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Croydon man charged with smuggling Sri Lankan immigrants into UK

May 24 (TLL) A 50-year-old man from Croydon has been charged with smuggling Sri Lankan immigrants into the UK. Chubramaniam Vignarajah of Aurelia Road, was one of 18 people arrested in a series of international raids by immigration and police, which included addresses in London, Luton and Essex on Wednesday. Mr Vignaraha has been charged with conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration along with two more..

Newly built four-storey surgical complex idles for six years

May 24 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) warned that it would resort to strong trade union action if the health authorities fail to open the Kuliyapitiya Base hospital’s new operating theatre within next month. GMOA Media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa pointed out that existing theatre at the Kuliyapitiya hospital, built 50 years ago, left much to be desired. Although there were seven to eight surgeons at the hospital, they had to share a single theatre. more..

21 Sri Lankans held in Kochi

May 24 (NIP) On Thursday, the Q branch of the Tamil Nadu police, with the assistance of the Ernakulam North police, took 21 Sri Lankans who were about to sail to Australia in a fishing boat from Kochi, into custody. The operation was carried out after information about the same was passed on by the Intelligence Bureau. 7 men, 6 women and 8 children were nabbed from the New Cochin Residency, a hotel situated near the Ernakulam North Railway station, in the early hours more..

Tension over army 'seizure' of Jaffna land

May 24 (BBC) There are growing tensions in northern Sri Lanka as Tamil people try to prevent the Sinhalese-dominated army from taking over their land. In a new development, villagers have driven out a group of surveyors sent by the authorities. Thousands more are engaged in court action to try to win back land they were displaced from years ago. Sri Lanka's army defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels after a brutal more..

Irony of Abhyadana market

May 25 (NS) I would like to discuss Buddhism and vegetarianism because a large majority of Buddhists are now meat-eaters and they take protection under so many ill-understood tenets. A hotelier friend of mine who owns a chain of restaurants says, a growing number of young people are shunning meat, fish and chicken, and opt for vegetable, grain and bean-based dishes instead. This is in spite of introduction of ‘Crab-Culture’ or display of live crustaceans to city’s elite more..

Awareness through pandols

May 25 (NS) Somarathna Perera is a man who has chosen a rather unusual method to contribute to society. Taking pandol making to another level, Perera has won many awards for his breathtaking creations. This includes the first prize at the ‘Deyata Kirula 2013’ which was held in Ampara.Sri Lanka’s first pandol that expressed a warning to general public on the negative aspect of using alcohol and smoking caught the attention of everybody who visited the exhibition. more..

Shelving destiny’s plans to be gainfully employed

May 25 (NS) The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB) was founded in 1912 by a British missionary named Mary Chapman. There are three separate schools under the CSDB, the School for the Deaf, the School for the Blind in Ratmalana and the Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind in Kaithady, Jaffna. The schools in Ratmalana were considered one entity until 1946. The school in Jaffna was established in 1955. more..

The production and policing of memories in post-war Sri Lanka

May 25 (CT) The aftermaths of wars are coined by various, often divergent, forms of national politics of commemoration and historiography. In a pluralistic world, states and govts are globally committed to the production, remembrance and celebration of their distinct interpretation of history and the memory of those who have fallen for the concept of the nation-state. Amidst their varying tales, at times, a common denominator can be found in the acknowledgement of an emphasis granted to more..

Sri Lanka computer, peripheral demand to grow: HP

May 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's demand for computers and peripherals will grow due to greater consumption of information and economic activity and investments pick up after the end of a 30-year war, officials at US-based Hewlett Packard said. The company launched HP OfficeJet Pro X series in Sri Lanka this month targeted and small and medium businesses including law firms, to print legal sized documents. HP officials said in addition to commercial centres like Colombo, more..

Future of Rajiv Gandhi’s political legacy in Sri Lanka

May 25 (DBS) Last week saw the 22nd death anniversary of former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi being commemorated. He was killed on May 21st 1991. The date of Rajiv Gandhi’s death has poignant significance for me personally. May 21st is the date of my birth. My birth and his death which happened 37 years later are inter–twined in my consciousness. Rajiv’s memory looms large on each birthday. more..

A stand for solidarity

May 25 (CT) Some may call it charity; I would rather call it solidarity or even responsibility towards the ones in need. This week was for me a reminder of what generosity towards one another truly means and mostly a dreadful reminder of what it is not to have sometimes the most basic things in life. Having attended two successive events organized by Candle Aid Lanka (formerly AFLAC International), I was both inspired and impressed, to say the least, by the work accomplished by more..

Devolution and Sri Lanka's Defence

May 25 (CT) Prof G.H. Peiris in his latest response to my article in The Island of 15th May 2013, argues that the distribution of ethnicity renders the district rather than the province the more suitable unit of devolution if empowering the minorities is the name of the game. My counterarguments are threefold: domestic geopolitics, politics, and regional geopolitics. Or, to reduce it a single factor, the realities of the balance of power and the island’s strategic vulnerability. more..

‘Children of Olcott’ must revisit history

May 25 (GV) I have never been able to understand why apparently grown Lankan men instantly turn so nostalgic — and sometimes completely incoherent — at the mere mention of their primary or secondary school. Old school tie is evidently very strong among most of our men, often hilariously so. Thankfully women, many of who are just as loyal and grateful to their former schools, don’t descend to such immature behaviour. more..

Editorial : Cutting a corner in Trinco

May 25 (Island) The govt has reportedly frowned on an agreement between the US embassy in Colombo and the Trincomalee Urban Council to set up an American activity and information centre in Trincomalee without first obtaining permission from the External Affairs Ministry. An American corner will be a boon to the people of Trincomalee in that they will have access to a number of facilities that neither their urban council nor the Eastern Provincial Council nor the govt for that matter more..

Overseas Sri Lankans need to share their skills here

May 25 (ST) The “Work In Sri Lanka” initiative will enable Sri Lankans to recognise the milestone reached in the country and realise that qualified personnel can easily contribute to the productive potential of the country, according to Ajith Nivard Cabral, Governor of the Central Bank. Speaking at the May 14th launch of the “Work in Sri Lanka” initiative in Colombo, he said, “After several years we have reached a milestone and there has been a huge paradigm shift in the mindset more..

3D GREEN - සංක්žරමණිකයෝ...

Corporate debt securities market grows

May 25 (Island) The country’s commercial paper market and corporate bond market improved in 2012. "The commercial paper market was relatively active in 2012. The value of commercial paper (CP) issued with the support of banks amounted to Rs. 36.9 billion in 2012 in comparison to Rs. 13.6 billion in 2011. Activities in the corporate bond market improved in 2012 with nine listings of corporate debentures by two banking institutions with maturity period of 5 years. more..

Seduced, abused and abandoned

May 25 (CT) This is the story of Apsara (name changed to protect identity), a domestic worker, who is battling to provide a better life for her son. Her entire life has been a struggle. "I was born in Pannipitiya and lost my parents when I was about four years old. Ever since, my life has been an endless struggle. I did not have a happy childhood and I did not have a proper education," she begins her story. Apsara, who is now 50 years old, was brought up by her grandmother, more..

Vesak as a festival of lights

May 25 (SO) With the dawn of the 2556th year of the Buddhist calendar, reckoned after the Passing Away of Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha, the world will mark Vesak this week. The Vesak Poya is significant to Buddhists across the world as three most significant events of the Buddha’s life occurred on a Vesak Full Moon Poya day. They are the Birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Enlightenment of Siddhartha more..

Free healthcare: Does it have to be?

May 25 (ST) Around 100,000 patients receive treatment either on outpatient or inpatient basis per day at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. That is a staggering number for a single institution to bear in a country where healthcare is free of charge. The financial burden on the country to offer its citizens free health is immense. In spite of that great financial burden, we take pride in knowing the fact that we have a free health system in Sri Lanka. Health indices like the maternal and more..

Did the Buddha fail?

May 25 (Island) Dear reader, please hold fire before accusing me of insulting the Buddha, with my title, as it is the last thing I wish to do during this season of Vesak. In fact, the longer I live the more I realise the greatness of the Buddha. Perhaps, to avoid confusion I should have titled this piece "Why did Buddha fail in the country of his birth?" as, probably, it is India that recognises his greatness least by not following His teachings. I am reminded of the Sinhala saying Game Buduwennawath epa more..

Sri Lanka embassy opening welcomed

May 25 (GDN) Social workers have welcomed the opening of the first Sri Lankan embassy in Bahrain, which will help its 25,000 nationals working in the kingdom. Sri Lankan Ambassador R K M A Rajakaruna said the ceremonial opening of the new embassy located in Mahooz will be held on Thursday, that will be attended by officials and community members. The Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) which more..

'Growing demand for vegetarian food here'

May 25 (DN) The massive feedback received on draft standards on vegetarian food proves that there is a growing demand for vegetarian food in Sri Lanka, Minister Champika Ranawaka stated. "This fact came to light at a public forum on vegetarian food held on Wednesday to discuss the introduction of standards on preparation, serving and selling of vegetarian food," he said. The move to introduce standards on vegetarian food was initiated on a request by the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress. more..

CICT receives first vessel carrying equipment

May 25 (DM) Colombo International Container Ter minal (CICT), which is developed under the South Harbour Terminal project received its first vessel on May 20, carrying on board 3 gantry cranes and 10 rubber tire gantry cranes to be installed at the CICT. The vessel ZHEN HUA 25 from Shang Hai was the first vessel of four more vessels that are to be expected at CICT with the same quantity of equipment. CICT is a joint venture Company between China Merchants Holdings more..

Sri Lankan carrier to buy 10 Airbus aircraft for $ 1.3 bn

May 25 (Reuters) Sri Lankan Airlines has signed a provisional deal with Airbus worth $ 1.3 billion to buy six A330-300 and four A350-900 aircraft between 2014 and 2023 to replace aging aircraft, the firm’s CEO said. The airline, seeking to modernize its fleet to cut fuel costs, will opt for Rolls-Royce Plc engines and use a lease-back arrangement to conserve cash, CEO Kapila Chandrasena said. more..

Pakistani envoy visits East, reviews development projects' progress

May 25 (DN) Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi visited the Eastern Province recently. The visit was aimed at understanding the ground situation in the Province and to explore opportunities to further develop economic, cultural and people-to-people links. Qureshi met Eastern Province Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama and had a discussion on all areas of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan including the assistance more..

CID probes fraud at Polonnaruwa SP’s office

May 25 (DM) The CID is investigating a fraud which is alleged to have taken place at the Polonnaruwa SP’s office where an office accountant had reportedly withdrawn funds set apart to be given to policemen as distress loans whenever the need arises. Several policemen in the Polonnaruwa Division had applied for distress loans but only a few had managed to obtain them. The suspect is alleged to have informed the loan applicants that the police department was not in a position to provide more..

IOC, Ceylon Petroleum set to form JV

May 25 (Hindu) Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) are set to form a joint venture (JV) for taking up various initiatives in the oil and gas sector, including supply of LNG to Sri Lanka by Petronet LNG Limited (PLL) to feed power plants in that country. The decision to form the joint venture was taken following a meeting between the Petroleum Secretary, Vivek Rae, and the Ministry of more..

President hands over crest gem to Mihintale Viharadhipathi

May 25 (GDI) The crest gem gifted by a Myanmar Buddhist delegation to adorn the pinnacle of the Mihintale (Sela) Cetiya was handed over to the Chief Incumbent of Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara Ven Walawahengunawewe Dhammaratana Nayake Thera by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at Temple Trees, Friday. Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Nayaka Thero of the Gangaramaya, Hunupitiya and MP Namal Rajapaksa attended the ceremony. The crest gem which is a very rare more..

Monk’s fiery protest: Police looking for helper

May 25 (DM) Police are on the lookout for the man who is alleged to have provided petrol to the monk, who was hospitalised with serious burn injuries after he set himself on fire this morning outside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Initial investigations revealed that the man had disappeared after the monk had set himself on fire. The monk identified as Ven. Bowatte Indraratana Thera set himself on fire demanding that cattle slaughter be banned. more..

CEB/PUCSL in cockeyed pricing structure

May 25 (Island) Any consumer using more than 60 units would have to pay up to Rs. 400 extra on his monthly bill, official said. "It could be one unit or more, but the subsidy is gone," he pointed out. There was a jump of between Rs. 300 and 400 when a consumer uses more than 60 units, LECO Senior Engineer, H. S. Somathilake said, admitting that there was an erroneous calculation immediately after the 60 unit jump. more..

Police officer caught with cannabis

May 25 (CT) The Anti-Corruption Unit of the Kandy Police nabbed a police constable, who is reportedly a member of MP Achala Jagoda's security contingent, for having two kilogrammes of cannabis in his possession. The suspect, Sarath Kumara (43), is a father of two children, and resides in the Galthenna area in Kandy. Sources said he had been attached to the Ministerial Security Division of the Police for over 10 years. His older brother is also said to be an officer serving the same more..

Commandos nab seven treasure hunters digging Iron Age burial site

May 25 (Island) Seven treasure hunters who had been excavating the borderline of a prehistoric burial site in Wilpattu National Park were arrested by the Wildlife Conservation Department officials with the assistance of Army commandos on Thursday. Four other persons who were with the treasure hunters escaped when the officials raided the site. The treasure hunters had removed several stone pillars and dug up a pit of around ten feet width and eight feet deep. The officials had seized a mobile more..

MoU signed with Trincomalee UC: US embassy will have to show cause

May 25 (DN) The Govt yesterday stressed that the U.S embassy as any other foreign mission based in Colombo should get prior approval to engage with local government authorities. According to External Affairs Ministry Secretary Dr. Karunathilake Amunugama, foreign missions should either inform or get prior approval to implement any project in agreement with the local govt authorities. “This is an international norm,” he said. more..

Rajitha tells Lalkantha: Go back to school

May 25 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne asked JVP trade union wing leader K.D. Lalkantha to study trade unionism again and learn latest trends on the subject. Dr. Senaratne told the media that the May 21 strike had been a complete flop as the JVP behaved like the frog in a well, thinking that it was the entire world. "This is the 21st century and the JVP is still sticking to old trade union tactics to win its demands," the Minister said. more..

TNA demands comprehensive devolution

May 25 (CT) The TNA expects nothing less than complete devolution of financial, police and land powers through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, MP Suresh Premachandran said yesterday. Responding to questions regarding continued refusal of the TNA to appoint a member to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to address issues pertaining to the 13th Amendment, as charged by the JHU he said, “The JHU is a Sinhalese extremist group, and there is no more..

FUTA rejects new Colombo VC

May 25 (CT) Aggravating a simmering dispute over the appointment of a VC for the Uni. of Colombo, university dons and the FUTA have refused to accept the appointment of Dr. Kumar Hirimburegama, spouse of the Chairperson of the UGC, as the new VC. Dr. Hirimburegama's appointment as VC was announced on Thursday by President Rajapaksa. FUTA claims the appointment was clearly politically motivated more..

Two arrested for handing leaflet to Basil

May 25 (CT) Two men who had handed over leaflets to Minister Basil Rajapaksa, stating people not affected by the war should not be entitled to new houses in the Eastern Province, were arrested by the Karadiyanaru Police in Pullumalai on Wednesday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa along with the outgoing Indian High Commissioner, Ashok K. Kantha, had laid the foundation stone to build new houses in the Eastern Province, with assistance provided by the Indian Govt. more..

Emotional scenes as 26 Karaikal fishermen arrive

May 25 (Hindu) Amid chaotic scenes at the Karaikal harbour and muffled cries from women, 26 fishermen, released from Sri Lankan custody after one and half months, arrived here on Friday morning. Family members of the fishermen had their sights fixed over the boats ferrying their men home. Overwhelmed by fatigue and emotion, a woman fainted at the sight of her 19-year old son. These fishermen were arrested and their five boats seized by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly more..

Net worth of the CPC erodes by Rs. 200 bn in two years – UNP

May 25 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporations (CPC) net worth had eroded by an estimated Rs. 200 billion in the past two years, an Opposition legislator said. With loss in capital alone accounting for Rs. 200 billion, the CPC was bankrupt and would cease to be a going concern, unless the Treasury came to its rescue once again as it had done time and again in the case of SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Air and the CEB, more..