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Eat dhal if you can’t afford milk

Feb 7 (CT) In what could only be described as skewed thinking, the govt on Wednesday reduced the Special Commodity Levy on imported dhal by Rs 17 a kilo, barely 72 hours after increasing the price of powdered milk by Rs 61 per 400 gram pack, doing a Marie Antoinette of sorts, literally asking the people to eat dhal, if they can't afford milk. We don't intend going into the 'Parippu Kewa' cliché, or the widely proclaimed 'election gundu'. Nor do we want to dwell on the nutrients of dhal and milk, more..

Sri Lanka shares close down 0.4%

Feb 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka shares end 0.43% down Friday with tobacco and beverage stocks losing ground amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 26.78 points lower at 6,141.72, down 0.43%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.09 points lower at 3,381.20, down 0.09%. Turnover was 1.28 billion rupees, down from 3.74 billion rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 120 firms closing in the red against 57 gainers. Dialog ended 30 cents higher at 9.40 rupees with 414 million rupees of more..

Daily Mirror Cartton

Subjugation of Tamils is followed by attacks on Muslims and Christians

Feb 7 (CT) Current Govt of Sri Lanka (GSL) will be under intense scrutiny at the 25th session of the UNHRC at Geneva in March 2014 for alleged violations of International Humanitarian and Human Right Laws during the last stages of military conflict which ended on 18 May 2009. Battle line has been drawn between GSL supported by their friendly countries on one side, most of them have dubious human right records in their own country, against others in the forefront calling more..

Cambodia recovers stolen Buddhist relics

Feb 7 (AP) Cambodian police have recovered a precious golden urn stolen last year that contains what are considered to be remnants of Buddha's body, an official said. The urn was taken from a mountain shrine 40 kilometers outside the capital in mid-December. National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said it was recovered Thursday from a house in the southern province of Takeo, and a man was arrested in connection with the theft. Several countries in Asia process relics more..

SCB Asia CEO bullish on Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (FT) Standard Chartered Bank said yesterday it was bullish on Sri Lanka and the country’s future upside, encouraging it to expand business with new solutions as well as commit more support. Optimism as well as confidence is coming from none other than Standard Chartered Bank’s CEO for Asia as well as Group Executive Director Jaspal Singh Bindra, who made a whistle-stop yet packed tour to Sri Lanka yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady; seen falling on lower interest rates

Feb 7 (Reuters) Rupee ended steady on Friday as heavy foreign outflow from equity was offset by exporter dollar sales in the absence of intervention by state banks, but dealers expect the currency to ease further on lower interest rates. The spot rupee ended at 130.60/70 per dollar, little changed from Thursday's close of 130.65/67. "From here, we expect the rupee to gradually depreciate due to interest rate difference between the local and cross currency and no real inflows seen coming in," more..

Reconstructing the North and democratising Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (Himal) Almost five years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka, the country’s North cannot be engaged without considering the broader politics in the country. Democratisation in the rest of the country will shape democracy in these areas. The issue of reconstructing the North is inextricably linked with the need for democratisation in Sri Lanka. Before getting into the main thrust of my argument, I want to be clear about the lost opportunity in post-war Sri Lanka. more..

Day 4: Sangakkara feat puts SL in commanding position

Feb 7 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara eased, almost casually, to a 35th career hundred in a Test match already heaving with his runs, completing a feat only Graham Gooch had achieved before him. A whip over the midwicket ropes took him over 100 in almost the same fashion he had brought up his triple century in the first innings, and raised his match-tally to 424 - the third highest in Tests. Thanks in large part to his epic more..

FUTA condemns amendment made to the University Act by an extraordinary gazette

Feb 7 (CT) Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has condemned the latest amendment to the University Act No. 16 pf 1978. FUTA points out that through this amendment, which was published as an amendment to an extraordinary gazette on Jan 31, higher education institutions granting professional degrees in fields such as medicine, engineering, architecture has a discretionary right to obtain a compliance certificate from professional bodies dealing with the more..

Soldier arrested for molesting minor

Feb 7 (CT) A 20-year-old soldier was arrested today on the charge of molesting a 15-year-old girl. The soldier and the teenager had been having an affair for a while and on Monday the young couple had decided to elope from the girl's residence. The couple had stayed with a friend of the solider. The mother of the girl had informed the police about her missing daughter, following which the soldier had been taken into custody. The suspect is from the Mahananneriya area in Nawagattegama, more..

G.L to seek Chinese support

Feb 7 (CG) Minister G L Peiris is expected to officially seek the support of China at the UNHRC, when he visits the country next week. Peiris will make an official visit to China as a Special Envoy of President Rajapaksa from 10-13 February. A statement by the Ministry said that the External Affairs Minister is heading to China at an invitation extended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Wang Yi. more..

No female representation from Hambantota

Feb 7 (SM) There are no female candidates from all 4 main parties for Hambantota district in the provincial council election. In an inquiry made about the female representation of Hambantota district from the representatives of UPFA, UNP, JVP and DP it was revealed that no female candidate has been included in the nomination list. Meanwhile, the Election Commissioner's office has announced that the 3794 of candidates can obtain their numbers from District Election Offices. more..

CEB urged to speed up Sampur power plant

Feb 7 (Island) Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando has urged CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala, General Manager Shavindranath Fernando and its Board of management not to delay the 500MW coal power plant in Sampur stressing that if the project was not completed by 2017, the country would face a power shortage. He said that if everything had gone well the CEB would have received the initial USD 200 million from the Indian govt in 2010 to begin work on the project. more..

Why Sri Lankan children in North drop out

Feb 7 (IRIN) Sri Lankan authorities have expressed concern over an increasing number of reports that children are dropping out of school in the conflict-affected north, where economic pressure and poor prospects are creating conditions that could have negative consequences for the future development of the region. Most of the dropouts are from poor families who find it difficult to make ends meet as humanitarian assistance dries up more..

Incidence of dengue increases

Feb 7 (Island) Number of dengue cases recorded by the end of January has increased to over 3,140 from 1,800 in the first three weeks of the year. The Epidemiology Unit revealed that the highest numbers had been recorded in Colombo (1,217) Gampaha (485), Kalutara (241), Matara (147), Kurunegala (135) and Galle (122). Giving statistics of the previous years Epidemiology Unit revealed that the number of cases recorded in Jan 2013 was 3,462 while in Jan 2012 it was 3,986. more..

Notice issued on VC of Sri J'pura Uni

Feb 7 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayewardenepura University Professor L.M.N.A. Karunaratne, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor C.L.K. Navaratne and 18 other respondents, ordering them to be present in Court or be represented by a lawyer on March 11, 2014. The aforesaid notice was in respect of a Writ Application filed by a student, Ven. Kimbulawe Chandrarathana Thera. more..

Proposed revamp legally sound, says ICC

Feb 7 (CI) Iain Higgins, the ICC's head of legal affairs, has responded to the objections raised by Sri Lanka Cricket president Jayantha Dharmadasa, and stated that the resolutions to be presented to the Full Member Board for a revamp of the ruling body are all legally sound. On Feb 5, Dharmadasa had written to Higgins immediately after a special meeting of the SLC stakeholders voted unanimously against the revised proposals presented more..

Prince Charles unveils plan to launch charity for South Asia

Feb 7 (PTI) Britain's future king Prince Charles has endorsed his commitment to charity projects in countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a plan to launch a charity for South Asia. Prince Charles made the announcement at the annual fundraiser of the British Asian Trust at Victoria and Albert Museum in central London yesterday. "I am someone who can't help believing that people of common purpose and good spirit can achieve so much more when they work together," more..

'No outsider can solve our problem; We trust Army'

Feb 7 (GDI) Another successful session of meeting between Jaffna military authorities and the dwellers of open welfare centres ended after arriving at important decisions with regard to their resettlement on Wednesday at Palaly. President Resettlement Development Committee of Valikamam North A. Gunabalasingham, President 10 Integrated Welfare Centres (Muham) of Mr. Cyril Anthony Kuil and 9 other key members representing 12 Muhams were present at the meeting presided by more..

Foundation stone laid for Southern Campus affiliated to KDU

Feb 7 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa laid the Foundation Stone auspiciously for the construction of Southern Campus affiliated to the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) at a function held at Sooriyawewa today (6). Secretary to the President Lalith Werathunge and other distinguished guests also joined with Secretary Defence more..

Kotmale Irrigation Training School opened to students of SAARC nations

Feb 7 (Island) Govt had opened the door for young men and women of the SAARC countries to undergo training in Irrigation and Technology at Kotmale Irrigation Training School, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said that many vacancies for technical officers in irrigation field existed. Govt wanted to enroll as many technical officers as possible because many officers had left the country after training, Minister said at a ceremony to mark the enrolment of the second batch more..

World Conference on Youth 2014 in Colombo

Feb 7 (IPF) In, 2000 when world leaders met in New York to sign the Millennium Declaration which enshrined the Millennium Development Goals, I was only eight years old. My generation grew up and came of age with the MDGs. Little did I know that the outcomes of this declaration signed in a conference hall in a room across the world would shape (and continue to shape) our lives in many ways in the years that followed. Since 2000, primary school enrolment rates have swiftly more..

UNP slams govt on foreign interference

Feb 7 (PTI) Opposition today blamed the govt for leaving room for the world community to interfere in the country's internal matters over alleged rights violation duirng the war against Tamil Tiger rebels. A senior leader of the UNP asked Minister GL Peiris in parliament if the slow nature of implementing the recommendations of LLRC was the cause for global interference in Sri Lanka. "We in the opposition do not want to see more..

Nurturing ethnic harmony for sustainable development

Feb 8 (SO) Last week, I had the opportunity of reading an essay written by a student of Grade 10 on ethnic harmony. I quote one paragraph: "People would like to see an ethnic problem disappear. And the way they think it's going to disappear is by not talking about it. But, I think, the real way you can make it disappear is by talking about it, learning about it, and understanding it. Then you'll see a change." If this student was voicing the common concerns of the modern youth, more..

Justice Sri Skandaraja, judicial hearings and the path we trod

Feb 8 (FT) Last week at the Colombo General Cemetery we attended the funeral of Justice S. Sri Skandaraja, the President of the Court of Appeal. Several hundred mourners braved the mid-day sun to salute the memory of a man who had given a lifetime of service to the legal system of this country, a good number of those years as an employee of the State. A simple God-fearing man whose conduct best epitomised, at least in respect of one case before him, the famous Latin legal phrase more..

Covering deficiencies with the mask of patriotism

Feb 8 (NS) Independence Day dawns on February 4 and citizens from across the nation are eagerly rushing to display their ‘patriotism’ one way or another. In fact, we are now passing a period where ‘patriotism’ is at its peak in this country. National flags are on display everywhere; from bicycles to SUVs, from wooden houses to luxury apartments. Companies are taking out full page advertisements in newspapers or more..

Controlling the right to freedom of assembly in a democracy

Feb 8 (CT) A news item in the DM refers to a Fundamental Rights petition against rallies and street protests filed by an aggrieved father. The petition wants the authorities to come up with a mechanism to avoid illegal and unlawful protests and to streamline them to be compatible with the existing laws, rules and regulations. My mind went to the First Amendment to the U.S Constitution. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifically allows peaceful demonstrations more..

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Feb 8 (CT) Early this week, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, giving evidence in a Court hearing, on an attack on the Calvary Church at Araliya Place, Thalahena, alleged that 374 organizations, registered under the Company Act, are involved in 'unethical conversions' of Buddhists in the country. He alleges that the police, under the instructions of the Attorney General's Department, had provided 'protection' to those institutions. more..

'The people are rising against the regime'

Feb 8 (FT) Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the newly-elected Leader of the JVP, vows to defeat communalism, religious extremism and separatism in the country. He asserts that the Marxist JVP will put more weight behind reaching and socialising with the Tamils in Northern and Eastern Provinces as an approach to solve the national question. Q: What was the reason behind the JVP’s sudden leadership transition? more..

Dealing with legitimate issues and nurturing democracy in North

Feb 8 (CT) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a hard-hitting resolution last week, urging an international investigation into the alleged war crimes in the North. The resolution created an uproar in the South with several hardliners demanding the govt to dissolve the NPC. Soon after the formation of the NPC last year, one of the first resolutions to be passed at the council had called for the removal of Northern Governor, G.A. Chandrasiri, on the grounds of his military background. more..

Unconditional Muslim support facilitated island’s independence

Feb 8 (CT) Crucial Muslim support facilitated the process of Sri Lanka gaining independence from British in 1948 and help end almost four and half centuries of European colonial rule in the island. Many still remember the leading role played by Muslims leaders such as Dr T.B. Jayah, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr M.C.M. Kaleel and Dr Badiduddin Mahmud in the constitutional reforms of this country and their enthusiastic support for the demand of the Dominion Status and independence. more..

නුතන තාරුණ්යයේ ගැටලු

Can Anura’s logical oratory spur people’s imagination?

Feb 8 (DM) The mantle of leadership of the left-leaning Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) passed on to Anura Kumara Dissanayake last Sunday, heralding a sea change in arguably the country’s third largest political force. Dissanayake’s accession to the leadership was somewhat overshadowed by the more sensational news of the day, the murder of business journalist Mel Gunasekara earlier that morning but the JVP leadership changing hands was no secret. more..

A slap on the face of Colombo

Feb 8 (CT) That India has excluded Sri Lanka from its visa-on-arrival facility extended to tourists from all nations barring eight came as a rude shock for the Sri Lankans. Other countries that have been excluded are Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia and Pakistan. Rajeev Shukla, India's Minister of Tourism Planning, who announced the new visa facility, did not outline reasons for the exclusion of the eight countries. But, obviously, Sri Lanka's murky reputation as more..

In the robes of a priest dubbed demonic

Feb 8 (ST) The headline which screams from the lead story of the newspaper is ‘New page in history of nation’, but the eyes of the bearded priest are riveted on a smaller three-column story. It is a newspaper of Feb 5, 1978, that the priest is reading but what holds his attention is not that J.R. Jayewardene has been sworn-in as the first Executive President of Sri Lanka but that “Reynold’s body is to be exhumed”. more..

Making provincial administration work in the North

Feb 8 (GV) These days media often speak of conflicts between the center and provincial administration, especially between the Northern Provincial Council’s (NPC’s) Chief Minister (CM) / Members and the Governor of the Province. The CM had been known to me for some time as a gentle neighbor, Judge and the Governor as my subordinate and an “officer and gentleman.” Irrespective of their gentleness, now we hear of ‘official conflicts’ between them, more..

Avert threat of chaos through fair investigation

Feb 8 (SL) Govt has a sent a high level delegation headed by President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to canvass its case with the international community in Geneva and elsewhere. The govt is totally opposed to the initiative spearheaded by the US and the UK to have a resolution that calls for an international probe into the human rights issues that arose in the last phase of the Sri Lankan war. It is going all out to stop it. Most Sri Lankans who are not Tamil would agree with the govt on this issue. more..

'Tried to keep my mind fresh to score runs'

Feb 8 (CI) A long-time purveyor of Test cricket's grind, Kumar Sangakkara says it was a refreshed focus on positivity that helped him score the third-highest match tally of all time, against Bangladesh. His 424 runs - 319 in the first innings and 105 in the second - were struck at a collective rate of 67.7 and 55% of his runs had come in boundaries. Sangakkara's 319 also featured eight sixes - the most by a SL batsman in a Test innings. more..

Can B'desh summon the survival instinct?

Feb 8 (CI) Survival on the final day will hinge on whether the Bangladesh batsmen are willing to get their hands dirty and to let the survival instinct take over their natural instinct to play their shots. They don't like to make too many adjustments, but they have to find their own way to save the Test match. Coach Shane Jurgensen has already asked his batsmen to show intent, not just by cutting out cross-batted shots but by also finding a balanced approach. more..