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Hope for the war wounded

May 28 (SL) It is a time of celebration. The trees and telephone wires around Colombo are draped with streamers, flags and lanterns, celebrating the 2600th year since Buddha’s birth. But that’s not the only special occasion. On May 27, there will be an official celebration of the war victory, held on Galle Face Green. From Thursday (19), a month would be dedicated to the memory of war heroes who sacrificed so much for their country. more..

Cricket: The best business to be in

May 28 (DM) It was dawn. Tommo, the pussycat and his working partner at the Wallside Restaurant and Bar, Ooty an Owl were relaxing with their on-the-house beers. It had been a hectic day–rather a night–chasing a vermin population that had made Wallside their base to raise families. Naturally the two pest controllers were exhausted after the ‘rush and pounce’ exercises they had performed in their line of duty the night before. They deserved the free morning beers. more..

Ban Ki Moon and his panel

May 28 (DM) The maxim, Justice must not only be done, but must also manifestly appear to be done, is an oft quoted principles in all democratic countries. It is apparent that Ban Ki- moon handpicked three panellists not for their integrity and impartiality but for their confirmed bias and partiality. Any person who is appointed by the UN to investigate any matter should honourably declare that he/she has prior knowledge and entertains pre-conceived and prejudicial views, more..

The bold men and the sea

May 28 (SL) Seventy-two Tamil Nadu fishermen have been shot by the Sri Lankan Navy in the past six months. Yet they keep going back to the same strip of sea. Rohini Mohan tracks the reasons why. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna asked the Sri Lankan government to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with Indian fishermen during talks with his counterpart G.L. Peiris last Monday May 16. more..

Sri Lanka may yet be lost, or saved

May 28 (GV) Two years after the comprehensive defeat of the LTTE, the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war is still playing itself out. Take the events of the past month for example: the public release of a UN Panel Report supported accusations of war crimes against both main parties to the conflict; government functionaries decried international conspiracies and local traitors; a govt minister claimed to have trained suicide cadres in the Western Province; and more..

Forging ahead with development, sparing the economy

May 28 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa launched the Integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Northern Province (SEA) in Colombo earlier this week. The SEA will help the government in identifying future projects without causing damage (or with a minimal impact) to the environment. The United Nations Development Programme financially supported the ISEA-North and formed a special information data base together with the Disaster Management Centre. more..

Capturing vanishing voices, vanishing places and human spirit

May 28 (ST) At, Sharni Jayawardena and Tarika Wickremeratne take a walk about Slave Island, Kannan Arunasalam films ‘portraits of resilience’ in Jaffna and Menika van der Poorten searches out what’s left of the planter Eurasian community. Employing photography and film, the series is modelled on one that ran in the New York Times - the Emmy award winning ‘One in Eight Million’. Though styles and subjects vary greatly they more..

Editorial : Sri Lanka's problems and outsiders

May 28 (Island) The second anniversary of defeating terrorism was celebrated on a grand scale yesterday with a military parade. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, highlighting the benefits that had accrued to the country from the defeat of brutal terror, stressed that it was only Sri Lankans who could solve their own problems. One cannot but agree with him. Others can only play a supportive role. Most of Sri Lanka's ethno-religious problems remain unsolved and more..

Editorial : Search for the way, the truth and life

May 28 (DM) The pandals, lanterns and dansal have been removed, bringing to an end the celebrations of Vesak and the 2600th anniversary of the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha. What must begin now is to live the Dhamma and seeking enlightenment is a life-long journey, the more we seek it, the greater the spiritual treasure we find. Is not the challenge the Buddha offered us, calling us to go beyond paying homage or giving veneration. Those externals were primarily more..

'Lanka’s forest biodiversity estimated at Rs. 4.5 trillion'

May 28 (Island) Despite Sri Lanka being a biodiversity hot spot along with the Western Ghats in India, local authorities are yet to assess the wealth of biodiversity in rupee terms. Former Carbon Fund Limited Chief Executive Officer Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda assessing the value of the biodiversity said it is of paramount importance to win demands against the worst polluters particularly the developed nations which had benefitted at the expense of developing nations. more..

Two lawyers plead guilty, get off lightly

May 28 (DM) Two lawyers indicted in the Mt Lavinia Magistrate’s Courts pleaded guilty before Additional Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatta yesterday. One of the lawyers, A Sidambaram Pillay, who had been indicted for dumping garbage onto the highway next to the Mt Lavinia Courts, pleaded guilty and was admonished by additional Magistrate Weliwatta after considering her status. She had been arrested by the Environmental Unit of Wellawatta Police on November 5 last year while more..

Jesuit not guilty of Tamil Tiger ties

May 28 (UCAN) A Jesuit priest and five other people who were accused of having links with Tamil Tiger rebels have been acquitted after a court hearing on Tuesday. Father Paul Satkunanayagam and the others, all ethnic Tamils, were arrested in Dambulla on February 9. They were freed two days later. The Jesuit priest and others appeared in court on March 23 for their first hearing but the case was postponed until May 24. “The CID, TID and Security Intelligent Service went through my life history, more..

Sri Pada season ends but polythene problem persists

May 28 (ST) On Vesak Poya, the pilgrimage season to Sri Pada ended with the sacred artefacts and statues placed on the summit for the pilgrimage season, brought down in a procession, according to tradition. Along with the ceremonial ending of the season, some 500 kilograms of polythene left behind by visitors too, was brought down by a group of volunteers. Usually, February and March have the highest number of visitors to Sri Pada, but more..

Keep garbage on the roadside for collection today - CMC

May 28 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council urged those living in the Colombo Central and Borella electorates to place their garbage on the roadside today (28) as the Council would collect it. Chief of the CMC Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said they were carrying out clearing programmes in Borella, Kuppiyawatta, Wanathamulla and the National Hospital to control the rising dengue threat in the city. Inspections would be carried out in Aluthkade, Maligawatta and Grandpass. more..

Moratuwa bags all Island best YMCA Award

May 28 (Island) The Moratuwa YMCA carried away the Challenge Trophy for the ‘Best YMCA-2010’ at the Annual awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the 46th Annual General Meeting of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka. The challenge Trophy was sponsored by the Y’s Men International Sri Lanka. Among several other awards given away, the Moratuwa YMCA also bagged the awards for ‘The Best Membership drive’ and ‘The Best Fund raising Initiative’. more..

2nd Anniversary of the war victory

Prasanna shows his mettle

May 28 (CI) Prasanna Jayawardene was perhaps the Sri Lankan with the most to worry about ahead of the England Tests, but those concerns were put to rest with a crisp century in Cardiff on the more illustrious Jayawardene's birthday. The specialist batting slots in the side are set in stone, while the bowling has a revolving-door feel, which allows players an opportunity to return even if they botch it in a match or two. The Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman position, more..

Sri Lanka refugees, still war victims after more than ten years

May 28 (AN) Residents of the village of Villankullam (Trincomalee district, eastern coast of Sri Lanka) have been war victims since 1990. Their homes have no roof or windows, their floors are in sand; they have no electricity and their fields cannot be farmed. They are almost without any basic resources. Since 2005, they have had the government to thank for their situation. Affected by the second phase of the civil war, residents were forced to leave their homes in 1990. more..

Omanthai railway station opened today after 21 years

May 28 (AT) Sri Lanka today extended the operations of the Yal Devi train up to the war torn Omanthai railway station after 21 years. The reconstruction of the Northern rail track will be carried out in three phases. The operations of the railway line from Omanthai to Pallai is scheduled to be constructed as the next (2nd) phase of the project to operate trains from Colombo to Kankesanthurai and laying of the rail track from Pallai to Kankasanthurai will more..

JJ lashes out at Sajith’s camp

May 28 (Island) Responding to our lead story captioned ‘Ranil playing double game, says Sajith’ UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena says MP Sajith Premadasa had regretted an unprovoked attack on him and his family by Premadasa’s media spokesman, Lal Perera, at last Tuesday’s parliamentary group meeting. The Gampaha District MP said that Lal Perera shouldn’t have targeted his wife and two children, though he was ready to face any criticism. The MP said that he had obtained a more..

‘SL must be left alone to handle internal issues’

May 28 (DN) The Deputy Minister who was in Colombo, when asked about the controversial Darusaman Report, said that the principles relating to internal affairs were violated by appointing such a panel and by presenting a report regarding baseless allegations of human rights violations. “When it comes to an independent country it is up to them to solve their own issues. Sri Lanka is not an exception as an independent country, it is its duty to deal with its own internal affairs,” more..

Non-academic University Staff gives a 14 day ultimatum to the govt.

May 28 (LT) Despite the ongoing trade union action by university academic staff demanding a pay hike, now thenon-academic staff of universities have threatened to opt for tough trade union action if their 'longprevailing' grievances that includes a salary increment were not addressed by the govt within 14days. President of the IUTA R M Chandrapala said that today (26)they informed President in writing about the impending trade union action. more..

On Sri Lanka, Ban passed buck to GA, whose leader passes it back, letter to US

May 28 (ICP) When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was urged by the UN Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka to establish an investigative mechanism, Ban claimed he couldn't do so without a vote by the General Assembly, Security Council or Human Rights Council. On May 27, Inner City Press asked the President of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss about the Sri Lanka Report. “It's for the Secretary General to handle this case,” PGA Deiss said. more..

Top paramedic, daughter buried while they slept

May 28 (DM) A top paramedical officer and her teenage daughter were buried alive, while they were asleep, when a mound of earth and trees collapsed on their house at Delpathdeniya in Galigamuwa following the heavy rains that lashed the area on Thursday night. The Kegalle police helped by residents used backhoes to remove the earth and the debris that had buried Kegalle Hospital Chief Pharmacist Wimala Samarasinghe (53) and her daughter Vindya Thushari Samarasinghe (17), more..

Overseas LTTE leader ‘Nediyavan’ released on conditional bail pending further inquiries

May 28 (DBS) While Inquiry by Netherlands officials continue against norway based LTTE leader Nediyavan in Oslo,he has been released on conditional bail. 35 year old Nediyavan whose real name is Perinbanayagam Sivaparan was taken into custody by Norwegian Police last week &produced in courts. Nediyavan was questioned for two days by a Dutch investigative team comprising one judge and five lawyers. more..

Teachers take to the streets demanding back ‘Guru Gedera’

May 28 (LT) An agitation was held near Hyde Park in Colombo today (26th) against the arbitrary move to remove the director board of the Education Department Cooperative Society (EDCS). The agitation had been organized by the Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) which had been elected to the director board on a 2/3rd majority at an election held to elect representatives for the EDCS. EDCS, the largest cooperative society in south-East Asia, has more than 150,000 members and assets worth Rs.10000 million. more..

Panadura police found to be in the wrong

May 28 (DM) Panadura Police sought to withdraw charges against eleven suspects including a Panadura Pradeshiya Sabha UNP member following objections raised by the counsel on behalf of the suspects. The request for withdrawal was subject to the right to file a fresh plaint in due course. The suspects were charged before the Panadura Magistrate for picketing near the Panadura clock tower last year, against the alleged illegal detention of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. more..

Prasanna ton puts Sri Lanka in control

May 28 (CI) England will have expected to encounter problems removing a Jayawardene during this series, but that was likely to be Mahela not Prasanna. Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper, batting in the elevated position of No. 6, hit his third Test hundred to lift the visitors to an impressive 400 on the second day in Cardiff. Thilan Samaraweera and the lower order also played vital hands to ensure a frustrating time for England who lost Andrew Strauss in the final over more..

Moves to name unclean towns, villages

May 28 (DN) The Health Ministry will take action to select the 10 most unclean towns and the 10 most unclean villages which do not cooperate to eradicate the mosquito menace. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has also directed the health authorities to take legal action against those who do not cooperate in ensuring a dengue free village or town. Meanwhile, action has also been taken to select the 10 most clean towns and 10 most clean villages and more..

Govt officials suffer from blood sugar, cholesterol

May 28 (Island) It was revealed by Medical Laboratory Technologists attending an advisory committee meeting at the Health Ministry that a majority of government officials suffered from high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels. The worst affected were officials of the Health Ministry. Ravi Kumudesh the spokesman for the Health Ministry said on Wednesday (25) that this situation had been revealed during blood tests that had been carried out on government officials. more..

President Rajapaksa recalls that troops went to the battlefront with gun, Human Rights Charter, food and love

May 28 (TC) After uniting the country with the defeat of the most ruthless terrorism in the world, today we were able to hoist our national flag with dignity and honour. Today we celebrate the victory of ensuring the right of every citizen of the country to live in harmony. It is the victory of freeing thousands of civilians in the north, who were held as hostages. By adding Human Rights to the Constitution it will not guarantee those rights to more..

Sri Lanka ready to bring tariff barriers on Minor agricultural products if... .

May 28 (GDI) Sri Lankan government wants the minor export crop producers to seize the opportunity given to the sector by way of fertilizer subsidy to make the country self sufficient in such produces. Minister Basil Rajapaksa speaking to the leaders of farmer organizations of minor export crops said that the government has now extended the fertilizer subsidy so far offered to paddy cultivation to all other crops inclusive of minor agricultural more..

Sri Lankan free trade zone workers demonstrate against pension bill

May 28 (wsws) About 25,000 workers from Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ)—mostly young female garment workers—walked out and demonstrated against the Rajapakse govt’s pension bill on Tuesday. They defied their trade unions, which had called off the walkout, to stage the biggest ever protest held in the cheap labour zone since its inception in 1978. The stoppage shut down about 70 percent of the FTZ factories, and the protesters blocked the road to BIA. more..

Ferry service put off at Lanka’s request

May 28 (EB) The much-delayed Colombo-Tuticorin passenger ferry service, which was to start on Friday, has been postponed at the request of the Sri Lankan authorities. An official of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), which is responsible for running the service on the Sri Lankan side, told Express here on Thursday, that there were two reasons for seeking a postponement: “First, the area around Colombo harbour is now being used for the Victory Day celebrations and many roads are blocked. more..

Harsha honored with Eisenhower Fellowship

May 28 (Island) Economist and UNP Parliamentarian Harsha de Silva, who has just returned from his Eisenhower Fellowship, brought further honor to the country having been bestowed the rare honor of being named the Philip D. Reed Fellow; the only Sri Lankan to have been recognized with a named fellowship thus far. Philip D. Reed was Chairman of the world’s largest conglomerate, General Electric, from 1940 to 1959 with more..

Amid the celebrations SF sad in Jail

May 28 (DM) Former Army Commander and war hero Sarath Fonseka said yesterday he was sad because he was unable to be with the security forces when the whole nation celebrated the second anniversary of the war victory. He had shared these thoughts with the UNP MPs including co deputy leader Sajith Premadasa when they visited him at the Welikada prison. Retired General Foneka as Army Commander led the security forces in more..

Mahaweli reservoirs to supply water to North, East

May 28 (Island) Mahaweli reservoirs will be able to supply water to the North and the East once the construction of Moragahakanda and Kaluganga reservoirs are completed, an official of Mahaweli Authority said. "Upon the completion of constructions the reservoir channels will go through Trincomalee supplying drinking water to many areas," Director, Mahaweli Authority, D. M. C. Dissanayaka said. more..

Rains cause havoc, 5 killed, 1299 affected

May 28 (Island) Torrential rains, which continued from Wednesday, caused five deaths and affected thousands of others, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said. DMC Assistant Director Pradeep Kodippili said that four persons, including two children, died in landslides which occurred at Damala and Kendawa in the Kegalle District. He said that another person died when struck by lightning at Millaniya in the Kalutara District. more..

Z-score marks released: 20,274 qualify

May 28 (DN) The UGC released the university entrance cut-off marks (Z-score). A total of 20,274 students have qualified to enter universities. The number of students will increase to 22,000 with the additional and special entrance system. One thousand and one hundred and forty seven students have qualified for Medical Science, 1,247 students for Engineering, 1,650 students for Physical Science, 3,287 students for Management and 3,806 students for the Arts more..

Peace dividend skips remote villages

May 28 (IPS) The road to Unnichchai in eastern Sri Lanka makes for a nerve-wracking journey trying to avoid large crater-like potholes, squeezing across narrow bridges, and passing by a patchwork landscape of paddy fields - both abandoned and cultivated - with not a building in sight. The road looks like a remnant from the time when getting here involved a bit more than a rough ride. This remote village in Batticaloa District was once a hive of activity for the LTTE more..