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Police enters Janarala office

May 16 (SM) Police attached to the Peliyagoda Crime Division have entered the office premises of the Janarala weekend publication a short while ago. Police have informed the Chief Editor of the newspaper - Chandana Sirimalwatta that they have arrived to question about a news article pertaining to a gold racket, which was published in the paper. Several persons including four policemen in uniform have arrived thus. Earlier in the day, they had gone to the Janarala press in Rathmalana and more..

Contradictory announcements regarding Vesak rules

May 16 (SM) The ministry of Buddhist affairs states that on the Vesak day (24) no sanction will be applied to present Thorana, Dansal and Bhakthi gee programs giving priority to religious activities. Ministry made this comment by issuing a special media announcement today. It further said that the above functions should be held under the direction of the GS and the Chief incumbent of the village temple. However, the ministry, in the evening, announced again that on the 24th, more..

Sri Lanka says minefields cleared for re-settlement

May 16 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops have completed clearing mines from all areas needed for re-settlement and farming in the island's former war zone, the military said Thursday, nearly four years after crushing Tamil rebels. The military said it had removed nearly a million unexploded ordnances, including anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and improvised explosive devices, from the northern and eastern regions where the more..

Post-Nandikadal politics whitewash Vadukoddai violence

May 17 (NS) On any cost-benefit ratio it can be argued that the gains of ending the war in May 2009 saved more lives than halting it to save the lives sacrificed in ending the war. In any case, halting the war to save the lives would not have resulted in peace or saving lives for the simple reason that the intransigent and aggressive Prabhhakaran would never have accepted defeat in the battlefield and agreed to play second fiddle within a united Sri Lanka. Nor could he survive in non-violent, more..

Manilal Fernando witch-hunt

May 17 (NS) FIFA banning Manilal Fernando from all football-related activities for eight years has ruffled a lot of feathers among the sports fraternity of Sri Lanka. In response to the ban, Manilal Fernando’s lawyers have already issued a statement saying they will challenge the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sports, a body that is independent from FIFA. However, it is important to find out what led FIFA to hunt down Manilal Fernando, a former Chairman of the more..

'A strong sense of responsibility will take you far'

May 17 (NS) Vijitha Yapa is a well-known publisher, bookshop owner and most importantly a man who felt the pulse of the people through his experiences in the newspaper industry. Yapa was the founder editor of three national newspapers-Island, Sunday Island and The Sunday Times and also contributed to the careers of many accomplished journalists by absorbing them into the newspaper industry and mentoring them. more..

A united opposition is the terrifying spectre feared most by the Rajapaksas

May 17 (DBS) The Rajapaksas began getting jittery when it became evident that the May 15th demonstration against the electricity hike would be supported by both the UNP and the JVP. The usual bag of tricks was deployed: the shrill screams about undead-Tigers, incoherent rumblings about NGO-cum-international conspiracies; and a hastily organised counter-demonstration. None of the ploys worked; the demonstration on the 15th was a success. If the UNP and the JVP continue more..

Will Britain use CHOGM to rectify blunder affecting Tamils' rights?

May 17 (CT) The UK High Commissioner was asked to comment on accusations that 'divide and rule' policies of the British colonial administration precipitated the present ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. "When the British came to Ceylon in 1796, there were three distinct kingdoms. The British made it one country for purposes of administrative convenience. In over half the number of countries in the world, the British colonial rulers adopted a 'divide and rule' policy. more..

Railway Dept on the threshold of wide expansion

May 17 (SO) The Department of Railways is one of the core service providers to the people of this country and train service is one of the most sought after transportation modes among the public though it is not expanded within the country that much. With the dawn of peace the Railway Dept is also expanding its wings and plans are afoot to restart the services which were suspended during the conflict period in the more..

Political monks and the Kelaniya declaration

May 17 (CT) Mr Sajeeva Samaranayake’s recent article on the Kelaniya Declaration merits a longer response than is practical under “Comments”. This document is a unilateral declaration of independence by the monks of the Vidyalankara monastic college at Kelaniya in Jan 1947. The British govt had already decided to grant independence to Ceylon, and it was to be ceremonially effected a year later, on February 4th, 1948. The intention of the Declaration was more..

Managing 1983 refugee inflow in Jaffna

May 17 (CT) At the stroke of the midnight hour on Saturday 22nd of July 1983, landmine explosions in Thinnavely on the borders of Jaffna town disturbed an uneasy calm. The events that followed tore the country apart for over 25 years. The immediate challenge was for Jaffna society to respond and to measure up to the tasks of managing the inflow of refugees. What happened was magnificent, reinforcing our faith in the goodness of humanity. Jaffna receiving her beleaguered kith and kin, more..

ජනතාවට වැදුණු කරන්ට් රජයටත් වදියිද?

Two-third majority, for the benefit of the people

May 17 (CT) Achieving a parliamentary majority is any political party’s dream. In rare instances, some parties get the special majority in Parliament. Usually, this is required for constitutional amendments, however, when a govt enjoys a special majority in Parliament, it can do virtually anything. Given that it is the popular vote that determines how a particular party fares at an election, securing the special majority is a difficult process under the electorate-based more..

The consequences of political representation or the lack of it

May 17 (GV) The focus of my article in the Sunday Leader of 5 May was on the need for Northern Provincial representation. It now looks as if those elections may be held in September 2013. I will elaborate on the likely consequences of representation, or the lack of it, drawing on past experience in Sri Lanka, India and the USA. All over Sri Lanka the bulk of the Muslim population are Tamil speakers. It was so almost 100% at every socio- economic level when the Official more..

'Only way govt can show spirit of reconciliation is to talk to TNA'

May 17 (DBS) In the lead up to the proposed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in September TNA MP, Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran, has expressed the belief that the govt is not genuinely committed to the process of reconciliation. In a wide ranging interview, he explained why he is doubtful the election would be held as announced and why change has to happen from within. He also said hosting the CHOGM more..

Suspected diarrhoea shuts Buddhasravaka Bhikshu University temporarily

May 17 (DN) Buddhasravaka Bhikshu University in Anuradhapura was reportedly closed from yesterday until May 27. The sources at the University said the University administration decided to temporarily close the University due to a contagious disease. Asked about the disease, an administrator said the University was closed as an infection control measure to prevent the spread of diarrhoea. He said 34 student monks have fallen ill with diarrhoea. Contacted by the Daily News, more..

Sreesanth and two others arrested as spot-fixing again hits IPL

May 17 (IANS) The cricketing world was again shamed Thursday as three Rajasthan Royals players, including India fast bowler S. Sreesanth, were arrested in Mumbai for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) that could well have its links with the Mumbai underworld. Besides the 30-year-old Sreesanth, who has featured in 27 Tests and 53 ODIs, the other two cricketers arrested by the Delhi Police late Wednesday are his Rajasthan more..

Siddhalepa Ayurveda in Berlin

May 17 (IL) Sri Lanka’s leading Ayurvada Company Siddhalepa opened their 4th centre in Germany in the capital city Berlin last Tuesday the 14th May. The ayurvedic centre is situated in the 4 Star Centrovital hotel in the suburbs of Berlin Spandau, situated directly in Lake Spandau. The new Siddhalepa centre has an authentic Sri Lankan atmosphere. It is furnished with traditional handcrafted itmes from Sri Lanka and the more..

Editorial : Swallowing reports, the govt. way

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka is famous for fire-swallowers. They thrust flaming torches into their mouths and, hey presto, fire disappears. But, those traditional dancers playing with fire for a living cannot hold a candle to our politicians who have got swallowing things down to a fine art. A beleaguered president once accused one of his detractors on a campaign to impeach him, of having ‘swallowed ships’ while the latter was the minister in charge of shipping. He also claimed that more..

US research study shows massive potential for Sri Lankan cinnamon

May 17 (DN) A scientific research study four years in the making and just released in the US spells a major windfall for Sri Lanka's cinnamon industry. Appearing in the April issue of the prestigious Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (JAFC), published by the American Chemical Society, the study by researchers at the University of Mississippi analyzing levels of the banned toxic chemical coumarin in cinnamon products affirms the superiority of Ceylon Cinnamon, AKA more..

In Sri Lanka, a new divide brings back old fears

May 17 (Hindu) More than a month after Fashion Bug, a popular clothes store in Colombo, was vandalised, business is back to normal. Shoppers cram into the Muslim-owned store as the Buddhist holiday season for Vesak begins this month-end. Six weeks ago, a mob had broken into the chain store’s main warehouse in a suburb of Colombo. Television footage showed the mob cheering as a Buddhist monk flung a stone at more..

JKH nears 10% of CSE market capitalisation mark

May 17 (FT) Consistent improvement in the share price of John Keells Holdings (JKH) has propelled premier blue chip to almost 10% of Colombo’s market capitalisation. JKH’s share price yesterday hit a new 52-week high of Rs. 278.50 before closing at Rs. 278. The latter put its market capitalisation at Rs. 238.35 billion or 9.76% of the total market capitalisation of the CSE. Analysts said the current level is JKH's highest market cap share. Last week JKH share rose by Rs. 15.50 on its way to more..

Ranaweera, Kaveri, Kulasuriya, Sandaruwan establish new meet records

May 17 (Island) Madusanka Ranaweera of Rahula College, Matara, R. Kaveri of Sri Lanka Navy, Prabash Kulasuriya of Kuliyapitiya MMV and Ishara Sandaruwan of Ratnayake Central, Walala established new meet records on day one of the Junior National Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Ranaweera and Kaveri established records in the Under-20 boys’ hammer throw and Under-23 girls’ pole vault events, while Sandaruwan and Kulasuriya created more..

SLFP Mayor declares war on Weerawansa

May 17 (Island) Kaduwela Mayor G. H. Buddhadasa vowed to launch a protest campaign, involving 1,000 people, at the Kaduwela junction, unless the govt initiated immediate action against NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa and SSP Deshabanda Tennakoon, accused of election malpractices during the last parliamentary polls in April 2010. Kaduwela Municipal Council is controlled by the SLFP-led UPFA. more..

Lanka benefits most from FTA with India

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka has benefited the most from the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement, according to senior economists who said there was much to be done to improve trade relationships between the two countries. Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Executive Director Dr. Saman Kelegama addressing the launch of the handbook on the Indo-Lanka FTA earlier this week, said that Sri Lankan exports to India which were below one percent of total trade prior to the FTA had grown six fold more..

Rupee gains sharply on liquidity concerns, CB intervenes

May 17 (Island) The rupee strengthened sharply against the US dollar on Thursday as banks converted their dollar holdings for rupees in light of the tight liquidity situation prevailing in the market, currency dealers said. Liquidity concerns eased somewhat after the Central Bank announced a term repo auction to inject Rs. 5 billion into the system yesterday. "All bids were rejected because the bid yields were too high, but the Central Bank later announced it would conduct more..

Abans to change shopping concept with huge $ 100 m lifestyle mall in Colombo

May 17 (FT) The Abans Group in collaboration with Silver Needle Hospitality signed an agreement on 13 May with AEDAS an internationally reputed, award winning architectural firm to lead the design for their proposed US$ 100 million five-star super mall opposite the Beira Lake in Colombo. The construction will commence early next year and is expected to be completed by 2016. The Abans Lifestyle Mall, which will be more..

Netherlands donates Rs. 3,500 million to improve blood banks

May 17 (DN) The Blood Bank network of Sri Lanka will be upgraded at a cost of Rs. 3,500 million with modern medical equipment and high technology with the assistance of Simed International, Netherlands. A MoU was signed between the Health Ministry and Simed International recently in connection with the project. The project is aimed at further improving the Blood Transfusion Service and Blood Banks countrywide, preventing blood related infections, such as HIV and Hepatitis. more..

Parents urged to send their children to school despite May 21 strike

May 17 (LB) Minister of Education Services Duminda Dissanayaka has urged the parents of the school students to send their children to schools despite the strike planned for May 21. He said that the parents and adults should not set a bad example to the country and the future generations. Minister Dissanayaka also said that the move would affect the future of the younger generation. The JVP affiliated Lanka Teacher Services Union Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe Wednesday demanded more..

A 'most wanted' fraudster nabbed by CID

May 17 (CT) A special team of officers of the CID in Colombo, took into custody a person, who had fraudulently collected a sum of Rs 150 million from people across the country. Police said he had been posing as the Private Secretary of a former Deputy Defence Minister, Anuruddha Ratwatte, and had also used the names of highly placed political leaders in his fraudulent operations. The suspect was also in possession of a more..

‘Mahasen’ reported to the CID

May 17 (DM) An organisation that goes by the name National Council for the Protection of Historical Irrigable Cultural Heritage had lodged a complaint with the CID against the naming of the cyclone that recently went past the Island ‘Mahasen’. In a letter addressed to the Director of the CID, the organisation urged that a comprehensive inquiry be conducted and a national apology be tendered by the Meteorological Department regarding the naming of the cyclone. more..

Cabinet yet to receive final report of sub-committee on halal certification

May 17 (LB) The Cabinet subcommittee appointed to study and report to the Cabinet of Ministers on the issuance of the halal certification and issues related to it is yet to submit the final report to the Cabinet. Head of the committee and Senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has said the report is almost complete and would be handed over to the Cabinet once finalized. The Cabinet is to decide on the next measures to be taken on the issue of halal certification. more..

Sampur agreement likely to be signed this month

May 17 (DM) The MoU for the setting up of the controversial Sampur Coal Power Project in Trincomalee will be signed this later this month sequent to the cabinet approval on Thursday, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando said. He said a team from National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) India will be in Sri Lanka for the signing of the MoU. “CEB engineers have completed negotiations after more..

Ecuador stops India-Sri Lanka-US migrant smuggling ring

May 17 (AFP) A ring that smuggled immigrants from India and Sri Lanka into the United States through Ecuador has been broken up with the arrest of six people, Ecuadoran authorities said Thursday. Three Indian nationals and two members of Ecuador's immigration police were among the six people arrested in the port city of Guayaquil, where the smuggling network operated, officials said. "They brought in nationals from India and Sri Lanka, and arranged refuge for them in various hotels," more..

40 would-be asylum seekers caught in Munneswaram

May 17 (CT) Over 40 people, who were attempting to migrate illegally to Australia were arrested in the Munneswaram area yesterday. The illegal migrants were arrested by the Chilaw Police while they were camped at a motel at Munneswaram. Despite numerous awareness campaigns and the public being repeatedly warned through the media that the Australian Govt would not provide refuge to illegal migrants, regardless of their reasons for migrating, many Sri Lankans still continue to more..

President opens Ugandan Trade Exhibition

May 17 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni declared open a Trade Exhibition on the evening of May 14. The exhibition that took place on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Local Government Conference 2013 in Kampala, Uganda contained an array of products from Uganda and other East African nations. Minister G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and more..

Teachers get their salary arrears

May 17 (DN) The Education Ministry will settle all teacher salary arrears of Rs 270 million has been allocated for this, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. Accordingly, the issue, which had been dragging on for over seven years will be resolved. Teachers in national and provincial and Pirivena schools will receive their salary arrears with immediate effect. The salary arrears of 3,918 teachers, who represented national and provincial schools and Pirivenas were settled yesterday more..

Under-invoicing for luxury car import by high net worth individual yet to be probed

May 17 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva has questioned the govt’s rational for importing a fleet of Rolls Royce Ghost cars for the CHOGM in November, after a similar car was under invoiced and brought into the country with the Treasury yet to look in to the matter. "Racketeers, be it in the stock market or pushing pyramid schemes, thrive on suckers. They fool innocent people and swindle them. We have seen so many instances where people have even been pushed to suicide. more..

Milk powder samples sent to 3 countries for testing

May 17 (DM) Minister Johnston Fernando directed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to obtain samples of all milk powder imported into the country and have them tested in three countries and obtain the relevant reports. CAA Chairman Rumi Marzook said that he had been instructed by the minister to call for a report on milk samples brought from abroad after the Food Advisory Committee had also recommended more..

Editorial : Towards sustainable growth or soda bottle growth?

May 17 (DM) Central Bank last week reduced policy interest rates as much as 50 basis points to spur growth. The Central Bank wants to make cheap money available to people to spend instead of saving, so that it will fuel economic growth. This is not a policy road the country has not travelled earlier. Every time we went on this road, along with the expected economic growth, a visible outflow of money from the country took place, pressurising Sri Lanka’s Balance of Payment position more..