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Come and see: Gota

Apr 19 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa invited the expatriate critics of Sri Lanka to come and witness the development achieved after ‘eradicating terrorism.’ He made these views at the opening ceremony of the Thoppigala war memorial today participating as the chief guest. “People were deprived of enjoying the scenic beauty of this area due to the 30-year-old war and people in these areas had to leave their native places and had lived under dire conditions. more..

Over 100 arrests in Jaffna

Apr 19 (CG) Over 100 people had been arrested during search operations conducted in Jaffna last week, the Jaffna police said today. Jaffna SSP Mohomad Jiffrey said that the suspects were arrested in connection with various crimes. Addressing the media in Jaffna today the SSP said that 123 people were arrested in the Jaffna and KKS police divisions. He said that all those who were arrested were produced in court. Among those arrested were those who had failed to more..

Bangladesh foreign secretary in Sri Lanka ahead of Commonwealth meeting

Apr 19 (Xinhua) Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday for a three-day official visit ahead of a crucial Commonwealth meeting later this month, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement here on Friday. The foreign secretary will take part in the Second Foreign Secretary Level Consultations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is a follow up to discussions initiated more..

Sri Lanka rupee weaker after traditional festival

Apr 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's rupee weakened to 125.90/126.00 levels Friday from Thursday's close of 125.72/78, in a steadily weakening trend, dealers said. Sri Lanka's rupee usually gains before a traditional New Year holiday as exporters convert dollars and demand for rupees go up due to cash draw downs from the system, despite a degree of money printing by the state to meet festival advances of state workers. In late April the cash floods the banking system again. more..

Inflation to shoot up in May

Apr 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s annual inflation in May is likely to accelerate compared to April’s on-year pace, as the effect of higher electricity tariffs feeds through the broader economy, an official at the Department of Census and Statistics said. The PUCSL approved a sharp hike in tariffs on Wednesday as part of reforms to reduce losses in state-run power firms. "There will be a 1.7% rise in the annual inflation next month from the April figure only due to the increase in the electricity more..

Western PC to revise revenue licence fees

Apr 19 (DM) The annual revenue licence fees on all vehicle categories in the Western Province except for a few types will be increased from May 22, the Western Provincial Motor Traffic department said. Accordingly, the licence fee hike will not be imposed on land vehicles, old vehicles with registration numbers of English letter A to Z and Sri Lanka Transport Board buses. The increase in licence fees on petrol and diesel cars, more..

Consumer durables to see weak demand

Apr 19 (DM) Demand for consumer durables such as televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen appliances, digital cameras et are expected to a see a slowdown in 2013 if energy prices are increased, according to Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited. Coincidentally the anticipated electricity tariff hike will come into effect from April 20, slapping hardest the households (nearly 50 percent)—the segment which generate the most demand for consumer durables. more..

Tamil doctor writes to Indian Premier

Apr 19 (DN) A reputed physician, Dr P. Sivapaalan in an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh states that Tamils in post war Sri Lanka ‘could live anywhere in the country without any fear unlike in the past and enjoy equal rights in terms of Sri Lanka’s constitution.’ “As a Tamil who had seen the sufferings of Tamils for nearly 60 years, I swear that we have a better dignified life under the present govt. The Tamils who suffered due to the war are not blaming the Army, more..

It isn't just cricket: India's dilemma with SL

Apr 19 (DW) Cricket's Indian Premier League has been in action for two weeks, but a ban imposed by the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu on any Sri Lankan cricketer playing in that state because of alleged human rights violations against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka has generated bad blood. The Indian Premier League is a money machine, not only for the players and franchises, but also for the media and advertisers. more..

Lanka Sathosa records highest turnover

Apr 19 (DN) Lanka Sathosa has recorded its highest turnover of Rs 1,786 million over 13 days (April 1 to April 13) during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festive season. The turnover during this period last year was Rs 1,293 million, Minister Johnston Fernando said. He said the New Year has brought unprecedented revenue to Lak Sathosa. Lanka Sathosa, mini coop city, mega coop city and cooperative shops have been able to provide essential commodities to customers without more..

Govt recognizes cities as engines of growth and migration magnets

Apr 19 (DN) "The 'Sri Lankan govt recognizes that cities are engines of growth and magnets for population migration. The majority of Sri Lnaka's population will live in urban areas by 2020. Ensuring sustainable and rational urbanization, therefore, is critical Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Ministry Secretary P.H.L.W. Wimalasiri Perera said. The Govt's urban vision is to develop as a system of competitive, environmentally sustainable, and well-linked cities and to more..

Sri Lanka biz chamber urges transparency at power utility after hike

Apr 19 (LBO) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the latest hike will see power costs going up by 20 to 30% and the state power utility to should follow the directions of the regulator to increase its transparency. The Chamber said the Public Utilities Commission had not made adjustments to tariffs after a public consultation but had issued a series of directions to the CEB. "These recommendations, when implemented, are more..

Put customer care on the track

Apr 20 (NS) One chief area where the railway authorities need immediate looking into is in customer care and transparency in ticket issues. By ‘customer care’ I do not mean the railway’s version of the average Sri Lankan’s drooling over the white skinned foreigner, but the curtsey one shows to all as a part of the service you’re offering. This includes the acceptance that what the SLR is offering is a service for which the customer has paid and in understanding and negotiating more..

Tamil Nadu and India’s Foreign Policy

Apr 20 (DBS) There is a huge divide between Chennai and New Delhi on how both see Sri Lanka. What remains the primary problem in India’s approach towards Sri Lanka, and why is there a divide within? In a large country like India, relations with neighbouring countries will have their immediate fallout on contiguous Indian States. Thus, India-Pakistan relations will affect Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat; the India-Nepal equation will have its fallout on more..

Fishermen assured of a better catch

Apr 20 (SO) Fishermen's Societies and Unions representing the fishermen of the Northern province expressed delight over the abolition of the compulsory 'Navy Pass System' that was in operation for over 20 years. They also welcomed the marked decline in the presence of Indian trawlers, consequent to the stiff security and patrolling measures enforced by the Navy. Another positive development reported last week towards the more..

ABC, Gordon Weiss and Niromi de Soyza

Apr 20 (GV) Like many people I used to think that such agencies as the BBC and ABC provided balanced reviews and were relatively unbiased. No more. Further confirmation: a recent panel presentation by ABC in March 2013, entitled “Continuing Genocide in Sri Lanka” and anchored by Jane Hutcheon, exposed in blatant nudity the lop-sided perspectives within Aunty ABC. The presentation was timed to coincide with the UNHCR sessions in Geneva where the USA was more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar: Quite a different doubt arises in my mind

Apr 20 (CT) A friend sent me a copy of a recent panegyric and lament on the late Foreign Minister, as carried by you, together with his comment, extracts of which I reproduce below. (The LTTE, “the usual suspects” for all things dastardly, are thought to have killed Mr. Kadirgamar though, to my knowledge, there wasn’t a thorough investigation or an official report.) I quote: “And this is perhaps the most dangerous kind of writing for the cause of justice for the minorities: more..

'Tamil Nadu politicians not concerned about Tamils in Sri Lanka'

Apr 20 (SO) The United National Party (UNP), which had been in the political doldrums during the last few years, has got a new lease of life with its re-organisational activities islandwide. Party stalwarts and electoral organisers are busy with their grassroots level membership while the Executive Committee members and front-runners of the party are busy formulating their political strategy to face any future election with confidence. more..

Sir, This is Colombo, larger than Ceylon

Apr 20 (CT) It took geological ages for humanity to found the first city of a million citizens in Rome in the first century AD. The second in London had developed into such a city in 1800 AD. At that time 3% of the world’s population was urban. It rose to 13% in1900 and 49% in2005. By 2030, the % will be 60 and the urban population will total 4.9 billion is the UN forecast. It is striking that the pace of urbanization is as astounding as its scale. What is highlighted by the above data is the more..

More pressure on Somawansa to step down

Apr 20 (SO) There has been pressure from the grassroots levels of the JVP, demanding the party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe of step down. He inter did to console the party men and extend his leadership in a subtle manner. He chose the JVP commemoration of the 1971 insurgency to mislead JVP members. Hinting at a leadership change in the party, the JVP leader said he would set an example to the country by handing over the reins of the party to the younger generation, which had the more..

ගබ්සාව පිලිබඳව කතෝලික මතය...

Editorial : Of that double whammy

Apr 20 (Island) Whenever a hapless earthling gets into trouble, the throne of ‘the king of gods’ or Sakra is said to get warm, causing him to sit up and take notice and make a divine intervention to help him or her out. As for the suffering of the unfortunate Sri Lankan consumers, the Sakra’s seat must be getting so hot as to singe his holy derriere day in day out! Something similar seems to have happened in the White House, the adobe of self-deified rulers ever ready to make R2P interventions. more..

By no means a panacea

Apr 20 (CT) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera’s efforts on reforming the Constitution has brought to surface the timeworn discussion on abolishing the Executive Presidency. We have always been in a governance crisis in this country, more so since we became a republic in 1972. The set of proposals presented by a group called Movement for Social Justice seemed to have presented a set of structural changes to remedy this crisis. At the outset it looks all well and good, a set of reforms, more..

Sinhala mob attacks Tamils at Thondamanpura housing scheme

Apr 20 (DBS) A mob consisting of around 30 Sinhala youths launched an attack on a Tamil housing colony of Plantation workers at Alupola estate of Ratnapura district in Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa Province. At least six persons were reportedly injured in the incident when threatened Tamils resisted the aggressors by engaging in counter violence. Consequent to the attack which occurred at about 2am in the night on Apr 17 more..

Five star adventures without the price tag

Apr 20 (ST) Working for twelve months as a volunteer English teacher in Sri Lanka has given me brilliant opportunities for travelling, and exploring this beautiful country. Crucially, however, as a volunteer I am without a salary and so I have done all this on a budget and as cheaply as I could possibly manage. Through my journeys I hope that I can offer some practical advice and inside tips to other no-frills travelers and prove that five star adventures don’t have to come with a five star price tag. more..

Kumar wins SL Ports Authority Open

Apr 20 (Island) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority Open 2013 had a gripping finish after four days of top class golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club yesterday. When the dust had settled and the final putt dropped, it was Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar who took home the spoils with a stunning one shot ‘come from behind’ victory in the biggest prize money event ever to be staged by the Professional Golf Tour of India ("PGTI") in Sri Lanka. Chiragh Kumar (72-66-67-68) carded a three-under-68 in the last round more..

Govt announces US$ 4.8bn five year education development plan

Apr 20 (Island) The govt has proposed to invest a staggering US$ 4.8 billion to develop the country’s education system, the govt information department said earlier this week. A five year National Education Sector Development Programme, which runs from 2013 to 2017, has been estimated to cost US$ 4.8 billion. The Asian Development Bank has stepped forward to finance 4% of this requirement, amounting to more..

Turning professional the route forward for Lankan rugby, du Plessis

Apr 20 (ST) In January South African Ravin du Plessis came to Sri Lanka boasting of over fifteen years of experience and success in senior roles within professional rugby environments in New Zealand and South Africa. Now his accolades will include the ‘Successful Sri Lanka National Coach’ tag to go with other career titles such as National Coaching Coordinator, South African Rugby Union, Head Coach Currie Cup – Griquas Leopards and Eagles Pty Ltd, Springbok Technical Advisor, more..

Van ablaze on EOI: Child, four others escape

Apr 20 (Island) Five persons including the driver and a ten-year-old child had a narrow escape when their van caught fire and was gutted on the Southern Expressway in the wee hours of yesterday. Except the driver, the other four occupants of the vehicle were relatives. They were, the ten year-old child, a woman and two men. The group had been returning home after visiting the North during the New Year vacation. Acting Police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody told The Island that more..

BBS championing change: Dilantha

Apr 20 (FT) “We are not engaged in any activities that are harmful to society, nor are we causing religious disharmony,” claims Bodu Bala Sena strongman Dilantha Withanage. “We do not want to get into politics,” says Withanage, CEO of the Bodu Bala Sena, adding that the movement does not want to topple govts or form a govt but needs an immediate change in the present condition in the country. Following are excerpts more..

'Theory and practice should go hand in hand'

Apr 20 (DN) Theoretical and practical knowledge is important for state sector officers to provide a good public service, said Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne. The minister was addressing a book launch ceremony at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA). Four books written by Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary J. Dadallage were launched. "Experience is a key to achieve success in any field including the civil and administrative service," more..

'Graduates reduced to labourers'

Apr 20 (CT) The university degree has descended to the lowest of levels. It is today treated most disdainfully. The graduates today have to perform the duties of labourers or office assistants, President of the Southern Province 1999 Preferential Task Graduates Association, T. Wanniarachi lamented. He said, "The service terms have not been formulated still, for the graduates recruited in 1999.The graduates were recruited for jobs under diverse names. more..

Asymmetric warfare course : Six locals, 16 foreigners graduate

Apr 20 (DN) The graduation ceremony of the asymmetric warfare course conducted by the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) of the Sri Lanka Navy was held on Thursday in Trincomalee. Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, senior Naval officers including Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe, more..

Not easy to prevent mushrooming unauthorised finance units : CB

Apr 20 (ST) Preventing the mushrooming of unauthorized finance businesses (UFBs or bogus finance companies) is difficult, let alone completely eliminating these units, considering the complexity of their operations, says the Central Bank. Discussing this kind of business operation, the CB says eliminating UFBs is further complicated by the fact that a segment of the ‘public voraciously pursues high gains, even though they know the potential adverse consequences of more..

Sabaragamuwa undergrads in a quandary

Apr 20 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa Uni are in quandary over not having practices for this year’s Inter University Sports Festival, as the university premises has been declared out of bounds for students over the last month. spokesman for the People’s Movement for Sabaragamuwa Uni Conservation, Dinesh Bandara, said that about 150 students from the Sabaragamuwa Uni had qualified to participate in the university games, but they could not more..

Govt. finally admits its bankruptcy – Harsha

Apr 20 (Island) UNP National List MP and economist Harsha de Silva yesterday said that the govt had finally been compelled to publicly admit its inability to manage the economy. The MP was responding to a query by The Island on whether austerity measures were required, in the wake of UPFA spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s declaration that no govt could continue to subsidise utility services forever. more..

UNP ponders legal action

Apr 20 (CT) The UNP has decided to take legal action against the recently introduced electricity price revision. President of the United Bhikku Front, Ven. Theeniyawala Palitha Thera, and President of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane, met with a group of lawyers headed by Roland Perera, PC, and discussed the possibility of taking legal action against the revision. Dr. Jayawardane pointed out, although the CEB presented 2009 and 2010 audited accounts more..

Thai Buddhist monk detained and let off

Apr 20 (TOI) A 59-year-old Buddhist monk from Thailand was detained by the police on suspicion, from Rameswaram railway station on Friday morning. The monk was however let off after inquiry, as his travel documents were proper. Initially though, the monk had created flutter among the police and intelligence sleuths as he told them that he had come to Rameswaram to reach Sri Lanka via Dhanuskodi. Police said that he was apparently misled by someone that there were boat more..

Ministers worried about electricity tariff

Apr 20 (CT) A group of ministers have expressed concern about the recent electricity tariff revision, which has raised the cost of electricity to abnormal levels, and the effect it would have on the general public, at a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Rajapaksa. At the meeting held on Thursday, the ministers had appealed to President Rajapaksa, requested him to bring amendments to the new tariff plan, in an effort to provide more..

Students barred from switching schools

Apr 20 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) alleged school students have been deprived of the right to choose which schools they wish to study at, after completing the Grade Five Scholarship and GCE O/L exam. Elaborating on the allegations, CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said the students, who successfully completed exam are not allowed to transfer to a school of their choice, especially if they are from a national school. “The students who are already studying in a national school are more..