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Amin confident of solving Lankan players participation crisis

Apr 16 (TOI) Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Chirayu Amin said on Friday that he expected the issue of Sri Lankan players' participation in the league to be resolved soon. Amin said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president is in touch with his counterpart in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). "The BCCI top brass is in touch with SLC and they will resolve the issue. It is an issue between SLC and its players who are playing in IPL 4. more..

Drastic drop in Avurudu mishaps

Apr 16 (DN) There was a significant drop in incidents of crimes and road mishaps during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season compared to last year, National Hospital Accident Service Director Dr Prasad Ariyawansa said. Dr Ariyawansa said that 159 patients were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital of injuries caused by domestic accidents, traffic accidents and crime during the 24 hours ended at 7 am yesterday. He added that last year’s admission figure was 189. more..

First family celebrates New Year

Apr 16 (IL) The entire country is gripped in a happy and festive mood. The most eagerly awaited National New Year dawned at 1.01 pm on 14 April. This is the second National New Year the whole country is celebrating in an environment of peace and tranquility since the total eradication of terrorism. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New year rituals at Carlton Residence in Tangalla, Hambantota yesterday on 14 April. more..

Sri Lankans panic over geologist's warning of possible tsunami

Apr 16 (DPA) Hundreds of Sri Lankans started evacuating from their homes on Friday in fear of a possible tsunami after a geologist warned that the country may be struck by a region-wide earthquake. The country's Disaster Management Centre (DMC) appealed to the public to remain calm as there were no tsunami warnings for the country. 'Our early warning systems are in place and people need not panic,' DMC spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said. more..

Mervin says Parliamentary Secy. removed on March 31

Apr 16 (Island) Apropos our lead story ‘Mervin’s Secretary, two cops remanded for extortion" in the April 12 issue, Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister has sent the following clarification: "Parliamentary Secretary Buddhi Jayasinghe was absorbed to my personal cadre on my appointment as the Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs. Buddhi Jayasingha’s services were terminated on Mar. 31, 2011 as he failed to do his job to my satisfaction. more..

Report on Sri Lanka by the Ban-Ki-moon Advisory panel

Apr 16 (DBS) The three-member panel appointed by UN secretary –general Ban Ki moon to advise him on alleged human rights violations and accountability issues in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization handed over its report on April 12th. It is expected that the UN Secy –Gen will publicise the contents in due course. At the time of this article being written the report was yet to be made public. more..

Those late from IPL'would be replaced' says minister

Apr 16 (BBC) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage warned that Sri Lankan cricketers who do not return from Indian Premier League (IPL) 2011 tournament before the 5th of May would be replaced. Cricketers from Sri Lanka taking part in the IPL have been asked to come to Colombo by the 5th of May by minister Aluthgamage. The minister said that this was a decision supported by the cricket selectors as the team needs to prepare well in advance before the forthcoming England tour. more..

Lankan goons disturb peace in Bur Dubai

Apr 16 (E24/7) Wrath, envy and jealousy with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm fuelled by business rivalry, and behaviour further influenced by the intoxication of alcohol, has left four Sri Lankan youth languishing in remand custody in Dubai. The Sri Lankan expatriate population of Bur Dubai got a rude awakening last week when four machete and pole wielding drunken goons targeted a fellow Sri Lankan restaurant owner and competitor who had recently opened an outlet in Al Rafaa area. more..

Report of the UNSG’s panel of experts on accountability in SL

Apr 16 (Island) The Panel’s determination of credible allegations reveals a very different version of the final stages of the war than that maintained to this day by the Govt of Sri Lanka. The Govt says it pursued a "humanitarian rescue operation" with a policy of "zero civilian casualties". In stark contrast, the Panel found credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and more..

Sri Lankan govt deepens IMF austerity measures

Apr 16 (wsws) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month released the seventh instalment of its standby loan to Sri Lanka, publicly endorsing the government’s performance in slashing spending. Just three days before the IMF’s April 4 release, the government increased fuel prices by an average of about 8 percent, in accordance with IMF prescriptions, further driving up the cost of living for working people. This month’s transfer of $US218 million brought more..

More changes to election law soon

Apr 16 (DM) The All Party Special Committee on Electoral Reforms has proposed far-reaching amendments to the election law. They include the updating of the electoral register up to the last possible date before a presidential, general or local council election. The Committee Chairman Dinesh Gunawardana said the proposals would pave the way for teenagers to vote soon after reaching the eligible age of 18. “At present we use the previous year’s electoral register but more..

Prof. G.L. Peiris to brief to diplomats on UN Panel Report on 21st April

Apr 16 (AT) The Minister of External Affairs Prof. G L Peiris will brief the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Colombo, and the media separately, on the UN Panel Report, on Thursday 21st April 2011 soon after his return from Bangladesh, the Ministry of External Affairs announced yesterday. Given below the Executive Summary of the Report of the UNSG’s panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka: The Panel’s determination of credible allegations more..

Sri Lanka continue unbeaten streak

Apr 16 (ET) Sri Lanka maintained their unbeaten run in the 1st SAARC Baseball Cup when they beat Afghanistan 15-0 at the Punjab Stadium yesterday. Both teams started proceedings cautiously and no runs were scored in the first innings. However, Sri Lankan batters got into the act in the second, scoring two runs through Iresh and Abeysooriya. Meanwhile, Afghanistan batters remained subdued by the Sri Lankan pitchers in their second innings and were unable to score. more..

Stranded Myanmar fishermen brought to Trinco

Apr 16 (AD) The eleven stranded fishermen from Myanmar who were rescued by a group of Sri Lankan fishermen were brought to the Trincomalee Harbour today (April 16) morning, the Sri Lanka Navy stated. The injured fishermen have been admitted to the Trincomalee Navy Hospital for treatment, Navy Spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya stated. After the Navy were informed of the stranded fishermen by a Sri Lankan fishing vessel, more..

Negations underway with employer of ex-Sri Lankan soldiers stranded in Iraq

Apr 16 (HNS) The Sri Lankan government is negotiating with the employer of a group of retired Sri Lankan soldiers who have been deprived of their salary for nearly a year and a half, as they languish in a village in Iraq. The group of 41 ex-Sri Lankan soldiers are said to have found employment through a rogue job agency that had provided them with vacancies as security guards for a Jordanian company involved in more..

Indian Bank to open three more branches in Sri Lanka by 2012

Apr 16 (AT) Apart from its two exiting bank branches in Jaffna and Colombo, Chennai based Indian Bank is hoping to open up three more branches in Sri Lanka by the end of the financial year 2012. ‘In the international market, right now Indian Bank is operating branches in Singapore and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, we have branches in Colombo and in Jaffna. We would open three more branches in Sri Lanka in the coming more..

'Sri Lanka's new captain to be named next week'

Apr 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka is all set to get a new cricket captain next week, days after Kumar Sangakkara stepped down following the team's runners-up finish at the World Cup. "The selectors need to discuss the issue with the interim committee members of Sri Lanka Cricket. This meeting will take place next week after the current New Year holiday period," Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis told the local media here. more..

Praise in US Congress for Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (SLE) Sri Lanka’s renewal after the defeat of terrorism was praised in the U.S. Congress Thursday, as Sri Lankan-Americans celebrated the Sinhala-Tamil New Year. “Mr. Speaker, having just ended a decades long conflict in which the government finally defeated terrorist forces within its borders, the Republic of Sri Lanka recently celebrated its second New Year at complete peace,” said Rep. Joe Wilson, (R-S.C.). more..

Leaked UN report urges Lanka war crimes probe

Apr 16 (AFP) A UN panel has called for an independent inquiry into "credible" allegations that Sri Lanka committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in its final 2009 offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. The panel of experts, appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, submitted its report last week, and leaked excerpts were published Saturday in Sri Lanka's pro-government 'Island' newspaper. more..

'Government apathy kills fishermen'

Apr 17 (EB) Tamils are forced to ponder if they are the citizens of this country as the government has failed to protect the Tamil fishermen for more than 30 years, MDMK general secretary Vaiko said at Thangatchimadam near Rameswaram on Friday. Vaiko was in Thangatchimadam to console the families of Victus, Antony and John Paul. The bodies of fishermen had washed ashore in Sri Lanka and Ramanathapuram coast recently. more..

Body of fourth fisherman found; Sushma calls up Krishna

Apr 17 (Hindu) The body of Marimuthu, who had gone missing on April 2 after putting out to sea along with three other fishermen, was found at Kodiakarai in Nagapattinam district, fisheries and police officials said on Saturday. The body bore injury marks as in the case of the other three, whose bodies have already been found, officials said, adding, it was being taken to his native place Virudhunagar. Victus, Anthony, Johnpaul and Marimuthu, all from Thangachimadam here, more..

Blue Heaven

Lanka ‘not bothered about UN report’

Apr 17 (EB) The Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera, told Express on Saturday that the govt was “ not at all bothered” about the UN panel’s report on the war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE in the last phase of Eelam War IV in 2009. Perera said that he had seen the report but could offer no comment on it before his ministry’s officials had read it carefully. The officials were away on holiday and would be back at work only on Monday. more..

Visa letter scam revealed

Apr 17 (DM) Three suspects in Jaffna who were issuing letters to Sri Lankan refugee applicants abroad stating that Sri Lanka was unsafe for living due to discrimination and violence were taken into custody, Military Spokesman Major General Ubaya Madawela said. The suspects had demanded approximately Rs. 500,000 each for such a fabricated letter. It is reported that these ill gained letters were forwarded to the relevant visa offices in the countries and used as more..

President Rajapaksa joins the National Oil Anointing Ceremony

Apr 17 (IL) The national oil anointing ceremony of the traditional Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival was held in Matara under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Uposathagaraya Maha Vihara Sri Rohana Temple of Randoopatha (Golden Island) this morning on 16 April. The state ceremony of anointing oil was held at the auspicious time of 7.41 am. As instructed by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Ayurveda, more..

The Triple Gem

Apr 17 (LG) As I read the Joint Op-ed by Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, published in Sri Lanka Guardian under the heading ‘Libya’s Pathway to Peace’ I thought of the Buddhist prayer invoking the Power the Triple Gem. Buddha’s forms may have sprung-up in my mind, due to my thoughts about some Sri Lankan feedback in relation to my response to Victor Rajakulendran’s letter to the President of USA. That was also about Libya – using Libyan situation to help victims of war in Sri Lanka. more..

Finding Ourselves

Apr 17 (LG) Someone once said that a person without relationships is like a person without a shadow, and that we all need a light above our heads to cast that shadow. Our shadow is the metaphorical equivalent of what we bestow on others whether in life or in death. Years from now, my children will wonder who I was, with a view to finding themselves, perhaps on the mistaken notion that they must take after me in some way. They might even one day begin to discover their true nature and self and more..

Thousands of people enjoy Army-organized new year festival

Apr 17 (Cimic) After more than three decades, people in Point Pedro, Alvai, Valvettithurai and surrounding areas enjoyed the ecstasy of Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations organized by the Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) in their own area. Celebrations commenced on 14th morning with New Year rituals culminated on 15th night with a grand musical fiesta held at the Point Pedro Hartley College at which popular local and Indian artistes entertained more..

Editorial: Highest economic growth in 32 years

Apr 17 (SO) Sri Lanka last year registered its second highest economic growth since independence and the highest in 32 years, according to the 2010 Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Annual Report. The CBSL report released on New Year's Eve was indeed a welcome sign and an indication that the country is marching triumphantly towards further economic prosperity. Based on the impressive economic indicators achieved during the past few years, Sri Lanka could well consolidate more..

Editorial: A battle as crucial as Eelam war

Apr 17 (NS) After much deliberation and a lot of hype, the panel of ‘experts’ mandated by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki moon to study the end of Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism submitted their report last week. The contents of the report have not officially been made public as yet, but the tone and tenor of the findings of the report became apparent in the official response of the government of Sri Lanka: It was tantamount to a total rejection of the findings of the committee. more..

DRP goes hi-tech with electro NICs

Apr 17 (SO) Jayantha Peris, a resident of Kurunegala had applied for a new National Identity Card (NIC) to the DRP through the respective area divisional secretary last year. Although he had attached all relevant documents including photographs and the necessary stamps, he had to wait for nearly seven months. When he visited the DRP Head Office at Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 5, he was informed that an error in his name was found when compared to more..

Editorial: The Secretary General and his paper ransom?

Apr 17 (LB) Though there is a lot we do not know about the Ban-ki-Moon advisory panel (so-called) on Sri Lanka, nothing speaks louder than the silence that prevails over its actual substance. But this is the closest, perhaps in the world, ever, that we can get to the divining the contents of a document, without in fact seeing it. At the time of writing, nobody had seen one letter of it outside the UN offices, and the president’s office or Temple Trees. more..

Editorial: The Ban panel report

Apr 17 (Island) In a short note sent off to UN correspondents on Friday, Ban Ki-moon’s office said that the Secretary-General is `reviewing’ the report of the so-called Independent Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka he appointed in the teeth of opposition from the Colombo government some months ago. It added that the report had been furnished to the Sri Lankan government so that it can respond to it and that such response `could be published’ at the same time the report is made public. more..

Suffering in silence

Apr 17 (NS) Marriage is the safest place for a woman to be, with its assured love, security, companionship and trust. Or so we like believe. But, the hallowed institution of marriage can sometimes be the most unpleasant, dangerous and unsafe place for a woman to be trapped in for many years. Also, it is believed in most civilised societies that what is going on inside the bedroom of a married couple is nobody’s business. It should be. more..

Need for Independent Police Commission and being diplomatically prudent

Apr 17 (NS) Barely one week before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, the public was agog with the news that the government had moved into arrest the extortionists at the newly-constructed Peliyagoda Fish Market. It was a good move by the government and a wake up call to the Police – the long-arm of the law of the State. In some way or the other, it could be described as an indictment on not only the Police, but also the government. The reason attributed by the people is that more..

UNP: Damaging infighting continues

Apr 17 (NS) Tuesday, the twelfth of April, passed last week hardly anyone noticing its significance as Sri Lankans went into holiday mode for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and among those who missed the importance of the date would have been members of the United National Party too. Tuesday was the deadline set at the UNP’s special convention in December to implement all the constitutional amendments that were ratified on that day, including a crucial provision that more..

H’tota Port: An additional Rs.15.9 billion fiasco

Apr 17 (SL) The public will have to cough up an additional Rs. 15.9 billion as new capital costs involved in blasting the bedrock at the Hambantota Port to obtain the required 17 metre draft to accommodate mega container carriers, Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said. Rs. 15.9 billion is equivalent to meeting the Government’s Samurdhi welfare bill, the handout or food stamp package given to the country’s poor, for a period of six months. more..

Ban Ki Moon’s expert panel report

Apr 17 (Island) UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Expert Panel finalized its report on the 31st of March 2009, but it was publicly handed over to Moon and by him to the Sri Lankan government only on the 12th April, just as the country was gearing to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. This is a voluminous report of nearly 200 pages, lengthier than the previous reports put out by the EU, the US State Department and international NGOs like the International Crisis Group. more..

Editorial: A report that seeks to open old wounds

Apr 17 (ST) While the two main communities in Sri Lanka were celebrating their age-old common festival welcoming their traditional New Year, in faraway New York, a report was submitted to the United Nations Secretary General that could potentially divide them again. The report was on the way forward for the international organisation to investigate purported 'war crimes' allegedly committed during the final stages of the 'war against terror' in this island-nation in April-May 2009. more..

LOAN TRAP says Opposition. HYPE says Govt.

Apr 17 (LB) Debt owed by the govt currently has gone up by several fold and by 2012, the foreign reserves and foreign debt could be on par, UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva said. The Economist turned UNP MP pointed out that since president Mahinda Rajapaksa first assumed power in 2005, govt debt had gone up by Rs.2200 billion to Rs.4500 billion. This is in fact, a 100 per cent rise. “During the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime the govt debt has increased like never before. more..