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Are we heading towards a militarized society

Aug 9 (CT) The definitions given to the word militarization in dictionaries state it is an “act of assembling and putting readiness for war or other emergency”. When the word militarization is defined in the context of politics it gives a more complicated and terrified meaning as much as a tool capable of dismantling political, administrative and social structures of a society. Apart from the annual budgetary allocations to the military in comparison with budgets of other important sectors more..

SL’s Misery at Commonwealth Games 2014

Aug 9 (CT) While other nations battle on the field of sports for national pride, the people representing our nation battle to secure a place on the list to go on a free holiday, a wily purpose. A bronze medal in Weight Lifting in the recently concluded Glasgow Commonwealth games is enough evidence that our purpose, our attitude and our strategy in this regard are completely off track. The Commonwealth games came to the beautiful city of Glasgow in Scotland. Both the opening and closing ceremonies more..

Sri Lanka geared to face climate change risks

Aug 9 (ST) Sri Lanka's close proximity to the equator is vital in understanding the severity of climate change. Countries near the equator, receive additional sunlight with less area to heat up, causing the temperature in the region to be warmer than the North or South poles, where the distance from the sun is greater and the heat from the sun in spread over a much larger area. Severe floods, such as the one that displaced 90,000 people more..

SL Muslims vs neo-Fascist Nationalism

Aug 9 (Island) My main purpose in this article is to argue that the chief antagonist of the Sri Lankan Muslims, as well as of the Sinhalese and all the other ethnic groups, the chief antagonist whom they have to confront and destroy or be destroyed themselves, is neo-Fascist nationalism. I will suggest further that what I call neo-Fascist nationalism is a spurious form of nationalism, which can never provide a satisfactory and enduring political order. more..

The real patriotism

Aug 9 (NS) Famous Chinese Marxist Mao Tse-tung said “the enemy will tell us which weapon we should take”. This is what president Mahinda Rajapaksa did to eliminate LTTE terrorism. The whole world understands this theory very clearly. The Sri Lankan Govt never had an idea to solve this problem militarily. But it was the LTTE which led the govt to this situation. “There never was a good war and bad peace” Benjamin Franklin once said. Tamils should understand this very clearly. more..

Slums, shanties or stories?

Aug 9 (GV) An article titled A slum and shanties free Colombo by 2020 recently published on the infamous site notes that, "Our effort is to see a slums and shanties free Colombo in year 2020 said Mr. Weerasena Adikari, Senior Consultant of UDA speaking at the weekly media briefing held at the MoD Media Centre today (6). To be clear about the terms used, a slum is a squalid and overcrowded urban street or district more..

All religions propagate the same message

Aug 9 (NS) Fortunately, we don’t have any serious religious fundamentalism to deal with in Sri Lanka, except a nascent form of it being introduced to the country by a handful of marginal, foreign funded Christian and Muslim zealots who enjoy no popularity among the mainstream believers of the two respective faiths. Though a few similarly isolated, apparently misguided Buddhist monks seem to have started a violent, aberrational reaction against attempted fundamentalist inroads more..

Once a nuclear power…!

Aug 9 (FT) Recently I read two newspaper articles, one in Sinhala and the other English, both on what one may loosely call historical subjects. Both articles have adopted the same form, that of a narration of an interview. In the Sinhala article the writer reports on discussions with several persons on a political event that happened about 25 years back. This is recent history; most of the characters spoken about are still among us. On 23 July a mainstream English daily carried a full page exposition of more..

පොදු අවකාශ හා ජීවිත

Surely 'One life is not enough' to traverse the politics of subcontinent!

Aug 9 (CT) 'One life is not enough', an autobiography written by former Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh was released in New Delhi last week, with his views criticizing the late Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi for mishandling the Lankan Tamil issue by sending the IPKF to the island following the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987. Natwar Singh's autobiography was released at a time when the official website of Ministry of Defence & Urban Development more..

Editorial: Veddahs and politics

Aug 9 (Island) The Veddahs are a community with a certain mystique about them. They have not only survived the various cruelties of nature but also retained their cultural identity for millennia in the face of the tide of modern ‘civilisation’. Besides, they are said to be a healthy community free from most diseases unlike those caught in the down current of urbanization. We quoted a medical specialist some years ago as having said that non communicable diseases such as diabetes, more..

120-year-old WNPS steps into the future

Aug 9 (FT) The Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), at 120 years old (est. 1894), is one of the oldest conservation organisations in Asia. It has been at the forefront of numerous important and critical milestones in conservation in the island. The founding of the earliest Game Reserves in 1899, the formulation of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 1938 and the formation of Dept of Wildlife Conservation more..

Preparing to meet futuredrought situations

Aug 9 (Island) This year's drought is no mere accident. It has been a long time coming. Let us not delude ourselves into thinking that with the next monsoon rains, everything will be 'hanky dory'. This drought is the cumulative result of our failure to manage the environment, and ignore the importance of maintaining the irrigation systems in good working order. Some may mislead their political bosses into thinking that "with completion of Moragahakanda reservoir, all would be well, more..

Mushtaq backs rusty bowlers to come good

Aug 9 (CI) Pakistan have not played a Test since the UAE series against Sri Lanka in January, and the long layoff is affecting their bowlers' ability to find their stride, according to the team's bowling consultant Mushtaq Ahmed. The visitors' batsmen had no such trouble in Galle, as they amassed 451 in the first innings, but the Pakistan bowlers were able to take only two wickets in 80 overs. Kumar Sangakkara scored a hundred and Mahela Jayawardene made a half-century as more..

'It’s time to change the system'

Aug 9 (FT) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero who is currently active in the political scene following his meetings with Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sarath Fonseka stresses that President Rajapaksa should stop the ongoing merrymaking and extravaganza. “Where is the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’? Where are those pledges the President has made?” queries Rathana Thero, adding that if President Rajapaksa continues more..

Hayleys 1Q profits dip

Aug 9 (FT) Hayleys reported a 15% decline in post-tax profits in the first quarter though top line showed a healthy growth. Consolidated profit after tax in the three months ended on 30 June 2014 was Rs. 783.3 million, down by 15% from a year earlier. Net profit attributable to equity holders was Rs. 366.8 million, down from Rs. 418.4 million in the first quarter of FY13. Pre-tax profit was down 12% to Rs. 1.08 billion. Results from operating activities were down by 12% to Rs. 1.57 billion. more..

Gold seized, six arrested

Aug 9 (Hindu) Marine police of the Coastal Security Group (CSG) have arrested six people, including four fishermen, who brought 1.5 kg of smuggled gold bars from Sri Lanka and seized the gold. Acting on specific information from CSG Superintendent of Police Manoharan in Chennai, a special team, led by CSG Superintendent of Police C. Kanagasabapathi and Inspector of Police Ramesh Kumar arrested four fishermen at the Karaiyur seashore in Rameswaram after midnight on Thursday. more..

A celebration of Sri Lanka's favourite sons

Aug 9 (CI) Colombo is the home of Sri Lankan cricket, but of its three Test venues, none is as quintessentially Sri Lankan as the ground 100 kilometres to the south, in Galle. To the east of the ground, a white Buddhist stupa hovers on a 50-metre cliff above a turquoise stretch of the Indian Ocean. 100 metres to the northwest, a kovil sends up its gopura in gold, amid the clunks and groans of deep-red govt buses. more..

TN fishermen issue affecting India-SL ties

Aug 9 (DM) August marks the death anniversary of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, a remarkable Foreign Minister brutally assassinated by the LTTE. He once said, “India and Sri Lanka relationship is lost in the mist of time,” which signifies the deep bond that the two nations share. The gift of Buddhism is perhaps the most enduring of all ties and lays the foundation for this long-rooted friendship. The most sacred symbols of Buddhism - the Sacred Tooth, a relic of Lord Buddha more..

Hands off Commercial Bank of Ceylon

Aug 9 (ST) The Business Times last week highlighted the serious conflicts of interest of both Dharma Dheerasinghe and Prithi Jayawardena (both close associates of the Central Bank Governor). As a depositor of the bank I am so disappointed that these very two gentlemen have been appointed as Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a banana republic where people don’t care for the views of the public or media anymore. Mr. Dheerasinghe’s conflicts and more..

India Independence Day concert in Sri Lanka features Shaan

Aug 8 (HCI) As part of the series of events being organized on the occasion of the 68th Independence Day of India (15 Aug), the Indian CEO Forum, in collaboration with the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, is organizing an Independence Day Concert by the famous Indian singer, Shaan (Shantanu Mukherjee) on 17 Aug at 6.30 p.m. at the Stein Studios, No. 20, 2nd Cross Street, Borupana Road, Ratmalana. more..

Visitors to Zoo allowed to pose for photos with non-venomous

Aug 9 (DN) Visitors to the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens have been given the opportunity to pose for photographs with non-poisonous reptiles at the reptile section, a Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation Ministry media spokesman said. Attracting more visitors to the zoo is the aim, adding that the number of visitors to the zoo has now seen a sharp increase with the commencement of the school vacation. Visitors would be allowed to touch and carry non-venomous reptiles, more..

Govt, WFP in $ 34.8 m new initiative

Aug 9 (FT) Govt has taken effective measures in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) to improve the health status of children and lactative mothers by recognising the importance of the balanced growth of a child through the ‘Mahinda Chintana’ Vision for the Future. Accordingly, the WFP has agreed to extend the food aid assistance through the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) under the umbrella of the UN Development Assistance Framework. more..

President declares open Construct - 2014

Aug 9 (GDI) Construct 2014 organized by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) was inaugurated by President Rajapaksa yesterday. Construct 2014 will be held until 10th Aug at the BMICH Colombo. Construct 2014 organized for the 14th consecutive year consists of 300 stalls showcases products from Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Japan and China. The exhibition will display all facets related to more..

JHU to reorganize country's politics and economy

Aug 9 (CT) Once the Uva PC election comes winds up the JHU plans to reorganize the party to create a consensus among the masses with regard to much needed change in the country's future politics and economy. National Organizer of the JHU and Western Provincial Councillor, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe, said the reorganization would commence in September. "This is to create a consensus among the people about a clear plan with regard to the country's economy. more..

Basil opens global seminar on sustainable tourism

Aug 9 (GDI) Minister Bail Rajapaksa opened on August 8 a three-day international tourism seminar, which focuses on a new approach on tourism industry in the tropical regions. Over 100 participants representing nearly 20 countries attended the seminar organized by the Sabaragamuwa University’s Tourism faculty. It is the first time such a seminar is being held in Sri Lanka. Its theme is promoting nature conservation and cultural values through a tourism network. more..

Ensuring quorum in House: A big question mark over responsibility

Aug 9 (Island) The SLFP retorted that it would be the responsibility of the party seeking a debate on a particular issue to ensure the quorum in the House. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the ruling coalition couldn’t guarantee the required quorum, though it wouldn’t be the case if the govt was making the move. When pointed out that whoever had called for a debate, the ruling coalition as the biggest block comprising 162 more..

Supreme Court directs NTC to issue four temporary licences

Aug 9 (Island) The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the National Transport Commission to issue four temporary licences to two petitioners, to operate four Super Luxury buses on the Southern Expressway, until their fundamental rights violation application was finally determined by the Court. The petitioners who had operated luxury buses on the Southern Expressway have complained to the Supreme Court that their temporary licences were not extended beyond April 13, 2014. more..

'Govt resettled 150,202 families in North'

Aug 9 (DN) Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake said in Parliament that the Govt had resettled 150,202 families displaced (IDPs) during the war against terrorism by Sept 30, 2012. The minister said landmine-infested areas had been cleared and converted into relief zones. Minister Dissanayake said: "During the time of the North East terrorist conflict, there had been separate courts, a banking system and administrative system operating in the North. more..

Cabinet approval for Budget 2015 proposals

Aug 9 (FT) Cabinet has granted approval to the Medium Term Budgetary Framework for 2015, prepared targeting an economic boom for the period 2015 to 2017, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. It aims to improve social development, infrastructure and economic capability of the people, food security, energy security and environmental safety with particular emphasis on low income and poor families. more..

President condoles on death of Dr. Ananda Guruge

Aug 9 (DN) President Rajapaksa expressed his condolences on the passing away of Dr. Ananda Guruge in Rosemead, California, USA. Dr. Guruge was an erudite speaker and writer on Buddhism, who did yeomen service to propagate the teachings of Buddhism abroad, the President said in his condolence message. "Dr. Guruge was an immense strength to Sri Lanka's relentless fight against disinformation campaigns by interested parties, in his positions as Ambassador Extraordinary more..

Security forces paid nothing extra for beautification of Colombo

Aug 9 (Island) Security forces members who contributed labour and skills in Colombo beautification projects had not been paid anything additionally except their food allowances, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe, minister said the govt had allocated Rs. 73.29 billion for the salaries of the members of the three forces in the budget for the year 2013. Of that allocation only Rs 73.17 billion had been spent. more..

Rosy slams Maithripala over sexist remark

Aug 9 (Island) UNP MP Rosy Senanayake accused Minister Maithripala Sirisena of making statements unbecoming of a minister at the Polonnaruwa SLFP Women’s Federation meeting last week. Minister Sirisena in his address to the Polonnaruwa SLFP Women’s Federation meeting on July 27 in Manampitiya said that he hoped that all women would be reborn as men. more..

‘I won’t pay Rajitha even five cents’

Aug 9 (Island) General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said in Kandy on Friday that Minister Rajitha Senaratne was free to sue him for defamation but he would not pay even five cents. Ven. Ganasara Thera said so in answer to a question posed by a journalist at the Malwatte Vihara which he visited to meet Maha Nayake Thera Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala. The Thera said he had evidence to back what he had said about the minister. more..

A race to meet Modi CBK, Karu and Ranil seek to be common candidate

Aug 9 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya aspiring to be the common candidate at the next presidential election are reported to be planning a trip to the Indian capital with the view to meet Indian PM Narendra Modi. Sources said the three leaders plan to seek blessings from India in their move to contest the next presidential election. more..

Petition seeking to probe KP's role in Rajiv case dismissed

Aug 9 (PTI) Madras High Court dismissed a petition which sought investigation into the role played by former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanabhan in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi. Bench rejected the petition by J. Mohanraj, son of late Janata party leader Nellai Jabamani and a member of the Special Investigation Team that probed the assassination of Gandhi by an LTTE suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 more..

Millions drowning in water crisis

Aug 9 (DM) While millions of people in at least 11 districts are going through a wilderness experience due to the lack of fresh water for drinking, washing, cooking and cultivation, the people in some Colombo suburbs were also severely affected over the weekend. The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) had announced a 36-hour water cut on Saturday and Sunday for the installation of new water pipe lines. The water cut was to end at 9.00 p.m. on Sunday, but more..

Don’t leave room for TN to bash Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (DM) Tamil Nadu’s Sri Lanka-bashing Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram is indulging in her favourite pastime again, riling Colombo with her statements. Unfortunately, in this instance, she has been helped by an article published in the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website, which was in bad taste. The article titled, ‘How meaningful are Jayalalithaa’s love letters to Modi?’ appeared on the website and carried with it a graphic of Jayalalithaa, pen in hand, writing. more..

New pet laws coming soon

Aug 9 (DM) A Bill that sets out laws pertaining to keeping pets in households and regulating pet shops is to be presented to Parliament soon, Deputy Minister H.R. Mithrapala said. Deputy Minister who was speaking during the debate on a private member’s motion in the House said the purpose of this Bill was to prevent animal cruelty. Bill was being drafted by the Legal Draftsman and would be presented to Cabinet soon. more..

Big demand for Lankan spices abroad but supply not enough: Minister

Aug 9 (ST) The demand for spices from Sri Lanka in the international market is on the rise resulting in an increase of prices of the products locally, but exports will continue in view of the foreign exchange it gains. Minster Reginold Cooray said every variety of spice has a demand abroad, but the problem is meeting the demand. SL spices are well known in foreign countries and the demand has hardly been met due to lack of supply. more..