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42 Tamil Youths successfully complete Sinahala Language course at Manipay

May 14 (Cimic) Effective interpersonal communication is one of the most important factors to foster communal harmony in a country. This need is significantly felt by members of the Sri Lanka Army serving in Jaffna as well as civilians since they constantly have to interact with each other. To respond this need, on a concept of Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, various Army formations in Jaffna have more..

'Developing better policies with regard to accountability and responsibility'

May 14 (DM) I am responding to Prof Rajiva Wijesinha’s reply in the Daily Mirror edition of 21.04.11 to my Daily Mirror column of 19.04.11 and to his reply of 07.05.11 to my column of 05.05.11. I do not intend my column in this newspaper to be devoted to the antics of Prof Wijesinha. However there are issues that have been raised that are in the public interest. My comments about Prof Wijesinha arose from his revelation of a note passed to him by an official in the more..

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha replies

May 14 (DM) I am writing in response to the article in your columns today by Dr Saravanamuttu. This is devoted entirely to me, as opposed to his previous practice of taking running pot shots. I shall reply in brief, since I am out of Colombo, but this is perhaps just as well, since it does not seem necessary to deal with each and every specific charge, passing innuendo and vigorous if imprecise self-defence in which he indulges. With regard to the charges there seem to be just more..

The proof is in the DNA...

May 14 (SO) Many countries facing rising trends of crime continuously consider methods to combat them. A speedy and efficient criminal justice system with improved methods of policing, using modern crime investigation techniques, efficient prosecuting service and an independent proactive judiciary are the hallmarks of a country geared to reducing crime. Quick identification of a criminal plays an essential role in an effective criminal justice system. more..


May 14 (DM) Having carefully considered the seriousness of the present situation in the country and without rushing to the press with a hastily prepared statement, I decided to write to you, breaking my long silence that I had been maintaining since the defeat of the LTTE on 19th May 2009. It is not my intention, to enter into the controversy and aggravate the situation further but only to see whether I can help to defuse the situation. I feel that I am matured more..

Darusman’s False and Highly Biased Report

May 14 (DM) Sri Lanka is being condemned by the Western Powers and their stooges in the UNO regarding human rights violations. A mock panel has been appointed without General Assembly and Security Council permission.As regards violation of human rights by the USA targeting and killing hoards of civilians by unmanned drones in Afghanistan, this is what a US Federal Judge had to say whilst delivering a judgment: “There is a painful conflict between human more..

Chief Justice calls for an anti-money laundering regime

May 14 (FT) Chief Justice Asoka De Silva yesterday called for the implementation of an anti-money laundering regime to detect and prevent financing of terrorists. Speaking during the South Asian Judges Regional Forum on Economic and Financial Crime in Colombo, De Silva said Sri Lanka has been a victim of terrorist financing and suffered immensely during the three decade long armed conflict. more..

Editorial: Detention of a political scion

May 14 (Island) Indian lawmaker Rahul Gandhi was detained briefly and released by the police in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday for taking part in a farmers' protest. Until last evening there were no reports of the police officers responsible for Rahul's detention being victimised and, therefore, we think they are safe. What would be the fate of a law enforcement officer who dares raise his voice to, let alone detain, a scion of a political family in power in this country? more..

Walk the talk, practise what you preach

May 14 (DM) What happens often in Sri Lanka especially what happened on May Day is an indication of the bankruptcy of Sri Lanka’s party politics, which has degenerated to its most disgraceful levels. Instead of working out a charter or other benefits for workers, May Day was disfigured into a campaign against the United Nations Panel report calling for an international probe on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last few weeks of the war in 2009. more..

Media organisations oppose re-activation of Press Council

May 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s eight main media organisations once again reiterated their vehement opposition to the establishment of the government appointed Press Council and condemned moves to reintroduce dormant legislation that provides for wide ranging punitive powers including that of jailing journalists. The Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, Free Media Movement, more..

Tamil psyche: after two years since the end of the war

May 14 (DM) Some politicians in the Government like Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa argue that with the decimation of the LTTE leadership the root causes of the war have vanished, thereby relieving the authorities from finding any political solution to the ethnic problem. At the same time the Tamil political parties still insist on their decade-old-demand for self rule, while a section of the Tamil Diaspora is still pressing for a separate Tamil State within more..

Anti-UN sentiment in Jaffna: Fact or fiction?

May 14 (GV) The Uthayan newspaper runs a revealing story on its website which suggests that on 8th May, the campaign to collect a million signatures against the UN Panel’s report basically forced people to sign up to the campaign. Groundviews has already covered this bizarre, mindless campaign when it started in Colombo, before in fact the UN Panel’s report was officially released! The story in the Uthayan reveals that bereft of any public support, the minister and more..

President at State Vesak Festival today

May 14 (DN) All arrangements have been made to hold the State Vesak Festival on a grand scale today at 3.30 pm at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises Anuradhapura under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Around 2,000 members of the Maha Sangha from three Chapters will participate in the State Vesak Festival to be held at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Sannipatha Hall, Coordinator to President Rajapaksa on Religious Affairs more..

President at Ananda, Nalanda, Visakha Vidyalaya Sil campaigns

May 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday visited Ananda Vidyalaya, Nalanda Vidyalaya and Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo and participated in the Sil campaigns conducted at the three schools to mark the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi. After participating in the religious observances held at Ananda and Nalanda Colleges, Colombo, the President later visited Visakha Vidyalaya and joined in offering Dana (noon meals) to schoolchildren who participated in the more..

UN ‘Vesak Day’ academic sessions begin

May 14 (Island) The academic sessions and panel discussions of the 8th International Buddhist Conference began yesterday (13) at the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University here, in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Several Sri Lankan scholars also presented their papers on several topics. Academics and scholars from all over the world are participating in these sessions, organized as a part of the United Nation’s Day of Vesak Celebrations currently being held in Ayutthaya and Bangkok in Thailand. more..

Sri Lanka search for focus in tour opener

May 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's tour of England will stutter into life on Saturday with the start of their three-day fixture against Middlesex at Uxbridge. With key batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene among five players still at the IPL the visitors won't be at full strength until next week's match involving the England Lions. Tillakaratne Dilshan has made it, but only just, having flown in from India on Friday and, like his senior batsmen in a week's time, more..

Actor sues lady teacher for defamation

May 14 (DM) Popular actor and parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday filed a defamation case against school teacher Namali Wijeratne claiming Rs.500 million as damages. The District Court has noticed Ms. Wijeratne to appear in courts on June 23. The case came in the wake of a complaint against Mr. Ramanayake that he had broken the promise to marry Ms. Wijeratne from whom he had obtained Rs.1,000,000. Mr. Ramnayake had been arrested based on complaint. more..

Cabinet approves US $ 164 mn water supply project for Jaffna, Killinochchi

May 14 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers have approved the implementation of a US$ 164 million Jaffna, Kilinochchi water supply and sanitation project. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told journalists in Colombo on Thursday that the Memorandum, seeking Cabinet approval for the project, was submitted by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. The ADB, AFD and International Fund for Agricultural Development have agreed to contribute a total of US $138 million, he said. more..

Devolution talks expanded as govt., TNA powvow reaches crucial stage

May 14 (Island) The Govt on Thursday brought in a key UPFA constituent into talks on a ‘political mechanism’ aimed at settling the national issue. Authoritative sources say the government initiated a dialogue with the EPDP in the wake of its discussions with the TNA on the national question reaching a crucial stage. The government launched negotiations with the TNA on January 10, 2011. Sources said that a consensus among more..

Navy thwarts young couple’s suicide bid

May 14 (Island) Navy personnel, attached to the Naval Deployment of Colombo South, rescued a young couple who were drowning in the sea off Bambalapitiya on Thursday. The couple, who were believed to have attempted suicide, was rescued and admitted to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital. The Navy spokesman said on Friday that the couple’s condition was now stable. He said the Wellawatta police had also been informed of the incident and that they were conducting more..

Orientation programmes for Sri Lanka’s envoys

May 14 (Island) An orientation programme for Heads of Mission representing Sri Lanka overseas was conducted at the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris briefed the Ambassadors and High Commissioners designate on the different aspects of their functions and responsibilities. He placed special emphasis on the cultural traditions and value systems of the country, Sri Lanka’s priorities and outlook on international relations and more..

Karu pushes for Right to information Bill

May 14 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya has handed over a private member’s motion to Parliament for the second time to ensure the people’s right to information, a discussion on the subject jointly organized by the Alliance of Media Organizations, Commonwealth Human rights initiative and Transparency International was told last evening. Mr. Jayasruiya who was to participate in the discussion sent a word to the organizers that he had more..

Islands between India and Sri Lanka sinking due to coral reef mining activities: Experts

May 14 (ANI) Two small islands between India and Sri Lanka have sunk into the sea primarily as a result of coral reef mining, according to experts. The Indo-Pacific region is considered to contain some of the world's richest marine biological resources. The group's 21 islands and islets are protected as part of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, covering an area of nearly 560 square kilometers. According to S. Balaji, chief conservator of forests and more..

Uni dons intimidated by VCs

May 14 (DM) Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) said that some of the academics who resigned from the voluntary administrative positions are being intimidated by Vice Chancellors to reaccept their positions. FUTA President Dr. Ranjith Nirmal Dewasiri told Daily Mirror Online that they have been informed of several cases where the resigned university teachers have been forced by VCs to reaccept their positions and resume their duties until the more..

White flag case: SF says he will never betray country

May 14 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka making a statement in the white flag case said yesterday he would never betray his country and the army which he served with loyalty and dedication. Retired General Fonseka who was led to the dock by Senior Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty had to cut short his statement because of a severe cough. The defence counsel said General Fonseka had been suffering from this condition since more..

CAA makes errant traders pay dearly

May 14 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority had nabbed 5,447 errant traders, from January to September last year and collected nearly Rs. 19 million in fines imposed on them by Courts. Strict surveillance programmes were implemented in the Jaffna and Mannar districts too. The Performance Report for 2010, of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, states that during this period (Jan to Sept) the CAA received 1,605 complaints and settled 574 successfully. more..

State not with Mervyn

May 14 (NN) The govt has sidelined itself from comments made by Minister Mervyn Silva saying it does not condone anyone committing suicide as a show of support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa or to oppose the UN panel report on Sri Lanka. Minister C.B Ratnayake, who is heading a massive signature campaign against the UN panel report, said Minister Mervyn Silva’s comments of training a suicide team to die for the President, is his personal view and not supported by the govt. more..

SL to verify Norwegian media report of embassy aiding LTTE

May 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka has asked its mission in Oslo to check the veracity of a report in the Norwegian media that claimed that the embassy of Norway here had helped LTTE members escape the island. Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten had claimed in a report that staffers of the Norwegian embassy in Colombo have helped around 12 such people so far. An External Affairs Ministry spokesman here said the Sri Lankan mission in Oslo had been asked to verify the media report. more..

20 Lankan fishermen to be released

May 14 (DM) A group of twenty Lankan fishermen with four trawlers in Indian custody will be handed over to the Fisheries Ministry on Monday in Thalaimannar by the Indian Coast Guard. The fishermen were arrested by the Indian authorities on April 3 and April 25 respectively, the Fisheries Ministry said. The fishermen are residents of Beruwala, Trincomalee and Puttalam. Their release came after prolonged government to government negotiations. more..

'UNESCO losing touch'

May 14 (DM) Sri Lanka has raised concerns over certain diminution in the philosophical work of UNESCO, the Sri Lankan Embassy in France said today. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, in his contribution during the plenary Debate of the 186th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO said that the organization does not generate as many ideas, and engage in as much reflection as it used to in the past. more..

Chief Justice pleads for consensus on key issues

May 14 (DM) In what may probably be his last public speech, outgoing Chief Justice Asoka De Silva said yesterday Sri Lanka had suffered immensely as a result of terrorist financing during the 30-year armed conflict and stressed the need to develop an anti-money laundering regime to detect and prevent it. In his opening remarks at the inauguration of the three-day South Asian Judges Regional Forum on Economic and Financial Crime held in Colombo, more..

MR to release 2,600 prisoners for Sambuddhathva Jayanthi

May 14 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to release 2,600 prisoners to commemorate the 2,600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi. Commissioner General of Prisons Major General V.R. De Silva has told the media that the prisoners who would be released will include minor offenders and those who have defaulted in the payment of fines. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera requested the President a few weeks back to release 2,600 prisoners to mark the 2,600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi.

SLMC calls for Muslim representation

May 14 (SL) Deputy Minister and senior member of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Basheer Segu Dawood has called for Muslim representation in the talks between the government and the TNA to find a solution to the ethnic issue. Dawood has said the Muslims in the country had the right to demand for representation in the government and TNA discussions. Speaking at the M. A. Bakeer Markar Memorial Lecture organized by the All Ceylon Union of Muslim League Youth Front, more..

Iranganie Serasinghe

The defeat and fall of the Dravida Munnetra Kazgagham (DMK)

May 15 (TC) The rising sun failed to rise on the13th May putting the DMK camp in to darkness. Though DMK’s defeat was predicted, no one thought it would be routed in this manner. Any way for themm this is better than the 1991 stumble after Rajiv Gandi’s death with only one seat and that too was won by the leader by a slender majority. Then it was a sympathy wave towards Congress + AIADMK alliance and at the same time people expressed their wrath as fingers were pointed towards more..

Accountability, Rule of Law and Good Governance

May 15 (LG) That quotation was from the 2011 Professor J E Jayasuriya Memorial Lecture that was delivered by Mr H M G S Palihakkara, one of our distinguished former diplomats and member of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. In that admirable lecture on the foreign policy challenges that post-conflict Sri Lanka faces today, Palihakkara went on to state that it was necessary for us to understand that in today’s world, our sovereignty can be safeguarded only to more..

Saga of Kalutara from the eyes of a civil servant

May 15 (SO) In an exclusive interview with Montage, distinguished former civil servant and the author of the book Kalutara an Odyssey Bradman Weerakoon, expresses his views on his book and the fascinating incursion into the colourful and extremely rich history of Kalutara and the personalities who defined the milieu. The book is not only a fascinating account on the history of Kalutara but also an anthropological study of lasting value. more..

Public servant fights against corruption, inhuman assault and suspension

May 15 (LG) According to the information, Mr. Nelson Hettiarachchi (31) of No: 24/B, Thalahena, Negombo in the Gampaha district was a Property Bailiff attached to the Municipal Council of Negombo. Nelson was attached to the Thalahena Sub Office. After joining his carrier he earned all the necessary merits for his proficiency and worked with a high degree of discipline. His work and conduct was at all times admired by his seniors and peers. more..

Reading the geography of Sri Lankan island-ness

May 15 (LG) This article focuses on the cultural dimensions of Sri Lanka’s island geography. In particular it argues the importance of regarding the geography of Sri Lankan island-ness as a representational and imaginative trope repetitively and textually inscribed over time. I trace the contours of a topological enclosure that seem so matter-of-fact, natural and characteristic of the Sri Lankan island-state. Inviolability and historical-territorial integrity have more..

'Good times ahead for scientists, researchers'

May 15 (SO) Technology and Research Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated Rs. 1,000 million from the previous budget to set up a fund to provide a helping hand to the scientists and researchers to conduct their research activities. The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said this means of the total GDP, 5 percent has been reserved by the Government for scientific research conducted by the Ministry. more..