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Institutional decay influences development and socio-political stability

May 17 (DM) In fact modern societies exist and maintain stability and order, largely on the strength of their economic, political, social and cultural institutions. In spite of their complexity and diversity these institutions are characterised by certain underlying principles and values critical for their effective functioning. These principles and values can vary across different domains, i.e. economic, cultural, political and social. Yet, what creates some form of unity among these diverse institutions more..

Labour Day jokes?

May 17 (LT) The 1st of April is famous around the world as “The Fool’s Day”. This is another European tradition that was dipped in to our culture. In Europe, on the 1st of April, people lie to each other and tease them for joy. And the one who gets caught to these white lies called an “April fool”. Sometimes they are known as “April fish”. However, the speciality of the April fool’s Day is cheating others by telling lies. more..

Lights, food, action! Vesak spirit undimmed

May 17 (ST) With the Avurudu celebrations barely over, Vesak lanterns, pandals and other decorations are already taking shape in houses and workplaces, and busy lantern-makers say the Vesak spirit has beaten the cost of living blues. Hard at work is S.A. Ariyarathne, 57, who started making lanterns a week ago, with customers attracted by the family’s 28-year history of making the dainty frames and hanging them at more..

Jungle, beaches and elephants in the new and improved Sri Lanka

May 17 (GN) Cracks of thunder slice through the air, but the previous day the sun had turned the landscape citrus bright. It’s just one of many contradictions that define Sri Lanka – some of them delicious, some less so. I’m sitting in the new Number One Mirissa Hotel watching surfers ride the waves into the rocky horseshoe bay of Mirissa, the view framed by swaying palm trees. This boutique property, owned by an English emigrant, more..

UN medals awarded to Sri Lankan contingent in Lebanon

May 17 (MoD) The customary UN Medal Parade, the prestigious military ceremony that recognizes the exemplary contribution, made by any specific contingent to maintain law and order in Lebanon, saw Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) troops, currently serving there, honoured awarding UN medals as their period of service in Lebanon is nearing completion. The fifth Sri Lankan contingent, deployed at Nakura-based UNIFIL more..

India's investments in Sri Lanka topped $1 bn since 2003

May 17 (PTI) Indian companies have invested nearly $1 billion in Sri Lanka since 2003 and this figure could rise above $2 billion in the next five years, Indian envoy to Colombo Ashok K Kantha has said. With investment inflows of $160 million in 2012, nearly $2 billion worth of FDI had been committed by Indian companies for the next five years or so, he added. Addressing a trade gathering here yesterday, Kantha highlighted more..

Recommendation of action against medical quacks with AG

May 17 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said that a complete dossier on the recommended stringent penalties, prepared by the Health Secretary, against medical quacks, had been sent to the Attorney General for whetting. Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka had recommended a 2-year rigorous imprisonment term for quacks caught practising medicine. more..

Handbook on India-Sri Lanka FTA released

May 17 (IHC) A Handbook on the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement was released on 15 May 2013 by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, and High Commissioner of India, Ashok K. Kantha. The handbook was brought out by the High Commission of India in collaboration with the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka. Anura Sirwardena, Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Saman Kelegama, more..

Sri Lanka beckons foreign workers

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's post-war economic revival and tightening labour markets are throwing up opportunities for workers from abroad, including those who had left the island, business and state officials said. Sri Lanka's official unemployment fell to 4.0% in 2012 from 4.2% a year earlier. About 1.6 million Sri Lankans were working abroad. In some sectors of the economy labour shortages were cropping up. more..

A Costly Shutdown

May 17 (CT) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will have to bear a loss of more than Rs 50 million a day, as a direct result of shutting down the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, a CPC trade union official alleged. General Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), Ananda Palitha, questioned CPC Managing Director, Susantha Silva's statement pertaining to the repairs to be done at the Sapugaskanda Refinery beginning more..

Sri Lanka 1998 plane crash 'victim' still alive

May 17 (PTI) A Sri Lankan woman thought to be dead in the passenger airline that disappeared in 1998 has been found to be alive. It turned out that the woman was not a passenger but her national identity card was being carried by somebody else. Gunamani Balasubramaniam, a Jaffna resident, was believed to be among the 48 passengers of the Lion Air plane which crashed into the northern seas as a result of an LTTE more..

Editorial : Making 18 May more meaningful

May 17 (CT) Come Saturday, Sri Lanka will be commemorating the fourth anniversary of the military victory over the LTTE with appropriate pomp and pageantry. In fact, rehearsals for the victory parades have been in loud gear the past few days, causing massive traffic blocks, disrupting the daily movements of many. Reportedly, more than 13,500 members of the Tri Services, Police and Civil Security Department, along with Mechanized Columns and Disabled Soldiers in more..

Two testimonies on enforced self paralysis

May 17 (CT) Lal Wickrematunge, the brother of the assassinated editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, and until very recently the owner of Leader Publications, spoke yesterday to the BBC Sinhala Service. He stated that it is dangerous today to be engaged in publication work in Sri Lanka. Giving views other than the government’s version of things is almost impossible. Under the present conditions media personnel are afraid to engage in free reporting. more..

Boston Lanka News: May 17, 2013

Has IMF medicine become irrelevant in Sri Lanka? Maybe not

May 17 (CT) Central Bank cut its two basic interest rates last week – its REPO rate or Repurchase rate that it uses to crunch the excess liquidity in the market and its Reverse REPO rate used for pumping money to the system to stimulate the economy – by historic half a percent. Accordingly, REPO rate now stands at 7% per annum and Reverse REPO rate at 9%. The Bank in its press statement has said that it has taken this measure “to stimulate the domestic economy, more..

What prompted SC appointment?

May 17 (DM) In the wake of concerns expressed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and members of the legal profession on the unprecedented transfers of judges and the appointment of a judge of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court by the President, bypassing the President of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, the question is posed as to whether the BASL and/or members of the legal profession have a right to express their concerns on such transfers more..

Aged farmers, widows destitute

May 17 (ST) 74-year-old H.P. Babe, a farmer’s widow, was totally dependent on the monthly allowance she received from the farmers’ pension scheme to which her late husband had contributed. “My husband contributed to the scheme for more than 10 years, before his death. He was happy with the system, as he believed it would help our family one day,” the woman from Saliyawewa, Puttalam said. “After my husband’s death, more..

Sri Lanka eyes UAE investments

May 17 (E24|7) Sri Lanka offers numerous investments opportunities to foreign investors as the country is open for investment in manufacturing, trading, tourism and services sectors, said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He said it is very imperative for Sri Lanka also to attract FDI into the country and take advantage of Sri Lanka’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with India and Pakistan to reach more than 1 billion markets. Bathiudeen was recently in Dubai to participate Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1.49%

May 17 (LBO) Stocks closed up 1.49% on Friday, with heavy retail trading activity in the banking sector and interest continuing in index heavy John Keells Holdings. All Share Index closed 93.70 points higher at 6,380.70 up 1.49% and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 57.89 points higher at 3,589.26 up 1.64%. Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees down from 1.8 billion rupees a day earlier. Foreigners brought 434 million rupees worth shares while selling 99 million rupees worth of shares as 123 stocks advanced more..

India asks Sri Lanka not to take any step regarding provincial powers

May 17 (PTI) Concerned over reports of Sri Lankan govt considering removal of land and police powers from the provinces prior to the elections in the Northern Province, India today asked it not to take any step against their own commitments relating to the 13th Amendment. Minister Salman Khurshid telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart GL Peiris and also raised the issue of 26 Indian fishermen who are in detention in his country more..

Vasu praises Germany, Canada

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka received strong support from the German and Canadian govts in the implementation of the country’s language policy, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. He said that though there were some differences regarding the political aspects between the two countries, the Canadian govt had been fully supportive of the development of the official language policy of the country. "We are still licking the wounds of the conflict, but more..

Standard guideline for vegetarian food

May 17 (DN) A public forum to set a Standard Guideline for vegetarian claims in food and beverage will be conducted by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution on May 22, Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Ministry sources said. Vegetarian food manufacturers, restaurant owners, vegetarians and interested people are invited to participate in this meeting to obtain public comments on the content in the proposed draft. There is a special group of people among us who more..

UNP turns down Daya Master’s request

May 17 (DM) The UNP said it had rejected a request made by Velayutham Dayanithi alias Daya Master and his supporters to contest the Northern Provincial Council on the UNP ticket. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the group met the UNP leaders during their recent visit to the North. He made this point referring to a statement by Daya Master that former LTTE cadres should be allowed to contest elections. more..

Docs lock horns with PHIs

May 17 (Island) The GMOA alleged that the Health Ministry disciplinary inquiry into allegations leveled against Public Health Inspector A.M.S. Bandara was an eyewash, as though he had committed serious offences, no action had been taken to punish him. GMOA Media Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa yester day said that PHI Bandara had joined the Navy on Nov. 28, 1995 and reported for duties there on Feb. 15, 1996. But, in 1999 he joined the Health Ministry though he had not officially resigned from the more..

Special Traffic Plan on Saturday, 18th

May 17 (GDI) A special traffic plan will be implemented within the city of Colombo tomorrow in view of the Victory Day Parade taking place from the Galle Face Green, marking the 4th Anniversary of the end of Eelam War against terrorists. According to the Police the special traffic plan will come into effect from 5.00am until the end of the celebrations tomorrow. Buses and light vehicles entering Colombo along the Galle Road can turn right from Bagathale Junction on Galle Road and more..

SLT completes country's first CCTV surveillance system

May 17 (DM) Sri Lanka Telecom, the national telecommunication services provider has successfully connected the country's first and largest Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system through its advanced fibre optic-based Metro Ethernet Network (MEN) infrastructure to improve road safety and national security by providing facilities to authorities of the Sri Lanka Police Department to carry out real-time video more..

President returns after successful visit to Uganda

May 17 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was on a four-day official visit to Uganda returned to Sri Lanka this morning. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa commenced his four-day official visit to Uganda - the East Central African country, on May 11th afternoon. This was President Rajapaksa’s second official visit to Uganda. The last visit was to attend the CHOGM in 2007. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni visited Sri Lanka last November. During the visit, President Rajapaksa more..

China to build the Gampaha District Water Supply Project

May 17 (GDI) The China Machinery Engineering Corporation based in the Chinese capital has signed a master construction contract with the National Water Supply & Drainage Board for the Gampaha, Attanagalla and Minuwangoda Integrated Water Supply Scheme. According to the contract, the US$ 229.5 million project will be located at Attanagalla in the Gampaha district. The China Machinery Engineering Corporation will be responsible for all the design, sourcing, civil engineering, more..

Workers choose homelessness over abuse in Saudi Arabia

May 17 (UCAN) Saudia Arabia has long been a beacon of hope for many Sri Lankans who flock there to pursue a higher salary and a better life than they would otherwise get at home. About 1.8 million Sri Lankans live and work abroad, and about 90 percent of them do so in the Middle East – accounting for foreign exchange income of US$5.2 billion last year. For many economic migrants, though, the promise of a brighter future does more..

Customs seizes 665 juvenile lobsters

May 17 (CT) The Department of Customs prevented the illegal export of 665 undersized juvenile lobsters to Vietnam by a local businessman based in Negombo, when they busted the racket early morning yesterday. Deputy Director of the Department of Biodiversity and Protection Unit, Samantha Gunasekara, said the undersized juvenile lobsters were declared to Customs as shrimps. "The reason for this disguise was the export of lobsters, less than 6 cm in length is illegal. more..

Highest award for six war heroes

May 17 (CG) President Rajapaksa will award the ‘Parama Weera Vibhushanaya’ award, the highest gallantry award any military person receives from the Head of State, on six war heroes tomorrow. The awards will be handed over to the family members of the six soldiers who were killed during the war, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. President will hand over the gallantry awards during the Victory Day parade to be held at Galle Face tomorrow to mark four years since the end of the war. more..

Ministry of Economic Development launches ‘Matching Grant Scheme’

May 17 (MED) The Ministry of Economic Development has introduced a Matching Grant Scheme to support the tourism related Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and strengthen the local economy through sustainable tourism development. Accordingly the Ministry has made available a sum of Rs. 2,000 million with a credit facility from the World Bank as an out-right grant for the development of tourism and more..

Sri Lanka could improve GDP estimates, data standards: IMF

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka can improve gross domestic product calculations to be more in line with international standards and the country does not yet comply with the highest data dissemination standards, the IMF has said. "The national accounts suffer from insufficient data sources and undeveloped statistical techniques," an IMF country report following so-called Article IV consultations on Sri Lanka said. "The country does not have periodic comprehensive benchmarks or a system more..

Tharanga century leads Rest of Sri Lanka to victory

May 17 (CI) Rest of Sri Lanka snuck home with two balls to spare and three wickets in hand against SLC Combined, to score their third win in as many matches in the List A tri-series in Pallekele. Upul Tharanga held Rest of Sri Lanka's innings together through a top order collapse, hitting 102 from 121 balls, before Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath combined to propel their side to victory in the late overs. SLC Combined had made 258 for 8 from their 50 overs, thanks largely to Kaushal Silva's more..

NHSL struggling to cope with influx of patients

May 17 (Island) The National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) is struggling to cope with an ever increasing number of patients visiting its outpatient department (OPD) and clinics. National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that the NHSL treated between 4,500 to 5,000 patients at its OPD and clinics. He said that there were 50 doctors to cover the shifts (including night shifts) at the OPD. A majority of patients treated at the OPD more..

Photography a vocation and passion

May 18 (NS) Photographer Dhammika Heenpella is happy and the reason behind his happiness is because he is engaged in a job that he fancies. Dhammika is an avid traveler and takes time off from work to tour the country. He doesn’t think twice if he has to disembark from his vehicle and ‘click’ when he stumbles upon an irresistible scenic view. He contributes photos to Corbis and Getty Images, the former owned by computer genius and business tycoon Bill Gates. Most importantly more..

Now Negombo sings in one voice

May 18 (NS) Folks in Negombo are often characterized as a jolly crowd who are more or less inclined towards following music by default. From lullabies to elegies, Carols to Bhakthi gee, people there have fashioned many a tune as means of relating to the different moods, events and phases of life, hence, to say Music and Negombo are Siamese twins is no hyperbole. At least once a fortnight a gig happens somewhere in Negombo. Most schools have choirs, so do all churches in town. more..

Mafia behind refuse tea exports

May 18 (SO) Sri Lanka is globally renowned for it's quality tea for decades or may be even over centuries. Until recently times it was the leading exporter among the top five countries including Kenya, China, India and Vietnam. The fine blend and flavour generated through entirely different climatic conditions earned a high reputation for Ceylon tea. But an emerging trend of manufacturing and attempts being made to more..

Freedom of assembly in post-war Sri Lanka

May 18 (GV) The war in Sri Lanka ended on 18th May 2009. During three decades of war, civil liberties were severely curtailed, often in an arbitrary manner, without possibilities of challenging them or seeking remedies through independent bodies. The Ministry of Defense, the military and police reigned supreme. Even judicial discretion was curtailed, with the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) compelling Judges to obey wishes of the Ministry of Defense and the police through the AG’s department more..

Editorial: Curiouser and curiouser!

May 18 (Island) The police are afflicted with a strange disease; they suffer from ‘selective amnesia’. They have suddenly remembered that an attempt was made on Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s life while he was the Army Commander and it needs to be probed. Gen. Fonseka had the CID sleuths at his residence on Thursday recording a statement from him on that incident which happened about seven long years ago. They would have asked any other persons to come to their headquarters but, more..