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Expert panel report indicts Lankan military

Apr 25 (HT) Artillery fire from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) positions targetted civilians inside the `no firing zone’ (NFZ) near the north eastern coast and bombed the United Nations (UN) hub, set up to aid displaced Tamils during the final stages of the civil war, the expert panel report to the UN has claimed. Hindustan Times has a copy of the "Report of the Secretary General’s panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka", which was submitted to the more..

Acquisitions stopped

Apr 25 (NN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says the government has taken a policy decision to suspend acquiring provincial hospitals. The Minister said that the government had earlier decided to acquire the hospitals in order to improve their standards but a policy decision has now been taken to suspend the move. He also said that the government will reopen over 90 State hospitals around the country which had to be closed owing to a dearth of doctors and nurses. more..

Minister Athauda threatened

Apr 25 (DM) A UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha member and several of his supporters who threatened Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne at several occasions have been remanded after a police complaint was made by the Minister. The PS member had threatened the Minister at several meetings he attended and had on one occasion visited the Minister’s office with several persons and acted violently before the police intervened, the police complaint stated. more..

Politics ruined independent bodies - CJ

Apr 25 (BBC) Efforts to reduce the sweeping powers of the executive president failed due to the actions of Sri Lanka’s opposition, says the chief justice. CJ Asoka de Silva said the status quo of the 1978 constitution that authorised the executive president to make all senior appointments to the judiciary was re-established by the 18 amendment as a result. “Before the 17 amendment, the president or the prime minister had the discretionary power to make appointments to the judiciary,” more..

Sri Lanka: The Tamils at home and the Tamil diaspora

Apr 25 (ER) One of the most complicated and controversial questions today is the relationship between the Ceylon Tamil people living in the country and the nearly three-quarter of a million strong Ceylon Tamil diaspora. There are two extreme and wholly propagandist theories doing the rounds. The Sri Lanka government’s version is that the Tamils at home are content but the diaspora is populated by serial madmen intent on wrecking havoc. The other extreme is the more..

Sri Lankan ministers in IPL cricket row

Apr 25 (BBC) Sri Lanka's former sport minister has denied claims that he made a 10-year-deal allowing the country's cricketers to play in the Indian Premier League. Gamini Lokuge criticised his successor, current sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, for making the claims. Last week Mr Aluthgamage ordered the players to return from the IPL by 5 May to prepare for a tour of England, scheduled to start on 26 May. But later he made a u-turn, more..

East warned of Moon

Apr 25 (NN) The people in the eastern province have been warned to beware of a conspiracy being hatched up by the west and UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Eastern Province Governor Rear Admiral (Retired) Mohan Wijeywickrama told the people to be cautious of these attempts and to rise up against it. The Eastern Province was one of the areas dominated by the LTTE, which was defeated in 2009 by the military, and the area was also the first to more..

Malinga chosing IPL over country 'non-sense': Sangakkara

Apr 25 (PTI) Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Saturday rubbished talks that mercurial speedster Lasith Malinga chose IPL over national duties while announcing his retirement from Test cricket and said critics should not question his professional commitment. "It gets confusing when people try and take sides. It can happen when some people criticise Malinga for picking IPL over country. That is of all nonsense to me. There is never a stage where more..

Sajith to raise Hambantota Port fiasco in parliament

Apr 25 (SL) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa will raise the issue of the Hambantota Port fiasco at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting on Ports and Shipping due on Wednesday or in the first week of next month. He was referring to the various articles that appeared in this newspaper in its last week’s edition on the additional Rs. 15.9 billion) cost that the public will have to bear on this project due to cost escalations and more..

Tiger by the Tail

Apr 25 (LG) It is Easter and even as I read discussions and opinions about the UN report on human rights violations in the last stages of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka – I keep wondering whether the UN has now been given to hold the Tiger by the Tail ! I mention Easter because to me the way Land influences us, time also does. The same event is experienced differently at different times due to our mental environments which are influenced by place and time. more..

The losing of collective sanity on an advisory report

Apr 25 (LG) Could anything have betrayed our desperation more clearly than the shrill caterwauling that we hear from the Government on the possible (formal) emergence of the report on Sri Lanka by the Advisory Panel of the United Nations Secretary General? If the Government says that it is flawed as it has been quick to do, surely would not the simplest option have been to issue a sober and calm denunciation of its contents and findings without all this unseemly hysteria? more..

52 Div organizes mobile eye clinic for civilians

Apr 25 (Cimic) Varani-based 52 Division of the Security Forces - Jaffna this week organized another community welfare project for school children and people in Vadamarachchi and Thenmarachchi areas with assistance of the Development Lottery Board, Colombo. On initiative of General Officer Commanding 52 Division Brigadier Anura Sudhasinghe, a stock of spectacles and school items to the value of about Rs. 250.000/- were distributed among more..

'TNA on old path of confrontation again'

Apr 25 (TC) I was deeply saddened to see the statement issued earlier this week in the name of Mr Sambandan following the leaking of some of the report of the UN panel. The statement seems to hark back to the confrontational approach the TNA had repeatedly adopted when opportunities for reconciliation were available. I was reminded then of my efforts, as Head of the Peace Secretariat, to meet Mr Sambandan, as discussed with the President, shortly after the defeat of the LTTE. more..

UNSG Panel-Report on Sri Lanka: Revisiting 'Accountability'

Apr 25 (TC) Ensuring ‘accountability’ is important, but doing so is a complex task. Who is to ensure accountability, when, where, how? - are questions which have always aroused serious debate, and will do, in the future. While there may be no ‘independent/internal’ investigations, one need not be starry-eyed about ‘independent/international’ investigations. For example, ‘Nuremburg’ was an important start, but was never a suitable model. more..

Ministry of Defence organizes a new year festivall

Apr 25 (MoD) The ministry of defence celebrated the New Year festival with the participation of each and every division functioning within the ministry of defence. This event was organized by the defence ministry's well fair association for the first time and held at Police Field Forces ground yesterday (22). Secretary defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa and chair person of defence ministry's seva vnitha unit Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa participated the event as chief guest. more..

As Sri Lankan citizens we must resolve the Tamil National question amicably

Apr 25 (TC) So many things have been written on the Report of the Expert Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. Should I litter the already crowded discourse space with another piece? I thought I should not do so unless I had a peculiar dream in which a small vendor friend of mine on the Kandy pavement who passed away about six months ago posed me an apt question. His question read like this: "Had the war against the LTTE reached its last phase in more..

JDCSI St Paul’s Church, Murugandy re-dedicated

Apr 25 (LG) Saturday April 16, the Murugandy Church of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India was raised from the ruins of a horrendous war and re-dedicated by the Rt Rev Dr Daniel Thiagarajah in the presence of large numbers of members and friends. The church overflowed its capacity with people who attended from various parts of the Vanni and also from the peninsula. Promptly at the end of the war, the JDCSI began the renovation activities of its many churches in more..

Hambantota EPZ needs further study

Apr 25 (ST) When a port was suggested in the southern, impoverished town of Hambantota some decades back to take advantage of a large number of ships that ply this vital shipping lane, not much attention was paid to it until Mahinda Rajapaksa came along. Apart from the economic benefit to go ahead and construct a port, the President also had a personal reason for doing since the region is his home base and where the Rajapaksa family has built their political base and fortunes. more..

Darusman panel report criticizes Sri Lankan administration for the way in which the war against the LTTE was conducted

Apr 25 (TC) On a dark January night in 2006, five students were killed in the town of Trincomalee. The authorities initially claimed that the victims were Tiger cadres who died when the explosives they were carrying went off prematurely. The Sinhala Judicial Medical Officer who examined the bodies contested this claim, pointing out that the victims had been shot to death. Subsequent inquiries proved that the victims were indeed shot dead. more..

The dramatic return of Duleep Mendis

Apr 25 (TC) When Duleep Mendis was a boy in Moratuwa, his family employed a servant boy. The servant boy’s duties were not restricted to serving the drinks. He used to bowl to the podi mahathaya (little master) Duleep Mendis. The servant boy was a fearsome fast bowler. He was known as the Andy Roberts of Moratuwa. Mendis’s reflexes were sharpened at a young age. Some years later, Duleep Mendis blasted 32 against Australia at the Oval in the 1975 World Cup. Jeff Thompson more..

'SL Cricket to undergo drastic change'

Apr 25 (SO) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said drastic decisions have to be taken to develop the country’s sports sector. As initial step, appropriate officials have been appointed to existing positions. The Minister said his intention was to bring every sport to village level and produce new sportsmen. The Minister said if Sri Lanka wants to win the 2015 World Cup, he had to take strict decisions regarding the Sri Lankan Cricket Team. more..

Editorial: Jayalalitha’s conniption

Apr 25 (Island) War is the continuation of politics by other means, Clausewitz famously said. On seeing how LTTE sympathisers, who did not say boo to a goose while Prabhakaran was around violating human rights, are trying to have war crimes charges pressed against Sri Lanka’s political and military leaders in retaliation for the elimination of the scourge of terror, one may see that the on-going ‘accountability issues campaign’ is the continuation of war by other means. more..

Editorial: Pension Problem

Apr 25 (DM) The recent political scene is seeing a new topic being hotly discussed. We do not not know if the government is serious about the Private sector pensions or it is just a diversion tactic to coincide with the more burning issue of the UN SG’s ‘War Crime’ report. Nevertheless the idea of pensions for private sector workers is a good idea. But the method it was introduced and handled raises many questions. Already the private sector employees contribute to more..

Christians invoke blessings on Good Friday

Apr 25 (SO) Christians all over the world commemorated Good Friday on April 22. Churches belonging to the various sects in the country experienced an influx of devotees on the day which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago. Mass was held in all churches mainly in the morning and some churches conducted several masses during different times of the day. Some churches conducted masses in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. more..

Forbidden fruit leads to twin suicide

Apr 25 (NS) The twin suicide of a 21-year-old man and his 28-year-old sister-in-law on Wednesday in a hotel at Gala Junction, Kelaniya has now been established by Police as being due to an illicit love affair between the two being discovered by the man’s wife, who is said to be more than twice his age. The two lovers had spent two days at the hotel and in its confines consumed two cans of beer laced with some poison on Wednesday night. The man had begun an affair with his wife’s sister six months ago. more..

Suspects in plot to kill President discharged

Apr 25 (NS) Two men and a couple arrested and remanded for an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa were discharged and released by Additional Magistrate Mt. Lavinia Ruchira Weliwatta on the instructions of the Attorney General on Thursday. A Lieutenant Colonel and five other suspects remanded over the same alleged plot were further remanded until May 4. The suspects who were in remand and released were Dr. Venkeshvar Umakanthan, then attached to the govt service and more..

Prostitutes use bogus ‘Presidential Secretarait’ van for sex-work

Apr 25 (LB) The Anti-Corruption Unit of the Mirihana police that encompasses the Nugegoda Division has been able to bust a well-organized racket in which sex workers have been supplied in a vehicle bearing the sticker ‘VIP Presidential Secretariat’ last week. The sticker, it was revealed, was to avoid being stopped by the police while engaging in the business. It has been alleged that the vehicle had been used to supply actresses appearing in more..

Face-lift for Northern industries

Apr 25 (DN) The industries in the North that became defunct during the war, are being reactivated by the government as part of its post-war reconciliation effort. India has provided a Rs. 199 million grant to the government to reactivate the Achchuveli Industrial Estate in Jaffna in a goodwill gesture to support the government's efforts, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothi said yesterday. more..

Landslide alert in hill country

Apr 25 (ST) A landslide alert was given in most parts of the hill country yesterday after rains lashed several parts of the country during the weekend, officials said. The DMC chief Pradeep Kodippilli said some half a dozen landslides had already taken place in the Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts and more rain was expected to hit these areas in the next 48 hours. He said motorists and other road users should take extra precautions in those areas as roads could be cut off at any time. more..

Fowzie seeks quota of 8,000 Haj pilgrims this year

Apr 25 (DN) Minister AHM Fowzie who leads the Haj delegation for talks with Saudi Arabian Haj Minister assured representatives of Haj operators that he would be making a request for an increased quota of 8,000 pilgrims from Sri Lanka. He addressed a meeting of Haj operators and was hearing their suggestions for this year's Haj arrangements. He will be heading the delegation and will have the meeting with the Saudi Arabian Haj Minister more..

Govt. debt nearly Rs. 4.6 trillion, up 10% in 2010

Apr 25 (Island) Outstanding govt debt increased by 10.30 percent in 2010 to reach Rs. 4,590.2 billion as at end-December from Rs. 4,161.4 billion a year ago, latest official data showed. According to the Central Bank domestic debt reached Rs. 2,565.7 billion, up 6.85 percent from Rs. 2,401 billion a year ago. Total outstanding foreign debts increased by 15 percent to reach Rs. 2,024.6 billion from Rs. 1,760.5 billion, data released by the Central Bank last week showed. more..

Karunanidhi betrayed Tamils, says Vijayakant

Apr 25 (Hindu) Joining the statement war in Tamil Nadu on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, DMDK leader Vijayakant on Sunday accused DMK president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of betraying the Tamils in the island nation by failing to protect them during the civil war that ended in 2009. In a statement here, he said that when the Sri Lankan Tamils, especially those in the Eelam region, were hoping that Tamil Nadu and its Chief Minister would protect them during the ethnic war more..

Spill gates opened

Apr 25 (DN) The water levels of most tanks and reservoirs have reached spill level with rains being experienced in many parts of the island, Irrigation Department Director General Dr. G. G. A. Godaliyadda told the Daily News yesterday. He said that spill gates of about 15 tanks and reservoirs were opened on Saturday to prevent overflowing. He said that spill gates of about 10 tanks and reservoirs in six districts are still open. more..

Ex-Tigers exhibit their handiwork

Apr 25 (Island) Former members of the LTTE, who are currently being rehabilitated in government-run centers in the Wanni, will hold an art exhibition on April 25 and 26 at the National Art Gallery in Colombo. Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe said that paintings, handicrafts and other creations by 400 ex–LTTE cadres would be on display at the exhibition which will be opened by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. more..

Model agriculture farm in Mannar

Apr 25 (DN) Arrangements are being made to start a 100 acre model agriculture farm in Murungan, Mannar district close to the high level spill of the giant tank. Commenting on the new venture, Mannar Reawakening Programme's Institutional Affairs Chief Irrigation Engineer Palitha Wickramatilake said that the project implemented on the Irrigation Ministry Secretary, Engineer Ivan Silva's guidance will benefit resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). more..

Why didn’t Chinese envoy come?

Apr 25 (ST) The Chinese Ambassador Yang Xiuping was a notable absentee when External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris briefed heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo last Thursday regarding the Government’s stance on the report of the UN Panel. While a ministry official confirmed that an invitation was sent to the Chinese Ambassador and was followed up by a call to confirm it was received, the ambassador was not present at the meeting. more..

Some TUs not invited

Apr 25 (DM) Several trade unions in the National Labour Advisory Board (NLAC) today said that they had not been invited for the meeting between the President and trade unions that is to be held tomorrow to discuss the controversial private sector pension scheme proposed by the government. Unions said there were rumors of only port, insurance and banking sector employees being invited for the meeting but did not confirm the allegation of a majority of trade unions in more..

World’s lowest gravity found in Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (DM) The Southern sea of Sri Lanka has been identified as the region with the lowest gravitational pull in the world, geologists said. According to researching scientists a particular reason behind this low gravity had not yet been discovered. Professor of Geology Wilbert Kehelpannala of Peradeniya University told Daily Mirror that scientists were still researching on factors which cause low gravitational regions in the world but no explanation had been discovered so far. more..

Kent backtracks over Tory candidate in Tamil Tigers row

Apr 25 (G&M) Conservative cabinet minister Peter Kent has reversed course and fallen back into line behind Stephen Harper after criticizing his own party for recruiting a candidate with apparent Tamil Tiger sympathies. “I regret any embarrassment that my remarks may have caused the Prime Minister,” Mr. Kent said in a statement after Mr. Harper defended the candidate, Gavan Paranchothy, during a weekend campaign stop more..

University students may peruse answer scripts after marking

Apr 25 (DM) The Higher Education Ministry has decided to introduce provisions to keep marked answer scripts open to university students so that they may raise objections or make appeals if they are dissatisfied with their results. Ministry secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratna said that the ministry was discussing the matter with the university authorities. Currently, marked answer scripts are not shown to students and they have to accept the results given to them more..