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TIME 100 People for 2011 poll omits Mahinda

Apr 22 (NN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been omitted from the final list of Time magazines 100 most influential people in the world, which was announced today, despite being selected in the online poll. While the President was ranked fourth at the time online voting in the poll closed yesterday, the final 100 selected by the Editors of the prestigious magazine saw him being dropped. However President Rajapaksa was not the only one omitted more..

On Sri Lanka, UN reneges on releasing report this week, 3 more days

Apr 22 (ICP) After the UN said it would release its Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka “this week,” at 6:20 pm the evening before the Easter holiday UN acting deputy spokesman Farhan Haq backtracked and announced that it would not be released this week. He referred to “after the Easter holiday,” but he had also said “this week.” The expectation had been that the long delayed report, on which Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa government has already called protests and more..

Common stand against Moon Report urged

Apr 22 (Island) Former UNP MP Upali Amarasiri says the UNP should throw its weight behind the ruling UPFA’s efforts to counter unsubstantiated ‘war crimes’ allegations made by a three-member panel, hand-picked by UNSG Ban Ki-moon to advice him on so-called accountability issues. The former Galle District MP, in a brief interview with The Island yesterday (21) said that the UNP couldn’t afford to play politics with the issue at the expense of the country. more..

U.N. Chief rejects request to quash war crimes report

Apr 22 (IPS) The United Nations, which is embroiled in a dispute with Sri Lanka over a controversial report detailing war crimes charges against the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has rejected an appeal to keep the findings under wraps. "It remains our intention to publish the report in full and without amendments," U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said. Haq said the office of Ban Ki-moon is continuing its discussions with the Sri Lanka govt more..

Biyagama triple murder: Body of missing businessman found

Apr 22 (Island) The Wattala Police yesterday recovered from the Hamilton Canal the body of a person, whose wife and son had been found killed inside their home at Biyagama on Monday. The victim was identified as Chandana Warnakulasuriya (36). His wife, Yashika Hemaseeli (36) and son, Ravindu Umesh (08) were found dead inside their house at Peragas Handiya in Biyagama on Monday. It was earlier thought that the missing person had murdered his family but more..

Some countries angry for defeating LTTE –CP Governor

Apr 22 (Island) The report on Sri Lanka by the Advisory Panel of UN General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon reflects the displeasure shown by a few Western Powers over the defeat of the LTTE military power that destroyed thousands of innocent lives, said Central Provincial Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa addressing a meeting at the governor’s secretariat on Tuesday 19. "It appears that some sections of the western powers do not like to see peace and harmony in this little more..

Jayalalithaa demands war crimes trial of Rajapaksa

Apr 22 (PTI) AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Friday demanded that the government take 'immediate steps' to make Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa stand trial for alleged war crimes during the conflict between the Lankan armed forces and the LTTE following a UN report. "The UN Panel report is very clear. It lists out the war crimes of the Sri Lankan government," Jayalalithaa said in a statement here. more..

Pension Bill won't be taken up for debate

Apr 22 (DM) The government has decided not to take up the Employees Pension Benefit Fund Bill which seeks to establish a pension scheme for the private sector employees for debate next week as a trade union had filed a petition against it, Minister Gamini Lokuge said yesterday. The bill presented to parliament to give a legal affect to a budget proposal has been opposed by a majority of trade unions in the country. more..

'A crime to hang on to top posts if ineffectual'

Apr 22 (DM) UNP co deputy leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday that it would be a crime for him or others to hold on to top posts in the party if they could not improve the prospects of the party. He said that if party members did not fulfil the aspirations of the people after being elected to parliament it would be an unforgivable crime. “The people who vote us in expect us as a party to form a govt and more..

Doubts over TNA visit

Apr 22 (DM) Controversy surrounds the Singapore visit by some TNA MPs amidst allegations that they had gone there to hold talks with representatives of the LTTE's so called transnational govt. Though the TNA says that a German organization had organized this seminar, speculation is rife in political circles that it has been organized to provide a cover up for the TNA's meeting with the LTTE's overseas activists to discuss a political solution. more..

Money for rebuilding health facilities in North

Apr 22 (Island) The government had received over USD 31 million from the Global Fund to battle HIV/AIDS and rebuild health facilities in the North. USD 19 million would be allocated to construct 10 MOH offices, 25 out patient departments and rebuild health facilities in the North, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that 12.5 million USD had been allocated by the Fund to strengthen more..

Protest in N-E against panel report

Apr 22 (DM) Tamils in the North and East are planning a series of protest rallies after May Day celebrations against UN Advisory Panel report accusing the Sri Lankan government of alleged war crimes and human rights violations during the last stage of the war, Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan said yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a meeting with the SLFP organizers in these two provinces yesterday to discuss the present situation. more..

Malinga retires from Test cricket

Apr 22 (ES) Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga has decided to retire from Test cricket in a bid to focus on ODI's and T20 cricket. Malinga is currently appearing for the Mumbai Indians in the fourth editon of the Indian Premier League. Earlier, Malinga had ruled himself out of the three-Test series, which begins in Cardiff on May 26, due to a knee complaint, but has continued to play for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. more..

Report will be published in full - UN

Apr 22 (DM) While claiming that it would publish the report of the Panel of Experts concerning Sri Lanka, in full and without amendment soon, the United Nations said that it was still trying to ascertain whether Sri Lanka is willing to avail themselves of the offer. “It is our intention to release it as soon as is possible, and we still would like to publish it simultaneously with a response by the Sri Lankan Govt.” more..

A welcome agreement: Sangakkara

Apr 23 (Hindu) Kumar Sangakkara, captain of Deccan Chargers, expressed his delight at the fact that the Sri Lankan players can stay back longer to represent their respective franchisees in the on-going Indian Premier League. “It is a welcome agreement between the cricket Boards of India and Sri Lanka. For it allows us to play longer in the IPL and also lets us take part in a practice game before the England series which will be played under difficult conditions,” more..

Sri Lanka faces its 'Srebrenica moment'

Apr 22 (TA) The parallel is apt when I write that, with the release of a UN report, Sri Lanka has reached its "Srebrenica Moment". In August 1995, a month after the mass execution of 8000 Muslim boys and men by the Bosnian Serb army, the full proportions of this notorious crime began to break to the wider world. David Rohde, an US reporter, had hiked through frontlines to reach the outskirts of the empty town. Evidence of the systematic killing of males as they tried to more..

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

Apr 22 (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 LTTE 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..

Sri Lanka: Cry from the graves?

Apr 22 (ER) The end of the three decade old civil war that pitted the government against the LTTE and divided the population created a reasonable expectation that Sri Lanka would be able to reach reconciliation and healing, which would pave the way for rapid economic progress. But alas the country appears to be getting more divided and polarised than ever before. Fifty years of ethnic cleansing have wiped out whole generations who knew any sort of peace, more..

Sri Lanka port sees strong container traffic growth

Apr 22 (LBO) Container volumes through Sri Lanka's main port have maintained rapid growth so far this year with government data showing increasing domestic as well as transhipment cargo as local and regional trade rebounds. The number of ships calling at Colombo port has also increased after falling in 2010 compared with the year before, central bank data showed. Total containers handled by the port in February 2011 rose 10.7 percent to 336,724 TEUs or twenty - foot more..

Court order to arrest Editor of Lanka e-News web site

Apr 22 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Magistrate Court has directed the Police to arrest and produce the controversial Editor of Lanka e-News website sadaruwan Senadeera before the courts on alleged charges of publishing a false web report. Sadaruwan Senadeera who had fled to Britain after saying he had received death threats, said, this publish report with regard to a matter pending before courts. more..

Reports cannot change the fate of a country

Apr 23 (LG) Can the same institution have diagonally opposite views on an issue? It is possible, provided it is an institution like the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith from Sri Lanka said that the recent report by the independent panel constituted by the United Nations' Secretary General to study the allegations of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka is a malicious attack by the 'west' upon the nation and its path to recovery from the civil war. more..

How should Sri Lankan govt react to UN investigation?

Apr 23 (LG) United Nations Organisation appears to have come out with a report on the role of Sri Lankan government during the recent anti insurgency action, which is not flattering. Naturally, Sri Lankan Government is upset and does not approve the content of this investigative report of UN. But, where is the need for the Sri Lankan Government to ask the Sri Lankan citizens to come out on to the streets to protest ? What would be the benefit of such agitations and more..

Watch Your Face!

Apr 23 (SL) Nimal Gamage, masquerading as a cosmetic surgeon, does not in fact have a license to practise plastic surgery, the Association of Plastic Surgeons of Sri Lanka charged. Documentary evidence in the possession of The Sunday Leader proves that his licence had been revoked in America back in 1995 due to malpractices and he never obtained a surgical licence in Sri Lanka. Despite the lack of proper licensing, Gamage is currently running a private clinic in more..

Playing politics with the UN Panel report

Apr 23 (DM) When the United Nation’s Secretary General (UNSG) Ban-ki-moon appointed a panel of experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the Panel was not a formal investigative body. However, now the Panel has submitted a report that resembles a report of an investigation. more..

A mother’s call for the re-awakening

Apr 23 (GV) Mrs. B. Thilagamani began her non-violent resistant activism when she was 18 years old and played a key role during the 1961 Satyagraha Campaign. During the Satyagraha Campaign, Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) brutally retaliated against non-violent campaigners. In their terror campaign of 18 April 1961, Thilagamani was sprayed with SLAF tear gas and her sari was partly burnt. Today, 18 April 2011, marks her 50 symbolic years in non-violent activism. more..

'Act with restraint in responding to UN SG advisory panel report'

Apr 23 (TC) Former Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala on behalf of 'Friday Forum', a collective of concerned citizens calls upon all parties to act with restraint in responding to the Secretary General of the United Nations over the UN advisory committee report. Full text of the statement: The Friday Forum is deeply concerned over the initial reactions to the leaked sections of the report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's Panel of Experts on more..

'Let us challenge reactionary Mahinda regime on May Day'

Apr 23 (TC) We are happy to see that this May Day has become a day to challenge the Oppression of Mahinda state. Many strong trade unions have come together to challenge the chauvinist pro global capitalist govt. Govt is implementing IMF dictates. Salaries are cut while taxes have increased. Under the pretext of giving a pension to the private sector, the government is planning to rob from EPF and ETF accumulations. While people are thrown out from urban houses land is given to the rich. more..

That fight against corruption in our region

Apr 23 (LB) Sainath may probably be having something interesting to say about India’s latest turn in the fight against corruption. P. Sainath is the one man campaigner who with considerable sarcasm wrote against India’s previous campaigns against poverty, with a book that was tellingly titled, ‘Everybody loves a good drought.’ This time the fight against corruption in India is coming from the streets, and from conscientious- objector campaigners, such as the ageing Hazare, more..

American chamber mulls US-Sri Lanka Business Council

Apr 23 (Island) Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama met top US business leaders earlier this week and received encouraging feedback on investor interest, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC said in a statement. The meeting, hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy, was attended by major US firms such as Visa, MetLife, Coca Cola, TelSource, Venture Global Power, more..

Editorial: Moon Panel report and protests

Apr 23 (Island) Following our revelation of some sections of the Moon Panel report we are inundated with e-mails from various people including journalists from around the world. They are making all sorts of inquiries, the prominent being what Sri Lankans' reaction to the document will be. We keep telling them that since we have published the most sensitive parts of the report, there will be no surprises left for the people even if the UNSG releases his stale document as promised. more..

Editorial: Easter; the foundation of Christianity

Apr 23 (DM) Though most Christians tend to give prominence to Christmas, the foundation of Christianity is Easter Sunday which is celebrated tomorrow. As the Bible tells us, “If there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not being raised, our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain” (St. Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 15 verses 13 and 14). In these profound words St. Paul emphasizes the fact that more..

Nawalapitiya Chandiya stands humbled

Apr 23 (Island) ‘Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.’ Ronald Reagan the 40th President of the United States. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage addressing the media a week ago to announce the national selection committee gave an assurance that Sri Lanka’s IPL bound players would be recalled by the 5th of May and more..

Moon in Blind Man’s Bluff on Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (Island) It’s not the effect of the Bak Full Moon last Saturday that has kept everyone thinking of moon these past few days. The thoughts are all about the other moon – the Ban Ki-moon – who seems to be having more than a few blind spots in his vision, especially when his eyes are human rights violations and the accountability of governments, as long as they do not being to the "International Community" that he serves better than he does the more..

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon panel report (Part 6)

Apr 23 (Island) We continue today, the serialization of verbatim extracts from the main body of the Ban Ki Moon expert panel report in relation to the five allegations made against Sri Lanka. Over the past few days we have serialized the findings of the panel report with regard to the first three allegations. Today, we continue from yesterday, their findings in relation to the fourth allegation – human rights violations after the conflict ended.(Pages 44-48) more..

India distributes 500 tractors among IDPs in the North

Apr 23 (HCI) In order to support the rehabilitation of IDPs in the Northern Province, particularly in the area of agriculture which is their primary means of livelihood and to jumpstart revival of the local economy, the Government of India embarked on urgent implementation of a programme of agricultural renewal which included supply of 500 tractors along with four other agricultural implements each as well as supply of seeds to more..

Seemaveliya villagers get new water well funded by USA

Apr 23 (USE) On April 19, over 300 families in Seemaveliya, in Puttalam district received a new water well as the result of a joint effort by the Puttalam Water Board, the Dimuthu Foundation, and the U.S. Embassy Colombo. The photo shows the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy Valerie Fowler ceremonially opening the new well. Father Jude Fernando, the donor of the land for the well; Mr. Mohammed Nazmi, former Mayor for Puttalam; and CPT Daniel Gomez are more..

Catholic Bishops’ conference Easter Messsge - 2011

Apr 23 (Island) The Easter Message of the Catholic Bishops Conference appear below. Once again, we celebrate the greatest of all Christian events, the Feast of Easter. We have completed 40 days of spiritual preparation and the Church reaches the Climax of the liturgical year in the celebration of the Easter Triduum. Therein we commemorate with great devotion the Passion, Death and the Glorious Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It is the Passover of the Lord from Death to the New Life of the Resurrection. more..

American Center and local artists team to lead art workshop for kids

Apr 23 (USE) As a follow up to the American Center’s monthly Art exhibition, the American Center organizes art workshops conducted by the featured Artists of the Month at various orphanages. The second of its series was held at the Clarendon Children’s Home in Mount Lavinia on April 19th, 2011. Twenty girls between the ages of 9 and 17 took part in this workshop conducted by the artists of the month, Sujatha Wanamalie and Sameera Kalupahana— more..

Now cataract surgery in little over two minutes

Apr 23 (DN) A Sri Lankan eye surgeon has found an easy method of performing cataract surgery within two minutes and 20 seconds based on his vast experience in the field of eye surgery. This will help treat over 100,000 persons who are diagnosed with cataract each year in Sri Lanka. According to consultant eye surgeon Dr. Chamantha Amaragunga, the whole process which includes the insertion of lens, takes only two minutes and 20 seconds. Dr. Amaragunga has performed 35,000 cataract surgeries more..

Central Bank releases Guide for doing business in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (DN) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has released the revised edition of the publication titled “A Step by Step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka”. This publication contains the information regarding all major activities that have to be undertaken by an entrepreneur during different stages of business from opening and establishing a business to closure of its operations. The information is summarised under 28 topics pertaining to key activities, more..