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WikiLeaks: Installing criminal Devananda as the head of a ‘quisling’ Tamil regime

May 2 (CT) “The leader of the EDPD, Douglas Devananda, has a long history of enmity with the recently defeated LTTE. He has been a favorite of successive Sri Lankan govts in Colombo. But Devananda has a violent and even criminal history, and shows few signs of reforming. While close ties continue between the top levels of the GSL and Devananda, we may be seeing an adjustment to that relationship as more..

Vijaya Kumaratunga’s life, death and the crisis in governance in South Asia

May 2 (CT) Madam Chandrika Kumaratunga, distinguished friends and colleagues, I cannot tell you how deeply overwhelmed I am by this occasion. I feel humbled that I have been asked to speak on as momentous an occasion as this, because what we are in a sense remembering today is not just a historical event. When I think what characterizes Vijaya Kumaratunga’s life history is that like all great men who sort of touched peoples hearts, he was an event an historical event. more..

Hospitals short of 18,000 nurses

May 2 (CT) Approximately another 18,000 nursing officers are required to meet the staff needs of hospitals around the country, the HSTUA charged. President of the HSTUA, Saman Ratnapriya, said the govt hospitals require at least 45,000 nursing officers to carry out their services, but at present there are only 27,000 nurses. He also said, although trade unions keep complaining to the Ministry of Health (MoH) about this issue, the authorities have not paid sufficient attention to more..

Sri Lanka's exports, trade gap down in Feb

May 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell 2.9% to 797.5 million rupees in February 2013 from a year earlier but apparel exports rose 8.8% to 371.6 million US dollars. Rubber product exports were down 12% to 66.1 million US dollars and agricultural exports were down 5.9% to 174.5 million US dollars. Imports were down 9.3% to 1.43 billion rupees. Consumer goods fell 16.9% to 208.7 million dollars and intermediate goods fell 8.3% more..

Sri Lankan asylum seeker dies soon after arriving on Christmas Island

May 2 (SMH) A 35-year-old Sri Lankan man died suddenly just hours after arriving at Christmas Island's asylum seeker processing centre on Wednesday night. The man had been transferred to the island on Wednesday and was taken to the Phosphate Hill processing centre. He was transferred to the Christmas Island Public Hospital after telling staff he was unwell, but died soon after. "It appears the man died of natural causes after having a cardiac arrest." more..

Test report on toxic chemical in milk powder still awaited

May 2 (Island) The report from a laboratory in Singapore on whether imported milk powder contained Dicyandiamide (DCD), has not been received by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). Samples of milk powder were sent for testing to Singapore in March. DCD was found in milk powder produced in New Zealand and also in one variety of butter and 11 varieties of cheese. Sri Lanka is the biggest importer of milk powder from New Zealand. The country imports 75,000 MT of milk more..

SL keen to attract investment to port sector

May 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka kicked off an international conference here on Thursday to attract investment and showcase the country as a port hub, a top official said here. Speaking at the event titled "Sri Lanka Ports, Trade and Logistics Conference", MP Namal Rajapaksa was upbeat in his call for investors to commit to the burgeoning sector. Since a three decade war ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan govt has ploughed more..

Kalametiya Lagoon's bio diversity exploited

May 2 (CT) The Kalametiya Lagoon, which is rich in bio diversity, is being exploited by an unscrupulous few who mine its shell deposits for lime production and to manufacture chick feed. Sources said this was a lucrative business, and accused those engaged in dredging the lagoon of being the prime culprits. They also claimed the illegal activities are possible due to the poor enforcement of the law, are degrading the environment and destroying its bio diversity. more..

JVP warns of massive strike

May 2 (CG) The JVP today warned that a massive island-wide strike will be launched by trade unions at all state institutions on May 21 if the government fails to completely withdraw the new electricity tariffs. JVP member and trade unionist K.D. Lalkantha said that the government has time till May 20 to cancel the new tariffs. He said that trade unions will not accept concessions or amendments to the electricity tariff structure but instead want it completely removed. more..

‘Lanka turns out too many Arts graduates’

May 2 (Island) Vice Chairman of the UGC Prof. Ranjith Senaratne yesterday said that over the past 20 years, the share of Arts students in university admissions had declined rapidly in many developing countries in the region, including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh, while the share of the Commerce and Science students had increased. But, it was the other way about in Sri Lanka, he added. more..

Ex-STF IP nabbed with ganja

May 2 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, Excise Headquarters officers from Colombo nabbed a former Inspector of the Police Commando unit transporting a consignment of ganja (cannabis) at Imbulgoda on the Kandy-Colombo road on Tuesday. When the Excise officers searched the vehicle, they found over 100 parcels containing ganja covered with a mat. The ex-Special Task Force Inspector had used the identity card issued to him by the police, while in service, to get through more..

Muralitharan to play in Caribbean T20 league

May 2 (IANS) Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has been named the final international franchise player for the lucrative Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 event which bowls off in July. The 41-year-old Muralitharan grabbed a record 800 wickets in 133 Tests and 534 in 350 One-Day Internationals before retiring two years ago. Since then, he has continued to ply his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL in the myriad of Twenty20 leagues across the globe. more..

'New era dawns for plantation workers'

May 2 (MEA) Addressing the May Day Rally of the Ceylon Workers Congress at the Nuwara Eliya Bus terminus yesterday, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the govt was taking all possible steps to develop infrastructure in the plantation areas, improve living standards of plantation workers and their families, provide them with better housing instead of line rooms and to raise their children’s educational level. more..

UNP, UPFA understanding in CMC shaken

May 2 (Island) Tension reigned at the monthly meeting of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), at the Town Hall on Tuesday, over the electricity tariff revision, with Opposition UPFA members accusing Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil of playing a ‘double game’. UPFA sources said that the rumpus started with a proposal by Chief Whip Sunil Withanage (UNP) condemning the Electricity hikes which affected the middle class and poorer segments of society. They said that there were arguments for more..

Matthews steps aside as Pune Warriors skipper

May 2 (IANS) Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews has decided to step down from Pune Warriors captaincy for the rest of the IPL season. Matthews was appointed the skipper ahead of the season but dropped himself midway after a string of poor performances. And with Aaron Finch doing well as the captain, Matthews feels it is logical for Finch to carry on leading the team. Matthews' decision came moments after he was affirmed as the Sri Lanka captain for next month's Champions Trophy. more..

Sri Lanka name 15-member squad for Champions Trophy

May 2 (CI) Fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara has earned an ODI recall, picked in Sri Lanka's 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy. Welegedara has not played international limited-overs cricket since mid-2010, and had to return home mid-way through Sri Lanka's Test series in Australia last December with a hamstring injury. Expectedly Mahela Jayawardene and Rangana Herath, the two senior players who had more..

'Will struggle until achieve supremacy'

May 2 (OU) “Will protest, until Tamil people achieve supremacy in their own land” was expressed by TNA at the May Day. "If only our race is liberated, workers will get liberation said Alliance MP Mawai Senathiraja. The Alliance May Day meeting was held at Kilinochchi Karaichchi divisional council compound. Amidst strong police protection, MPs C. Yogeswaran, P. Ariyanenthiran and C. Sritharan attended. Mahinda Rajapakse is held in the convict dock by the international countries, more..

Japan's Deputy Premier calls on President

May 2 (GDI) Deputy Prime Minister of Japan Taro Aso who arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday on an official visit called on President Mahinda Rajapaks this morning at President's House. The visit of the Deputy Premier is a follow-up to the Sri Lankan President's visit to Tokyo in March this year. President Rajapaksa hosted a breakfast meeting for the Deputy Prime Minister, his wife and the Japanese delegation. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa welcomed Mrs. Chikako Asp, more..

Land taken only for civilian use: Lanka Army

May 2 (ENS) The Jaffna Army Commander, Maj Gen Mahinda Hathurusinghe, has said that the lands that are being acquired in the Northern Province are for civilian use and not for building army cantonments, as the Tamil parties allege. “The lands in Weligamam North in the Palaly and Kankesanthurai (KKS) areas are to be used for the expansion of the Palaly airport and the KKS harbour. Jaffna has to be developed. more..

'Chinese coal plant giving cheaper power'

May 2 (LBO) A Chinese financed and built plant at CEB, is generating power at a lower cost and defects are being gradually rectified, officials of the utility's engineers union said. "We cannot compare a BMW with a Maruti," CEB Engineers Union President Nandika Pathirage told reporters referring to German and Indian brands of cars, when asked by reporter whether plant was 'sub-standard'. He said China had financed and built the plant in the midst of a war at a time when no other more..

Sri Lanka should keep monetary policy on hold: IMF

May 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka should keep monetary policy on hold for the moment to build on economic stability based on low inflation, an IMF official said. "We would stay on hold now," IMF resident Koshy Mathai told reporters in Colombo after an annual Article IV consultation report was submitted to its board. He said the Central Bank has kept inflation at single digits for a long time, but "building on that success was very important" because the ultimate goal was to improve beyond single digit inflation. more..

U.S. assists Sri Lanka on dam and water management

May 2 (USE) The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and the World Bank, conducted a training program for 69 Sri Lankan engineers and professors from seven water resource management agencies and three universities. The training, held April 25 – May 1 in Thulhiriya, Gampaha District, enabled more..

Dayan’s gods and theories that failed

May 3 (NS) My friend Dayan Jayatilake’s latest book Long War, Cold Peace is exactly what I anticipated it to be: 1. overloaded with quotes from the Marxist mafia; 2. an equal measure of theoretical puffery; 3. self-contradictions; 4. self-congratulatory passages; 5. the least amount analysis of the historical roots that preceded the official declaration of war by the Tamil leadership in 1976; 6. total blackout of the internal dynamics of the mono-ethnic extremism of peninsular politics, propelled by more..

Intellectual property for next generation

May 3 (NS) April 26 marks the World Intellectual Property Day, an increasingly important day celebrated annually. Although the day was first marked in year 2000, events leading to such a development go back to the 19th Century, when issue of intellectual property was first being discussed seriously in the Western world. The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention (1886) were the first instances where the international more..

Customs BCNP needs more staff

May 3 (SO) The Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Division (BCNP) is an important unit of the Sri Lanka Customs Department which is responsible for monitoring, prevention and detection of sensitive items in the areas of archaeology, plants, minerals, fisheries, birds and genes being smuggled in or out of the country. The unit which earlier operated at the head office of the Customs Department more..

Editorial : Why target dummies?

May 3 (Island) President Rajapaksa has made a virtue of necessity. On May Day, he promised that the latest power tariff hike would not apply to the low users of electricity. He won kudos—at least from a captive audience. He has, in spite of his rhetoric, buckled under pressure. The poor must, no doubt, be looked after, but at the same time relief should be given to others. They, too, have a right to survival. It behoves the govt to take cognisance of the woes of the business community as well. more..

TNA vs LTTE: The Northern Provincial Council stakes

May 3 (DBS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been publicly reiterating and recommitting himself to finally holding the long delayed and often postponed Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections in September this year, almost four and half years after the war ended in May 2009. Thereafter despite presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections, in 2010 and 2011, various excuses were contrived and trotted out to postpone the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections, more..

Son of legendary Sri Lankan singer sings a different tune

May 3 (ST) Lanka, Santha, son of legendary singer Sunil Santha who sang the popular ‘Lanka, Lanka Pembara Lanka’ among other legendary hits, is stamping his class in a field different to that of his late father; eco-entrepreneurship. Mr. Santha, who lived in the US for 10 years and continues to live there, had secured patent rights for Soil Bioengineering Geo Natural products. These coconut coir block systems more..

Rally For Unity: A march towards reconciliation

May 3 (CT) It is often the case that a nation which experienced a protracted war will tend to look forward rather than backward. For Sri Lankans, over the years, the war became a part of their lives, and survival a part of their routine. In such a context, healing becomes a lengthy and culturally-bound process. Though some may find it difficult to achieve, such process cannot be understated or underestimated when it comes to building a deeper unity, thus a sustainable peace for Sri Lanka. more..

Gender and Inclusion: A change of attitude needed

May 3 (CT) The European Union has set a target of 40% for female non executive directors in European corporate entities by 2020. However some European nations oppose mandatorily enforced quotas to achieve this aim. One of the opponents, Britain’s Vince Cable, the Business Secretary – Britain has a 25% voluntary target by 2015 – recently warned: “Government continues to believe that a voluntary led approach is the best way forward, but the Cranfield School of Management’s annual more..

Boston Lanka: May 03, 2013

Rajapaksas justified the unjustifiable in the name of patriotism and anti-terrorism

May 3 (DBS) On January 2nd, 2006, five students were murdered in Trincomalee. The govt initially claimed that these were LTTE cadres who died when the bomb they were carrying exploded, prematurely. The cover-up backfired unexpectedly, when a courageous Judicial Medical Officer revealed that the five young men had been shot to death, execution-style. Forced to acknowledge the crime, the regime resorted to subverting justice; judges were transferred, witnesses more..

Foreign interference in SL Muslim problem

May 3 (Island) From the very moment that the BBS became prominent in Sri Lanka, there has been speculation about sinister foreign forces operating behind it. There is certainly a Norwegian connection, about which no clarification has been forthcoming. Now the BBS leaders are in the US on a month-long visit, which is reportedly part of a programme to make their movement international. There seems to be big money and power behind the BBS. Most curious of all are the coincidences between more..

We too salute you

May 3 (ST) Brutal is the training beginning at the crack of dawn, 0430 to be precise, each day with the famous “water parade”. Standing on the line outside their rooms, under the watchful eye of the Colour Sergeant, a litre of water has to be downed, hard even though allowed to take time, before a packed day of training. Each day, going into the first five long weeks, is strenuously full with military activity — infantry skills, more..

SLC loses a Gentleman!

May 3 (Island) Cricket is a ‘Gentleman’s Game’, and SLC had a gentleman in Ajith Jayasekera as CEO, to guide Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), through turbulent times. That was when nincompoops held sway at the organisation. A case in point was the notorious defunct Interim Committee headed by D. S. de Silva and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, who made hay while the sun was shining, in the run up to the 2011 World Cup, in the sub-continent. The Chairman’s two nephews, Suraj Dandeniya, more..

Insurance sector grows 16% in 2012

May 3 (Island) The country’s insurance sector, comprising 21 companies, recorded an asset growth rate of 16% in 2012 to Rs. 307 billion from Rs. 265.8 billion a year earlier. "The expansion of assets, healthy profitability, adequate solvency margins and the strengthening of the regulatory framework enhanced the soundness of the insurance sector in 2012," the Central Bank said. "While the insurance sector accounted for about 3% of the total assets of the financial sector, its assets grew by 16% more..

The CHOGM trade-off!

May 3 (FT) In exchange, will the Rajapaksa administration pursue engagement with the country’s main Tamil party on power devolution and conduct a poll in the Northern Province by September 2013? Or is India setting itself up for disappointment again? When the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) completed its meeting at the Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House London last Friday, it more..

Tax headquarters moving out of Fort

May 3 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tax headquarters – the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) building – is moving out of the Fort-Slave island area, making way for tourism-related development amidst an outcry from employees, unions say. The building was only recently renovated following damages caused in LTTE suicide air attack at the building in 2009. Union officials were unaware where the office will be located in future. A trade union official said that employees are opposing to the move more..

'Cops playing double game with bootleggers'

May 3 (Island) The Attanagalle ASP Jayantha Pushpakumara said that uniformed policemen who raided kasippu dens later hobnobbed with bootleggers. "We will always protect those who provide us with information and punish the wrong doers," he said. "There are only about one or two criminals in a village where there are 2,000 inhabitants and because of those elements the whole village has to suffer," he said. "Without the cooperation of the villagers it is difficult to more..

'False reasons for tariff hike'

May 3 (CT) The govt providing relief to consumers of electricity is akin to robbing Rs 1,000 from a person and then gifting that person Rs 10 to compensate the loss, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said. He charged that the proposed relief would not compensate anyone, and further claimed that the reasons given by the govt for the tariff hike are completely false. “President said the reason for the hike was because fuel prices worldwide more..