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'UNP & SLFP are the biggest companies in Sri Lanka'

May 27 (LT) Politics today is a business, it is a good income and the two biggest companies in Sri Lanka are the UNP and the SLFP says the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama. Speaking further at the funeral of Daya T. Pasquel at Matugama he said, “Mr. Daya T. Pasquel and others like him did not earn any money from politics. They sacrificed what they had for the good of the public. However, the situation at present is entirely different. Politicians today have lands, companies, buildings more..

Nearly 90% dansal given clean bill of health

May 27 (DN) Issues relating to the hygienic condition of food and beverages were identified in 810 Vesak dansal of the 5,773 inspected by Public Health Inspectors on Friday and Saturday. Measures were taken to rectify them, Public Health Inspectors’ Association Secretary Senerath Bandara said. He said 4,876 dansal organisers had sought the pre-consultation of PHIs in the area as per the request made by the Association. more..

'Buddhists never hate those of other faiths'

May 27 (Island) Sri Lankan Buddhists were not averse to other faiths, though some NGOs were trying to give the impression to the world that Buddhists were harassing other religions, said President Rajapaksa, addressing a meeting held in Kandy to commemorate the 260th anniversary of the Siamese Higher Ordination in Sri Lanka. The meeting was held at the Mahamaluwa, opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayaka more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.6%

May 27 (LBO) Stock closed down 0.65% on Monday with profit taking by retail investors. All Share Index closed 42. 31 points lower at 6,446.54 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed down 24.13 points at 3,641.91 down 0.06%. Turnover was 696 million rupees, up from 556 million on last week Thursday the market closed early for religious festival Vesak. Foreigners brought 159 million rupees worth shares while selling 46 million rupees of shares, in a day that 67 stocks advanced and 140 stocks declined. more..

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka up 14.7% in April

May 27 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 14.7% to 79,829 in April 2013, with Eastern Europe, China and Maldives showing gains but India and the Middle East weakening. Arrivals from Western Europe, the top generating region rose 10% to 27,531, and was up 12.1% to 156,658. Visitors from Britain rose 2.7% to 8,233, Germany rose 8.3% to 8,233, France rose 6.8% to 4,842, The Netherlands rose 14.1% more..

Minister says banning cattle slaughter difficult

May 27 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne yesterday said he was personally against the slaughter of cattle but it was difficult to ban it. Nevertheless, the govt should take steps to stop the slaughter of animals, especially cattle, in a cruel manner, he said. Animals taken to slaughter houses were transported in the most inhuman manner and it had to be stopped, the he said. The Minister condemned people who embraced other religions for commercial gains and other benefits. more..

GMOA demands probe against A’pura hospital nurse

May 27 (Island) The GMOA yesterday threatened to resort to stern trade union action if the health authorities did not hold an inquiry into an incident at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital operating theatre, where a nurse allegedly hid a surgeon’s apron thereby preventing him from performing an urgent operation. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said that the nurse had hidden the apron before the operation and the patient had waited two hours following more..

Don’t compare me with Prabhakaran

May 27 (CT) Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu Joseph, has warned the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) that he is only a spiritual leader working towards the unity and integrity of the country, and therefore he should not compared with the LTTE leader, V. Prabhakaran. Rev. Joseph, while criticizing the BBS as a movement fanning racist sentiments, said right thinking people must root out the movement in its initial stages. more..

UN told no freedom of assembly in Lanka

May 27 (CG) The UNHRC has been told in a statement submitted by an NGO that there is no freedom of assembly in Sri Lanka. In a written statement submitted to the 23rd session of the UNHRC which began today, the International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) notes several incidents reported in almost all parts of the country this year which violated the freedom of assembly. In Colombo, the NGO says in January, pole bearing goons, more..

Monks want slaughter houses closed

May 27 (CG) The Sihala Ravaya, a group comprising of Buddhist monks, have called for the closure of slaughter houses until, at least, the final rites are carried out on the monk who died after setting himself on fire in Kandy. Sihala Ravaya National Organizer Venerable Akmeemana Dayaratne thera said that a formal request has already been made to the government in this regard. He said that some slaughter houses in parts of the country had been approached by the Sihala more..

Rajapaksa arrives in China on sixth visit

May 27 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived here today on a 4-day state visit, his sixth, with Colombo saying that its ties with Beijing were not an "exclusive one" and would not harm interests of others. This is Rajapaksa's first visit after the new leadership headed by Xi Jinping assumed power here. China was expected to announce more aid for various development projects in Sri Lanka in addition to heavy more..

JMO fails to release forensic experts despite Court order

May 27 (CT) While affidavits keep piling up in the Matale Magistrate's Court with regard to the skeletal remains, it is now said that forensic experts are shuffling their feet on the matter. Ceylon Today learns that it is over a month since a Court order to release two forensic experts from Colombo to examine the dental remains of the excavated skeletons was given, but the Judicial Medical Office of Colombo has not released the two officers. According to Dr. Ajith Jayasena as soon as more..

Sri Lanka - South Africa to explore more avenues of cooperation

May 27 (GDI) Secretary to the ministry of External affairs Karunatilake Amunugama stated that Sri Lanka and South Africa have had close cooperation both in terms of bilateral relations and multilateral interactions and in this context the two countries should explore more avenues of cooperation while diligently working on the areas that have already identified. Amunugama led the Sri Lanka delegation for the Fourth Session of the Senior Officials Meeting of the Sri Lanka – South Africa more..

Mathews embarks with plenty to prove

May 27 (CI) Both on and off the field, Angelo Mathews gives few emotions away. There was a time when he was among the team's most exuberant men, but experience, and the onset of responsibility, have seemingly dulled his zest for public elation. He is now equally stoic with a dozen microphones set before him. As Sri Lanka departed for the Champions Trophy in England, Mathews had little to say, aside from more..

Navi Pillay to visit Lanka in August

May 27 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has decided to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka from 25 to 31 August this year. This is in response to an invitation formally extended to her by the govt in April 2011, Sri Lanka’s Permamnent Mission to the UN in Geneva said. “Sri Lanka considers this visit as part of its continued, transparent and proactive engagement with the High Commissioner and the OHCHR. We believe that the visit would enable the High Commissioner to more..

Sri Lanka parties mull cattle slaughter ban immolation

May 27 (PTI) Political parties in Sri Lanka are demanding to immediately halt the cattle slaughter in the country in the wake of a Buddhist monk committing self-immolation to protest against the practice. Bowatte Indraratana died over the weekend after setting himself on fire Friday near the famed Temple of Buddha's Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy, demanding ban on cow slaughter. He was also demanding that parliament should approve the anti-conversion bill to more..

Sri Lanka concerned over lack of financial independence of OHCHR

May 27 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt today said that it remains deeply concerned that the lack of financial independence of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also leads to disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council. It said the situation resulted in selectively targeting some countries, while situations, human rights violations and restrictive practices in more..

Fruitless efforts of an opposition in disarray

May 28 (NS) Opposition parties present a viable alternative to the incumbent govt by designing alternative ideas, principles and policies for governing society. Should the party in power let the voters down, the opposition is the ‘govt-in-waiting’ takes over the reign of power – through free and fair elections. Where do we place Sri Lanka’s opposition is a million rupee worth question. Parties within the opposition’s own democratic process can become a force to be reckoned with if they can be more..

Democracy and its discontents

May 28 (NS) It could be said with a great deal of confidence that Sri Lanka has never had a strong democratic tradition. In fact, democracy was thrust upon us by the colonial administration. It is quite well-known that us Sri Lankans never really fought for our freedom. I suppose that the Indians did the fighting for us as well. Let us also not forget that the Second World War significantly contributed to the demise of the British Empire. After the Second World War, Britain found it difficult to sustain more..

Kilinochchi, now a nerve centre of activity

May 28 (SO) The Kilinochchi district which was the main area of LTTE concentration and the nerve centre of terrorist activity, with people's welfare and development activities totally neglected, saw the silver lining of peace and prosperity after Govt Forces recaptured the district in Jan 2009. In May 2009, the UPFA Govt initiated measures to restore the city to its former state. Many accelerated development projects were launched. more..

Douglas Devananda undermines the NPC

May 28 (DBS) Many Tamils who have suffered at the hands of the LTTE have tended to see others on LTTE hit-list with some sympathy. For those on the list, with a dedicated sense of service to the Tamil people and unquenchable thirst for justice, the choice was simple when faced with assassination by the LTTE – run abroad into oblivion or seek protection from the army and do the best they could under the circumstances. Thus the much respected R. Sampathan and my uncle Neelan more..

Northern PC polls on the horizon

May 28 (DBS) The Island of May 20 carried the following in a news item: ”Although the Provincial Council system had not yielded the intended results, it was not the time to criticize it in view of a Provincial Council election on the horizon”, observed Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala when Minister Dinesh Gunawardena called on him.” Reading this news item I was struck by the statesmanlike comment of the Venerable more..

That problematic 13 A

May 28 (CT) When the Sixth Amendment to the 1978 Constitution became law on 8 August 1983, the practical result was not a nation committed to the concept of territorial sovereignty, but the TULF members walking out of Parliament in absolute political rage. The Parliament and polity had been deeply divided ever since, and the country was subsequently consumed by ethnic violence. If the reaction to the Sixth Amendment more..

Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity and prosecuting for picking coconuts

May 28 (CT) Several incidents in the recent past where criminal acts were committed by persons in the presence of law enforcement authorities with impunity, has posed the question whether the criminal law and procedure in our country is selective and of course whether administration of justice is selective. The incidents which comes to mind are the tie up of a public officer to a tree by a minister in the presence of several police officers, govt officials, and the public, the attack more..

War victory celebrations hinder rather than promote reconciliation

May 28 (CT) The Govt celebrated last week the victory of the Armed Forces over the LTTE with an impressive display of weaponry. If Sri Lanka is one country and the Tamils and Sinhalese are brothers should the victor celebrate the war victory? The American leaders during the Civil War between the North and the South in 1961-65, did not think so. The American Civil War was to prove one of the most ferocious wars ever fought”. Without geographic objectives, the only target for more..

Under the shade of trees, they put words into action

May 28 (ST) Absolute stillness disturbed only by the gentle rustle of rain sliding down from a heavy canopy and the muted call of a few birds. Suddenly, along a gravel track framed by thick foliage, emerge a long line of barefoot, brown-robed monks, varying in age, from the very young to the elderly. As they wend their way with measured tread from their meditation kuti, with their alms-bowls and yellow and brown umbrellas to ward off more..

Policy rates down 0.75% in a year, but bank lending rates tight and deposit rates rise

May 28 (Island) Monetary policy rates have come down by 0.75% from a year ago, while commercial bank lending rates have only eased by 0.19% and fixed deposit rates have risen by 3.27% on heavy govt borrowings, as market analysts hope the worst is behind us. Foreign holdings of govt securities has exceeded the Central Bank’s limit of 12.5% of outstanding Treasury bills and bonds to 13.8%, latest data showed, as authorities attempt to finance a cash-strapped govt and keep domestic more..

LLRC Recommendations Not Met by 13A

May 28 (Island) The recommendations of the LLRC have come to be accepted by the International Community judging from the repeated references to it both nationally and internationally, in complete disregard to the Govt’s National Plan of Action that was developed by incorporating selected recommendations in the LLRC Report. In the meantime, India while supporting International Resolutions to implement LLRC Recommendations is also insistent that Sri Lanka implement more..

'IPL has devastated Indian culture'

May 28 (Island) Some may have laughed it off when Arjuna Ranatunga called the IPL ‘a monster’ that will destroy the very fabric of the game when it was launched in 2008, but five years on, his predictions have proved to be prophetic, after the arrest of a team owner following the spot-fixing scandal. Chennai Super Kings CEO, Gurunath Meiyappan, was arrested last week during investigations on spot-fixing in the IPL. more..

Formalin used to grow mushrooms

May 28 (CT) Research has found that mushroom growers are using formaldehyde (formalin), which is a chemical used to preserve bodies, to boost production. Research Assistant of Regional Agricultural Development Centre, Makandura, Ashoka Gunatileke, said it has come to light that the chemical, formaldehyde that is used for embalming bodies is being used to grow mushrooms. The chemical is being used purportedly to safeguard mushrooms against the entry of a fly, more..

Editorial: Vesak and masks and zombies

May 28 (Island) May is the month when wayside shops and pavements get flooded with masks of different colours and shapes depicting humans, animals and even demons. One may wonder what they have got to do with Vesak, but they have been there for generations. We don’t think there is any grownup Buddhist who can truthfully claim that Vesak masks did not tickle his or her childhood fancy. However, the latest addition to the plethora of masks has caused a govt minister to see red more..

Sri Lanka aims to attract more tourists from China

May 28 (CD) Buses decorated with scenic photos of Sri Lanka will go into service in major Chinese cities to boost tourism to the island nation. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China Ranjith Uyangoda said on Wednesday the Sri Lanka tourism authority has paid to deck out 50 city buses each in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu with landscape photographs of the island so that more Chinese people will learn of its natural beauty. more..

Primary Health Care Development Centres: H’tota gets 50 centres

May 28 (DN) The Health Ministry launched the Primary Health Care Development Centres setting up programme from the Hambantota district. A total of 50 centres are to be set up in the Hambantota district. Under the first phase, two centres will be set up at a cost of Rs 7.5 million at Beliatta and Suriyawewa. The construction of Beliatta and Suriyawewa Primary Health Care Development Centres commenced recently with the participation of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, more..

Walk in Kandy in memory of Indraratana Thera

May 28 (Island) While police are investigating into the case of Ven. Bowatte Indaratana Thera who set himself on fire on Vesak full-moon morning under a Bo Tree in Kandy a group of Sangha and Laywers staged a walk in Kandy town yesterday in support of the demands put forward by Indaratana Thera. The walk organized by an organization Mahanuwara Bodu Ekathuwa (Kandy Buddhist Union) passed along the streets and ended up at the Bo tree, where the late Indaratana Thera set himself ablaze. more..

Dialog seals biggest ever sponsorship deal with Sri Lanka Cricket

May 28 (FT) Telecom giant Dialog has successfully sealed the country’s biggest sponsorship deal with a three year arrangement supporting Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). As per a filing to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) made on Thursday but posted on the CSE web site Dialog said it has entered into a binding contract with SLC, as the official sponsor of the National Men’s and Women’s Cricket team, at a value of Rs 754 million more..

Kidney disease rises: Dehiattakandiya road named Wakugadu Mawatha

May 28 (Island) With kidney disease rampant in certain parts of the country, a road in Dehiatt-akandiya has been named Wakugadu Mawatha, since every family living there had lost at least one member due to the disease, the UNP said. UNP MP Anoma Gamage said that that the use of impure fertilizer had resulted in the contamination of ground water in areas such Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, where a marked increase in Kidney disease had been reported. more..

Colombo glows with Amadahara Vesak Zone

May 28 (DN) The Amadahara Vesak Zone of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) which commenced on Friday, was held for the third and final day on Sunday on a grand scale. Over 120 competitors from different parts of the country participated in the Vesak lantern competition. Winners received cash prizes and certificates. The Amadahara Vesak Zone comprised Vesak lanterns, Bakthi Gee recitals and dansela. ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara, more..

Mervyn to get powers to discipline public servants?

May 28 (DM) A new Parliamentary Act will be soon introduced giving unrestricted power to the Public Relations and Public Affairs Ministry to entertain and investigate complaints against public officials and recommend redress or take legal action against those who ignore ministry directions, a senior official said. Ministry Secretary C. Herath said a memo would be submitted for cabinet approval by subject Minister Mervyn Silva more..

Govt ensures right of information to relatives of LTTE suspects

May 28 (DN) The govt has established a mechanism to ensure the right of information to the relatives of LTTE suspects, said Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation to the 23rd session of the UNHRC Ravinatha Aryasinha. He said that a centralized, comprehensive database of detainees established by the Terrorist Investigation Diviison (TID) of the Police with units operating around the clock in Colombo, Vavuniya and Boosa more..

Sri Lanka could serve as Korean firms’ gateway to India-Pakistan market

May 28 (KH) Sri Lanka has expressed hope that Korean firms will make more investments in the country, saying it was an ideal spot for a logistics hub in the South Asian region. “Ever since 2010, the year after the civil war ended, the country has been recording a steady growth rate of 8% or more every year,” Shivan de Silva, executive director of the BoI of Sri Lanka, said. Boosted by this sustainable growth, the Sri Lankan govt is now all out to attract foreign direct investment and to more..