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All MPs requested to be present for Thai PM’s address to parliament

May 23 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has requested all MPs to be present in Parliament when Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra addresses the House on May 31. The request from the Speaker was read to the House by Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday. He said that PM Shinawatra would address the House at 2. 45 pm on May 31, on a special request by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. more..

Australia sends back more Sri Lankans

May 23 (AD) A further 31 Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals are being returned to Colombo after failing to meet Australia’s international obligations, Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O’Connor said. The group departed Christmas Island on Wednesday to be flown back to Colombo. Their return takes the number of Sri Lankans sent home to 1161 - 950 of them involuntarily - since August last year. more..

JHU makes public Draft Bill to repeal 13A

May 23 (DM) The Govt’s ally JHU making public its Draft Bill to repeal the 13th Amendment to the Constitution said MP Aturaliye Ratna Thera would present the Bill to Parliament soon. The party also called on all political parties to allow their MPs to vote according to their conscience when the Bill was taken up for voting after it was presented to Parliament. Thera said the biggest tribute that this govt could ever give to the soldiers who more..

Editorial: Neutralizing the opposition forces

May 23 (CT) According to many an unbiased observer, the token strike organized by the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) was, if not a total flop, an embarrassing indictment on the incapacity of the most vital and critical sector that needs to be galvanized by the so-called joint-opposition. The opposition remains neither 'galvanized' nor 'joint.' Never in the history of Sri Lanka's trade union action has there been such a pathetic exhibition, or lack of, a more..

UK based Volume invests Rs. 200mn to shift development arm to Colombo

May 23 (Island) Satisfied with Sri Lanka’s progress and after a test run UK based Volume expands its business in the country investing more than Rs. 200 million, providing employment to 25 producers. Volume UK Managing Director Benoit Alvarez told the Island Financial Review that the company was planning to shift its technology development business to Sri Lanka and the shift would be completed during the next two years. According to him, the company would invest more..

CPC and CEB: Sri Lanka is meeting IMF targets

May 23 (CT) “An IMF team conducting its first quarterly assessment has determined that Sri Lanka is meeting the targets of the July IMF standby agreement, and it appears that the IMF staff will recommend release of the second tranche of IMF funds in October. The IMF agreement, combined with optimism from the end of Sri Lanka,s conflict and an improving external economic environment, has encouraged substantial more..

Register your ‘dansel’; don’t be a nuisance

May 23 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC PHD) urged all those organising ‘dansel’ in the Colombo City to register with them. PHD chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that although it was not compulsory it would be advisable as PHIs attached to the Department would be able to provide awareness to those involved in the charity on the two Vesak days, tomorrow and Saturday. Dr. Kariyawasam said that people needed to be more..

TID questions TNPF on funds

May 23 (CG) The Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) has questioned the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) on where it gets it’s funds from, TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said. He said that a group of TNPF members who were arrested in Mannar on Saturday and questioned on their identity as well as posters used at a war remembrance event, have now been quizzed on funding. Ponnambalam said that the TNPF members are out on bail but have more..

Kelaniya PS Chairman assaulted

May 23 (NF) Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, Prasanna Ranaweera and another councillor have been assaulted by an unidentified group. Deputy Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, Chamila Duminda said that the group had assaulted them during the preparations for an event. Ranaweera who was injured in the incident was admitted to the Kiribathgoda Hospital and was later transferred to the Ragama more..

Vaddukkottai memories: Jaffna in the 1960s

May 23 (CT) I’m an American, now almost 70 years old. I spent a year in Vaddukkottai, Jaffna in 1967-68. Technically, at that time I was a “missionary,” though I never converted anyone or wanted to. Impelled much more by adventure and wanderlust than any sense of “calling,” for me it was an “intern year” during (or rather out of) a theological education (Protestant, liberal, etc.): an opportunity (for me) that came out of nowhere after a year spent at the University of Oxford. more..

Maithree rejects media reports

May 23 (SM) Head of the Department of English at the University of Kelaniya - Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe has sent a letter to the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) rejecting media reports that claimed her as to conducting lectures when FUTA/UKTA had called on its membership to participate in a one-day general strike on May 21. The letter, addressed to the secretary of FUTA is as follows : 23rd May 2013, Federation of University Teachers’ more.. website down

May 23 (LT) The website of the All Ceylon Trade Union Federation has been made nonfunctional from the 21st. ACTUF states a certain group had hacked the site and deleted data. An announcement issued by Wasantha Samarasinghe states,, the only web site maintained by the trade union movement in Sri Lanka in all three languages has been made nonfunctional. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4%

May 23 (LBO) Stock closed up 0.42% in a short trading day ahead of a holiday driven by gains in alcohol and tobacco stocks, brokers said. All Share Index closed 27.23 points higher at 6,488.85 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed up 02.06 points at 3,666.04 up 0.06%. Turnover was 556 million rupees, down from 776 million a day earlier, as the market closed early for ahead of a Bhuddhist religious festival Vesak. Foreigners brought 257 million rupees worth shares while selling 38 million rupees of more..

Decision Making in the Public Service

May 23 (Island) "Before you give birth to a child you make a decision; before you name the child you make a decision; before you admit the child into a school you make a decision; before the child sits for an exam you make a decision; before you start courting you make a decision; before you get married you make a decision; before you get a job you make decision; before applying for a job you make a decision; after you join the public service you cease to make decisions" more..

Govt resorting to usual ploy of sticking LTTE label - UNP

May 23 (AD) The Govt has begun a new campaign to “sling mud” at the UNP and is using the state media and certain private media establishments to discredit its MPs by labeling them as “traitors,” MP Ruwan Wijewardene said. Speaking in regard to the recent controversy surrounding the CID’s investigations into the operations of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Wijewardene stated that UNP MPs including Harin Fernanado, Harsha de more..

New hostel to ease overcrowding at Eastern University

May 23 (ST) A permanent hostel for the Eastern University is being constructed at the village of Pillaiyaarady –the site for the proposed new building complex of the Faculty of Health-Care Sciences. The hostel is meant to ease overcrowding at existing hostels. The need for a new hostel became necessary as overcrowding at the present premises at Vantharumoolai in Chenkalady led to students being housed outside the university. Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, more..

No attempts to arrest UNP MPs - Police

May 23 (AD) Police today said that there is no attempt to arrest MPs of the UNP in connection with the CID’s ongoing investigations regarding the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking in Parliament recently, had said that there is an attempt to arrest several UNP MPs who had attended in a workshop coordinated by the NGO. However, SP Buddhika Siriwardena stated that there is no attempt or need to arrest any UNP MPs and that more..

CTSU picks up cudgels with Bandula

May 23 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Service Union (CTSU), rejected Minister, Bandula Gunawardane's statement over the delay in paying salaries, as misleading. The statement said: "The Education Minister's statement with regard to the delay in paying the May salaries to teachers is full of contradictions and misleading insinuations. The minister has in his speech, twisted the facts of the matter to suit the govt's intention to suppress more..

ICC Champions Trophy: The five Sri Lankan players to watch out for

May 23 (NDTV) Here are the top-5 players in the side who will be looked upon by fans to deliver in the Champions Trophy in England. Tillakaratne Dilshan: Last time he played in the Champions Trophy, Dilshan smashed 106 runs and was the third-highest scorer for his side. While age may have bogged this south-paw down, experience continues to make him an unpredictable talent. Dilshan has a fluent style of play and batting at the top, can erect a solid foundation in quick time. more..

BBS says the govt has failed to win over the Tamils after the war

May 23 (LB) The controversial Buddhist organization here, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), says that the govt had not made a sufficient effort to reconnect with the Tamil people following the end of the war. BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera has said that although the government built roads and developed the infrastructure in the North, it would not win the hearts of the people. Explaining that the war had prevented the Sinhala people from connecting with the Tamil people, more..

'Housemaids in Kuwait job racket'

May 23 (ST) While the plight of Sri Lankan housemaids working in Middle Eastern countries continues to be a matter of concern, officials in Kuwait say that many of the women who seek refuge at the Sri Lanka mission there are not always victims of abuse but are part of a growing racket involving job agents. Between 15 and 20 Sri Lankans, mainly women arrive at the Sri Lanka mission’s safe houses almost daily with more..

New Elephant Arrives at National Zoo

May 23 (NBC) A 37-year-old elephant previously residing in Baton Rouge will be reuniting with another elephant he was raised with in Sri Lanka. According to National Zoo officials, Bozie, an Asian elephant, arrived at the zoo this week. She will be reuniting with 38-year-old Shanthi. The two elephants lived in Sri Lanka briefly at the Elephant Orphanage department of Wildlife Conservation before being transported to North America. Bozie will be joining two other elephants at more..

Legal action to be taken against Seegiriya liquor advertisement

May 23 (LB) The kingdom of Sigiriya built by King Kashyapa is considered part of our national pride as it epitomises the creative skills of our forefathers. However it is disappointing to note that such a place with national pride of Sri Lanka has been used by a Japanese liquor company to promote a variety of alcohol. This particular company which has used Sigiriya as a backdrop of a commercial to display liquor has uploaded this advertisement on the Internet. Cultural Affairs Minister more..

Head of Commonwealth Business Council Calls on Prof G L Peiris

May 23 (MEA) Peter Callaghan, Director General of the Commonwealth Business Council, called on Minister G.L. Peiris, for discussions relating to the arrangements under way for the Business Forum which will be held in Colombo in November on the sidelines of the CHOGM. The Commonwealth Business Council in London is collaborating actively with the Ministry of External Affairs to enhance the inflow of more..

A matter of faith

May 24 (NS) Not all diseases are known. Not all known diseases have cures. Then there are ailments of the body and ailments of the mind, cures for the latter being more elusive than those for the former. Both body and mind are vulnerable. The environment is full of disease causing matter, which become potent when the elements conspire to generate certain configurations. So we protect ourselves by staying out of the burning midday sun, sheltering from storms, drinking ‘safe’ water, more..

Mahasen causes a storm

May 24 (NS) While Cyclone Mahasen did not create havoc in Paradise at a large scale as everyone was expecting it to, it did stir up quite a storm for a totally different reason. Well, we don’t really know what kind of damage it would have done, had it made full landfall on our shores, but by the time this article went into print, Bangladesh and Burma were on full alert. While the storm may have left the shores of paradise intact it made enough news on the global airwaves. If we are happy it didn’t make more..

Milk powder controversy continues

May 24 (SO) The controversial milk powder crisis that ran for weeks is still continuing when the Consumer Affairs Authority was ordered to test a new batch of samples collected from the market, after considerably high levels of Dicyandiamide was traced in two of the five imported milk powder brands that were subjected to recent tests, prior to a decision to be taken whether to ban it in Sri Lanka. The crisis deepened when more..

Editorial: Tilting at windmills, the govt. way

May 24 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has accused the govt of having launched a political witch hunt against some UNP MPs. He said that the CID had been let loose on a group of Opposition MPs who had taken part in a workshop where a resource person from a foreign NGO coached them on ways and means of winning elections. An official of that outfit had been questioned by the CID who demanded to know whether the UNP was trying to topple the govt, Opposition Leader revealed. more..

Make all people part of war commemoration

May 24 (CT) The govt’s decision to celebrate May 19 as a day of victory and the country’s second Independence is another one of its actions that has polarised the Sri Lankan people. Whether by accident or design, it is ironic that through its continuing actions the govt that reunified the territory of the country should also be the one that fosters the divisions between the people. I was in Mannar on that day that marked a watershed in the modern history of the country, more..

A religious Police for the Rajapaksas

May 24 (DBS) “The BBS will take immediate steps to form a ‘Cane Force’ against those who act in a manner insulting to Buddhism during the Wesak season”. Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thero (Lankadeepa – 17.5.2013). Pro-democracy demonstrators protesting against the flawed Iranian Presidential Election of 2009 feared one enemy above all other – the Basij, Iran’s religious police. As the ‘Protectors’ of the values deemed more..

A weak-kneed opposition and Ranil's diabolical plan

May 24 (CT) Whatever Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka's Leader of the Opposition, has not learnt about the intricate planning and strategizing involved in gaining political power with a view to establishing a govt led by his party, the UNP, he surely has learnt how to sabotage a campaign launched by a so-called joint opposition. And he has learnt it well. The islandwide one-day strike organized by the joint-opposition for 21 May 2013, exactly four years after the end of the Northern War, more..

Sri Lanka has to do a lot to improve its fiduciary risk management

May 24 (CT) When someone handles someone else’s money, the fiduciary obligations require him to manage that money with the same care, diligence, prudence and precaution as if he is handling his own money. If he fails, he is causing a fiduciary risk, according to the newest sub branch in political economics today. Fiduciary risk therefore makes it necessary for societies to make a proper ‘fiduciary risk assessment’ with a view to putting in place an effective mechanism for more..

Beyond Boston With Dr. Udara Dewamuni

Post-war Sri Lanka: Where the victim is the culprit

May 24 (CT) One should make no apologies to celebrate the victory over one of the most egregious terrorist groups that ever walked the earth. On the sunny Saturday morning, tanks rolled on the Galle Face Green, Kafir interceptors flew overhead and the Navy gunboats paraded in the adjacent sea on the fourth anniversary of Victory Day. (One boat capsized, during the ceremonial preparations). Even months before that momentous feat in the Nandikadal Lagoon, the text book-styled more..

Sri Lanka’s private sector wants local grads

May 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s private sector is currently looking at attracting increasing numbers of graduates from local universities and urging them to consider employment in non-state institutions. The John Keells has financially assisted 49 students qualifying to enter local universities aimed at encouraging more graduates to consider employment in the private sector. Due to the fierce competition among students to enter universities and the drop outs from these institutions more..

Pawning business: Gold mine or mine field?

May 24 (ST) Sri Lankan banks have pulled the plug on advertising and promoting their pawning business on the back of fast depleting gold prices and an industry exposure of Rs. 700 billion which could prove to be a mine field, industry analysts said. They estimate total industry exposure to the pawning business together with banks and finance firms and general pawning agencies at Rs. 700 billion. They also point out that banks are more..

Religious Tolerance: Let’s think of the Buddha’s example

May 24 (Island) Da Lai Lama has made recently a sad note on Buddhists of Myanmar and Sri Lanka. For a people like us who boast of a tolerant and peaceful past it should be an eye-opener. Have we done anything tarnishing the proud image our forefathers have created for us? Has some short-sighted minority trying to hurt followers of other religions while some Buddhist leaders try to reaffirm our lost heritage? Or has somebody attempted to misinterpret our actions? more..

Japan grants Rs. 245 m for human resources development

May 24 (FT) The Govt of Japan has agreed to provide approximately Rs. 245 million (Yen 192 million) in grant assistance to Sri Lanka to implement a scholarship program on human resources development. The human resources development scholarship program to be implemented this year will provide scholarships to Govt officials to follow higher educational programs in reputed Japanese universities. The program aims to enable the Govt officials to contribute to more..

Sri Lanka reaping peace dividend: HSBC report

May 24 (FT) Sri Lanka is reaping the peace dividend with impressive development especially in infrastructure, according to the global banking giant HSBC. “Despite being one of the smaller economies in emerging Asia at US$ 60 b in 2012, Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development is greater than many of its neighbours, as measured by the AIM (Asia Infrastructure Measure),” said HSBC Global Research in a latest Asia more..

Travel and Adventure: Sri Lanka is a gem with many facets

May 24 (MWN) After years of civil war, peace has arrived in Sri Lanka -- and so have the tourists. The reason is that the country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an array of beaches and exotic animals, plus it's affordable and the English-speaking people are friendly. All of this is packed into a country the size of West Virginia. Sri Lanka had been on my "Gotta Do" list for several years. I finally made it, and I wasn't disappointed. Now the list it's on is "Gotta Visit Again." more..