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Sri Lankan expat workers get same wage as Korean counterparts

May 24 (ST) In the 1990s South Korea was the largest investor in Sri Lanka, but today these investments have been reduced to very low level. A more positive development is that expatriate Sri Lankan workers are on par with their Korean counterparts – receiving the same wage. This was one of the important elements of presentation/discussion on ‘Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Korea” held last week at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. more..

'Opposition to devolution prevented early end to war'

May 24 (Island) If some leading figures in the current govt had not opposed the concept of devolution in 2001, the war would have ended long before May 2009, the UNP said. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the word "devolution" was anathema to many of those who were now playing a different tune. If only the recent converts who were enjoying the benefits of devolution had thought differently then, precious lives could have more..

Japan's counter-piracy fleet visits Trinco

May 24 (CT) Two Ships of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) SUZUNAMI DD-114, KIRISAME DD-104, which were dispatched by the govt of Japan for Counter Piracy Operations off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, arrived at the Port of Trincomalee, on a goodwill and supply visit from 20 to 22 May. The ships and their crews were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions. It is the first JMSDF ship visit to the Port of Trincomalee more..

China offered to buy Norochcholai: Govt.

May 24 (FT) In a clear deviation from his chosen sphere, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage wednesday took the field to launch vehement criticism of the strike action by the Opposition and took it upon himself to justify the electricity tariffs. Dwelling extensively on the subsidies given by the Govt, in particular for the power and energy industry, Aluthgamage let slip the fact that when the Norochcholai power plant kept breaking down, the Chinese Govt had offered to cancel all more..

Govt. under pressure to halt court proceedings

May 24 (Island) Foreign diplomatic missions in Colombo had finalized various agreements with local NGOs running into millions of dollars, some of which might not have been in the best interests of the country, due to failure on the part of successive govts to effectively monitor such deals, Govt sources said. In spite of severe criticism of some projects undertaken by NGOs, since 2002, there hadn’t been any initiative to inquire into more..

Potatoes, B’ onions cannot be imported with impunity – Minister

May 24 (DN) Importers cannot import potatoes and big onions without restriction, said Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. He said that it is compulsory for all importers of potatoes and big onion to purchase local produce and they only can import these items only during the off season and when there is a lack of local production. “Local farmers have to face lots of difficulties to sell their produce due to the importation of these products specially during the harvesting season. more..

Dengue gallops in Colombo

May 24 (Island) The dengue menace continues to attack the City, with a 20 per cent increase being recorded so far, in comparison to that of the corresponding period last year. Colombo Municipal Council Public Health chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that last year there had been 947 cases reported from January till the second week of May, while this year, in the same period, the number had increased to 1,177. Dr. Kariyawasam said there had been two deaths within this period. more..

Peace-time Vesak: A national celebration

May 24 (DN) Buddhists throughout the country observe yet another Vesak Full Moon day today, marking the Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing Away of the Buddha. Religious activities including meditation will take pride of place at the Vesak celebrations. Thousands of white clad devotees will throng Buddhist temples and monasteries to engage in religious observances this morning. Govt declared a week beginning more..

SLSI invites public opinion on vegetarian food standards

May 24 (Island) The Sri Lanka Standards Institute yesterday invited public opinion on the draft copy of guidelines to be observed in the preparation and presentation of vegetarian food to the market. SLSI Senior Deputy Director Deepika Munasinghe said that the public had time till June 13 to present their opinion on the matter. She said that draft copy would be given to interested parties while they could make a study of it before submitting their ideas. The document would be handed over to more..

Sri Lankans arrested over human smuggling in Britain, France: Europol

May 24 (AFP) Europol on Wednesday said 18 people, mostly Sri Lankans, were arrested in joint police raids in Britain and France on suspicion of being part of a human trafficking ring that smuggled South Asian immigrants into Britain. "During the joint operation, 11 suspects were arrested in the UK and seven in France. All persons arrested, except (for) one Dutch national, were of Sri Lankan origin," it said in a statement. Police, who were also assisted by German officers, seized computers, more..

Kelaniya clash rivals face legal music

May 24 (Island) Yesterday’s clash between Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera and SLFP supporter Christy Roy Perera, broke out at the inauguration of a project to carpet a road, at Rosmin Place, Dalugama. Kelaniya PS Chairman and the person alleged to have assaulted him, have both got themselves admitted to the hospital claiming that they were assaulted by the other. more..

Shavendra says freedom came at a price

May 24 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Major General Shavendra Silva says freedom came to Sri Lanka at a very high price. He told a gathering at an event in New York to commemorate four years since the end of the war in Sri Lanka that one should never forget or stop being grateful for the freedom. “if you were to go to the front of a school in the morning, you could witness children holding on to the hands of their parents, smiling. more..

Affordable post-Tsunami housing lauded in Sri Lanka

May 24 (ET) Over the last 10 years, following the unimaginable destruction caused by tsunamis in 2004 and 2011, the world’s architects have focused their attention on building stronger, more sustainable housing in the areas that were wiped out by these titanic events. Perhaps none have been more active than the Japanese firm Shigeru Ban Architects, which was recently shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture that will be announced later this year. Specifically, the project for which more..

Govt. concerned over MoU between US Embassy and Trinco UC

May 24 (DM) Sri Lanka govt expressed concern over the signing of a MoU between the US embassy in Colombo and the Trincomalee Urban Council to jointly establish a public information and activity centre known as the American Corner, without the knowledge or the authorisation of the Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry. Govt sources said that foreign missions based in Colombo should obtain prior more..

German Ambassador opens new facilities at STEPS Institute in Jaffna

May 24 (Island) German Ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard declared open a new building at the Skills through English for Public Servants (STEPS) Institute in Jaffna. The STEPS initiative is a three-way collaboration between Germany, Australia and Sri Lanka, to strengthen good governance, development and the use of English as a link language. The new facility houses a resource centre, a classroom and an administrative office that will streamline and enhance course delivery. more..

Let us resolve during this Vesak to seek refuge in the Noble Triple Gem - President

May 24 (GDI) The discipline instilled form Buddha's teaching enabled our nation to achieve a great culture, bringing worldwide honor and respect to us as a nation states President Rajapaksa in a Vesak message. "On this occasion we give importance to alms and material offerings and the observance of the principles of Buddhism to venerate the Buddha, in the same manner as we would pay tribute to the living Buddha. "The Buddha's message of the Dhamma made Sri Lanka a blessed land. more..

Gota opposes NPC polls

May 24 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa warned the govt of dire consequences in case the TNA won the first northern PC election. He was responding to a statement attributed to Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, that the election would be held in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister Yapa ruled out the possibility of diluting the 13th Amendment before the election. more..

AG pays Rs 47 M to audit State Banks

May 24 (CT) The Auditor General(AG)'s Department has paid Rs 47 million to private auditing companies to audit State Banks for the years 2010 and 2011. In the latest AG's audit report, he has stated auditing was out sourced as the Department was short-staffed to carry out the audit. The AG has also stated in the report that by virtue of the powers vested in him under Section 154 of the Constitution, which allows him to select suitable auditors, he enlisted the services of 152 audit companies. more..

Ravi K organized FNF workshop

May 24 (CT) Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil, has informed Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Planning, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) sponsored workshop on 'How to Topple the Govt,' was held at the Mayor's residence without his knowledge. He has said, "I was unaware that such a workshop will be held at my official residence and the workshop has been organized by UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake, with the assistance from FNF." more..

55 latest edition Mercs for CHOGM

May 24 (CT) The Ministry of Finance has opened Letters of Credit (LCs) through the Bank of Ceylon to import 55 Mercedes Benz vehicles of the latest S400 model to Sri Lanka for the use by VVIPs attending the CHOGM, scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in November. This was revealed less than 48 hours after the Minister of External Affairs, in an official release, refuted media reports of the govt importing luxury cars for the CHOGM. more..

Editorial: The virtues of abiding by the Dhamma

May 24 (DM) ‘Those who abide by the Dhamma are protected by the Dhamma,’ is a line that seems to be popular among Buddhists who own cars and are want to declare their faith with stickers. It is human to declare one’s identity one way or another. This is a phenomenon that is common in all communities, be it religion, ethnic identity or even political loyalty. Notwithstanding the arguably irrelevant nature of such assertions as per the Dhamma itself, the line warrants reflection of a kind that is relevant more..

Buddha the first to explain fundamental nature of reality

May 24 (DM) Vesak is a time for us to consider the Buddhist understanding of reality. According to Wikipedia "reality" in Buddhism is called Dharma (Sanskrit) or Dhamma (Pali). This word, which is foundational to the conceptual frameworks of the Indian religions, in Buddhism, refers to the system of natural laws which constitute the natural order of things. Dharma is therefore reality as-it-is (yatha-bhuta). The teaching of the Buddha, constituting as it does, a method by which people can more..

Pilisarana: The Bhikkhunis’ haven

May 24 (DM) The Therawada Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka has been in existence since 1998. Yet unfortunately, we do not come across many Bhikkhunis (Buddhist nuns) as often as we come across Bhikkhus in Sri Lanka. It was learned that most Sri Lanka Bhikkhunis were living in hermitages far away from society, engaging in their meditations in seclusion. Daily Mirror visited one of these religious retreats named “Pilisarana” in more..

There is a bend in the river

May 24 (SL) S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, one of our most controversial prime ministers is commonly credited with the aphorism ‘a river does not flow backwards’. Since on our gravity bound planet no human being from the time of Adam to now has observed a river flowing backwards, one might think such an example somewhat superfluous. The prime minister was at pains to make the point that social more..

Fort Station centre of massive renovation programme

May 24 (ST) The Govt is to renovate all 330 railway stations around the country using a mix of public and private funding, with a massive effort planned to refurbish Colombo Fort station. Fifty stations will be fully renovated by the end of this year, Additional General Manager Department of Railways Nalaka Bandara, said. The Railways Department has set aside Rs.400 million for the renovation programme, he said. more..

Tamil asylum seekers granted lawyers after court plea

May 24 (Age) Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor has granted lawyers access to two Tamil asylum seekers who feared they would be removed to Sri Lanka. The asylum seekers – who cannot be named – emailed refugee lawyer David Manne from Christmas Island on Wednesday seeking his help to apply for refugee protection. The email came after 31 Tamil asylum seekers were flown from Christmas Island to Sri Lanka after more..

Bribery Comm. withdraws case against CM

May 24 (DM) The Bribery Commission yesterday withdrew a case filed against Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and three others and thereafter they were discharged by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. In this case the Central Province Chief Minister and three others were allegedly accused by the Bribery Commission of having influenced a Kandy School Principal to enroll a child to Grade 1 in 2008. more..

Yoshitha fetches Rs. 11 million

May 24 (DN) Western Warriors were able to obtain the services of Sri Lanka skipper Yoshitha Rajapaksa for Rs. 11 million at the bidding for the captains for the Carlton local and international sevens held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre on Wednesday. Yoshitha who led the Navy Sports Club successfully in 2011 and 2012 and then led the Sri Lanka national team to victory in the Asian five nations tournament last month fetched the more..

Fire at Sri Lanka's Colombo port doused

May 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ports Authority said a fire that broke out in a container freight station at Colombo Port has been brought under control and authorities are assessing the damage and probing its cause. Fire brigades of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force, Colombo Dockyard and CMC had helped fight the blaze. Govt Analyst had started investigations to find the cause of the blaze. more..

Sirisena decries WHO budget cuts for region

May 24 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the 66th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO), in Geneva, decried the organisation’s proposed budget reduction in 2014–2015 for the South East Asia Region, considering that one fourth of the world’s population and one third of the global disease burden were confined to the region. He said the unkind cut was not justifiable more..

1st session of Sri Lanka's 2nd Youth Parliament begins

May 24 (GDI) President Rajapaksa said that the prime aim of members of the Youth Parliament should be to build national unity within the country. The maiden session of the Second Youth Parliament was held today at the National Youth Services Council in Maharagama. 412 members representing Youth Clubs in operation throughout the country have been elected to the Youth Parliament. more..

Local construction industry calls to trim foreign presence

May 24 (DM) Sri Lanka’s construction sector professionals recently called to cut down the number of foreign consultants, contractors and labourers employed in mega infrastructure projects taking place in the country, stressing the practice has proved detrimental to the local construction industry. Terming the mega construction projects which include ports, highways and airports that are being undertaken by more..

Learning anew the message of Vesak

May 24 (CT) Two thousand five hundred and sixty seven years ago, under the shadow of a Bo (Asatu) tree on Vesak Full Moon Day, Prince Siddhartha Gautama battled the demons of evil and attained what is now most reverently called 'Enlightenment.' The demons he had to banish from his mundane mind, among others, included hatred, lust, discrimination and jealousy, and what he preached thereafter became the sacred teachings of the Buddha. These sublime teachings were more..

SLFP Gen. Secy. irked by Vesak masks

May 24 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has decided to request the govt to fully investigate zombie masks sold as Vesak decorations by most of the trade stalls. Vesak decorations and its celebration were meant to celebrate the birth and the attaining of Enlightenment by Lord Buddha. But the significance of Vesak was abused by some traders, the Minister said. When contacted, Minister Sirisena said that the sale of zombie masks by some Vesak more..

Garment factories boost work conditions

Rohini Marasinghe and the proportionality as a ground of judicial review

May 24 (CT) “We as judges of this land must take the lead from our departed friend and colleague, that no bullets of any calibre, knives of any depth, clubs of any weight, shall ever deter us from taking the exalted and well traversed path to do justice for all those who come before us.” – Rohini Perera J, Secretary of the High Court Judges Association (2004). The above mentioned words of Justice Rohini Perera, formerly Judge of the High Court of Colombo (presently Rohini Marasinghe more..

The Wesak message of the JVP

May 24 (LT) Today is Wesak Poya Day, the day commemorated, venerated and honoured by all Buddhists. Lord Buddha’s teachings include cooperation, working for reconciliation and righteousness that help a society to progress. Undoubtedly, most of the virtuous qualities that exist in the Sri Lankan society have been nurtured by His teachings. Buddhism was the base for most of the cultural events in the Sri Lankan society. Despite discussions taking place regarding Lord more..

Sri Lanka monk attempts to self-immolate

May 24 (AFP) A monk set himself on fire on Friday to protest the slaughter of cattle, in the country's first attempt at self-immolation by a monk, police said. The monk doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself ablaze near a temple in the central town of Kandy during an important Buddhist festival, police said. "Policemen near the temple doused the flames and rushed the monk to hospital," police spokesman more..

No bus fare hike till July

May 24 (Island) Although private bus unions were clamouring for an immediate fare hike, it has been ruled out by Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayake, who said that fares could be revised upwards only in July. Addressing a media conference at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, Minister Ratnayake said that several private bus unions had requested a fare revision, but they had been told to make a collective request. Private bus operators were clamouring for an immediate more..

Karunanidhi requests Centre to provide citizenship to Eelam Tamils

May 24 (PTI) DMK President M Karunanidhi today requested the Centre to provide citizenship to over one lakh Sri Lankan Tamils living in India as refugees. Observing that continuous efforts were made to provide citizenship to the Eelam (separate home land) Tamils living as refugees when DMK was in power, Karunanidhi said, "Recently, United States of America has decided to provide citizenship to 2.60 lakh Indians living in that country without any relevant documents." more..