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US says Muslims in Lanka discriminated

May 21 (CG) The US State Department says intolerance of, and discrimination against, Muslims by some Buddhists saw an increase in Sri Lanka last year. The International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 released by the US State Department on Monday, also said that last year, U.S. embassy officials conveyed U.S. govt concerns about religious freedom, particularly attacks on churches, to govt leaders and urged them to more..

German-SL maritime specialists amalgamate as the Mercmarine Group of Companies

May 21 (Island) Four pioneering organizations specialising in ship owning, crew management and crew training, frames the newly appointed Mercmarine Group of Companies. The Groups’ founding organisation, Reederei Eugen Friederich GmbH & Co. KG (REF), is one of the oldest shipping companies in Germany, specialising in ship owning and managing for 96 years. Mercantile Marine Management (MMM) is the flagship company of the Mercmarine Group of Companies with more..

Lawyers Collective pledge assistance to strikers

May 21 (CT) The Lawyers' Collective yesterday said they will provide free legal aid to trade unionists who are due to engage in strike action today if their employers take disciplinary action against them for engaging in the strike, as a mark of protest against the increase in electricity tariffs. Co-Convener of the Lawyers' Collective, Sunil Watawala, while pointing out that everyone had a right to protest, said that the Collective will extend their utmost co-operation towards the strike organized by the more..

Nepal’s first Forbes dollar billionaire to expand investments in Sri Lanka

May 21 (FT) Even before Forbes placed Binod Chaudhary in its 2013 annual global rich list, his love affair with Sri Lanka had begun with a foray into Colombo in 2000, when he acquired a substantial stake in the Taj Lanka Hotels, Sri Lanka. This longstanding investor of Sri Lanka has been travelling to the country ever since and displayed tremendous market confidence, even during the long drawn conflict in the country, more..

LTTE man flees Lanka, caught en route to Nairobi

May 21 (DNA) The arrested person, identified as Theva Satesh Kumar, was born and brought up in Jafna in Sri Lanka, which has been an LTTE-dominated area. Crime branch officers on Sunday arrested a 35-year-old Sri Lankan, who was an operative of banned outfit LTTE, when he was attempting to catch a flight to Nairobi. Interestingly, the accused, an electronics engineer, initially told cops that he entered India by air, but after sustained interrogation, revealed that he took a boat more..

WHO report clears NZ milk powder

May 21 (CT) The Ministry of Health yesterday announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) informed that the percentage of dicyanamide composition in imported milk powder in local market is not harmful to humans. A Ministry Spokesman said, the WHO has also stated in a report that the presence of the chemical is minute, and therefore, can hardly cause any harm to the human body. The WHO has conducted the test at the request of one of the New Zealand milk powder companies. more..

TU alliance threatens to cripple all sectors

May 21 (Island) The trade union alliance which has organised today’s token strike against electricity tariff hike is confident of crippling the public, semi–govt and private sectors. However the govt yesterday said it was confident that the strike would be a flop. Co–Convener of the Co–ordinating Committee, for the Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA), Wasantha Samarasinghe said that 941 trade unions had expressed their support for today’s strike. more..

Editorial: This is not Terrorism

May 21 (DM) Today’s protests by the trade unions affiliated to the opposition parties against the government’s decision to up the electricity tariffs from this month would definitely meet with stiff resistance and scorn by the govt, its trade union leaders and its media. The govt would probably use all four methods of “Dandniti” -- Sama, Dana, Bheda and Danda -- recommended and explained by ancient India’s exponent of statecraft Chanakya in the Arthashastra for dealing with people and more..

Ideas, Interests and Peaceful Co-existence

May 21 (DM) It was Georg Simmel, a German sociologist, who distinguished between what he termed the Dyad and the Triad, in order to explain how social relationships can become complex when human groups become larger. Dyad is a human pair and the two persons involved have to find common ground in order to co-exist. A solitary person living alone has to cope with his or her emotions and feelings and adjust behaviour accordingly but it is largely an inner struggle. more..

Shady deals result in drug shortage

May 21 (SL) Sri Lanka’s public health care service that is intended to benefit many, especially the poor, is plagued with corruption and malpractices. While the govt and higher officials at the Health Ministry are allegedly making money from the Health Ministry budgetary allocations, those who go to govt hospitals seeking free health services face difficulties as they have to buy their medicines from private pharmacies as a result of an more..

Wholesome questions

May 21 (ST) Many Sri Lankans are questioning the safety of imported milk products amidst concern over New Zealand milk, while a few were unaware about the issues partly due to lack of transparency by State agencies charged with ensuring food safety. While all reports and information collected by the Sunday Times indicate that there may not be any safety issues with regard to Dicyandiamide (DCD), questions are being more..

'EU will continue to financially support SL'

May 21 (Island) The European Union (EU) will continue to provide financial assistance to Sri Lanka, as in the past, though the amount has not been decided as yet. However, it would be similar to that of the last, EU Delegation, Sri Lanka and Maldives Head, Ambassador, Bernard Savage said. Between 2005 and 2015 alone the EU has allocated Rs. 94 billion or Euro 587 million in development and humanitarian assistance. more..

SL’s woman Thavil players fading away

May 21 (ENS) Pushparani Thiruchelvam is one of the two woman thavil players in Jaffna, and perhaps in the whole of Sri Lanka. The two women, who were the first and could well be the last, are both above 60 and neither of them has had a woman student to carry on the tradition in the female line. “There is resistance to the idea of girls learning to play the thavil or even the nadaswaram in Jaffna,“ said Pushparani (63). more..

Sri Lanka to amend proposed names for cyclonic storms

May 21 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Meteorological Dept. Director General S.H.Kariyawasam said that it has been decided to amend the names proposed by Sri Lanka for tropical cyclones due to the controversial storm created by naming the recent cyclone as 'Mahasen'. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides information to all users worldwide. For international navigation purposes, it constantly updates more..

Sri Lanka branding forum kicks off in Colombo

May 21 (LBO) A high level conference on building resilient brands kicked off in Colombo Wednesday featuring high level speakers and panelists from Sri Lanka and abroad. The event features 25 very senior Sri Lankan marketing professionals and academics who are sharing their experience, knowledge and views in building resilient brands. The thought-provoking event, 'Building Resilient Brands,' is taking more..

Jayalalithaa renews demand for retrieval of Kachatheevu islet from Sri Lanka

May 21 (PTI) Voicing concern over attacks on Indian fishermen, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today asked the Centre to take urgent steps for retrieval of Katchatheevu islet, ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974, besides redrawing the International Maritime Boundary Line. The 1974 Agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka had determined Katchatheevu as a part of Sri Lanka, and it was ceded by the Indian Govt unilaterally more..

Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 to focus on ‘Rebalancing the Economy’

May 21 (N360) The Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be held during the month of July, announced the Island’s premier business Chamber. The Chamber says this years summit will be held under title of “Re-Balancing the Economy’ with seven sessions focusing on seven subtopics. Among those topics are, ‘Managing the Fiscal Deficit, Export Strategy: Time to more..

Special health protection plan for clergy

May 21 (DN) President Rajapaksa instructed Health Minister to establish a special health protection plan for all monks and priests belonging to all religions to protect their health. All religious leaders throughout the country attend to various religious and public duties ignoring their health and as a result many have become victims of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), especially diabetes and high blood pressure. more..

Sajith says father gave LTTE weapons

May 21 (CG) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa says his father gave one group in the LTTE weapons in order to try and create a split in the LTTE. Speaking to the BBC Sandeshiya, Sajith Premadas said that former President Ranasinghe Premadasa had given weapons to an LTTE click led by Mahattaya. “There were allegations my father gave weapons to the LTTE. What my father did was give weapons to an LTTE click he could trust. more..

Editorial : Left still has a role to play

May 21 (CT) The traditional Left has reportedly taken a collective decision not to support any constitutional amendment that would potentially weaken the powers vested with the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment. The Left parties collectively hold 12 Parliamentary seats in the governing coalition and according to the Communist Party stalwart and the Senior Minister, D.E.W. Gunasekara, without the support of the old Left, the SLMC and the EPDP, the govt more..

Gota, The national security state and the PTA

May 21 (CT) The arrest and detention of Azath Salley, leader of the MTNA, brought the incongruously named Prevention of Terrorism [Temporary Provisions] Act to the spotlight. There is nothing quite temporary about the PTA. It is here to stay unless the people of this country demand that it be abolished. Until it is, it will continue to victimize and terrorize families and communities, as it has done for more than three decades now. The PTA is a draconian piece of legislation that more..

Strikes hit Sri Lanka but have limited effect

May 21 (Xinhua) Hundreds of people went on strike here on Tuesday to protest an electricity price hike imposed by the govt but had mixed results with public officials denying any impact. Opposition parties, trade unions attached to the ports and university teachers organized several rallies in and around Colombo and several hundred people joined these protests. The govt, however, said that a nationwide strike that aimed at more..

The lure of Kandy

May 21 (TOO) Nature finds abundant expression in the landscape. So what? But here in Kandy, a scenic hill city in Sri Lanka, nature is raw while greenery carpets the meandering uplands and dark green foliage shades the historic land. We, a group of seven scribes flown to Sri Lanka on a familiarisation trip, courtesy of Sri Lanka airlines and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Oman, savoured every moment of our stay in this treasured island nation where peace now reigns after the end of more..

Packed food items being sold underweight

May 21 (Island) The Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade yesterday said it had received reports that consumer food items packed in sacks and packets were being sold underweight by supermarkets and other trading outlets. Minister Johnston Fernando had directed Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and Standards, Measurement Units and Services Department to keep a close tab on those establishments and raid them. He said that hehad received numerous such complaints more..

Welegedara's chances improve

May 21 (CI) Chanaka Welegedara's prospects of traveling to England for the Champions Trophy have improved, after a scan on his landing foot and ankle revealed no breaks or fractures. He has not been fully cleared however, and will be assessed in the next two days before a final call is made on whether he can join the touring squad, which departs on Sunday. Welegedara left the field in pain after having bowled 2.4 overs in a more..

Kandamby, Dilruwan help Rest of Sri Lanka lift trophy

May 21 (CI) Offpsinner Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath took three wickets apiece in the final of the List-A tri-series in Pallekele, as Rest of Sri Lanka inflicted a 79-run loss on SLC Combined, to take the title. Batting first after winning the toss, Rest of Sri Lanka were all out for 205, riding on fifties from Lahiru Thirimanne and Thilina Kandamby. Despite the modest target, SLC Combined's batsmen could not muster a competitive response against the spinners and were more..

Two-storeyed A’pura Period image house found in South

May 21 (Island) Archaeologists carrying out excavations at the historical Naigala Raja Maha Vihara site in Weerakeitya, have found the ruins of a two-storeyed image house belonging to the Anuradhapura period. The excavators of the Department of Archaeology said that they had found remnants of foundations with mould decorations prevalent in the Anuradhapura Period. Naigala Raja Maha Vihara was one of the rare sites in Ruhuna with Panchayathana features and seven more..

Lankan in Chennai kills 3 of family, commits suicide

May 21 (TOI) A 48-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil settled in Chennai killed his mother, wife and daughter by slitting their throats before committing suicide by jumping in front of a suburban train near Pazhavanthangal on Tuesday morning. His friends said the man was in debt. C Sundaresan came to Chennai from Sri Lanka 30 years ago and was settled in Thillai Ganga Nagar near Adambakkam. He ran a travel agency and more..

CA allows Jaffna landowners to amend petition

May 21 (Island) About 1,473 petitioners, from Achchuveli, Palali, Jaffna yesterday applied to the Court of Appeal seeking permission to add to their writ application that the proposed acquisition of their land, in Palali was to be acquired by the State speedily. The petition said the State had decided to take over 6,813 acres, to construct a Defence Headquarters building in Palali. The petitioners requested the Court to restrain the respondent Minister of Lands and Land Development more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.3%

May 21 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.39% on Tuesday, following three consecutive days of gains due to a negative impact from the index heavy stocks. All Share Index closed 25.03 points lower at 6,441.64 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 03.35 points higher at 3,652.70 up 0.09%. Turnover was 2.1 billion rupees up from 1.2 billion rupees day earlier. 72 stocks made positive contributions while 130 stocks were negative. Large crossings were recorded in Commercial Bank, JKH, more..

The Govt's next target?

May 21 (CT) In recent times, NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa, has been vociferously attacking Treasury Secretary, P.B. Jayasundera, blaming him for all the economic woes of the govt, alleging high levels of corruption in the Finance Ministry. The allegations against Jayasundera have been endless since early February this year. However, many observers are of the view that Weerawansa has picked up more..

Lankans in Saudi safe from Corona virus

May 21 (Island) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) said that there was very little possibility of the new corona virus, which had infected approximately 28 people by last Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, affecting Sri Lankan migrants serving in the country, owing to awareness programmes and instructions given pre-departure. SLFEB Media Spokesman, Manjula Randeniya said that all medical centres, at which migrant employees get their medical tests done, prior to departure, more..

Sarana flee to avoid court hearing

May 21 (LT) The two sureties for Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardene have been ordered by the Attanagalla Additional Magistrate and Additional District Judge Kavinda Nanayakkara to produce the Deputy Minister to Court with his passport as soon as he returns to the island. Deputy Minister has left the country without permission from the Court. The Deputy Minister, the main suspect of an incident where he is alleged to have broken into a house at Weeragula on 29th March, 2009, more..

'Only Congress genuinely interested in Tamils' welfare'

May 21 (PTI) Minister V Narayanasamy today said that only the Congress party is "genuinely" interested in ensuring welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka while other political parties in Tamil Nadu were shedding "crocodile tears" on the issue. "It is indeed shocking that the political parties who have not done anything for welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees staying in Tamil Nadu are feigning to be their champions and making criticisms more..

Lankan tour operators explore Bali with eye on joint ventures

May 21 (Island) With the picturesque Bali Island in Indonesia, launching a massive tourism promotion,Sri lankan tour operators were exploring the hitherto largely unexplored market, with a focus on joint ventures. A Business Seminar entitled "Bali Tourism Prospects Reaching Out To South and Central Asian Market", held at the Grand Kuta Bali Hotel last week, revealed that over 1300 Lankans had visited Bali last year. Mangu Sujtedja, a representative of the Bali Tourism Board, more..

Champika to submit motion on 13A

May 21 (CG) Minister and JHU leader Patali Champika Ranawaka is to submit a private member’s motion in parliament this week against the 13th Amendment to the constitution. The Minister’s media unit said that he will also submit a motion against the provincial councils system. He note that in India if the provinces misuse their powers then the central govt can take it over but in Sri Lanka the situation is different. The Minister said that giving land and police powers to the provinces is more..

The Last Phase screened

May 21 (GDI) 'The Last Phase', a documentary film depicting the true life story of a former female LTTE cadre during the final stages of the humanitarian operation was screened at a glittering function held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo this evening (20). Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa graced the ceremony as the chief guest. The 45 minute documentary is directed and edited by Jeevan Chandimal, a veteran more..

Objection against making an exception for Renuka

May 21 (SM) Many in Sri Lankan film industry has expressed discontentment towards making an exception for Renuka Balasuriya despite the prevailing law on 35 copies limit. Directors Guild of Sri Lanka releasing a statement has expressed that it is an unjustly, unfair and immoral action to allow the release of 55 copies under the prevailing condition of the film industry. The statement further stated, “ There are 160 film theatres in Sri Lanka and out of that Sinhala films are screened more..

Mayor flayed for using official residence for ‘political meeting’

May 21 (Island) The UNP conducted a workshop for some of its Parliamentarian, Provincial Councillors and Local Govt members, sponsored by a German NGO last week, at the official residence of Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil. Reliable sources said that a former German Mayor had conducted the workshop which centred around strategies to be adopted in attempts to defeat the govt. Spokesman for the UPFA Group in the CMC Riza Zarook said that they wouldraise the matter at more..

AHRC raises doubts on the inquiries into the mass graves at Matale

May 21 (AHRC) Serious doubts have emerged regarding the future investigations into the mass grave at Matale where the remains of 156 persons have been found. In today's press it was reported that the Judicial Medical Officer in charge of the investigation has been transferred. Furthermore, it is also reported that the magistrate conducting the inquiries is also to be transferred. These transfers are happening at the same more..