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Mervyn in a king's role

Apr 18 (NN) Public relations Minister Mervyn Silva is to act in a children’s movie as King Dutugemunu, the Minister’s office said. The Minister will act in the movie ‘Surangana Lowin’ which will be a fantasy film for children. Shooting for the movie will be done in Padukka, Sigiriya and Bandarawela, the official added. Minister Mervyn Silva is out of the country and could not be reached for a comment. more..

Warning to cricketers unfair – UNP

Apr 18 (DM) The main opposition UNP said the warning issued to the Sri Lankan cricketers participating in the IPL tournament in India was unfair while it is a clear sign of politicization of the game. UNP MP Harin Fernando told a press conference today that it is unfair to pressurize the Sri Lankan cricketers. He said this kind of exposure is essential for the Sri Lankan cricketers to improve themselves. more..

Govt., Serendib on collision course over flour price increase

Apr 18 (Island) The government is on a collision course with Serendib, a private wheat flour importer over the latter’s decision to increase the price of a kilo of wheat flour by Rs. 3. A kilo of wheat flour was earlier priced at Rs. 84. A spokesman for the Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry said that Serendib hadn’t received the approval of Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to implement the price revision. more..

Dengue deaths declining

Apr 18 (IRIN) For the first time in two years, reports of dengue fatalities and infections in Sri Lanka are falling, which officials attribute to aggressive island-wide public awareness campaigns and measures to wipe out mosquito breeding grounds. As of 10 March, there were 2,261 dengue infections and 24 deaths reported this year, according to the Health Ministry’s epidemiology unit. In 2010 there were more than 9,600 infections and 64 deaths in the first two months of the year alone. more..

Army patrols help reduce crime in Jaffna

Apr 18 (DM) Jaffna Peninsula has seen a drastic reduction in the crime rate after the army was redeployed in the area to assist police in maintaining law and order, the military said. “We now have no reports of crime in the area,” Jaffna Security Forces Commander Mahinda Hathurusinghe said adding that it was done on the request of the people and their representatives. Major General Hathurusinghe said that instead of going to the police, more..

Country needs genuine democracy to defeat imperialist agenda – JVP

Apr 18 (LT) The report of the ‘Panel of Experts’ of the Secretary General is an attempt to intervene in internal affairs of Sri Lanka for various political interests states the JVP and emphasizes that the imperialist intervention against Sri Lanka should be defeated. In a communiqué issued by its Political Bureau the JVP further states the anti-social and undemocratic role of the present regime has paved the way for such interventions and this too should be defeated. more..

'Crushing of Tigers made Lanka safe for children'

Apr 18 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in an exclusive interview with TheIsland on Sunday that the eradication of LTTE terrorism had helped save the lives of thousands of Tamil children. Since the conclusion of the war in May 2009, there had been no child abductions in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the President said. "The world should appreciate our successful anti-terrorist effort. more..

Three wheels crash

Apr 19 (NN) Over 40 people sought treatment at the Colombo National Hospital between April 9th and April 15th for three wheel related accidents. The Colombo National hospital accident service said that 47 three wheel accident victims had sought treatment in Colombo during that period including 4 children. Meanwhile the Colombo National hospital accident service also said that overall a total of 304 people were injured in various road accidents between April 9th and April 15, more..

Kataragama Temple shut

Apr 19 (NN) A Buddhist Temple in Kataragama has been sealed by the Division Secretary of the area on the instructions of the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner. The Chief priest of the Temple the venerable Sashthrapathi Peele Knananda Himi said that he had lodged a police complaint over this yesterday. He said that with the demise of the former Chief priest of the Temple last week, the Venerable Ratmalana Sri Sidhartha Himi, as the second most senior priest he had been handed over the authority. more..

Dilshan named captain for England tour

Apr 19 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has been appointed Sri Lanka's captain for all three formats during the upcoming tour of England in May following Kumar Sangakkara's resignation from the post after the World Cup. Sri Lanka Cricket have not yet named a vice-captain to fill the role vacated by Mahela Jayawardene because "the prospective candidates are nursing injuries, and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question." more..

WPC opposes UN

Apr 19 (NN) The Western Provincial Council (WPC) will unanimously oppose the UN panel report on Sri Lanka, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga told reporters in Colombo this evening. He said that the opposition members in the WPC are also expected to back the protest against the report as well as the UN panel. Ranatunga also praised UNP co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa for the statement he had made to the media against the UN report. more..

480 ex-LTTE cadres to be released

Apr 19 (DM) Some 480 rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres will be released on April 23, Rehabilitation Commissioner General Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe said. “All of these rehabilitants are married with children. Their release is made to coincide with the Sinhala and Tamil New Year,” he said. The rehabilitants are due to be released at the Vavuniya Cultural centre. He also said that New Year celebrations are held for the rehabilitants at all the rehabilitation centers these days. more..

Rift over Sri Lanka president's call for anti-UN rally

Apr 19 (BBC) Trade unions affiliated to Sri Lanka's ruling coalition are divided over the president's call for mass protests against a UN report. The leaked summary of the report allege that war crimes were committed at the end of the civil war when the government troops crushed the rebels. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the claims were not new but called for a "show of strength" against the report. But unions say the May Day protest should be reserved for workers' issues. more..

Sri Lanka faces balance between inflation and growth: IMF

Apr 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka faces a balance between inflation and growth, a top IMF official said as prices continue to rise and the Central Bank has taken the first steps to tackle loose monetary policy. Anoop Singh, director of IMF's Asia and Pacific department said that Sri Lanka has been affected by commodity prices, food prices and energy prices and core inflation in Sri Lanka seems to be within the target of authorities. "Having said that, it is true that credit growth in Sri Lanka has been high," more..

Don’t hoot your horn

Apr 19 (NN) The government is to introduce new laws from next month which regulate the use of vehicle horns and beat silencers. A gazette notification to this effect will be published next month after research conducted by the Industrial Technology Institute found that drivers often misuse horns. Deputy Director of the Institute which falls under the Science and Technology Ministry, Ananda Panilla said that the gazette will also seek to restrict the use of beat silencers in vehicles. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines goes rural for cabin crew

Apr 19 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said it has hired young women from rural areas who will be given a chance to join the Sri Lankan national carrier's cabin crew. Recruitment teams recently visited provinces in the south and central areas as well as the outreaches of the Western Province where the capital is located, an airline statement said. SriLankan intends to carry out similar recruitment programmes in other districts. more..

UNP dismisses govt claims regarding IPU meeting

Apr 19 (ST) The UNP today dismissed government allegations that UNP members were blocked from attending the Inter Parliamentary Union sessions in Panama. The UNP in a statement said that Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in an effort to divert attention from the adverse reports on Sri Lanka was making false allegations. “We condemn the action of the government”, the UNP said in a statement. The UNP said that the IPU was not satisfied about the investigations conducted into more..

US researcher claims to have ‘watched’ the final days of the war

Apr 19 (IANS) Satellites that helped us gather real-time data from the most inaccessible and hostile places on earth can also help us track human rights abuses that cause misery to millions of people around the world. Human rights violations can be monitored by inferring into the digital images that satellites transmit to earth. Experts believe this technique could one day help us to prevent such atrocities. US researcher Lars Bromley has proved its effectiveness when more..

President Rajapaksa warmly receives in Bangladesh

Apr 19 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa started a three day official visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this afternoon on 18 April. This is the first visit to Bangladesh by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman warmly received his Sri Lankan counterpart at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka as President Rajapaksa began a state visit to the country. more..

LTTE infiltration: High alert along the coast

Apr 19 (EB) The entire Kerala coast was put on high alert on Sunday evening after Central intelligence agencies alerted the state police on a possible attempt by Sri Lankan Tamils to sneak into the state through the coastal regions. Sources with the Intelligence agencies said the alert was issued from Chennai after inputs that a group of 25 persons from Sri Lanka would attempt to enter the country through the coastal regions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. more..

Matara-Colombo expressway ready in four months

Apr 19 (Island) The stretch of the Southern expressway from Kottawa to Godagama, Matara (126 km) will be commissioned by end of August, 20011, Director General of Road Development Authority (RDA) Ranjith Premasiri says. Premasiri said that the government had set up a special police unit to control traffic along the expressway, special units of paramedics and a fire brigade would be in attendance. "At present it takes 4 – 5 hours to travel to Matara from Colombo and more..

Sri Lankan Tamil party hails UN war crimes report

Apr 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party on Monday hailed a leaked UN report which called for an international war crimes probe into the island's political and military leadership. The moderate TNA said the report, commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, amounted to "irrefutable confirmation" of atrocities during the final stages of fighting in 2009. "We welcome the recommendations made by the panel and trust that they will be honestly implemented," more..

Sri Lanka disaster risk reduction

Apr 19 (LBO) The cruel paradox of disaster risk reduction is that the more lives you save, the more people with destroyed livelihoods there will be. This month, April of 2011, marks the 25th anniversary of the Kantale dam disaster. In the early hours of the 20th of April 1986 a villager knocked on the Irrigation Engineer’s door and told him something was wrong. The water of the filled-to-capacity reservoir, one of the largest in Sri Lanka, was gushing out. Sluices are built at the deepest point. more..

Rukman decries int’l attempts to delve into domestic affairs

Apr 19 (Island) UNP stalwart Rukman Senanayake says Sri Lanka shouldn’t be at the receiving end for restoring peace following a 30-year war. Former UNP Assistant Leader Senanayake says a section of the international community seems hell-bent on undermining post-war Sri Lanka. Responding to a query by The Island, the former Kegalle District MP said that had there been any violations on the part of the government or its armed forces during Eelam War IV, more..

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh sign five MoUs

Apr 19 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office at Tejgaon, Dhaka this afternoon on 18 April, a joint Press Release reported by President’s Media Unit and the Ministry of External Affairs. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni met the visiting Sri Lankan President and the official talks between the two countries took place at the International Conference Centre at the Prime Minister’s Office just after more..

UN panel report: first step towards justice for Tamils

Apr 19 (LG) Some interesting and other hilarious observations are bandied about in the media following the report presented to the UN Secretary General by the panel of advisors he appointed to investigate the conduct of both the govt and the LTTE during the final stages of the war. Transcurrents website owner, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, observes rather judiciously this is not a UN report. Secretary general is the highest authority in the UN and his position cannot be contested. more..

Panel report by three stooges of Ban-Ki-Moon

Apr 19 (LG) The three stooges have completed the report against Sri Lanka and handed over to UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban-Ki-Moon. The Executive summary of the advisory panel appeared in the print media which gives various allegations against the Sri Lanka Government. Firstly, this is a panel arbitrarily appointed by current UNSG without the approval of the UN Security Council or UN Human Rights Council. Hence it will have no legal binding on Sri Lanka but yet a worry of more..

The fading of a dazzling light of gargantuan versatility

Apr 19 (LG) Today (18) falls the second death anniversary of a much legendary man of unparalleled faculty, that encompassed sheer and rich versatility, in aspects of each and every borough that bore fruit, even by his slightest stroke. The world of Sri Lankan screenplays, movie directions, performing / acting, political activism, writing and analysis was undeniably enriched beyond mind’s eye, by this startling human being, that encompassed a more..

A Bill of Rights

Apr 19 (DM) The country has recently reported the second highest growth figures following Independence. In this time of change and swift development however it is also important to ensure that all our people, particularly the less fortunate are protected. The President, in the manifesto on which he was initially elected, spoke of the need for a Bill of Rights. This is the more important in that it will also make clear the range of Human Rights with which a country should be concerned. more..

From PR to DPR

Apr 19 (DM) It should be said to the credit of the intelligence and ingenuity of the Sri Lankan voter that he has adapted to all forms of electoral reforms, which has remained more complicated than the earlier one. It will be no different this time round, when a new election process is set in motion, based on the Dinesh Gunawardene Committee recommendations. In a way, the average voter has displayed his comfort levels with the existing scheme of ‘proportional representation’ (PR). more..

Theatre of the absurd that passes for governance in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (TC) The Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report on Allegations of War Crimes by the Govt of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in the last phase of the war has been handed over to the Govt of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of External Affairs has declared that the Report is fundamentally flawed and that it contains baseless accusations. A leaked version of the executive summary has appeared in the local media and the UN is on record regretting the leak. more..

TNA statement on UNSG Advisory Panel Report

Apr 19 (TC) We have read the disclosure made by the media, said to be the Executive Summary of the Report submitted by the Advisory Panel to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG). The TNA, as the democratically elected representatives of the Tamil People of the North East, who have been the worst affected victims of the recently concluded war, we consider it our duty to respond to same, while reserving a fuller response to the full Report after it becomes available to us. more..

'Govt must face UN and international community by having Tamil people on its side'

Apr 19 (TC) Government should face UN and international community taking the Tamil people on its side. Choosing the line of triumphalism based on the victory against LTTE to counter UN censure on accountability will be a political error. It is time to leave the war victory to history and start addressing the political aspirations of the Tamil speaking people. It is the only way to win Tamils to the government side says DPF leader Mano Ganesan. more..

'Sri Lanka not triumphalist but firmly embarked'

Apr 19 (LG) Sri Lanka, having made remarkable accomplishments in the post-conflict situation within two years, is entitled to the space freely and spontaneously to continue this momentum and complete the reconciliation process, Minister of External Affairs Professor G L Peiris said in London last week. He was addressing an influential group of British legislators, diplomats, bankers, political analysts and academics on current developments in Sri Lanka and more..

Accountability, reconciliation and democracy

Apr 19 (NS) At a recent seminar at the Acadamie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, a team from the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), on a Paris-London visit, presented a paper on ‘Developments in the Arab World and the Impact on Asia: an Asian Perspective’. I attended eagerly, not only because of the subject’s salience but because these were my recent colleagues and friends. The team’s presentation differentiated the more..

Refuge for Colonel Gadaffi in Island Paradise?

Apr 19 (GV) Sri Lanka has in its history occasionally served as a refuge for persecuted personalities but it may have its most controversial refugee yet. Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi has reportedly secured an understanding with the Govt to Sri Lanka to secure refuge in the country in the eventuality that he has to flee his native Libya. Sources from within the government confirmed that the offer was made to the Colonel in a telephone call recently more..

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Jaffna, Sri Lanka: Ground realities

Apr 19 (GV) Sinhala & Tamil New Year when I was growing up was always a much-awaited annual event in our neighbourhood. We’d have card tournaments and badminton tournaments leading up to the “Big Day,” and when the day actually came, it was always a flurry of activity. People rushing all over the place, kids laughing, games being set up or organised and other activities. more..

Editorial: Lest we should forget

Apr 19 (Island) It's a parent's worst nightmare: the peace process is faltering and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are recruiting again -- abducting unsuspecting children at the rate of nearly two a day. The U.N. agency for children's rights, UNICEF, says it received reports that 52 children were recruited in September. But the actual figure could be ten times higher as many parents fear the rebels and don't report when children are abducted, according to Father Harry Miller, more..

Editorial: More skeletons than bats or balls

Apr 19 (DM) When former Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake branded the current Interim Committee running Sri Lanka Cricket as the most corrupt public institution in the country, he got on to a bad wicket with the powers that be. He became a laughing stock when a few days later he retained the same officials he publicly pledged to throw out. Ultimately his bouncer was hurled back at him. Most politicians today work largely for personal gain or glory. more..

The rise of the prodigal son

Apr 19 (Island) Two weeks of curiosity since Kumar Sangakkara announced that he’s stepping down from the leadership role of the national cricket team, ended Monday with the appointment of Tillakaratne Dilshan as the new Sri Lankan captain. The National Selection Committee, headed by Duleep Mendis met Monday morning and confirmed that Dilshan was the best suited to take over the captaincy making him the 11th full time Sri Lankan skipper; more..