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'Members of parliament should not be members of the cabinet'

Mar 18 (TC) Anyone who knows anything about political theory has heard of the doctrine of the Separation of Powers. This means that those who perform the active function of government, the executors or doers, should be distinct from those who lay down the framework on which action is taken, the legislators. That framework is created not only through laws, but also through the budget, the allocation of resources for the Executive. Because of this latter responsibility, more..

Where have all the investors gone?

Mar 18 (LB) Where have all the foreign direct investors gone? is a question that is perplexing everybody. Actually, it applies to local investors as well if one is to believe Deputy Finance Minister Amunugama who berated his own class for not grabbing the tax breaks and BOI opportunities. I kept an eye on the financial reviews and business pages of the local English newspapers and observed this note of perplexity in all commentators. I have also sat in at two or three more..

Coconut production in 2010 marks the lowest in 15 years

Mar 18 (N360) Sri Lanka’s coconut production during the year 2010 has fallen down by 536 million nuts year on year to stand at 2317 million nuts, marking the lowest annual production recorded in nearly 15 years. This is a shortfall of 18.8% when compared with the 2009 production of 2853 million nuts. Dr. Jayantha Gunathilaka, the Chief Agronomics of the Coconut Research Institution attributes multiple of reasons for the drop in the production. more..

New Festival to Promote Unity in Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (GV) A press conference was held in Colombo earlier today to launch the latest fixture on Sri Lanka’s ever busier festival calendar. Organisers of The Boycott Festival issued a brief statement and then invited the press to enjoy the refreshments in the ballroom. The Boycott Festival will take place over five days, beginning today and ending after a lunch banquet on Sunday. A full list of objections may be obtained by emailing more..

Looking beyond O/Ls

Mar 18 (FT) DECIDING whether the cup is half full or half empty is a difficult task. As nearly one million voters go to polls, many are the issues that get pushed aside in the election furore. Few paid attention to the numbers of students who failed the Ordinary Level exam, but it is another symptom of a serious problem that Sri Lanka will have to solve in order to be become a developed nation. The positive point is that 195,112 students have passed with sufficient more..

Militarisation of Urban Development

Mar 18 (SL) Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, proudly and justly proclaimed: ‘I found Rome built of brick; I leave it clad in marble.’ Most potentates and rulers in contemporary times — great and potty — entertain such Caesarian visions. Though cities ‘clothed in marble’ are not possible to be built even in Western capitals during these days of economic recession, the dream of many Third World rulers and aspirants is to leave behind a capital with more..

Editorial: When will they ever learn?

Mar 18 (Island) Nuclear scientists warned on Wednesday night that Japan had less than 48 hours to bring the ill-fated Fukushima reactors under control and avert ‘another Chernobyl’. Time is running out fast and they are pessimistic about Japan's chances of cooling the overheated reactors expected to explode any moment. Radiation levels are reported to be rising rapidly and a meltdown is feared. The Fukushima disaster has alarmed all nuclear nations and others with atomic ambitions. more..

Editorial: Touch base, go back to our roots

Mar 18 (DM) Amidst a decrease in the polling rate and an increase in violenes at the polls yesterday to elect representative to 235 local councils, the details given in a political column in the Daily Mirror last week about the attempt on the life of a TNA MP based in Kilinochchi are certainly a sad reality of our times. According to independent polls monitors, the violence during the campaign for yesterday’s local council elections was worse than ever before while more..

Jaffna and the Vanni today: The reality beneath the rhetoric

Mar 18 (GV) The drive along the A9 from Vavuniya to Killinochchi is brought to a temporary halt at the ‘exit-entry point’ at what used to be the forward defence line at Omanthai. On the side of the dusty dirt road, in a series of sheds, military personnel are stationed with the sole purpose of ensuring that both locals and international staff members of non-governmental and international non-governmental organisations and even UN agencies, possess the more..

WC 2011: England beat West Indies by 18 runs

Mar 18 (CI) In a campaign of ludicrously slender margins, England gave themselves a fighting chance of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals after emerging victorious by 18 runs in a monstrous battle of wills against West Indies at Chennai. In a contest that fully lived up to the "arse-nipper" billing that Graeme Swann had given it beforehand, England once again teetered on the brink of oblivion before the spin of Swann and James Tredwell hauled them back into more..

60 years of flying high sealed with a coin

Mar 18 (ST) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) completed 60 years and to mark the event, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued a commemorative two rupee coin into circulation on March 2. The coin is minted to the existing standard of a Rs 2 coin which is nickel plated steel and issued only in circulation condition by the Royal Mint, Liantrisant, United Kingdom. The obverse has the logo of the Sri Lanka Air Force 60th Anniversary at the centre and the years `1951-2011' below. more..

'Govt riding on other people’s problems'

Mar 18 (NS) Ravi Karunanayake, the other leadership aspirant in the UNP after Sajith Premadasa, brushes aside recent reports that party Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuria is now the third force in the once monolithic organisation and insists that those aspirants are only having wishful thinking that are far from reality. Following are excerpts from the interview: Q: There now appears to be too many leadership aspirants in the UNP. What are your views? more..

Help Eye Foundation to spread light, enable sight

Mar 18 (DN) The Sri Lanka Eye Foundation called for donations from local businesses and entrepreneurs. Sri Lanka Eye Foundation Director Ananda Pilimatalavuva said even the public could donate to the Foundation to commemorate birthdays and death anniversaries since the donations will be ‘little drops of water’ that will assist the foundation in its humanitarian service projects. “Foreign donations have declined this year due to the aftermath of the recession in more..

Re-laying of collapsed road extended

Mar 18 (Island) When the sewerage lines on the Galle Road, near the Roxy Cinema, in Wellawatte, collapsed nearly two months ago, it was found that only 20 metres would have to be relaid. However, it has now been discovered that 51 metres would have to be relaid at a cost of Rs. 30 million and will take another one month to complete. CMC Special Commissioner Omar Kamil said that the State Engineering Corporation was doing the repairs very carefully so as not to damage more..

Massive Rs 32 bln loss due to traffic congestion

Mar 18 (ST) Sri Lanka incurs a massive financial and man-hour loss due to traffic congestion as a result of no proper vehicular traffic in Greater Colombo areas and in 2009 this loss was estimated at Rs 32 billion per annum. “The main reason for congestion was poor city planning, inappropriate public transport facilities and insufficient traffic system, which leads to waste of time, fuel and wear and tear of vehicles,” said transport expert Professor Amal S. Kumarage more..

Political rivalry behind Police arrest of Batticaloa journalist

Mar 18 (TN) Police Tuesday morning arrested Puvi Rahumathulla, Chief Editor of “Vaara Uraikal”, a weekly magazine published from Kaathankudy in Batticaloa district, at the instigation of a Deputy Minister in the government who charged that Rahumathulla was carrying out election propaganda after the deadline on Monday midnight violating the instruction of the Commissioner of Elections. Rahumathulla is currently being detained in the Kaathankudy Police station and more..

Policeman, claiming EPDP, threatens Tamil daily in Jaffna

Mar 18 (TN) A police constable, claiming to be a EPDP man, entered the building of Uthayan daily in Jaffna Wednesday afternoon and warned the daily over an item it had carried in its Tidbits column involving a school principal recently. The Police constable, Ratnathas Pradeepan from Achchuveali, intimidated the press workers threatening to set fire with a cigarette lighter he was holding, the paper said. Publishing a photograph of PC Pradeepn, the paper also more..

Apparel readies to go north

Mar 18 (FT) Billions of investment from the apparel industry looking to set up shop in the north are being galvanised as the BOI scrambles to clear projects before new legislation for restructuring is finalised at the end of the month. Burdened under internal strife, the BOI had earlier come under fire for letting its restructuring process delay the approval process for ventures worth billions and undermining Sri Lanka’s global competitiveness. more..

Condolence Book at Japanese Embassy

Mar 18 (DN) The Embassy of Japan in Colombo will open a condolence book for the public in the aftermath of the most devastating natural disasters, namely, the Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake, which occurred in Japan on March 11, 2011, resulting in loss of life, destruction of property and affecting thousands of Japanese and other nationals. The condolence book will be open at the Embassy of Japan, No 20, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7, on Friday, March 18 and from Monday more..

Fishermen fight poaching by Indians

Mar 18 (UCAN) Catholic fishermen in Sri Lanka find themselves in a predicament. While the Sri Lankan govt has relaxed restrictions on Indian fishermen entering their territorial waters to participate in a feast day celebration, local fishermen accuse the Indians of poaching. “We urge the government to take immediate action to ban Indian fishermen entering our territory,” said Sinniah Thavaratnam, a Tamil Catholic and the president of Consortium of Fishermen in the Northern Province. more..

Second Tamil migrant ordered deported

Mar 18 (G&M) A Sri Lankan man who arrived aboard a cargo ship last year has been ordered deported after admitting to once being a member of the Tamil Tigers, but insisting he quit the banned terrorist group nearly two decades ago and never participated in combat. The man is the second passenger on the MV Sun Sea to be ordered out of Canada because of membership in the Tigers, but his lawyer signalled Thursday he'll appeal directly to more..

'Root causes of chronic kidney disease will be known by mid year'

Mar 18 (Island) WHO Country Director Dr. F.R. Mehatha said that the Sri Lankan government would ascertain the root causes of chronic kidney disease by the middle of this year. Speaking at a media briefing, on Chronic Kidney Failure, at the Health Education Bureau, he said specimens of kidney patients were being investigated at the Belgium international laboratory and though medical experts in different fields had come to various conclusions on the disease, more..

U.S. Education Fair in Colombo

Mar 18 (USE) With the support of the Sri Lanka - United States Fulbright Commission and the United States Embassy, ‘The Education USA University Fair' will take place Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. This fair - which is free and open to the public - represents a great opportunity for Sri Lankan parents and students to learn about higher education in the U.S. University representatives, U.S. Embassy staff, and more..

The son also rises

Mar 18 (Economist) Dynasties have to start somewhere. For an aspiring Gandhi in India, or a Bhutto in Pakistan, exploiting the family name to get into politics is relatively simple. Getting a dynasty going in the first place is more testing. Sri Lanka’s president since 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is evidently giving the matter some thought. His government is already dominated by several Rajapaksa brothers, including a fierce one, Gotabaya, who oversees defence, more..

Language barrier in n-word trial

Mar 18 (NYP) So how do you say the n-word in Sinhalese? The misdemeanor assault trial of ex-TV reporter Vince DeMentri is on hold at least until Tuesday, because the alleged victim is now insisting on continuing his testimony in Sinhala, the official language of his native Sri Lanka. Manhattan prosecutors are plowing forward with the trial, despite defense assertions that the alleged victim lied on the stand Monday -- in English -- when he claimed the reporter slurred him with more..

Sri Lankan suspected of having links with LTTE held in Navi Mumbai

Mar 18 (PTI) A Sri Lankan national, suspected to having links with terrorist outfit LTTE, was arrested from his hideout in neighbouring Navi Mumbai by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). The accused Rajan Silithuriya alias Rajan alias Kartik, hailing from Sri Lanka, was picked up from his hideout in Koparkhairane area of Navi Mumbai on Tuesday night. He had been shifting places in the Mumbai suburbs since the past four years, the ATS said. more..

Development Diaries

Japan hopes to restore power at two crippled reactors Friday

Mar 18 (Reuters) Japanese engineers raced to restore a power cable to a quake-ravaged nuclear power plant on Friday in the hope of restarting pumps needed to pour cold water on overheating fuel rods and avert a catastrophic release of radiation. Officials said they hoped to fix a cable from the grid to at least two of the six reactors on Friday, but that work would stop in the morning to allow helicopters and fire trucks to resume pouring water on the Fukushima more..

Weakened Kiwis ready for Sri Lanka fight

Mar 18 (AFP) New Zealand will look to make most of their last World Cup league match against Sri Lanka on Friday after captain Daniel Vettori and key fast bowler Kyle Mills were ruled out over fitness issues. It is an important match for the Black Caps as a positive result could assure them a top-two finish in Group A and a potentially more comfortable quarter-final opponent from Group B. New Zealand have emerged as the tournament's dark horses, more..

UPFA leads; UNP improves performance

Mar 18 (DM) The ruling UPFA had regained control over most local bodies in which the election results were released by late evening yesterday, while the main opposition UNP which trailed behind it had improved its performance compared to previous recent elections. Elections were held yesterday in 234 local government areas, and polling was marred in certain areas by incidents of violence and malpractices. more..

No polls to 66 LG bodies

Mar 18 (Island) A senior spokesman for the Election Secretariat told The Island that elections couldn’t be held to 64 LG bodies due to legal action against rejection of nominations by the Returning Officers. The official said that of the nominations, which had been received for 301 LG bodies from Jan. 20 to Jan. 27, 64 had been rejected due to negligence on the part of respective political parties. A record 452 nominations were rejected. more..

Foreign monks rounded up

Mar 18 (NM) Authorities yesterday inspected Talom Temple in Phasi Charoen district following reports that 400 foreign Buddhist monks there go out begging in the afternoon and make money selling the alms. Immigration and other police and officials of the National Buddhism Office found that many monks from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos lived in tents set up on temple grounds. A dozen Indian monks and one novice could not produce passports. more..

Displaced Muslims not given facilities to vote

Mar 18 (DM) SLMC said yesterday it was not happy with the facilities provided to displaced Muslims in Puttalam to cast their votes in the Wanni yesterday. SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said proper transportation was not provided for those registered to vote in Mannar and added that this was unfortunate because the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake himself had asked that adequate transport facilities be provided to them. more..

TNA to raise registration issue with Govt.

Mar 18 (DM) The TNA said yesterday, that at the meeting with a government delegation today, it would raise objections to the continuing registration of people by security forces in the North. TNA front-liner Suresh Premachandran said people in the Northern Province were being photographed and registered despite the Attorney General giving an undertaking that the registration in the North would be stopped forthwith. more..

Sri Lanka prepares model in bid for commonwealth Games

Mar 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka has prepared a model with 20 key venues and facilities in its bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the southern town of Hambantota, the central bank said in a statement. The organising committee of the Commonwealth Games 2018 Candidate City Hambantota is preparing an "attractive" bid document under the 15 stipulated themes to be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), it said. more..

Sri Lanka attacks 'gluttonous' fishing in Indian Ocean

Mar 18 (LBO) Industrial scale fishing that has depleted tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean came in for sharp criticism by Sri Lanka at a key regional meeting that began in the capital Colombo Friday. Sri Lanka's minister of fisheries and aquatic resources Rajitha Senaratne urged the 15th session of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to decide on exploiting fish stocks in a fair and equitable way while ensuring their sustainability. more..

EC not too happy

Mar 18 (NN) Elections Commissioner (EC) Dayananda Dissanayake, in a press release today, said the it was “regrettable” that State resources and State owned media were misused both before and on the day of the elections held yesterday. He also said that occurrences of thuggery were reported during the period on the nominations and later and one marked feature of the election campaign was the competition even among candidates of the same party for preferences. more..

'Young Lankan entrepreneurs have become global leaders in many fields'

Mar 18 (Island) Sri Lanka is proud of the achievements of its young entrepreneurs who have demonstrated that no challenge is too daunting for them to accept. They have developed their capability and competitiveness, showing remarkable initiative and relying on nothing other than their own imagination and resourcefulness, Minister G.L. Peiris, said recently. He was addressing the 12th annual general meeting of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs at the Colombo Hilton. more..

Ample stocks of food in stores for New Year

Mar 18 (Island) The govt yesterday assured consumers that there would be an uninterrupted supply of essential food items, for the April 13 and 14 Sinhala and Hindu New Year, as it was maintaining buffer stocks to prevent any shortages. Minister Johnston Fernando said that the government had already imported essentials like Dhal, Sugar, Canned Fish, Wheat Flour, Dried Sprats and Dried Chillies to cater to the demand during the April festive season. more..

Air pollution data exchange system : SL join hands with several countries

Mar 18 (DN) The Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA) has joined hands with India, Malaysia and Vietnam to exchange air pollution data in Asia, SLAEA Chairman Dr W Abeywickreme told the Daily News yesterday. This was initiated with a proposal presented by Sri Lanka. The three countries have expressed their prompt willingness to establish a data exchange system with each other in the wake of radiation leak at Japan’s nuclear plants. more..