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Costly political system Sri Lanka cannot afford

Aug 1 (NS) Sri Lanka is a very small country with a population of twenty million in 25,000 sq km of land with fast depleting natural resources. We do not have massive reserves of minerals like oil, iron, tin, gas, etc except a limited reserve of graphite. The thirty-year-long internal strife in the North and East has destroyed almost seventy percent of the coconut and palmyra trees as well as the Wanni and Galoya forests, which has added to the devastation. For a country that has so many limitations, more..

The same old political blame game

Aug 1 (NS) Most seasoned legislators will tell you that what they have learned in the rough-and-tumble of the political snake pit could hardly be considered conventional tutelage. Because, they soon find out that it isn’t whether you actually won or lost, but how you placed the blame! After all, politics is like window-cleaning. However much you keep rubbing the dirt it always seems to be on the other side. Still most parties after being swept into power are hardly able to resist imposing most of the shortcomings they have inherited on their predecessors, more..

In celebration of a unifier God

Aug 1 (CT) Hindu devotees will be thronging the thoroughfares of Colombo in colourful processions over the next few days. Chariot processions, coconuts being smashed, people decked in their brightest colours worshipping with camphor and flame, youngsters dancing the Kavadi dance and many other features of the Tamil Hindu community will be displayed on the streets of Colombo, instead of behind their temple walls, as is usually the case. more..

Blaming the Sinhalese for the “insane fury” of Jaffna

Aug 1 (LB) A closer look into what happened in the history of Jaffna will reveal that dark, demonic and destructive forces presided over its hidden past. Tragically, these dark forces have not evaporated. They still cloud the skies of Jaffna casting long shadows ominously across its future. The ill-fated future of Jaffna was first identified by Mylvaganam Pulavar who wrote the first official history of Jaffna, Yalpana Vaipava Malai, at the request of the Dutch governor in 1736. more..

To dear Dr. Bahu: On the progressive side of 'Nationalism'

Aug 1 (LB) Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne in his characteristically polite rejoinder today to my column of last week, responds this week not so much to my depiction of him and some of his colleagues on the left as ‘progressives’ unwittingly pandering to the global Establishment — but to my argument that Nationalists are today in this country perceived to be rightward, and reactionary even. (Though I did not use that R-word last week, I am using it today!). He writes that this govt is not Nationalist, more..

Sri Lanka’s Tamils are entitled to the Right of Self-determination

Aug 1 (DBS) The phrase ‘self-determination’ raises many alarms in Sri Lanka today. The reason for that is the myth that somehow, if the right to self-determination is ceded to the Tamils of this country, it will automatically lead to secession. Although, various shades of this concept were expressed in different times before the twentieth century, particularly in the American Independence and the French Revolution, it was actually more..

Report by Mannar GA on background incidents in Mannar

Aug 1 (DBS) (Following is the English translation of the document sent by the Mannar GA to Industries Minister Rishad Bathiudeen highlighting the background to the Mannar incident that started in 2002). Issues relating to fishermen settled in Thottaveli and tying boats belonging to them at the pier. This report has been prepared based on the meetings held with the representatives of Pallimunai Fishermen Coop Society, Uppukulam Fishermen Coop Society, more..

Fourth Ekamuthu Oray Makkal unity mission camp

Aug 1 (DBS) The Ekamuthu Oray Makkal Unity Mission Camp, that looks to bridge the gap between the north and south builds strong bonds. The organisers of the Ekamuthu Oray Makkal Unity Mission Camp have something to be surprised about every year. The camp held last month in Tharanikkulam was their fourth, but if they thought they knew the drill by now-they were in for a surprise. Every time you think you’ve got these children figured out, they turn around and more..

Ranil is scared of my popularity – SF

Aug 1 (Island) Q: We can start out very idealistically, but the reality is that it is bags of money that win elections. Without money you can’t do anything much. You need money to run a campaign, to advertise, print posters etc., so if you are to win an election how are you going to match them first of all resource-wise? A: Money as you say is needed to certain extent, but it is not everything. There are lots of moneyed people who have lost. Those who spent rather moderately more..

Wanduramba & Dambulla: History And Meaning

Aug 1 (CT) “Police have opened investigations into an attack on a Buddhist centre in Wanduramba, Galle, where tear gas was used to control crowds on Sunday evening,” says a news report published in a National news paper website on Monday last, going on to tell us that, “[t]he protest was launched against a group alleged to be practising Buddhism against the principles of the Theravadha Buddhism at the particular location. Buddhist monks and over 2,000 people took part in the protest.” more..

Chandrika Chinthana

Aug 1 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga calls it “the first serious political interview I have given in six and a half years” referring to the interview she has given Sanjana Hattotuwa, editor of the website Groundviews. The least important segments of the interview deal with the SLFP. Her remarks are revelatory though. She states that she “can’t be bothered fighting with Mahinda for power in a Bandaranaike party”, thus reasserting that the party is a family property more..

Alice in Wonderland

Aug 1 (SL) There is NO rape. There are NO abductions. There is NO corruption. There is NO fear psychosis. The media remain – independent – unbowed and unafraid. Editors are not coerced into submission over candlelit tete-a-tetes with the President. Children as young as six and seven years old are NOT being raped. Certainly not by politicians. Murder if committed are solved in record quick time – except for those that took place more..

Editorial: Fish market brawls at CMC

Aug 1 (Island) Indiscipline is highly contagious. It affects the vitals of public institutions and destroys them insidiously. Much concern has been expressed about parliamentarians' conduct which is beyond the pale, to say the least. There has been an alarming deterioration of parliamentary standards as is common knowledge. No less a person than Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has recently stressed the need for enforcing discipline in Parliament. more..

Odel deal propels net foreign inflow to over Rs. 25 billion

Aug 1 (FT) The execution of the previously announced 42% stake sale in Odel to Parkson Retail Asia of Singapore yesterday propelled the year-to-date net foreign inflow to over Rs. 25 billion, which remains the stock market’s sole silver lining. The stake amounting to 60.625 million shares was done at Rs. 23.50 in a deal worth Rs. 1.42 4 billion. Overall 61.269 million Odel shares traded via 147 transactions for Rs. 1.439 billion. more..

Today is the Nikini Poya day

Aug 1 (DN) Nikini Poya is connected with the Rain Retreat (Vas), where the Buddhist monks are fully assigned themselves to live in indoors. With the commencement of Vas season, the bhikkus are not expected to live outdoor under trees, cemeteries or in forest or in open air. They live exclusively in indoor. This is an important cardinal rule that all monks should follow. Even now, monks spend their vas (rain retreat) in one more..

Sri Lanka miss chance to attack part-timers

Aug 1 (CI) The big question after the XIs were announced was how India would fare with four specialist bowlers, given that their attack had been expensive in the previous three games when they had played five. After the part-time bowlers took 5 for 112 in 22 overs, though, most were left shaking their heads at the ridiculousness. Sri Lanka had allowed Manoj Tiwary, a batsman bowling steady legbreaks, to take his best List A figures of 4 for 61 while Virender Sehwag got more..

Rohit's agony and India's strange stat

Aug 1 (CI) Rohit Sharma was under pressure with scores of 5, 0 and 0 in the series, and he batted like a man under pressure. He took ten deliveries to get off the mark and fell leg-before off his 14th. The moment he was struck on the pad, he waited, dreading that the umpire's finger would go up, hoping that it wouldn't. When it did, Rohit stood still at the crease, contemplating another failure, before he started to trudge off in disappointment, only to be stopped by the square-leg umpire, more..

'Lanka needs 1.6 mn litres daily to stop milk imports'

Aug 1 (Island) Sri Lanka needs to triple its current fresh milk production from 550,000 litres a day to 1.6 billion litres if milk imports were to be stopped. The total national milk production which was only 225,000 litres per day has now been doubled to 550,000 litres a day which needs to be tripled for self sufficiency to be reached, MILCO Chairman Sunil Wickremasinghe said. more..

'Large funds allocated for education in North'

Aug 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated large funds for the development of education and educational infrastructure in the country, especially in the Northern region, said Minister Douglas Devananda. He was speaking at the opening ceremonies at Vadamarachchi Zonal Education office complex and building complexes of Vadamarachchi Girls' Central College, Pt Pedro, Siththi Vinayagar College and Pt Pedro Methodist College recently. All newly opened building more..

SPC gets Rs 5 b for drug purchase

Aug 1 (DN) The govt provided Rs five billion to the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) to purchase drugs required for the coming months. The funds are in addition to those allocated for the SPC in the 2012 budget. According to the sources, this year's drug consumption has increased compared to the past few years. "This is why the govt allocated an additional Rs 500 million for the SPC to purchase drugs. The govt instructed the SPC to obtain funds from Bank of Ceylon," he said. more..

Connections | July 30, 2012

SLPA turns 33 with broader prospects for maritime prosperity

Aug 1 (FT) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will today commemorate its 33rd anniversary with broader prospects for maritime prosperity in the future. Expressing views on the occasion, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama emphasised that the Sri Lankan ports should be strongly developed for their sustainable existence in the maritime sector with rapid globalisation and amidst challenging competitions between international ports. Following the guidelines set out in more..

Forbidden fruit leads to untimely death

Aug 1 (Island) A 38-year old husband stabbed his 35-year-old wife to death in a government hospital at Bathigama, Dikwella, on Monday night, police said. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that when the victim Manawela Jayasinghege Thushari Mangalika, a resident of Bathigama West met her untimely end, she had been with her eight-year-old daughter who was being treated at the Batheegama hospital. The suspect, a mechanic, had come to the hospital around 8.15 pm and stabbed her with a knife at the child’s bed and fled the scene, more..

Z-score muddle: 1,675 students complain to HRC

Aug 1 (DM) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has received as many as 1,675 complaints from students whose Z-scores had changed after the re-calculation based on a Supreme Court ruling, officials said yesterday. Commissioner Pratibha Mahanama said the authorities concerned could not go by the previous Z-score calculations, which were declared null and void by the Supreme Court. He underscored more..

Karnataka MLAs seek SC certificates for Sri Lankan Tamils

Aug 1 (Hindu) The Legislative Assembly on Tuesday discussed the possibilities of issuing Scheduled Castes certificates to Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka settled in Dakshina Kannada district. After MLAs from Dakshina Kannada district cutting across party lines favoured issuing Scheduled Castes certificates to Tamil families residing in Puttur and Sullia, Minister for Social Welfare A. Narayanaswamy promised to explore such a possibility by more..

Batti gets State-of-the-Art water treatment plant

Aug 1 (DN) The govt has constructed a mega scale water treatment plant at Vavunativu, Batticaloa aiming to address the long standing drinking water scarcity issue of Batticaloa district. The new sophisticated water treatment plant which is constructed at a cost of Rs.700 million at Vavunativu provides water to people in several areas of the Batticaloa district. The water treatment plant operated under the National Water Supply more..

Petroleum Ministry denies rumours about the Indian oil refinery

Aug 1 (CT) The Petroleum Ministry yesterday denied media reports that an Indian oil refinery was scheduled to be built in Sri Lanka at an estimated cost of 3.6 billion dollars. The ministry stated no discussions had been held with an Indian company for the setting up of an oil refinery in Sri Lanka. According to media reports, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was to set up its first refinery outside India with an investment of up to more..

Wheel chairs and artificial legs donated to naval personnel

Aug 1 (GDI) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake donated 11 wheel chairs and 10 pairs of artificial legs to the naval personnel who have been disabled in action, at a ceremony held at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo on Monday. Many welfare programmes have been launched by the Navy on the direction of the Commander for the welfare of the naval personnel who were disabled in action during the humanitarian operation, which was more..

Ranil, Tissa ordered to show cause

Aug 1 (CT) Colombo District Judge Dhammika Ganepola issued summons on UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe and party General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake to appear in Court on 21 August, to show cause as to why the Court should not impose an Interim Order on them. The summons were sequel to a plaint filed by six UNP Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members from the Anuradhapura District stating the party is planning to take steps to expel them. Faizer Mustapha, Attorney-at-Law, who appeared for the PS members, more..

Petroleum Ministry appoints three member Committee to probe low quality diesel

Aug 1 (Island) The Ministry of Petroleum Industries yesterday appointed a three member committee to probe low quality diesel released to the market last Friday. Petroleum Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.H. Samaratunga on a directive by Minister Susil Premajayanth, has appointed the Ministry’s Chief Internal Auditor, a Mechanical Engineer and a Chemical Engineer both representing the Ceylon Petroleum more..

No one can fool Gota: Muzammil

Aug 1 (DM) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said yesterday no one could fool Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and that the people who had tried to do so had had fallen by the wayside. “I have argued with several people clamoring to thank Mr. Rajapaksa. I know that no one can fool him, there was a general who tried it and now he is nowhere,” he said. He made these remarks in the presence of Mr. Rajapaksa during the ceremony at the BMICH for the people of Kompannaweediya more..

CID grills website editor

Aug 1 (Island) The CID on Monday questioned editor of the LankaXnews and Sri Lanka Mirror web sites, Ruwan Ferdinandez, for seven hours and recorded his statement. Ferdinandez mentioned in the reports filed by the CID in connection with the Lankamirror and Sri LankaXnews websites case had been summoned to the Police headquarters and questioned by two IT experts of the CID. The questions had ranged from issues connected to funding sources, content providers and more..

'Ranil was spying for CBK'

Aug 1 (CT) It was Ranil Wickremesinghe, who betrayed UNP presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake’s campaign tactics to his rival candidate Chandrika Kumaratunga, during the 1994 Presidential Election, and there is enough evidence to prove how he did it, Minister Maithripala Sirisena claimed yesterday. He alleged that Wickremesinghe campaigned within the UNP to defeat Dissanayake, and to achieve that end sold out his campaign strategies to Kumaratunga. more..

'Sri Lanka ready to act to boost stock market'

Aug 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is ready to make significant policy changes in an effort to revive its faltering stock market which has fallen 18.6 percent since the start of the year, P.B. Jayasundera, the island nation's treasury secretary, said on Tuesday. Stockbrokers have long complained that Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) overregulates the market, blaming it for the sharp fall in the main index along with rising interest rates, exchange rate volatility and the prevalence of market manipulation. more..

Confident Niluka ready to take on Indian might

Aug 1 (Island) Niluka Karunaratne is confident that he could create another upset when he meets Indian number one Parupalli Kashyap in the pre-quarterfinal of men’s singles badminton championship of the 2012 London Olympics, in what is going to be a battle between neighbours, here at Wembley Arena today. "It is a meeting with another high-ranked player. Once again, the pressure will be on him to perform. I am confident. What I have to do is not to take pressure on me," Niluka said. more..

Sri Lanka briefs diplomats on LLRC action plan

Aug 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tuesday briefed diplomats on the implementation of recommendations of a post war commission that looked into the root causes of the island's ethnic conflict, ahead of a key UN human rights review later this year. Minister G.L. Peiris and secretary to the president Lalith Weeratunga has met Colombo's diplomatic community for a 'comprehensive briefing' on the work carried out to implement the more..

Army dozers clear jungles for civilians waiting to resettle

Aug 1 (Island) Responding to a request made by civilians who got their lands back after de-mining was completed in Mavaddipuram area, Headquarters Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) last week mobilized sufficient troops and heavy machinery of 10 Field Engineers at Mailiddy to clear the shrub jungle in their lands. Lands that had been abandoned for decades due to terrorist activities of the LTTE were handed back recently to their original owners after removal of land mines and more..

NPC calls LLRC report blueprint for national reconciliation, seeks new role

Aug 1 (Island) The National Peace Council wants civil society to play a key role in further developing the action plan for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. "The NPC believes that the LLRC report is a document that could serve as a blueprint for Sri Lanka’s renewal as a success story of post-war development, democracy and reconciliation. We call on the government to further develop the action plan in consultation with civil society and other sections of the polity and more..

Prostitution racket, allegedly run by an actor busted by CDB

Aug 1 (LB) The Crime Detection Bureau (CDB) of the Police Department has busted a racket involving prostitution that has been allegedly carried out by a popular film actor, along with a friend. This particular racket peddling prostitution has been allegedly carried out by this particular actor in the guise of operating an ayurvedic massage parlour. This particular actor whose name is being withheld, previously spent time in more..

Development ignores health risks

Aug 1 (SL) Residents of Colombo have accused the Urban Development Authority (UDA) of disregarding health concerns as they go ahead with “beautification” of the city. In a letter addressed to the UNICEF, George Manuelpillai (Former Assistant Director, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs), highlighted the potential dengue breeding ground that exists in the artificial ponds that have been developed by the UDA in and around Colombo. more..