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Vijayabahu Motor Cross attracted huge crowd

Mar 29 (MoD) The 9th "Vijayabahu Motor Cross" held at Vijayabahu track at Boyagane, attracted over 25000 spectators and fans to witness the exciting and thrilling experience on Sunday. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, the Commander of the Army participated as the Chief Guest of the event together with Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya, President, Seva Vanitha Army Branch. The motor cross filled with thrilling excitements throughout, more..

Taking devolution talks forward

Mar 29 (DM) Two developments over the past week have helped focus better on the continuing process for finding a negotiated settlement to the ethnic issue. The results of the Local Government elections, particularly in the North and the East (without overlooking the same elsewhere, too) and the decision for the TNA to submit a set of devolution proposals to the Government at the next round of negotiations, scheduled for 27 April, if taken to their logical conclusion, more..

Three-wheeler drivers forget passenger-safety

Mar 29 (DM) In recent times the numbers of three-wheeler accidents have increased and passengers have suffered by the lack of responsibility on the part of three-wheeler drivers. Often the accidents have even been fatal and at other instances passengers have received severe injuries resulting in a long drawn recovery or even losing the use of a limb. Furthermore in many instances the injured passenger has to wait in the vehicle till the three-wheeler driver calls for more..

Right to water and sanitation vital

Mar 29 (SO) She goes to work at the tea estate where her mother plucks tea leaves for a daily wage. Climbing the sloppy hilly estate is no mean task for a teenage girl, who starts her day before dawn. Savithri, the 17-year-old, is happy as she can support her mother, who fed five mouths, including her paralysed father, with her meagre daily earnings. Being one of the brightest students of the small estate school, Troup Estate Tamil Vidyalaya, with 150 students, more..

Editorial: Just pie in the sky

Mar 29 (Island) Nayake Thera of the Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo, Ven. Galaboda Gnaneswara or Podi Hamuduruwo, is known as a monk who minces no words when he wants to say something to anyone. He has been calling for conciliatory politics and co-operation among govt and Opposition politicians all these years, albeit in vain. At the opening of a Buddhist art gallery at his temple on Sunday, he repeated that call for the umpteenth time. He requested UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to more..

Editorial: Showdown time for cricket’s biggest show

Mar 29 (DM) A politically divided Sri Lanka, will be united and one in heart and mind as the biggest cricket show on earth reaches its showdown time with millions in most continents watching it live on television. Will it be Sri Lanka versus India or New Zealand taking on Pakistan in Saturday’s ICC Cricket World Cup final? If not, will it be Sri Lanka having to battle Pakistan with India playing host? These are the questions that will be asked before the finalists book their places. more..

Five local authority areas to come under one umbrella

Mar 29 (SO) The people of this country once again exercised their franchise to elect Members to 234 Local Govt bodies at the March 17, Local Govt election and gave a mammoth victory for the ruling UPFA confining the Opposition to only a few Local Govt bodies. The next few weeks can be a vital period in which the Local Govt system will undergo major changes with the Govt’s decision to establish Colombo Metropolitan Corporation to administer more..

Democracy, Economic growth and terrorism: The Sri Lankan case

Mar 29 (GV) This article will briefly discuss alternative explanations to the two youth insurrections and the separatist movements that occurred in post-independence Sri Lanka.[1] While the most recent conflict between the LTTE is more widely known, there have been two additional, and equally destructive insurgencies in Sri Lanka that are largely ignored by policy makers as well as academics today. The first JVP (Marxist) insurrection in 1971 was followed by a more..

Sri Lanka’s Libyan Spring

Mar 29 (GV) Watching Rupavahini news these days gives way for all sorts of unintended jests. Like when we see Right Rev. Malcolm Ranjith Pieris exhorting Sri Lankan Catholics to show their solidarity with Buddhist brethren by refraining from consuming meat and liquor during the upcoming Vesak season. Of course the good Cardinal may be putting Jesus’ eternal words of “Turning the Other Cheek” in to practice by ignoring various angry remarks by Sinhala Buddhist supremacist websites and more..

Day 3: Jaffna’s Musical Potpourri

Mar 29 (HA) “Jaffna Musical Festival Promotes Reconciliation through Music, Arts and Drama,” said the US Embassy press release marking USAID’s partnership of the collaborative effort in bringing out this medley musical scent of folklore potpourri, in the peninsula’s persevering town. more..

Here’s wishing a strong Opposition!

Mar 29 (ST) My dear Sajith, I thought I must write to you, first to congratulate you on your election as one of the two deputy leaders of the Green party and also to share some thoughts with you on what has been happening in the Green camp over the past few months. What you must understand Sajith, is that politics is not always like cricket and it is not a gentleman’s game anyway. For example, after he failed to win the World Cup four years ago, Mahela stepped down and asked Kumar to take over. more..

A surprise visit amidst heat over Libya and sympathy for Japan

Mar 29 (ST) A presidential visit, messages of sympathy to the Japanese people in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami and questions on Libya marked the proceedings when Parliament met last week. The President’s visit on Tuesday came when the House had taken up for debate nine finance bills related to tax regulations which were proposed in the 2011 Budget. While the President received a rousing welcome from government members as he entered the chamber, more..

'Mandate for TNA to seek federal system based solution'

Mar 29 (NS) The overwhelming victory of TNA in the northeast has given out strong signals to the govt that the party is still a force to be reckoned with. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the mandate the party has obtained from the people is to find an immediate solution based on a federal system and this fact must now be honoured by the present govt. The TNA that had been branded earlier as the ‘LTTE’s proxy’ won 12 councils of the 15 it contested convincingly. more..

Editorial: It’s not unfair to tax public servants

Mar 29 (BL) One of Adam Smith’s famous canons of taxation is ‘the ability to pay’. Income tax clearly ties in with this because, as we can see, the higher a person’s taxable income, the greater the rate they pay. This means that income tax is progressive. In other words, the more people earn, the greater the proportion of their income they pay in tax. People with equal incomes should pay the same tax. Politicians and state employees with high incomes have the ability to more..

Insurance firms irked over segregation

Mar 29 (BL) Sri Lanka’s insurance industry is irked over the recent-most directive by the country’s industry watchdog – the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) to separate general and life insurance business operations. Managing Director of HNB Assurance PLC, Manjula De Silva, who is also the President of The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) - the representative body of the insurance industry in the country, said that as an industry they lodged strong protests over the matter. more..

The sun shines on the Hambantota Games?

Mar 29 (LB) Sri Lanka’s bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 is shrouded in controversy. Local media reports are obsessed with the cost. Critics question the commercial viability of the project which involves large scale construction, the cost of which would run into several billions of dollars. The Commonwealth Games in New Delhi cost US$4.6 billion, nine times higher than its 2003 estimate of US$ 500 million. Whether the government should spend such a more..

Legal cloud over Golden Key directors returning to ‘work’

Mar 29 (ST) The plan to nominate former directors of the Golden Key Credit Card Company including Lalith Kotelawala who are still considered suspects in alleged misappropriation of GK funds, as members of the 5-member board of directors of the proposed holding company to be set up to settle depositors is raising several legal issues, Attorney General’s Department sources said. The names of five nominees including Khavan Perera and Saradha Sumanasekera, former GK CEO and more..

'Sri Lanka Islamic equity rules still evolving'

Mar 29 (LBO) Islamic finance principles in Sri Lanka are still evolving and there is vigorous debate on deciding stocks compliant with Sharia or Islamic law both in the island and abroad, a practitioner has said. Broadly under Islamic finance sectors such as gambling, non compliant meats like pork, entertainment, conventional banks or finance companies, defence, entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, pornography and even hotels are excluded. However there is ongoing debate on more..

Central Bank allays inflation concerns

Mar 29 (Island) The Central Bank attempted to calm mounting inflation expectations as Sri Lanka recovers from devastating floods while the world is gripped by uncertainty over oil price increases caused by the crises of the Middle East, North Africa and Japan. Rising global commodity prices, domestic food prices after the recent flooding and a pick-up in domestic demand has already prompted some analysts, as previously reported in The Island Financial Review, more..

Indian Bank to open more branches in Lanka

Mar 29 (Hindu) Indian Bank is to expand its base in Sri Lanka by opening another three to four branches, according to the bank's Executive Director Rajeev Rishi. The bank intends to open over 150 branches within the country to take its tally to around 2,000, of which 25 branches have been planned in Tamil Nadu in the coming fiscal, Mr. Rajeev Rishi said after inaugurating the bank's off site ATM at Manapparai. The medium term plan of the bank was to increase more..

Monks ragged at the Buddha Shrawaka Bhikku University!

Mar 29 (DM) The Anuradhapura Buddha Shrawaka Bhikku University was closed indefinitely on Tuesday afternoon (22). The Vice Chancellor of the University Mahopadya, Ven. Dr. Thunmulle Seelakanda Thera said this measure was taken to save the new entrants from ragging. The Ven. Thera said the university administration and the academic staff decided on this step after a lengthy discussion and the student monks were asked to leave the hostels by 3pm yesterday. more..

Housing Colombo’s other half

Minister orders transparency in issue of permits

Mar 29 (DM) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama issued route permits to 78 private bus operators who operate services between Colombo and Jaffna, a highly lucrative bus route, a spokesman for the ministry said. The route permits were issued after calling for tenders and the tender was offered to the lowest quoted price of Rs. 1.1 million, the spokesman said. “The Colombo – Jaffna route was one of the most sought after bus routes and there were a lot of controversies and more..

Admiral Karannagoda assumes duties in Tokyo

Mar 29 (MoD) Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Ambassador-designate of Sri Lanka to Japan assumed duties in Tokyo on Friday, 25th March 2011, paying special emphasis on the strong bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. Addressing the staff at the Embassy, Admiral Karannagoda emphasized the importance of good teamwork and commitment which is the key to any successful endeavor. He further stated that the long standing friendship between the two countries more..

Armed gang gets away with Rs. 5 mn from Cargills Food City supermarket

Mar 29 (Island) Four armed men staged a daring daylight heist yesterday and made off with Rs. 5 million in cash and a gun from security personnel stationed at the Cargills Food City supermarket in Kesbewa. The robbers arrived on two motorcycles and opened fire at a van belonging to a private security firm transporting the supermarket money around 12.30 p.m. The driver and security guard were injured witnesses to the drama told the police. more..

If President, Defence Secy were clueless, who knew of ‘real’ situ on Vanni front

Mar 29 (Island) A govt official says that Indian claims that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa hadn’t been aware of the real situation on the Vanni east front during the last phase of the war are groundless. The official says the President and the Defence Secretary had been fully aware of the progress throughout the military offensive beginning in the East in early September 2006 to May 2009 and also the post-war developments. more..

To assist over 15,000 Lankans: Special office in Bahrain

Mar 29 (DN) The SLBFE has decided to set up a special office in Bahrain to facilitate the needs of over 15,000 Sri Lankans working in that country. The move is expected to benefit the large contingent of Sri Lankan migrant workers in Bahrain as Sri Lanka does not have a permanent mission there. The decision to set up an office by SLBFE comes amidst concerns expressed by relatives back home on the safety of their loved ones due to the prevailing political unrest in Bahrain. more..

Returnees from Japan test negative for radiation

Mar 29 (Island) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has so far screened over 150 returnees from Japan and none of them have been tested positive for radiation exposure. These returnees visited the special desk at the Authority in Orugodawatte to get a free screening for radiation exposure. Since the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, the Authority had been observing the atmosphere above the country constantly and sometimes on more..

Sri Lanka can help to heal a divided nation with victory over New Zealand today

Mar 29 (Mirror) Sri Lanka are playing for more than just a place in the World Cup final today. They are playing for a country divided by civil war for nearly 30 years, but which is now beginning to emerge from the ruin of artillery destruction and bloodshed to make a new life as a united nation. And after seeing the results of its efforts, Sir Ian Botham understands why a win for the Sri Lankans against New Zealand and then again in the final in Mumbai on Saturday would give the nation such a boost. more..

World Cup semi-finals: No ticket, no entry

Mar 29 (DN) Security arrangements have been strengthened by the Police with the assistance of the Special Task Force and the three Forces for today’s World Cup semi-finals between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at the R Premadasa Cricket Stadium, Colombo, said IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. The IGP addressing the media at the Police Headquarters yesterday said that not a single person will be allowed to enter without a ticket. Ticket holders will also be issued a band, he said. more..

New Zealand happy to keep a low profile as they take on Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (National) It may be a few machine guns light of the quantity over in Mohali, but the World Cup's Other Semi-Final, in Colombo this afternoon, is not exactly a tea party either. Cucumber sandwiches on Galle Face Green this is not. As Sri Lanka's players trained in the nets at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday morning, soldiers bearing AK67s casually kept watch. Under a nearby tree, the team's bus was parked next to a caravan which acts as more..

Murali doubtful ahead of semi-final clash

Mar 29 (Island) Sri Lanka were fretting over whether to play Muttiah Muralitharan or not in their crucial World Cup semi-final encounter against New Zealand at R. Premadasa Stadium today. Muralitharan sustained a hamstring niggle during Sri Lanka’s last group game against the Kiwis in Bombay where he finished with four for 25. He came into the quarter-final against England on Saturday nursing the injury and although he bowled nine overs, appeared to be in discomfort and more..

Sri Lanka has history and momentum in its favour

Mar 29 (Hindu) Between Sri Lanka and its third World Cup final stands New Zealand, the World Cup over-achiever which has made a habit of gate-crashing into the last-four, but never beyond, in the premier event. New Zealand bushwhacked South Africa in Mirpur to enter is sixth Cup semifinal and on paper the contest between the Kiwis and the Lankan Lions would appear to be governed by the stark logic of the food chain: ominously tilted in favour of the carnivores. more..

Murali doubtful but Sangakkara upbeat

Mar 29 (CI) For the second match in succession, Sri Lanka are sweating over the fitness of Muttiah Muralitharan who is nursing a leg injury ahead of the semi-final against New Zealand today. "Murali and everyone around him is trying to get him as fit as possible and fit enough to play," Kumar Sangakkara said. "It's no use thinking about the final and saving him for other games, this is the crunch game and if he can play today that'll be great for us, but more..

Peradeniya Gardens earns record income

Mar 29 (Island) The National Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya recorded an income of over Rs.60 million during the past two months, Information Department said in a press release. The release quoting Director General of the Department of Botanical Gardens Dr. Cyril Wijesundara said the number of foreign and local visitors have increased compared to the corresponding period in January and February last year. According to him, the Gardens earned about Rs.27 million from more..

Fake websites selling tickets

Mar 29 (DM) The National Centre for Cyber Security of the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) warned internet users to be on the alert for fake websites that claim to sell tickets for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. SLCERT Senior Information Engineer Rohana Palliyaguru told Daily Mirror Online that they have already received two complaints regarding such websites. “Those sites are operating from abroad. Therefore we have taken measures to inform more..

Amunugama, new Secretary to Ministry of External Affairs assumes duties

Mar 29 (AT) The new Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Karunatilaka Amunugama assumed office yesterday (28) at the Ministry, at a simple ceremony. He was welcomed on his arrival by senior officials of the Ministry. Mr. Amunugama was appointed as the new External Affairs Secretary succeeding Mr. Romesh Jayasinghe. Mr. Amunugama a veteran career diplomat joined the Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic service in the year 1985. more..

Sri Lanka economic growth 8.1-pct in 2010: Deputy Governor

Mar 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy is estimated to have grown by 8.1 percent rebounding from a slowdown a year earlier as the country benefitted from a peace dividend, Central Bank deputy governor Dharma Dheerasinghe said. "We had a bad year in 2009 and growth was around 3.5 percent," Dheerasinghe told a business forum in Colombo. "It has increased to 8.1 percent in 2010 and in 2011 growth will be about 8.5 percent." more..

Disabled soldiers win intl. recognition

Mar 29 (Island) The Ranaviru Apparels at Yakkala, managed by the Army, where more than 460 disabled war heroes produce complete uniform sets for use in the Army, has gained international recognition with the award of ‘5S Excellence Special Award,’ on the recommendation of the Japanese 5S Guru Prof. Seiichi Fujitha and team. Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya visited Ranaviru Apparels and more..

Successful child birth following blood transfusion

Mar 29 (NN) During the recent past Newsfirst have brought to you many reports in the manner in which medical records have been re-written in the country. Thilanga and Sandamali are blessed with two boys. As their third child they expected a baby girl. However, during tests carried out by doctors it was revealed that the fetus of Sandamali was anemic. The tests were carried out under the supervision of consultant Gynecologist Dr. Vijitha Vidyabushana. more..