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Bus fare discussed

June 15 (NN) Another round of discussion between private bus operators and the private transport ministry held today regarding a bus fare hike, ended in failure. The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association President Gemuna Wijeratna and members of other unions representing private bus operators attended the discussion. According to the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association the talks with top officials of the private transport ministry ended with no result. more..

Two new Supreme Court Judges appointed

June 15 (GDI) Two new judges have been appointed to the Sri Lanka Supreme Court. They took their oaths before the President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. They are former Chairman of the Court of Appellate, President's Council, Sathya Hettige and former Solicitor General of the Attorney General's Department, President Council, W. P. J. Dep. Mr. Sathya hettige who received his preliminary education at Sidhartha Maha Vidyalaya more..

Jayalalithaa asks PM to suspend ferry service to Colombo

June 15 (IANS) A day after a ferry service from Tuticorin to Colombo was flagged off, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday asked the central government to suspend it, saying her government was not consulted on the move. Submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, copies of which were released to the media in Chennai, Jayalalithaa said the ferry service has been resumed at a most inopportune time. more..

Disability activist Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera felicitated

June 15 (Island) Disability activist Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera has been honoured for his unreserved commitment,competence and invaluable contribution,to the promotion of accessibility to the built environment, enhancing social inclusion with safety for all. In recognition of Dr. Perera’s efforts the Disability Organisations Joint Front (DOJF), the registered umbrella organisation in Sri Lanka of over 23 active approved disability organisations, presented him with more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.06.2011

Credibility eludes the Government

June 15 (LG) Is the Government shooting itself in the foot by going ahead with the Overseas Employees Pensions’ Benefits Fund? Having learnt the bitter lesson of being compelled to withdraw the Private Sector Pension Bill due to growing agitation against its contents, the Government is again plunging into another controversy by going ahead with the pension scheme for migrant workers without public consultation. Migrant workers are an unorganized group and unlike more..

Govt.-civil society collaboration when North met South in Matara

June 15 (LG) The govt was able to hold the international human rights community at bay at the recently concluded June session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Notwithstanding the airing of a documentary that purports to be battlefield executions and other human rights violations committed by govt soldiers in the last phase of the war, the govt was able to ensure that the report of the Expert Panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was not tabled for discussion. more..

British diplomats satisfied with Army’s role in Jaffna

June 15 (Cimic) With view to getting a broad picture of security and development related affairs in Jaffna, British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr. Mark Gooding arrived in Jaffna on Monday (13) for a two-day visit. Immediately after the landing on the Palaly airstrip, Mr. Gooding and his retinue met Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe at his office. During the brief meeting, more..

More Sri Lanka 'Killing Fields' video might appear as evidenceý

June 15 (TC) The long awaited Channel 4 programme titled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” will be screened at 11pm next Tuesday night. The late evening timing of the screening is attributed to the gruesome nature of the video, perhaps the most disturbing programme to be aired by a British TV channel. Channel 4 was launched in 1982. One of Channel 4’s objectives is to provide an alternative to the existing channels. Its remit requires the provision of programming to minority groups. more..

Imposition of ‘leadership training’ deserves to be resisted

June 15 (TC) In General, The imposition of this leadership training program or any training program on the human community – with the exception of programs that train people to resist programming – is likely to interfere with the free evolutionary development of human being and therefore deserves to be resisted. The education system has been a law unto itself in this respect, deciding what mental content and value systems the human species would be permitted to internalize, integrate and live by. more..

Harmful drugs and creams flood the market

June 15 (LB) According to the President of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Dr. Gishantha Dahanayaka, there are various drugs which are readily available in the market purportedly to improve the sex lives of impotent men. “None of those drugs have been registered in Sri Lanka. But the number of persons who tend to use them in an effort to overcome their impotency continues to escalate daily,” he said. more..

Brutalisation of Society

June 15 (TC) Recently there had been a series of seemingly disconnected events in India, UK and the UN that have a common thread: Sri Lankas conduct in the post war period. Though these events were not unexpected sequels, surprisingly Sri Lankas response had been reactive than proactive. Peevishness, rather than calculated strategy, appears to be dominating its thought process. As a result Sri Lankas actions show lack of confidence, rather than determination, in handling the issues. more..

Repealing the 13th amendment & listening to the Patriotic Nationalists

June 15 (LG) Patriotic nationalism is the basis on which a nation state rests. These nationalists do not betray their nation and they do not go against their own citizens. Without them a nation state cannot last long, cannot foster peace, cannot encourage national sacrifice, cannot fight external enemies & cannot save itself from collapsing. A country needs nationalists & they need to be listened to. They say the 13th amendment must be repealed. more..

Poson: Sri Lanka’s day of light

June 15 (SO) It is again the season of Poson. The traditional story relating to the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka is quite widely known. According to the Mahawamsa, Ven. Arahant Mahinda Thera arrived in Sri Lanka with a retinue of five bhikkhus and a lay devotee named Banduka. King Devanampiyatissa, the Sri Lankan monarch of that day, was out on a hunting spree, accompanied by his men. The King was charging fast, bent on hunting a deer he had targeted. more..

Why stop at ‘13 Plus’, let’s steam ahead to ‘19’

June 15 (DM) ‘Power sharing’, is considered in the careless chit-chat of separatist to be coterminous with ‘devolution’. If power is concentrated in the ‘Centre’, as is the case in Sri Lanka, and if this is considered ‘bad’, it is logical to seek a re-balancing of power away from the centre and to the periphery. The ‘periphery’ has territorial relevance only if ‘centre’ is territory-laden. In Sri Lanka’s case, the imbalance has nothing to do with territory in terms of more..

Rubber-ball retirements

June 15 (DM) Certainly, some of the recent incidents occurring on and off the cricket field only show that dignity yet again, made a false start in the local sports scenario. The fans’ dream to see their sports star giving his bat and ball a rest, when his shiny records get blotched with ducks and dashes, will forever remain a dream. Throughout history, cricket has been a mass anaesthetic, which thanks to brilliant sports personalities, was given to us in generous doses. more..

Govt gives Pinnawala elephants to friends

June 15 (LB) The government’s decision to give away 15-20 elephants from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO) to private owners -- many reportedly with close ties to the present administration -- been widely criticized by conservationists and environmentalists. Although the transfer details of baby elephants are being kept under tight wraps LAKBIMAnEWS reliably learns that three elephants have already been taken from the PEO. more..

Editorial : Of that C-4 charge

June 15 (Island) Prabhakaran, in his terrorist war against the State of Sri Lanka, used C-4 (plastic explosives) very effectively, though he could not win the war. His followers are now dependent on a different kind of C-4 (Channel 4) to carry out their anti-Sri Lankan campaign. Channel 4 has produced a documentary to bolster the LTTE's claim that war crimes were committed by the Sri Lankan army during the closing stages of the Vanni war in 2009. But, the discerning will more..

Editorial : Poson from the head to the heart

June 15 (DM) As we celebrate Poson today, in the afterglow of Vesak and the 2600th anniversary of the enlightenment of the Buddha, we need to meditate deeply on the Buddha Dhamma the Arahath Mahinda Thera brought to us, and whether we -- especially our political and other leaders -- are merely preaching it and to what extent we are practising it. In the Dhamma, the Buddha tells us that he preached what he practised and practised what he preached. more..

Sanath’s Legacy - Rocky closure won’t diminish what was a glittering career

June 15 (Island) ‘If Tests were his "Andre Agassi" , ODI’s were "Roger Federer". Running through the memory lane, the beat down-151-of India at Bombay in 97, 189 against India at Sharjah in 2000, 122 against Australia at Sydney in the middle of a losing streak in the VB series of 2003, 152 chasing a target over 300 against England at Headingley in 2006 and the face saving hundred in the 2008 Asia Cup final against India comes instantly to the mind.’ more..

External trade vulnerability despite export growth

June 15 (ST) In spite of the improved export performance in the first quarter of this year, the country is heading towards a large trade deficit. This is owing to fundamental weaknesses in the external trade structure of the country that renders it highly vulnerable o international price movements. The country is often subject to external shocks, such as sharp increases in import prices or a fall in export prices or both. Such adversity termed a deterioration in more..

UN backed eco-friendly, planned development for the North

June 15 (ST) Some 25 government agencies in charge of conservation, infrastructure and development, backed by the UN, have come up with an Integrated Strategic Environment Assessment (ISEA) for the Northern Province (NP), to ensure planned development in the area. As a preliminary process of that development, research on the required resources was conducted, identified and allocated in the NP. The Central Environment Authority of the Ministry of Environment, more..

One parent pardons Rizana

June 15 (DM) One parent of the dead Saudi infant had pardoned her however both parents had to pardon if she were to be acquitted, Minister of foreign employment promotion and welfare Dilan Perera said. Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana is in death row in Saudi Arabia for the death of an infant. Her execution had been suspended by the king and her fate is now in the hands of the dead infant’s parents. Both parents had to pardon if she were to be released. more..

Sri Lanka draws strong crowds at Kunming trade show

June 15 (FT) Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exhibitors and participants drew large crowds for their exhibits in the 19th China Import and Export Commodities Fair and fourth South Asian Nations’ Trade Fair in Kunming, China. The South Asian Countries’ trade fair is an annual regional trade show organised in parallel to the China Import and Export Fair known as the Kunming Fair and is limited to South Asian countries. This year’s fair started on 5 June and ended on 10 June. more..

Sangakkara felt a responsibility - Mahela

June 15 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara needed to take a few days to decide whether to accept the captaincy for the final Test against England in place of the injured Tillakaratne Dilshan. Sangakkara stood down controversially after the World Cup final, but has agreed to resume the role for the good of Sri Lanka according to team-mate Mahela Jayawardene. Sangakkara took charge in the field during England's second innings at Lord's, but Thilan Samaraweera captained the Sri Lankans in more..

Lankan economy: Harsha pushes for IMF action

June 15 (Island) UNP MP Harsha de Silva, in a statement issued yesterday, said "We are glad that even at this late stage the IMF has acknowledged the seriousness of the governance and transparency issue with the Central Bank using EPF funds to trade in shares of commercial banks. The Island of 13 June 2011 reports Dr Brian Aitken, IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka, as saying "...investing EPF funds in banking stocks could be misconstrued and more..

Thayasevan, “I’m starting to feel normal again”

June 15 (IRIN) Thayasevan, aged 36, who lost his right leg fighting for the LTTE, was recently released from a govt “rehabilitation centre” and is trying to restart his life. Four thousand other former rebels remain in the centres. He told IRIN his story: "I lost my leg during the conflict, and until recently felt I had lost my entire life. “It’s been a tough road. I joined the LTTE in 1991 of my own free will. There were frequent roundups and arrests of innocent people in my village, more..

Tamils in detention camps being harassed: WESL

June 15 (DM) ‘We are Sri Lankans (WESL)’ an organization agitating for the release of Tamil political prisoners said yesterday Tamils held in prisons and detention camps countrywide were allegedly being abused and neglected by prison authorities. WESL Executive Committee member and former IUSF Convener Udul Premaratne told a media briefing they had received information that individuals who were arrested on suspicion of having links to the LTTE were being harassed by inmates and prison officers. more..

Poson festivities draw thousands to A'pura

June 15 (DN) Nearly 500,000 devotees flocked to Mihintale and Anuradhapura sacred cities for Poson festivities by midnight on Monday causing considerable traffic jams along the main roads. The Mihintale Aloka Pooja was inaugurated yesterday evening with Lake House organising the event co-sponsored by the CEB and Abans Ltd. Minister Champika Ranawaka joined by NCP Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake and a number of guests switched on more..

Sri Lanka central bank on gold sales

June 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it does not sell gold in the domestic market, but only in the international market adding that it was making the statement in response to recent reports. "The Central Bank manages the official international reserves of the country and maintains its foreign currency balances in reputed international banks overseas in foreign currency denominated instruments and gold," the monetary authority said. more..

'Govt. has abandoned even budget proposal on teachers salaries'

June 15 (Island) Even budget proposals are being abandoned by the govt and a glaring example was its pledge to increase the salaries of university lecturers, the UNP said. UNP MP Tissa Attanayake said that the 2011 budget proposed a pay hike for university teachers, but it was yet to see the light of day. He said that the Minister S.B. Dissanayake, on more than one occasion had agreed to grant a salary increase, but nothing had come out of it, except endless talks. more..

Report on Dengue epidemic to Cabinet

June 15 (DM) A report on unauthorized constructions that trigger the spread of dengue in the Colombo city will be submitted to the cabinet by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena next week, a ministry spokesman said yesterday. A study conducted by the Dengue Control Programme has revealed that many occupants of housing schemes in the city have constructed unauthorized buildings blocking the drains and thereby creating mosquito breeding grounds, more..

North, NWP students successfully complete leadership training

June 15 (DN) The first batch of the newly selected university entrants who underwent the ‘Leadership and Positive Thinking Training Course’ (LPTTC) at 28 training centres islandwide, left their training centres for their homes on June 11. All the training centres were provided with transport facilities by the Transport Ministry for student to return home. The Kalutara Police Training School (PTS) conducted the training course for 265 Tamil and 23 Muslim girls from the more..

UK urged to halt deportation of Lankans

June 15 (BBC) Human rights watchdogs have criticised the decision by the British government to deport Sri Lankan asylum seekers. They should not be sent back home until the situation improves in Sri Lanka says Human Rights Watch (HRW). Brad Adams, South Asia director of the human rights organisation, say "we urge the British govt to hold off sending people who could face persecution on return". Many asylum seekers detained in centres across the UK are awaiting a swift return. more..

Indo-Lanka ferry re-launch: Stepping stone to SL naval hub

June 15 (DN) ‘The commencement of the ferry service between India and Sri Lanka yesterday after 30 years of it coming to a halt, is a significant development in realizing the vision of making Sri Lanka a naval hub in the region as envisaged in the Mahinda Chintana, Deputy Minister Rohitha Abyegunawardena said. He made this observation at the opening of the passenger terminal of the Colombo harbour that was closed for 30 years due to security reasons. more..

Manmohan Singh defers to Jayalalithaa on Lankan Tamils

June 15 (DNA) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the UPA government and the Congress seem to have adopted a cordial and positive attitude to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. And the chief minister seems to appreciate the gesture and she is more than willing to reciprocate. The chief minister told the media that the prime minister had sent national security advisor Shiva Shankar Menon before he led the Indian delegation to Colombo to discuss the more..

Two-member team to probe rape allegation in Jordan

June 15 (Island) The government has decided to send a two-member team to probe the rape allegations at a garment factory in Jordan. The Minister of Foreign Employment and Welfare Dilan Perera said that approximately 5,000 migrant workers are currently employed at the Jordanian factory. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Jordan had already investigated the matter but they had not received any complaints from the workers at factory during their investigations, he said. more..

The Killing Fields - Videos

June 15 (LG) Jon Snow presents a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers. With disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians the programme features devastating new video evidence of war crimes - some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast. more..

UK presses Sri Lanka over Channel 4's 'war crimes' film

June 15 (BBC) The UK Foreign Office has pressed Sri Lanka to investigate alleged atrocities during its civil war after "horrific" footage aired in a TV programme. Britain's Channel 4 showed what it said was previously unseen footage of what purported to be extrajudicial killings of Tamils by the military. Sri Lanka's defence ministry dismissed the videos as fabricated, saying they were intended to discredit the army. The army defeated the Tamil Tigers in 2009, ending 25 years of war. more..

Reluctant captain Sangakkara stepping in for injured Dilshan

June 15 (MO) Sri Lanka’s troubled tour plunged to new depths when Kumar Sangakkara had to be forced into captaining his country in the third Test. Tillekeratne Dilshan, whose thumb was broken by Chris Tremlett at Lord’s, was finally ruled out of Thursday’s inaugural Test at the Rose Bowl, leaving his very reluctant predecessor to step into the Sri Lankan breach once more. Sangakkara, one of the most intelligent and eloquent figures in the world game, quit the captaincy in more..