Monthly Archives: October 2015
President Maithripala Sirisena will undertake an official visit to the Kingdom of Thailand from the 1st to the 4th
President Maithripala Sirisena will undertake an official visit to the Kingdom of Thailand from the 1st to the 4th November on the invitation of the Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayuth Chan-o-Cha.
This visit also coincides with the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand.
During the visit, President Sirisena will be received in audience by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Bilateral discussions will also be held between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Chan-o-Cha.
The discussions will focus on areas of mutual interest to enhance closer links and cooperation between the two countries.
A number of religious and cultural events are also reportedly being planned. Sirisena is expected to bring a Buddhist relic from Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara in Sri Lanka – believed to be the site of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha’s first visit to the country – to Thailand for Thais to worship at Phutthamonthon, a Buddhist park in Thailand, up to November 16. He will also give a Buddha rock carving to the Thai government at Thammaram Temple in Ayutthaya, a city which used to be the capital of an ancient Siamese kingdom. Sixty monks from temples across Sri Lanka will also travel to Thailand to be part of these religious events.
More about Buddhist history between Sri Lanka and Thailand https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1154888804538084&substory_index=0&id=858322904194677
Sri Lanka thailand buddhist temple project https://m.facebook.com/Srilankathailandbuddhisttemple/
The Sri Lankan Bill of Rights
Sri Lankan blogger Dr. Politics a. K. a. Rohan kar has taken the decision to propose a Bill or Rights for the people of Sri Lanka, though it sounds as if it might be the one he thought was in use when he wrote the thing. Nevertheless, he describes the post as comparison between the proposed Bill of Rights for Sri Lanka and the real thing,” with the real thing being the one adopted by the Founding Fathers for the United States. 11/26/2005: 5:12 pm: Mark
The first in a series of workshops on constitutional reforms organized by the Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Ministry will be held on Saturday May 6, 2006 from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Independence Square, Colombo 7.
The subject of the workshop will be “A new Bill of Rights”.
Attorney-at-Law R.K.W. Goonesekere, will speak on “Civil and Political Rights”. The panelists will be Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Deputy Solicitor- General Shavindra Fernando and Attorney-at-Law Shiral Lakthilaka. Dr. Deepika Udagama will address the workshop on “Social, Economic and Cultural Rights” and the panelists will be Prof. Ranjith Amarasinghe, Dr. Mario Gomez and Attorney-at-Law Ms. Cyrene Siriwardana.
“Article 14-Expansion of Rights relating to Liberty” will be the subject of a presentation by Mr. Rohan Edrisinha. The panel will be Dr. Godfrey Goonethilake, Attorney-at-Law J.C. Weliamuna, and Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle.
Dr. Jayanipathy Wickramaratne, P.C. will speak on “Enforcement of Fundamental Rights and Procedural Reforms”. Deputy Solicitor-General S. Rajaratnam, Attorneys-at-Law Nimal Punchihewa and Sanjeewa Jayawardena will constitute the panel.
The workshop is open to the public.
Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes.
Replacing these lost stores is essential but rehydration can be overdone. There is such a thing as a fatal water overdose.
Earlier this year, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station’s on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.
There are many other tragic examples of death by water. In 2005 a fraternity hazing at California State University, Chico, left a 21-year-old man dead after he was forced to drink excessive amounts of water between rounds of push-ups in a cold basement. Club-goers taking MDMA (“ecstasy”) have died after consuming copious amounts of water trying to rehydrate following long nights of dancing and sweating. Going overboard in attempts to rehydrate is also common among endurance athletes. A 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that close to one sixth of marathon runners develop some degree of hyponatremia, or dilution of the blood caused by drinking too much water.
Hyponatremia, a word cobbled together from Latin and Greek roots, translates as “insufficient salt in the blood.” Quantitatively speaking, it means having a blood sodium concentration below 135 millimoles per liter, or approximately 0.4 ounces per gallon, the normal concentration lying somewhere between 135 and 145 millimoles per liter. Severe cases of hyponatremia can lead to water intoxication, an illness whose symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and mental disorientation.
In humans the kidneys control the amount of water, salts and other solutes leaving the body by sieving blood through their millions of twisted tubules. When a person drinks too much water in a short period of time, the kidneys cannot flush it out fast enough and the blood becomes waterlogged. Drawn to regions where the concentration of salt and other dissolved substances is higher, excess water leaves the blood and ultimately enters the cells, which swell like balloons to accommodate it.
Most cells have room to stretch because they are embedded in flexible tissues such as fat and muscle, but this is not the case for neurons. Brain cells are tightly packaged inside a rigid boney cage, the skull, and they have to share this space with blood and cerebrospinal fluid, explains Wolfgang Liedtke, a clinical neuroscientist at Duke University Medical Center. “Inside the skull there is almost zero room to expand and swell,” he says.
Thus, brain edema, or swelling, can be disastrous. “Rapid and severe hyponatremia causes entry of water into brain cells leading to brain swelling, which manifests as seizures, coma, respiratory arrest, brain stem herniation and death,” explains M. Amin Arnaout, chief of nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Where did people get the idea that guzzling enormous quantities of water is healthful? A few years ago Heinz Valtin, a kidney specialist from Dartmouth Medical School, decided to determine if the common advice to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day could hold up to scientific scrutiny. After scouring the peer-reviewed literature, Valtin concluded that no scientific studies support the “eight x eight” dictum (for healthy adults living in temperate climates and doing mild exercise). In fact, drinking this much or more “could be harmful, both in precipitating potentially dangerous hyponatremia and exposure to pollutants, and also in making many people feel guilty for not drinking enough,” he wrote in his 2002 review for the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. And since he published his findings, Valtin says, “not a single scientific report published in a peer-reviewed publication has proven the contrary.”
Most cases of water poisoning do not result from simply drinking too much water, says Joseph Verbalis, chairman of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. It is usually a combination of excessive fluid intake and increased secretion of vasopression (also called antidiuretic hormone), he explains. Produced by the hypothalamus and secreted into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland, vasopressin instructs the kidneys to conserve water. Its secretion increases in periods of physical stress—during a marathon, for example—and may cause the body to conserve water even if a person is drinking excessive quantities.
Every hour, a healthy kidney at rest can excrete 800 to 1,000 milliliters, or 0.21 to 0.26 gallon, of water and therefore a person can drink water at a rate of 800 to 1,000 milliliters per hour without experiencing a net gain in water, Verbalis explains. If that same person is running a marathon, however, the stress of the situation will increase vasopressin levels, reducing the kidney’s excretion capacity to as low as 100 milliliters per hour. Drinking 800 to 1,000 milliliters of water per hour under these conditions can potentially lead a net gain in water, even with considerable sweating, he says.
While exercising, “you should balance what you’re drinking with what you’re sweating,” and that includes sports drinks, which can also cause hyponatremia when consumed in excess, Verbalis advises. “If you’re sweating 500 milliliters per hour, that is what you should be drinking.”
But measuring sweat output is not easy. How can a marathon runner, or any person, determine how much water to consume? As long as you are healthy and equipped with a thirst barometer unimpaired by old age or mind-altering drugs, follow Verbalis’s advice, “drink to your thirst. It’s the best indicator.”
Sri Lanka has been selected to award the International Recognition and Scholarship award being presented by the International Women’s Police Association. This award will be presented this year to Asst. Police Superintendent Mrs. Wimathi Periyapperuma.
This award has not been hitherto presented to a Sri Lankan women Police officer and the award will be presented to Mrs. Wimathi Periyapperuma at the award ceremony to be held at Cardiff, in Wales, United Kingdom.
The award recipient is selected from Police women officers through the world based on their efficiency and dedication to work. (niz)
US army jeeps released from navy hovercrafts on Tuesday were unable to get the better of Portuguese sand, which caused them to start sinking as soon as they set their wheels on the coast.
Portugal’s Observador newspaper was one of several media outlets invited by NATO to observe the Trident Juncture 15 training exercise on a beach in the the Portuguese city of Grandola, the planning for which began two years ago.
“NATO decided to have a celebration and invited journalists,” reported Observador.
Trident Juncture has been described as the largest NATO-led exercise in 20 years, completing training in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Its Portuguese exercise was described as taking place “on a scale never seen before,” explained the newspaper.
However, instead of a triumph of military prowess, the watching journalists looked on as first, two hovercrafts were released from the USS Arlington amphibious transport dock, but were unable to make it to shore; after another attempt, the hovercraft finally set their cushions on the beach.
Then, an order was given to release two Humvee jeeps, which promptly got stuck in the sand. Orders from the US ambassador to Portugal Robert Sherman and vice-admiral of the Portuguese fleet Jose Domingos Pereira da Cunha for more troops to assist in getting the vehicles out of the sand were to no avail – the jeeps simply sank deeper into the beach.
2015.10.19 දින කොළඹ විහාරමහා දේවී එළිමහන් රංග පීඨයේදී පැවැති ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයේ රැළිය සඳහා සන්ධාන නියෝජනය කරන පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්රීවරු 40 දෙනෙකු සහභාගී වූහ.
දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන, වාසුදේව නානායක්කාර, ඩිව් ගුණසේකර, තිස්ස විතාරණ, විමල් වීරවංශ, උදය ගම්මන්පිල, ජී.එල්. පීරිස් මෙම රැළිය ඇමතූහ.
කුමාර වෙල්ගම, බන්දුල ගුණවර්ධන, ඩලස් අලහප්පෙරුම, විදුර වික්රමනායක, ප්රසන්න රණතුංග, රෝහිත අබේගුණවර්ධන, ගාමිණී ලොකුගේ, නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ, සාලින්ද දිසානායක, ජොන්ස්ටන් ප්රනාන්දු ආදී මන්ත්රීවරුන්ද ජනතාව සමඟ බිම වාඩි වී සිටියහ.
Freedom of the press can be harsh sometimes. It can be most hard on politicians with prickly skin. Time and again we come across champions of free expression and media freedom having second thoughts once they are caught in the glare of public scrutiny. Freedom of expression, especially when it is freely given to the media can be a frightening tool, especially at the hands of the cynical and the irascible.
Let me rephrase that last sentence. Freedom of expression in the form of a free press MUST be a frightening tool for those basking in the public limelight and feeding at the public trough. A free press will scrutinize the public officials; question their judgement; demand explanation for their actions; demand accountability; and if found wanting on any of the above; excoriate those officials. That is the public official. That is their duty of the media. It is not the job of a free media to filter the flow of information and spin that information to fit the image the government in power is keen to project to the public.
Public officials are accountable to the public. Public media, in most cases, will speak on behalf of that public. Public officials are answerable, you got it; to the public. The media when acting as the agent of the public does not need to answer public officials. The difference is the difference between a free society and a society under the jackboot of a despot.
Recently, President Sirisena called the segment of the media not so friendly to his regime wild asses. In his mind, this segment of the media is unfair and unreasonable in their coverage of his government and his governance.
At the outset, it should be highlighted that since becoming the President in January, 2015 Maithripala Sirisena has loosened the restrictions imposed on the media by his predecessor. There is absolutely no doubt that the Sri Lankan media is a heck of a lot freer today than it was during the 9-year tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hats off to Sirisena for bringing about this change.
Having acceded that to the President, his recent wild ass remarks do raise the question whether Sirisena is having second thoughts about his commitment to a press unhampered by the ham hand of the central government. Sirisena is a seasoned politician with over four decades of experience in the art of the possible. Sirisena and his local and foreign friends jumped on the free media band wagon when they took on the incumbent Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election.
They rode that wagon to the ground and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Sirisena-friendly/anti-Rajapaksa media organizations played a key hand in toppling Mahinda Rajapaksa The same media was relentless in attacking the incumbent and was adamant that every conceivable conspiracy, corrupt act, real and imagined breaking of the law during the Rajapaksa tenure was force fed to an eager public.
Even after Sirisena’s election, the relentless pursuit of Mahinda Rajapaksa, his friends and family members continued. Some of the wildest accusations came from members of Sirisena’s cabinet. In spite of the obvious spuriousness of the claims, they made the headlines and in many a case got extended coverage.
The recent UN report on Sri Lanka also highlighted the selectiveness of the government to make public information that would cast serious doubt on the 40,000 odd deaths during the last phase of the war against the LTTE. The head of the local commissions that dwelled into the matter was quite clear in his assessment that the 40,000 figure was a gross exaggeration. He said the figure was more likely around 7,000. However, this never got much traction or was not allowed to get much traction because it did not fit into Sirisena regime’s path to truth and reconciliation. There is also the issue of guaranteeing public’s right to information that is of relevance to the polity. Now we are left to believe that cause was also a casualty of political expediency.
Reading the tea leaves of Sirisena’s threat to media freedom, for that is what it is, one gets the creepy feeling that he is more the political coyote than the Yahapalakaya he says he is.
All politicians who come across power riding the high horse of free speech, media freedom and other human rights must accept that those rights are absolute. They do have limits, but those limits cannot be dictated by presidential fiat or a prickly skin. When the media gets under President Sirisena’s skin, they are doing their job well. It is the duty of the media to hold the feet of public officials to the fire till they can do no harm to what is public. There is nothing more treasonous than a media fawning over public officials and eternally singing hosannas to them.
The public is better served by wild-ass journalists than political wal-buruwas.
Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the cleanest countries in the region in a global Mid-Year Pollution Index for 2015.
Ranking among the 12 cleanest countries in Asia, Sri Lanka comes far ahead of regional counterparts such as China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan and several other countries to rank 11th of 34 Asian countries.
The Pollution Index estimates overall pollution, with the biggest weight given to air pollution.
The ranking by the world’s largest crowd-sourced global database Numbeo follows a similar achievement in 2014 when Sri Lanka ranked highest in South Asia on the Environmental Performance Index, an exhaustive and highly regarded annual global environmental impact assessment study by Yale Universita USA.
Sri Lanka ranked ahead of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the 2014 study and continues to stay ahead in 2015.
Sri Lanka’s positive ranking on global environmental indices is encouraging, signalling effective environmental management policies, chiefly stringent air pollution management.
Notwithstanding a sharp increase in the vehicle population in recent years, with 6.5 million vehicles expected to be plying the roads by 2016, Sri Lanka has defied global trends in air pollution and shown no deterioration of ambient air quality.An achievement due, in large part to stringent VET programmes currently in place.
With vehicles being one of the primary contributors to air pollution, ensuring advanced, reliable and accurate emission monitoring through clean vehicle and fuel technology is a vital factor in ensuring successful air pollution management.
Comprehensive VET services play an invaluable role in controlling harmful emissions and preserving the environment, while value added services such as Fuel Efficiency Reports offer advice on maximizing fuel efficiency and extending engine lifespan.
BEIJING: China opened a meeting with defense ministers from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations known as ASEAN on Friday, amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.
The event marks the first time China has hosted such a meeting and takes place as expectations grow that the U.S. Navy will directly challenge Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea. Four of the ASEAN nations exercise claims to seas and islands in the South China Sea that clash with Beijing’s own.
The informal meeting will be followed by the Xiangshan Forum, at which analysts, military leaders and others from around the globe will discuss Asian-Pacific security, maritime issues and anti-terrorism.
“China wants to use these sorts of forums to promote China’s views, explain China’s policies and improve China’s security image,” said regional security expert Li Mingjiang of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
Since 2013, China has accelerated the construction of new islands atop reefs and atolls in the South China Sea and is adding buildings and airstrips in apparent attempts to boost its sovereignty claims to the territory.
Unnamed Pentagon officials said last week that the U.S. Navy may soon receive approval to sail a ship inside the 12-nautical mile (21-kilometer) territorial limit surrounding China’s man-made islands, reported the Navy Times, which is closely affiliated with the U.S. Navy. ASEAN member Philippines expressed support for such a move.
Sailing within boundary would mark the first time the U.S. has directly challenged China’s territorial claims since 2012 and reinforce Washington’s assertion that land reclamation does not add sovereign territory.
The U.S. and its allies, including the Philippines, say the newly made islands threaten stability in an increasingly militarized region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday the artificial islands were created for the public good and have “nothing to do” with militarization.
China has also sparred with Vietnam, another ASEAN member, over ownership of the Paracel island group, leading to a confrontation last year when Beijing moved a massive oil drilling platform into contested waters.
On Thursday, Vietnam accused China of sinking one of its fishing boats near the disputed islands. The incident was apparently motivated by a desire to steal the ship’s catch of fish and put it out of commission. There was no evidence that any Chinese government ships were involved, although Beijing’s aggressive actions are believed to embolden Chinese fishermen in the area.
China’s Defense Ministry has said that the ASEAN gathering in Beijing is to “promote strategic trust and pragmatic cooperation.” Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan will hold talks with his counterparts, the spokesman said.
Li, the regional security expert, said China realizes its defense relations with its neighbors are weak and wants to refurbish its image. Li said talks would likely steer clear of contentious issues and focus on non-traditional security cooperation, military exchanges and regional security in general.
“Because the meeting is in Beijing, it would be hard for any country to confront China over the South China Sea,” Li said. “There’s also a lack of solidarity among ASEAN countries over the issue.”
China vastly expanded the scope of the Xiangshan Forum last year, making it an annual rather than biennial event and boosting participation to more than 300 defense officials and academics from 47 countries.
With the world’s second-largest defense budget, China’s military — especially its navy — is gathering formidable capabilities.
It will soon deploy its first aircraft carrier and is rapidly adding advanced destroyers, missile cruisers and nuclear submarines. A massive military parade in Beijing last month showcased new missiles permitting China to hit targets — including U.S. Navy ships and bases — throughout the region.
Along with claiming almost all of the South China Sea’s island groups and crucial sea lanes, China is dueling with Japan over ownership of an uninhabited chain of islands north of Taiwan, and in late 2013 declared an air defense zone that would theoretically give it control of aviation over much of the East China Sea. Many analysts believe China is now considering declaring a similar zone over the South China Sea.