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'The right to food is a fundamental human right'

May 22 (AT) Addressing special meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council on the current food crisis, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam siad the right to food is a fundamental human right. Food is a primary necessity for the very survival of the human race. It is our common responsibility to ensure that no human being is denied this basic right. But as manifested in any crisis affecting the global community, the food crisis too will mostly affect the approximately one billion of the world population living in poverty, more..

'I will resign' - Chief Justice

May 22 (BBC) Chief Justice Sarath N De Silva said he will hand in his resignation if the government does not agree to increase the salaries of the High Court and Magistrate Court judges. The Chief Justice was presiding over a Fundamental Rights petition presented to courts by High court and Magistrate court judges. Chief Justice said that he would resign from his position, if a new salary structure is not introduced within two weeks. more..

Sri Lanka loses UN vote

May 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka was voted out from UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday in New York. 101 members voted for Sri Lanka but four other countries in the region received more votes than Sri Lanka. Japan with 155 votes, Bahrain with 142 votes, South Korea with 139 votes and Pakistan with 114 votes were elected to the 47-member council. From the Asian region, East Timor was also voted out as the country only received 92 votes. more..

Children of war wait for better lives

May 22 (IRIN) The election of the former child soldier Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan as first chief minister of Sri Lanka's eastern provincial administration has been welcomed as a sign that stability and the rule of law might be returning to the region after more than two decades of conflict. Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, the 33-year-old head of the TMVP, a breakaway faction of the LTTE, was sworn in on 16 May by President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Warwickshire lose Jayasuriya for Twenty20

May 22 (MC) Sanath Jayasuriya will not be able to play for Warwickshire Bears during this season's Twenty20 Cup competition after being called up for international duty. Sri Lanka have named the opening batsman in their squad for the Asia Cup which is due to start on June 11th – the same day as Warwickshire's first Twenty20 match against Glamorgan. Jayasuriya is currently playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) after more..

Life and times of Balraj

May 22 (SLW) In what is seen as a severe blow to an organization already handicapped by aging and ailing guerrilla leaders, the LTTE's military wing leader and one of the senior most leaders of the LTTE 'Colonel' Balraj has passed away this afternoon, LTTE sources revealed. Balraj had passed away due to natural causes, pro-LTTE sources have claimed. He was last stationed in the Vanni defences to halt marauding SLA units from breaking entry into LTTE-held Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu. more..

Hassan Ali understands the pulse of the Muslim politicians

May 22 (MG) The Muslim voters represented by the Muslim ministers are indeed SLMC votes polled because of the Presidents promise of a Muslim CM. Therefore the Muslims deserve the CM post. Yet the geo-political reasons have made the President to appoint TMVP Pilliyan as the Chief Minister. This is political strategy – meaning that Pilliyan’s appointment creates confidence in the Tamil community of the Sinhala government, gives leverage internationally that more..

Teachers to fall sick on 11th & 12th next month

May 22 (LT) All teachers in government schools will report sick and keep away from their duties on the 11th and 12th of next month as a protest against the government’s failure to remove anomalies in their salary scales. General Secretary of Sri Lanka Teacher Services Union said the teachers’ unions have demanded that anomalies that are present in teachers’ salaries be removed but the government has not responded amicably. more..

Today is the International Biodiversity Day 2008

May 22 (LG) May 22nd was declared as the International Biodiversity Day (IBD) by the United Nations General Assembly met in December 2000 to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and to increase the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Since 2002, the IBD has been celebrated under the thematic areas of global relevance, as given below. more..

Where Niranjan was when Weerawansa visited Maligawa recently asks Mano Ganesan

May 22 (LG) Those who find fault with the visit of Eastern province chief minister to Dalada Maligawa surprise the whole nation. They should not forget that JVP too attacked Dalada Maligawa in 1989 prior to the attack of LTTE in year 1998. Going by this logic, I wish to know where former Diyawadana Nilame of Dalada Maligawa Niranjan Wijeratne was when former JVPers led by Wimal Weerawansa visited Dalada Maligawa recently more..

'SL should have world class universities'

May 22 (LG) The chairman of global IT giant Microsoft, Bill Gates said that Sri Lanka should find ways of developing world class universities locally, thereby enabling the island to enter into a new world of knowledge and technology. In that respect, Microsoft has announced the possibility of setting up an innovation centre in Sri Lanka, whilst facilitating greater support for the IT/BPO industry, greater investment in education and boosting IT capacity in Sri Lanka. more..

'Sri Lanka is slowly moving from an illiberal democracy to an authoritarian state'

May 22 (LG) Individual liberties are not always explicit in democracies. Popular belief equates democracy with representative democracy together with the notion that Parliament is sovereign and can do anything, other than make a man into a woman or woman into a man. At times, the democratic process can come into conflict with that of individual liberties – especially in evolving democracies. more..

China main arms supplier to LTTE, Taliban

May 22 (LG) China has emerged as the main supplier of old and new small-arm weapons to terrorist outfits like the LTTE, the Taliban and some of the north-eastern insurgent groups, claims Jane’s Intelligence Review. What was till now in the realm of unconfirmed intelligence has come out in the open. The May edition of the Jane’s Intelligence Review has stated that China has replaced Thailand and Cambodia as the traditional sources of small-arm weapons. more..

Tamil Statehood solution would be saluted by international law, practice, and human rights - Bruce Fein

May 22 (LG) Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States, speaking for Tamils for Justice, issued a media statement today. He said, Tamil Statehood solution would be saluted by international law, practice, and human rights. An international consensus on statehood would bring the war to a close, as it did in Kosovo. The United States, Canada, and the European Union should stop mistaking the firefighter for the fire in Sri Lanka and recognize an independent Tamil state. more..

An Introduction to Research Methodology: Western and Buddhist Perspectives

May 22 (AT) Research might be defined as ‘systematic investigation to gain knowledge about something.’ This something can be ‘phenomenon or relationship.’ The word research derives from the French word ‘recherché,’ meaning ‘to search.’ It is obvious that research is an activity, and human activity for that matter. As human activity, research is bound for possible error. No human is infallible. more..

JVP's Japan branch extends support Weerawansa

May 22 (LD) The Japan branch of the JVP has changed its allegiance to the National Freedom Front formed by party dissidents led by Wimal Weerawansa. Chief organizer of the branch Saman Priyankara has informed JVP Secretary Tilvyn Silva of its decision in writing. The letter expressed regret over the move to expel Mr. Weerawansa from the party and over a remark by the party leadership in a television interview that it was not aware of the existence a Japanese branch of the JVP. more..

FMM refuses to withdraw statement over Lanka Dissent hacking

May 22 (LD) The Free Media Movement has refused to withdraw a statement, as demanded by the Ministry of Defence, over the hacking of the Lanka Dissent news website. The FMM said in a statement, “The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence in response to our Press Release on the alleged hacking of the Lanka Dissent website in Sri Lanka "categorically states that it does not have any unit engaged in the work of experimenting with or carrying out any more..

Diesel price upped to Rs. 100

May 22 (LD) The Lanka Indian Oil Company says the price of diesel will be increased to Rs. 100 per litre from midnight today (May 21st). The Rs. 20 raise has to be made due to the escalation of crude prices in the world market, its Managing Director K. Ramakrishnan said. Lanka IOC presently incurs a loss of Rs. 43 and Rs. 03 respectively per every litre of diesel and petrol sold, he said, adding however, that the petrol price will not be upped. more..

Warrant issued for arrest of surgeon in amputation case

May 22 (LD) Colombo Additional Magistrate Sujatha Alahapperuma issued a warrant for the arrest of a pediatric surgeon for failing to be present in court to give evidence for the prosecution in a case yesterday. The defense counsel brought to the notice of the Magistrate that the doctor had not been present in court during four consecutive trial days. Following the submission the Magistrate issued a warrant for the arrest Dr. Ranjan Dias and more..

Special circular on how to observe Republic Day

May 22 (LD) The 36th anniversary of the Republic Day today (May 22nd) will be observed by all Government Departments and institutions by hoisting the national flag followed by a simple ceremony. Sri Lanka became a republic on May 22, 1972 by severing all constitutional ties, which were part of the Dominion Status under which the country gained independence in 1948 from Britain. more..

ICTAD to train Youth for jobs in construction industry

May 22 (GDI) The Institute for Construction Training and Development (ICTAD) which comes under the Ministry of Construction and Engineering Services is to provide training for rural youth for jobs in the construction industry. Speaking to the Minister Rajitha Senaratne revealed that ICTAD would undertake the training of youth to meet the demand in the local and foreign job market for skilled labour in the construction industry. more..

Sri Lanka to upgrade manufacturing standards with 'ethical trading'

May 22 (GDI) Minister of Export Development & International Trade, Prof. G.L Peiris has emphasized the necessity of putting in place an 'Ethical Trading policy' to achieving high-quality manufacturing standards. "An ethical trading policy is central to the country's development as we consolidate relations with the European Union this year and seek new trading partners in a world where consumers are increasingly discerning," more..

Election of Chandrakanthan positive sign -- UNOCH website

May 22 (GDI) In an article sanctioned by the official website of the United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs the move taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to hold eastern election has been hailed as a positive development. in restoring democracy to a people deprived of these rights due to terrorists' intimidations for over two decades. more..

Sri Lankan in USA step up to support 'Api Wenuwen Api' programme

May 22 (GDI) Sri Lankans living in the United States of America have respoded positively to the request by the Government to contribute to the 'Api Wenuwen Api Programme' implemented under the 'Ranaviru Gammana' concept of building 50,000 houses for war heroes. They have collected Rs. 12 million to this end by holding charity events, cultural and musical shows. A cheque for this amount was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees by more..

Two more LTTE cadres arrested in Paris taking the toll to 21

May 22 (AT) French police detained two leaders of the LTTE on May 13. These two had evaded arrest last year when the police closed in on them during the major round up of top Tamil Tigers operating in Paris. The French Police arrested two leading LTTE activist Subramanium Muhundan and Yogarasa Sivarasan in Paris after painstaking investigating lasting several months. more..

Prabakaran paying his last respect to his colleague

May 22 (LG) Media unit of the LTTE released photographs showing their leader Velupillai Prabakaran paying his last respect to the late Balasegaram Kandiah alias Brigadier Balraj an undisclosed hideout in Vanni. Details of where and when Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE paid his last respect to self styled Brigadier Balaraj who died of a heart attack on last 20 May in Vanni around 2.00pm at Kilinochchi Hospital, were not disclosed. more..

Teenagers to represent Sri Lanka

May 22 (LNP) Two 16-year-olds, Dhanushi Senadhira and Maleena Awn will represent Sri Lanka at the Queen Sirikit Cup Asia Pacific Golf Tournament to be held from May 28-30 in Tokyo, Japan. Teenagers Senadhira and Awn from Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya and Ladies College, Colombo, respectively have been selected based on their performances at the recently held trials, a spokesperson for RCGC told The Island yesterday. more..

Heavy losses on fuel: President

May 22 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa informed Cabinet last evening that the government was losing Rs. 40 on every litre of diesel and Rs.47 on every litre of kerosene sold, and appointed a Cabinet sub- committee to work out strategies to address the issue of the soaring cost of living. The President, however, noted that it was practically impossible to avoid the losses in the petroleum sector by transferring the burden onto the masses at this juncture. more..

Rs. 2,430 m Performing Arts Theatre

May 22 (SAMN) The Construction of the National Performing Arts Theatre at a cost of Rs. 2,430 million which marks the fulfilment of a dream of Sri Lankan performing artistes, will be launched at the Nomads Grounds, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7, tomorrow. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guest. The Ambassador of the Republic of China Ye Dabo will participate. The construction of the theatre was restarted after President Rajapaksa's recent visit to the Republic of China. more..

Minister Explains Jayasuriya Decision

May 22 (C365) Sports minister Gamini Lokuge has defended his intervention which led to Sanath Jayasuriya's recall to the Sri Lanka team. The selectors did not name the veteran opener in the initial squad for the Asia Cup but he has since been added at the expense of Upul Tharanga. Lokuge stressed that Jayasuriya deserved his place and was unrepentant for intervening. more..

UNP, JVP oppose Eastern Polls in WPC

May 22 (SAMN) The UNP and the JVP came together in the Western Provincial Council yesterday to pass a resolution opposing the Eastern Provincial Council Polls which, they alleged, had been marred by vote rigging and malpractices. The resolution was passed at the council sessions by 16 votes, with 32 members voting for the resolution and 16 against. The JVP, WPF and the SLMC members voted with the UNP whilst the ruling UPFA members opposed it. more..

Raviraj case to HR commission

May 22 (SAMN) In a new development in the investigations into the assassination of TNA Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj, the case files have been referred to the Commission Investigating Serious Violations of Human Rights and to the Attorney General’s Department. Mr. Raviraj was gunned down in Narahenpita on November 10, 2006 by unidentified persons riding a motor cycle. “The case has been listed by the Commission for investigation along with other cases referred to it by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

16 flyovers across Colombo

May 22 (DN) With the successful implementation of the flyover projects at Kelaniya and Panadura, the Government has embarked on a massive construction project to build 16 flyovers across Colombo and other parts of the country in a bid to ease traffic congestion. The British Government has pledged to fund Rs. 107.5 billion for this project. The proposed 16 flyovers will be constructed in Nugegoda, Dehiwala, Negombo, Mahawa, Kohuwala, Boralasgamuwa Armour, Street, Hilton Circle, more..

Govt's aim quality healthcare for all

May 22 (DN) Sri Lanka will continue to provide free healthcare to people as a measure of social welfare to build a healthy workforce. The Government has taken steps to provide a health service outlet within a radius of five kilometres to any citizen in the country. The quality of care is of prime concern of the Government. Therefore action is being taken to ensure quality in healthcare is provided to all, more..

Health not enough; Hisbullah needs education, too

May 22 (Island) M.L.A.M. Hisbullah and two other UPFA provincial councilors who decided to remain independent of the ruling coalition in the newly constituted Eastern Provincial Council have agreed to abandon their protest if the government adds education to the ministerial portfolio offered to Hisbulla in addition to Health and Muslim Affairs. Besides, they have asked the post for deputy chairman for one of the other councilors. more..

Police probe K’goda attack on TV crew

May 22 (Island) The Kiribathgoda police are investigating Monday night’s attack on a TV station crew by a gang at Kiribathgoda. The crew were reporting on a Vesak event organized by a traders association of the town police said. SSP Kelaniya K. D. Somapala told The Island that when the TV camera crew was attacked there were no police personnel in the vicinity. Police have been informed by some eyewitnesses that one of the persons who attacked the crew had made a call to a politician over more..

Probe into Kalmunai rape

May 22 (DM) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has launched a full scale investigation into the rape of two teenage girls and the abduction of one of them a few hours later in Kalmunai on the day of the Eastern Provincial Council Elections. The story which was highlighted in the Daily Mirror on May 14, has led to a special team of NCPA officers travelling to Kalmunai and beginning a full scale probe, the NCPA said. more..

JVP wants politicos’ pay hikes curbed

May 22 (DM) The JVP is to request the Government to revise the laws that link salary scales of Parliamentarians including that of the Prime Minister and the Speaker to those of judicial officers. The law had placed the salary of the Prime Minister on par with that of the Chief Justice and the Speaker’s salary with that of the Attorney General. JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana said “Because of the linkage, the Parliamentarians too get a pay hike every time the salaries of the judicial officers are upwardly revised.” more..

Setback for Rajapaksa

May 22 (Hindu) The Mahinda Rajapaksa government suffered a set back on Wednesday night after Sri Lanka failed to get re-elected to the United Nations’s Human Rights Council following a campaign by human rights groups. According to reports reaching here, Japan, Bahrain, South Korea and Pakistan beat Sri Lanka and East Timor to the four places in the Asia group of the 47-member body at the election held in New York. more..

Rights group urges Sri Lanka to reassess policies

May 22 (AP) An international rights group Thursday urged Sri Lanka's government to reassess its human rights policies after the war-torn island nation lost its re-election bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council. New York-based Human Rights Watch in a statement called the vote "a wake up call for the Sri Lankan government" and said the country had only itself to blame for not getting re-elected to the U.N.'s most important human rights body. more..

Domestic Workers Promised New Deal in Kuwait

May 22 (IPS) Will a new agreement between licensed labour recruiters in Sri Lanka and Kuwait protect the rights of domestic workers who face serious abuse in the Gulf state? No, says one of Sri Lanka’s biggest groups working for the welfare of migrant workers which pins responsibility on shadowy sub-agents who enlist thousands of women every year as foreign domestic workers. more..

19 Indian fishermen released

May 22 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Government on Thursday released 19 Indian fishermen, taken into custody earlier this month reportedly for straying into the island's waters, according to officials here. Fisheries department officials here quoting information received from Sri Lanka told PTI that all the 19 fishermen, who hail from this coastal town in Ramanathapuram district, were released by a court in Talaimannar. more..

Prabhakaran pays homage to rebel commander

May 22 (IANS) The elusive leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has paid homage to his top military commander who died of heart attack in the rebel-held Wanni region, it was announced Thursday. Balasegaram Kandiah alias 'Brigadier' Balraj, involved in planning and carrying out several operations against the Sri Lankan military over the past 20 years, died Tuesday following cardiac arrest at the age of 42. more..

Loss of seat in UNHRC unfortunate, not a setback: Sri Lanka

May 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka Thursday termed the loss of its seat in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in New York as 'unfortunate' but insisted it was not a 'setback' to the country's human rights image as it secured 101 votes despite 'strong campaigns' against it. 'The fact that Sri Lanka received 101 votes out of 192 votes cast is in itself a clear (demonstration) of the clear understanding of the majority in the international community. more..

Curfew in Muslim town after retaliatory killings

May 22 (MG) Mr. Shanthan alias Arayampathy Shanthan, the Arayampathy area leader of The TMVP and Mr. Kannan, a member of TMVP were killed today morning at 11.45 at Kathankudy town by an unidentified armed group. Following the incident the infuriated TMVP cadres from Arayampathy camp started attacking Muslims in Kathankudy resulted in Killing two Muslim innocent civilians on the spot and two were seriously injured and admitted to Kathankudy Hospital. more..

Sri Lanka slams door on rights monitors after UN blow

May 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's hawkish government on Thursday angrily ruled out allowing foreign monitoring of the island's human rights situation after being denied a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. The war-torn country's foreign minister also blamed the diplomatic drubbing on what he alleged was an anti-government conspiracy by international rights groups in league with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

SCOOP reply to the article ‘The War Dividend’

May 23 (PISL) Dear Sir, I read with much sadness your article of May 10th about Sri Lanka entitled ‘The War Dividend’. It is not like the Economist to engage in one-sided reporting but, as on the last occasion on which I took issue with you, with regard to flawed reporting about military action in the North of Sri Lanka, I fear that your reporter has been misinformed. On that occasion, if you recall, he cited the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, and more..

Corporate Volunteerism for Peace Building

May 23 (PISL) Volunteerism is not a new concept for Sri Lanka as we have seen many a top CEO/Industry professional dedicates hours on a regular basis at cluster meetings and national committees for the purpose of formulating policy and strategy for Sri Lanka. The UN Volunteer (UNV) programme implemented by the UNDP promotes volunteerism for those between the ages of 19-39 years based on the underlining principle that more..

Ancient Mariners shooting the albatross

May 23 (PISL) Over the last couple of weeks there has been high drama with regard to Sri Lanka and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. May 13th saw the Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka, with nearly 70 countries putting themselves down to speak, only 56 ultimately having time to do so. The rest of the week saw discussions over the Report of the Review, which was ultimately adopted on the 19th, rather than the 15th as originally scheduled. more..

Sri Lanka Brandix to put creations on catwalk

May 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's apparel giant Brandix says its creations with an emphasis on eco-friendliness will be on display on the second day of a three day exposition in Colombo starting on May 30. On June 01, 60 items of lingerie, loungewear and casual wear designed by Brandix' creative team will be modelled as part of 'Colombo Vogue', a lifestyles weekend. The design collection put together for the show themed 'Free Spirit of Brandix' has more..