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'Supporters of the Ban Ki-moon are targeting a regime change'

Apr 26 (AT) The veteran Sri Lankan Lawyer Gomin Dayasri said an exclusive interview with the Asian Tribune that the All Sri Lankan must rally around the Sri Lankan Armed Forces that made this country the most secure in South Asia. Here is the excerpt of the interview: AT: During this post war scenario most people argue that the Sri Lanka’s critical success factor is rebuilding the Country’s image as a pluralistic nation with more..

The challenge: Sustaining economic growth

Apr 26 (ST) Can the Sri Lankan economy sustain its high growth of 8 per cent achieved in 2010 this year too? The Central Bank thinks the rate of economic growth could be enhanced to a somewhat higher growth of 8.5 per cent this year. This expectation is perhaps based on the 8.6 per cent growth rate achieved in the fourth quarter of 2010. However, sustaining such a high rate of growth is an uphill task requiring a global economic upturn, a better investment climate, more..

Bouquets and Brickbats accompanied by shivers

Apr 26 (SL) Mercy me! Some good things do happen in this island home of ours. The latest is that laws are to be introduced to lesson noise pollution emanating from vehicular traffic. A Gazette notification will be published next month to announce the laws. Never too late is what Menika chanted since she for one wished from long ago that something would be done to curb drivers of buses and vans from tooting their horns. Some drive on their horns – the tooters built into their vehicles, more..

Duplicity of United Nations Secretary General exposed

Apr 26 (AT) The issue before us is whether UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrogating himself as the guardian of human rights where he has no mandate to do so. Else whether he has become a victim of a machination and he gave himself to be used by others, because he remains between the devil and the deep sea, as he was working for his second term to head the UN. A Reuter news report emerging recently from Russia revealed that the United Nations more..

Editorial: Ban sets bad precedent

Apr 26 (Island) When we exclusively reported the salient points of the Moon Panel report, some UN worthies including acting UN spokesman Farhan Haq, the LTTE rump and others of their ilk let out a howl of protest. Many of them claimed that the government had leaked it to us as part of a propaganda offensive against the UNSG. Some ‘mud sites’ that specialise in publishing scurrilous reports went so far as to attribute to the editor of this newspaper a fabricated statement in more..

Editorial: Health service: Let their deaths not be in vain

Apr 26 (DM) First it was the revered Professor Senaka Bibile whose Essential Medicines Concept formulated more than 40 years ago was hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is being successfully implemented in more than 100 countries. Tragically his own country, apparently giving into pressure from international power groups including the United States, rejected Prof. Bibile’s much acclaimed policy in 1976 and he had no option but to leave the country. more..

Why the Ban Ki moon Advisory panel Report should not be published

Apr 26 (TC) The question of publishing the panel report authorized by the United Nations Secretary General does not arise since the UNSG, in appointing the panel, 'was motivated exclusively by a desire to gather information, and insights for his own views', External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the Daily News in an exclusive interview. 'Sri Lanka cannot be singled out for discriminatory treatment because this would be tantamount to more..

Six firms to borrow abroad under CB initiative

Apr 26 (ST) In response to the Central Bank’s initiative of allowing companies to borrow abroad, six Sri Lankan firms have already applied to obtain foreign loans for working capital, investment, restructuring or to settle existing foreign currency loans, a senior official of the Central Bank said. These companies are eligible to seek foreign loans up to $20 million each. He revealed that borrowing costs, including interest rates, should not exceed the prevailing more..

Petition against UN Panel’s report on accountability: Opposing what exactly?

Apr 26 (GV) The report on accountability produced by the panel appointed by the UN Secretary General hasn’t yet officially released it to the public domain. What little is known of its contents comes from leaks published in the mainstream media. Sinhala mainstream media have not translated and published in full the leaked version of the executive summary. Commentary in the mainstream media, including in the newspaper the leaks are published in, is vituperatively dismissive. more..

Harin prepared to debate Rohitha at TV station, not Hambantota Harbour

Apr 26 (Island) UNP MP Harin Fernando said that he was prepared to debate Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena over a rock that has surfaced at the Hambantota Harbour, resulting in ships not entering the area since it was declared open recently by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He told The Island that the debate should be conducted at a private television station and not in the Hambantota Port as stated by Abeygunawardena. more..

SLBFE opens ticketing office

Apr 26 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) will open a separate branch under its wing named SLBFE Travel today, to provide airline tickets at concessionary rates, to foreign job aspirants. The new office set up under the instructions of Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera is expected to assist both individual migrant workers as well as foreign employment agencies when obtaining airline tickets. more..

MEP condemns advisory document

Apr 26 (DN) The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) issuing a press release yesterday condemned the advisory document of the UN General Secretary’s expert panel. The release said: “The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna is of the view that the advisory document of the so called expert panel comprising three persons is entirely a result of personal exercise on the part of United Nations’ General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. “It is in no way related to the United Nations. more..

Wijedasa Rajapakshe’s letter to UNSG

Apr 26 (Island) Dear Sir, Report of the purported Panel of Experts to advise you on the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war ended in May 2009. I am a Member of Parliament representing the United National Party, the main opposition in the Parliament. I write this in my capacity as a President's Counsel (Senior Lawyer) and a citizen of Sri Lanka. (My C.V. is annexed hereto for your perusal) more..

Sanga and Mahela to return early

Apr 26 (Island) Former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene along with captain Tillakaratne Dilshan will leave the Indian Premier League early to start preparations for the first Test against England, scheduled for the 26th of May in Cardiff, The Island learns. Both Sangakkara and Jayawardene are expected be in Colombo by the 16th of May and will leave the island a day later to join the squad for the second warm up game scheduled for the 19th of May against more..

2010 O/L Exam: Probe on 6500 alleged cheaters

Apr 26 (DM) The Examinations Department announced that investigations have been initiated on some 6,500 students who are suspected to have cheated at the 2010 G.C.E. O/L exam. Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe said the inquiries which are being carried out by the Investigations Branch of the department were initiated today. “We are planning to complete the probing within two weeks and release the results of students who are cleared from the charges as soon as possible,” more..

Gallup poll says 95% of Sri Lankans struggling and suffering!

Apr 26 (FT) Despite the end of the war, doubling of per capita income and high 8% growth believe it or not as per world renowned Gallup, 95% of Sri Lankans are both struggling and suffering. As per Gallup’s global wellbeing surveys in 2010 released last week, only 5% are thriving in Sri Lanka with 75% are struggling and 20% suffering Iraqis, Bangladeshis Nepalese, Sudanese, Ugandans, Zimbabweans are better off than Sri Lanka. more..

CPC financial position erodes further in 2010, says CB - CEB makes profit

Apr 26 (Island) The CPC’s financial position eroded further in 2010 generating additional losses amounting to Rs. 400 million, the Central Bank said. "The CPC reported an operational loss of Rs. 28.6 billion in 2010 compared to Rs. 26.2 billion in 2009. The main contributory factors for the financial losses of CPC were the provision of heavy fuel at a highly subsidised rate to CEB and Individual Power Producers (IPPs), more..

UN panel opts for selective amnesia

Apr 26 (MT) AS the man universally credited with having played a key role in marshalling the Sri Lankan military into a disciplined, focussed and well-equipped fighting force to deliver the final crushing blow to the LTTE—the world’s most brutal and feared terrorist outfit—and end three decades of bloody conflict, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had more interest than most in the report submitted early last week to United Nations Secretary more..

'Sri Lanka has many many different strengths'

Apr 26 (LG) Sri Lanka has many many different strengths. It has some of the highest education and health indicators in the region; it also has an abundance of natural resources; and it has the great fortune of being at the southern tip of India so they have a free trade agreement so they can benefit very much from the economic dynamism of India," Mr. Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs says more..

Polonnaruwa District hospital battle

Apr 26 (Island) Responding to allegations in a new item appearing in ‘The Island,’ on Thursday, that doctors and nurses were at loggerheads over a room at the Polonnaruwa District Hospital, the branch union of the Government Medical Officers’ Association said that there weren’t over ten rest rooms in the new building. President of the Branch Union Dr. V. Dharmawardane said that those rooms were ‘On-Call’ rooms allocated to day and night staff from hospital units. more..

Fowzie drops Cader from Haj committee

Apr 26 (Island) Co-Chairman of the Hadj Organizing Committee Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie has dropped Kandy District MP A.R.M. Cader from his committee. Minister Fowzie had withdrawn a letter of appointment issued to Cader. The other Co-Chairman of the Haj committee Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana, who is in Saudi Arabia at the moment with deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha to finalise the arrangements for the Hadj pilgrimage, more..

UN says shelling 'killed civilians'

Apr 26 (BBC) The UN has said widespread shelling by the Sri Lankan govt killed most of the tens of thousands of civilians who died in the final months of the 25-year-long war, in 2009. The report also accuses Tamil Tigers separatists of using civilians as human shields. The UN is calling for an independent investigation into what it says could constitute war crimes. Sri Lanka had asked the UN not to publish its findings. It said the report could damage reconciliation efforts. more..

UN report: India should not bail out Sri Lankan government, says BJP

Apr 26 (Hindu) India should not bail out the Sri Lankan government from being implicated in the report of the United Nations Secretary General's panel of experts on Sri Lanka for violation of human rights during the final stages of the war in the island nation in 2009, BJP national executive member L. Ganesan said on Monday. He said there had been charges that India supported, financed and armed the Sri Lankan government in its war against Tamils. more..

CP tells SL Tamils: Don’t be deceived by Western powers

Apr 26 (Island) The Communist Party of Sri Lanka says UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s move, at the behest of a section of the international community, is motivated and dictated by their global strategies and geo-political interests and not by humanitarian considerations or through compassion or love for the Tamil speaking people. The CPSL urged the government to consider legitimate rights of the Tamil speaking people, while urging them not to be deceived by Western Powers. more..

Sri Lanka Looks to Manmohan for Help

Apr 26 (EB) Sri Lanka believes that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will eventually steer his government towards the Lankan side on the UN war crimes report issue. A top Lankan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Express that Singh had a track record of supporting Sri Lanka in its hour of need. It is recalled here that when the entire Western lobby was bent on introducing a scathing resolution against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council more..

Panel of experts finds credible reports of war crimes during Sri Lanka conflict – UN

Apr 26 (UN) The panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found credible reports of war crimes committed by both the Government and Tamil rebels and calls for genuine investigations into the allegations, according to a report made public today by the United Nations. The decision to release the report, which was submitted to the Secretary-General on 12 April and more..

Mass deaths in Sri Lanka may be 'war crimes': UN

Apr 26 (AFP) The Sri Lankan army killed most of the tens of thousands of civilian victims of a final offensive against Tamil separatists in 2009 but both sides may be guilty of war crimes, a UN panel said Monday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he could not order an international investigation into the deaths. But the UN will hold an inquiry into its actions in the final months of the war following criticism by the panel that more could have been done to save lives. more..

U.N. Chief powerless to pursue war crimes in Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (IPS) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted Monday he is not empowered to establish an international war crimes tribunal to probe the "serious violations" of international humanitarian and human rights law committed during the concluding stages of the decades-long conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009. Ban has been advised this will require host country consent - in this case the consent of the Sri Lankan govt - or a decision by member states through more..

Will Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi be behind Lanka?

Apr 26 (HT) Last week, the Lankan government fretted, sulked and warned against the public release of the three-member expert panel’s report on human rights accountability in Sri Lanka. What it could do if the report was released – it was finally released by the UN on Monday night – wasn’t too clear though. The public release of the report will violate the principles of equality that the UN was founded on, the mild mannered external affairs minister, GL Peiris, said in a rare display of righteous anger. more..

‘Tigers exploited corrupt elements in uniform’

Apr 26 (Island) UPFA MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle says those accusing Sri Lanka of unsubstantiated war crimes had conveniently forgotten atrocities committed by the LTTE. An irate Gampaha District MP says the LTTE had assassinated her husband Jeyaraj, though he wasn’t involved in the military strategy. Responding to a query by The Island, Mrs Fernandopulle alleged that the LTTE had infiltrated the military and the police to facilitate its sordid operations. more..

UN Chief should establish international inquiry

Apr 26 (HRW) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should act on a UN Panel of Experts' recommendations to establish an international independent investigation into abuses during Sri Lanka's armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch said today. Ban's statement on April 25, 2011, indicating the need for Sri Lankan government consent or action by an intergovernmental body should not place an more..

Colombo DIG orders Kandy police clean up sacred city

Apr 26 (Island) DIG for Colombo Anura Senanayake instructed the Kandy police to take stern action against anyone found defiling the sacred heritage city of Kandy. DIG Senanayake, addressing police personnel, the Kandy Municipal Council leadership and representatives of the business community, said that anyone found polluting the sacred city of Kandy should be arrested and dealt with irrespective of status or any other claims. more..

Peace process and accountability issues: UN report out, await Norwegian evaluation

Apr 26 (Island) In the wake of a simmering controversy over UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s dubious ‘war crimes’ report dealing with Sri Lanka’s successful war against the LTTE, Norway will release a comprehensive evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka. Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) conducted the evaluation of four separate peace efforts by Norway from 1997 to 2009. more..

Three funds to effect private pension scheme

Apr 26 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday allayed fears on moves to establish a pension fund for the private sector utilizing EPF and ETF benefits and gratuities of the private sector and semi government employees, and sanctioned the setting up of three separate pension funds. Accordingly, three separate funds - The Employees’ Pensions Benefit Fund, The Expatriate Employees’ Pensions Fund and more..

JVP undergrads to battle military training plan

Apr 26 (Island) The Inter-University Students Federation says it will not allow President Rajapaksa’s government to militarise Universities. The IUSF, affiliated to the JVP, yesterday launched a protest campaign at university level to pressure the government to drop a controversial plan to force the next batch to undergo military training before the beginning of their academic programme. more..

US lawmaker urges Sri Lanka to act after report

Apr 26 (AFP) A senior US lawmaker on Monday urged Sri Lanka to take concrete action on human rights after a UN panel found credible allegations of war crimes in the bloody 2009 finale to the civil war. Representative Howard Berman, the top member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sri Lanka must "ensure that those involved in violations of more..

TNA visit to TID a non event

Apr 26 (DM) The visit by the TNA to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in Vavuniya was cancelled at the last minute yesterday, MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. The govt had decided to allow the TNA to examine the lists of detainees after it held discussions with the group earlier in the year. Mr. Sumanthiran said TNA representatives were planning to travel to Vavuniya accompanied by ruling party MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardane last morning, but there had been no response from the govt. more..

Indo-Lanka ferry service begins early May

Apr 26 (Island) Despite a successful trial run between Tuticorin and Colombo on April 12, the passenger ferry ‘Scotia Princess’ will begin regular services only in early May. Earlier, the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities had planned to launch regular services on April 20 following the successful trial run. Colombo Harbour Master Captain Ravi Jayawardena said that the ferry was berthed outside the Colombo harbour, though he wasn’t sure when the services would begin. more..

Western media outlets biased: Russian envoy

Apr 26 (DM) The Western media outlets are biased when reporting humanitarian issues as in the instance of Sri Lanka, choosing to report only one side of the story which suits their agendas and motives, Russian Ambassador for Sri Lanka Vladimir P. Mikhaylov said. He said the Western media did not have a uniform approach to humanitarian situations around the world but choose only one side of the story which suited their agendas more..

Vehicle import taxes increased as govt. faces tough times

Apr 26 (Island) Taxes on certain imported vehicles have been raised less than a year since they were significantly slashed as the govt comes to terms with an extremely challenging fiscal position and traders’ view that imports had ‘gone out of hand’. Petrol cars with engine capacities below 1,000cc would see total taxes increase from 95 percent to 120 percent while vehicles from 1000 to 1,600 cc will see total taxes increase from 119 to 128 percent, more..