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Wimal compares threat faced by Venezuela, Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (Island) Alleging that the US was working overtime to destabilise Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s govt, NFF leader, Wimal Weerawansa said that Sri Lanka was facing a similar threat in the post-war era. He alleged that the US had been funding internal elements opposed to the Venezuela govt to destabilize the country. As the US had intervened in many countries the recent intrusion in Venezuela was nothing but its more..

Container-full of Red Sandalwood seized

Feb 21 (DM) A container carrying a load of Red Sandalwood worth Rs.220 million was detected by the Customs Revenue Task Force at the Orugodawatta Container Yard this morning, Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. He said the container had arrived from Duabi for transshipment through the Colombo Port. The 200 bags of Red Sandalwood were declared as Calcium Carbonate. Mr. Gamini said the container was seized because the contents was not in more..

No-confidence against UPFA

Feb 21 (CG) A no-confidence motion was submitted by the UNP against the ruling UPFA Govt, in Parliament today. UNP MP John Amaratunga submitted the motion against the Govt over the controversial drugs issue. The opposition had persistently raised concerns in Parliament over illegal drug consignments, including heroin, finding its way into Sri Lanka. Speaking to the media later Amaratunga said that several Govt members including an official in the PM’s office more..

Principal of John Kotelawala school transferred following shaming accusations

Feb 21 (AD) The Principal of the John Kotelawala school in Kurunegala, who was accused of shaming a student which lead to her suicide, has been transferred with immediate effect to the Zonal Education Office. Saman Indrarathana, the Principal of the Kurunegala school, was accused of shaming one of the school’s students over a facebook photograph, which lead to the girl committing suicide. more..

Video: Illegal vendors to give way to multi-modal transport hub in Colombo

Feb 21 (AD) Around 150 illegal vendors in Manning Market and surrounding areas will give way to the multi-modal transport hub in Colombo proposed by the Ministry of Transport. The hub will include a monorail service while the project aims at providing easy access to all transport modes. The Ministry of Transport stated that around 150 illegal shops have been erected in and around Manning Market while over 280 persons have identified themselves as owners of these establishments. more..

Sri Lanka highlights its harmony with Cuba in international forums

Feb 21 (PL) Sri Lankan media highlighted today the level of its relations with Cuba and the harmony between the two countries in the international arena, after a visit from environment minister Susil Premajayantha to Cuba. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites are reporting Premajayantha's meeting with Cuba's deputy minister, Miguel Diaz Canel, where bilateral ties were discussed, with a high level of agreement on regional and international issues. more..

Eighth Deyata Kirula Exhibition commences in Kegalle today

Feb 21 (GDI) Deyata Kirula Exhibition will commence today under the patronage of President Rajapaksa in Kegalle today. The annual national development exhibition will be held for the 8th successive year under the theme "Asirimath Samayen Isurumath Deshayak" (Awakening of the Sri Lankan People). The Govt, this year planned to use permanent buildings for Deyata Kirula and after the exhibition these buildings will be given more..

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott 107th death anniversary

Feb 22 (NS) Henry Steel Olcott was born on August 2, 1832 into a pious Presbyterian household in Orange, New Jersey. In his teens, he attended the College of the City of New York and Columbia University. At the age of 20, he became a convert to spiritualism. Soon, he was championing a host of other causes, including anti-slavery, agricultural reform, women’s rights, cremation, and temperance. At 28 (1860), he married Mary Epplee Morgan, daughter of the rector of Trinity Parish and more..

Reimagining dependency: An ode to unpopular economics

Feb 22 (CT) The relationship between migration and development has been a long-scrutinised topic of debate within developmental discourse. Understandings of this dynamic have “swung back and forth like a pendulum” (de Haas, 2010) since first emerging as an area of academic interest in the 1950s, oscillating from optimism to pessimism and back again. Early perspectives attached to modernisation theory highlighted the potential for migration to catalyse a more..

In search of a unifying goddess

Feb 22 (ST) There is a time in the wake of her great rage – after she has torn her left breast out, after she has called fire down on the city of Madurai – when a widowed Kannaki finds a moment of quiet by the banks of a river. Across from her boys are tussling, engaged in a tug of war. Among their number is Lord Krishna himself and the triumphant side claims their victory with dance and song. The sight recalls Kannaki to herself. more..

Muslims: What really went wrong!

Feb 22 (CT) The fact is that Muslims of the world are among the poorest of the poor and Muslims in the Muslim majority societies and non-Muslim majority societies in Asia and Africa are heavily struggling to embrace modernization due to economic and social backwardness. There are several reasons as to why there is poverty and social backwardness among Muslims. I would like to share some easy but strong fact to have your opinions. The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries more..

On forgiving and forgetting

Feb 22 (GV) Pre-Independence, our island was among most peaceful lands in Asia. For some centuries there had been no large scale ethnic riots in our Island apart from the anti-Muslim riots of 1915. Even the 1915 riots lacked the scale and brutality of some of the anti- Tamil, JVP led and state led anti-JVP pogroms that we had experienced since the mid – 1950s. The distinctive feature of the post-independence pogroms is that very few of the perpetrators had been identified or punished. more..

Principal threatens to sue Mawbima

Feb 22 (CT) According to a letter written by Venusha Imandi, a student of John Kotelawala Maha Vidyalaya in Kurunegala, before she committed suicide, she had taken the decision due to mental distress she had suffered at school. Mawbima attempted to get an interview with the Principal of the school, Saman Indraratne. Following are excerpts: Q: What actually happened on that day? A: Are you from Kurunegala? more..

Rakitha’s cause and Wellington’s flavour

Feb 22 (WI) There were hardly any people at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium to witness New Zealand play their must-win ICC Under-19 World Cup match against England on Tuesday (18). But, for Asoka Weerasundara, Rangika Weerasundara and Nathalie Weerasundara it was one of the most important matches they had ever been to. Ashoka and Rangika along with their daughter and a family friend have travelled all the way from Wellington to support their son. The name of Rakitha more..

Joint investigations for a joint resolution

Feb 22 (SL) The two main protagonists in the unfolding confrontation at next month’s session of the UNHRC in Geneva appear to be sticking to their positions. US is continuing to insist on an international commission to investigate allegations of grave human rights violations and war crimes in the last phase of Sri Lanka’s war. What positive outcome the passage of such a resolution will bring to the war-affected people and to the people in general – is the subject of speculation. more..

Boston Lanka: Jagath Chamila - Part 2

Defending non-implementation of the LLRC in Geneva

Feb 22 (GV) The Rajapakse Administration has deployed a key architect of its post war policy towards minorities and war affected communities in Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, through his position as Chair of the Action plan to implement the LLRC, to be the chief defender of the Govt’s case to the international community in general and the UNHRC stakeholders in Geneva in particular. Govt ministers have also been given their briefs and are traversing the globe to lobby member more..

Editorial: India hoist with its own petard

Feb 22 (Island) The danger of having Tigers as pets is that their owners run the risk of ending up inside them. When India’s Congress leaders plunged feet first into creating Tiger terrorism in this country to further their geo-strategic interests not even in their wildest dreams would they have imagined that they would one day be pursued by their Frankenstein; they would have thought the Tiger would purr forever at their feet. Today, the Congress leaders are troubled by a decision of more..

'I was abducted'

Feb 22 (CT) Sunil Samaraweera, an activist against the demolition of houses in Wanathamulla, whose abduction on Saturday morning led to a massive protest by people of Wanathamulla urging the police to find him, in an interview explains his red Pajero abduction and the subsequent release later in the day. Excerpts: Q: Explain what happened to you in Wanathamulla on Saturday? A: Saturday morning I went to the Peliyagoda more..

Hurrah for casinos, and even more!

Feb 22 (Island) The truth will be out! We hear it from a source that should know about it, no less than the Cabinet Spokesman. What wonderful, timely and up-to-date thinking it is to be told that we must go beyond promoting the sea and sand for tourism, and move on to other, higher inducements. With the standard promotion line on tourism in tropical isles reading "Sun, Sea and Sand", I’m a little surprised that the Sun was missing in this example of limited and outdated attractions. more..

Dawn on the Ethnic Front?

Feb 22 (Island) In my last article (Island of Feb17) I argued that a sense of darkness could be the challenge that provokes the response of working earnestly to bring about the dawn, and further that since our ethnic minorities cannot all leave this island or be subjected to total genocide there is no alternative to our majority and the minorities learning to live together in some degree of peaceful accommodation. Regarding the external dimension of the problems facing us more..

Norochcholai Power Station: A challenge to our engineers

Feb 22 (Island) Suggestions have been made by certain interested parties to hand over the operation and maintenance of the Norochcholai Power Station to the Chinese Contractors, namely China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) which was partly responsible for the numerous breakdowns due to the reported substandard quality of the equipment. Apart from the fact that CEB will have to bear a very heavy more..

What we need to do to create the Knowledge Hub

Feb 22 (Island) Sri Lanka in order to become a Knowledge Hub would require to invest big to strengthen the existing skills base, that would however require the sort of great national leap forward we saw in 2009 to ensure we have the kind of skilled workforce needed to compete in a new, high tech industrial era. A Knowledge Hub is broadly defined as a designated region intended to attract FDI, retain and attract foreign students, build and grow a reputation for providing more..

EU inaugurates new storage facility in Batti

Feb 22 (FT) Ambassador of the European Union David Daly inaugurated a newly-constructed grain storage facility in the remote Karadiyanaru GN division in the Batticaloa District on Wednesday. He was accompanied by senior representatives from the EU Headquarters headed by Jorge de la Caballeria, Head of Unit for Asia and Central Asia division. The inaugural ceremony also witnessed the participation of government representatives, including the Additional GA, Batticaloa, more..

Nearly 200 Cyber crime related incidents reported in SL each month

Feb 22 (DM) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team Coordination Centre (CERT CC) established in 2007 to protect the country’s information infrastructure and coordinate protective measures against cyber security revealed that it receives about 200 complaints monthly related to cyber crime, cyber threats and hacking. “There were only about 200 complaints annually at the beginning of the CERT CC. more..

Shakib suspended for three ODIs

Feb 22 (CI) Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has been banned for three matches by the BCB for "making an inappropriate gesture on live television" during the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Mirpur. He has also been fined BDT 300,000 ($3800). Shakib was summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee on the eve of the final ODI against Sri Lanka and will now miss that game as well as Bangladesh's first two Asia Cup matches - against India and Afghanistan. more..

Sri Lanka aim for sweep without Big Three

Feb 22 (CI) The ODI series has been won by Sri Lanka after they took the second game in Mirpur by 61 runs, but for a 3-0 sweep they will have to win without Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene. Sri Lanka have not been without any of them in an ODI since Sangakkara made his debut in 2000. It gives a hurting Bangladesh an opportunity to salvage a victory and head into the Asia Cup with some confidence. Compounding Bangladesh's problems, more..

Now, US probes TNA allegation of GoSL changing demographic pattern in NP

Feb 22 (Island) Govt has alleged that the US was making an attempt to justify allegations propagated by the TNA that Sinhala families were being settled in the Northern Province in a bid to change the demographic pattern in the region. Authoritative sources said that US diplomat Michael A. Ervin accompanied by an interpreter had visited Navatkuli, a village close to the Jaffna town, where he interviewed some of those Sinhala families more..

How easy money can destroy communities and economy

Feb 22 (DM) NP Chief Minister Wigneswaran has elaborated upon how diaspora remittances have deleterious effects. He has said that these remittances were having a very adverse impact on the lifestyles of the Tamils in the North. In his view, it was causing irreparable damage to the community, especially young people. Historically, the North was known as a socially conservative society, which attached very high priority to education, a strong work ethic and simple living. more..

Taylor's case becoming undeniable

Feb 22 (CI) There was a time in English cricket where a ground committee would assemble over small sherry in an oak-panelled boardroom to select the England XI to play on their facilities. Political agendas, personal crusades and plain old bias resulted in some peculiar choices. It could be argued James Taylor has been the victim of similar practice in the past two years but his case for Test selection must surely now catch the attention regardless of preconceptions. more..

TRC ready to block Facebook if ...

Feb 22 (Island) Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Anusha Pelpita said that he could shut down Facebook in Sri Lanka if the govt took a policy decision to that effect. He said that abuse of social network had resulted in various social problems and the elders including parents and teachers should inform the children of the ill-effects of Facebook. Various youngsters and schoolchildren abused more..

Youth Congress observes fast against move to release Rajiv case prisoners

Feb 22 (Hindu) Members of the TN Youth Congress on Friday observed a fast in Chennai against the State govt’s decision to release all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The fast organised by general secretary of the youth Congress Naesey Rajesh also wanted justice for the family members of those who were killed along with Rajiv Gandhi in Sriperumbudur. “It is not a simple murder that warrants invocation of the provisions of the CrPC to release the convicts. more..

Canon Singapore boss in town for landmark Image Square launch

Feb 22 (DM) CEO of Canon Singapore, Kensaku Konishi arrived in Sri Lanka this morning on the invitation of Metropolitan Group, Canon’s local agent for the past 35-years. Konishi’s visit marks the launching of the first signature Image Square in Sri Lanka in line with hundreds of similar Image Square specialty stores in large Asian markets. This signifies the importance placed by Canon on Sri Lanka, considered a fast growing market in the consumer imaging industry. more..

Ranil slams Govt. gung ho stance on unsolicited proposals

Feb 22 (FT) Opposition Leader yesterday slammed the ruling party for “diluting the Parliament’s power of scrutinising the Govt, including the control of public finance” in the absence of a “proper mechanism to monitor the unsolicited and standalone proposals”. Raising serious concerns about the large increase in the volume of unsolicited and standalone proposals, Wickremesinghe wanted the Prime Minister to reveal to the House more..

Renal diseases hit Sri Lankan refugees at Madurai camp

Feb 22 (TOI) Several cases of kidney ailments have been reported from Sri Lankan refugees living in Thiruvathavur camp here. Nine refugees have died due to kidney failure in the last four years, revealed a human rights organisation. Poor quality of water drawn through borewells is being blamed for the incidence of renal diseases at the camp. Renal failure, also known as kidney failure, results when kidneys fail to adequately filter waste products from the blood. more..

City canteens come under microscope

Feb 22 (Island) Colombo City Public Health Department said that inspections would be carried out on canteens in schools and other govt institutions. Chief of the Public Health Department (PHD), Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said action had been taken following several complaints received by his outfit. Persons involved in running canteens would have to be registered with the PHD. However school canteens would be exempted if they were being worked by the parents or more..

CTC to ignore Parliament regulations

Feb 22 (CT) Tobacco Products (Labelling and Packaging) Regulations No. 1 of 2002 published by the Minister of Health in the Govt Gazette Extraordinary No. 1770/15 dated 8 August 2012 as amended, has taken a different turn with Parliament claiming that laws had to be implemented immediately, but Sri Lanka's monopoly cigarette manufacturer – Ceylon Tobacco Co. said it was not required to do so right now. more..

Police to propose laws to nab FB offenders

Feb 22 (CT) The Police, Children and Women Bureau has decided to bring in legislation to enable law enforcing authorities to impose severe penalties on persons helping and encouraging 16-18-year-old youngsters to use Facebook or any other social media network. Executive Director of the Bureau, SSP, Attorney-at-Law, Padmalal Sandungahawatta, said proposed legislation will include provisions for action to be taken in respect of those who provide such services to the teenagers more..

No forced recruitment of women - SL Army

Feb 22 (GDI) Sri Laka Army refutes rumours spread by some parties with vested interests that the Army is recruiting women forcibly. Sri Lanka Army issuing a press release states that the Army has provided another opportunity to females in areas of the Wanni and the East to serve in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. Accordingly 100 females from Killinochchi and 50 females from the Eastern Province would be recruited to the Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps. more..

'Fabrications can't faze us'

Feb 22 (DN) President Rajapaksa stressed that Sri Lanka is not a failed state adding that we have the courage and ability to cope with any issue. The country's image will not be tarnished by baseless and fabricated allegations, the President said at the opening ceremony of the eighth Deyata Kirula Exhibition at Kuliyapitiya yesterday. He said Deyata Kirula represents the country's development plan. President added that Deyata Kirula more..