving an air ticket via Mobitel’s mTicketing platform more..

Sri Lanka unlikely to benefit from Bangladesh apparel industry accidents

May 13 (Xinhua) Despite multiple apparel industry accidents in Bangladesh it is unlikely that Sri Lanka, a neighboring competitor, will see an increase in its revenues from retailers preferring to switch to better labor standards, experts said here. The social situation in Bangladesh will not provide additional benefit to the Sri Lankan apparel industry as higher labor cost proves to be a significant deterrent for global more..

Hit-and-run driver who took refuge in army camp remanded

May 13 (Island) A drunken driver who drove his car into the Gajaba army camp, at Bauddhaloka Mawatha on Sunday May 5, ‘for his safety’ after being involved in at least two hit-and-run accidents, has been remanded till May 20 by the Fort Magistrate, the Wellawatte police said. A three wheeler driver, who had witnessed one of the accidents, had given chase to the escaping car from Wellawatte through W. A. de Silva Mawatha, then along High Level Road and had finally more..

25 politicos under the radar of police over alleged links with underworld elements

May 13 (LB) The defense authorities have commenced an investigation on 25 local politicians who are allegedly having links with the underworld elements, local media has reported. The politicians are suspected of manipulating their political powers to deploy subversive elements in their electorates to suppress the opponents and consolidate their power base. Out of these politicians, 4 are Ministers, 3 are Deputy Ministers, 4 are Provincial Councilors and 11 are Local Govt members. more..

Tamil parties form committee to address ethnic issues

May 13 (PTI) To address issues faced by the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, the TNA, a group of five Tamil parties of the country, has appointed a committee to formulate a draft proposal. The three-member committee is to come out with a draft incorporating a basic solution to the ethnic issues, said Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar in the north. Bishop on Saturday met the senior leaders of the alliance to iron out more..

JVP to move motion against AG

May 13 (LB) The JVP has decided to move a motion against the special appeal filed by Attorney General (AG) Palitha Fernando on April 30 against a judgment of the Court of Appeal regarding the impeachment of former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The Supreme Court acting on the AG's appeal issued a notice on Dr. Bandaranayake and TNA MP R. Sampanthan and JVP MP Vijitha Herath, who were opposition members of the parliamentary select committee that probed more..

VC transfers decision making to Deans

May 13 (DN) Peradeniya University's Vice Chancellor Athula Senaratne, has transferred his decision taking power to the Deans against the 34 university students, who have been accused of ragging by the University administration. The VC had taken this decision due an outcome of a discussion held recently with the Vice Chancellor, the Dean and the representatives of the Students’ Unions over the ragging incident. However, this discussion was held following a protests more..

Sri Lanka opens High Commission in Uganda

May 13 (NV) President Yoweri Museveni has opened the new High Commission of Sri Lanka in Uganda at the Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala. The colorful ceremony that was attended by the visiting President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaska was characterized by the unveiling of a plaque and cutting of a ribbon. The first envoy of Sri Lanka to Uganda is Velupillai Kananathan. The same function saw the launching of the more..

Goodbye MTNA welcome NUA – Salley

May 13 (Island) Leader of the Muslim-Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) Azath Salley has decided to head the National Unity Alliance (NUA), which he intends to register as a political party. Speaking from his hospital bed at Nawaloka last afternoon, where he has been warded since his detention order was revoked by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday, Salley said that he had checked with the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya on NUA’s status and been informed that more..

Bride elopes with attesting witness

May 13 (DM) In a twisted tale of love and marriage, a bride from Gampola is reported to have eloped with the attesting witness, some two hours after she married her lover. Details of the case as recorded by the police revealed that a Kandy girls’ school A/L student who had obtained nine As at the O/L exam had fallen in love with a 19-year-old A/L student of another Kandy school. After being involved in an amorous love affair, the couple had decided to spend a night together, the inmates had more..

AEA to test imported milk

May 13 (CG) The Atomic Energy Agency (AEA) is to test imported milk powder for radiation, the Ministry of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy said today. The Ministry also said that the AEA will continue tests for radiation in fish and canned fish. It also said that the ITI and SLSI is ready to provide lab facilities to conduct tests on imported milk. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, urged the public to refrain more..

'Northern Province election according to 1980 calculation'

May 13 (OU) According to the population statistic taken before year 1977, the Northern Province election should be held was proposed by Minister Champika Ranaweka at the cabinet briefing but it was rejected. Meanwhile Minister Basil said, northern election will be held according to the population statistics taken for north in year 1980. Fiery arguments were held at the last cabinet meeting, concerning northern election issue. Minister Champika Ranawaka said, more..

Sri Lankan universities ready to use its expertise to help commercial firms

May 13 (N360) A work shop organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently has helped create public awareness on the partnerships that has been forged between the Sri Lankan Universities and the country’s commercial sector. The work shop held under the title of “Forging partnerships with Universities in the Commercial arena” at the CCC auditorium has brought to light the work done by local universities to a large number of corporate firms, primarily public more..

BBS suspects Wimal – Shiv Sena links

May 13 (CG) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today claimed that Minister Wimal Weerawansa may have links with Shiva Sena in India. BBS general secretary the venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero said that the Minister’s wife is working with a Buddhist monk in Padukka who is funded by the Shiva Sena. Shiv Sena, is a Hindu nationalist political organisation in India. Gnanasara said that the Shiva Sena is working on more..

Stocks close down 0.2%, banks retreat

May 13 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.18% Monday with bank stocks sliding as domestic investors took profits, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 10.97 points lower at 6,239.03 down 0.18% and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 12.05 points lower at 3,518.85 down 0.34%. Turnover was 535 million rupees against 1.4 billion rupees on Friday, with 24.6 million shares changing hands. Foreign buying was down to 176 million as compared to 284 million rupees on Friday. more..

Mahasen no more

May 13 (DM) The Meteorology Department had decided not to use the name “Mahasen” any longer for the cyclone that moving away from the country. Following the various pressures received, the department had decided to remove the name from the cyclone. However, the department declined to comment the reason, which led to removal of the name. Meanwhile, the sources at the department revealed the decision was taken after the received pressure from several organisations urging more..

NTC demands compensation from Gemunu

May 13 (CT) The National Transport Commission (NTC) has sent letter of demands asking a compensation of Rs.200 million from Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne for defaming the Minister C.B. Ratnayake and National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairman Roshan Gunawardane. NTC Chairman said, he has demanded Rs.100 million for NTC and more..

View from Ritigala

May 14 (NS) Colombo wakes up every now and then in righteous fury. There are people who seem to be dead most of the year, but raise their heads only if and when they sense someone can be turned into a hero. We saw this with Sarath Fonseka. Then there was Shirani Bandaranayake. The latest was Azad Salley. There was noise. Then the man himself got down from his own high horse. He didn’t fall, but others seen to have fallen flat on their faces. Political commentators are now wondering more..

Blake’s bunkum about US base in Maldives

May 14 (NS) Controversy surrounding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and the Maldives sent top US officials into damage control mode last week. US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, was quoted as saying his country had ‘no plans’ to have a permanent military presence in the Maldives. Blake was responding to concerns reportedly raised by both India and Sri Lanka regarding the contents of an unauthenticated more..

Ranaviru Month: They need our love, respect and honour

May 14 (SO) This is the Ranaviru Month for Sri Lanka. The month to remember the painful loss of over 21,000 young men and women who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Task Force and Police in the three decade long war against terrorism. Over 12,000 youth of our Tri-Forces and Police have become disabled in this fight. One month that started from May 8 will be a unique month for Sri Lankans giving more..

Life begins anew for Keppapulavu displaced people relocated at Seeniyamottai

May 14 (DBS) A board placed roadside announced,: “Keppapulavu Model Village”. Houses here are those who belonged to the final batch of returnees from Menik Farm, onetime the world’s largest facility for the IDPs. In September last year, public and media were denied access to this site. Today, there are signs of a renewal of life, as the returnees are slowly settling in houses that are being built and a new road is under construction. Many of the returnees have small vegetable plats, more..

Electricity hikes and the darkening economy

May 14 (CT) At the heart of the debate about the electricity price hikes are questions about state services, class inequality, redistribution and the economic transformation underway in Sri Lanka. Is electricity a basic need for the broader population and is it an essential social infrastructure that is the state’s responsibility? How is this infrastructure to be built, expanded and sustained? Who is to pay for it? In this article about electricity hikes – perhaps the most important economic move by the govt more..

Succulent or noxious

May 14 (CT) Half a century ago, it was a treat to eat fruits such as bananas, Kew pineapples, mangoes, papaw, oranges, tangerine, guava, beli, jambu, mangosteen, annona, veralu and so forth that grew one's garden. These fruits were either ripened on the tree itself or plucked when mature and allowed to ripen naturally. Such fruits were nutritious, tasty and sweet smelling. Only Kew pineapples, bananas and plantains were more..

K’kulam: More posers than answers

May 14 (Island) The Indian Supreme Court clearance for the controversial Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu in spite of protests against its commissioning has irked anti-nuclear activists beyond measure. However, it has struck a responsive chord with those who have placed India’s energy needs above everything else, demanding that its nuclear power which accounts for 3.6% of its installed capacity for power generation be increased further to help it compete with world powers. more..

Sri Lanka: Island of Amnesia and Dementia?

May 14 (SL) We were wondering on a windy May morning in our hansiputuwa in our Isstoppuwa about the name of our country: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Is it democratic? We wondered. Some loyalists of the ruling party would of course agree. Could there be a govt more democratic than this? So far we’ve seen the army commander and the chief justice being sacked. No one is sacrosanct, they will say. All are equal and any one can be sacked but only a few who more..

3D GREEN: විදුලි බිලට හිරුගේ විසඳුම...

The glaring missing element in the electricity tariff hike

May 14 (CT) While most commentators howled in opposition to the Electricity tariff hike , I have argued (e.g., 7th May, Island) that this would jolt the nation into a more salutary developmental trajectory. The first stages of development relate to basic agricultural capabilities needed to feed the people. The vision of successive govts before and after independence had been fired by the ancient hydraulic civilization of Sri Lanka. This led to the Galoya, Walawe, Mahaweli and other more..

We are perfectly entitled to be antagonistic towards govt

May 14 (DBS) So is humiliating or being antagonistic towards the Govt the latest excuse that will be used to invoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA, 1979) against critics? This question is unfortunately self-explanatory as we entered into the theatre of profound absurdity last week with the PTA detention order arresting dissenting Muslim politician Azath Salley inter alia stating that he had engaged in ‘humiliation of the Govt’ and proclaimed ‘antipathetic statements against the Govt which more..

Sri Lankan Embassy in South Korea conducts Mobile Services for its citizens

May 14 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul conducted ten Consular & Labour Mobile Services during the months of April and May 2013, for the benefit of Sri Lankan citizens living and employed in South Korea. The mobile services were conducted in parallel with New Year celebrations organized by Sri Lankan associations in South Korea. The Embassy held mobile services in the cities of Anseong, Daegu, Ulsan, Uijeongbu, more..

Rodrigo hails Lakmali

May 14 (Island) A.J. Rodrigo (junior), the coach of national javelin champion Nadeeka Lakmali is confident that the thrower could make up for the injury plagued past by improving her national mark soon rather than later. "Her bad patch is over she is ready to make up for the lost time due to injuries," the voluntary throwing coach, who trains most of the national throwers, told ‘The Island’ after attending a felicitation ceremony for the Asian Grand Prix women’s javelin champion at Meepe more..