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‘Sannaliyane, Sannaliyane’ weavers’ song: A song for the ages

Feb 18 (CT) Weavers, weaving at break of day, Why do you weave a garment so gay? Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild, We weave the robes of a new-born child. How relevant is the Master's voice today? 'Sannaliyane, Sannaliyane' adapted by the great Mahagama Sekera, the doyen of Sinhala lyrics, from the Weaver's Song penned by Sarojini Naidu, the 'Nightingale of India', and heartrendingly and poetically narrated by Amaradeva, has been living through the ages and still continuing to more..

Don't beggars have rights?

Feb 18 (CT) In light of a large volume of development projects initiated by the govt, which seek to elevate Colombo to a highly sophisticated city, the recent incident of arresting and relocating 60 beggars at a different place, has added to the people's concerns on the right to freedom of movement. Sri Lanka we live in today is developing at a fast pace, but this pace is also accompanied by a humungous public debt. more..

Editorial: Thus spake Bishop

Feb 18 (Island) The US insists that it moves UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka as a friend in a bid to facilitate reconciliation here. If so, the question is why it does not employ the same method to help its close ally, Israel. None of the western countries have sought to strengthen their friendly ties with the US by taking up, in Geneva, war crimes the American military has allegedly committed in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Why? Maybe, they are not good friends! more..

Mushfiqur defends bowling tactics

Feb 18 (CI) Shakib Al Hasan was taken out of the attack when Sri Lanka were 63 for 6 after 18 overs. Shakib had bowled four tight overs, but was not brought back till the 34th, by when Thisara Perera's counterattack had lifted Sri Lanka to 143 for 8. The decision to keep Shakib out of the attack for so long will be considered a captaincy blunder, but the idea that a left-arm orthodox spinner cannot be used against a left-hand batsman is something that has persisted with successive Bangladesh more..

'Absolutely terrific' Thisara delivers again

Feb 18 (CI) In early January, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya recommended that Thisara Perera be denied the no-objection certificate for the Big Bash League. A month later, Thisara became SL's saviour in the first ODI after having already played a pivotal role in the 2-0 win in the preceding Twenty20 series. In the intervening time, he worked overtime in the nets back in Colombo and played two first-class matches for Colts. more..

Samurdhi – Divi Neguma: Consolidation and Microfinance

Feb 18 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CBSSL) has detailed a road map for a process of consolidation of the financial sector. The position of the CBSL seems to be that the last quarter century has seen a number of events which justifies this consolidation. From 1988 to 1990, 13 Registered Finance Companies failed, 11 of which had to be liquidated. The failure of a business group affected eight non-bank financial institutions. Today there is much bazaar gossip about other registered more..

Consensual resolution as a compromise solution

Feb 18 (Island) Sri Lanka will be one of only three countries on which a substantive resolution, which calls for new forms of follow up actions, will be discussed at the session of the UNHRC next month. The other two countries are North Korea and Myanmar. However, in Myanmar’s case it will be a consensual resolution that is going to be passed, with the approval of the Myanmar govt. Therefore, unless a similar consensus is reached on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and North Korea will be more..

Global trade unionist wants labour law loopholes closed

Feb 18 (FT) Despite Sri Lanka having a strong culture of unions, a leading international trade union leader called for improved labour laws in line with global standards to improve rankings. Global Union Federation-Industriall (GUFI) General Secretary Yruki Raina on a short visit to Sri Lanka met with Labour and Labour Relations Deputy Minister Rear Admiral Dr. Sarath Weerasekara last morning and also met President Rajapaksa more..

Korean Govt opens a computer lab for nursing students

Feb 18 (Island) Korean govt opened a computer lab, equipped with 41 brand new computers, at the Sri Jayewardenepura National Nursing School. The opening ceremony took place on Feb 13 at the school. Ambassador Arjuna Jongmoon Choi of the Korean Embassy and Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, Secretary of Health attended the event, and celebrated along with a number of nursing school students, faculty members, and 5 visiting Korean professors. more..

DPL’s stalled gloves production to resume in April

Feb 18 (ST) Dipped Products Ltd (DPL), backs to the wall with a loss in foreign exchange exceeding a billion rupees due to the Rathupaswala factory crisis, is hoping to recover with a phased resumption in production at the new facility at Biyagama. Officials said the need for a new marketing campaign to capture or recapture customers was under discussion. The company has been losing Rs. 250 million a month since July 2013 after the forced closure of the Rathupaswala more..

Enthusiasts express shock over improper postponement of SLSAA AGM

Feb 18 (Island) Enthusiasts expressed shock over the postponement of the Annual General Meeting and the election of new office bearers to the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association despite the presence of Education Ministry appointed observers to oversee the proceedings of the AGM at Isurupaya yesterday. Officials of SLSAA had requested the presence of Education Ministry appointed observers to oversee the functioning of the AGM more..

'Sanath has been led up the Gum Tree'

Feb 18 (Island) Shammi Silva, the President of CCC and a member of SLC Executive Committee has sent us the following reply in response to an interview we carried with former cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya titled ‘We should have listened to Jayantha’ on Sunday. It is with deep regret that I write this in response to an interview which appeared in the Sunday Island titled ‘We should have listened to Jayantha.’ It is quite apparent that going through the contents that more..

Loss making Kuruwita Textiles to de-list

Feb 18 (CT) The directors of Kuruwita Textile Mills, whose major shareholder is Brandix Textile Holdings, have announced their intention to summon an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company shortly, with a view to buying back the shares from the shareholders, and de listing from the Colombo Stock Exchange. Failure to return to profitability over a four year period is cited by the directors as the reason for this step. The Chairman Aslam Omar has stated more..

'100% ownership to foreign investors'

Feb 18 (Island) Industries, tourism, and logistics are among Sri Lanka’s priority investment calls-and 100% ownership is guaranteed for the global investor. "We have strong interest towards foreign investors entering manufacturing industries, tourism, and logistics. In that, we are keen to partner in sectors of manufacturing industrial zones, tourism infrastructure, and logistic projects such as ports and warehousing. more..

320,000 Metric Tons of Paddy from Ampara

Feb 18 (GDI) The rice bowl of the country, Ampara District, has commenced Maha season paddy harvesting which is in full swing in Akkaraipattu, Addalaichenai, Oluvil and Palamunai areas where early sowing is done. An extent of 68,000 hectares of land has been brought under paddy cultivation with 54,000 hectares under major irrigation, 45,000 hectares under minor irrigation and 9,500 hectares under rain water harvesting. The Ministry of Agriculture said that the main feature of more..

Undergrads build up protest momentum

Feb 18 (Island) Undergraduates from all universities have planned protests in Galle and Colombo today and on Feb. 20 against reducing the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) degree programme from four years to three and disrupting their agitations. Convener of the IUSF, Najith Indika said that AHS students attached to the Karapitiya Medical Faculty had been staging a sathyagraha against the reduction of the duration of their degree course opposite the Galle bus stand and it would reach more..

Sihala Ravaya monk to self-immolate today

Feb 18 (CT) President of the Sihala Ravaya, Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera, said, if by today they do not receive an appropriate response to their request to ban cattle slaughter in the country, the President and the govt would be held solely responsible for any action they would resort to, which in their view would justify the stand they would take towards their cause. According to reliable sources, a member or members of more..

Air Force launches The Aerial Tribute

Feb 18 (Island) The Aerial Tribute: The Role of Air Power in Defeating Terrorism in Sri Lanka is the first comprehensive account of eelam war IV regarding the most successful air campaign during the conflict. Authored by Nirosha Mendis, a medical practitioner, 350-page book dealt with the extremely difficult circumstances under which the SLAF conducted the campaign. The well researched book wouldn’t have been a reality if not for SLAF Chief Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama, more..

10 killed in 9 road accidents in one day

Feb 18 (CT) Nine fatal road accidents were recorded on Sunday 16 Feb, killing 10 people in total. The accidents had taken place in Kirindiwela, Sooriyawewa, Narammala, Eppawala, Nittambuwa, Matugama, Embilipitiya, Hatton and Samanthurai. Two people had died when a motorcycle had collided with a bus in Radawana while a van had toppled into a paddy field killing one person. A motorcycle accident in Matugama had killed one person while another had been killed in more..

Kachatheevu can’t be retrieved, Centre tells Supreme Court

Feb 18 (Hindu) In a decision which is likely to further strain the ties between the UPA and the DMK, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that Kachatheevu could not be retrieved from Sri Lanka as demanded by the party president, M. Karunanidhi. In its response to Mr. Karunanidhi’s writ petition seeking retrieval of the island from Sri Lanka, Centre said: “The question of retrieva did not arise as no territory belonging to India more..

Belarus company to establish a tractor assembly plant in Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (Belta) Minsk Tractor Works expects to complete the negotiations on the establishment of an assembly plant in Sri Lanka in March. “The final round of negotiations on the joint plant project will be held in March this year during a meeting between the MTZ top executives and President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa,” the MTZ press service said. Last year the Sri Lankan head of state visited the Minsk Tractor Works and got acquainted with the MTZ products. more..

Daring heist by helmet wearing armed robbers in Negombo

Feb 18 (Island) Two men wearing full face helmets, who arrived at a foreign currency dealer cum jewellery shop in Negombo yesterday afternoon on a motor cycle, had robbed foreign and local currencies and gold worth about one million rupees after threatening the staff with a pistol. Police officers, who gave chase to the robbers along the Kurana road, had been shot at by the fleeing duo to make their getaway a success, SSP Ajith Rohana said. But not a single policeman had been hit. more..

Petition against pacts with Sri Lanka dismissed in Indian HC

Feb 18 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed last year seeking a direction to the Centre to scrap all bilateral defence agreements with Sri Lanka and not to allow training of defence personnel of the neighbouring country on Indian soil. A Division Bench said: “We are unable to see how this court is entitled to interfere with the affairs of the State (country), more particularly in relation to more..

India allocates more fund for Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (DM) Indian Ministry of External Affairs was allocated Rs 500 crore for 2014-15 for the Sri Lanka’s development, which is an increased compared last year. In the Union Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram allocated a total of Rs 8,335 crore to the External Affairs Ministry for economic cooperation and advances to foreign governments as against Rs 7038 crore last year. The budgetary aid to Bangladesh has been slashed to Rs 350 crore from last year's Rs 580 crore. more..

Is diesel causing cancer?

Feb 18 (CT) Questions are being raised on to whether the diesel used in Sri Lanka contributes to the increase in the number of cancer patients in the country. Minister Maithripala Sirisena, advised the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), to conduct an investigation to determine whether the diesel used in Sri Lanka contains any carcinogenic elements. Ministry Spokesman, Dharma Wanninayake, pointed out that every year, over 25,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, more..

'Sri Lanka-friendly proposal likely at UNHRC'

Feb 18 (DM) Several member-countries supportive of Sri Lanka are hoping to submit a counter-proposal against the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka which is expected to be presented at next month’s UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said he was aware of such a move but it was not initiated by the Sri Lankan Govt. “The decision to submit a Sri Lanka-friendly resolution at the UNHRC sessions is entirely more..

Sri Lanka not afraid of sanctions

Feb 18 (CG) The Govt says it is not afraid of being slapped with economic sanctions by any country over alleged human rights abuses. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says the Govt has taken measures to ensure economic stability in the country following the end of the war. He says the Govt will ensure the economy remains stable even if there is pressure from other countries. “We have brought peace to this country and we will not allow terrorism to raise its head again,” the Minister said. more..

Coast Guard, Lankan navy help fishermen salvage sunken boat

Feb 18 (TOI) In a rare display of cooperation during a period of deteriorating ties between India and Sri Lanka, the Coast Guard and the Lankan navy on Sunday helped a group of Indian fishermen salvage a fishing boat from Rameswaram that sank last October near Delft Island, 40km west of Jaffna. Indian Coast Guard ship Raj Tarang, escorted three Indian boats with 14 fishermen from Rameswaram after receiving the go-ahead for the operation from the ministry of external affairs. more..

Geneva vote on Sri Lanka: SAARC divided, FMs meet in Male

Feb 18 (Island) Senior political representatives of the SAARC will meet on Feb. 19 and 20 in the Maldives to discuss regional cooperation in the wake of the grouping being divided over a US decision to move another resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC next month. Three SAARC countries namely, India, Pakistan and the Maldives are members of the Asian states (13) in the 47-member UNHRC. more..

Public sector TUs digging their own grave

Feb 18 (DM) We are being compelled to weigh the merits and demerits of the public sector in the country as well as the occasional outcry by the employees of that sector against privatisation, every time the same employees resort to strikes or demonstrations inconveniencing general public. Reason has been the haste they display in crippling the workplaces through their work stoppages and disrupting public transport through their demonstrations even at the drop of a hat. more..

Why is law which works for one doesn’t work for the other?

Feb 18 (DM) I have great fears for SL. Half a century of steady political brainwashing of citizens by successive govts regarding the exaggerated value of religion in life and politics, as well the ‘uselessness’ of democratic methods of governance seem to having the desired effect. Many citizens seem to be clueless as to what life in a secular, democratic state is like. Police arrested eight people recently in a Matale area forest reserve. They were allegedly engaged in treasure hunting. more..

'Stand up as liberated human beings'

Feb 18 (LT) “Everywhere in the country people talk about a change. We would definitely change this country. It could be done. What is needed is a people’s administration to replace the administration that torments masses. For this the human resource should be elevated; new technology should be introduced; a just society where the benefits are justly distributed among the working masses should be created. more..

Education in progress?

Feb 18 (SL) Students in the Western Province are considered to be privileged compared to the students in the other areas of the country merely by the relative comparison of education facilities, resources and infrastructure. When looking at the results of the scholarship exam, O/L and A/L exams, the schools in Colombo often take the lead, creating more competition between students outside, especially at the A/L exams, where more..

Intelligence OIC’s wife suspects foul play

Feb 18 (Island) Assistant JMO of Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Dr. H.K.R. Sanjeewa, who conducted the postmortem into the death of Police Inspector Milton Samarakoon, whose body was found in a Godagama paddy field with gunshot injuries, has given an open verdict. It has been revealed that the deceased had been drunk at the time of the death as certain percentage of alcohol had been in his body, more..

'Govt has not fulfilled any of its promises'

Feb 18 (AD) Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran says that the govt has not fulfilled any of its promises to the NPC and that even calls to scale down troops in the war-torn province have gone unheard. “We were promised many things but in the end we have received nothing,” he said. Vigneswaran further said that he does not see any wrong in calling for an international probe into allegation of war crimes during final stages more..

Mixed signals on recruitment of female domestics for overseas jobs

Feb 18 (ST) Authorities distanced themselves from remarks made by a Sri Lankan envoy in West Asia, that Colombo was planning to outlaw overseas job placements of female domestic workers. SLFEB Additional General Manager Mangala Randeniya said there were no such moves as yet. However adding that recruitment of female domestics for overseas employment would not be encouraged at any level. more..

India's top court commutes Gandhi killers' death sentence to life terms

Feb 18 (Reuters) India's Supreme Court commuted death sentences on three men for killing former PM Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment on Tuesday because of an 11-year delay in deciding on their petitions for mercy. Gandhi was killed by an ethnic Tamil suicide bomber while campaigning in an election in the southern Indian town of Sriperumbudur in May 1991. Three Indian men - tried as Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan more..

President congratulates new Nepali Premier

Feb 18 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had sent a message of congratulations to the newly elected Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, the Presidents Media Unit said. “Your election is a reflection of your wide acceptance by the Nepali people to lead the country at this critical juncture in its political and constitutional history,” President Rajapaksa wrote in his message. “You bring to this high office extensive experience more..

Samarasinghe in UNHRC team

Feb 18 (CG) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, has been included in the Sri Lankan delegation which will head to Geneva for the crucial UNHRC session next month, the President’s office said today. External Affairs Minister, G.L Peiris will lead the Sri Lankan delegation and as was reported earlier, will be taking part in the High Level segment which will be addressed by Foreign Ministers. Sri Lankan delegation will be looking to counter more..

'Wanathamulla abduction stage-managed'

Feb 18 (DM) Colombo West DIG Anura Senanayake charged yesterday that Saturday’s abduction of a person in Wanathamulla appeared to be a staged drama by two politicians from the JVP and the UNP. Mr. Senanayake said the sequent of politically motivated events that followed between the disappearances of this person and his sudden appearance bore the hallmarks of an act driven by political interests. more..