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Sri Lankan minister thanks Caritas for help

May 27 (UCAN) Sri Lanka’s resettlement minister has commended Caritas for its service to people displaced by the 26-year-long civil war and natural calamities. “I thank Caritas Sri Lanka for its service in this country,” said Milroy Fernando. “Caritas has dedicated all its resources to serving the people of this country, from the time of the [2004] tsunami and civil war right up to today.” The minister was visiting the Caritas office in Colombo more..

UNICEF assists in reopening war-damaged hospital in Sri Lanka

May 27 (DPA) A hospital damaged during heavy fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka was re-opened Thursday with the assistance of the UN children's fund UNICEF, officials said. UNICEF helped to re-establish the emergency obstetric and paediatric care wards at the general hospital in Kilinochchi, 320 kilometres north of Colombo. more..

Flood relief: FTZ workers ‘facing discrimination’ says union

May 27 (Island) More than 10,000 Katunayake Free Trade Zone employees, most of them women, have been badly affected by recent floods, according to the Board of Investment (BOI). Secretary of the FTZGSEU, Anton Marcus, accused officials responsible for distributing flood relief of discriminating against FTZ workers. He said around 300 boarding houses had been flooded and the women workers staying there needed urgent relief. more..

'How can Govt. make SL a model for Asia when it hasn’t fulfilled a single promise made to its own people?'

May 27 (UNP) UNP MP Talatha Ahukorale asked, how the President and his Govt. can boast of making SL a model for Asia, when it cannot put on track the most vital Ministries, Health, education and finance which are in a shambles? It is better the Govt. takes lessons from the Asian countries which have made tremendous progress n the recent past and build SL without indulging in empty boasts, she added. more..

Sri Lankans demand release of Suu Kyi

May 27 (UCAN) Catholic priests, nuns and Buddhist monks have joined a rally against the deterioration of democracy in Myanmar and have urged the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners. “Free Aung San Suu Kyi!” “Freedom for Burmese People!” “Let parliamentary rule be established in Myanmar!” the 30 or so demonstrators shouted in front of the Myanmar embassy in Colombo on May 26. more..

As Sri Lanka recovers from conflict, families come to the ICRC for news of their loved ones

May 27 (ICRC) The ICRC has extensive experience in working in countries in transition from conflict to recovery and development. In Sri Lanka, ICRC delegates visit places of detention countrywide to ensure that conditions of detention are adequate and in line with domestic laws and regulations. Through its family-visit assistance programme the ICRC provides travel allowances to families who come to its offices in more..

MP’s son with Russian woman at karoke bar assaulted

May 27 (Island) Acting on a complaint by Ram Mahes Yogarajan, the son of UNP National List MP R Yorarajan, that he was assaulted and robbed of his gold chain while he was in the company of a Russian woman at a karaoke bar the Cinnamon Gardens, the Police have arrested a suspect. The suspect Enston Fernando was produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne yesterday. more..

Heroine, the next biggest threat– IGP

May 27 (LP) Strict instruction has been issued to the officers to nab the heroine traders of the country while ridding the country of the menace of illegal drugs said the IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. He said that heroine is the next biggest threat to Sri Lanka after the eradication of terrorism. The threat is worsened as heroin trade is accessible even near schools and pulling more youth of Sri Lanka towards the menace. more..

CC in two months says PM

May 27 (DM) The Constitutional Council will be established within the next two months following the budget debate and members to various commissions which are now virtually defunct will also be appointed subsequently, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna said. The failure to establish a Constitutional Council has resulted in several key commissions being inactive over a period of several months. more..

Sri Lankan asylum seekers on hunger strike

May 27 (TS) Dozens of Sri Lankan asylum seekers have gone on a hunger strike at a detention center in Malaysia, a month after authorities forced them off a leaking boat. Sixty-one people have refused to eat since Tuesday and plan to continue their hunger strike until they are recognised as refugees and get access to international rights groups, said Nalini Elumalai, a representative of Malaysian human rights group Suaram. more..

Sri Lankan refugees stranded in Indian Ocean

May 27 (Xinhua) As many as 26 refugees from Sri Lanka were stranded in the Indian Ocean about 80 miles southeast of Central Java province's Cilacap regency, the Jakarta Post quoted an official as saying on Thursday. "The Sri Lankan refugees were discovered by local fishermen," said Cilacap Coast Guard chief Aher Priyatno on Wednesday, adding that authorities were currently deciding where to bring the Sri Lankans. more..

'Vesak theme speaks to global concerns amid multiple crises'

May 27 (IL) United Nation’s General Secretary Ban Ki-moon issued a message for day of Vesak and said the Vesak theme "Global Recovery: The Buddhist Perspective", spoke to global concerns amid multiple crises. The Day of the Vesak (Day of the Full Moon of the month of May), was recognized by the UN on 15th December 1999 at the 54th Session of the UN more..

Rs 2,500 pay hike push: Unions threaten strike

May 27 (Island) The Trade Union Confederation warn they will resort to trade union action if the UPFA government goes back on its promise of a 2,500-rupee salary increment for government employees. TUC General Secretary Saman Ratnapriya said they would commence their struggle for the increment on Monday (31). He said they would initially create awareness among government employees by distributing leaflets and more..

Bunkering facilities at competitive rates to ships from the Hambantota port

May 27 (DM) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority yesterday dismissed allegations that the Hambantota harbour would be affected if India went ahead with its plan to develop new bunkering facilities within its territorial waters. Some sections have expressed concern that ships travelling along the Indian Ocean might not call at the Hambantota harbour for their fuel requirements if India was able to provide these facilities at a cheaper rate. more..

Govt. under fire for encouraging squatters

May 27 (Island) The government is under pressure to review its policy with regard to squatters evicted from one part of Colombo being relocated within the city. A senior official said the government had no option but to end that practice immediately and work out a plan to gradually move them out. He asserted that the practice adopted by successive governments, including the incumbent administration, was nothing but a farce. more..

Action to be taken on vehicles with tinted glasses

May 27 (DM) The Police will take action on owners of vehicles with heavy tints on its windows, if they are not removed in a week’s time, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya said yesterday. He said that many complaints had been made about vehicles of such nature being involved in criminal activity, and therefore, we will take this step to curtail any future incidents from taking place. more..

Let us build a virtuous Nation-President

May 27 (LP) Those who live virtuous lives will not see the faults of the past and grieve in the present. Let us resolve during this Vesak Day to follow the wholesome path of the Buddha with determination and relentless efforts to build a virtuous nation said President Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing a message on Vesak Poya day. “Vesak Full moon poya day which marks the birth of Prince Siddhartha, more..

Sri Lanka welcomes end to US travel warning

May 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Thursday welcomed the lifting of a US warning against travel to the Indian Ocean island, anticipating a boost to tourism and investment a year after a bloody civil war ended. "This is something we have been looking forward to," tourism bureau chief Dileep Mudadeniya said. "It will have a knock-on effect on (travel) insurance rates and also encourage more business travel from the West." more..

'Govt. has still not provided relief to flood affected'

May 27 (NF) The government has still not been able to provide relief to those affected by floods, says the DNA. Vijitha Herath described the situation as success having a thousand fathers and failure being an orphan. “When there is victory gained in a war, then that honour goes to the king. When a sportsman brings glory to the country by winning an event, then a government minister claims ownership of that victory. more..

Dealing with critical issues, Sri Lankan way: New MPs get more for duty free vehicles

May 27 (DM) New parliamentarians are in for a mega bonanza with the Cabinet yesterday approving the grant of permits to import duty free vehicles for them up to the CIF value of US$ 50,000 each. The members of the previous parliament were permitted to import duty free vehicles up to the CIF value of US$ 35,000. Cabinet sources said the higher concession was given due to the steep rise in world market prices of vehicles. more..

Sri Lanka says no to Howard nomination

May 27 (CI) The nomination of John Howard, the former Australian Prime Minister, for the ICC's vice-presidency has taken another hit with Sri Lanka saying it would not support his candidature. As first reported by Cricinfo, South Africa and Zimbabwe are leading a move to prevent Howard from being nominated to a post from where he will, in two years' time, graduate to heading the ICC. more..

A&E partners with textile university of Moratuwa

May 28 (F2F) The Brandix Group's top-notch thread producing company, American & Efird (A&E) Lanka (Pvt) Ltd has become the Strategic Sewing Thread Partner of the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology of the University of Moratuwa, under a new affiliation, which has been authorized recently. A MoU in this regard has recently been signed by both the institutions, according to which A&E will refurbish and maintain the lecture room TLR4, and more..

Sec. Clinton's shot at uncovering justice for Sri Lanka's war crimes

May 28 (HP) In the context of Amnesty International's global campaign to establish an international, independent investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, we are currently closely following the US visit of Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris, is currently on a public relations tour through the United States, touting his country as the new paradise for foreign investment, more..

Germany-based LTTE fund raiser arrested

May 28 (MoD) Police on Wednesday arrested a key supporter of the now defunct LTTE, on her arrival in Colombo. Well informed sources said that she had been instrumental in collecting funds in Frankfurt for the terrorist organisation and played a key role in the anti-Sri Lanka demonstrations held in the German Commercial Capital during the final stages of the 'humanitarian operation' launched by the security forces. more..

Sri Lanka's external affairs minister leaves National Press Club without addressing journalists

May 28 (AHN) Sri Lanka's minister for external affairs, G.L. Peiris, left a scheduled meeting with journalists at the National Press Club Thursday morning without speaking. He had been slated to address them as a precursor to his Friday meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Peiris arrived at the building with a Secret Service security detail, but left without explanation after going to the 14th floor where he was to speak. more..

Children building bridges of friendship across the ethnic divide

May 28 (TC) “Many little people in many little places do many little things that can change the world”, wrote Capt. Elmo Jayawardana in a recent newspaper article entitled, “Peace Begins With Me”. Recently, I saw an instance of this, here in Colombo – little people - Tamil-speaking children from the East coming to spend a few days in Colombo in the company of Sinhala-speaking children who made them feel welcome and accepted. more..

Don't ban Ban

May 28 (Economist) A year after the end of the long and terrible civil war between the Sinhalese-run government and Tamil separatists, Sri Lanka has returned to a sort of normality. The killing has stopped and people have, mostly, returned to their homes. Tourists are turning up in droves—Sri Lanka is the New York Times’s top tourist destination for 2010—and foreign investment is beginning to trickle in. more..

Sri Lanka Railways warns: Watch out for the two meter reservation

May 28 (GDI) Construction, digging or other intervention within the two meter reservation on either side of railway tracks is a punishable offence, the Sri Lanka Railway Department warned. Railway carries about 105 million passengers, almost 1.6 Million metric tonnes of freight per annum. Accordingly it performs 4.4 bn Passenger km and 138 million freight tonne-Km. annually. more..

Limestone in Valikaamam HSZ sent to Galle in South

May 28 (TN) Thousands of Southern Sinhalese labourers are engaged in excavating lime stone in the Sri Lanka Amy (SLA) High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North where its residents had been evicted by SLA, Jaffna MP, Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy accused in a press meet held in Jaffna Thursday. The excavated limestone is taken to the cement factories in Galle in ships and via A9 road, he further said. more..

'Not looking for the guilty'

May 28 (TC) The commission set up by the government is sufficient to investigate the allegations of humanitarian standards and human rights violations say the Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona. He said that since Sri Lanka had established a commission of enquiry under the parliamentary act and it has full powers to investigate, there is no need for another international body to do the same. more..

Back off Sri Lanka inquiry, U.N. chief told

May 28 (IPS) Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris arrived in New York last week carrying a tough message for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: keep your hands off Sri Lanka. The secretary-general's plans to appoint a panel of U.N. experts to advise him on human rights violations in post-conflict Sri Lanka are "unprecedented", Peiris declared. And more so, he said, because the panel is to be appointed without the blessings of the Security Council, the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council. more..

Politicians; let new selectors work independently

May 28 (DM) Cricket bands the Sri Lanka nation together like no other game and lifts the spirits of the masses even in the gloomiest and depressing days. That is why even the recent victims of the floods have been reportedly watching 20/20 matches on TV till the last minute even while the flood levels were rising. As such to keep the nation happy it is mandatory to send the best possible national teams for matches more..

STF under Defence Ministry

May 28 (DM) The Special Task Force (STF) of the police which is under the direct purview of the IGP, has been taken over by the Defence Ministry, informed sources said. The Cabinet has given the approval for the Cabinet paper in this regard put forward by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to the Cabinet paper, the STF now comes under the direct purview of the Defence Minister with effect from May 12 this year, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka after war: Where to now and how?

May 28 (GV) The greatest challenge facing Sri Lanka is the quest for a just reconciliation to the ethnic issue through a democratic process coupled with a well planned economic strategy which will promote rapid development and equitably shared prosperity. The nation has stagnated in all respects as a consequence of the thirty year old ethnic conflict and now we need to fast track development. more..

'Impress upon Sri Lankan President need for a joint rebuilding mechanism'

May 28 (Hindu) Civil rights activists have urged the Union Government to impress upon Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, due to visit India on June 8, the imperative of constituting an Indo-Sri Lankan joint mechanism for meaningful rebuilding of lives of Sri Lankan Tamils. The joint mechanism, which could consist of officials from both countries, parliamentarians and NGO leaders, would also provide a credible structural framework for more..

'Amnesty International can't dictate terms to us'

May 28 (Rediff) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris, who is visiting Washington for meetings with senior Obama Administration officials and US lawmakers, has slammed the International Crisis Group, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other such groups--that have accused Sri Lanka of war crimes during its conflict with the LTTE and called for an international tribunal to investigate more..

The importance of not forgetting

May 28 (GV) One year ago, the war that had defined our lives for the last 30 years ended. Brutally, callously and mercilessly fought like most wars are, it ended amidst allegations of immense suffering wrought on the people caught in the middle of the final desperate onslaughts. Since then according to the official version, Sri Lankans have nothing but happiness and prosperity to look forward to because the one thing that has hindered our progress as a nation has been finally eliminated. more..

Websites with lewd content to be blocked from mobile phones

May 28 (NF) Police have decided to block websites with lewd content accessed through mobile phones. “The matter has been reported through the Juvenile Court in Bambalapitiya,” said the Police Children's and Women's Bureau. The new measure will be implemented on the orders of the IGP. Initial investigations have revealed that subscribers have accessed over 60 such sites through mobile phones. more..

M.I.A.’s Agitprop Pop

May 28 (NYT) On the Grammy Awards in 2009, Maya Arulpragasam, also known as M.I.A., performed her biggest hit, “Paper Planes,” a rap song that infuses rebellious, defiant lyrics with the sounds of her native Sri Lanka, a riff lifted from the Clash, the bang-bang of a gun and the ka-ching of a cash register. Maya, as she is called, was nine months pregnant (to the day), and while she was onstage rapping about “some some some I some I murder, some I some I let go” more..

Lanka at the verge of a diplomatic blunder

May 28 (LG) China over India or India over China? In simplified terms, this is the diplomatic and strategic challenge faced by Sri Lanka today. A sustainable choice must be made and it got to be made soon, if Lanka is to move forward with peace and prosperity. A blunder will be very costly, both politically and economically. Stuck-in-the-middle is another pitfall that will also prove costly as Indian demands are rapidly rising vis-a-vis Chinese demands. more..

Child abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

May 28 (LG) She sent her grandson to school with the idea of providing him with proper education to make him a good person. The Buddhist monk in charge of the temple asked her to send the child to the temple and she sent him there because they were poor. There was no possibility for them to pay the money for tuition fees. That was the reason why they sent the boy to the temple school. When the child began to refuse going to the temple school so adamantly, more..

A criminal within and the snail pace of the UNP

May 28 (LG) Almost five months have elapsed since Shantha Abesekara and his murderous criminals attempted to kill the UNP MP Palitha Rangebandara. The UNP has still not been able to take effective disciplinary action against Shantha Abesekara, the attempted murderer, who personally dealt the last sword blow across Rangebandara’s head and declared him dead. more..

A tribute to our unsung heroes

May 28 (GV) The teenage girls singing a Tamil song “Tomorrow is Ours” is interrupted by my wife Samantha and I walking in to the classroom. They giggled coyly as we looked around at them. They were being trained to be Girl Guides and did not seem any different to any of the many young people I have encountered over the years. One of the leaders, Deepa (fictitious name) walked up to us in curiosity and introduced by the Girl Guide trainer. more..

The second phase of a war without end

May 28 (GV) One year after the end of the war there is optimism in the country, particularly amongst sections of the business community. The government has taken the position that rapid economic development can be a panacea to the problems that afflict the country, including the long festering ethnic one. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hongkong, and more recently Malaysia and China, all point the success of tight political control more..

Everyone in Kilinochchi has a story

May 28 (PB) Every house in Kilinochchi has a story to tell. Everyone has seen something so out of this world in the last two years. But Kilinochchi can be normal, so normal that even the macabre can be normal. People describe losing loved ones, family members while they fled the fighting as if describing bad traffic day. It is as if they have resigned themselves to their really bad fate. more..

No move yet towards genuine reconciliation and lasting peace

May 28 (TC) A year has passed since the Sri Lanka military eliminated the LTTE (18 May 2009) in the Eelam war IV that was started confidently by the Tamil Tigers. Their supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, his family and the LTTE's entire top brass were cornered and killed. Prabhakaran’s body was found near the Nanthikadal lagoon in the Mullaitivu district, north-east Sri Lanka. more..

Tamil American Peace Initiative responds to SL Foreign Minister’s US visit

May 28 (TC) With the arrival of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris in Washington this week, Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPI) urged members of Congress and the Obama Administration to press the international community to pursue independent investigations into the alleged war crimes that occurred during Sri Lanka’s twenty-five year Civil War. “Many in the international community have been calling for an investigation since the end of the war,” more..

Boston Lanka News Edition: May 26, 2010

‘Teachings of Lord Buddha will always be relevant'

May 28 (Hindu) Athuraliye Rathana Thero, spiritual adviser to the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday said that the teachings of Lord Buddha and the philosophy of non-violence and equality would always be relevant to solve conflicts. The monk, along with Kimbulapitiye Saddhananda Thero, chief incumbent of Chethiyaramaya Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, were in Gulbarga to participate in the 2554th Buddha Jayanti celebrations and more..

Tourism Industry welcomes the U.S. move to lift the travel warning

May 28 (N360) Local Tourism Industry welcomes the move by the USA to lift the travel warning imposed on Sri Lanka. Imithiz J. Cader the General Manager of the Ramada Hotel in Colombo said the move will help not only give a boost to the already booming tourism industry, but also will help bring in U.S. Investors to the country. The Sri Lanka Embassy in U.S.A. announced yesterday that USA has cancelled the Travel Warning issued more..