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Sri Lanka tea workers get 25 pct pay increase

June 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Monday raised wages for hundreds of thousands of workers by nearly 25 percent as the island heads for a record crop. Workers will now be paid 515 rupees ($4.70) a day for the next two years, up from 415 rupees, Kanishka Weerasinghe, deputy director general of the Employers Federation of Ceylon, told AFP. Seven unions, representing over 250,000 plantation workers, had demanded a minimum 500 rupee increment, more..

Ranil’s mother passes away

June 7 (LT) Ms. Nalini Wickremesinghe, mother of the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, expired yesterday (5th) evening say reports. The last rights will be conducted as had been requested by Ms. Wickremesinghe at Kanaththa Cemetery at Borella today evening at 6.30 p.m. She was 95 years old at the time of her death. She was the daughter of Mr. D.R. Wijewardene a renowned newspaper editor and considered as the founder of Lake House. She married Esmund Wickremesinghe, more..

Indian assistance for Community Learning

June 7 (GDI) An agreement in this regard was signed between the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). The programme aims to train forty (40) war affected/destitute women trainees from Batticaloa District as Master Trainers under Training of Trainers (ToT) progamme in India. These women will be trained on seven vocational subjects: (i) Textiles and Garments; (ii) Surface Ornamentation; (iii) Agro food processing; more..

IPU rep. attends ‘White Flag’ trial

June 7 (NN) A member of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) attended the ‘white flag’ case of Sarath Fonseka at the Colombo High Court today. The IPU representative attended the case as an observer since Fonseka was earlier a member of parliament and lost his seat after being imprisoned. The IPU representative is expected to remain in Sri Lanka for a week, General Secretary of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Tiran Alles said. more..

The Indian Ocean: The strategic situation

June 7 (LG) The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world, but has 47 countries and several islands within it. It is estimated the Indian Ocean has 40 percent of the world’s oil production. There are fresh exploration for oil in the seas of India, Sri Lanka and Burma. The Indian Ocean is a vital waterway and it covers half the world’s containerized cargo. It also carries two-thirds of the oil shipments. The article examines the growth of China and India in the more..

Where do we go from here?

June 7 (LG) Thank you for inviting me to say few words during this Sivaram memorial meeting. One of main features of the meetings organized by the Platform Freedom soon after the assassination of Lasantha campaigning for Rights to Life and Freedom of Speech in which I am a convenor is the performance of Jayathilake Bandara a well known people’s vocalist to sing songs from his collection of People’s Echo. The songa are written by him to challenge our conscience. more..

A delegation of foreign tri service senior officers visit Jaffna

June 7 (Cimic) Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Friday briefed the present situation in Jaffna to a team of foreign senior military officers on their one day visit to Jaffna. Subsequent to the three-day International Defence Symposium organized by the Sri Lanka Army in Colombo, Indian-based Defence Attachés representing 16 countries including Sri Lanka arrived in Jaffna to get first hand knowledge on more..

Government, the master of illusion

June 7 (LG) This week, a friend speaking to me on the phone, paused when I remarked that it took ordinary workers to teach this administration, its most telling lesson since it was returned to power post war, while the intelligentsia cowered under their beds, (metaporically speaking), except for some rare exceptions. I was then informed somewhat acerbically that there is nothing to be very surprised about this and further that ‘the intelligentsia has rarely more..

Training of University students in the Army camps

June 7 (LG) A leadership training programme for the students who are selected to the universities is currently been conducted in several army camps on the initiative of the Minister for higher education. The often heard phrase, ‘the tree is known by its fruits’, has a strong relevance to the topic discussed here. The underlying question is about the competence of the army to train the university students. We read every day in the media that some of those young people who more..

Cricketing Veddahs to the rescue

June 7 (LG) Sri Lanka’s recent cricketing disaster at Cardiff shouldn’t have been a shock to the nation because in cricket, as in any other game, a team wins or loses – at times even disastrously. The shock is probably because most Sri Lankans have been developing a mind-set that we are invincible in games or any other endeavour. The thought ‘Sri Lanka can’t lose’ has reached such extremes that we are right now preparing to take on the United Nations! more..

Sycophantic gibberish of saying Rajapaksas are descendants of Dutu Gemunu and relatives of Lord Buddha

June 7 (TC) Roshain Shanaka died not because FTZ workers demonstrated against the private sector pension plan. Roshain Shanaka died because the police used live-bullets against unarmed (sticks and stones do not count as arms) demonstrators. The Katunayaka tragedy is not an isolated incident. Incidences of police brutality, including deaths in custody, are increasing steeply. The day after live-fire was used to ‘control’ unarmed demonstrators, more..

Armed forces should play a leading role in responding to allegations against them

June 7 (TC) Two years after the end of the armed conflict, Sri Lanka is in search of yet another diplomatic victory, yet again at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Reason? One of the recommendations contained in the Report of the UNSG’s Panel of Experts is that the HRC should be invited to reconsider its May 2009 Special Session Resolution regarding Sri Lanka in light of the Report. Furthermore, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, more..

Move to achieve self-sufficiency in food crops

June 7 (SO) Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in rice and vegetables. The Ministry of Agriculture aims at achieving self-sufficiency in other food crops to save the huge drain of foreign exchange on the import of costly food items annually said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Sunday Observer interviewed the Agriculture Minister on the recent developments in the agriculture sector. Excerpts of the interview: more..

Editorial : On wheels above the law

June 7 (Island) A lightning strike by private bus operators in several parts of Colombo over an attack on some of their personnel was called off the other day after the police took action against the suspects. No one should be allowed to take the law into his own hands but the private bus crews ought to realise they are extremely lucky that the hapless commuters who suffer indignities and exploitation at their hands are law-abiding, peaceful citizens. more..

Editorial : It takes courage to sit and listen

June 7 (DM) Amid Wednesday’s tension, trauma and tragedy where Free Trade Zone workers lost a colleague; parents a son and siblings a brother, many analysts are of the view that the withdrawal of the private sector pension scheme last week was a triumph of people’s power. Many ministers say the explosively controversial private sector pension scheme was a promise made in the Mahinda Chintanaya and outlined in the 2011 Budget. According to reports, the Bill, more..

‘Private sector employers left employees in the lurch’

June 7 (BL) The private sector employers had taken the path of least resistance in respect of the Pensions Bill owing to considerations thereby leaving its employees in the lurch, claimed Eran Wickramaratne, MP and former CEO of the NDB. He said: “The envisaged pensions bill is a scheme where you get a pension at the age of 60. Another negative factor was that the employee’s earnings had to be in the fund for ten years. more..

Come on, show them the way!

June 7 (ST) My dear Aachaarya Mahinda B, I thought I must write to you because I heard that you had retired just because some policemen had opened fire at a group of protestors at Katunayake and one person had died as a result! Honestly, Mahinda B, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I would have been happy if I could have believed you were such a principled person that you thought you were responsible for what had happened and therefore had to retire, even if you were more..

Some of the pressure on Ban Ki moon to appoint the Darusman Panel came from Louise Arbour

June 7 (TC) I have long had a soft spot for Mr Ban Ki-moon. I realize this might make me unpopular with Sri Lankans who see the UN as a monolith, but I believe that analysis of his statements over the years suggests that he does his best to uphold basic principles, both those of moral decency as well as those on which the UN was founded. He does sometimes succumb to pressure, but many people do that. We need to be more precise therefore about where that pressure more..

McGoldrick awarded Manju’s Commonwealth gold

June 7 (AFP) Welsh bantamweight Sean McGoldrick has been awarded the gold medal stripped from disqualified Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the organisers announced. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said the opportunity for Wanniarachchi to appeal against his exclusion after a positive drug test in Delhi had lapsed without the athlete taking any further action. more..

Minister stops Health Ministry functions at Five Star hotels

June 7 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has instructed ministry officials not to hold any ministry events in Five Star hotels in the future. Only international conferences organized by the Health Ministry will be held in Five Star hotels in the future. Minister Sirisena had issued the instructions after considering the large amount of funds paid to Five Star hotels to organise functions, workshops, seminars, conferences and other programmes, the spokesman said. more..

England's bright response to a gloomy day

June 7 (CI) If England were anxious, they hid it well today. If - as their bowling coach, David Saker, had suggested - their pacemen had been suffering from technical issues, they were quickly resolved by a freshened wicket and an encouraging desire to clean up their own mess. If the loss of Andrew Strauss to the second ball of the innings sent a wave of unease through the dressing-room, the old faithful alliance of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott quickly steadied more..

Mahinda woos Jayalalithaa through Milinda Moragoda and Chandrababu Naidu

June 7 (DBS) Sri Lanka is trying to establish cordial relations with Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa Jayaram through Andhra Pradesh ex-CM Chandrababu Naidu. Former cabinet minister & current senior Presidential adviser Milinda Moragoda has been given the task of winning over Jayalaitha by Mahinda. Moragoda is a personal friend of Chandrababu Naidu the chief of Telugu Desam party in Andhra Pradesh.Naidu is also close to Ms.Jayalalithaa. more..

Sri Lanka, a retirement destination in Asia

June 7 (BL) With comparatively low cost of living coupled with unique natural attractions, Sri Lanka could very well be in an excellent position to attract foreigners seeking a retirement destination in the Asian region, states a recent report on land and property titled ‘A golden decade for real estate’ prepared by NDB Stockbrokers Private Limited. According to the report, with the end of the war, the country is seen as a safe place in the region with low possibility for more..

Boossa Economic Centre yet to start kicking

June 7 (DM) The proposed Economic Centre at Boossa in the Ratgama electorate is a non-starter. The building complex constructed at a colossal expenditure has been left to the mercy of the elements without any attention being paid by the relevant authorities to its obvious deterioration. Area residents pointed out that doors, windows and electrical fittings in many of the buildings had been stolen and that the building complex has become a haven for nefarious gangs. more..

On Sri Lanka, Ban hasn't moved to review actions of UN & Nambiar, get Rajapaksa support for 2nd term

June 7 (ICP) In the past forty days, Ban Ki-moon has apparently done no review of Sri Lanka after he said on April 25 that he would act on the Panel of Experts' recommendation for a “review of the United Nations’ actions regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates during the war in Sri Lanka – particularly in the last stages." ICP asked Ban if he supports the call by Navi Pillay for a independent probe into more..

‘Pakistani products popular in Sri Lanka’

June 7 (PT) Sri Lanka is keen to expand trade ties with Pakistan as Pakistani products are very popular in Sri Lankan markets and they have established their names due to their high quality, said Sri Lankan High Commissioner Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody on Monday. Talking to a delegation of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), the high commissioner said Sri Lanka has strong political relations with Pakistan and now trade ties between more..

President condoles over passing away of Nalini Wickremesinghe

June 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a condolence message on the passing away of Nalini Wickremesinghe, mother of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressed his profound sadness and expressed deep pain on the loss of a beloved mother. In this moment of bereavement the President commended the role of mother played by late Nalini Wickremesinghe ‘who bequeathed to the country leaders committed to serve the nation.’ more..

LTTE attempts to de-list from EU terror list

June 7 (Island) LTTE activists in Europe have appealed to the European Court of Justice to order the European Union to have the organization taken off the list of terrorist organizations, wire services reported yesterday. A petition to the Court, through their lawyer, claims that "the LTTE was involved in an armed conflict with the Sri Lankan government from 1987 to 2009 in the pursuit of the right to self-determination for the Tamil population." more..

Interested parties are awaiting UN reaction

June 7 (NS) It was not a shock, for the Sri Lankan delegation currently participating at the 17th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council when the controversial video footages depicting scenes of human rights violations allegedly committed by government soldiers was shown. The screening of the video was done Friday (3) evening in the presence of ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, ministers and high commissioners including the Sri Lankan delegation. more..

Dehiwela most prone to Dengue –Health Min.

June 7 (DM) Over 75% of locations inspected under the Dengue eradication programme carried out in the Dehiwala MOH area contained mosquito breeding grounds, Health Ministry stated yesterday. At least 75 – 100 cases of Dengue are reported from the Dehiwala MOH area daily with the highest number of dengue patients in the Colombo district also hailing from the Dehiwala area. He said that a large number of houses, schools, private as well as state institutions located in more..

England build solid advantage after bowlers improve

June 7 (CI) Once again the fourth day of a Test ended with the likeliest result being a draw, but after events in Cardiff last week that can't be taken for granted as England closed with a lead of 156 at Lord's. They gained a narrow first-innings advantage by bowling Sri Lanka out for 479, in a steadily improving display, then recovered from the early loss of Andrew Strauss for a duck with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott added more..

IT sector, hotel industry to offer more jobs in H'tota

June 7 (DN) Over 60,000 job opportunities in the hotel field and 44,000 in the IT sector will be created in Hambantota by 2018. Therefore it is necessary to improve vocational and technical training facilities to meet this demand, Tharunyata Hetak Chairman and Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa said at a discussion with Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma and ministry officials at the ministry auditorium recently. more..

Second e-waste collection today

June 7 (DN) The second e-waste collecting programme organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will be held at Henry Pediris grounds today. The programme for electronic waste management was initiated by the CEA from last November in collaboration with 14 private companies since electronic items disposed at homes and workplaces have given rise to new environmental challenges. Heavy metal in electronic equipment when disposed to the environment pollute water and soil. more..

Development Diaries

Lankan gets five years, 430 lashes for selling alcohol in Saudi

June 7 (Island) A Sri Lankan man in Saudi Arabia had been jailed for five years and was to be given 430 lashes for selling liquor in the Gulf Kingdom, Emirates 24/7 news service said yesterday quoting press reports. The news report said: "The unnamed man was caught by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice while selling alcohol in a public place in the western town of Taif, Saudi Arabia. A court sentenced him to five years in prison, more..

Concerns over Kalpitiya Tourism Development Programme

June 7 (SL) The tourism development project proposed by the government in several islands in the Kalpitiya area has come under fire by environmental and fisheries organizations. The government proposed the development of 14 islands in the Kalpitiya area aimed at promoting tourism. The organizations have expressed concerns over the huge development projects that would take place in the islands after a land grab by the private sector. more..

Kokavil Transmission Tower proudly stands once again after 21 years

June 7 (IL) Kokavil multi-purpose transmission tower commissioned for the nation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today on 06 June 2011. Kokavil Rupavahini transmission tower which was first constructed in 1982 to facilitate the people in the North to view television broadcast clearly, destroyed by Tamil Tiger terrorists on 11 July 1990. Once again the tower proudly stands from today as it is considered as the tallest ever transmission tower in more..

Nine cops interdicted for assaulting journalist

June 7 (Island) The Officer-in-Charge of the Mulleriyawa police and eight other policemen have been interdicted following Saturday’s alleged brutal assault on Neth FM journalist Nilupa Sanjaya. The interdiction letters were served on the nine policemen following a report submitted by the Special Investigations Unit, of the Police Headquarters, following an inquiry into the incident. Some of the interdicted officers had allegedly chased the victim, to his house, more..

Nudism training at Minneriya Army camp?

June 7 (LT) It is reported items that abolish shame and fear in girls have been included in the ‘leadership’ training being given in army camps by the government to students who have been selected to have their higher education in universities in Sri Lanka. At a concert held on the 4th (Saturday) for female students undergoing training at Minneriya Army camp a group of cabaret artists had been invited and the trainees were exposed to items that exhibited nudity. more..

Students not exposed to sexual culture: Army

June 7 (DM) The Higher Education Ministry and the Minneriya Infantry Training Centre yesterday denied IUSF allegations that participants in the leadership training programme were exposed to sexually explicit material at the Minneriya Centre on June 4. Minneriya Infantry Training Centre Commandant Asoka Amunugama said none of the students was exposed to such material and added that the misleading rumours were connected to a beauty culture programme, more..