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Hygiene at dansal to be monitored

May 16 (DM) A special programme is to be launched to monitor the hygiene of the dansal that will be offering food and drink to people around the country during Vesak.The Public Health Inspectors’ Association is to deploy 150 PHIs around the country, while the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will deploy 20 PHIs to monitor the dansal in Colombo City. The PHIs’ Association said inspections would be conducted throughout this week. more..

Rising COL takes light out of Vesak

May 16 (ST) Vesak Poya is the most important religious event in the Buddhist calendar and this year the celebrations take on an added significance as it is the 2600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi. However the high cost of living has put a cloud over the celebrations for the organisers of pandals, dansal, and Vesak lantern vendors. They say it is becoming increasingly difficult to market their wares due to high costs of raw material. more..

Sri Lanka - Iran to enhance trade ties

May 16 (GDI) Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has told the visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen that Iran is ready to enhance ties with Sri Lanka in industrial and commercial fields. Reports from Tehran said that the discussion included construction of cement factory, machine manufacturing, and building construction. The two Ministers also have discussed plans to establish a joint Business Counci which more..

Pak police arrest Sri Lankan cricket team attacker

May 16 (ANI) One of the terrorists involved in the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore has been reportedly arrested in Pakistan's Punjab province. According to The Express Tribune, police had arrested Adnan Khosa for a bank robbery in Dera Ghazi Khan district, but upon interrogation, he confessed that he and his father, Qari Irshad, had been involved in the attack on the team. more..

JVP, UNP unions oppose proposed private sector pension scheme

May 16 (Island) Pro-JVP Inter Company Employees’ Union has planned a lunch hour demonstration opposite the Labour Department in Narahenpita today in protest against the proposed private sector pension scheme. President of the ICEU Wasantha Samarasinghe said that all unions, political parties and civil organizations had been invited to make common cause against the govt’s move to bring in a pension scheme for more..

Subsidy cut irks farmers

May 16 (DM) Paddy farmers in the dry zone were ‘concerned and confused’ over the government’s decision to reduce the amount of fertilizer issued to them per acre from this Yala season onwards, former JVP MP S.K. Subasinghe said yesterday. He said that the amount had been reduced by 35 kilos per acre in the dry zone which covers all the major paddy cultivating districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticaloa and Vanni. more..

Govt. to respond with all facts

May 16 (DM) The Sri Lankan government will get all sides of the story regarding the Norwegian news report that Norwegian embassy personnel in Colombo have secretly aided Tamil rebels out of Sri Lanka and provided political asylum in Norway for years and after authenicating the reports respond accordingly. External Affairs Ministry sources added that the govt was in the process of verifying the news report and more..

Lankan Government unfazed by Jayalalithaa’s return

May 16 (ENS) The Sri Lankan government and the majority Sinhalese are unfazed by J Jayalalithaa’s coming back to power in Tamil Nadu. But the minority Tamils are somewhat divided, with one section being happy to see the DMK-Congress combine suffering a crushing defeat, and another feeling that the change of guard will not make any difference to New Delhi’s policy on the Lankan Tamil issue. more..

FUTA warns govt.:Universities will be crippled unless …

May 16 (Island) University teachers had demonstrated their strength and unity in fighting for a pay hike and it was up to the authorities concerned to take steps to grant their demand without any further delay, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) said yesterday. President of the Federation Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told a press conference in Colombo yesterday that more..

Sri Lanka warned of an insidious killer; 50-75 per cent of population in danger

May 16 (Island) Health Ministry warns that around 50 to 75 percent of Sri Lankans are prone to non-communicable diseases. Already five out of ten persons in urban areas and one out of ten persons in rural areas had been suffering from non communicable diseases (NCD), a spokesman for the Health Ministry said. The ministry had informed the govt of the danger and following a request made by Minister Maithripala Sirisena, more..

Ranil visits SF in prison

May 17 (NN) UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has once again urged the government to release former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. He made the appeal after he, UNP national organizer Ravi Karunanayake and MP Lakshman Kirielle visited Fonseka in prison this afternoon. Speaking to the media after meeting Fonseka, Wickramasinghe said that Fonseka had complained of poor conditions in his prison cell. The UNP leader said that if the government is more..

SLMC makes changes

May 17 (NN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has made changes to its party constitution following a meeting held last evening, SLMC leader and government Minister Rauff Hakeem. Under the amendment, the party made fresh appointments to several posts and also to the high command of the SLMC. Minister Hakeem said that during the meeting last evening the party also discussed the political situation in the country and the stand of the SLMC regarding the Darusman report. more..

Uni students to take legal action against leadership training programme

May 17 (DM) Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) today said that they are planning to file a petition at the Supreme Courts this week against making the leadership training program compulsory for new University entrants by the Higher Education Ministry. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara told said that the Higher Education Ministry has no authority to make the leadership training program compulsory for undergraduates. more..

Hunt for Sri Lankan maid

May 17 (GDN) Police are hunting a Sri Lankan housemaid who allegedly stole more than BD8,000 worth of gold from an Indian family. The 48-year-old has been accused of taking 450gm of jewellery from the house of her employer in Manama on Saturday. A complaint has been lodged at Hoora Police Station and an Interior Ministry official confirmed officers were searching for the maid. An illegal worker, she was taken on by the Indian family, who have two children, two weeks ago. more..

Sri Lanka to enable lending against moveable assets

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lankan banks will soon be able to lend against moveable property with a new initiative by the Credit Information Bureau (CRIB), an official said. The CRIB plans to set up a 'secured transaction registry' from June 01, 2011 that will enable registration of moveable assets against which banks can give loans, its chairman Gamini Karunaratne said. "We aim to enable small and medium entrepreneurs and poor people to borrow," he told more..

Sri Lanka holds policy interest rates

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it is holding policy rates steady as last month's hike in the reserve ratio was effective in draining excess liquidity and inflation was likely to fall from next month. Sri Lanka's central bank has one of the highest interest rates in Asia to drain excess money from the banking system at 7.0 percent and to print new money at 8.5 percent. Inflation, as measured by the CCPI hit 9.8 percent in April 2011 more..

Sri Lanka in sporting talent hunt in former LTTE areas

May 17 (PTI) Sri Lankan government has launched a programme to scout sporting talent in the former LTTE stronghold of Mullaithivu. Over 1000 sports persons participated in a sports talent camp which was held in the Mullaitivu district. The aim of the talent camp is to select sporting talent from the Northern Province, the Sports ministry said. Some five schools in Mullaitivu commenced leather ball cricket, for the first time ever in the history. more..

Tamil community marks week of mourning

May 17 (IT) A week of mourning the dead of 2009 began last Thursday in a Scarborough banquet hall, where Canada's top politician for the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam was first to light a candle. Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ram Sivalingham of Mississauga then dropped petals in front of the flame, which was positioned in front of a poster reading, "Our heartbeat is always for thee!" The turnout was around 30 adults and some children, though thousands in Toronto are more..

Pradeep Master arrested

May 17 (NN) Top TMVP official Pradeep Master was arrested by the police in Batticaloa this evening, TMVP sources told News According to TMVP officials a reason for the arrest was not submitted to the TMVP or family members of Pradeep Master. TMVP sources also said that Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanasethurai Chandrakanthan has lodged a strong protest over the arrest with government officials at the highest level. more..

War victory celebrations from May 19

May 17 (DM) The second anniversary of the war victory will be celebrated on May 27 at the Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Media Centre for National Security announced today. MCNS Director General Laxman Hulugalle told a news conference that the period between May 19 to June 19 would be dedicated to the memory of war heroes who made supreme sacrifices for the country. The Defence Ministry and the military have jointly organized more..

Jayaratne strengthens relations with Philippines

May 17 (MB) The Sri Lankan government is pushing for the strengthening of bilateral ties with the Philippines through the reopening of the country's Embassy in Colombo and the restoration of commercial flights between Manila and former capital of Sri Lanka. This position was aired by Sri Lankan officials led by Prime Minister Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Jayaratne who visited the Philippines on the occasion of the Wesak or Buddha Day. more..

Observe restraint while dealing with fishermen: India to Lanka

May 17 (PTI) External affairs minister SM Krishna today asked Sri Lanka to observe "restraint" while dealing with Indian fishermen who stray into its waters during talks with his counterpart GL Peiris, who is on a three-day visit to Delhi to explain his country's position on a United Nations report accusing it of "war crimes". During a meeting, Krishna and Peiris discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. more..

Island wide census

May 17 (DM) The first national census to be taken island wide after almost three decades will be used as the official data on demographic, social and population and the living pattern of Sri Lankans for the next decade, a senior official of the Census and Statistics Department said. The most comprehensive and full census taken by the Census and Statistics Department (after 30 years will reflect the complete demographic, human, social and economic data of Sri Lanka and more..

12 Indians sign up for Sri Lankan Premier League

May 17 (IANS) Twelve Indian players have signed up for the inaugural Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL), beginning July 19, according to a report in the media. Munaf Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar, who are in the national squad for the ODIs and Twenty20 in West Indies, are among those who have signed up for the SLPL. The other players are Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Manish Pandey, Manoj Tiwary, Paul Valthaty, Ravindra Jadeja, Saurabh Tiwary, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 16.05.2011

Sinhala UN panel report

May 17 (NN) The government is to translate the ‘Darusman report’ into Sinhalese for the local masses to read, a Government Minister said today. Minister C.B Ratnayake told News that the report will be made available through all divisional secretaries after the vesak period. He said that the government is keen to ensure the general public, a majority of who cannot read English, will be able to read the translated version and know exactly what the report contains. more..

Sri Lanka Colombo port cargo flows increasing

May 17 (LBO) Container cargo at Sri Lanka's main port of Colombo, south Asia transhipment hub, rose in the first quarter of this year indicating continued growth in regional and domestic trade. Total containers handled by Colombo rose 8.4 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to 1,076,540 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container units) from a year with the number of boxes handled in March alone up 2.4 percent to 369,604 boxes. The number of domestic containers more..

Will shut down Labour Ministry - ICEU

May 17 (DM) The Ministry of Labour will be shut down and its staff will not be allowed to work if the pension scheme for the private sector is taken up and passed in parliament, the Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) threatened today. The Union threatened to surround the building situated at Narahenpita and occupy the building until the pension scheme was recalled if the scheme was passed in parliament next Tuesday (May 24). more..

Saving State Uiniversity: Why we must fix public higher education

May 17 (LG) The title of this note is borrowed in full from the Nancy Folbre’s book with the same title published in 2010. Nancy Folbre is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. We, the university teachers in Sri Lanka, have to prove occasionally that we read books since the present government and its Minister of Higher Education seem convinced otherwise. Providing completely a new interpretation to more..

Gun point reconciliation in Sri Lanka

May 17 (LG) In the recent weeks, I met some media personalities and politicians in the UK. One reporter asked me ‘the govt (Govt of Sri Lanka) is talking lot about post war reconciliation process, is it really happening?’ Having committed horrendous crimes against humanity of genocidal proportion on its national minority, the Govt of Sri Lanka is progressing as a diabolical predator to cover up its misdeeds by talking about post war development and reconciliation in more..

Over 1400 Jaffna soldiers observe Sil to celebrate Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi

May 17 (Cimic) The whole area of Palaly glittered with fluttering Buddhist flags and white-clad devotees when thousands of soldiers serving in the Jaffna peninsula gathered at Security Forces Headquarters – Palaly (SF-J) on the eve of Vesak to attend a series of religious activities marking the 2600 Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi. The area in and around the Headquarters SF-J had amply been adorned with various Vesak decorations in more..

"Patriotism" is the right to fool the people

May 17 (LG) This is a short response to Chrissy Abeysekera's excellent comments on Gomon Dayasiri's cheap attack on the UN Panel and its chairperson, Darusman. Gomin Dayasiri (Dias), is a "patriot", and therefore has no interest in justice. His idea is that for the sake of "Pariotism", truth and justice should be sacrificed. The simple recommendation of the UN panel is that there should a genuine investigation into crimes of which there are credible complaints. more..

Selected religious holidays to be national holidays

May 17 (LG) While the Buddhists all over the world are preparing to celebrate the Vesak on the 17th May, the Sri Lankan Buddhists are making elaborate arrangements to celebrate the Sambuddhatva Jeyanthy, the 2600th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s supreme enlightenment. The 2500th year of enlightenment was celebrated as Buddha Jeyanthy year to cover a period of one year, starting with the Vesak of May 1956. I very well remember how on each Poya Day the head of one of the Asian Countries more..

Thousands of soldiers for the first time in Army history observe 'Sil'

May 17 (MoD) A mammoth 'Sil' campaign plus a Bodhi Pooja, as part of Army's contribution to mark the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Vesak commemoration got underway throughout Friday (13) at Panagoda Sri Maha Bodhirajaramaya (Army temple) with the participation of more than 5000 Army personnel and devotees. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, himself a devout Buddhist took time off from his day's busy schedule and more..

Editorial: Vesak 2011: Pilivethin Pelagesemu

May 17 (Island) Vesak 2011 is of special significance to Buddhists all over the world as it coincides with the 2600th anniversary of the Buddha's Enlightenment or Sambuddhathva Jayanthi, which is being celebrated on a grand scale in this country under the theme, Pilivethin Pelagesemu, which stresses the need for the followers of the Buddha to lead a Buddhist way of life. The Steering Committee of the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Secretariat has unveiled a three-year more..

Editorial: Beyond the pandals, let us practise the Dhamma

May 17 (DM) The ringing of bells in tens of thousands of temples with Buddha Dhamma sermons and pirith broadcast on loudspeakers, a new dawn broke in Sri Lanka today to mark the thrice-blessed day of Vesak along with the added significance of this day being the 2600th anniversary of the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha. Vesak ceremonies and celebrations this year were more devout intense and enthusiastic than in previous years with huge pandals, lanterns and dansals all over the country. more..

Four Noble Truths- the essence of Buddha’s teaching

May 17 (DM) Gauthama Buddha in His very first sermon to the five Brahamin ascetics, Kondanna, Vappa, Baddhiya, Mahanama and Assaji at Isipatana near Benaris expounded the four Noble Truths which are regarded as the essence of Buddhism. In my view it is very useful for every one of us, whether Buddhist or non Buddhist to gain a clear insight of these Noble Truths on the eve of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi, 2600. more..

Religious events to commemorate Sambuddathva Jayanthiya

May 17 (NS) Vesak, the annual premier Buddhist religious event will be of very important significance this year since it coincides with the 2600th Sambuddathva Jayanthiya. Sri Lanka will jointly participate with Sambuddathva celebrations conducted in 21 countries and Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne left for Thailand on Thursday to be present at the UNESCO sponsored religious events in that country to mark the Sambuddathva Jayanthiya. more..

Taking Buddhism from generation to generation

May 17 (ST) Buddhist Pirith Chanting Rituals, Mahavamsa, Legends Of Indian Buddhism , 336 Readings From Buddhism, The Chinese Version of Dhammapada, Buddhist Meditation Theory and Practice…these are a few of the nearly 10,000 titles of noble Buddhist literature visitors can find at the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Mandiraya. The world’s largest Buddhist publications and information centre, the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Mandiraya located at No 32, Havelock Road (to be renamed as more..

International Buddhist Centre in Colombo

May 17 (GDI) Theravada Buddhism which taught us to move forward as a nation on the path of kindness, tolerance, humanity, equality and harmony is the greatest gift we can bestow upon the world, President Rajapaksa said addressing at the opening ceremony of the Sri Sambuddathva Jayanthi International Buddhist Centre in Thummulla, Colombo. The Center will house the world's largest collection of Buddhist publications and literature. more..