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Sri Lankan Airlines to expand routes, frequencies

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines plans to add more destinations and increase frequencies on existing routes as it expands and the island's tourist trade revives with the end of a war, senior officials said. The island's national carrier also intends to lease more aircraft, raising its fleet to 20 aircraft from 12 Airbus aircraft of various types today, said G S Vitanage, additional secretary of Sri Lanka's aviation ministry. more..

Mihin Lanka says no longer making losses

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned budget airline, Mihin Lanka, whose losses have been subsidized by government, said it has begun making monthly profits after breaking even last August. However, the controversial airline, which stopped operating in 2008 after losing over three billion rupees and leaving bad loans at two state banks and a fuel supplier, has yet to recoup past losses. more..

US slams Lanka rights record

Mar 13 (BBC) The US State Department in its annual report on human rights for 2009 has been highly critical of the Sri Lankan government and also of the now defeated rebel group, the Tamil Tigers. It said the government or paramilitary groups close to it were involved in summary killings and disappearances and that lawyers and journalists were harassed and victimised. But it did also acknowledge some improvements, noting that disappearances are down in number. more..

Minister Ranaweera released on bail

Mar 13 (DM) Minister of Irrigation and the Ratnapura District Parliamentarian of UPFA, Jayatissa Ranaweera was released on bail yesterday by the Embilipitiya Magistrate. He was produced before the Court for allegedly attacking a convoy of vehicles belonging to Rural Development Minister Premalal Jayasekera of the same party. Accordingly, Minister Ranaweera and one of his personal body guards, Police constable Dharmasena Ekanayake were ordered by more..

Indian experts in Sri Lanka with Jaipur Foot

Mar 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka's separatist war finally over, Indian experts are in the island nation to provide the Jaipur Foot, artificial legs known to be cosmetically and functionally close to the human limb. Nineteen skilled technicians of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), makers of the famous Jaipur Foot, are camping in northern Sri Lanka to give away the artificial limb to about 1,000 amputees for free. more..

Thurulie receives LEED Platinum Green Building Certification

Mar 13 (f2F) MAS Intimates Thurulie, the ‘iconic’ eco-manufacturing facility of MAS Holdings was awarded LEED (Platinum) certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the world’s pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Built under the auspices of Marks & Spencer’s Plan A eco-initiative, more..

Shaping Western Policy on Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (LG) Following the end of decades of armed struggle in May last year, western states, led by the United States of America and the European Union, are reviewing their policy on Sri Lanka. Having followed a path of working with the state to defeat terrorism, the West now has to choose between working with an oppressive state or attempting to reform Sri Lanka into a liberal state with respect for human rights and liberal values. more..

Interview with Justice C.G. Weeramantry

SLA soldiers obstruct ITAK candidate from campaigning in Ki'linochchi

Mar 13 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning the check posts along the roads do not allow him to go the places where IDPs are resettled in Ki'linochchi district, Sivagnanam Sritharan, the candidate contesting Ki'linochchi district in Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) ticket and the principal of Ki'linochchi Maha Viththiyaalayam said, in the press meet held Friday at the ITAK office on Martin Road in Jaffna where the ITAK election manifesto was released. more..

'According to President Navy Commander is a mental patient '

Mar 13 (LT) If Gen. Sarath Fonseka is detained, according to the President, at the official residence of the Commander of the SL Navy it is very necessary to find out the mental state of the Navy Commander to live in such a defective quarter says Parliamentarian of the JVP Anura Dissanayake. This was said by Mr. Dissanayake responding to a question posed by a journalist at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP today (12th). more..

Realpolitik Rules in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (IL) The government is winning the civil war against the minority Tamils to a background of great power rivalry. China and the United States are competing for influence on this strategic island on the world's trade routes. After over 20 years of civil war the West deliberately sabotaged peace and the separatist movement by labelling them terrorists. Now they are wringing their hands about human rights abuses. more..

Encountering Extremism: Biographical tracks and Twists

Mar 13 (LG) One’s academic trajectories and journeys are invariably subject to vagaries and contingencies. The events and researches leading to my interest in “communal violence” and “zealotry” in the 1990s, and thereafter to what I have called ‘sacrificial devotion” (embracing the topics of “terrorism,” suicide bombers and Tamil Tigers), [1] were shaped by such contingencies. Since my web site will present some short essays on both these topics in the course of this month, more..

Understanding Zealotry

Mar 13 (LG) The first part of this article was written when I was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the International Centre for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, Netherlands from September to December 1995; and was published in one of their Newsletters under the heading “Understanding Zealotry & Questions for Post-Orientalism.” The emphasis then was informed by my interest in the embodied emotions that have spurred assaults during pogroms and riots. more..

The assassination conspiracy charges leveled against General when he was arrested has evaporated into thin air

Mar 13 (LeN) The JVP Parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing a media briefing said, even though General Sarath Fonseka was arrested on charges of conspiring to assassinate the President, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and for overthrowing a legally elected Govt., the charges on which the Govt. is now trying to indict him are totally at variance. more..

'Harassed' by cops, Lankan woman attempts suicide

Mar 13 (TOI) Shantidevi (name changed), a Sri Lankan refugee, committed self-immolation after a S-I allegedly outraged her modesty inside the police station in Karur on March 7. She is battling for her life in a government hospital. The 27-year-old was staying in a refugee camp near Chennai. According to lawyers, police tried to prevent her from giving a "dying declaration" to a magistrate, and more..

A River for Jaffna

Mar 13 (TOI) In the article on Eppawala phosphate deposit in The Island on Sunday 07 March 2010, the felicitation to Jayantha Dhanapala on his election as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs for a five year term 2007 – 2012 was mentioned. At a Workshop in his honour in November 2007, on Learning from Ancient Hydraulic Civilizations to Combat Climate Change a presentation on the River for Jaffna Project was made by Engineer Thiru Arumugam. more..

Sri Lanka Wildlife Odyssey

Jaffna farmers get a leg up from Caritas

Mar 13 (UCAN) Hindus and Catholics in a northern village have received water pumps, agricultural tools and insecticide from Caritas to help them get back on their feet in the wake of the civil war and 2004 tsunami. Last Sunday, Caritas’ Human Development Center (HUDEC) officers gave these items to 39 farmers from Uduvil village, north of Jaffna. The villagers were also taught how to use them. more..

The future of banking: challenges to bankers

Mar 13 (LBO) Banking is one sector which undergoes rapid change and transformation. Hence, what we have today as banks is completely different from what we had as banks yesterday. Similarly, banks tomorrow will be completely different from banks today. Working in a bank today is like getting into a spacecraft travelling at the speed of light across an infinite number of galaxies. The travel is unidirectional, no space to stop and observe and no possibility of return to the original point. more..

Sri Lanka tea prices rise, crops fall

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices rose at this week's auction as quality improved and crops coming down owing to drought, brokers said. Prices of some varieties of 'Western high grown' teas cultivated on the Western slopes of the central hills rose by 15 rupees a kilo and more following quality, brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said. The teas are grown mainly by regional plantations companies listed on the Colombo bourse. more..

Cases against Sri Lankan fishermen

Mar 13 (Hindu) The Marine police on Friday registered cases against the 17 fishermen from Sri Lanka, who were taken into custody from the sea coast near Nagayalanka on Thursday night. The police registered cases under Section 3 (read with 10) of the Indian Maritime Zone Act, accusing the foreigners of intruding into the Indian waters. The accused, if found guilty by the court of law, could be awarded an imprisonment of three years more..

Sri Lankan army charges opposition candidate

Mar 13 (wsws) After detaining General Sarath Fonseka for more than a month, the Sri Lankan army finally announced on Thursday that it was charging the defeated opposition presidential candidate and former army commander. He will be tried in closed military courts on March 16 and 17 on seven charges that fall into two categories—engaging in political activity while in active service and breaking the military’s procurement procedures. more..

ITAK concludes 4 day electioneering in Moothoor area

Mar 13 (TN) Ilangkai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) led by its President and the chief candidate for the Trincomalee electoral district concluded its four day electioneering in the Moothoor east, Verukal and Eachchilampaththai divisions Thursday night. The electioneering began on Monday and ended on Thursday night at Cheanaiyoor with an election rally, TNA sources said. more..

e-Villages: Tackling ICT one step at a time

Mar 13 (SLW) Concept of the eVillage was born in the village of Mahavilachchiya in 2004. Having served the village with ICT and English education since 1998 through Horizon Lanka, we were looking for innovative ways of expanding our services in a way the ICTs can be used in a wider spectrum, not just focusing the children alone. We had already taken steps to get the parents of the children involved in ad-hoc computer lessons, more..

National Heritage of Our Motherland

Mar 13 (SLW) The biggest blunder of S J V Chelvanayagam was to assume a unique Lankan Tamil heritage and make that the basis for his demand for a federal state. It had had a better appeal when introduced, in late 1940s. Chelvanayagam’s definition of a ‘Tamil’ was a speaker of the language as his/her mother tongue. Cultural distinctions between the Tamil speaking Hindus and Muslims were neglected. more..

Call to Campaign

Mar 13 (SLW) As you are probably aware, the United States of America recently halted training for all our elite troops, particularly the Special Forces, Commandos and the Special Task Force. The decision to stop all training activities in USA for officers and men of the Special Forces came after a damning statement by the former Commander of the Army, Ret. General Sarath Fonseka. Fonseka directly implicated the Special Forces in an alleged massacre of more..

Colombo harbour is widened by utilizing 286 hectares of the sea

Mar 13 (GDI) “Expanding the ports network will strategically help the economic development of the country. The government has initiated a number of special projects to fulfill this aspiration. The Government will widen Colombo Harbor by adding another 286 hectares from the sea”, the Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation Ranjith de Silva said at a media conference more..

Sri Lanka’s ports network to be further expanded

Mar 13 (LP) The Sri Lankan government has initiated a number of projects to expand the ports network in the country to attract more service form the international shipping industry. Under a project to expand operations, the Colombo Harbour will be widened by adding another 286 hectares from the sea to meet the demand for services in the international marine industry, said the Ministry of Ports and Aviation. more..

The President’s Maha Shiva Rathri message

Mar 13 (GDI) The Maha Shiva Rathri, observed in honour of Lord Shiva, marks the day he is believed to have married Parvati and also performed the dance of primordial creation and preservation. It is celebrated by Hindus around the world by fasting, night long vigils at temples, making of offerings to Shiva, the lighting of lamps and singing hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. more..

Royal-Thomian…. Trouble for everyone else?

Mar 13 (SLW) Sri Lanka’s oldest and arguably most popular big match, the Battle of the Blues between Royal College and St. Thomas’s College, is currently under way. Tomorrow will be the third and final day of the famed test encounter. Whilst this is a very joyous event for the Royalists and Thoras, the same cannot always be said for others, especially other students. During the past two weeks, my school was visited by more..

Budget deficit is not a criteria for economic judgement

Mar 13 (GDI) Addressing an “Asi Disi Vidwath Hemuwa” press conference held at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information which was addressed by several distinguished Economists, Professor W.D.Lakshman of the National Economic Council said a significant in the country’s economical approach took place since 2005. He deplored the attempts being made by the opposition politicians to misinterpret the economic situation of the country and more..

Moragoda says LTTE rehab efforts on track

Mar 13 (Island) An internationally backed effort to rehabilitate over 10,000 LTTE cadres in government custody is on track with an ambitious plan to set up special rehabilitation facilities to allow families of the detained to live under one roof. The first such facility is expected to be established in 'Zone 5' of Menik farm bordering the Malwattu Oya. The government intends to set up similar facilities in Trincomalee, Jaffna and Batticaloa more..

Uthuru Vasanthaya program: Warehouse to repair machinery

Mar 13 (MoD) The Northern Provincial Council is to implement a program under the Uthuru Vasanthaya to build a warehouse to repair all machinery collected in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri said all the machinery items such as bicycles, tractors, water pumps and other items and documents in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are to be recovered and repaired at the warehouse. more..

Grand Cultural show set for Mahasivarathri at Thiruketheeswaram

Mar 13 (MoD) For the forthcoming Mahasivarathri festival at the Thiruketheeswaram temple, Mannar on 12-13 March 2010, Indian artistes- 'Ponisai Thevaramani' Smt. Vijalaxmi Raja Ram and 'Tamil Isaithendral' Smt. Meenakshi Srinivasan from Chennai will render devotional songs. The Indian High Commission is actively supporting the cultural programme, which is expected to be attended by thousands of devotees. more..

Role of international community

Mar 13 (MoD) Barely ten months have elapsed since Sri Lanka's valiant Security Forces liberated the entire country from the clutches of LTTE terror. During the three-and-a-half-year battle to liberate the North and the East, Sri Lanka's Security Forces made unprecedented sacrifices. It was due to their unflagging efforts, dedication and courage that the country was fully liberated. more..

UN Secretary General's Expert Group to assess Accountability in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (MoD) It is reported that the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) had expressed "....concerns over the lack of progress on political reconciliation, the treatment of IDPs and the setting up of an accountability process in Sri Lanka." The report adds that the UNSG "..intends to move forward on a group of experts which will advise....on setting broad parameters and standards on the way ahead on establishing accountability concerning Sri Lanka" more..

Police chase after Matara Mayor for supporting General Fonseka

Mar 13 (LNW) A special team from the CID had recorded a statement from Matara Mayor Upul Nishantha on the behavior of General Sarath Fonseka when he visited Matara during the Presidential election campaign, the people who accompanied the General and the support extended by the Matara Municipal Council. One ASP Premaratne, who was among the team that recorded the statement, had continuously questioned the Mayor of his relationship with the General. more..

Lakshman's statement to CID against General

Mar 13 (LT) We revealed recently that Deputy Secretary of the UNP Lakshman Seneviratne made a statement against Gen. Sarath Fonseka. However, responding to this Mr. Seneviratne said he made a statement to the CID but did not make any statement against the General. However, we have received the statement Mr. Lakshman Seneviratne made to the CID. We publish here the statement made by Mr. Seneviratne to the CID. more..

Tamil Tigress in UN

Mar 13 (LG) Ms Navi Pillai has been anti Sri Lanka and pro LTTE for a long time. Even when UN member states voted in favour of Sri Lanka, she continued her anti Sri Lankan stand. She did nothing to eliminate Tamil terrorism and empire building, which was the main cause of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka, but she did every thing in her power to act against GOSL which eliminated terrorism. It has to be investigated, if her reluctance to act against Tamil racism is due to her Tamil ethnicity. more..

Former CJ on Arrest and Detention of The General

Mar 13 (LT) Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva states that whatever perspective, the arrest of General Sarath Fonseka runs contrary to all accepted norms of the law as we know it. From the hallowed Constitution to the Universal Declaration, the ICCPR, the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, the Army Act or the CDS Act, the entire gamut of the law does not extend a reason adequate for the arrest and detention of General Sarath Fonseka more..

Ports provide 235,000 new jobs

Mar 13 (DN) More than 25,000 direct employment opportunities and 200,000 indirect employment will be generated within the next five years in the ports and shipping sector, Ports Authority Chairman Dr Priyath Wickrama said. He said five port development projects are being carried out. From 2005 the Government has spent US $ 1.7 billion on port development projects, he added. more..

Bumper harvest eases short supply: Rice prices come down

Mar 13 (DN) The prices of rice have been slashed with the arrival of adequate rice stocks at the Maradagahamula rice wholesale centre as a result of the bountiful paddy harvest in the current Maha season. Maradagahamula Traders Association’s President V.K. Ranjith told the Daily News that ample rice stocks started to arrive in the Maradagahamula centre in the last few days. They will be continuously supplied to rice markets islandwide. more..

On Ranjan Madugalle’s ‘lesson’ in 1982

Mar 13 (DN) I think it was L.D.H. Peiris, Principal of Royal College (1972-1980) who introduced a tradition of inviting a distinguished old boy to address the student during assembly. Or he may have been continuing an old tradition. We never knew who or what would be foisted on us when we went for assembly, but it was always entertaining and speaking strictly for me, looking back I can say with certainty, I benefited. more..

'All round development by 2020'

Mar 13 (DN) The Finance Ministry yesterday said a number of achievements in the path of the country's economic development would inevitably be made by 2020, if the country is driven on the Mahinda Chintana policy framework. Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara said the Government will be able to increase the per capita income from US$ 2,000 to US$ 6,000 and the country would see tremendous development in all spheres by 2020. more..

Rewards as facades

Mar 13 (LNP) Jansila Majeed of Puttalam has done Sri Lanka proud. She received the 2010 Woman of Courage award on Wednesday. Yesterday, we carried a picture of the winner flanked by the US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The US deserves praise for recognising Jansila for `grassroots activism and minority community leadership on behalf of women and girls, their empowerment, peace building, relief work, more..

Pasan (99) and Nuwan (86) give Thomians the advantage

Mar 13 (LNP) Royal College, Colombo fought back in the final session to undermine the early advantage S.Thomas College, Mount Lavinia gained on day two of their 131st Battle of the Blues three-day cricket encounter continued at the SSC grounds, Colombo yesterday. Royal, after trailing by 31 runs on the first innings, were 20 for no loss in their second innings at close. Earlier, S.Thomas resuming their first innings went on to make a healthy 314 all out. more..

Lalith makes excuses for public servants

Mar 13 (Island) Although a public servant was expected to work 8 hours per day, on an average they work only three hours and 20 minutes a day, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President said addressing a group of State sector employees and trade union leaders at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo yesterday. He said this was due to poor transport, technological defects and administrative problems. more..

South Eastern University closed after students clash, VC quits

Mar 13 (Island) The South Eastern University was closed indefinitely following a clash between two factions of students at the Oluwil Campus. According to Acting Registrar Mansoor Cader, all academic activities of the faculties of commerce, management, arts, culture, Islamic and Arabic studies have been suspended indefinitely and the main campus at Oluwil has been declared out of bounds to all students. more..

NAM Vs Allied Forces

Mar 13 (DM) Sri Lanka owes it to India, or to Jawaharlal Nehru to be specific, that it got 118 -member strong Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to condemn Ban ki-Moon’s move to appoint an expert panel to advise him on Sri Lanka. The brainchild of Nehru despite being rather lethargic for the last two decades or so has come forward to defend one time vibrant member Sri Lanka at a time when countries like US, UK and many others are out to corner her. more..

Anoma seeks to stop court martial

Mar 13 (DM) Habeas Corpus application has been filed in the Court of Appeal asking it to direct the Army Commander, Army Provost Marshal and Navy Commander to produce retired General Sarath Fonseka in Court on the basis that that the proposed court martial is illegal and arbitrary. General Fonseka’s wife Anoma in her application filed on Thursday through Paul Ratnayake Associates cited General Fonseka, more..