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The Sri Lankan sapphire from Pelmadulla in Kate Middleton's engagement ring

Apr 28 (TC) Super slim Kate Middleton, 29, the princess-to-be has a worry over her engagement ring with Ratnapura sapphire. Kate has slimmed down so much that she had to shrink her famous engagement ring to fit her finger as the dazzling sapphire and diamond band is too big for her size H finger. Princess Diana too wore it on the same finger. A Royal source said: “The band was turning. Kate absolutely adores it and didn’t want to cause fuss. more..

Germany supports Colombo’s colonial archaeology in North East

Apr 28 (LG) After a discussion between Colonial Colombo’s ‘National Heritage’ Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya and German Deputy Ambassador to Colombo, Stefan Weak Bark, it was decided that Germany would support Sri Lanka’s initiatives to declare important ancient archaeological sites in the Northern and Eastern Provinces as World Heritage Sites. Quite typical of genocidal Sri Lanka’s indiscrimination between Army and Archaeology in the Tamil areas more..

Ki-moon panel’s report and strippers it spawned

Apr 28 (NS) The most positive about the report drawn up by the panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on Sri Lanka is that it has helped a lot of arrogant, ill-informed (or partially or fully blind), doubled-tongue individuals to strip themselves in public. No surprises in terms of the identity of the strippers of course, not to those who are alert about these machinations. First off, there’s PaikiasothySaravanamuttu, more..

The spies of the Eelam War

Apr 28 (SL) It was May 2009, the Sri Lanka Army was advancing fast under heavy fire. The LTTE, or what remained of them were giving no quarter as the battles intensified. Things got ugly, and civilians died. After the dust settled, no one knew quite what happened. The winners rejoiced, while the losers were eliminated. But unbeknownst to the people on the ground, there were watchers far above in the skies recording their every move. more..

Private spice gardens to be regulated

Apr 28 (DN) Minister Reginald Cooray said that measures have been taken to regulate all private spice gardens in order to upgrade their standards. The Minister pointed out that most of these gardens which are of great interest to tourists do not have even the basic facilities for the public. These gardens include sales outlets for tourists with low quality products. He said it is vital to develop these gardens to boost promote spice production in the country. more..

National Farming Week in Vavuniya

Apr 28 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry has decided to hold the National Farming Week-2011 in Vavunia from July 20-24, said Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary Shantha Amitiyagoda. A Committee Meeting was held under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana on April 25 to decide the programme. This National Programme will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Centering around the Vavuniya Government Farm, more..

'Treasury Secy. couldn’t answer our simple pension query'

Apr 28 (FT) The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) President Wasantha Samarasinghe who is also a member of the tripartite National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) alleged yesterday that Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera failed to answer a simply query on the proposed private sector pension scheme. Samarasinghe during the Tuesday’s special meeting between NLAC, Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge and Finance Ministry officials had asked more..

International study shows there is a dangerous situation: Former CJ

Apr 28 (NF) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has said that the international study shows there is a dangerous situation where there is bad governance, corruption and a violation of human rights. “The international study shows that there is a dangerous situation where there is a bad governance, corruption and a violation of human rights. Such a situation has emerged in this country. There are no election laws being implemented. Elections are held for the sake of being held. more..

Highway Safety: Committee formed to check accidents in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama says that on a single a day road traffic accidents cause nearly five deaths and serious injury to 50 persons. Around 2,160 persons, including school children die annually in road accidents. The primary causes for such accidents are lack of proper training, driving under the influence of liquor, using mobile phones while driving, lack of physical fitness, neglect of highway code and lack of technical standard in vehicles. more..

Sangakkara foresees franchise-based ODIs

Apr 28 (Hindu) There is a talk doing the rounds that Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga quit Test cricket just because he wants to stay on in the dollar-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). There is also the interesting case of West Indian Chris Gayle and his tussle with his national cricket board which has resurrected the club versus country debate all over again. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has also been a major player in the issue recently. more..

Distribution of school uniform material in crisis

Apr 28 (DM) The Opposition in Parliament charged yesterday that the distribution of school uniform material is in crisis this year as many schools have not got the uniform material at all while inferior quality material have been distributed to others. DNA MP Ajith Kumara who moved an adjournment motion on the issue told the House yesterday that a large number of schools have not received school uniforms this year even though the second term had begun. He informed the House that more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka must be proactive, not defensive

Apr 28 (GN) If a constructive rapprochement is not whittled out soon then the storm gathering behind the United Nations' instruction to Sri Lanka, to subject itself to a probe for alleged human rights abuses during the recently concluded civil war, may veer out of control. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has been definite in his dismissal of Ban Ki-moon's call for ‘accountability'. His refusal to open up the actions of his govt to an international probe may not enhance more..

The United Nations and divided Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (WSJ) Sri Lanka and human rights activists around the world are in an uproar over a report released by a United Nations panel this week on the final months of the island nation's bloody civil war. The survey may prove illuminating, so far as it goes, in terms of understanding what happened during those violent six months in 2009. The greater risk is that the international response will tip Sri Lanka closer to losing the peace. more..

Ticketless travel a major problem for CGR

Apr 28 (Island) Despite stepped-up operations by the Department of Railways, ticket-less travel remains a major problem, says a senior official. Railways Department Planning Director Wijaya Samarasinghe says the Department will continue checks to discourage those travelling without a valid ticket. He said that the Department had earned a record Rs. 9.5 million by way of fines imposed on those found travelling without a valid ticket during 2010 and in the first three months of 2011. more..

Govt ensured stable prices during festive season

Apr 28 (DN) Although increasing prices of food and other essential commodities is a normal phenomenon observed during festive seasons, prices remained at a stable level this Sinhala and Tamil New Year season due to the salutary steps taken by the government to keep prices at affordable levels. This was revealed at a meeting of the Ministerial Sub Committee on Food Security and Cost of Living presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. more..

AG to indict two DNA MPs, others over Galle incidents

Apr 28 (Island) The Supreme Court was yesterday informed that the Attorney General had decided to indict two DNA Members of Parliament and a few others, on charges of attempting to release persons in police custody, unlawful assembly breach of peace, assaulting a police officer on duty and destruction of public property, in Galle on December 8, 2010. The two DNA MPs due to be served with indictment are Vijitha Herath and Ajith Kumara. more..

Emerging truth about UN failure in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (Age) Two years ago, a war without witness was executed by the state against the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka. In September 2008, after ordering all United Nations personnel, non-government organisations and media out of the Vanni region, the Sri Lankan government embarked on a vicious military campaign. While it informed the world it was fighting the Tamil Tiger rebels and was following a 'zero civilian casualty' policy, photographs, video footage and more..

Civic activists remember Father Killi

Apr 28 (UCAN) Christians and civic activists in both north and south have honored Father Mariampillai Xavier Karunaratnam, known as Father Killi and recognized as ‘the Peoples’ priest,’ who spent his life helping war victims in northern Sri Lanka. On April 23 clergymen and lay activists gathered in his former parish in north to remember and continue his mission. The event was held at Our Lady of Velankanni Church in the rural village of Vavunikulam in the northern war hit area. more..

'Some UN representatives disgrace the very organization'

Apr 28 (DN) Minister Dullas Allahapperuma yesterday said the United Nations established in 1945 at the end of World War II is completely based on policy of promoting peace, stability and cooperation and few individuals representing the UN is in the habit of disgracing the very organization by violating the very principle on which it was founded. He said that certain elements representing the United Nations are in a futile effort to more..

Indian company bags Rs 50 cr project in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (BS) RPP Infra Projects, an infrastructure company based in Erode, Tamil Nadu, bagged a Rs 50 crore pilot project funded by the government of India for building housing for the IDPs in Sri Lanka. Under the project, the company would build 1,000 houses for IDPs in two packages in Mullaitheevu, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mannar districts in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka within an execution period of six months, according to a company announcement. more..

'Proposed pension for private sector is an exploitation of employees’ money'

Apr 28 (LT) Instead of introducing a proper pension for the private sector employees, the Government is trying to filch their money, says the President of National Trade Union Centre, former Parliamentaria K D Lal Kantha. Issuing communiqué he says the proposed pension scheme deducting money from the employees will not benefit the private sector employees. Instead a pension scheme has to be introduced with the participation of both the Government and the employers. more..

Lanka invests Rs. 17mn to protect the ‘Ceylon Tea’ brand in 20 countries

Apr 28 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has committed Rs. 8.5 million this year to register ‘Ceylon Tea’ with the Geographical Indicator (GI) that ensures the ‘Ceylon Tea’ brand is protected in 20 countries. The Ministry will also commit another Rs. 8.5 million in 2012 for brand protection in another 20 countries. "This initiative will make Ceylon Tea, and the tea industry itself, stronger in moving towards more..

UN disowns statements by Weiss

Apr 28 (DM) The United Nations does not endorse any statements made by its former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss, the Colombo UN office said yesterday. “Mr. Weiss is a former spokesman who was based in Colombo and his comments are his personal views on the situation that prevailed at the time. They don’t reflect those of the UN,” Colombo UN spokesman Tom Hockley told the Daily Mirror. After the UN Experts’ Panel report was released, Mr. Weiss is reported to have made some more..

CBK's Security Chief compensates ASP

Apr 28 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's former Security Chief SSP Nihal Karunaratne paid a compensation of Rs 300,000 to ASP Hettiarachchige Samudrajeewa for obstructing him from arresting some wanted criminals on February 2, 2000. Nihal Karunaratna paid the compensation to SSP Samudrajeewa Hettiarachchi in the presence of High Court Judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe. During the proceedings of the trial, Karunaratne pleaded guilty to the charges against him. more..

Development Diaries

Sirisena reveals sexual abuse in hospitals

Apr 29 (Island) Love affairs among hospital employees and sexual abuse of minor employees and patients has caused severe problems for the Health Ministry, Minister Maithripala Sirisena revealed. He said that he had received a spate of complaints regarding minor employees being forced to have sex with senior workers at hospitals. His revelation comes in the wake of on and off allegations that female patients had been sexually abused by medical staff. more..

Section of int’l community, TNA opt for selective amnesia

Apr 29 (Island) Responding to stepped-up pressure on the Govt of Sri Lanka to accept an international war crimes investigation, on the basis of a report commissioned by UNSG Ban Ki-moon, senior officials say recent statements attributed to the TNA and a former UN employee, Gordon Weiss, revealed the mindset of those gunning for Sri Lanka. Could anything be as foolish as TNA MP Sri Kantha levelling war crime allegations against the Govt of India for its support of Sri Lanka’s war effort, more..

UNP to hold May Day rally in Bandarawela

Apr 28 (Island) The UNP is to hold its main May Day rally in Bandarawela. UNP Media spokesman Gayantha Karunathillake MP, told The Island yesterday that the Working Committee had decided that their main meeting, to celebrate workers day, be held at Bandarawela town. "We will use May Day to agitate for workers rights and an end to the unbearable burdens imposed on them by the Rajapaksa regime." more..

Tax revenue from fags, liquor up 1b

Apr 28 (Island) The revenue which the government earned from the Excise Tax on liquor had gone up by Rs 1 billion in 2009 compared to 2008 Parliament was informed. The House learned that the revenue earned from the sale of liquor had increased from Rs 27.2 billion in ’08 to Rs 28.2 billion the following year. The revenue earned by the govt from cigarettes had also increased in 2009 to Rs 2.7 billion from an earning of Rs 2.2 billion the previous year. more..

SriLankan Airlines gets second floatplane

Apr 29 (LBO) SriLankan Air Taxi, the domestic arm of SriLankan Airlines, has acquired its second floatplane as island-wide operations expand and it plans to start daily flights to another town. The twin-engined aircraft De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft was flown in to Bandaranaike International Airport, north of Colombo, from Canada on April 01. "The second Twin Otter will give us more flexibility to serve the needs of our diverse customers and more..

Lankan multinational Expolanka in Rs. 2.4mn IPO

Apr 29 (Island) Expolanka Holdings Ltd., Sri Lanka’s little known diversified multinational company operating in 38 cities across 12 countries, is planning to raise a little more than Rs. 2.4 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) which would see 27 percent of its shares listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The offer for 172 million ordinary voting shares at Rs. 14 each opens on May 12 and more..

Wimal seeks India’s help

Apr 29 (DM) The Government expects a favorable response from the Indian Government against the Expert Panel report of the UN Chief on Sri Lanka, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said at a press conference this morning. “We are expecting a response favourable to us by India against the so called experts’ panel report,” Minister Weerawansa said. According to him the Russian ambassador and China had extended their support against the Expert panel report. more..

Sri Lanka exports up 37-pct in February

Apr 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 36.8 percent to 860.3 million US dollars in February with apparel exports rising 47.5 percent to 366.6 million US dollars while imports rose 27 percent to 1.23 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said. Industrial exports rose 45.4 percent to 658.4 million US dollars. The Central Bank said 54.8 percent of apparel exports went to the European Union and 35.1 percent to USA. more..

700 doctors unable to practise here

Apr 29 (DM) Some 700 Sri Lankan doctors qualified abroad are unable to practice in Sri Lanka despite the high demand for doctors because foreign medical qualifications are not recognized by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), the Foreign Qualified Medical Graduates Parents’ Association said yesterday. The association’s convener said, in Sri Lanka a licence to practise medicine can only be obtained after passing the Exam to more..

Sri Lanka website LankaeNews is suspended

Apr 29 (BBC) A magistrate's court in Sri Lanka has suspended the operation of the pro-opposition LankaeNews website. The court ordered the closure because a contempt case was still pending against journalist Shantha Wijesooriya, who has been remanded in custody until 12 May. The case relates to an article about a magistrate, which was regarded as slanderous. The court ordered Sri Lanka's telecoms regulator to suspend the website until more..

IDPs waiting for Indian houses worries UN

Apr 28 (Island) A section of the war displaced has declined to accept housing assistance from agencies involved in post-war recovery projects, in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, in the belief the proposed Indian housing project will get underway soon. Northern sources say the internally displaced are ready to wait for the launch of the Indian project, which envisaged the construction of 50,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..

'LLRC can study Moon panel report if it wants'

Apr 28 (Island) The government yesterday said that the controversial ‘Darusman Report’ could be looked at by the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) should it wish to do so, depending on its own assessment of the contents, though it was a fundamentally flawed in many aspects. External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris issued the following statement yesterday: more..

Resolution against Ban by the Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha

Apr 29 (NN) A resolution was passed against UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon by the Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha today for releasing a report critical of Sri Lanka. The resolution was presented by the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha Dilup Suisira Pathirage and was unanimously adopted by the members from the government and opposition. At the monthly meeting of the Pradeshiya Sabha held today the members also agreed to stage a massive protest against the UN Chief and the panel report on Sri Lanka. more..

Hope, mistrust among Sri Lankans after UN report

Apr 29 (AP) A United Nations report that gives credence to allegations of human rights abuses during the bloody end of Sri Lanka's civil war has given some victims' families hope for justice, while others say the U.N. action comes too late. The three-member panel of experts says there are credible reports that serious human rights violations — including possible war crimes and crimes against humanity — were committed by both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels more..

Royal Mail issues new stamps to celebrate Royal wedding

Apr 29 (IL) The British Postal Service, the Royal Mail issued a new set of stamps on 21 April, just over a week before the big day to celebrate Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding. The new commemorative stamps, launched by the Royal Mail, show a series of images of Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate Middleton. The collectibles will feature William and Kate's official engagement portraits more..