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India and Tamil nationalist project: An existential conflict

July 1 (CT) As the incoming Modi led BJP govt is settling in New Delhi, the media is awash with speculations on its foreign policy trajectory, both in the immediate strategic neighbourhood i.e. South Asia, and in the wider world. But none of them has delved into a major foreign policy challenge that is waiting for the new administration in Delhi – impending UN inquiry into the alleged breach of international law by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE, during the Eelam War IV. more..

Rev. Dr. Walpola Rahula: Trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s University education

July 1 (CT) Reverend Dr. Walpola Rahula became the Vice Chancellor of the then Vidyodaya University of Ceylon in October 1966. He left the post abruptly in July 1969. The period he served as the Vice Chancellor was very short. But that was a period of extreme turbulence in Sri Lanka’s university system. He managed to wade through the turbulence maintaining discipline in the university, promoting academic freedom among Dons and laying the foundation to facilitate the successive more..

Diri Divi Prasadinee program three years on

July 1 (SO) In Sri Lanka, we often talk about children being abused and subjected to violence in society due to various reasons and discuss those issues in various platforms to find out as to why these children become vulnerable to violence or abuse. Though we discuss this serious issue time and again we see little action being taken to prevent these situations resulting in the continuity of such incidents as before. more..

Blackened and burnt hearts of our people

July 1 (ST) Rajapaksa Govt’s attempt to marginalise recent Sinhala-Muslim violence in Aluthgama and Beruwala as being confined to a few extremist groups belies a stubborn truth. This was not a random incident. Instead it was carefully planned and meticulously executed. And as much as the incident itself gives rise to the most profound misgivings, the aftermath of the communal violence exposes an even uglier truth. Indeed, each statement and action of Sri Lanka’s political more..

The common presidential candidate - part II

July 1 (CT) We discussed about the most competent persons to be the common presidential candidate of the Opposition in this column on 12 June. We discussed the pros and cons of a Cabinet Minister and Sajith Premadasa becoming the common candidate. It was further pointed out that the probability of these options becoming a reality was very remote. Hence, attention was drawn to the possibility of fielding an apolitical common candidate. Under this topic, we analyzed more..

Antique hunting around Colombo

July 1 (CT) The word 'antique' is used to describe anything that is simply old, but in reality antiques are products that are more than a hundred years old or products that are rare enough to have great value. Simply, antiques are old items that are limited in supply. More limited the item more antique it is. Most of the people think that the older the item looks, the more antique it is. But that is one of the misconceptions people have. more..

Will we miss the opportunity to reduce our foreign indebtedness?

July 1 (ST) A congruence of increased exports, remittances and tourist earnings was expected to strengthen the external finances this year and also provide space to reduce the country’s high indebtedness. The recent communal violence that erupted in Aluthgama and Beruwala areas if not contained could be a severe threat to these favourable developments in the external finances that were unfolding in the first half of the year. Security and law and order conditions must more..

UNP stalwarts set to back a common opposition Presidential candidate

July 1 (CT) Everyone, no doubt, heaved a sigh of relief when the Sinhala-Muslim clashes that raged in the Beruwala-Aluthgama area ended in a few days. President Rajapaksa who was on an official visit to Bolivia when the clashes broke out was back in the country when the Nolimit shopping mall in Panadura, belonging to a Muslim businessman went up in flames in the early hours of 21 June. And this fire, suspected to be another case of arson linked to the disturbances, caused widespread fear that more..

99 years since infamous Sinhala/Muslim riots: We are yet to learn lessons

July 1 (NS) I was up unusually early on Saturday [21] morning, smelling some wires and rubber was being burnt; the first thought was to check the house. Convinced that something was very wrong outside, I stepped out to the garden; a deep red and amber Western sky and a little distance away, I witnessed upper ends of flames licking up in the air with the wind. A thick black smoke engulfed the area; realizing that something across the more..

Sri Lanka’s national interests lie in cooperation not confrontation

July 1 (Island) It cannot be coincidental that hardly two weeks after the UN Human Rights Commissioner named the team that would investigate past human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the South African reconciliation initiative is also moving forward again. There was a pause for a while, but once again there is an appearance of movement. A high powered South African delegation headed by its Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to be in SL in the next few days. more..

Editorial: Alpine money trail

July 1 (Island) News our govt worthies may wish they could block continues to flow from the other side of the Palk Straits. First, it was about PM Narendra Modi’s small Cabinet which embarrassed our guys beyond measure. Then came his ‘Ten Commandments’, especially the one which may be rephrased as: Thou shalt not recruit thy kith and kin as thy personal staff. Now, there is much talk about a move by the govt to trace black money some Indians have stashed away in Swiss banks. more..

SA look to Tahir for spin impact

July 1 (CI) South Africa are a side powered by pace which makes a tour to the subcontinent a stern examination of their more subtle skills. The quick men have to exhibit patience and demonstrate variation, the batsman have to get their dancing shoes on and the spinners for years the question was, what spinners? This time there's an answer and it comes in three forms. South Africa have a trio of spinners in each of their ODI more..

TKS Group integrates TKS Finance with Asian Finance

July 1 (Island) ‘In line with Central Bank initiative for industry wide consolidation to strengthen the country’s financial sector, the TKS Group today announced the integration of two of its finance sector holdings, TKS Finance and Asian Finance. The new merged entity shall operate as TKS Finance, whereby the consolidated company will continue to offer the highest levels of service to the clientele of both AFL and TKSF, upon finalization of the exercise, a press release said. more..

Amla focussed on ODIs before Test captaincy

July 1 (CI) Hashim Amla, who will lead South Africa for the first time in the two Tests in Sri Lanka, has said his initial focus is on performing as a batsman in the three ODIs that precede the Tests. Highlighting the challenges that await in Sri Lanka, a place where South Africa have not done well in the past, Amla hoped the team would draw from their collective subcontinent experience in dealing with the conditions. "Although I have had a few weeks to give the captaincy a little bit more thought, more..

The agony of Sri Lanka’s Muslims

July 1 (NW) After three Sri Lankan Muslims were killed and thousands more were forced to shelter in mosques and schools, many having lost everything in the worst communal violence in decades, minister Mervyn Silva, went on TV and offered to marry a Muslim woman to make up for it. The minister has a habit of unsuitable proposals. Not long ago, he offered to marry the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, more..

South African cricket team arrives

July 1 (Island) The South African cricket team arrived in the island yesterday and will spend the whole of June here where they will play two Tests and three ODIs. The tourists will be led by A.B. de Villiers in ODIs while Hashim Amla will take over the Test captaincy filling the massive boots of recently retired Graeme Smith. The Proteas have in their ranks one of the true legends of the modern game in Jacques Kallis, who is on his last tour of Sri Lanka. Kallis, 38, is retired from Test cricket, more..

Back to barracks

July 1 (CT) The economy was not prepared for a post conflict environment which prompted the armed services to engage in economic activities to both uplift civilian life and also provide means of training for young service personnel who would soon complete their terms of service. "We knew much in advance that the war would end in May 2009 and we realized that no one was really prepared for a post-conflict economy. The govt was not prepared for it and neither was the private sector. more..

Sri Lanka under-investing in education: WB

July 1 (CT) "In several World Bank reports we have pointed out that SL under invests in education. SL's investment in education as percentage of GDP is one of the lowest in the region and in the world in terms of middle income countries." "Each country has to decide what percentage of govt budget should be invested in education & what percentage of national income would be invested in education; more..

Srilankan Airlines, official carrier of more than 70 major events

July 1 (CT) At a time when Sri Lanka is progressively becoming a much sought-after destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, has become the official carrier of more than 70 MICE events this year. Participants of these prestigious events were offered special discounted air fares, thereby encouraging them to seek Sri Lanka as a venue for future events. more..

First SFHQ level athletic tournament, Eastern Games ends

July 1 (SLA) The first of its kind at Security Force Headquarters level, the ‘Eastern Games - 2014’, the three-day sports and athletic tournament, organized by the Security Force Headquarters - East (SFHQ-E), ended in a triumphant note at Polonnaruwa Mahaweli Grounds on Saturday, rekindling better hopes in the field of Army athletics and sports. Hundreds of athletes and sportsmen and women of all Divisions, Brigades and Units of the SFHQ-E with renewed vigour and more..

TNA, How about the fish?

July 1 (DN) TNA members and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran should do more than merely extend their gratitude to TN Chief Minister Jayalalitha for speaking on behalf of the Tamil community and request her to stop TN fishermen from poaching in Sri Lanka's Northern waters depriving Tamil fishermen of their livelihood, Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratna said. "I cannot understand why TNA MPs do not more..

PB meets Japan’s senior most technocrats

July 1 (Island) Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, and a high level delegation from the Ministry of Finance visited Japan in order to call on senior technocrats as well as to participate at the Sri Lanka Investment Seminar organized by Japan External Trade Organization [JETRO] in close collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo and Tokyo Chamber of Commerce. Secretary Dr.Jayasundera was invited by Japan International Cooperation Agency. more..

Suspect in children poisoning case remanded

July 1 (Island) A suspect named Delumkotuwegedara Indrani arrested by Panwila police in connection with the death of a three-and-a-half-year old boy who fell sick after eating some biscuits and chocolates given by her, was remanded till July 3 by the Teldeniya Acting Magistrate. The elder sister of the little boy who died at Madulkele hospital was admitted to Kandy General Hospital when she, too, fell sick after eating the sweets alleged to have been given by the suspect. more..

CB Chief hails Cargills Bank for championing spirit of progress

July 1 (FT) Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal yesterday hailed the entry of Cargills Bank, saying it reflected the confidence in the future of the economy and commended its resolve to support the spirit of progress among Sri Lankans. With Rs. 4.4 billion in capital from a consortium of top investors, Cargills Bank became the 23rd licensed commercial bank in the country after a two and half years wait. more..

Half of school vans in A’pura found unfit

July 1 (Island) Checks conducted by the police school on vehicles in Anuradhapua revealed that more than half of them were not roadworthy. According to the police 150 school buses, 100 school vans and three wheelers used for transporting schoolchildren were checked. Most of them had faulty gear and brake systems, the police said. "We gave the owners of those vehicles two weeks to repair their vehicles and produce them for inspection by the traffic police," more..

Reconciliation elusive on the ground

July 1 (Hindu) The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience. The hurler of abuses, a well-known journalist, questioned the activist’s patriotism, labelled her pro-Tiger, and described her as a ‘stooge’ of the Western nations. Oh yes, that was just the printable part. The activist at the receiving end was Sunila Abeysekera. She was one of the panellists on more..

Asylum seeker boat may be forced back

July 1 (SMH) Tamil asylum seekers believed to have been intercepted on astricken fishing vessel off Christmas Island might be forcibly returned directly to south Asia by the Australian govt. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the govt was prepared to talk with any country to enforce its policy of stopping boats from reaching Australia. If the asylum seekers are in Australian custody, they are being held without communications. more..

Principal arrested over student’s death

July 1 (DM) Principal of Raththota Dikkumbura Vidyalaya was arrested by the Raththota police after a student died following a fall from a Mango tree in the school premises. The Principal was said to have been in Pinnawala when the incident occurred on June 27th Friday. The student had succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at the Matale General Hospital. The Principal was also alleged to have blamed the media for blowing the issue out of proportion. more..

Dialog presents next evolution of donor management system to Blood Bank

July 1 (Island) Dialog Axiata, enhanced its award-winning ‘SMS-Blood’ platform, which was presented to the Health Ministry under the auspices of Maithripala Sirisena – Minister of Health. The upgrades include enhanced donor management and blood stock management systems for the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in Colombo, plus, this new version will connect the Head Office with 18 regional Blood Collection Centres island wide using an Android App developed for this purpose. more..

Embassy got to know of Gnanasara Thero’s plan to visit USA and revoked the visa

July 1 (DBS) Gnanasara Thero regarded as the mastermind behind the anti-Muslim violence at Aluthgama, Dharga Nagar and Beruwela has been the target of much criticism nationally and internationally. Though the Rajapaksa Regime has been resisting widespread appeals that Gnanasara Thero be questioned over his role in instigating anti-Muslim violence the antics of the notorious ethno religious fascist has more..

Colombo Plan to launch first drug education program in a Sri Lankan school

July 1 (DN) Sri Lanka will showcase a model program of whatever projects launched by the Colombo Plan in member states, Colombo Plan Secretary General Kinley Dorji said yesterday. He said the drug education program to be launched in member states will first start in a school in Sri Lanka. Dorji, the sixth Secretary General of the organisation added that they painted more than 16 train engines gifted to Sri Lanka Railways under the Colombo Plan. Speaking at a press conference more..

Minister’s vehicle knocks motorcycle, injuring mother, son

July 1 (Island) A mother and a son were hospitalised after the motorcycle they were riding had been knocked down by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa’s vehicle at Payagala yesterday. The injured have been identified as Chintha Kanakaratne (49) and Wijesinghe Gamarachchige Vijith Wickremathilake (19). They are being treated at the Nagoda Hospital, Kalutara. The minister’s vehicle met with the accident while he was proceeding to attend a meeting chaired by President more..

President inspects Beruwala and Aluthgama reconstruction work

July 1 (GDI) President Rajapaksa made an inspection tour to Beruwala and Aluthgama areas to inspect rebuilding and renovation of areas affected by the recent clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwala which are being successfully carried out under guidance of Sri Lanka Army. President met Sinhala and Muslim communities in Pathirajawela, Darga Town, Warapitiya, Seenawatta, Aluthgama and several other areas. more..

Sri Lanka must end media restrictions to facilitate reconciliation

July 1 (CPJ) This month, in the wake of anti-Muslim sectarian riots in the southwest, the Sri Lankan govt pressured local journalists to hide the truth by not covering the violence. Those brave enough to report it had their equipment destroyed and were threatened or physically attacked. Since the govt stifled coverage of these incidents, journalists have reported using websites accessible outside Sri Lanka. The atmosphere of intimidation in Sri Lanka continues to have a chilling effect on more..

25% of youth between ages 22-30 diabetic

July 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Association of Govt Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLAGMLT) said 25% of the country's youth between the ages of 22 and 30 were afflicted with diabetes. This conclusion is based on fasting blood sugar/blood glucose levels test results collected between 2012 and 2014 from all govt hospitals, govt health clinics and camps, private health institutions and also from random blood tests conducted at private laboratories in all the provinces. more..

If proven I will resign: Gota

July 1 (DM) Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa denied any involvement with the BBS, or any fringe organisations as alleged. He asserted that he would resign from his post if any connection with these organizations was proved. “I have nothing to do with the BBS. I have not at all been involved in any of this. All this is because of baseless accusations, and I will always say that some Muslim politicians and opposition politicians more..

Campaign behind the riots

July 1 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris has said that there had been a “campaign” behind the riots that took place in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Welipenna on June 15 and 16 which has had as its aim the weakening or destabilising the Govt. He had told this during a meeting with the Colombo based Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Muslim countries which had been convened in order for the Minister to explain the causes of the riots and the actions that had been taken by the Govt to more..

Food for thought for Govt. Group meeting

July 1 (CT) The Govt Parliamentary Group is meeting in a five star hotel in Bentota to deliberate on its response to the UNHRC investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka. The meeting is a welcome initiative, which implies that the govt, which had earlier indulged in a smear campaign against the UN resolution and the liberal democracies that backed it has now taken the matter seriously. However, it appears to be too little, too late. more..

The lives destoyed in Aluthgama

July 1 (SL) Buddhists and Muslims have interacted with one another culturally, politically, economically, and sometimes militarily for years in this country. All religious faiths have coexisted harmoniously even though Buddhism is the predominant religion in Sri Lanka. As the Dalai Lama had said every person on this earth has the freedom to practice or not practice religion. But once you accept religion, it is extremely important to more..

Fish chokes Maldivian fisherman to death

July 1 (ST) A Maldivian died after a fish pierced his throat and choked him to death, the Colombo Coroners’ Court was told this week. On Tuesday (24), around 10.30 am, 41-year-old G. Abdullah, a father of five, was fishing with his brother-in-law and friend off Sithir Island, Maldives, when a long fish latched on to his body, then penetrated it and got stuck in the throat. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital and more..