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A meaningful initiative for emulation by others

Mar 1 (NS) The move initiated by Minister Champika Ranawaka constitutes a meaningful approach to the present situation where the people of this country are compelled to tighten their belts. The minister has decided to reduce his fuel allowance by 10 per cent and he has also instructed officials of the Power and Energy Ministry including the Secretary to do the same. It would be a good thing if other ministers and officers also followed this example. more..

Ravaya: a critical ‘mark’ in the political firmament

Mar 1 (NS) The twenty fifth anniversary of the launching of a newspaper is cause for celebration. It is also a moment for a slow, long gaze at the journey. ‘Ravaya’ is not the most popular newspaper in Sri Lanka. It doesn’t have the circulation and the readership of other weekly Sinhala newspapers. And yet, it has something that few newspapers in this country have: widespread respect. The bottom line is that Ravaya does not cater to the bottom line, it does not write to more..

IMF formula and the cloaks of patriotism

Mar 1 (DM) The Rajapaksa govt is holding demonstrations throughout the island against an ‘invasion’ by imperialists. The immediate cause for this rumpus is the government’s call to oppose the resolution, the United States said it would present against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Sessions being held in Geneva. According to the govt the US sponsored resolution is to establish a joint mechanism within the Human Rights Council to implement the recommendations more..

A Search for Identity: Tomorrow’s Sri Lankan!

Mar 1 (GV) Few are those who believe in the existence of what I would like to call a post-war Sri Lankan identity. Indeed, most of us will identify themselves according to their ethnicity, some according to their religion, beliefs and aspirations and some according to their country of birth. Yet, the fact is that we do not belong to just one category or another. We are different from each other and at the same time we carry diversity within ourselves. Each of us is a unique more..

The Loss of Identity: Development and Agriculture

Mar 1 (GV) The ecological impact of increasing energy input into a system has been well documented. In any ecosystem an increase in the flow of energy tends to organize and simplify that ecosystem, with the destruction of many homeostatic mechanisms of the original system. The loss of the traditional, rice production systems and its simplification, being an example. Further, diversity is now being realized as being important to sustainability. In agriculture, more..

Forging a common Sri Lankan identity based on a culture of mutual respect and tolerance

Mar 1 (DBS) Paradoxical as it may seem, I have in the past often referred to Sri Lanka as both an Island nation and archipelago of communities. Given the raucous cacophony of strident cries of race and religion it does seem unlikely that these polyphony of voices can ever be blended into a harmonious symphony. The vision and call of people like the British missionary Rev.W.S. Senior sounds in the present context as an unrealistic voice more..

Sri Lankans in search of royalty

Mar 1 (SL) Most Sri Lankans have a secret yearning to be a royal. This is probably because we are steeped in history with our glorified kings and queens despite all the current debates about equality, democracy, human rights etc. Only a few will admit to such secret yearnings such as the self proclaimed reincarnation of Dutu Gemunu of Kelaniya but most others if asked for their ancient lineage will not deny but shrug it off with an evasive: ‘Aney just go men’ or ‘pallayang bung’. They like to be royal. more..

Island wide census of population and housing is currently on in Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (TC) Population and Housing Census is the largest statistical undertaking of a country. It is vital for providing information about the population in order to present a full and reliable picture of the population in the country in terms of its size and spatial distribution, its demographic, social and economic characteristics, as well as its housing conditions, The Census is the only reliable source for detailed information on the population at the level of more..

'Govt will defeat UNHRC resolution against SL'

Mar 1 (SO) Minister Maithripala Sirisena called upon everybody to rally round regardless of political affiliations to thwart attempts being made by certain countries to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions to be held in Geneva. He said the Govt is confident that it would be able to defeat this resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions. At present the Govt has confidence and is determined to more..

Editorial: What's the world coming to?

Mar 1 (Island) An emeritus professor of paediatrics, in a letter published on the opposite page today, raises a very pertinent point as regards the unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka. He reminds us of a massive rescue operation the army conducted to liberate civilians the LTTE forcibly held as a human shield, during the final phase of the Vanni war. Following a number of successful surgical strikes by the army on the LTTE defences, over 300,000 civilians fled to the government-controlled areas more..

Banking industry joins Lankan chorus against UNHRC moves

Mar 1 (FT) The leading commercial and specialised banks via the industry body Sri Lanka Banks Association (SLBA) yesterday joined the majority Sri Lankans who are opposing moves by UNHRC to pass a resolution against the country. In a statement SLBA said its members were highly disturbed by the attempts made by some countries to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC and interfere with the progress that has been and is being made by the Govt of Sri Lanka in more..

Lawyers for Democracy

Access buys control of Sathosa Motors on CSE

Mar 1 (Island) A big deal in Sathosa Motors where Access Engineering acquired 60% control, buying out Japan’s Itochu Corporation for Rs.846 million paying Rs.235 a share, dominated trading on the Colombo bourse yesterday. The market posted a turnover of nearly Rs.1.7 billion, down from the previous day’s Rs.5.86 billion, with both indices moving up – the All Share by 26.42 points (0.49%) while the Milanka was up 25.41 points (0.54%) with 121 gainers outpacing 92 losers. more..

Colombo City Tour launches evening tours

Mar 1 (Island) The Colombo City Tour launches the much awaited evening tours around the city with The Courtyard, the former 17th century Dutch Hospital Building in Colombo Fort. Wonderfully transformed by the initiation of the "Ministry of Defense and Urban Development" and Sri Lanka Tourism into a charming dining and shopping precinct in the heart of Colombo, The Courtyard is indeed a much happening place in Sri Lanka’s premier city. more..

Buddhika summoned before UNP disciplinary committee

Mar 1 (CT) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana will be summoned before the Disciplinary Committee of the party today, UNP sources told Ceylon Today. Senior lawyer Trevor Fernando will head Pathirana’s disciplinary inquiry team. Even though he is to be summoned before the Disciplinary Committee this evening, Pathirana has not been charge sheeted by the party. Therefore, UNP sources said, the MP will not be penalized. more..

Five-year-old looks after incapacitated father

Mar 1 (Island) Five year old Sashika Nisansala Bandara of Digampathana in Dambulla, is looking after his father who has been bedridden after injuring the latter’s spine in a fall from a tree. His mother had left the family after the father's accident. To add to their woes, their house has also been attacked by wild elephants. He is a year one student of Digampathana Vidyalaya. Sashika's father - Sunil Shantha (30) was a maize farmer and had a tree house to protect the crop. more..

Sri Lanka: A two-act drama unfolding in Colombo

Mar 1 (EAR) The large and quite unexpected (by the ordinary person) hike in all prices that Sri Lanka woke up to in the first week of February set off protest movements that are growing and could swell into something very serious within weeks or months. Then, apart from, or some say as an attempt to divert attention there from, the government unleashed a wave of street protests against “the imperialist plot to destabilise Sri Lanka and undermine its more..

Information regarding abductees

Mar 1 (CT) The Court of Appeal granted time to the IGP and the Army Commander to inform court whether or not two abducted JVP dissident group members are in police or military custody. The court also granted time till 21 March for the respondents to file any objections. This was a sequel to an application by Counsel Prabath Karunaratne and Nuwan Liyanage who appeared for the IGP and the Army Commander respectively. more..

Secretary Defence Visits Crab Fattening Site in Kayts

Mar 1 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Crab Fattening Farm at Karampan in Kayts island on Friday. He went to Kayts amidst his busy schedule in Jaffna to meet the reintegrated Ex-LTTE combatants who are working on the project together with soldiers serving in Kayts. The Crab Fattening Project was started by Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office of Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SF-J) with instructions of Secretary Defence and more..

Asia Energy Security Summit begins

Mar 1 (DN) The second 2012 a forum examining cooperation for security, stability and sustainability commenced yesterday in Colombo with the participation of experts in the energy sector. The Asia Energy Security Summit is an annual event debating Asian geopolitics, energy and infrastructural security. The summit which will end today will draw attention on the energy related issues including methods for energy conservation. The summit also focuses on saving resources, such as, more..

CB says S&P’s revision unwarranted

Mar 1 (FT) The Central Bank last night said the revision of Sri Lanka Foreign Currency Rating Outlook from ‘Positive’ to ‘Stable’ and lowering of the country’s long-term local currency rating from BB- to B+ by Standard & Poor’s was unwarranted. In a statement, the Central Bank said the Sri Lankan economy is estimated to have grown by around 8.3% in 2011, recording the second consecutive year with an annual growth rate of 8% or above for the first time in more..

Sri Lankan Community Social Club annual celebrations today

Mar 1 (OO) The Sri Lankan Community Social Club will be hosting its annual dinner dance at the Muscat Holiday Hotel, Al Khuwair today, followed by a grand musical show tomorrow. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme of Plumage. The Management Committee has successfully been able to book in dates for famous guest artistes Ronnie Leitch and Umara backed by the renowned Band Mirage. Comedian, entertainer and actor Ronnie Leitch is a man with many faces, but more..

Palmyrah palms to solve human-elephant conflict

Mar 1 (DN) A sustainable solution has been found for the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka by Practical Action, said Practical Action Sri Lanka Team Leader Ranasinghe Perera, addressing a press conference at the Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo. He said that electric fencing was the principal solution for the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Although it has shown positive results it had some limitations such as high cost of fencing and maintenance. more..

CMC to implement several projects for women residing in Colombo

Mar 1 (Island) Mayor of Colombo A. J. M. Muzammil says that the Colombo Municipal Council will pay special attention to the needs of women and will implement several projects and programmes for the benefit of women residing in Colombo. He observed that 51 percent of Sri Lanka’s population comprises women, but there was a lack of representation within the political, administrative and socio-economic spheres. more..

Non-tariff barriers still an issue, says Sri Lankan official

Mar 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Mr Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, demitted office on Wednesday after a two-and-a-half year stint. He is returning to Colombo as Director-General for South-East Asia. Mr Krishnamoorthy came in at a time when the war between Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE was raging. He had a difficult job of batting for Tamils — being a Tamil himself — even while projecting his Government's views to people here. more..

Court bars Ranil from using Mayor’s bungalow

Mar 1 (CT) Colombo District Judge Dhammika Ganepola yesterday issued an enjoining order restraining Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) from letting out its mayor’s residence to any third party, without following the due procedure. The order was a sequel to an application by UPFA municipal councilor Mohamed Maharoof. The order will be valid until March 09. Counsel Ali Sabry for petitioner Maharoof submitted that opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had stated his intention to more..

Sri Lanka’s biggest policy overhaul since civil war risks inflation bump

Mar 1 (BN) Sri Lanka’s biggest overhaul of economic policy since the end of its civil war risks a bump in inflation while auguring increased stability by aiming to curb the island’s trade deficit. In less than two weeks last month, Sri Lanka let its currency weaken to a record low by shifting toward a more freely floating exchange rate, raised fuel prices and boosted interest rates for the first time since 2007 to damp credit growth. more..

22 Indian fishermen released by Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (Hindu) Twenty-two Indian fishermen who were released by Sri Lanka returned to Mandapam along with five fishing boats on Wednesday. The fishermen of Rameswaram, who ventured into the sea for fishing on February 25, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy for foraying into Sri Lankan waters on the same day. They were kept under custody at Mannar naval camp. Due to intensive diplomatic efforts, Sri Lankan authorities released all 22 fishermen along with their boats. more..

Malinga in Middlesex's sights

Mar 1 (ESPN) Middlesex are targeting Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, as an overseas player for the Friends Life t20, ESPNcricinfo understands. Malinga is one of the premier Twenty20 bowlers in the world, known for his trademark slinging yorkers, and would be a crowd-puller for the English tournament which begins on June 12, with Middlesex's first game a London derby against Surrey on June 14. Malinga has 125 wickets from 95 Twenty20 games, including 38 wickets from 31 internationals. more..

EU demands accountability for past violations in SL

Mar 1 (Island) The EU yesterday backed UK’s demand that the GoSL take tangible measures to address accountability issues or face the consequences. Addressing the UNHRC on the third day of the ongoing sessions, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sevndal issued the warning on behalf of the EU. Both UK and EU are backing a US sponsored resolution targeting Sri Lanka now expected to be moved towards the end of the sessions. more..

Imported fish consignment held back pending tests

Mar 1 (DN) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has detected fish consignments imported to Sri Lanka that were contaminated from radio active substances in the seas following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, AEA chairman Dr Ranjith Jayawardene said. He said that the AEA had been checking all imported fish consignments to Sri Lanka since the Fukushima incident to ensure these were safe for human consumption. He noted that the AEA discovered salmon and other fish more..

Encouraging developments in SL, Indonesia says

Mar 1 (DM) Amid intense lobbying by Sri Lanka to defeat the proposed United States-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, Indonesia noted during Tuesday’s session that there were ‘encouraging developments’ in Sri Lanka despite challenges remaining. Addressing the session, Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa said that, in addressing particular situations, the Council must take an approach that fits the specific circumstances faced. more..

Sri Lanka rattled by planned UN rights resolution

Mar 1 (IPS) Strung across the main road leading away from the international airport is a banner that has an intriguing message: ‘USA, Pls Do Not Support Terrorism’. Most of the other large billboards and banners on the same stretch are also directed at visiting tourists, but these are less political and exhort them to visit beach locations or buy jewellery. The banner is part of a govt campaign to thwart or at least more..

British embassy monitors return of deportees

Mar 1 (SL) The British Embassy in Colombo today monitored the return of a group of failed asylum seekers who had been deported from Britain. According to the Embassy, the British Deputy High Commission in Sri Lanka Robbie Bulloch monitored the return of 52 failed asylum seekers at the Katnayake airport. “I visited Colombo airport today to observe the arrival of returnees from UK. All the 52 returnees arrived safely and have now departed the airport,” the High Commission more..

Sri Lanka's request is delaying tactic - HR Groups

Mar 1 (BBC) Human rights groups have expressed their surprise at the Sri Lanka govt's request for more time to investigate human rights abuses which it earlier rejected as anti govt propaganda. Addressing the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva on Monday, Sri Lanka's special human rights envoy Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said internal processes are already in place, and appealed for more time to deal with human rights issues in the country. more..

U.S. judge tosses case against Sri Lanka's president

Mar 1 (AP) A U.S. judge threw out a lawsuit Wednesday against Sri Lanka's president over killings allegedly carried out by his forces during the country's ethnic civil war. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that she must dismiss the suit against President Mahinda Rajapaksa because the Obama administration says he is immune from the litigation as a foreign head of state. "The court does not take this step lightly," Kollar-Kotelly wrote. more..

Financial Assistance to Kalmunai Tsunami Families

Mar 1 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the occasion of handing over cheques for Tsunami-affected families in Karawahuvattei in Kalmunai electorate division. This event was held at the Ampara District Secretary's Office on Tuesday (28). Financial assistance, worth of Rs. 110 million, was provided to 200 tsunami affected families to reconstruct their homes. Under this program each beneficiary received a grant of Rs. 550,000 to build their homes. more..

Sri Lanka caps forex forward deals

Mar 1 (LBO) Central bank has capped forward foreign exchange deals with the rupee to 90 days to reduce speculation Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "It will reduce speculation overall," Cabraal said. Sri Lanka reduced interventions in forex markets on Feb 9, allowing the exchange rate to be market determined and said about 850 million dollars needed to settle a part of the oil imports will be supplied by the Central Bank in the next two to three months. more..

'Govt consistently attempting to dilute 13th Amendment'

Mar 1 (LB) SLMC has been in the forefront of opposing the amendment to the Town and Country Planning Ordinance has decided last week that all matters which deal with the powers of provincial councils should be decided at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). SLMC MP Hassan Ali said that the amendments which will give a central authority, National Physical Council, to acquire lands for more..

Sri Lanka hoping to resume IMF program

Mar 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to resume a deal with the IMF which can boost the island's forex reserves which had fallen to 5.7 billion US dollars and there is no capital flight, the Central Bank said. There has been a net inflow of 216 million US dollars into govt securities from foreign investors from February 09 when the rupee was partially floated, and corrective steps were taken to reign in credit growth which put pressure on a dollar peg, more..