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End of Bogambara prison Reviving debate about Capital punishment

Apr 17 (DM) The overwhelming endorsement to re-activate capital punishment by a large majority of visitors to the Bogambara prison after its shift to Pallekele has given food for thought to the Cabinet and President Rajapaksa. Bogambara Prison (BPK), one of the oldest prisons in the country located in Kandy has been shifted to a more spacious new location at Pallekele in Kandy at a cost of Rs. 4 billion. Nearly 140 years old prison was more..

A unique hub of governance

Apr 17 (DM) It is strange that many countries do not appear to emulate the example of Sri Lanka in its policies of governance. After all we have so many systems of governance from the single unit of authority at the apex, to a parliament, PCs, district administration, divisional administration, city, urban and village administrations that start from grassroots levels. You can name any unit of governance and Sri Lanka is bound to have it. In fact all these forms of political and bureaucratic administration more..

Good medicine to revive patient-friendly health service

Apr 17 (DM) In one of the healthiest moves for the New Year, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is this month expected to introduce in Parliament tough new legislation for the implementation of a National Medicinal Drugs Policy based on Professor Senaka Bibile’s Essential Medicines Concept which scores of countries have implemented successfully but his own home country has for various reasons delayed it for about four decades. In terms of the legislation, which is likely to be passed unanimously more..

Sri Lanka says LTTE network is intact

Apr 17 (CG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says although there is no more terrorism in Sri Lanka, the terrorists’ global network continues to function largely unhindered. Speaking today at the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently underway in Malaysia, Rajapaksa said that the LTTE network continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations more..

Protest in Jaffna over death of young woman

Apr 17 (CT) A mass protest was held opposite Bishop's House in Jaffna yesterday, by those mourning the death of a young woman, who committed suicide by jumping into a well at Gurunagar. Crowd, mourning the death of 22-year-old, Jerome Consolita, shouted slogans seeking justice from the Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam, claiming girl had committed suicide due to depression after she had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest. more..

Indian SC to hear petition on alleged role of Indian Army in Sri Lankan civil war

Apr 17 (Hindu) Supreme Court will hear on Friday a writ petition for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged role of the Indian Army in the war in Sri Lanka. Petitioner, Ram Sankar, an advocate and human rights activist, said a probe was necessary in view of the publication of U.N. Secretary General’s expert panel report implicating Indian armed forces for their involvement with the Sri Lankan army in alleged war crimes against Tamil civilians, including persons of Indian origin. more..

No foreign conspiracy, govt sponsors BBS, says UNP

Apr 17 (Island) UNP rejected claims by some sections of the govt that the BBS was being used by international conspirators to tarnish the image of Buddhism. It was elements within the ruling alliance that were instigating the BBS to act in the manner it did so that the resulting confusion could be used to cloud burning issues such as the rising cost of living, rampant corruption and the unprecedented crime wave, which had gripped the entire country, more..

Miliband wants pressure on Lanka

Apr 17 (CG) The leader of Britain’s Labour Party Ed Miliband says the British Govt and others must bring pressure to bear on the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Sri Lankans are respected. In a message wishing the Tamils in Sri Lanka and Britain for the traditional new year, Miliband said the Labour Party has supported calls for an independent, international investigation into the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by more..

Sri Lanka targets increasingly MICE

Apr 17 (TDN) Sri Lanka is slowly emerging as a desirable destination for world travellers, following the return of peace in the last decade. Growing popularity is observed through high growth rates of international travellers: last year, Sri Lanka received 1.274 million international visitors, a number up by 26.7% over 2012. Europe is Sri Lanka largest source market with 547,000 arrivals in 2013 followed by Asia with close to 510,000 tourists. India remains Sri Lanka’s largest inbound more..

President Rajapaksa presides over the New Year National Oil Anointing ceremony

Apr 17 (IL) The traditional Oil Anointing State Ceremony for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year was held this morning (16) at the Yatawatta Raja Maha Viharaya premises in Kossinna, Ganemulla at Gampaha under the patronage of President Rajapaksa and the Chief Sangha Nayake of Siyane Korale Venerable Thorapitiye Ananda Nayaka Thero. President performed the oil anointing ritual at the auspicious time of 11.16 am more..

Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet to launch Colombo and Mattala flights

Apr 17 (ATW) Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet has ventured outside the Persian Gulf for the first time, beginning services to Colombo and Mattala in Sri Lanka. Rotana Jet—which has used Embraer ERJ-145s for services within the United Arab Emirates and around the Gulf—has acquired an Airbus A319 for the longer sector to Sri Lanka. A second A319 is due to arrive in April, allowing the carrier to increase the frequency of its Sri Lankan services from 3X- to 6X-weekly. more..

Police Emergency unplugged

Apr 17 (Island) The Police Emergency Number was not working for more than one hour or more since 3.00 p.m. on Tuesday. The Island received a complain from a motorist on the Southern Highway who wanted to contact the police to complaint of traffic congestion at Kahathuduwa, where the Southern Expressway’s second interchange is located due to a buggy cart race. All our efforts to contact the police emergency on 119 number were in vain for more than one hour. more..

Police get court order for BBS video

Apr 17 (DM) The news directors attached to two private television channels were yesterday ordered to hand over unedited video footage to the police, to conduct further investigations into the alleged commotion made by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organistion, disrupting a media conference organised by the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) on April 9. Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M.M. Sahabdeen ordered the news directors of Hiru TV more..

Microfinance industry meets Basil over Batti barriers

Apr 17 (FT) The microfinance industry has last week met Minister Basil Rajapaksa over the recent development where Batticaloa local authorities had imposed new guidelines. Sources said the Lanka Microfinance Practitioners Association (LMFPA) had a very productive meeting with Minister Rajapaksa who was attentive and supportive. The Minister had recommended an open dialogue between the Batticaloa District Secretariat and LMFPA to resolve the current situation in Batticaloa. more..

Agriculture, disaster management: Space technology promoted

Apr 17 (DN) The Technology Development and Application Policy pursued by Sri Lanka will benefit the masses, Technology and Research Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said the Arthur C. Clarke Institute recently initiated a program to promote certain selected applications of space technology among the institutes operating in the fields of agriculture, irrigation, agrarian development, meteorology, disaster management and census and statistics. more..

Gold and bronze medals for SL inventors

Apr 17 (DN) Five Sri Lankan inventors won 2 Gold medals and 2 Bronze medals, including a Gold medal with special jury recognition at the 42nd International Exhibition of Inventions held from April 2 - 6 in Geneva, which is known as the world’s largest market-place for inventions. The winners were felicitated at a special ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka New Inventors’ Commission at National Science Foundation more..

Mother sells daughter for prostitution

Apr 17 (CT) The Children and Women Bureau of the police is conducting investigations into an incident where a mother had been soliciting her 14-year-old daughter to businessmen for sexual purposes, earning between Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000 daily. According to the Bureau Chief, these incidents came to light when the daughter and mother fell out as the mother had not paid the daughter her dues. Following their disagreement, the girl had gone to her grandmother's house. more..

Another complaint against Ven. Gnanasara

Apr 17 (DM) A complaint has been made to the Slave Island Police against the statement made to the media by the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera on April 12. Police said the complaint was made by a Muslim that Ven. Gnanasara Thera’s statement to the media had insulted the Holy Quran. Police said written statements of 11 individuals were produced with the complaint to prove it. Slave Island police are investigating the complaint. more..

'Canada's decision will make it notorious'

Apr 17 (DN) Canada's decision to suspend its voluntary contributions to the Commonwealth Fund will make them notorious in the Commonwealth for neglecting their responsibilities towards the people of the Commonwealth countries, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara pointed out. "The Commonwealth is not Sri Lanka," he explained and added, "although Canadian FM John Baird has mentioned that their decision to more..

Ceylon Chamber and Police plan seminar on ‘Business Security’

Apr 17 (Island) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Department of Police will hold a seminar under the title of "Minimizing the risks to your Business by deciding on proper Security measures". The move by the Chamber and the Police comes, following the spate of crimes which took place in the recent times, targeting business firms such as, banks and financial institutions etc. The seminar, which is scheduled to be held on the 25th of April, 2014 at 3.00 pm, more..

Iran buying influences low grown price upsurge; black tea Westerns drop

Apr 17 (Island) Gradual removal of Iran’s bi-lateral trade restrictions influenced a strong price resurgence of the low grown market. However high growns did not fare so well. Salutary increase in low grown prices was facilitated by easing of bi-lateral trade restrictions on Iran which resulted in positive influences on Ceylon Tea, said CEO John Keels, Sudath Munasinghe. Additionally, desultory influences of tea bags on black tea production had pronounced repercussions on prices. more..

Minor exports post major rebound

Apr 17 (FT) The country’s minor exports produced a major rebound last year both in terms of higher production and earnings. Spices led the revival with exports earnings up 39% to $ 355 million in 2013 whilst other minor agricultural products exports saw a 33% jump to $ 101.3 million. Export of vegetables too saw a hefty 87% increase to $ 25 million albeit from a low base. The performance of these sectors helped to more..

Docs in K’negala threaten trade union action

Apr 17 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Kurunegala General Hospital branch yesterday warned that it would be compelled to resort to trade union action as some nurses had interfered with midwives’ labour room duties. GMOA Kurunegala General Hospital Branch Secretary Dr. Amila Mahuragoda said that the lives of many expectant mothers were at high risk as the matrons had to issue the delivery kits to the midwives who were supposed to work in the labour room. more..

Is Ranil Sri Lankan?

Apr 17 (DN) President Rajapaksa and his family observed Sinhala and Hindu New Year traditions at their ancestral Carlton residence at Tangalle, while Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was in the US lecturing and studying the art of toppling govts at the MIT, religious leaders and other notables said. Wickremesinghe came under heavy fire from sections of the Buddhist and Hindu clergy, politicians, scholars and the public for not participating in one of the country’s most more..

PCs’ earnings flat, expenditure grow

Apr 17 (CT) Total revenue earned by Provincial Councils (PCs) in 2013 rose 2.5% in 2013 with recurrent expenditure growing 12.7% and capital expenditure increasing by 31.7%, resulting in central govt transfers increasing by 21%. Central Bank said that it was necessary for PCs to increase their revenue so as to reduce their dependence on the central govt, which was struggling to meet its revenue targets as well. more..

Counter justification for a national security state through National Unity Charter

Apr 17 (Island) Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge gave an early warning of things to come during his visit to Washington DC in February to lobby against the proposed UNHRC resolution on war crimes that was being led by the US and reached its denouement in the vote in Geneva on March 27. He drew upon his knowledge of the workings of Sri Lankan society and govt to warn of chaos if the resolution was passed. At that time he was criticized for making this statement. more..

Thilanga to deliver lecture on ‘Leadership for Transformation’ at Korean University

Apr 17 (FT) Business leader and MP Thilanga Sumathipala has been invited to deliver a special lecture on ‘Leadership for Transformation’ at the Keimyung University in South Korea on 18 April. His invitation and presentation is based on his past experience in the corporate sector and national institutions such as Sri Lanka Telecom/Mobitel/Sri Lanka Cricket and as an Executive Director at Parliamentarian for Global Action (PGA). Keimyung University founded in 1954 more..

CPC losses down in 2013 but bank debt high

Apr 17 (LBO) Losses at state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation fell to 7.7 billion rupees in 2013 from 89.6 billion rupees a year earlier, but bank debt was still high. Other state enterprises owed the CPC 75.1 billion rupees and CPC in turn owed banks 223.4 billion rupees at the end of 2013, up from 22.1 billion rupees a year earlier. In the past CPC had been financing losses of other state-run businesses CEB, SriLankan & Mihin Lanka, more..

England U-17 tour of Sri Lanka starts today

Apr 17 (DN) The touring England Under-17 team starts their first one-day match against Sri Lanka Under-17 at Surrey Village, Maggona today. SL side is captained by Richmond College U-17 captain Charith Asalanka, who toured England last summer. Asalanka, the opening batsman said: “I was given a very strong side and I know the strength of each player as we have been practising together.” Each year Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) more..

Galle Fort : Money spinner in tourism

Apr 17 (Island) The Dutch Fort in Galle is undoubtedly one the biggest historical masterpieces in Sri Lanka. Its colourful history is woven around the Dutch occupation in the country from 1658-1796 , though the Dutch started extensively fortifying the small Fortress built by the Portugese in 1588. Tourism had played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s economy since it was first introduced to the country in the early sixties by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike regime. more..

The poor man’s cost of living

Apr 17 (CT) The vociferous Senior Minister, Prof. Tissa Vitarana, who has been calling on the govt to provide relief for the overburdened Sri Lankan masses by bringing down the cost of living, once again called on the govt last week, to provide relief to the people for the festive season. Minister’s lonely cry in the wilderness was echoed in parliament on Thursday by Acting UNP Opposition Leader John Amaratunga. more..

Why SL would need to look East and West

Apr 17 (Island) While the successful passing in the UNHRC in March of the resolution against Sri Lanka on accountability issues underscored afresh some of the distressingly counter-productive consequences of this country failing to conceptualize and implement a balanced foreign policy, a stock-taking by Sri Lanka currently should reveal the advisability of it too adopting an increasingly ‘Look East’ stance in its foreign policy thinking, while not losing sight of its Non-aligned bearings. more..

Editorial: A tall tale told in a court

Apr 17 (Island) Those who thought Hans Christian Andersen created the best fairy tales stand corrected. His creativity is nowhere near as good as it is said to be when compared to that of some self-appointed experts who have written extensively on Sri Lanka’s war. (He has been overtaken posthumously and the poor genius would spin in his grave if he knew that.) Their works should be categorised as fiction and not reports. Now, such a tale is being told in an Indian court of law, more..

Making of new look Vihara Maha Devi Park

Apr 17 (CT) The Vihara Maha Devi Park, spanning a whopping 45 acres, has been completed with concessionary funding of Rs 227 million from the World Bank. The completed Park Project is a part of the US$ 200 million Metro-Colombo and the Town Hall Square Development Projects, undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, which channelled funds to CMC, for the beautification of Colombo. more..

Fusion of Gandhism and Marxism

Apr 17 (CT) There is an interesting discussion going on about the validity of radical liberalism in the present context of political crisis. Ranil Wickremesinghe says he is for a mass struggle which may be akin to what Gandhi did. In any case, issue of none violence is a relevant point to discuss. As far as I could see the conflict between Marxism and Gandhism or any kind of radical liberalism is not really about the methods of struggle, but about the political perspective of the movement. more..

Duty free vehicles to politicos and the billions rupee scam

Apr 17 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils Ministry Secretary R A A K Ranawaka in a press release to the media states that the Govt has cleared vehicle permits to the value of USD 3.2 million to be given to newly elected Western and Southern PC members and the newly elected members of both Councils will receive vehicle permits to the value of USD 50,000 each. He further states that some PC members have already sold their permits but it is not illegal. more..