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Muslim Racism

Aug 1 (Island) I have been frequently berated for writing about Sinhalese and Tamil racism but never about Muslim racism. This charge has been made not only by Tamil lunatic fringe anti-Muslim racists, whose ranting and ravings need not be taken too seriously, but also by Sinhalese who seem to be genuinely perplexed by that omission. They refer frequently to the horrors perpetrated by the IS. Actually I have covered the subject of Islamism, political Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, more..

Increasing national proceeds

Aug 1 (CT) The word output is an important word in economics because the wellbeing of people depends upon the output produced by any country. Popular measure of national output is known as GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The GDP is defined as the value of all products and services produced in a country. The products and services mentioned here are related only to the real economy. Why? It is because, certain services do not directly support to increase the wellbeing of people. more..

The return of the exile

Aug 1 (SO) Driven into self exile in Jan 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the brutal slaying of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, it is his first visit to the country of origin in six long years. At the time of departure, Sunanda Deshapriya was labelled a traitor along with the likes of Wickremetunge, for voicing democratic dissent. "We felt there was no option but to leave," he says. Much has changed and much hasn't changed more..

Humble despite achievement

Aug 1 (NS) We owned a bookshop in Nugegoda, opposite post office. There was a section in our shop for the people who would like to read books free-of-charge. One could buy the book if they want to and if not they can just read and leave it. Once, an adorable, little girl came to our shop with her mother. The little one was just four years old and was studying in Pre-Grade at Lyceum International School, Nugegoda. “Mr. Inimankada, we live in Railway Avenue. more..

Seeing a new country

Aug 1 (ST) Chatting over post-dinner drinks and an enthralling performance by performers of the traditional martial arts – Agampora – at the Cinnamon Bey at Beruwela on Monday night, Nigel Barker is asked, “Is there something special that you would like to take home as a souvenir?” Letting his thoughts flow, sipping some wine in between, Barker, one of the world’s famous fashion photographers pauses, draws his breath and says: “In the past five years Buddhism has made more..

Dream degree to make TV, film professionals

Aug 1 (ST) Sri Lanka’s first degree programme in film and television, touching the hi-tech and digital dimensions, is to be started at the Kelaniya University on the initiative of one of Sri Lanka’s most eminent film personalities, D.B. Nihalsingha, the son of D.B. Dhanapala, who is regarded as the doyen of journalists. Dr. Nihalsingha, founder Chairman of the National Film Corporation and the winner of national and more..

Editorial: Fairy tales

Aug 1 (Island) Poor Hans Christian Andersen must be spinning in his grave. His fairy tales can no longer be considered the best in the world. Sri Lankan politicians have overtaken him posthumously and the general consensus is that their tales are far superior to his! Look at their recently issued election manifestos. They evoke one’s nostalgic memories of beautiful, sleep-inducing bedtime stories one’s grandma used to tell! An election manifesto in this country, more..

Promises on the road to power

Aug 1 (Island) Politics has reached new heights in its traditional path of seeking the votes of the people. It is the Path of the Promise. It takes my mind back to Broken Promise – first Sinhala film screened, for the politics of promises have always been that of broken promises. The manifestos of the two main contenders for a majority of seats in Parliament are more full of promises, than of promise. It is not surprising that senior politician DEW Gunasekera has challenged both caretaker govt of UNP, more..

Denigration of the National Flag

Aug 1 (NS) Countries have multiple flags. There are national flags and there are regional flags. Clubs and societies have flags. State departments have flags. Schools and universities have flags. The national flag is special because it is something that (ideally) everyone can identify with. It is a unifying symbol, just like a national anthem. It is special because unlike other flags it warrants mention in a country’s constitution. more..

Season of Exaggeration

Aug 1 (NS) It is par for the course. Election time is about making mountains out of molehills when it comes to one’s legitimate brags and the errors of one’s opponents. Mega Deals was a term that had currency during the run up to the last Presidential Election. The claims were of such magnitude that people expected wrongdoers to be tried and punished by the dozens. And fast. Lots of complaints, some arrests, but it all adds up to much talk and little action. more..

Rise of financial institutions & Northern Province debt trap

Aug 1 (CT) Indebtedness sharply increased within the Northern Region as the growth of average debt per family rises from Rs. 52,000 to Rs. 194,000. Thus, demonstrating the lack of proper financial education and the discipline required to be financially fit, crucial benchmarks for a successful life. Additionally, ADB report states that higher growth in credit from the private sector would be the key towards achieving sustained economic expansion due to tightened competition. more..

India trying to exploit Sri Lanka’s weakness against spin

Aug 1 (NS) It is 22 years since India last won a Test series in Sri Lanka and the upcoming tour which comprises three Tests provides an opportunity for the visitors to end that barren run. India won under the leadership of Azharuddin in 1993 the three-Test series 1-0 but since then they have toured SL on four occasions in 1997 (0-0), 2001 (1-2 lost), 2008 (1-2 lost) and 2010 (1-1 drawn) and failed to win a series. more..

Revised pensions on 10 August

Aug 1 (CT) Finance Ministry said that pensioners will be able to receive their revised pensions on 10 August, with the anomalies removed. This problem regarding pension anomalies was solved subsequent to Minister Ravi Karunanayake informing the Pensions Department about it. Ministry of Finance said that accordingly all conditions, including pensioners having to visit the District Secretariat to obtain their pension, and having to present the identity card etc. more..

Of revolution and counter revolution

Aug 1 (SL) At the end of the day, the ruling UNP-led UNF for Good Governance (UNFGG) is seeking to convince the voter that Aug 17, parliamentary polls are only the forgotten continuation of the presidential elections held on January eight last. By deeming so, they hope to keep former President Mahinda Rajapaksa near-permanently out of power, at least during the short and the medium terms, with talks about his inevitable dis-enfranchisement doing the rounds already. more..

Jayasuriya hopeful for cricket revival in Pak

Aug 1 (AFP) Former SL captain Sanath Jayasuriya expressed optimism Friday that more international cricket matches would be held in Pakistan and said the security situation was improving in the country. The 46-year-old, who is in Pakistan for the ongoing series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as an analyst for a sports TV channel, was talking to reporters after his visit to the school where Taliban gunmen killed 154 people, more..

Senasinghe noticed to appear in Court

Aug 1 (DM) Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe and another person were today noticed to appear in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, August 5 for allegedly violating election laws and obstructing a police officer from carrying out his duties and threatening him. The Police said illegal procession and using loud speakers without obtaining a licence from the police were also among the charges against the deputy minister. The Homagama Magistrate had issued more..

Navy deploys life saving teams to assist devotees

Aug 1 (SLN) Navy has deployed Rapid, Response, Rescue, and Relief Squadron (4Rs) personnel to provide life saving and other necessary assistance to the devotees at Okanda and Thalawila during the festival season. A 4Rs team with life saving equipment has been deployed at the beach adjacent to the Okanda Temple where devotees congregate while on their way to Kataragama. In addition, threes 4Rs teams have also been deployed at the beach of Thalawila to provide assistance more..

Tourism growth dividend not trickling down to plush resorts!

Aug 1 (NS) Despite govt’s tourism promotion agency proudly proclaiming that tourist numbers visiting the country is witnessing record highs, both month on month and year on year, the incremental tourism numbers are not trickling down to niche and upmarket tourist hotel operators, industry experts point out. Citing a recent example, they say that despite tourist arrivals recording a 14% increase during the first half more..

Viru Sisu Pradeepa scholarships awarded

Aug 1 (SLN) The Viru Sisu Pradeepa scholarship awarding ceremony was held under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena at the Defence Services College on 30th July. Under the seventh phase of the Viru Sisu Pradeepa scholarship scheme held today, a total of 230 children of the tri-services and Police war heroes were awarded scholarships. Among the recipients 153 students were from Army families, 19 were from Navy families, 15 were from Air Force families and more..

Sri Lanka out to draw series

Aug 1 (CT) After getting thrashed once again by Pakistan in the first T20, Sri Lanka will now look to earn a win and draw the two match series, while the visitors will be looking to end the long tour on a high note with all three series wins today at the second T20 match to be played at R.Premadasa Stadium, starting at 7 p.m. Neither bowling nor batting was up to standard for Sri Lanka to at least give stiff competition against the visitors, even though Milinda Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedara more..

JVP meets the business community with the Accord of the Conscience

Aug 1 (Island) When the JVP met the representatives of the private sector as a prelude to introducing their manifesto The Accord of the Conscience, it was more than a mere historic meeting. It was an occasion that brought together two key stakeholders, in a unique gesture of mutual acknowledgment and respect. With a knack for calling political bluff and gifted with an art of story telling in a way that connects his party to more..

President participates in Sadaham Yaathra at Kalawewa, Vijithapura Rajamaha Viharaya

Aug 1 (PSL) Esala Poya Day Dhamma Sermon of the series of Sadaham Yathra Dhamma Sermons held on every Poya Day took place today (31) at historic Rajamaha Viharaya in Kalawewa, Vijithapura, with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena. Dhamma Sermon was delivered by Ven. Prof. Vijithapare Vimalaratana Nayaka Thero. The President who arrived in Rajamaha Viharaya this morning participated in religious activities. more..

SLSBC organizes top business delegation to Singapore

Aug 1 (Island) The Sri Lanka - Singapore Business Council (SLSBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organizing a Trade and Investment Promotion Mission to Singapore from 29th July - 1st of August 2015. The mission is planned to coincide with the IE-SBF Seminar on Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka followed by One-to One Business Meetings organized by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), supported by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and more..

President offers first pooja for renovated Abhayagiriya Stupa

Aug 1 (PSL) The first pooja for renovated Abhayagiriya Stupa was offered today (31) by President Maithripala Sirisena. After declaring open the stupa for devotees by the President, the Abhayagiri historic sacred area is again opened for the worship of the Buddhists of world. The conservation work of the stupa which is 345 feet high and 1355 round was commenced by the Central Cultural Fund in 1997. more..

Plantation union seeks ILO intervention

Aug 1 (CT) Ceylon Estate Staff Union (CESU) has decided to lodge a complaint with the International Labour Organization (ILO) against State plantation companies for the non-payment of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), Empoyees' Trust Fund (ETF) and gratuity payments during the past 10 years. CESU President said that the complaint will be made against State Plantations Corporation (SPC), Janatha Estate Development Board (JEDB) & Elkaduwa Plantations Company. more..

'UNFGG won’t privatize state entities'

Aug 1 (NS) Minister Champika Ranawaka stated that no govt entity would be sold or privatised and spreading reports indicating his govt would do so are false. Clarifying on the matter Minister Ranawaka stated that these reports furthermore are being circulated to mislead state workers. “Our manifesto clearly aims at creating jobs, reforming our education system, building economic cluster zones, and basically envisaging development that is useful to the general populace,” he said. more..

EC to probe Expressway ceremony

Aug 1 (NS) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he would probe whether a request issued by the PM’s office requesting media coverage for the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Central Expressway was a violation of election laws. PM’s office on July 30 sent a letter to media institutions requesting media coverage for the event, which is due to be held on Aug 3. However, the move could be tantamount to more..

Pak eye T20 crown to cap memorable tour

Aug 1 (CI) This tour is already Pakistan's most fruitful trip to Sri Lanka since 2006, and on Saturday, they will have a shot at sweeping the trophies. The visitors were always likely to fare well against the younger Sri Lanka players, but it is their dominance of Sri Lanka's big names that has defined the tour. Rangana Herath was defused in the Tests, where Kumar Sangakkara was also muzzled. Lasith Malinga has so far been dismantled across two formats, and even Angelo Mathews' more..

National carrier flies high at SLIM NASCO awards 2015

Aug 1 (GDI) National Carrier SriLankan Airlines managed to bag three outstanding titles at the SLIM NASCO Awards 2015, held at the Water’s Edge recently. The award ceremony was organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, coinciding with the annual National Sales Congress, to recognize and reward the outstanding sales personnel of Sri Lanka. SriLankan Airlines’ Manager Maharashta, Dilshan Kudahetty won the Gold Award for the Territory Manager in Travel and Trade category while more..

Video: CCTV footage of suspect with dead body in luggage released

Aug 1 (AM) Police released CCTV footage of the person who is believed to be responsible for murdering the woman whose body found inside a travelling bag on Wednesday. The body was found at Anuradhapura queue of the Bastian Mawatha Private Bus Terminal, Pettah. The victim was identified as Rangan Karthika who was from Vaddukkoddai, Jaffna. She was 34 years old and had stayed with a person at a restaurant more..

SLTB employees barred from campaigning

Aug 1 (DN) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara has instructed Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) Chairman Ramal Siriwardene not to provide SLTB buses as well as SLTB personnel for election propaganda campaigns of any political party or candidate. The pasting of candidates' posters on SLTB buses by SLTB employees during working hours had also been strictly prohibited, a SLTB spokesman said. He said during previous regime, SLTB buses and employees were misused more..

Nearly 150,000 Lankans blind

Aug 1 (DN) Around 150,000 Sri Lankans are blind at present and the main cause for blindness is cataract. Blindness caused due to cataract can be reversed through a simple surgery. Over Rs. 2 million is being invested every year to improve the people's eye sight, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. 39 million people are blind in the world and every year one to two million are added to this lot. Over 90% of the blind population in the world live in developing countries. more..

'We will emulate the Lichchavi Princes'

Aug 1 (NS) PM and Leader of UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe boasted that his party had submitted a clean nomination list for the upcoming General Election, adding that it was only the UPFA, among all parties in the fray, that has disregarded the good governance concept in picking candidates. He said that all organizations and individuals that had backed Maithripala Sirisena in his presidential campaign are now aligned with more..

'PM forced Somaratne Dissanayake to resign'

Aug 1 (AM) UPFA candidate Dilan Perera stressed that disputes between Somaratne Dissanayake and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe led Dissanayake to resign from his post of the Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. He further said that PM is trying to cover up the fact that the UPFA will win more than 120 seats in the election. "Ranil Wickremasinghe has ordered state media not to reveal these research statistics. That is why Dissanayake stepped down from his post," more..

Vehicle allegedly involved with shooting at UNP supporters discovered

Aug 1 (AM) The Police have been able to discover a vehicle which is allegedly involved with gun fire attack happened at Kotahena, early yesterday. It was discovered yesterday evening at the Bloemendhal housing complex and there was a cartridge case of T56 gun inside the vehicle, Police Media Unit told. Eye witnesses had said police that four people who sprayed bullets at the campaigners were arrived by a black colored Hybrid car. It did not have number plates, they had said. more..

Shooting at Kotahena: Political or Underworld clash?

Aug 1 (CT) An armed gang opened fire at a group of UNP supporters who were canvassing for the election at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena in Colombo killing one and injuring 13 others yesterday afternoon. One person has been confirmed dead while at least 13 persons were hospitalized with injuries when an unidentified group of armed men opened fire at the crowds. Unconfirmed reports say that an underworld gang had attacked more..

Dowry a wedlock or deadlock?

Aug 1 (DM) Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s if not Asia’s greatest philosophers has said that marriage in India—and in Sri Lanka also—is a form of glorified prostitution because of the dowry system. Women and girls are put in the market place for sale—something like Rs. five million for a medical doctor, four million for an engineer and three million for an accountant or lawyer not to mention road contractors who build highways paved with gold. JVP in an election manifesto that is more..

SL yet to accede to Cluster convention

Aug 1 (DM) A cluster munition, also known as a cluster bomb, is a weapon containing multiple explosive submunitions. Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground or sea, opening up in mid-air to release tens or hundreds of submunitions, which can saturate an area up to the size of several football fields. Anybody within the strike area of the cluster munitions, be they military, civilian or animal is very likely to be killed or seriously injured. more..

Political role of Federal Party (ITAK) in unmaking and making govts in 1960

Aug 1 (DBS) Election mania spreads rapidly in the country with Parliamentary polls being scheduled for August 17th 2015 and the Tamil inhabited areas of the Northern and Eastern provinces are also afflicted. Currently the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils is the TNA consisting of the ITAK, EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE. The TNA contests elections under the House symbol of its chief constituent ITAK. more..

NTC loses its way with costly GPS for buses

Aug 1 (ST) A Rs 100 million government project to install global positioning systems (GPS) on private buses has failed, prompting an audit query into the matter. The project was mooted in 2010 after commuters complained of violence and inappropriate behaviour in buses. Most reports were related to violence against women, sexual harassment and insensitive or indifferent treatment towards differently-abled, injured & clergy. more..