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Consumers pull the plug on consumption as electricity bills become livewires

May 29 (ST) As the electricity bills with the new tariff started coming in this week, middle income earners are preparing for the additional expenditure, adjusting their lifestyles and introducing measures to reduce consumption. The Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) figures show that the increase in bills could vary from Rs 750 to Rs 4,000 for the middle income groups. Buddhinandana Kahandawala, a public more..

Vesak Reflections

May 30 (GV) This Vesak Day I was reflecting on the centuries of Buddhist tradition and the cultural response, recorded in the magnificent constructions and spiritual art that withstood centuries of exposure to the elements. The tragedy is that this generation will go down in history as the vandals who destroyed our patrimony in economic self-interest. While volumes have been written on the folly of investing in coal as the energy source of a nation. We have borrowed huge sums of money to create more..

Spot fixing Sri Lanka style

May 30 (GV) In Nov 2011, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said that discovering how many civilians “died or went missing during the last few months of the conflict” would be “a first step towards reconciliation.” The govt’s Enumeration of Vital Events (EVE) attempted to answer that question by collecting information about people who have died, disappeared and emigrated from Sri Lanka since 1982. The survey was overseen by the Ministry of Defence, but was conducted by more..

How safe are private X-ray centres?

May 30 (SO) Radiography and scanning are key features in the modern medical world, to diagnose an illness or identify a defect in a body part. Unlike in the good old days doctors now rely solely on an X-ray or a scan result to diagnose one's ailment and prescribe medication. Getting an X-ray is simple nowadays which can be obtained at any state or private hospital in the country or in most medical centres in a town that has such more..

Tragic saga of Lankan politics

May 30 (CT) The political culture has taken a turn towards a nasty culmination. Ever since the opening of the economy in 1977, the ‘good’ that came with it may have outnumbered the ‘bad’, yet the socially-unsavoury facets of that system that essentially exudes a negative aroma would invariably have a lasting and pungent effect on a growing democracy. A society that was not used to the modern-day amenities, a society that was badly grappling with putting some decent food on more..

Is India seeing Lalith's double in Gotabhaya?

May 30 (CT) It is becoming increasingly apparent that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's assent and blessing is even more vital than that of the President's in holding the Northern Provincial Council elections and implementing a process of reconciliation with the Northern Tamils. He is the govt's point man in so far as the Northern Province's political strategy is concerned. At a time when the govt is acting expeditiously to conduct the much hyped elections for the Northern Provincial Council, more..

Preventing terrorism or suppressing rights?

May 30 (CT) The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has once again been thrust into the limelight. Like the Patriot Act, introduced in the US post 9/11, the PTA lengthens the detention period of terror suspects, detained under Emergency Regulations promulgated under the Public Security Ordinance. The police can detain these so-called 'terrorists' for as long as 18 months without filing charges against them. Yet the irony of this is, more..

View from Ritigala

May 30 (NS) Suresh Premachandran has asked the Govt to reach a consensus among the constituent parties of the UPFA with regard to the 13th Amendment. Premachandran hasn’t come to an agreement with Sampanthan regarding the registration of the TNA. In fact he is fighting for his political future. So maybe he should concentrate on making HIS party viable politically before he starts advising other parties how to develop their policies. Maybe he is trying to find a way into UPFA more..

Editorial : More on cyclones and monarchs

May 30 (Island) Cyclone Ma… sorry, ‘Nameless’, made landfall several days ago, leaving a vast trail of destruction in Bangladesh, which is struggling to cope with the post-disaster situation. But, the controversy its name, Mahasen, created here has not yet blown over. The Meteorological Department has extended a formal apology for naming it after a great Sri Lankan king and undertaken to revise the list of names submitted for future cyclones. We thought the matter ended when that more..

Boston Lanka with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Worries of BBS: Wimalajothi speaks with logic and Gnanasara speaks with violence

May 30 (CT) I really appreciate the critiques of my writing. I always welcome the constructive criticism. But such criticism should be an objective one not a subjective one. Of course my objective approach might be a subjective to you. This occurs according to different perceptions of your understating. But yet, we should all try to understand issues and problems in comprehensive ways. We should substantiate our arguments with evidence and logical reasoning. The criticism that provokes our thought more..

Kuragala lessons: Fighting with honour for a stake in a layered heritage

May 30 (CT) In Archaeology there is a novel concept called “Public Participatory Interactive multi cultural Museum and Site Presentation” applicable to sites with multiple heritages. This involves being inclusive of all available heritage components in presenting the identity of a site. Kuragala presents the typical layered heritage pattern. Season 1- It is a pre-historic habitat of Homo sapiens balangodensis. Season 2- In 2/3rd century BC Lanka, adherents of a new religion make it a raging fashion to more..

Communal conundrum and constitutional calculations

May 30 (FT) When Bowatte Indrarathana Thero poured petrol on his body and set himself ablaze outside the sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy last Friday, he set in motion a series of unfortunate events that shattered the peace of Vesak season. The holiday weekend to commemorate the birth, passing and enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama is usually a time of reflection and meditation for Buddhist devotees and more..

BOC profits down 26%

May 30 (Island) The country’s largest bank, state-owned Bank of Ceylon saw net profits fall 26% to Rs. 2.7 billion at group level during the quarter ended March 31, 2013, from Rs. 3.6 billion a year earlier, interim financial results filed with the CSE showed. Net interest income grew 3.45% to Rs. 8.6 billion and net fee and commission income fell 11.69% to Rs. 1.38 billion. A net loss on financial instruments designated at fair value was reported at Rs. 12.7 million. more..

Rs.50 robbery suspect acquitted after 10 years

May 30 (DM) A Colombo Court today released a suspect from a case that was dragging on for ten years over the theft of Rs. 50. It transpired in Court that the suspect was reported to have been kept under remand custody for over three months. Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage who perused the case proceedings expressed surprise when he found that the case filed against suspect Indika Maduranga of Akuressa had dragged on for ten years. He further observed that more..

Customs unveils new valuation standards for imported vehicles

May 30 (FT) The Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) and Sri Lanka Customs held a press conference to announce the part implementation of a standardised vehicle valuation system online for imported brand new and reconditioned vehicles. The system is set to make the process of valuing, clearing and taxation easier and streamlined for the country’s large vehicle importer community and Customs and will more..

Diyawara Gammana project to be re-launched

May 30 (DN) All arrangements are in place to re-launch the Diyawara Gammana housing project to facilitate the fishing community, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said the first step of the re-launch is to commence in Beruwala in line with the project launched to modernise the Beruwela City as a tourism zone. "The Diyawara Gammana housing project for the fishing community was commenced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the Fisheries Minister. more..

Imported food tested for cadmium, arsenic

May 30 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry will screen food products imported to Sri Lanka to ascertain whether Arsenic, Cadmium and other heavy metals are widely used in theses food to evaluate potential health risks from these food products, Ministry Additional Secretary D B T Wijeratne said. Addressing the media at the Agriculture Ministry, the Additional Secretary said the largest number of persons with kidney related diseases have been found mainly in the Anuradhapura district. more..

Man hacks ex-lover and her mother to death

May 30 (Island) A jilted lover on Tuesday night hacked to death his ex-girl friend and her mother, at their home in the Abeypura housing complex at Anuradhapura. The 30-year-old man used a sword in the attack on his 23-year-old ex-girl friend and her 62-year-old mother. He had also attacked and critically injured his ex-girl friend’s 62-year-old father, the police said. The father was rushed to the Anuradhapura hospital. more..

'NPC election not the panacea for problems facing Tamil speaking people'

May 30 (Island) Deputy Minister Faizer Musthapha yesterday said that the proposed Northern Provuncial Council election wouldn’t help solve problems faced by the Tamil speaking people. Instead, it could worsen the situation, he said, while urging the govt to review its position. Following is the full statement issued: "The 13th Amendment to the Constitution has once again attracted statements, responses and counter responses mainly from politicians belonging to several parties. more..

Legal action against nine Colombo school principals

May 30 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) took legal action against nine school principals within the last two days. Chief of the PHD Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that they included popular schools in Havelock town and Kotahena. A total of 58 schools were inspected on Tuesday while twenty of them had been issued with final warnings. Dr. Kariyawasam said that last year there had been over 1,110 cases of dengue reported from more..

Court orders BBS to vacate premises

May 30 (CT) Additional Magistrate for Galle, Gunendra Munasinghe, issued an order to the representatives of the Bodu Bala sena (BBS) yesterday, to immediately vacate the Methsevana Centre located at Akmeemana, Vanchawala, in Galle. The Magistrate, delivered the verdict after examining the petition filed by Batagoda Gamage Asanka Amarasiri. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, Embilipitiye Vijitha Thera and more..

Third accused released on heavy bail

May 30 (CT) The third accused in the murders of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others on 8 October 2011, Chaminda Ravi Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda, was released on heavy bail conditions by the Colombo High Court, yesterday. High Court Judge, Lalith Jayasuriya, enlarged the accused on Rs 50,000 cash bail and two personal sureties worth Rs 500,000 each. The accused was ordered to surrender his passport to the Courts as well. The judge noted bail will be terminated, more..

15% schoolchildren overweight

May 30 (DN) 15% Sri Lankan schoolchildren and 22% women are overweight. Obesity/being overweight or malnourishment are directly connected to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said the consumption of excessive sugar and salt is common in Sri Lanka which promotes NCDs. “The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is low in Sri Lanka which is also connected with the rapidly increasing NCDs. more..

‘Master plan’ for ethical media

May 30 (DN) A Draft Bill containing a Media Code of Ethics aimed at creating ‘a salutary media culture in the country’ will be tabled in Parliament for adoption in September, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. The drafting of this Bill has now been completed, he added. The proposals incorporated in this Bill have been submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Media and political parties for their observations, more..

Samanthi loves country

May 30 (FA) Samanthi Bandula was officially recognised as an Australian Citizen during a special ceremony at the Forbes Council Chambers recently. Born in Sri Lanka, Miss Bandula first came to Australia in 1994 as a Monash University student where she studied Business Administration. Following the completion of her degree, Miss Bandula returned to Sri Lanka for 10 years where she worked in the Human Resources field. Prior to her migration to Australia in 2008, more..

Voyage to Colombo

May 30 (eTN) I arrived yesterday in Sri Lanka after a pleasant flight on the national carrier, a short three-hour hop from Bangkok. As an eTN Ambassador I was very aware of my publisher’s difficulties on his arrival a few days ago at the visa-on-arrival counter. I was taking no chances and had arranged with my two travel companions, heading for the 42nd Skal Asia Congress in Negombo, to apply for visas online. This was quite effortless and was completed and confirmation received all within 30 more..

SC to fix hearing date for AG’s appeal on June 10

May 30 (Island) The Supreme Court will on June 10, fix a date to hear the Special Leave to Appeal Application, filed by the Attorney General challenging the Court of Appeal order, which quashed the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee against former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Badaranayake. The proceedings of the Special Leave to appeal application will be heard by a five-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court. more..

'Heed Maha Sangha’s advice for country’s development'

May 30 (DN) This country will reach its intended destination if all citizens heed the advice given by the Maha Sangha. The Buddhist clergy have been a strength to the government and the armed forces at all times, especially during the 30 years of conflict in Sri Lanka, said Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. There should be Buddhist Associations such as the YMBA which bring youths and the Buddhist clergy closer in every village. It is a fact that there is more..

Sabaragamuwa University students launch continuous fast

May 30 (CT) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University have launched a continuous fast against issues such as student suppression, violence against students and police inaction when complaints are lodged. Among the other problems highlighted by the student activists are the 500% increase in the registration fees for newcomers and a cut down in intakes of new students. "Sabaragamuwa undergraduates have been facing numerous issues for a long time now," more..

'Sri Lanka looking at freeing inward Paypal payments soon'

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking give the freedom of getting inward payments through Paypal, a cost-effective global remittance and payments system that has helped boost e-commerce in many countries, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We are looking at it seriously," he said. "We have to move with the times." Cabraal had progressively removed several odd exchange controls imposed on more..

Colombo meat stalls shut down

May 30 (CT) Almost all the meat stalls in Colombo city have been forced to shut down due to strong protest campaigns launched by various organizations against cattle slaughter. Four meat stalls in Maradana and all beef stalls in Dematagoda, Bambalapitiya, Wellawatte, Mutwal, Armour Street, Kotahena and Mattakkuliya have been closed. However, Chief Veterinary Officer of the CMC, M.P. Dharmawardana, said the beef stalls that were closed prior to Vesak may open more..

Thailand to sign 4 deals with Lanka

May 30 (CG) Thailand and Sri Lanka will sign four agreements to strengthen relations between the two countries during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit to Colombo. The three-day visit begins on Friday. The four deals include cooperation on tourism as well as science and technology, a sister cities partnership between Kandy and Ayutthaya and a visa exemption for officials and diplomatic passport holders. Thai ambassador to Colombo, Poldej Worachat, said Ms Yingluck more..

Dr Jayalath Jayawardana is dead

May 30 (CG) UNP MP Dr Jayalath Jayawardana passed away today while receiving treatment in Singapore for a prolonged illness. Born in 1953 and Dr Jayalath Jayawardana obtained his MBBS Medical Degree from the Medical Faculty of the University of Colombo. He has also obtained several Postgraduate degrees from the USA, Russia, etc., He was the Personal medical doctor to the late President R Premadasa and to his more..

UNP to hold referendum on draft Constitution

May 30 (Island) The UNP intends holding a referendum on its draft national constitution within six months of coming to power. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the media, after he had unveiled his party’s draft constitution yesterday, said that they would be launching a country wide debate to obtain feedback from all sections of society. A future UNP administration would hold a referendum on its proposed constitution, within six months of coming to power. more..

Athauda charged

May 30 (CT) The Warakapola Police on the advice of the Attorney General, filed charges in the Warakapola Magistrate's Court yesterday, against 19 suspects including UPFA Senior Minister, Athauda Seneviratne, for causing over Rs 1 million in damages to private property. The accused were charged on four counts including damaging the drinking water project at Kohombadeniya in the Warakapola Police Division on 6 June 2012. However, when the case was taken up for more..

UNP for unitary state, meaningful devolution

May 30 (Island) The UNP, while calling for the enactment of a new Constitution, said yesterday that it was committed to a unitary state, which would genuinely devolve power to the provinces without usurping its effectiveness. UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, releasing his party’s manifesto said that there was an urgent need to adopt a new Constitution since the dignity and sovereign rights of the people had been more..

Let’s all sacrifice and stop cattle slaughter

May 30 (DM) The self immolation of the Ven. Bowatte Indarathana Thera in front of the hallowed Dalada Maligawa on Vasak Day in support of the growing campaign for a ban on cattle slaughter needs to be addressed urgently and effectively so that this sacrifice could be turned into a positive dimension for religious and ethnic unity in diversity. Unfortunately after the monk—a former member of the JHU—died last Saturday night some extremist elements try to create trouble which more..

Go for a referendum without wasting time

May 30 (DM) “Parliamentary Select Committee only can change the Constitution” Minister Anura Yapa quotes the President. Parliament Select Committee on Constitution Reform is a perennial non-starter in a bluffer’s paradise - a procrastinator’s dreamboat. A condemned vehicle incapable of hopping on to it for the needed passengers or if shoved in, on persuasion or twisted arm [by India or USA]-jump off it taking the exit route or sabotage from within. TNA and UNP - the wistful fellow travellers who more..

Under Sri Lanka’s Big Roof

May 30 (NYR) Sipping gin-and-tonic sundowners on the terrace of Lunuganga, the architect Geoffrey Bawa’s sprawling country house, he and his principal collaborator during the 1950s and 1960s, the Danish architect Ulrik Plesner, now 82, might impulsively decide to extend the parapet beneath them by a few feet, or to render a distant vista more agreeable by removing hundreds of intervening trees. more..