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66 years of independent Sri Lanka and the Tamil State of Mind

Feb 7 (DBS) Sri Lanka will Celebrate its 66th Anniversary of Independence from the UK this Monday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Completing 66 years is significant in the life of a nation. Independent Sri Lanka or Ceylon has faced many challenges and problems in the past 65 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, more..

Tamara Kunanayakam; True anti-imperialists must stand by Tamils

Feb 7 (CT) A leading Uncle Tom Tamil, Tamara Kunanayakam, will apparently again be leading the Sri Lankan govt’s case for itself at the 25th session of the UNHRC, March 3-28. This traitor-to-her-people supports genocidal Sinhalese govts, for which the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed her as ambassador to Cuba (2009-11), and then as Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva on August 9, 2011. She was relieved of this duty in July 2012. more..

SL family holidays: Amazing Mr Elephant

Feb 7 (Telegraph) If you were to design a child’s perfect holiday, it would involve beaches, a castle, a little magic, something gruesome and a few monsters. That, broadly speaking, describes Galle. Sri Lanka’s elephants may not be monsters exactly, but there are 500 of them in the region, each as wonderfully weird as any Roald Dahl creation. So, box ticked. Admittedly, Galle’s fortress wears its gruesomeness lightly these days. The three of us often climbed the old Portuguese ramparts, more..

Sri Lanka discover their limitations

Feb 7 (CI) Losses, it is often said, are more instructive than victories, and on a day on which Sri Lanka gave up more ground than they have become accustomed to conceding in this series, the team may have discovered some of their limitations. Swept up in the delight over Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga's advances and endurance in January, it has been easy to overlook shortcomings elsewhere in the bowling stocks. more..

Hossain dismissal irks Bangladesh

Feb 7 (CI) Nasir Hossain's dismissal on the third day left the Bangladesh dressing room irked as they felt the batsman was erroneously given out caught behind by umpire Paul Reiffel. The decision brought back focus on the BCB's continued avoidance of the Decision Review System (DRS) or the Officiating Replay System (ORS). Hossain had tried to cut an Ajantha Mendis delivery late in the day and was caught low by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal. The Sri Lankan close-in fielders went up more..

Upul stresses importance of ‘A’ team cricket

Feb 7 (Island) Former cricket star Romesh Kaluwitharana is satisfied with the performances of Sri Lanka ‘A’ team as several players have gone onto represent the national team over the last few months having graduated from the ‘A’ team. "I am proud about my performance as the Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach. We were able to lead nine players to represent Sri Lanka after successful outings with the ‘A’ team," Kaluwitharana told journalists at the launch of unofficial Test series between more..

Post-war winners: Urban rich or rural poor?

Feb 7 (Island) For some time now it has been quite clear to economists that assessments of economic performance cannot be solely focused on overall income growth, but must also take into account income distribution. This is because a growing body of research has established that where the income inequalities are large and widening, it’s often the case that both economic prosperity and social stability soon suffer. more..

Mesmerising Daya Sahabandu

Feb 7 (Island) Well, today, as promised last week, we present the mesmerizing Daya Sahabandu, dual purpose bowler and who, for the most of his career, was the flamboyant T. B. Kehelgamuwa’s opening bowling partner. While Kehel was a fiery right arm pacie, Sahabandu was a relatively gentle left arm bowler. "Kehel was the best paceman I have played with or against," stated Sahabandu. When the shine was off the ball, Sahabandu switched to spin and was deadly in both versions. more..

Encountering ‘Death Counts’ in the Final Phase of the Eelam War

Feb 7 (Island) "Confusion among LTTE ranks was also confirmed by Komathy. The LTTE also for the first time, on 14thMay, announced that civilians who wanted to leave could leave. However, there were some instances after that where they had ordered would be escapees not to do so. We reported in Special Report No.32 that a large group of civilians, who went to a Palmyra nursery near Nanthikadal Lagoon before dawn on the 14th to cross to the other side or to Vattuvakkal to the south, more..

World’s largest garment machine provider in new push on Lankan apparels

Feb 7 (FT) As 2013 apparel revenues topped $ 4.3 billion, the world’s largest industrial sewing machine manufacturer is stepping up its presence in Sri Lanka -and opened its second South Asian training facility in Colombo on 6 Feb. “The garment industry in Sri Lanka is a very important contributor to Lanka’s GDP. We can support Sri Lanka to address its manpower issues, if any, in its apparel sector with our new more..

Access Towers 2 construction begins

Feb 7 (Island) Construction work on the second stage of the 28-storey Access Towers commenced with the participation of Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently. US dollars 20 million has been invested in this Board of Investment (BOI) project which is scheduled to be completed in approximately in 30 months. BOI signed an agreement with Access Realties 2 (Pvt) Limited last April for the construction of this modern office building adjacent to Access Tower at Union Place Colombo 2. more..

President Congratulates New Latvian PM

Feb 7 (GDI) President Rajapaksa has written to congratulate the new PM of Latvia Laimdota Straujuma. Extending his best wishes, President described the appointment of the country’s first female Prime Minister as “a landmark event in the history of Latvia.” A long-serving civil servant, PM Straujuma was nominated by Latvian President Andris Berzins and confirmed last month. “Warm and abiding relations that exist between our two countries have been characterized by more..

PIL against SL navy, fishermen filed in HC

Feb 7 (PTI) A PIL seeking final report in cases filed against Sri Lankan Navy and fishermen of the island nation for allegedly attacking Indian fishermen and damaging their vessels was today filed in Madras High Court. The petitioner, Anantha Murugan, an advocate, said the Madurai Bench of the HC here had already ordered the Union Govt's Cabinet Secretary, National Security Adviser, Defence Secretary, Deputy Director General of more..

Elephants, fish, dolphins...and weddings!

Feb 7 (MK) In the second and final part of his Sri Lanka travel report, Alan Wooding visits the island’s commercial centre Colombo, takes a wild sea trip to see the dolphins, attends a traditional wedding and goes bird watching on the Dutch canal. Having spent four tiring but exciting days travelling around Sri Lanka’s hill country visiting elephant orphanages, temples and tea plantations, it was time to return to the west coast and our chosen resort hotel in Waikkal, the Hotel Club Dolphin. more..

Facelift for Veluvanaramaya Housing Scheme

Feb 7 (CT) A project costing Rs 209 million has been launched to renovate the Veluvanaramaya Housing Scheme in Wellawatte under the Jana Sevana Nagamu Puravara programme of Housing Minister, Wimal Weerawansa. The project is launched under the Mahinda Chinthana banner and seeks to repair and renovate all 136 houses in the scheme. The Veluvanaramaya Housing Scheme was built in 1978 and is currently in a very dilapidated condition. more..

'2014 turning point for Lanka’s equity market'

Feb 7 (FT) A top expert from the UK expressed confidence in 2014 being a vibrant year for the nation’s equity market and urged locals to participate if they wish to benefit from this growth story. Visiting Director and Economic Advisor of Ceylon Asset Management Michael Preiss noted that when the “compelling” evaluation of the country’s growth is coupled with the fast-paced economic development, 2014 will not only be a turning point for the more..

SL Independence Day celebrated in India

Feb 7 (Island) Sri Lanka’s 66th Independence Day was celebrated in New Delhi and at the Surajkund International Crafts Fair near here on Tuesday. High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam read out President Rajapaksa’s independence day address at a meeting in the high commission premises, attended by the 80-strong Sri Lankan community in the Indian capital. In the evening, Kariyawasam hosted a reception. It was attended by more than 700 prominent personalities, more..

Counsel argues Duminda is the victim

Feb 7 (CT) President's Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, appearing for MP Duminda Silva who is a suspect in the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others in a shooting incident, requested the Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday to release his client as there isn't sufficient evidence against him. Counsel made this request at the conclusion of leading of evidence in Court when the trial was heard before Additional Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage. more..

21 complaints of illegal transfers of Govt. officials

Feb 7 (CT) 57 complaints had been lodged with the Complaints Unit set up at the Election Secretariat, with the majority of them pertaining to the illegal transfer of govt officials. Of the 57 complaints which had been received to date, 21 pertain to the illegal transfer of State officials. Executive Director of the PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi, said his organization had received around 12 such complaints, which throws into serious doubt, more..

DMK MPs call on PM, seek action for TN fishermen's release

Feb 7 (PTI) A delegation of DMK MPs, led by T R Baalu, today called upon PM Manmohan Singh and urged him to take steps to get Tamil Nadu fishermen released from Sri Lankan prisons. Referring to the arrest of 57 fishermen in the past week by Sri Lanka, the MPs in a memorandum submitted to Singh said that this act of the Sri Lankan Navy only proved that the steps taken by the Centre had "totally failed in protecting the Indian fishermen." Urging the PM to initiate steps to convene a meeting of more..

Imported potatoes to go up by Rs.15

Feb 7 (DM) The Special Commodity Levy on a kilogram of imported potatoes will be increased by Rs.15 from tomorrow, the Ministry of Finance and Planning said. It said a much better potato harvest by local farmers since January was the reason why the levy was increased so that they would be assured of a reasonable price for their potatoes. The Special Commodity Levy on imported potatoes was increased from Rs.10. to Rs.25 “With the increase in the Special Commodity Levy more..

Feroza Muzaamil quits UNP

Feb 7 (DM) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil’s wife Feroza has resigned from the UNP National Executive Committee today less than 24 hours after the party refused her nomination to contest the elections to the Western Provincial Council. Meanwhile Mayor Muzammil is also expected to resign from the party’s working committee next week. In her letter of resignation addressed to Party Leader Ranil more..

GL briefs Russian delegation

Feb 7 (DN) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris held discussions on Wednesday with a senior delegation from the State Duma (Parliament) of the Russian delegation led by Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Sergey V. Zheleznyak. Prof. Peiris engaged the visiting Russian delegation in a detailed discussion of progress made in the country in all sectors since the achievement of peace and stability and action currently being implemented. He referred to his discussions in New York with more..

Sri Lanka now wants patience

Feb 7 (CG) After calling for “time and space”, the Sri Lankan Government is now urging the international community to exercise patience with Sri Lanka on the post war issue. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte says Sri Lanka is a country that not only grappled with terrorism and its effects but also overcame it through resilience and determination. A former member of the LLRC, Hangawatte said that the LLRC made hundreds of recommendations and more..

President orders crackdown on narcotics

Feb 7 (DN) Boutiques near schools where Babul, Madana Modaka and various synthetic drugs are said to be sold to schoolchildren should be clamped down on immediately, President Rajapaksa said. He ordered IGP N.K. Illangakoon to carry out random raids on such boutiques and be extra vigilant on persons hovering around schools. He said the police should take maximum efforts to eradicate the drug menace from the country. more..

Two containers seized with scrap copper

Feb 7 (DM) Two containers of scrap copper which were to be shipped to Singapore were seized on January 22 by the prevented staff of Sri Lanka Customs, Customs Media Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. Two suspects were taken into custody. The contents had been declared as plastic hangers. The total weight of the copper was 32140 Kilograms and it was valued at Rs. 22,498,000. The exporter of the two containers is a reputed company that imports and re-exports garment accessories, more..

Presidential Commission probing disappearances to hear cases in Jaffna

Feb 7 (DN) The Presidential Commission investigating alleged abductions or disappearances of persons resident in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the period 1990-2009 will hold its next public sittings in Jaffna District. The public hearings will be in Chavakachcheri, Kopay and the Jaffna town from 14-17 Feb. The members of the commission have visited the district to meet the district officials including the District Secretary, relevant Divisional Secretaries and more..

UN agency arranged secret meet between US and ex-Tigers – GoSL

Feb 7 (Island) The govt has accused the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of violating its mandate by arranging a secret meeting between a group of ex-LTTE terrorists and a top level US delegation led by Ambassador-at-Large Stephen J. Rapp, the head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, during the second week of January. The meeting has taken place at the IOM office in Kilinochchi. more..

Going in search of democracy

Feb 7 (DM) As nominations close and a vibrant if not vituperative campaign begins for elections to the Western and Southern PCs on March 29, the media will also play an important role and the time may be appropriate to reflect on the real state of the media today. The well-known and outspoken media personality Richard de Zoysa—who was abducted and killed on Feb 18, 1990 but the killer or killers are still not known as in many such cases—wrote eloquently about media freedom and more..

‘Wigneswaran was loud and clear in the first place’

Feb 7 (DM) Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet members blame CM Wigneswaran for demanding self-rule and power sharing. How can anybody complain about what he is doing? He is doing, exactly what he said he would do. What did he say? Firstly, that he did not accept the Constitution unless there was a substantial change to the 13th Amendment. He did not accept 13-A or 13A plus but something that was included in the LLRC report or in Tissa Vitharana Committee Report. more..

'Our only coalition will be with the people'

Feb 7 (DM) Newly appointed leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, spoke to Daily Mirror on a wide range of issues including retrospection into the decisions and the activities of the party. The JVP is viewed as one of the most potent opposition forces in the present day political sphere who have time and again posed a threat both violently and otherwise against incumbent regimes. Q: Can you give us a brief introduction more..

Corruption at PGIM

Feb 7 (SL) Shocking revelations have come to the fore as to how the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), the institute that produces Medical Consultants in the country, has become a den of corruption under the administration of its present Director. Meanwhile allegations are also piling up against the Higher Education Minister and the Chairperson of the UGC for allowing Director PGIM to engage in irregularities with impunity more..

Impotent fire service can’t enforce safety rules

Feb 7 (ST) Neither the poorly-equipped fire service nor any other authority has the power to enforce fire safety regulations in the crowded capital where increasing congestion and the number of old buildings create a major fire hazard. Despite a number of fires reported in Colombo, especially in old public buildings, the city’s fire brigade has no legal power to warn or take action against institutions not adopting fire safety measures, more..

Pipe-borne drinking water for 65,000 in Katana

Feb 7 (DN) Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena inaugurated the Katunayake-Seeduwa Water Supply Scheme on Wednesday. It will provide pipe-borne drinking water for 65,000 beneficiaries in the Katana Secretarial Division of the Gampaha District. New water-supply connections have already been provided to 13,000 residents. The scheme launched by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board more..

Chronic Kidney Disease: High risk areas to be declared

Feb 7 (Island) Minister S.M. Chandrasena will submit a Cabinet paper on a priority basis to declare chronic kidney disease high risk areas. Dr. Channa Jayasumana, Senior Lecturer in Medicine of the Rajarata university, spelt out the objectives of the project at a media conference. They are: collecting accurate information on the affected for a database, educating health and govt officials on the consequences of the disease, more..

Thevrapperuma suspended from UNP for manhandling, abusing Ranil in filth

Feb 7 (Island) Kalutara District UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma, who manhandled the party’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Wednesday’s parliamentary group meeting, was suspended from the party yesterday. The notice of suspension had been served on Thevarapperuma and also copied to the Disciplinary Committee of the UNP. According to the UNP leader’s complaint Thevarapperuma abused him in filth, more..

I was only being good to UNP: Tevarapperuma

Feb 7 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma, who is alleged to have behaved aggressively under the influence of liquor at the UNP parliamentary group meeting by verbally abusing party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, rejected all allegations and said he was only acting for the good of the party. He said he did not lay even a finger on Mr. Wickremesinghe because he walked away when asked about the inclusion of two more..

Accountability process on Sri Lanka is up to the member states - UN

Feb 7 (CG) The United Nations (UN) has reiterated there needs to be accountability in Sri Lanka over the alleged incidents which took place during final stages of the war. Farhan Haq, the Acting Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that the ultimately it’s up to different Member States to determine whether there will be an international process on Sri Lanka. “We have presented information to them and more..

US military trains and demines the North

Feb 7 (USE) United States Pacific Army’s fourth Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) team concluded its three week training program in Vavuniya today. This intensive “train-the-trainers” program ran from Jan 27 – Feb 7 at the Boo-Oya army camp, and during this time, United States Army’s team of medical, veterinarian, and explosive ordnance specialists worked alongside Sri Lanka Army Humanitarian Demining Unit more..

President to name Geneva delegation soon

Feb 7 (DN) President Rajapaksa will soon name the delegation that will participate in the forthcoming UNHRC sessions in March, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. Despite speculation by diplomats and legal luminaries that Sri Lanka will oppose or petition the legality of the UN Secretary General's Panel of Experts' Report, based on which the US has moved two resolutions against the country in 2012 and 2013 more..