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Probe on Vavuniya monk

Oct 18 (CG) An investigation is underway into a monk who is alleged to have abused a young boy at a children’s home he was operating in Vavuniya. The children’s home had been registered and boys between the ages of 10 and 18 were living in the premises. A police complaint had been lodged stating that an 18 year old boy who was in the children’s home had been abused by the monk. However it later came to light that the police investigations into the incident had stalled. more..

73 Boat People sent back to Sri Lanka

Oct 18 (Bernama) Three boat arrivals were reported from Oct 11 to 18, Operation Sovereign Borders Commander Major General Angus Campbell said. Last Friday, a boat carrying 79 people arrived at the Cocos Islands from Sri Lanka. The Immigration Department determined none had presented reasons for coming to Australia which "required further consideration". Some 73 had been returned to SL and the remaining six would be returned as soon as they were deemed fit to fly. more..

Sino-SL FTA to boost SL garment industry

Oct 18 (MEA) Chinese investors will contribute to develop Sri Lanka’s garment and handloom textile industries and find international markets for the products thus helping to reduce unemployment among rural women in this country. Powerful Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China Yu Jianhua said this when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry Office on 17 Oct. more..

What does a vote mean in Sri Lanka?

Oct 19 (NS) A vote in a democracy is considered sacrosanct. It determines the destiny of a nation; the choice of the people, by the people and for the people.But how good is a vote in Sri Lanka now that we have used it for over seven decades since our independence, and even before it?Does a vote represent the aspirations of our people – every citizen without exception - and a place in the governance of the country?Or has the vote failed us with the pathetic weakness lacking more..

Victims or active agents of change?

Oct 19 (CT) The latest report of the Minority Rights Group (MRG) entitled Living With Insecurity: Marginalization and Sexual Violence against Women in North and East Sri Lanka released yesterday, although a stinging indictment on the Govt of Sri Lanka for its alleged failure to prevent marginalization of, and sexual violence against, Tamil and Muslim women in the former conflict areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, also focuses on the small victories achieved more..

Pesticides: a silent killer?

Oct 19 (SO) A pesticide is defined as any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent, destroy, repel, ormitigate any pest. These include insecticides (affects insects), herbicides (affects plants and weeds) and fungicides (affects fungi). The main advantage in using pesticides is its ability to produce a high yield in crops. Adding to this trend, in the recent past, genetically modified crops (GMCs) have been developed to produce more..

Crawly invaders

Oct 19 (CT) The results of a survey conducted in the year 2000 has revealed that seven species identified as pest snails are non-native species that were introduced either deliberately or accidently to the country. The survey was carried out through University of Peradeniya, by Dr. Shalika Kumburegama as an undergraduate research project under the supervision of Prof. K.B. Ranawana, in the Kandy, Matale, Badulla and Nuwara Eliya Districts. more..

Understanding State Racism

Oct 19 (Island) The greatest enemy of the Sinhalese is not the Tamil or the Muslim or the Indian or the Westerner. The greatest enemy of the Sinhalese is the Sinhalese State racist. As I explained in my article in The Island of Oct 12 the Sinhalese State racist has his hands on the levers of State power, and he can deploy State power together with his associates both within and outside the network of the State. Because of the enormous State power that he can wield, more..

Give Rs. 5 a day to help relieve their pain

Oct 19 (ST) It is devastating to be diagnosed with cancer. To be financially poor and diagnosed with cancer is to enter a particular kind of living hell. “A child diagnosed with leukemia has a very good chance of going into remission,” says Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa. “If we get two or three vials of Neupogen we can build up his system to withstand the chemo. But a vial of Neupogen, costs around Rs. 6000. more..

The new Indo-US military axis: Could Sri Lanka be decapitated?

Oct 19 (CT) The head of the island of Sri Lanka can be separated from the body of the island by overwhelming external force. Does such a force or combination of forces exist? Who, where and what are they? Does Sri Lanka have a credible capacity for deterrence or resistance? Paranoia apart, there are no internal threats to the strategic and security interests of Sri Lanka, and even if there were, they could easily be prevailed over. There could however be external ones, which are almost more..

Why ethnicity matters in Sri Lanka: An author’s response to criticism

Oct 19 (CT) Following our Sinhala privilege piece published on our Tumblr, ‘Check your Des(h)i Privilege’, we received a number of responses from Sinhalese and Tamils alike. As one of the co-authors of the piece, I’ve observed some of the conversations that were incited by the piece on social media and felt compelled, now after almost a month since publication, to respond to some of the assertions made and beliefs uncovered in the wake of the debate. more..

Beyond Boston: Lionel Bopage - Part 1

Women in post war reconstruction and recovery

Oct 19 (GV) The aftermath of Sri Lanka’s decades of civil conflict have left, not only massive damage of physical property, both public and private, requiring extensive reconstruction but many households and even whole communities affected by the conflict through loss of loved ones, loss of property including homes, personal injuries, displacement, disruption of children’s education, loss of means of livelihood, loss of the family breadwinner and conflict related trauma. more..

People's Bank extends attractive loan schemes

Oct 19 (Island) Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the nation’s economy and People’s Bank is playing a significant role in supporting the aspirations of this segment by launching a number of schemes to empower budding entrepreneurs. The Govt has pledged support to this vital segment of the economy through the years and President Mahinda Rajapaksa even invited the country’s banking network to join hands in this endeavour. more..

'President Rajapaksa can win the Tamil Diaspora'

Oct 19 (NS) Professor Madhav Das Nalapat is a UNESCO Peace Chair and Director of Geopolitics and International Relations Department at Manipal University, India. A former Coordinating Editor of The Times of India, he writes extensively on security, policy and international affairs. He has no formal role in govt, although he is said to influence policy at the highest levels. Recently, on a visit to Sri Lanka, more..

Editorial: Human rights as a cover

Oct 19 (Island) India’s participation at next month’s CHOGM in Colombo is still in the balance and speculation is rife that PM Dr. Manmohan Singh may skip it. The Sri Lankan govt, no doubt, deserves most of the flak it receives and should get its act together on the human rights front instead of venting its spleen on its critics. If not for pressure Britain has brought to bear on it in the run-up to the Colombo CHOGM the killers of a British citizen would have been handled with kid gloves. more..

'Next step for SL economy, $100 billion'

Oct 19 (ST) The next challenge for Sri Lanka’s economy is surmounting the US$100 billion mark, according to Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the Governor of the country’s Central Bank. He added that this was an important milestone because it would allow Sri Lanka to “proceed beyond the $ 4,000 per capita income level” and “not fall prey to the deadly ‘middle-income trap’ that has snared many countries in the past”. Mr. Cabraal made these observations at this week’s 25th anniversary more..

Lankan boat builders urge taxes on foreign vessel imports

Oct 19 (ST) The duty free access given to import foreign vessels and heavy taxes on imported parts has become a major impediment to the growth of the Sri Lankan boat building industry. Action taken by the govt to impose taxes on imported boat parts has led to high production costs and local boat builders are finding it difficult to compete with low priced dilapidated second hand boats being imported to the country more..

Laksala to open third purpose-built outlet at Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Oct 19 (FT) With the entire country preparing for the CHOGM, Laksala the official state gift shop for the conference is also expanding its outlets. Under the Divi Neguma social developmental scheme with the guidance of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, a new outlet is currently being constructed at the entrance to the Peradeniya botanical garden. The outlet will open in time for the CHOGM, for the spouses of the heads of states to visit en route to the botanical garden. more..

Youth drowns after car plunges into Diyawanna Oya

Oct 19 (AD) A twenty-one year old youth drowned after a vehicle plunged into the Diyawanna Oya in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte this morning. Police said two persons were onboard when the car arriving from Kimbulawala and traveling on the road along Diyawanna Oya was involved in the accident which took place at around 2.20am today. However, the driver of the car had managed to save himself. The deceased is a resident of Bagathale Road in Bambalapitiya. more..

Poll: Reducing corruption way out of the budget deficit trap

Oct 19 (ST) Reducing widespread corruption in Sri Lanka is the biggest step towards cutting the budget deficit, an island-wide opinion poll has revealed. The poll found that most of the 1,317 respondents spread across eight districts in Sri Lanka gave an 82.8% vote towards ‘minimizing corruption’ as a step towards cutting the budget deficit. Interestingly ‘changing the foreign debt policy’ secured a 67.8% vote from the more..

UNP CPC members meet to resolve crisis

Oct 19 (DM) All UNP members of the Central Provincial Council have been summoned to Colombo next week for a discussion to resolve the crisis with regard to the opposition leader’s post, Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He said that the party had officially appointed former MP Ranjith Aluvihare to the post after which Lucky Jayawardene claimed it saying he had the backing of majority members. Attanayake said he was confident the crisis would be resolved more..

Queen's Baton here on today

Oct 19 (CT) With less than ten months to go for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the Queen's Baton relay will pass through Sri Lanka after a two-day visit starting on Saturday. The Queen'sBaton relay is on an epic journey through the 71 members of the Commonwealth, across all continents. The baton which embodies Glasgow and Scotland's culture, history and innovation in its design and construction includes the Queen's message for the Games. more..

20,536 candidates for Korean test

Oct 19 (DN) The Korean Language Proficiency Test for youth seeking jobs in South Korea will be held today and tomorrow at six schools in Colombo, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced. Around 20,536 candidates are eligible to sit for the examination held for the 11th occasion. The exam will be held in six schools - Nalanda, Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Asoka Vidyalaya, D.S. Senanayake more..

GL, Bishop discuss CHOGM arrangements

Oct 19 (Island) As Australia, the current Chair of the Commonwealth, prepares to hand it over to Sri Lanka at the upcoming CHOGM in November, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris held bilateral discussions with Ms. Julie Bishop, Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on the sidelines of the Cyberspace Conference in Seoul on Thursday. The two ministers discussed the arrangements being made for the major event in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s first-ever floral designing course

Oct 19 (CT) Blazing yet another trail in Sri Lanka’s thriving floral décor industry, Lassana Flora broke new ground recently and launched Sri Lanka’s first-ever Floral Designing Course. “This to me is a dream come true”, said an elated Dr. Lasantha Malavige, Chairman of Lassana Flora. “This has been a long felt need. Floral designing is a well sought after profession both locally and internationally. There is a massive demand for professionally qualified florists locally, more..

A Sri Lankan journalist eagerly toes the Line

Oct 19 (NYT) He calls himself the Rush Limbaugh of Sri Lanka, “except I’m not as obnoxious.” His critics say he should be hanged from a lamppost. Rajpal Abeynayake, 50, is the editor in chief of The Daily News, the country’s largest English-language daily newspaper, which is wholly owned by the govt. He is also the host of a morning radio program, and the two platforms make him the most influential English-language journalist more..

Stormy weather displaces 106 families

Oct 19 (Island) Stormy weather conditions, being experienced around the country, had forced 106 families out of their homes, the DMC said. The heavy rains had caused damage to property in the Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Galle, Kalutara, and Vavuniya districts. The Hatton Road was closed temporarily yesterday evening in view of threats of landslides. About 70 houses in the Nuwara Eliya, Hanguranketha, Dodangoda, Galle, Balapitiya, and Vavuniya areas have been damaged by more..

Elephant management plan being formulated

Oct 19 (DN) The Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) is formulating an elephant management plan covering the entire country aiming to mitigate the human-elephant conflict, a WCD Spokesperson said. Department hopes to implement the plan by next year. Plan is being drafted by the Department, after extensive studies in elephant roaming areas, their habitats and patterns. The data collected from the elephant census carried out last year has also been utilized in formulating the plan. more..

'Govt will develop rural education'

Oct 19 (DN) The govt is in the process of developing clusters of schools in each province, said President Rajapaksa. He made this observation when he met a group of 45 schoolchildren who obtained the highest marks at the Year Five scholarship exam from the Vavuniya district. He added that a large number of students from rural as well as urban areas are making steady progress in academic activities. more..

Modi says must protect Tamils

Oct 19 (CG) Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi says people of Indian origin are present in several countries and they have to be engaged effectively and taken care of when in trouble like the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Modi also said that India’s foreign policy should be built on the foundation of our culture, tradition, strength, economy, trade, strategy and security. Delivering the Nani Palkhivala memorial lecture in Chennai today on “India and the World”, more..

TNA in the Northern Province

Oct 19 (EAR) In the recently held Provincial Council elections, the TNA won 30 out of 38 seats (that included two bonus seats) and formed the govt in the Northern Province. As announced during the campaign, its chief ministerial candidate CV Wigneswaran, a retired SC judge, took over as the Chief Minister. Interestingly, the UPFA that won the other two Provinces (North Western and Central) got seven seats and the SLMC got one seat. This means that despite overwhelming support more..

Sri Lanka's media struggles to cope with death threats and harassment

Oct 19 (Telegraph) The journalists of "Uthayan" newspaper in northern Sri Lanka are wearily accustomed to death threats, harassment and sometimes assault. When three gunmen broke into the head office at 5.30 one morning, however, they tried a more direct method of shutting down the independent daily. The attackers, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, made their way to the printing press, fired two rounds through its more..

PMB GM lacking qualifications

Oct 19 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Co-operative and Internal Trade, G.K.D. Amarawardana, has instructed in writing to Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), K.B. Jayasinghe, to revert Board’s Present General Manger to his previous post as Deputy General Manager, as he does not possess necessary qualifications for the present post. According to the qualifications listed in the newspaper advertisement, candidate for the General Manager post more..

Register now to vote in next year’s PC polls

Oct 19 (CT) The PAFFREL said that it has sent out letters to all political parties to inform voters on the importance of registering themselves in the 2013 voter registers, in order to be eligible for voting in the upcoming PC elections. PAFFREL, Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that registering oneself is very important as the voter lists for the Provincial Council elections that will be held early next year will be prepared according to the 2013 register. more..

Documenting stories of forced disappearances in Lanka

Oct 19 (Hindu) “You would get arrested, get raped or disappear yourself. Don’t do it.” This advice the independent film-maker and poet Leena Manimekalai got from well-wishers was hardly encouraging, when she told them about shooting a documentary in Sri Lanka on the enforced disappearances in the island nation over the past three decades. That was three months ago. Now, the documentary’s post-production more..

Many new holiday resorts to open in December

Oct 19 (MoD) Many new-style holiday resorts will be opened in Sri Lanka, especially in the tourist zones of Eastern seaboard, in December. These hotel and resorts are being built under Economic Development Ministry's five-year plan to build 50,000 new hotel rooms to accommodate the 2.5 million tourists expected in Sri Lanka by 2016. The plan is successfully nearing completion, the Ministry said. Most of the hotels have been constructed in the tourist zones of Kuchchaweli more..

'CHOGM will showcase a peaceful Sri Lanka to world'

Oct 19 (DN) TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita said the CHOGM to be held in Colombo next month is an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to showcase to the world, the reality with regard to peace in the country, in the aftermath of 30 years terrorism. "CHOGM will be an eye opener for those who make baseless allegations against the country," Pelpita said. He said the LTTE rump in foreign countries in connivance with local and international NGOs launched a massive campaign against more..

KP alleges TNA hardliners trying to cause chaos

Oct 19 (Island) Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, aka KP, said that hardliners in the TNA would try to cause new issues to derail the ongoing reconciliation process. The Kilinochchi-based Pathmanathan was responding to the TNA-run Chavakachcheri Pradeshiya Sabha passing a resolution to request the newly elected NPC to rebuild LTTE cemeteries in districts coming under its purview. more..

Language goes beyond communication

Oct 19 (DM) Social anthropologist Prof. Sasanka Perera, in a keynote address delivered at a conference on Language and Social Cohesion underlined some vital issues on which the Govt and the people of Sri Lanka need to reflect deeply in these crucial months and years. Prof. Perera points out that language is not a simple issue of communication. In contemporary social and political practice, language goes much beyond its basic utilitarian purposes. more..