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Sri Lankan High Commission campaigns against London Greedy Buddha restaurant

May 24 (TC) Joanna Lumley’s favourite London restaurant is at the centre of a religious storm over its “sacrilegious” name. Ram Thapa, owner of the Greedy Buddha in Fulham, says he has been bombarded with abusive emails and letters from Buddhists all over the world. The campaign has been whipped up by the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, which has urged “religious and cultural organisations” to “express their concerns” to the restaurant, more..

The United States organized a public health seminars in Batticaloa

May 24 (USE) The U.S. Pacific Command and the Batticaloa Ministry of Health jointly organized a series of seminars on public health last week. The photo shows U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis; Dr. Sathurmugam, Regional Director of Health Services; and Dr. Shanmuganathan, Medical Officer Vavunativu Clinic, declaring open the Vavunathivu seminar by lighting the traditional oil lamp. The public health seminars educated 96 women from Batticaloa on basic more..

BASL condemns army assault on judge

May 24 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka yesterday condemned the assault on the District Judge of Matara by army personnel on Sunday. The BASL called upon the IGP and the Commander of Army to bring those suspected of having participated in the assault before the Law. It urged the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and the Commander of the Army to immediately take stern disciplinary action against the military personnel concerned, a press statement issued by the BASL said. more..

‘Brigadier’ Balraj: Legendary commander of the LTTE

May 24 (DBS) With the Indian army dislodging the LTTE from its entrenched positions in the Jaffna peninsula through “Operation Pawan” and other military exercises the tigers began re-locating in large numbers to the northern mainland known as the “Wanni”. The LTTE’s number two Gopalaswamy Mahendrarajah alias Mahathaya had for long been commander of the Wanni region. The districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaitheevu and Vavuniya came under his command. more..

Seagulls ‘fall out of sky’ over Colombo, Puttalam

May 24 (ST) The bodies of 16 seagulls have been recovered in the Colombo and Puttalam areas. The birds, according to eyewitnesses, had died under mysterious circumstances – they had “fallen out of the sky” and remained alive on the ground for up to 12 hours. The bird carcasses have been sent for examination to the Veterinary Research Institute in Gannoruwa, Peradeniya. Dr. Tharaka Prasad, Deputy Director, Wildlife Health Management, of the Department of Wildlife, is expected to announce the cause of death. more..

UNP to lead joint effort against pension scheme

May 24 (DM) The UNP yesterday said it was planning to form a joint front with other opposition parties to oppose the proposed private sector pension scheme put forward by the government. Opposition Leader and leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who met with trade union leaders yesterday, had assured them that the UNP was going to launch a mass struggle against the pension scheme with all opposition political parties and trade unions. more..

'Economy facing new emerging risks'

May 24 (Island) Sri Lanka’s post conflict economy is facing new emerging risks which would have to be mitigated, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. Inflation, unauthorised financial services and the unwise use of resources are emerging threats to the economy which saw its macroeconomic position erode due to the thirty-year conflict and poor fiscal discipline. Sri Lanka’s economy, which grew 3.5 percent in 2009, rebounded to 8 percent last year and more..

The 2600th Sambuddhatva Jayanthi: Tank-Dagoba concept revived

May 24 (DN) The 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi celebrations have caused a revival of the development concept based on the Tank and Dagoba and the village and temple. These celebrations have been embedded in people’s hearts due to the peaceful environment experienced in the country, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. He was addressing the gathering at the Bauddhaloka Buddhabhivandana Cultural festival and awards ceremony held near Independence Hall more..

‘Aggreko’ power to Jaffna till december

May 24 (DM) The CEB had been compelled to extend the contract of private power supplier ‘Aggeko’ in order to provide electricity to Jaffna till this December. It was learnt that this was despite ‘Aggreko’ demanding a 20 percent increase in electricity tariffs, officials said yesterday. CEB Chairman Vidya Amarapala said that former General Manager Mrs. Badra Jayaweera had failed to obtain power from another private supplier ‘Northern Power’ for a lesser rate, more..

Sri Lanka: Military conference to whitewash war crimes

May 24 (HRW) Governments should decline the invitation to attend a Sri Lankan military conference that seeks to legitimize the unlawful killing of thousands of civilians during the armed conflict with the LTTE, Human Rights Watch said today. The Sri Lankan government has invited 54 countries to its "Seminar on Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience" from May 31 to June 2, 2011 in Colombo, the capital. more..

Catholic a model of interfaith resolve

May 24 (UCAN) A Catholic is doing his bit to smooth over longstanding divisions between religions and ethnic groups of Sri Lanka. Badde Liyanage Don Felix, has unveiled 15 replicas of ancient dagabas (temples) on the road in front of his house. They are designed a show of respect to Buddhists as they mark the 2600th anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment and make effort for inter religious harmony. “Extremism has always been successful in more..

FUTA says not invited for talks

May 24 (DM) The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) said yesterday it had not received an official invitation to participate at discussions between the President and the academics at Temple Trees. “None of the FUTA members was officially invited for the discussion. But we have learnt that some academics have been compelled by certain Vice Chancellors to participate at today’s discussion,” FUTA President Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said. more..

Full text: KP interview

May 24 (FP) Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam (alias Selvarasa Pathmanathan, Kumaran Pathmanathan, or simply KP) is head of the now decimated LTTE. A wanted man in several countries, including India, in connection with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, KP had an inside view of the organisation that was once the most-dreaded terrorist organisation in the world before Al Qaeda upstaged it after 9/11. Among other things, he was considered LTTE’s arms procurer, more..

I am who I am thanks to Sir Gary –- Arjuna

May 24 (Island) In this third and final part of his interview in our segment, ‘Lords at Lord’s’, World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga pays tribute to Sri Lanka’s mentor in the early 1980s, Sir Gary Sobers. Ranatunga was handpicked by Sir Gary to be part of the playing eleven in Sri Lanka’s inaugural Test match against England in 1982 and Ranatunga provides an insight into some of Sobers’ characteristics. While recalling how Sir Gary brought him back into the side to more..

Teachers still not paid for election duty

May 24 (DM) Teachers who reported for election duty for the recently held local council elections have still not been paid their allowances, a senior education sector official complained yesterday. He said more than two months had lapsed since the elections. Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin said there was no reason to delay the payment of allowances because funds had been allocated for elections. “When are the authorities planning to make more..

University Entrants Training Program launched

May 24 (GDI) Despite attempts made by the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to create a fear psychosis among the students about the Leadership and Positive Attitude Development Training programme, President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the programme at Temple Trees this morning. Addressing the new entrants the President stressed that future leaders could be created by this new concept being introduced to the universities. more..

Mahela Jayawardene: 'I still get flashbacks. We're lucky to be alive'

May 24 (Guardian) You should have seen me a few days ago, when I was really knackered," Mahela Jayawardene says, his face crinkling with amusement as he remembers his arrival in England last week. Three days before Thursday's start of the first Test against England in Cardiff, and having flown in from the Indian Premier League, Jayawardene appears less concerned with adapting to Test cricket than charting his recovery from exhaustion and jet‑lag. more..

Teachers challenge leadership training for University entrants

May 24 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union and its Secretary yesterday petitioned the Supreme Court, against the recent decision of the Ministry of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission, to compel the new entrants to undergo leadership training at military camps. The petitioners said that the students were not told about the mandatory requirement when they sat the GCE Advanced Level Examination in 2010. The leadership training was not at all more..

42 countries to participate in Army seminar

May 24 (DM) Some 300 delegates from 42 countries are expected to participate in the three-day seminar ‘Defeating Terrorism: the Sri Lankan Experience,’ scheduled to be held from May 31 to June 2, Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya said Lieutenant General Jayasuriya said Ambassadors or the High Commissioners would represent countries which did not send their military delegates. Russia will be sending the highest number of military delegates which stands at six. more..

Opening of Colombo-Ja-Ela dual track railway line

May 24 (GDI) The Colombo - Ja-Ela dual track railway line will be declared open by the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama today. The railway line from Colombo to Puttalam covering a distance of 134 kilometers was a single track since its inception in 1926, which caused the journey slow due to the need of stopping the train to facilitate crossings. The second track from Ragama to Ja-ela has been developing using modern technology and local expertise, more..

Sri Lanka call up Maharoof as standby

May 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Tuesday called up all-rounder Farveez Maharoof as a possible replacement for injured paceman Dilhara Fernando ahead of their first Test against England. "Dilhara's got a nagging knee injury, and the team has taken precautionary measures (by calling up Maharoof)," Sri Lanka Cricket media manager Brian Thomas told AFP. Sri Lanka begin the first of three Tests against England in Cardiff on Thursday. more..

'Sri Lanka needs a skilled force'

May 24 (GDI) The Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the country needs a disciplined and skilled force to face the future challenges of the new world. The Minister made these comments participating at a function held in Attanagalle today (23rd). The function was held in connection with the passing out parade of the Western Province Youth Corp held at the Youth Corp Grounds in Attanagalle. more..

TNA appeals to Russia, China

May 24 (DM) The TNA will request Russia and China to urge the Sri Lankan government to work out a long lasting political solution to the national question, parliamentarian and party media spokesman Suresh Premachandran said yesterday. Russia and China supported Sri Lanka in its war against terrorism and as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, had at the time thwarted an attempt to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka. more..

Dutch Judiciary accuses LTTE leaders of extortion

May 24 (Island) The Dutch judiciary says that Tamil Tiger leaders in the Netherlands have played a prominent role in financing the civil war in Sri Lanka. The 10,000 Tamils in the Netherlands, police say, were under the iron grip of the guerilla group. The investigation into possible criminal activities by the Tigers in the Netherlands has been ongoing for the past two years under the code name ‘Operation Koninck.’ more..

Indians, Pakistanis in Colombo jail on fast

May 24 (IANS) Indians and Pakistanis are among a large number of inmates on hunger strike in Sri Lanka's main jail to seek early repatriation to their countries, an Indian prisoner has said. Using a mobile telephone provided by a guard, the prisoner, who did not wish to be identified by name, said the protest fast began May 19 at the Wellikade prison in Colombo. 27 Indian male and four female prisoners along with 21 Pakistanis have more..

Sri Lanka fights on in petroleum derivatives cases

May 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka is continuing its legal defence in action filed by international banks over petroleum derivatives sold to a state-run oil distributor, the government's top legal officer said. Banks sought arbitration or court proceedings to recover dues under complex options positions sold to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, after it refused to pay up when oil prices collapsed in 2008. more..

Wanniarachchi retires from boxing

May 24 (Island) Embattled boxer Manju Wanniarachchi, whose Commonwealth Games gold (Delhi) was stripped off for alleged use of banned substance Games secretariat has announced his retirement at his working place in Pannala yesterday a press officer for the boxer informed the media. A press release issued yesterday said that Wanniarachchi, while denying the use of prohibited substance at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, more..

Vidanage tests positive for banned substance, keeps smiling

May 24 (Island) Many sportsmen of international repute break down in tears, evade the media and go into hiding after being informed that they had tested positive for banned substances. But weightlifter Chinthana Vidanage could manage a smile and answer questions raised by the media openly minutes after a local body also consisting of Sports Ministry officials conducted an inquiry into his alleged use of a prohibited substance yesterday. more..

FR petitions challenge leadership training

May 24 (DM) Five separate fundamental rights applications were filed in the Supreme Court yesterday by the Ceylon Teachers Union and four students who secured university entrance this year challenging the leadership training at army camps for students entering the university. The applications were filed by four students - R. M. Subani Pabasala Ratnayake, jith Priyadarshana, Ruth Akram and Ranuka Rankala - who had passed the August 2010 G.C.E. A/L and more..

Politicians face bribery probe

May 24 (DM) The newly activated Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption has begun investigating complaints against some politicians and high ranking public officials, a Bribery Commission official said yesterday. “The previous Commission was unable to investigate complaints received from March 28 last year because the term of office of the commissioners had expired. more..

‘I never betrayed my country or army’

May 24 (Island) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that the war against the LTTE had been won owing to the implementation of his war plans and not because of the boastful claims made by those who had no understanding of war strategies and the strength of the enemy. He said his hands were clean and he had never betrayed the army and the country for money. Gen. Fonseka said so giving evidence before the ‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar more..

Laying down the Law for Sri Lanka

May 25 (BBC) Amid a certain amount of chaos within Sri Lankan cricket following their second successive failure to win a World Cup final, the elevation of assistant coach Stuart Law to the main role provides a note of calm. Sri Lanka will become the second touring team to play a Test match in Cardiff on Thursday - and their tour of England (and Wales) continues all the way through to 9 July, before they head to Edinburgh for two one-day internationals against Ireland and Scotland. more..

Diyagama Stadium 2nd Stage expedited

May 25 (GDI) The second stage construction work of the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Diyagama, Homagama has been expedited. This work include construction of an Indoor Stadium, Hostel Facilities, a Swimming Pool and a Cricket Stadium. President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected the current construction work recently. The first stage of this stadium was declared open in January. The hostels are being constructed with all modern facilities, and more..

'Prabhakaran follower of Dravidian ideology'

May 25 (IE) In his first interview to a media house outside Sri Lanka, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, popularly known as KP, who is now the head of the decimated LTTE, candidly admitted that slain LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran had been influenced by the Dravidian ideology propounded by the DMK. When the Dravidian ideology failed in Tamil Nadu, the chief proponents, Annadurai and later Karunanidhi, passed on these ideas to Prabhakaran. more..

SB an in-disciplined Minister - Chief of Malwatta Chapter

May 25 (LT) Representatives of Inter University Bhikku Federation met Chief of Malwatta Chapter, Ven. Thibbotuware Sri Sumangala Thero yesterday to educate him on the compulsory military leadership training for University Bhikku and the attitude of Minister of Higher Education towards the students including student monks of the Universities. They drew his special attention on the Minister’s statement with regard to the demise of a student monk recently. more..

Govt. needs time to solve salary issue: MR

May 25 (DM) The government needs time to grant the demands made by University academics for a salary increase in less than six months after budgetary salary increase for public servants and may pose problems for the government, President Mahinda Rajapaksa observed today. President Rajapaksa made these observations when he met vice chancellors and deans to discuss the salary increase demands by university academics at Temple Trees. more..

UK travelers advised

May 25 (NN) British travelers in Sri Lanka and the Maldives have been advised to remain in close contact with their airlines and travel agents for status and schedules, the British High Commission in Colombo said in a note posted on its facebook page. Many flights to and from Scotland have be cancelled today as volcanic ash from Iceland heads towards the UK. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines after several airlines announced they more..

Sri Lanka turn down Pakistan tour due to safety fears

May 25 (BBC) Sri Lanka have turned down an offer to tour Pakistan because of ongoing security concerns. Pakistan has not hosted international cricket since 2009, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, killing seven people. The Pakistan Cricket Board said on Sunday that they had invited Sri Lanka for a series in October. "We are concerned about the security and that's why we said no to them," said a Sri Lanka cricket spokesman. more..

Absentees can join

May 25 (NN) University entrants who failed to attend the mandatory leadership training program which began yesterday can still join once the first batch completes training, the Higher Education Ministry said. Higher Education Ministry secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratna said that 1100 students who were enrolled for the training had failed to attend the sessions. However he said that these students can still join the program once the first batch completes its training in three weeks time. more..

Workers stage a protest in Katunayake against a proposed pension scheme

May 25 (NN) Several workers staged a protest in Katunayake this morning against a proposed pension scheme of the government. The police said that most of the workers taking part in the protest were from garment factories in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone. The protestors had blocked traffic along the Colombo-Negambo road and the police were making attempts to clear the road. Trade unions have been calling for the withdrawal of the pension scheme more..