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Getting ready for Victory Day

May 18 (CT) The Sri Lankan Govt, along with the tri-forces and the police, will commemorate the fourth anniversary of its defeat of the LTTE on Saturday, 18 May, in Colombo. For the past week, Galle Road and the iconic Galle Face Green played host to thousands of members of the armed forces, who are preparing for the annual military parade to mark the end of the decades-old civil war. The occasion will be celebrated with a more..

A new direction for peace

May 18 (CT) An assessment of women’s contribution and influence in post-war situations is essential in providing a new perspective; one could even say a new direction for peace. Emphasizing the importance of women’s participation in peace-building processes was not a priority for most States for decades. It was only in October 2000 that the first resolution on women, peace and security, was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR 1325). more..

How to make miracles

May 18 (CT) I didn’t need a map to get there. Elmo had helpfully sent a Google Earth graphic together with the invitation. The location was St Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa, just off the road down which my maternal grandparents had lived. Captain Elmo Jayawardena, aviator, master mentor of pilots, award winning writer, is Moratuwa’s Hemingway or more accurately, the Hemingway that Moratuwa produced for Sri Lanka. This time it wasn’t about his books, though. The man does more than more..

Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabral

A new political regime post-2010 in Sri Lanka: A hybrid regime

May 18 (GV) The 2010 Sri Lankan Presidential and Parliamentary elections that took place shortly after the end of a debilitating 25 year-old civil war in 2009 constitutes a watershed in Sri Lanka’s politics. Despite the unsettled conditions over the last two decades emanating from this turbulent environment created by the civil war and the seemingly intractable obstacles encountered, Sri Lanka was able to maintain some semblance of the principles and practices of a liberal democracy more..

The bedside manners of future justice

May 18 (Island) The Privileged People who enjoy the best of free meals near the Diyavanna Oya are due to discuss an interesting new law very soon. After a careful study of courtroom procedures in recent years and months, this new law is expected to remove a major shortcoming in the procedure in committing persons to judicial custody - what is usually called remand. Those who have seen the initial drafts of the new law say it will be a truly revolutionary piece of legislation, more..

Unsung Dirge

May 18 (Island) It was apparent that the long drawn fight against the terrorists was finally drawing to a close. Thousands of refugees trapped by the barrier of control set up by the terrorist group calling themselves "Rebel Tigers" were making their way to the areas under state control. Gripped tightly in the talons of the terrorists the helpless Tamil civilians had given up all hope of survival or escape. They had languished in a more..

British High Commission marks Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia

May 18 (FT) The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, popularly known as IDAHO, falls on 17 May. The date was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHO draws the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue. The British High Commission Colombo marked IDAHO with a presentation of a cheque by more..

Fitch affirms HSBC Sri Lanka Branch at ‘AAA’; Outlook Stable

May 18 (FT) Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed HSBC Sri Lanka Branch’s (HSBCSL) National Long-Term Rating at ‘AAA(lka)’. The Outlook is Stable. Key rating drivers: The affirmation of HSBCSL’s rating follows the affirmation of its parent The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited’s (HKSB) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AA-’ with Stable Outlook on 16 May 2013. The rating reflects the financial strength of HKSB, given that HSBCSL is a branch of HKSB and is part more..

'CB to pause after aggressive rate cut'

May 18 (ST) Standard Chartered Bank described the Central Bank’s policy rate cut last week as “aggressive” given some challenging issues within the economy but expects the monetary regulator to go into “pause” mode remainder of the year. “The CB lowered policy rates by 50bps, the repo rate to 7% and reverse repo rate to 9%, at its 10 May policy meeting, which was more than market consensus more..

Private bus kills two, injures three

May 18 (Island) A speeding private bus, playing the 171 route, yesterday killed two persons and injured another three, standing at bus halt in Koswatta, close to the Talangama North hospital. Eye witnesses said that the bus arriving from Fort had attempted to overtake another bus and due to the excessive speed the driver had lost control. It had veered off and knocked down the five victims before coming to a halt after crashing into a lamppost. The wall of the hospital, too, collapsed more..

Rs 14 billion in unpaid fertilizer bills

May 18 (CT) Fertilizer suppliers have threatened to withhold the supply of fertilizer to the govt, if the govt does not make necessary arrangements to settle the outstanding payment of over Rs 14 billion due to them for supplying fertilizer. Reportedly, a part payment of Rs 1,400 million has been paid to the private sector fertilizer companies by the Finance Ministry last week. There is a scarcity of fertilizer in the country due to the non-import of fertilizer by the private sector companies, more..

'Jail for those commemorating LTTE'

May 18 (DN) Any organisation or individual will not be allowed to venerate a terrorist organisation. Anyone participating in a commemoration ceremony for LTTE cadres will be arrested, Vanni Commander Major General Boniface Perera said. “There is only one military in a country. Any citizen has the right to commemorate their loved ones but no one can commemorate terrorists who were disloyal to the govt. more..

Minister and LPBOA chief to fight it out in courts

May 18 (Island) Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka has sent a letter of demand, for Rs. 100 million, to Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association President Gemunu Wijeratne, for libel, claiming that the latter had assassinated his character maliciously on various occasions. Minister said that he had challenged Wijeratne to prove the allegations levelled against him. Recently, Wijeratne had accused him of being corrupt and of soliciting a great deal of money to issue route permits. more..

19 Sri Lankan car importers team up to operate vehicle business in Myanmar

May 18 (ST) Indika Sampath Merenchige, President of the Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka, told the Business Times that these Sri Lankan vehicle importers have formed a company called Siam International Ltd to secure a slice of the car market after US sanctions on car imports were lifted a year ago. He disclosed that Siam International is now managing a vehicle show room in Yangon, Myanmar with around 200 Japanese vehicles on display. The initial capital investment for this venture more..

'CEPA, an opportunity lost'

May 18 (CT) Outgoing High Commissioner of India, Ashok K. Kantha, yesterday expressed regret that setting up of the Joint Task Force aimed at promoting trade relations between Sri Lanka and India had not materialized, even though the Sri Lankan Govt approved the proposal last year. The High Commissioner noted that though the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) provides preferential more..

Sri Lankans: Are we tea or coffee-drinkers?

May 18 (ST) Is Sri Lanka turning into a coffee-drinking nation from traditional tea-drinking? Pundits in the industry and some state officials seem to think so. Hence a new campaign to promote tea locally with the setting up of a chain of tea shops to promote the local drinking habit. One of the arguments being trotted out is that tea industry authorities are worried about the proliferation of coffee cafes and the increasing consumption of coffee at funeral houses. more..

Jetwing launches Hotel J

May 18 (Island) Jetwing Hotels, Sri Lanka’s largest family owned hospitality provider, unveils Hotel J – select service accommodation for the first time in Sri Lanka. Visiting Sri Lanka on a shoestring budget or planning to travel around the country economically? Most of the time the modern traveler - be they young and independent or older and adventurous - is limited by income, and cash thereby becomes a key determinant when deciding on destinations and accommodation. more..

JHU proposal embarrasses President, Ranil

May 18 (CT) The decision by the JHU to present a motion in Parliament, to remove police and land powers given to the Provincial Councils, before the upcoming Northern Provincial Council election, has embarrassed both President Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Both leaders are facing a political dilemma over the issue at present, with the JHU informing the SLFP and the UNP leadership, more..

Deterrent action for Indians found fishing in Lankan waters

May 18 (TOI) The govt is planning "deterrent" action against Indian fishermen violating international waters with Sri Lanka, finding that trawlers and ships from this side are the biggest source of confrontation with the Emerald isle. The decision to slap penalties and even suspend the licences of fishermen who are repeat offenders of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) stems from their refusal to heed the earlier warnings. Foreign minister Salman Khurshid spoke to his Lankan counterpart more..

Grieving widow seeks compensation from Qatar firm

May 18 (CT) Ratnayake Mudiyansalage Chulasena (42), a resident of the Getathowawatte village, Teldeniya, in the Udispattuwa Grama Niladhari Division, and a father of three, signed a contract to work overseas as an electrical technician for two years, with the hope of fulfilling many dreams, one of which was to improve the quality of life of his family. He left for Doha, Qatar, on 17 April 2010, hoping to earn sufficient money and return to Sri Lanka after two years, to renovate his house and more..

From building a house to securing a community

May 18 (Hindu) In a quiet lane in Eluthumadduval, Jaffna, cement and concrete structures, in different stages of construction, show up on either side every few yards. Part of the second phase of Indian Housing Project launched, they will soon take the form of compact, new homes. As peace finds its way back to the northern district, development projects gradually pick up. The roads are newly laid and shops are beginning to more..

Shankar hopes Sri Lanka will shine at Sudirman Cup

May 18 (TS) AMIDST all the glitz and glamour that accompanies the top seeded teams, Sri Lanka arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the Sudirman Cup quietly with their Malaysian coach Shankar Annamalai. Shankar hopes that not being in the spotlight will spur them to win Group A of Division Three, which would then considerably help their team’s ranking in the world. They are currently ranked 27th. Having previously coached the Perak and KL state teams, Shankar expressed more..

Piliyandala businessman abducted

May 18 (Island) A 31-year-old Piliyandala businessman was alleged to have been abducted from near his house at Rodrigo Place, Siddamulla on Thursday night. Police spokesman SP Budddhika Siriwardana said yesterday that the victim’s wife had made a complaint to the Pliyandala police, three hours later, that her husband had been abducted by a group of men who had arrived near their gate in a black car around 9.00 p.m. The victim’s wife had not seen the incident as she was not at home at more..

'Keheliya’s March electricity bill Rs 121,114'

May 18 (CT) President of the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC), K.D. Lal Kantha, alleged the electricity bill of Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, was Rs 121,114 for the month of March. "This is the bill for his private home. These private bills are paid by his ministry to the CEB. Why can't the President and the Cabinet, as a start, enact a law, to prevent the use of the public money to pay the bills of the ministers?" he questioned. more..

Nation honours, shows gratitude to War Heroes- President

May 18 (GDI) The opportunity which has dawned today to honour and and show the nation's gratitude to War Heroes who sacrificed their lives on behalf of the motherland offers us a great sense of pride, states President Rajapaksa in a message to mark the Victory Day celebrations today. "The opportunity which has dawned to pay the nation's honour and gratitude to the war heroes who sacrificed their lives on behalf of the territorial integrity of the motherland offers us a great sense of pride. more..

Sirisena asks how many know what white clothes signify

May 18 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently remarked that all medical staff wore white uniforms as a symbol of peace. But, only a few had realised the importance of the colour, white. As far as he was concerned white reflected determination, transparency, cleanliness, austerity and inner purity. He said politicians were also interested in wearing white clothes, but did not possess inner purity, empathy, humane attitudes and ability help others. Are they transparent in their activities? more..

21st is a symbol, only a beginning: Lal Kanthe tells President

May 18 (LT) The declared strike action on the 21st is not the final move but is only a symbol says the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) K.D. Lal Kanthe in a letter to the President. In his letter Mr. Lal Kanthe states the govt that has got scared of the strike action declared by the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance has already started responding to this fear. Among the fabrications the govt attempts to more..

Downing Street backs 2014 Glasgow invitation to Sri Lanka

May 18 (HS) Downing Street has refused to rule out inviting Sri Lanka to a First World War commemoration service despite an outcry from human-rights organisations. No 10 said normal protocol should be followed for the event with Commonwealth heads of state in Glasgow. But campaigners including Amnesty International Scotland have called on the Coalition to prevent the Sri Lankan Government from attending amid allegations of appalling abuse. more..

Kfirs to roar again at V-Day parade

May 18 (Island) Multi-role Kfir fighters will fly in formation at today’s fourth Victory Day parade after a long absence at such events. Israeli built Kfirs of the No 10 Squadron, based at Katunayake, skipped parades since the March 2011 mid air collision destroyed two fighters, while rehearsing for the SLAF’s 60th anniversary parade. It was Sri Lanka’s worst accident involving military aircraft since independence. Yesterday’s final rehearsal included three Kfirs, two Russian MiG 27s as well as more..

Victory Parade – 2013 today

May 18 (DN) The Humanitarian Victory Parade – 2013, will be held today at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Rajapaksa, to showcase the military strength of the Armed Forces and honour war heroes. Sri Lankans will salute the Armed Forces that liberated the country from the clutches of terrorism. Humanitarian Victory Day marks the fourth anniversary of the ending of terrorism, which plagued the country more..

Editorial: Fuel; People pay for world and Lankan rackets

May 18 (DM) Amid allegations of large-scale corruption, waste, mismanagement and price manipulation by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), we heard the blazing news that the European Union is probing alleged price fixing by the biggest oil companies in the world fuel market estimated at US dollars 3.4 trillion a year. Officials of the European Union said giant oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum were among those being investigated for more..

Wimal: A political tool

May 18 (DM) He may be a maverick or a Machiavelli but the irrepressible Wimal Weerawansa is in the news again. The Minister and the NFF leader is at the forefront of opposing the northern provincial polls. Weerawansa, whatever his faults, is a great platform orator. These days he is in his element, making pronouncements at every available opportunity opposing the proposed elections which are scheduled for September. It is a strategy that has raised concerns about his political future. more..

TNA faces acute political crisis

May 18 (DBS) The TNA regarded as the premier political formation of the Tamils of Sri Lanka has been very much in the news lately due to what could be termed as an internal crisis. The TNA that has in recent times been contesting elections under the house symbol of the ITAK is afflicted by internal dissension among its constituent members. Of the five organizations in the political configuration known as the TNA, four have been at loggerheads more..

CPC fraud unresolved!

May 18 (SL) Astonishing revelations have now emerged as to how the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) incurred enormous losses over the past one-and-a-half years due to agreements signed by two of its former Chairmen. Meanwhile questions have been raised as to why the government has failed to probe a blatantly corrupt transaction the CPC entered into with PV Oil Singapore which is considered to be the more..

Goal of humanitarian operation : Peace for over 20m people

May 18 (SO) When the LTTE terrorist operations were at their height during the three decades of terror, none thought that the world’s most merciless terror outfit could ever be destroyed militarily. There were enough and more reasons for that belief as the LTTE took successive leaders of Sri Lanka for rides in the name of peace talks. They used the negotiating table and periods of peace talks to reinforce and strengthen their military more..

Canals choked by highway building sand cause flooding

May 18 (ST) Sand piled up for the construction of the Colombo-Katunayake highway has washed away in pre-monsoonal rains, blocking canals in Peliyagoda and Kelaniya and causing rainwater to flow into houses, residents claim. The Nuge Road and Wanawasala road in Peliyagoda are on marshy land and floods usually affect the area’s residents as the south-west monsoon rains set in but this week floodwater more..

IOC to operate oil plant in Sri Lanka with local ally

May 18 (NIP) Ending a decade-long uncertainty, India has proposed to Sri Lanka that it is willing to operate an oil storage plant in Trincomalee harbour, a crucial strategic asset, jointly with a local partner. This key arrangement will provide India a major advantage, considering that the Trincomalee plant is the largest fuel storage facility between the Gulf countries and Singapore. The offer from New Delhi was made to Colombo more..

Massive protests erupt in Sri Lanka's capital over electricity price hikes

May 18 (Xinhua) A string of protests erupted in Sri Lanka's capital this week as opposition parties staged protests against a government decision to increase electricity prices by as much as 59 percent. Following massive losses by the state-owned CEB, which amounted to more than 47 million U.S dollars, the Sri Lankan govt decided to increase electricity prices by as much as 59% with effect from April 12. more..

Bribery Commission: Ousted CJ denies allegations

May 18 (DM) Impeached CJ Shirani Bandaranayke who appeared before the Bribery Commission issued a lengthy statement denying the charges levelled against her. Sources close to Dr. Bandaranayake said she gave a detailed explanation on how she obtained each and every asset she possessed. She spoke for some three and a half hours giving details of her bank accounts and how she came to own her other properties. more..