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Govt. asked to intervene in Samurdhi matters

Apr 8 (DM) Samurdhi officers yesterday asked the government to intervene to resolve issues within the authority as it was beyond their control. The Samurdhi Development Officers’ Union (SDOU) said that the government and the ministry did not intervene to resolve issues but instead shirked their responsibilities. The Union also said that though many claimed that the problems inside the authority had been solved, it was not so. “We aren’t saying that samurdhi officers are perfect, more..

Karuna defends DMK stand on Lankan Tamils

Apr 8 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday said his party had maintained a consistent stand over Sri Lankan Tamils issue and hinted that AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa had taken up the issue only with an eye on the April 13 Assembly elections. Karunanidhi said at an election rally whether it was DMK recognising Selva as the father figure of Tamils' movement in Sri Lanka in 1956 or not supporting a resolution moved by AIADMK government before more..

Northern Naval Chief transferred

Apr 8 (Island) Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral S. M. B. Weesekara has been transferred to the Volunteer Naval Force consequent to the mysterious disappearance of four naval personnel from SLN detachment at Chundikulam on the Vadamaratchchy coast on March 29 evening. Rear Admiral Weerasekara has been appointed as the Commandant of the Volunteer Naval Force, a position especially created to accommodate the veteran. more..

PHD to keep records on food handlers

Apr 8 (Island) The Public Health Department has decided to maintain records of medical history of all workers in restaurants from cooks to cashiers. Chief of the Public Health Department (PHD), Colombo Municipal Council, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said on Thursday (7) that the PHD would issue cards to be filled with medical details of workers. He said the cards would include basic information regarding the food handler, previous immunisation history, details of physical examinations more..

'Pakistan greatly values its relations with Sri Lanka'

Apr 8 (Nation) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar received the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Air Chief Marshall Jayalath Weerakkody on Friday. Minister of State and the High Commissioner discussed matters of mutual interest to both counties. They agreed that President Zardari’s recent visit to Sri Lanka has laid the solid basis for further strengthening bilateral relations, especially through mutually beneficial economic relations. more..

Madduma Bandara cries foul, says new UNP WC illegal

Apr 8 (Island) While the Sajith Premadasa camp keeps blowing hot and cold, National Organiser aspirant Ranjith Maddumabandara said yesterday that the New UNP Working Committee, which was in the process of taking shape, is illegal. Asked if he would be contesting the National Organiser’s post when the Working Committee meets again on May 3, he told The Island that the issue at hand was that in terms of the new UNP constitution, more..

Indian HC opens joint Handcrafts Exhibition and Fairý

Apr 8 (IL) India and Sri Lanka jointly organized the Handicrafts Exhibition & Fair by award winning crafts persons from India and Sri Lanka at the National Art Gallery, Ananda Coomaraswamy MawathaColombo-07. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development and the High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka representing both governments, on Tuesday 05 April 2011. more..

Johnny calls for probe into tomato import

Apr 8 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando has called for explanation from the Customs Department on how a large quantity of tomatoes was imported from India and cleared without the knowledge of the quarantine officials. Government sources confirmed that the police had raided the Dambulla Economic Centre on Wednesday (6) and arrested one trader with 10,000 to 15,000 kg of tomatoes without any valid documents. more..

Karu acts for Ranil

Apr 8 (Island) Co-deputy leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya has been appointed to act for the Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is in Spain as a local government election monitor. Wickremesinghe will be away from the country for two weeks. Sajith Premadasa was recently elevated to the post of co-deputy leader of the UNP by the Working Committee along with Karu Jayasuriya. The Working Committee also appointed the following as more..

Don’t appoint diplomuts: UNP

Apr 8 (DM) The UNP yesterday asked the government not to give political postings to retired military personnel and relatives of those who are at the helm of affairs since they were untrained to handle subtle diplomatic issues. UNP Senior Vice President Lakshman Kiriella told parliament that such people were at a loss to counter allegations of human rights violations and the suppression of media freedom in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka is to establish National Organic Control Authority

Apr 8 (DM) The Cabinet has approved a proposal made by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr. Rishard Bathiudeen for the establishment of a National Organic Control Authority (NOCA) to facilitate the Export of Organic Products. The main objective of establishing this Authority is to maintain a credible system of quality assurance for organic agricultural products such as spices, herbs, essential oils, desiccated coconut. more..

Abused domestic workers stranded

Apr 8 (HRW) Jordan should immediately allow 24 Sri Lankan former domestic workers, many of whom were allegedly abused by their employers, to return home, Human Rights Watch said today. The workers have been stranded in Amman since January 2011, unable to pay government-imposed fines and threatened with eviction. Article 12.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which became domestic Jordanian law in 2006, more..

Sri Lankan team bus driver resigns

Apr 8 (CI) The Sri Lankan cricket team's premier bus driver has resigned from his post following the team's defeat to India in the World Cup final. The news comes in the wake of several high-profile resignations and retirements in Sri Lankan cricket, including captain Kumar Sangakkara, vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene, coach Trevor Bayliss, the selection panel headed by Aravinda de Silva, and all-round nice guy Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Extortionists warned, quit or pay the price

Apr 8 (Island) The police yesterday warned extortionists that if they ever tried to extract protection money from anyone, they would have to pay a very heavy price. DIG of Police Anura Senanayaka issued the warning at a meeting with wholesale and retail fish traders at the Peliyagoda complex. He told them that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa and IGP Mahinda Balasuriya had instructed him to more..

Champika to Indian politicians: 'Don’t use Lanka as a football'

Apr 8 (DM) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday in Parliament urged the Indian political leadership not to use Sri Lanka as a ‘football’ to create political chaos in the country like they did during the 1984 -- 89 period. Making his remarks during the emergency debate, Mr. Ranawaka, who is the general secretary of the JHU, said that leading Indian politicians, especially those in Tamil Nadu, more..

Nafeek's parents appeal for clemency

Apr 9 (AN) The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has made an appeal to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah pleading for a pardon to the Sri Lankan woman Rizana Nafeek, who was sentenced to death after she was convicted of murdering a four-month-old infant in 2005. "We are making this appeal on behalf of the parents of the convicted maid, who had become a victim of circumstances," AHRC Executive Director Basil Fernando told Arab News over the phone. more..

Indian Fisherman body found in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (TD) The fishermen claimed there was “no chance” that the boat in which Victus, whose body was found in Sri Lanka, would sink because it was a big vessel. It could have been attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy and then sunk, they told the officials of the Assistant Director of Fisheries Department here. Four Indian fishermen had gone missing while at sea. One of them was found washed ashore at Nedunthivu, along the Sri Lankan coast. more..

Sports minister pledges swift changes to cricket

Apr 9 (BBC) The sports minister in Sri Lanka has pledged to rejuvenate the game of cricket in Sri Lanka after the defeat by India in the World Cup final. "We have to begin a new journey, new approach in the game in the near future," Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. He was commenting after the series of resignations from captain Kumar Sangakkara, his deputy Mahela Jayawardena and the select committee chaired by Aravinda de Silva. more..

Sun Sea crew played 'integral' role in smuggling operation, IRB toldý

Apr 9 (VS) Among the 492 Tamil migrants who arrived in Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea last August were 12 crew members who played an "integral" role in helping to execute the large and sophisticated smuggling operation, the Immigration and Refugee Board was told Thursday. The allegation was made at an admissibility hearing for one of the crew members, a man who cooked on the ship and manned the diesel engine room and received free passage from a key smuggling agent more..

Be cautious next week

Apr 9 (NN) The public have been advised to remain cautious between April 10 and 18 as a professor of the Peradeniya University has “predicted” an earthquake may occur in the Indonesian region during that period which may affect South Asia as well. Professor Athula Senaratne of the Geological Department at the Peradeniya University has said that if the quake occurs in shallow sea waters around 10 km in depth then a tsunami could be generated and that may have an impact on South Asia, more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives makes plans to jointly promote tourism

Apr 9 (HNS) As a result of the recent tourism boom in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government is taking steps to work jointly with the Maldives in order to promote tourism in both countries. Several Sri Lankan and Maldivian tour operators and hoteliers are currently making arrangements to work jointly in order to introduce tour packages by giving tourists the opportunity to visit both destinations. more..

Sri Lanka politics in need of more women

Apr 9 (RNW) Back in 1960, Sri Lanka made headlines across the globe when it became the first country to elect a female leader. This could have been the start of a promising future for Sri Lankan women in politics. Instead it became painfully obvious that Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her daughter after her were only able to reach such a position through their family connections. Today only 5.8 percent of the Sri Lankan parliament is female, most of whom were elected more..

Bollywood star Ameesha 'dying to meet' Malinga

Apr 9 (E24/7) Bollywood actress Ameesha Patel has described Sri Lanka’s fast bowler Lasith Malinga as a ‘very interesting and unconventional’ person and also said she is ‘dying to meet him’. The Mid-Day website quoted Ameesha Patel as saying that “I just love him. I’m dying to meet him and give him a hug and a kiss. I find him very interesting and unconventional.” Malinga is turning out for Mumbai Indians in the IPL tournament. He is renowned for his slingy action and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.04.2011

Buddhist Thamil Literature: Bodhisattvas

Apr 9 (LG) I make it a point to read regularly the articles by Prof Nalin de Silva. The main reason for this is that he is one of the few writers in English writing to Lankan English language papers that reflects clear thinking, logical and lucid writing style. I could discern his training as an academic teacher of mathematics and scientific subjects as the reason for it. They say that there are two kinds of thinking "straight and crooked". Very often I feel hurt when more..


Apr 9 (LG) Gandhi is identified with the path of Sathyagraha in relation to Independence and Self Governance. What is Sathyagraha? To me, Sathya = Truth and Graha = Home. There are other meanings given by others and they would all be ‘right’ as per their own investments in this path. Farzana Versey for example states in the article ‘Fighting Corruption: The Pitfalls of Populism’, published in Sri Lanka Guardian “Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha was battling against British might, more..

Weekend in Trinco capped by whale watching

Apr 9 (ST) The 2004 tsunami was the turning point for a group of mostly former Navy personnel who had moved into marine construction, operating from the Trincomalee coast. With most of their equipment destroyed, they looked at other means of income. Leisure Tourism was certainly never in the pipeline but it was an easy transition due to their vast knowledge of the country’s history and coastline. These leisure operators are now offering guests a more..

The Businesses Boosted by Cricket World Cup

Apr 9 (TC) No doubt the 10th Cricket World Cup gave financial gains not only to the cricketers and those associated with it, but also to various in business sectors. Look how the CWC craze benefited everybody. Nowadays in any sports competition what comes running first is the betting business. That way one can imagine the bookies would have had a good time throughout the Cricket World Cup, and the best time in the final game between India and Sri Lanka. more..

A tomb in the womb

Apr 9 (DM) My dear Mahinda ayia, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikum and deepest sympathies as you join millions of Sri Lankans in coping with the debacle in the cricket World Cup final against India. It was like a case of virtually winning all the battles but losing the war unlike the May 2009 clash with the LTTE where we won all the battles and also won the war. Ironically, Sri Lanka's cricket World Cup captain Kumar Sangakkara dropped a second bomb shell on Tuesday by more..

Mihin Air sees huge success in Jakarta, Dhaka flights

Apr 9 (ST) Cashing in on two untapped markets, Mihin Air, Sri Lanka’s national budget carrier, has seen instant success in its flights to Indonesia and Bangladesh and in two years plans to expand the fleet to six from two. Introducing these regional destinations along with the Maldives, a few weeks after purchasing a second aircraft in December 2010, Mihin Air has seen a passenger load factor of 100 % on the Jakarta-Colombo return while more..

The impact of Indian elections on Sri Lankan politics

Apr 9 (DM) Chennai based Hindu quoted India’s Congress party President Sonia Gandhi as saying in Chennai that India was pressing Sri Lanka to amend the Constitution to ‘guarantee and ensure equal rights and equal status’ to Sri Lankan Tamils. Addressing an election rally on Island Ground along with Dravida Munetra Kazhagam president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi she had said “In our neighbourhood, there is no issue closer to our heart than the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. more..

Arresting the politicisation of University Education

Apr 9 (LG) "The day that (the University) denies any student freedom of speech is the day I give up the presidency of the University." Two decades ago, in a celebrated case, a white student was expelled by Brown University, one of US' ivy leagues, for continuous racial and religious abuse. There was no physical assault but just hateful words. Commenting on the expulsion, the New York Times in an editorial stated that the University had walked a fine line with sensitivity more..

Has Sri Lanka’s World Cup Director passed GCE (O/L)?

Apr 9 (Island) The first week after the ICC Cricket World Cup has seen several high profile resignations. It started with Kumar, then Mahela, followed by the inimitable Aravinda and his committee. But there is no news about the Cricket Interim Committee, the one that should have gone immediately after the Cricket World Cup. It has now become clear that the higher-ups of the current government have overruled Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, more..

Tamils face a deadly grip of friendship

Apr 9 (Island) What can they do when there is such a big hug from across the Palk Strait? It comes from the one who gives orders to Manmohan Singh…There’s no need to guess. It’s Sonia Gandhi. Greet feeling of neighbourliness she has. As she says it: "In our neighbourhood, there is no issue closer to our heart than the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil people." Of course this immense love for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka was manifest at an election rally. more..

Lanka’s war-affected linked with export markets

Apr 9 (Island) Understanding the crucial role that design could play in Sri Lanka’s development, the Academy of Design (AOD) has facilitated a special project involving the war-affected persons in the North and East regions of Sri Lanka. This project ‘Design Re-Creation’ places AOD’s designers in direct contact with artisans. AOD’s alumni and student body, along with the college’s principal - UK’s fashion design talent Karen MacLeod and Interior Design Programme more..

Attorney General 'cannot withdraw charges'

Apr 9 (BBC) The former Chief Justice (CJ) of Sri Lanka has questioned the legality of Attorney General's (AG) withdrawal of murder and rape charges filed against government politicians. Sarath Nanda Silva, the former CJ who held the position for over ten years said that the withdrawal of the charges “undermines judiciary and judicial independence.” “The AG is the only person who can file criminal charges at the High Court. more..

Editorial: Steeds run away, asses stay put

Apr 9 (Island) The outcome of the ICC World Cup final in Mumbai the other day, however hurtful it may have been to Sri Lankan cricket fans, did not diminish their love and respect for Sanga and the boys. They took the defeat with equanimity displaying as they did their maturity. Sri Lankan cricketers' returned to a heroes' welcome the following day. They were not vilified by anyone and only their lapses were commented on. But, Sanga dropped a bombshell. He gave up captaincy. more..

Editorial: Increasing divisions between the haves and have-nots

Apr 9 (DM) In the wake of its resounding victory at the March 17 local council election, the government is reported to have decided to set up a powerful Metropolitan Corporation to oversee the work of Colombo Municipal Council, the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, the Kotte Municipal Council and others in the greater Colombo area. Questions are raised if this go against the principles of de-centralization. We in Sri Lanka today seem to be lacking in historical perspectives. more..

British HC meeting defeated JVP candidate irks Govt

Apr 9 (Island) The government is concerned about British High Commissioner John Rankin meeting W. Premadasa, a defeated JVP candidate at the recently concluded LG polls, at Hotel Peacock during the HC’s three-day visit to the South. A senior government official told The Island that Premadasa had accompanied JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe to a meeting with British HC last Wednesday. Responding to a query, the official said more..

Church urges faster de-mining efforts

Apr 9 (UCAN) The slow pace of land mine clearance is putting lives at risk and the government needs to do more to render former battlefield safe again, Churchmen and lawmakers say. Two years after the end of the civil war, and one year after the government resettled thousands of displaced civilians, delays in clearing mines is preventing people in resettlement areas in Mullativu, Kilinochchi and Mannar districts from leading a normal life, critics say. more..