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Showing posts from June, 2010

Killing beggars and disabled; Sri Lanka's new found solution for poverty

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(June 30, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka's ruling family boasts they would make this country 'the wonder of Asia.' It is already true in some aspects. Sri Lanka is a poor country where the new found solution for poverty is 'killing beggars.' An organized group that is ubiquitous and elusive to police in Colombo and suburbs is in a killing spree of beggars whilst no one raises voice regarding the misery of this human waste. The method the killers use for execution is is extremely notorious. They smash heads of the beggars as they are asleep on pavement. The tactic seems achieved its objective of terrifying beggars. Most of them now fear to sleep in isolated places as they did earlier. In the latest incident, this gang killed a self-employed 38 year-old differently-abled man on a tricycle at Mount Lavinia on June 28. The man identified as Mahesh Perera of Sri Jana Mawatha, Aththidiya was under the front canopy of Union Assurance office whose slogan

What play does Sri Lanka have in between Russia and Ukraine?

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(June 29, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to leave for an official tour in Ukraine today. The official visit is scheduled from June 29 to July 2, 2010, This is the first time a Sri Lankan President and a state head of the South Asian region pays an official visit to Ukraine, local media reported. The Sri Lanka President is to hold bilateral talks with the Ukraine President, Prime Minister and senior state officials. Director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's information policy department Oleh Voloshyn said to Ukraine's leading English-language newspaper Kyiv Post that it would help promote a bilateral political dialogue at the summit level, further developing cooperation between the two countries in the fuel and energy, military and technical, education, and culture and humanitarian spheres. Voloshyn also added that the two countries expect to expand their international treaty framework and strengthen the two countries'

An Indian who was to be disappeared in Sri Lanka found killed

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(June 28, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  An Inspector of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was arrested by police as he, in connivance with a Colombo businessman dumped a body of a slain Indian national in Munadalama in Puttlam district in Northwestern Province of Sri Lanka. The suspected CID officer, reported Chandana Silva and Colombo 06, Big Banana restaurant owner Mariyanayagam Lesley Rajakumar have allegedly killed an Indian national aged 24 and named Thennarasu Selvakumar who worked under latter as a cook in a house in Wellawaththa. Later, the duo have brought the dead body to Mundalama in a double cab vehicle and dumped it into the sea. Residents that saw these suspicious men throwing a suspicious parcel into sea, informed Puttlam police and the police without knowledge that a CID officer is involved in the crime blocked roads and arrested the suspects. Meanwhile, the wife of one of the suspected murderers, Ms. Rajakumar lodged a complaint in police that their coo

Sri Lanka government takes control of the construction of shrines with purposes of domination

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A Buddhist temple in Kilinochchi (June 25, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka government has decided to ban construction of religious places of worship around the country without permission. The reason cited by the government is that these shrines cause religious conflicts. According to new regulations, if anyone needs to build a religious places of worship in certain place, the person has to submit an application recommended by the Divisional Secretary of the relevant area to the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhist and Religious Affairs. The Secretary has powers to appoint a committee to study the application. Building religious places of worship was not always an innocent task everywhere on this earth throughout the world history. Everywhere, religious devotion was mingled with the ethno-religious hegemonic needs and political dominance. The same attribute was prevalent when the colonial rulers assisted building of Christian churches and in the post colonial Sri

No elections close by in Sri Lanka; regime imposes heavy taxes on food commodities to prevent bankruptcy

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(June 23, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Sri Lanka government today increased the price of wheat flour in local market by imposing a new tax of Rs. 10 per kilo. Wheat flour is considered an essential commodity and the price is controlled. Accordingly, Sri Lanka’s major flour retailer Prima increased price of a kilo of flour by Rs. 10.50. The price of a kilo of flour sold by Prima will be raised from Rs. 63 to Rs. 73.50. The price increase is valid since midnight today. The other flour retailer Serendib will also increase price soon, sources say. The price of the bakery products is also to go up since today. The government also imposed a new tax of Rs. 5 per kilo of sugar as well. Meanwhile, the major opposition United National Party (UNP) criticized government’s moves to increase prices of essential commodities citing the escalation of prices in world market as reason, but not giving the advantage of the price de-escalations in world market to the consumers. The UN

GSP Plus extension conditional, says EU; Sri Lanka to lose the free ride

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(June 22, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Press Office of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives issuing a press release said today that the reports on the GSP Plus concessions to Sri Lanka stating that the benefit would be offered to Sri Lanka unconditionally was not true. The European Union says that the date of 15 August on which Sri Lanka would cease to benefit from GSP+ will not be extended unconditionally. The European Union says that it has informed the Government of Sri Lanka of its readiness to propose to the Council of the European Union to maintain GSP plus preferences for Sri Lanka for a limited additional period, subject to a clear and written commitment by the Government of Sri Lanka to undertake a well defined number of human rights related actions, within a 6 months time frame beginning in July of this year, and to provide reassurances as to the sustainability of progress registered under the GSP plus dialogue. The European Union says

Setting fire to Tamil silver screen in Sri Lanka

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(June 20, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  A fresh terrorist organization calling themselves ‘Democratic Tamil People’ sent warning letters to the cinemas in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka banning screening Indian Tamil movies in the cinemas anywhere in the two Tamil speaking Provinces. Meanwhile, an unknown group believed to belong to the same ‘Democratic Tamil People’ set fire to a screen of a cinema in Eastern town Kaththankudi. The cinema was showing an Indian Tamil movie. Kaththnkudi police is investigating the incident. Noone has been arrested yet and no one would be as normally happens in these areas. The action of the ‘Democratic Tamil People’ is believed a tit for tat for the boycott of IIFA award ceremony held in Sri Lanka by Indian Tamil cinema artists and technical staff. Some media said that the hitherto unknown ‘Democratic Tamil People’ had told in its notice that they do not want the Indian Tamil cinema artists that boycotted the Colombo IIFA. (Apawa Ep

Sri Lankan workers to have one more holiday; the Victory Day

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(June 19, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka is to have war victory celebrations every year on May 18 and the government will have to become the day another holiday. Sri Lanka already has 25 public holidays and the number will increase to 26, if the victory celebration day is added to the list. The victory celebrations in massive scale cannot be conducted without proclaiming the day a holiday at least to the city where the celebrations are held. Om the other hand, the celebrations will become a propaganda loss comparing to the massive expense for the programme if people will not watch it in television. Therefore, it will become another unavoidable holiday. Too many holidays is considered a factor discouraging the foreign direct investment to the country. In public sector, the employees enjoy nearly one third of the years either holidays or leaves. Meanwhile many public sector employees in already overstaffed institutes idle without specific duty You may also like to

What victory are we celebrating in Sri Lanka?

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(June 18, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka celebrates the war victory marked by killing of Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran on May 18, 2009 a year and a month later. The victory celebrations were postponed a month ago since the floods displaced around half a million people, a large number from Colombo itself. Yesterday an ethnic Sinhala man was arrested by police for enlarging a photo of Velupillai Prabakaran. Police intelligence officials are now interrogating him to identify may be his mindset. It seems having a photo of Prabakaran in possession a sin if not an offence in post-war Sri Lanka. It is not a bad idea giving another holiday to Sri Lankan workers. But, the government need to tackle the issue of a large number of employees especially in the public sector idling on working days as well.   Even an year after the war, the only change perceivable in Sri Lanka is the relative peace of being free from frequent bomb explosions. Ethnic polities are still as

Sri Lanka further into the debt crisis

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(June 16, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  'Sri Lanka government has plans to sell $275 million of dollar-denominated bonds locally this month to pay for maturing debt. Three months ago, Sri Lanka failed to raise a targeted $100 million through a debt auction. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will issue $175 million of two-year debt and $100 million of three-year paper, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said on its website. Subscriptions for the so- called development bonds close on June 18. The nation raised $92 million by selling development bonds through competitive bidding in March, and the central bank subsequently raised $8 million through placements that month. Sri Lanka's public debt repayments and interest is amounting to 767 billion rupees this year. It is 44 percent of the overall budget expenditure of 1,780 billion rupees. Last year government debt hit 4.1 trillion rupees. Of it, 1.8 trillion rupees was foreign debt, a 22 percent rise, according to Central Bank an

Sri Lanka regime's ugly game in between India and China

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(June 14, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  'Though the Tiger is no more and Lankan Tamils are cowed, Indian Tamils and Diaspora Tamils together can still pose a formidable challenge to Colombo. And their capacity to do so will remain so long as the problems of the Lankan Tamils are unresolved." -Thisaranee Gunasekara evaluating the outcome of the IIFA-2010 Bollywood award ceremony held in June in Colombo. Sri Lanka President visited India following the IIFA debacle and the Hindustan Times had to report "The Pro-Tamil group's protest against visit of Sri Lankan president Mahenda Rajkapsa turned violent on Saturday (June 12) when suspected pro-tamil activists blasted railway tracks, just before a passenger train was to enter Perani railway station in Villupuram district, some 70 km south of Chennai in the wee hours." This news creates a picture of a Tamil struggle in which the Sri Lankan part appears relatively peaceful amidst miserable conditions of the war-

Basilian neo-liberalism, Mahindian nationalism and high level Sovereign Rating Committee of Sri Lanka

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(June 12, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has initiated a programme to take the necessary steps to upgrade the country’s sovereign rating. The significance of this move is that the government has moved further in the Basilian doctrine of neo-liberalism and it has appointed top officials of Indian company and and a local agent of a multi national consortium into this committee. This is a move against Mahindian nationalist and national economic policies that frequently denied Indian and Western multi national penetration of local economy. Reportedly, this has annoyed local business leaders. After all, the two companies Nestle and IOC does nor or negligible very little to change Sri Lanka's performances according to these ratings, they point out. “As announced in the Central Bank Road Map 2010 and beyond, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will take the necessary steps to upgrade the country’s sovereign rating from the current B+ (stable)/

Will state capitalism be a solution to global crisis of the capitalism?

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(June 10, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  We reproduce this column written by Dr. Wickramabahu Karunarathna to LakbimaNews since it is one of the very rare occasions the leftist activists of Sri Lanka attempt to address the core political issues rather than the day to day economic struggles. As far as we have understood, Dr. Wickramabahu seems to say that state regulation of the capitalist system will be inadequate to overcome the global economic crisis. He does not provide a clear answer regarding solution though he implies socialism will be inevitable. After all, socialism is yet to be defined in the modern context, as we perceive, the veteran Marxist can clear the issue if we are wrong. On the other hand, is state control of the capitalist economy so new? Capitalism thrived through national states and even in the age of global capitalism, the state control is still predominant even in the developed countries although it is theoretically expected the market will regulate the sy

Is China behind CEPA protests in Sri Lanka?

(June 07, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to visit India since tomorrow and the bilateral talks are expected to focus Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (CEPA) that was supposed to be signed two years ago but stalled. Two weeks back, several hundreds of protesters took to the streets against CEPA claiming it would hugely benefit the neighboring country by forcing the domestic industry into appalling risks. A high profile lobbying is underway against the trade pact which is yet to be made public. Many highly educated, including doctors and engineers who were part of the recent protest along with businessmen expressed their fears that the island could be dominated by cheaper and skilled Indian services at the expense of the domestic industry. However, Jose Roy writing to www.toboc.com says "this argument is unfounded as India’s educated unemployed were largely jobless because their reluctance to work for less or in remote p

Lankan war was corporate one, says Arundhati Roy

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(June 05, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  The war in Sri Lanka was not just a war of the Sri Lankans against the Tamil people, according to writer-activist Arundhati Roy. "That was a corporate war. All the large Indian companies are now heading to Sri Lanka to make more money," Roy said on Friday. "The political parties of Tamil Nadu were the only ones who could have stopped the genocide in Sri Lanka, but they chose to stand by silently. A similar thing is happening in central India where tribals are resisting the takeover of natural resources by corporates." Roy was speaking at a Convention on Operation Green Hunt and Genocidal attack on tribals by Indian State' organised in the city on Friday by the Federation Against Internal Repression. She said the resistance in central India was a fight against injustice and not a rebellion against the state as the government says it is. "The government is on the side of the corporates who want to take over the la

Whose success is IIFA? Sri Lanka government or Tamil nationalist lobby?

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They will miss photo opportunity with many Bollywood stars (June 03, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  Eleventh ceremony of Indian International Film Academy Award (ITFA), the Indian equivalent of the Oscars, is to be held in Sri Lanka since today. However, the event in Colombo is similar to a wedding without bride and bridegroom, when paraphrased according to Sinhala folklore. Many of the Bollywood super stars have boycotted the awards ceremony although they have used other words to describe their absence.  With this, inevitably marred by politics, the 11th IIFA has become the most controversial awards ceremony of entire world in the recent history. Selecting Colombo as the venue for IIFA was initially a success to the Sri Lankan government. Sri Lanka had hoped to repair its battered international image and revive its tourist industry by hosting the IIFA. Indian government assisted Sri Lankan authorities to sort out the matter as a goodwill gesture to help the nation trying

Law makers worried as ordinary citizens hopeful with Sri Lanka's reduction of import duty on motor vehicles

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(June 01, 2010,  Colombo -  Lanka Polity )  The reduction of duties on motor vehicle imports has pushed the law makers of Sri Lanka to exhaustion, sources say. The axe came as most of them were preparing to import cars for reduced taxes. Earlier the MPs could import a car once in five years totally duty free but now the government has planned to impose a tax of around 15%. it is open secret that most of the MPs either ruling party or opposition sell their vehicle permits to a handsome easy income that ran into several millions of rupees. With the reduction of taxes bt 50%, the MPs also lose half of their quick bucks from vehicle permits. The government reduced the excise duty on imported vehicles by 50% and removed a 15 percent surcharge on all imports while reducing duty on electrical appliances since June 01. With effect from yesterday, a car such as an Indian-made Maruti, which had attracted excise duties of up to 183% of its value, would now be charged a duty of 90%, Director