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Bodu Bala Sena insists govt to abolish the 13th Amendment

May 21 (ST) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today said the 13th amendment will influence the LTTE and other supportive parties to fulfill their dream of splitting the country into two and establish Eelam with the assistance of the current provincial council system. BBS General Secretary, Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero told a news conference that having a referendum will further assist the LTTE supportive parties to take over the control in Northern and Eastern provinces as the last more..

'State sector teachers not paid for May'

May 21 (ST) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that state sector teachers had not been paid their May salaries yet despite a promise to pay them today. “Is the govt trying to destroy free education by not paying the salaries of teachers,” he questioned. Mr. Wickremsinghe said that teachers have been paid on the 20th of each month despite all the emergences that the country has experienced over the years but this month it has been delayed. more..

Govt insists strike a flop

May 21 (CG) While trade unions claimed today’s strike against the increase in electricity tariffs was a success the govt insisted it was a flop. The govt information department said that according to statistics obtained by the Govt, attendance to duties by employees at public enterprises today exceeds 93.5% which is 3.5% more than daily attendance. A few Trade Unions affiliated to Opposition political parties attempted to resort to trade union more..

NPC elections causing consternation all round

May 22 (NS) The political question that is dominating discussion in the past few weeks is the fate of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), the govt having announced that elections for the council will be held in September, but rumblings of dissent emerging from within its own ranks. It is an open secret that the ruling UPFA was in no hurry to constitute the NPC since the end of the Eelam war four years ago. In fact, the government has for some time been offering excuses such as more..

Protests against electricity tariff hike strengthen people’s power

May 22 (NS) The country’s political arena became heated last week, with protests against the govt’s controversial electricity tariff hike taking centre stage. Opposition parties and trade unions held a massive protest march in Colombo on Wednesday (15), as a precursor to an island-wide token strike set for May 21. The success or failure of the strike will be vital for both the govt and the opposition, and this was apparent in the way both sections went about organizing demonstrations more..

Slum dwellers yearn to be free from suffering

May 22 (SO) Taking her seven-month-old malnourished baby in one hand and balancing the weight of nearly six month pregnant body she walks through the busy Bambalapitiya junction near Majestic City along with her husband. Her five and half feet tall, thin, dark and skeleton like figure reminds of an alien to the people who looks at her when she pass them. The officials attached to the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat, more..

Buddha's teaching methodology

May 22 (Island) The Buddha’s thinking was very close to Piaget with respect to stages of development of an individual. He refers to it as different stages of understanding. The Buddha explains the subtle differences of Sanna (perception), vinnana (consciousness) panna (wisdom), by citing the case of a precious stone that is examined by a child, an ordinary adult and a gem expert. A child on seeing a gem would merely recognise, perceive (sanna) that it shines, more..

Editorial : CHOGM and Limos

May 22 (Island) The govt is getting ready, as if there were no tomorrow, for the Commonwealth summit which is sure to cost the ordinary people an arm and a leg, if its spending spree is anything to go by. The country has already come to such a pass that the public find it well-nigh impossible to tighten their belts any more, but there is no end to economic burdens being placed on them one after the other. As if the huge power tariff increase were not enough, private bus operators are demanding more..

Nature’s silent tribute

May 22 (ST) The road past Valaichchenai to Thoppigala is a dusty, beaten track flanked by vast expanses of russet paddy fields, dotted by the occasional palm tree. Everything else is a crisp shade of brown owing to the unforgiving heat, but the villagers who pass by on their bicycles with towering stacks of firewood are full of smiles. The war which cast a pall on the area is no more – in its place are glimpses of opportunity, more..

A response to the President’s address on ‘Victory Day’

May 22 (CT) I read with much interest the President’s ‘Victory Day’ speech at the Galle Face Green, yesterday, reproduced in CT. While I agree with much of his recount of recent history, there are glaring gaps in the story he recalled. Further, he has failed to address the current concerns of the victims his forces liberated at all. I have selected some sentences and sections from his address to express my concerns. “Today we have the fourth opportunity to celebrate with dignity the great victory more..

Political machinations: Entrenching the tuition culture

May 22 (CT) The term rent-seeking is generally applied to politicians and govt officials who seek benefits from the implementation of rules and regulations they administer. But the term is also used of those who benefit from the rent that, as it were, they pay to those in authority. Influencing govt officials, and even govt itself, to grant favours is an easy way of profiting in cultures where transparency is lacking and decision makers have discretion (which is generally a good thing) but more..

විදුලි බිලට හිරුගේ විසඳුම (දෙවන කොටස)

Vimukthi Weeratunga gives voice to voiceless in protecting Sri Lanka’s wildlife

May 22 (DBS) We are raping our own heritage due to human-centric thinking, asserts Environmental Foundation Ltd. Director – Operations Vimukthi Weeratunga, pointing out that land management is key to protecting the forests, trees and animals, which are Sri Lanka’s lifeline. While EFL fights battles on behalf of the environment on the legal front, Weeratunga says there isn’t sufficient awareness among the citizens of this country, despite Sri Lanka being one of the few more..

On the land issue

May 22 (Island) We move from the topic Western science, Astrology and Arsenic temporarily in order to discuss one of the important topics in current politics. It is concerned with the power to distribute land as stated in the thirteenth amendment. The thirteenth amendment is not a solution to a problem in Sri Lanka but an act imposed on us by the Indians modeled on their state administration to solve a problem peculiar to India. India did not consider the history, the Eksesath Rajya we more..

Gold rush down ‘Hetti Weediya (Sea Street)’

May 22 (ST) When gold prices were believed to have crashed some three weeks, consumers stormed Colombo’s Sea Street (Hetti Weediya) considered SL’s gold marketplace and jewellery stores had a tough time coping with buyers. Long queues formed outside shops as people rushed in to purchase gold. “Easy come easy go” is what jewellers are talking about as times have changed now as gold prices are stabilising. more..

Sri Lanka: Looking for direction?

May 22 (DBS) An unscheduled mini battle is on in the junior league for“13A” that could change the face of Sri Lanka in 2013/2014. Non-playing captains, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe are watching the game from the pavilion cheering respectively the Weerawansa / Ranawaka crew and the Sumanthiran combine? What follows is more intriguing?– When: where: what? – Call elections on schedule in Sept 2013? Police and Land Powers or is much more of 13A to be thrown more..

NDB Capital Holdings profits up 572%

May 22 (Island) The first quarter of 2013 was a highly successful period for NDB Capital Holdings PLC (NCAP) with the company recording Rs. 320 million in revenue compared to Rs. 64 million during the first quarter of 2012, a 5 fold growth. This increased revenue translated to a profit of almost Rs. 297 million at company level for the quarter, over 6.5 fold growth (572%) compared to the Rs. 44 million recorded during the corresponding period the prior year. more..

Audit queries on President’s Fund stir Parliament

May 22 (FT) The President’s Fund receiving a “qualified opinion” from the Auditor General “for not maintaining proper accounts” came under the spotlight yesterday in Parliament. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said in Parliament that the 2011 Annual Report of President’s Fund being “qualified” was an “adverse” development as it implies a disclaimer, creating serious doubts about credibility. Karunanayake requested more..

Sri Lanka could field 10 athletes at World Youth event

May 22 (Island) Sri Lanka has the prospect of sending a team of 10 athletes for the IAAF World Youth Championship, after six more athletes achieved qualifying standards at the last weekend’s Junior National Athletics Championship, at Diyagama. Four athletes had already achieved qualifying standards for the July event before the four-day Junior National Championship commenced on Thursday. Three steeplechasers and three sprinters achieved qualifying standards at the more..

Programme to develop dilapidated temples

May 22 (DN) A programme to develop old and dilapidated temples in remote areas in the country is launched with the assistance of the Civil Defence Force under a directive of President, said Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The Defence Secretary said he personally witnessed the sorry plight of some of these temples when he visited them to extend invitations to the 3,500 members of the Maha Sangha who participated in the Jaya Pirith more..

Ayurvedic spa registration on hold

May 22 (DM) The Department of Ayurveda will temporarily stop registering Ayurvedic spas from this month. However, registration of spas in institutions that had already been registered with the SL Tourist Board will continue. “The Department has decided not to register more Ayurvedic spas because today there are bogus spas using the term Ayurveda,” Commissioner of the Department Palitha Weerakoon said today. more..

Singer debenture issue oversubscribed

May 22 (FT) Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC’s three-year listed unsecured redeemable debenture issue which opened yesterday was oversubscribed almost immediately and was subsequently closed in the early hours of the opening day itself. The initial issue was aimed at raising Rs. 1,000 million, with an option to increase this amount by a further Rs. 500 million, at the discretion of Singer, in the event of an oversubscription. In light of the keen interest of investors in the initial issue, more..

Mihintale MV student is World New Inventor

May 22 (DN) K.P.D.A.C. Kapuge, a grade 13 student of Mihintale Maha Vidyalaya has won the first prize at the World New Inventors Competition held in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States for the invention he submitted as Sri Lanka’s entry. The competition was conducted from May 12 to 17. The new invention presented by Kapuge was a tractor like machine which could be used to clean up the weir( ridge in the paddy field) during the preparation of farm land for cultivation purposes. more..

Tamara re-elected as Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group

May 22 (Island) Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, was re-elected as Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UNHRC’s Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, which held its 14th session from 13 to 17 May, in Geneva. This is the third time that Ms. Kunanayakam has been nominated by the Non-Aligned Movement for the post, which is an more..

Gammanpila alarmed at dwindling farmer community

May 22 (DN) A means of attracting the younger generation towards agriculture is needed to find a solution to the shortage of farmers in the Western Province, WPC Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. He said the majority of members in agriculture societies are over 60 years, adding that when the older generation retires from work, the nation may have to starve, since the younger generation is reluctant to take up farming as a profession. He said the younger generation should be made more..

Teachers appeal to President for relief

May 22 (CT) The All Ceylon English Teachers' Union (ACETU) has appealed to President Rajapaksa to provide relief to the working class by at least reducing the electricity tariff, as the recent hike has lead to the increase in the prices of many goods and services. General Secretary of the ACETU, Stanley Perera, said, "I appealed to President Rajapaksa, regarding his announcement of the revised tariff scheme at the May Day rally. We have made an appeal to the President to consider more..

CID grills another TNA MP

May 22 (CT) Vanni District TNA MP, Siva Shakthi Anandan, was interrogated by the CID sleuths at the fourth floor, over his alleged mobile phone conversations with Tamil detainees at the Vavuniya Prison. Anandan was grilled for more than two hours from 10 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. yesterday. The CID sleuths had questioned the MP as to how he developed mobile phone contacts with the Tamil prisoners, who staged a hunger strike, which more..

Rajarata refuses to admit fee paying students

May 22 (Island) The Rajarata Medical Faculty Board yesterday refused to accommodate nine fee paying students sent by the University Grants Commission under the foreign qualification quota by paying Rs. 1.5 million a year. Already four such students had registered and the others were scheduled to be registered yesterday. The Board took the decision when undergraduates of the faculty were planning a huge protest against admitting fee paying students to medical faculties. more..

Army to shift most camps to Palaly

May 22 (CG) The army will shift most of the camps in the Jaffna peninsula to Palaly, Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said today. He said that apart from three army camps which will remain owing to security reasons, the rest will be shifted to the Palaly army base. The Army Commander said this after declaring open a new restaurant operated by the army along the Southern Highway. The Army media unit said that in conformity with the govt’s ongoing tourism more..

Armoured car to transport Maithripala in Geneva

May 22 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, will be using an armoured vehicle during his visit to Geneva to participate in three health conventions. The World Health, G-15, and Commonwealth Mental Health Conventions, will see the participation of Health Ministers and sector officials from many parts of the world. However, only Minister Sirisena is said to be privileged to receive special protection, a fact that has not escaped the attention of other more..

1601 Bar & Kitchen: S.F's first Sri Lankan restaurant focuses on small plates

May 22 (SFW) The opening of San Francisco's first Sri Lankan restaurant sent a delicious shiver of anticipation down the spines of those who get excited about such things. Sri Lanka, the little island nation off the southern coast of India, promises an intriguing blend of cuisines from colonial influences like the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, as well as the geographic proximity of South India — and unlike other South Asian cuisines, it's not easily found in the Bay Area. more..

LECO workers cry foul

May 22 (Island) Employees of Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) are crying foul over the company’s previous Board illegally releasing Rs. 20 million to a front company. LECO is a limited liability company formed in 1983. Its majority shares are held by CEB (54%) and the Treasury (42%). The balance shares are held by UDA and several local govts. In other words, 100% of LECO’s ownership is with State institutions. funds in question have been released to a company called LECO Projects more..

UNP open for change on devolution

May 22 (DM) The UNP said it was considering a change in its stance on power devolution and instead opt for a new system of devolution depending on the will of the people. However, it said as of now it would stick to its policy on power devolution based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Tissa Attanayake said that his party would listen to the views expressed by the people and propose a system of devolution accordingly. more..

CEB’s Ranjan Jayalal admits failure

May 22 (Island) While agreeing that their major demand to reduce the recent electricity tariff hike was a failure, especially due to the govt’s move to deploy the STF to force workers to continue their day-to-day work without interruption, Joint Trade Alliance (JTA) Committee Member of the CEB, Ranjan Jayalal expressed confidence that people would react strongly after getting their forthcoming electricity bill. "I would say it’s a 60% success because the govt was disturbed and more..

Was it a success ?

May 22 (CT) While the govt claimed yesterday's token strike to be a complete flop, trade unions maintained the many strictures imposed by the govt on State workers, alone, made it a huge success. The Information Department said the attendance by employees in the public sector had notched 93.5%, which was 3.5% more than the average daily attendance. Regardless, the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) maintained the token strike against the more..

Sri Lanka opposition says govt threatened to sack strikers

May 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's opposition parties and trade unions accused the govt on Tuesday of threatening state employees with the sack if they took part in planned street protests against a sharp rise in electricity prices. Only a few hundred people joined the demonstrations, coordinated by the political opposition and trade unions, despite expectations of much larger crowds on the streets of Colombo. The govt rejected more..

Yasin Malik’s support for Sri Lanka Tamils a sham

May 22 (NIE) Jammu & Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik’s expression of support to the extremist SL Tamil cause should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching his recent anti-India campaign. He has drawn a parallel between the ‘sufferings’ of the Tamils in SL and those fighting for separation of Kashmir from India. Malik is no more interested in restoring democratic rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka just as he has no interest in the process of reconciliation and development in J & K. more..

Free entry to Nat. Parks tomorrow for students, teachers

May 22 (Island) School children in uniform and teachers countrywide will be given free admission to visit any national park, in the country today, to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity or Biodiversity. Minister Wijith Wijithamuni de Zoysa had instructed the Wildlife Department officials not to charge the entrance fee to national parks for one week starting from tomorrow. However, The Island learns that the Yala National Park, Horton Plains and Wilpatu National Park would more..

TUs claim strike a success; Govt. calls it a big flop

May 22 (Island) While the Co-ordinating Committee of the Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) maintained that their token strike against the electricity tariff hike was successful all round the country, the govt said that overall attendance in public sector institutions had, in fact, increased by 3.5% yesterday. Co–convener of the CCTUA, Wasantha Samarasinghe said their strike had been a huge success in the public and private sectors. more..

Editorial: No money for life-saving drugs; Second-degree murder

May 22 (DM) The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC), which supplies life- saving or essential drugs to public hospitals and medical clinics, was reported yesterday to have run out of funds to buy drugs because the Treasury had cut the Health Ministry’s budgetary allocation by Rs. five billion. According to yesterday’s Daily Mirror story the cut in allocations and the lack of funds have resulted in a dangerous shortage of life-saving drugs at the at the Maharagama Cancer more..