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We still celebrate the bravery of King Rajasinghe II

Oct 19 (DM) The death of King Rajasinghe II closed the chapter of the Kandyan Kingdom. So much so that we are still celebrating the bravery of Rajasinghe who wiped out the Portuguese menace on March 29, 1638 - that is three hundred and seventy five years ago. But others who ruled the Kandyan Kingdom brought the Dutch and British to close the Kandyan Kingdom for ever. All Peraheras in the hills terminated on Sunday. King Rajasinghe II is famous for the Battle of Gannoruwa, more..

Exploiting The Race Card

Oct 19 (SL) In Sri Lanka, there is no ethnic issue. For votes, politicians want people to think like ‘Sinhalese’, ‘Tamils’ and ‘Muslims’. The problems in the south and north are common. They are economic issues. To exploit the race card, some northern politicians give the lack of opportunities an ethnic slant. Unethical politicians portray issues and mobilize their constituency along ethnic lines. It is only through education and more..

Opposition to vote against Casino gazette

Oct 19 (Island) The Opposition has decided to vote against two gazette notifications for setting up of casino and gaming centres when they are taken up in Parliament on Thursday. Some govt members have also expressed opposition to the gazettes and the JHU is scheduled to announce its position next Monday. The debate on the gazette notifications was scheduled for Thursday and at the end of the debate the Opposition would call more..

CMC out in force to ensure a squeaky-clean city

Oct 19 (ST) Public Health Inspectors (PHI) in Colombo have commenced inspecting star class hotels, restaurants and café’s in the city to ensure hygiene, quality and safety of the delegates arriving for CHOGM. CMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that initial raids found star class hotel gardens were breeding mosquitoes and were not maintaining freezer temperature standards for storing poultry. more..

Can Singapore Chinthanaya work for Sri Lanka?

Oct 19 (DM) On April 13, 2013, the Central Bank launched its Annual Report for 2012. The governor’s speech exploded in the news over the attention he drew to avoiding the ‘middle income trap’. The concern may have been a little premature – the phenomenon concerns countries that are beyond the US $ 4,000 per capita mark and on current trends, Sri Lanka will not get there till 2026 (projecting optimistically on, more..

Ranil, Karu, Sajith to meet again next week

Oct 19 (Island) A follow up meeting between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his former deputies Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa has been fixed for next week. They would most likely gather at the Opposition Leader’s office in Parliament. Sources said that the United Bhikhu Front which suggested most of the reconciliation proposals that the trio had discussed last week and agreed to submit to the UNP more..

CMC in battle with Daya Group

Oct 19 (Island) A new tug of war has erupted between Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Commissioner Bhadrani Jayawardene and Daya Construction Company owned by UNP National Organiser Daya Gamage over the completion of pavements in certain parts of the city before the CHOGM, which begins on Nov 15. Daya Construction has been awarded two contracts estimated at Rs. 260 million and more..

Video: Some talking about protecting UNP while justifying Srikotha attack – Tissa

Oct 19 (AD) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake today stated that certain individuals are talking about protecting the UNP while justifying the attack on Sirikotha. The UNP operates according to its constitution and disciplinary rules, he said, adding, that there should be discipline in a party. He stated that the case filed over the attack on the UNP headquarters – Sirikotha in 2011 and the damages caused on public property is more..

Secretary Defence declared opens TGI Friday's

Oct 19 (MOD) Famous TGI Friday's flagship restaurant was opened ceremonially for public at the Canal Raw, Colombo-Fort adding a different tourist attraction venue in the city yesterday (17). The yesterday's opening ceremony was graced by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest. Secretary Defence was accompanied by Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, Chairperson of the more..

Prabha’s Democratic People’s Congress to contest WPC alone

Oct 19 (AD) Leader of the Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) MP Prabha Ganesan says his party will contest the forthcoming election for the Western Provincial Council independently. The DPC had formed an alliance with the Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) to contest the recent Central Provincial Council election. However issuing a statement, Ganesan stated that the DPC would contest the next provincial polls more..

Greg Chappell in line to become chief coach of Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) may end up appointing former Australian captain Greg Chappell as its new chief coach. The SLC sources said the deadline for the selection had been extended until the end of this month with scales weighing highly in favour of Chappell, who was arguably the world’s best bastman in the mid 70s. Chappell, of course, had a troublesome stint with India resulting in his exit after a more..

Resolving the Tamil problem through an amended 13th amendment

Oct 19 (CT) The Govt and the NPC have got off to a good start displaying much goodwill to each other. It is now necessary to make the NPC work. All persons who wish peace and good governance will be happy indeed. But there are several obstacles and challenges that have to be ironed out if the NPC is to function in a manner that will fulfill the expectation of the people of the North and make them willingly give up the demand for a separate state put forward by the Tamil Expatriates. more..

Mahinda, Minotaur, Lenin and Premadasa

Oct 19 (CT) According to a recent Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, a Sri Lankan Passport is among the 10 worst in the world in terms of free access to other countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Eritrea, Nepal, Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon. If you wonder how this happened to Sri Lanka, juxtapose the previous fact with the following fact: Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom was summoned to the British Foreign more..

Much ado about CHOGM

Oct 19 (Island) Much has been said concerning Sri Lanka hosting the approaching CHOGM. A significant part of the discussion has been with regard to Canada’s decision to boycott CHOGM. In his official statement PM Stephen Harper stated that: "When Sri Lanka was selected to host the 2013 CHOGM, Canada was hopeful that the Sri Lankan govt would seize the opportunity to improve human rights conditions and more..

Extremism in hard times

Oct 19 (CT) Sri Lanka is becoming a hungrier place. According to the 2013 Global Hunger Index, Sri Lanka’s hunger-score is 15.6. This marks a worrying increase from the 2012 score of 14.4; it is also the highest hunger-score since 2007. The Global Hunger Index is a composite of three computations critically important to the current and future wellbeing of a nation: Undernourishment, Child Underweight and Child Mortality. For years, experts have been warning about unacceptably more..

James Packer should pay taxes

Oct 19 (CT) Our lead story on Friday revealed that the proposed multi-storey gaming complex of the Australian casino tycoon, James Packer, would be granted an estimated Rs 120 billion tax concession per annum. Packer’s package is more than the annual health budget of the country. In fact, it narrowly misses the education budget, which stood at Rs 121 billion last year. Sri Lanka’s health budget for 2013 was Rs 95 billion. Those numbers are further proof as to how crony capitalism more..

Education key to ending child labor in Sri Lanka’s gem mines

Oct 19 (UCAN) Fourteen-year-old Priyantha Ranasinghe wakes each morning at 4am, dresses in darkness and then travels 20 kilometers in a lorry packed with other workers to a gem mine in Ratnapura. There he spends the next 12 hours engaged in grueling work, hauling chunks of red earth up from an open mineshaft. “I feel very tired every evening, but I have to look after my paralyzed father and two sisters,” said Priyantha. more..

Beautifying premises for CHOGM: A request, not demand - Mayor

Oct 19 (Island) In its attempt to beautify the City, for the CHOGM, scheduled to begin in Colombo on November 15, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has requested all houses, trading establishments etc to colour wash their premises on either side of 17 roads foreign delegates are scheduled to travel on. Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil told The Island that letters had been sent to all residents concerned requesting them to co-operate with the CMC. more..

Big Bang’s Sheldon grabs Lankan mutton curry, astrology in LA

Oct 19 (LR) The Big Bang Theory’s Dr. Sheldon Cooper, portrayed by Emmy award-winning actor Jim Parsons found himself in Los Angeles’ Little Sri Lanka, grabbing a parcel of mutton curry with coconut milk after he sought relationship advice from an astrologer. The latest episode “Workplace Proximity” aired last night in Canada, the American television series was into its seventh successful season and based around young scientists roommates living in Pasadena, California. more..

Lankans guzzle 234 mn litres of firewater; govt. rakes in a cool Rs. 565 mn as tax

Oct 19 (Island) Sri Lankans have consumed 234,019,903 liters of liquor last year, according to the statistics published in the latest Administrative Report of the Commissioner General of Excise. The report says that the govt has earned a tax revenue of Rs. 565,188,544 from both foreign and local liquor during the year. Sri Lankans have guzzled 1,515,439 litres of gin, 123,556,629 litres of beer, 1,114,000 litres of whisky, more..

Stranded undergrads rescued in Hantana

Oct 19 (DM) Police and the STF today rescued four university undergrads including a female student, who were stranded in the Hantana hills since yesterday, police said. Police said two of them were external students of the Sri Jayewardenepura University while the other two were from a private university. They were on an observation tour in the Hantana hills since yesterday morning. Police were unable to trace them yesterday due to fogswith heavy rains in the area, but they managed more..

Make assets declaration mandatory

Oct 19 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is expected to call on the Commissioner of Elections next week, to insist on the need to make it mandatory for all candidates contesting future elections, to declare assets before the nominations are announced. A TISL spokesperson said that in view of the candidates treating the applicable regulations lightly, it is important to bring an amendment to the law, making it imperative for all political aspirants to declare their assets more..

Marketing cess on tea finally to be utilized

Oct 19 (DM) The Sri Lanka Tea Board will be releasing part of its Rs.3.5 billion marketing cess fund in order to launch an aggressive promotional campaign for Ceylon tea in key markets, according to Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Addressing the AGM of the Tea Exporters’ Association (TEA), Samarasinghe stated that proposals for the promotional campaign are currently being formulated. more..

Indian poachers up the ante

Oct 19 (DN) Over the last few weeks the Sri Lanka Navy has observed an increase in the number of trawlers that came into Sri Lankan waters. "There seems to be an increase now both, near the North-Western and Northern-Eastern seas," Navy Spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya has told The Hindu, with regard to the continuous poaching by Indian fishermen. Observing that the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters had become a major problem for more..

One-year diploma for English teachers

Oct 19 (CT) With the intention of further enhancing the skills and standards of the teachers of English presently in service, the All Ceylon Union of English Teachers (ACUET) urged Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake, to introduce a one-year diploma course for the teachers. General Secretary of the ACUET, M.A. Stanley Perera, stated that emphasis should be placed on modules addressing phonetics, elements of linguistics, innovative methodologies of comparing more..

Sugaladevi’s tomb is a myth

Oct 19 (CT) The alleged discovery of the tomb of Princess Sugaladevi at a granite mining site in the Siripura area in Dimbulagala, Polonnaruwa, though validated by certain religious organizations, is ultimately baseless, Assistant Director of Archaeology, NCP, Chitrani Malkanthi said. “We visited the site in question recently and inspected the area. We were unable to trace any evidence to prove the existence of the controversial tomb more..

An expression of desire for self-rule

Oct 19 (CT) Leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, said the outcome of last month’s NPC elections is an expression of the Northern people’s desire for self-determination. Addressing the media at the Jaffna Press Club on Monday, he defended the TNPF’s decision to boycott the election and said the Tamil people of the North should be praised for rejecting the Sinhalese rule in the Tamil homeland, and for expressing their enduring desire for more..

Dependent war hero ties the knot

Oct 19 (MoD) War Hero Lance Corporal L.U Indrajith of 6 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment who is partially blind entered into his married life at a function held on 15th Oct at the Pabavi Hotel in Gampha. Valiant war hero Indrajith was found severely injured following a land mine explosion on 9th May 2009, as the final battle for peace was reaching its peak at the Puthukudiyiruppu in Mullaittivu. He survived luckily but remained partially blind with amputated left-leg above the knee. more..

CTB bus fares also set to increase by 7%

Oct 19 (AD) CTB bus fares will also be increased by 7% together with the private bus fares from Nov 1, the Sri Lanka Transport Board said. The Ministry of Private Transport Services last week announced that private bus fares will be increased by 7% with effect from Nov 1 and that the relevant cabinet paper submitted by the Minister has been granted approval. Private bus unions have accepted the increase but called for a 12% increase more..

STF to undergo firearm training

Oct 19 (CT) The Ministry of Law and Order has decided to reorganize the Special Task Force (STF) as a precautionary step, in view of the possibility of outside terrorist groups tying up with local groups and causing disturbance in the country. Secretary to the newly formed ministry, Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi, stressed that resurgence of terrorism with joint forces of outside terrorists could be more vicious and destructive than what the country had to endure for 30 years. more..

Kabir new UNP chairman ; Daya - treasurer

Oct 19 (SM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to appoint MP Kabir Hashim and PC councilor Daya Gamage to the posts of party chairman and treasurer respectively, internal sources say. According to the new UNP constitution, it is the party leader who is empowered to appoint the party chairman, the general secretary and treasurer. The post of party chairman fell vacant after Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera resigned from the post at the UNP WC meeting more..

List of ministers maintaining links with CBK

Oct 19 (SM) The govt has decided to table a list of ministers' names who are secretly maintaining connections with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the 'Maubima' reports. The list is to be tabled before the SLFP Central Committee, it adds. Evidence of such connections including recorded telephone conversations are being put in order to be tabled before the SLFP CC. It adds that the govt more..

EPC opposes move to affiliate Trinco Campus

Oct 19 (CT) The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has requested the Higher Education Ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) not to affiliate the Trincomalee campus of the East University with the Rajarata University of Anuradhapura or with the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Kotte. Currently, the Trincomalee campus is affiliated to the Eastern University of Sri Lanka, which has had its headquarters in Vantharumoolai, in the Batticaloa District since 2001. more..

'Urban malnutrition among children on the rise'

Oct 19 (CT) School children in urban areas suffer from malnutrition more than the children in rural areas, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, said. Participating research conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that malnutrition is spreading among school children in Sri Lanka at a rapid rate. He noted, the reason for many school children suffering from malnutrition is not having a proper breakfast and eating fast food items which lack nutrition. more..

FUTA threatens to resume strike

Oct 19 (CT) The FUTA threatened to launch another strike, if the govt failed to settle their salary anomalies in Budget 2014. FUTA Chairman, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, said the govt has so far attended to only a few of their demands, even after a written undertaking to attend to all of them in response to their trade union action. In these circumstances, he said, FUTA would be compelled to resume their suspended trade union more..

Conspiracy to create stir in country?

Oct 19 (SM) The recently established Ministry of Law and Order has decided to reorganise the Police STF, reports say. According to the ministry, the measure is taken as there is a possibility of certain local, extremist elements creating an agitation in the country with the aid of an international terrorist outfit. Ministry secretary Major General (Rtd) Nanda Mallawarachchi states that this looming threat could be worse than the wave of terrorism that prevailed and therefore should be amply prepared. more..

Panel asks Cameron to boycott CHOGM

Oct 19 (Hindu) The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in its report ‘Role and Future of the Commonwealth’ has sharply criticized the decision to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, and has called upon Prime Minister David Cameron to boycott the meeting. “We conclude that continuing evidence of serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka shows that the Commonwealth's decision to hold the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo was wrong,” the Report concluded. more..

36 returnees from Australia remanded

Oct 19 (CT) 36 out of the 73 boat people returned to Sri Lanka by the Australian authorities on 14 and 15 October were remanded until 29 October by the Negombo Magistrate. The batch of forced returnees, who arrived in the island on flights ASY 1123 and ASY 1125 were arrested at the BIA. The reason for remanding the returnees was that some of them had attempted to reach Australia by boats on more than one occasion. more..

Wigneswaran’s Framework

Oct 20 (NS) Ex-judge C.V. Wigneswarn is now a politician. These are early days of his political career. Early days are typically made of words. Time will tell us more of ‘deed’ and the distance these have to rhetoric. We are not talking of the campaign rhetoric, which typically tends to gravitate to vote-getting imperatives. It is well known that manifestos are junked after election and mandates re-worded to match ambitions and justify decisions. Even in this sense we are still in ‘early days’ more..

Lies, damn lies and economics statistics?

Oct 20 (SL) After the excitement and hype of the Commonwealth Summit next month will come the presentation of the Budget for 2014 which some parliamentarians and supporters of the govt will consider to be a cake walk having made a clean sweep of the North Central Provincial Council and Central Provincial Council elections held recently. But the budget conditions for making budget proposals are ‘by no means propitious’ as a well known Economist wrote in his column more..