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TB affected on the increase among people of Vanni

Mar 30 (TN) Several uprooted Tamil civilians from Vanni following Colombo's genocidal onslaught in Vanni and still kept in detention centres in Vavuniyaa have been diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis (TB), according to Dr.C.Jamunananda who is in charge of the TB control unit in Jaffna district. The number of TB patients is on the increase in the Ki'linochchi region, he said addressing the International TB Prevention Day held at Ki'lnochchi Hindu College. more..

300 Tamils, Muslims appeal to LLRC to locate missing relatives

Mar 30 (TN) The Lessons and Learnt Reconciliation Commissioner (LLRC) Sunday morning commenced its sittings at the auditorium of the Kalmunai (Tamil) Divisional Secretariat and recorded statements from over three hundred persons including Tamils and Muslims who have lost their children and spouses due to the arrest, abduction and killing by the Intelligence Unit of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and cadres of para military groups led by Karuna and Pilliayan, more..

On the smugglers’ trail: The unlucky ones

Mar 30 (NP) The blue steel door slides open and a guard leads a line of detainee children out of Bangkok’s immigration prison, past visitors waiting with bags of rose apples, and across a tight alley to a classroom. Many of the children are Sri Lankans. They travelled to Thailand with parents who paid smugglers for a spot on a migrant ship to Canada. But they never made it to sea. Instead, they were arrested and locked up inside the more..

Champlka asks workers not to strike

Mar 30 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka urged CEB trade unions not to resort to trade union action but to adopt a new culture by settling issues through negotiations. ‘The Island’ reliably learns that Ranawaka told unions on Thursday that he would not give in to picketing and trade union action and if necessary he was ready to counter such moves at any moment. However, in response to the request of paying the 10-month salary arrears, Ranawaka had asked for time till June. more..

Educational officials unhappy over SLAS appointments

Mar 30 (DM) Educational officials yesterday expressed their objection to the appointment of Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) Grade II and Grade III officers to posts in the education sector. The officials said the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry had written to all education offices informing them about the decision to appoint Grade III SLAS officers to 94 zonal education offices and Grade II SLAS officers to the nine provincial education offices. more..

'A World Cup title triumph will heal a nation'

Mar 30 (National) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, says victory in Saturday's final in Mumbai would be the perfect gift to his compatriots as the country continues to emerge from years of conflict. Cricket has often been regarded as a tool for nation building in Sri Lanka, even during the 26-year civil war, which officially ended in 2009. The last time Sri Lanka played in the World Cup final, four years ago in Barbados, more..

Ketagoda vows to register SF’s party

Mar 30 (DM) Renewed efforts will soon be taken to register former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s ‘Democratic Party’, MP Jayantha Ketagoda said yesterday. A few months ago, the Elections Department had rejected the registration of this party due to certain technical issues such as the failure to maintain financial accounts for the required number of years. Mr. Ketagoda who was sworn-in in Parliament recently in place of Mr. Fonseka, told the Daily Mirror that more..

HRC accuses Divisional Secretariats of negligence

Mar 30 (Island) The Human Rights Commission has accused most Divisional Secretariats of not serving the public efficiently. "In many instances such institutions have neglected their duties, ignored and violated the people’s rights," they said. Secretary to the Commission Nimal Punchihewa said that the people were sick of the manner in which some DS officials performed their duties. They have been accused of delaying the issue of land licences and birth certificates while more..

UN Democracy Fund: Lankans in the fray for newest grants

Mar 30 (Island) Several Sri Lankan NGOs are in the running for grants from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) in the fifth round of funding. The recipients are expected to be announced mid 2011 by the UNDEF. It is not clear whether any of the NGOs under investigation for alleged irregularities are among those vying for more grants. According to the UNDEF, a record 3,700 applications had been received by more..

'Ensure LG polls don’t clash with May Buddha Jayanthi celebrations'

Mar 30 (Island) The authorities should ensure that the second leg of the Local Government Elections does not clash with the Buddha Jayanthi celebrations in May, the UNP said. UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya said that even if polls are not held in areas where the major events are to be staged, it would still affect the spirit of the occasion. "The govt should ensure that political activity does not spoil the observance of Vesak. more..

Railway strike called off

Mar 30 (DM) The island wide lightning strike launched by railway workers at noon yesterday over the failure of the railway authorities to take action against a driver who had allegedly driven a train from Colombo to Aluthgama without a guard was called off after Transport Minister Kumara Welgama promised the workers that the driver would be suspended and disciplinary action would be taken against him, more..

Pro-Tiger roar loses its voice

Mar 30 (TOI) Just one-and-a-half years ago, a pro-Tiger roar echoed on poll platforms across the state as the war in Sri Lanka and the plight of Tamil minorities dominated the agenda for the Lok Sabha polls. Even AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, avowedly anti-LTTE in her stand, made a distinction and focused on the government's inability to protect Tamil refugees. But then in politics, 18 months is a long time. more..

JVP union alleges trade unionist sacked for attacking corruption

Mar 30 (Island) The Samurdhi Development Officers’ Association is lambasting the government for sacking its General Secretary Chamara Maddumakaluge for publicly accusing the Samurdhi Authority of waste, corruption and irregularities in the organisation. The association, affiliated to the JVP, says the political leadership is furious over its recent revelations through electronic and print media. more..

Act to prevent drug shortage

Mar 30 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will present the National Drug Quality Regulatory Council Act in Parliament in July. The act will prevent drug shortages and those manipulating when supplying drugs, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The spokesman said the Act has been drafted by a special committee appointed for the task. It had been done with the consultation of health officials, professionals and related parties. more..

Sajith group wants its nominee appointed UNP National Organiser

Mar 30 (Island) The Sajith Premadasa faction of the UNP yesterday demanded that its nominee for the post of the National Organiser, be officially appointed prior to the next meeting of the party’s Working Committee. On Monday, when the UNP Working Committee met at Sirikotha, former MP Imitiaz Bakeer Markar proposed the name of UNP Moneragala District MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara for the post of National Organiser, but more..

More flights between India-Sri Lanka for the World Cup final

Mar 30 (GDI) Measures will be taken to increase the number of flights between India and Sri Lanka to cater to the cricket fans who are flying to India to watch the World Cup final, Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratna said. With Sri Lanka's entry into the World Cup final, a large number of Sri Lankans are reportedly planning to watch the final match that is to be played on 2 April 2011 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. more..

Sangakkara praises middle-order

Mar 30 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara praised his brittle middle-order batting for carrying his team to the final of the World Cup after they beat New Zealand by five wickets in Colombo on Tuesday. Chasing New Zealand's moderate total of 217, Sri Lanka were cruising to victory at 160 for 1 when a sudden top-order collapse - four wickets fell for 25 runs - left them looking vulnerable, before more..

'More powers to Local Govt bodies'

Mar 30 (DM) The heads of local government bodies will be given more powers, financial and administrative freedom to extract the maximum from them after the new Local Government Authorities (Special Provisions) Bill is passed in Parliament soon, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said the elections to the remaining local councils would become the last election held under the Proportional Representative system. more..

Middle order is upto the task, says Dilshan

Mar 31 (BBC) This is only my second World Cup and I am glad that my team, Sri Lanka, qualified for the final in both occasions. We are very happy about our overall performance, in batting, bowling and fielding on a very slow wicket against New Zealand in the semi-final. Personally, I am happy about my overall performance but I'm not happy that I only managed to get 73. I would love to have helped the team make a bigger score but it was a very slow wicket that didn't help batsmen. more..

Remnants a threat

Mar 31 (NN) Sri Lanka has informed the Czech Republic that there are challenges posed internationally by the remnants of the LTTE including in Europe and this was still a threat to Sri Lanka. The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris raised this matter when he met with the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, Jiri Sedivy at the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, the External Affairs Ministry said today. more..

Older returnees face isolation, poverty

Mar 31 (IRIN) Thousands of older returnees to Sri Lanka's conflict-affected north feel marginalized and need medical care, experts say. "There are hardly any programmes to help these people," said Samantha Liyanawaduge, executive director of Help Age Sri Lanka, one of just a handful of agencies targeting older returnees. Although no official figures are available, estimates suggest there are more than 30,000 people over the age of 60 in the Vanni, more..

Sri Lankan victory a triumph for the unorthodox

Mar 31 (SMH) DESPITE suffering a flutter in the middle order, Sri Lanka reached the final of the World Cup and now awaits the outcome of the tumultuous contest staged overnight. New Zealand was valiant in defeat but, like the Poms, made a pig's breakfast of its last 10 overs and so fell 25 runs short of a satisfactory total. Unlike England, the Kiwis fiercely defended their meagre tally and came within a wicket of worrying an order burdened with a soft middle and a long tail. more..

Sri Lankan Maid kidnapped and raped in Kuwait

Mar 31 (24/7) Three unknown men stalking a Sri Lankan housemaid in Kuwait waited for her to step out of her employer’s house, bundled her in the car and took her to an apartment where they raped her, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. The 28-year-old maid then went straight to the police and told them three men snatched her just near her employer’s house and took turns in raping her at a flat in Fuhaiheel area in Kuwait City, Alanba said. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30.03.2011

Sinhala organisation in land grab accusation

Mar 31 (BBC) The North - East Sinhala Organisation (NESO) accuses the government of land grab in eastern Sri Lanka. Organisation's Secretary, RMA Bandara told journalists in Colombo on Wednesday that the people in these area, termed as border villages before the war are now faced with what he called a new form of terrorism. They lived for three decades with enormous difficulties and numerous threats, he said. "Even during the war these lands were cultivated. more..

'324 Sports Clubs will be established to take sports to the villages'

Mar 31 (GDI) The Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that under the Sports Ministry's National Policy on taking sports to the villages, the Ministry has focused its attention on the establishing 324 sports clubs at the Divisional Secretariat level, in an attempt to allow the rural children to experience and take part in any sports activity they wish. Taking heed of President's Mahinda Chinthana vision's 'Sports for All' theme, the Ministry of Sports more..

India scrap their way into World Cup final

Mar 31 (CI) India's dream of a World Cup triumph at home is one step closer after their bowlers suffocated Pakistan's batsmen to set up a 29-run victory in the semi-final in Mohali. Saturday's decider will now be a battle of the hosts, and while Sri Lanka might have been surprised by the strength of India's bowling effort, they would also have taken note of a slightly lacklustre batting performance. In the end, India's 260 for 9 was enough as more..

President’s meeting with the media

Mar 31 (LG) Read what the independent media and the President’s web portal said about President’s meeting with the media on 25 November 2011 below. Independent media has not given the full account of what was discussed but many of them have published news based on what is reported in the President’s website PRIU. However, news published in the Tamil website gave further information about the proceedings that included President’s insinuations and more..

Sri Lanka: A question of national pride

Mar 31 (LG) For all law students studying constitutional norms and the protection of fundamental rights, Rajapakse vs Kudahetti and others (1992, 2 Sri LR 223) is a classically standard case study. Indeed, there are good reasons why this is so. The case itself is interesting for its factual context. And the conservative judicial response which it invoked lends itself very well indeed to spirited classroom debates as to whether the Court could have reacted differently or not. more..

Wow! Having your face painted?

Mar 31 (SO) It’s cricket fever again all over the country with the ICC World Cup coming alive. Watching television without missing a single moment or peering through local newspapers, many hope that their picture will be published for the world to see. Whether it’s on media or live on the pitch, it’s not just the match people watch but scores of cricket fans who have painted their faces and dressed up with the most vibrant of their country team’s colours to more..

Gearing for the new taxes

Mar 31 (LG) Come April 1 (not an April Fools joke!), Sri Lanka will see the implementation of a whole new tax regime. Among the key changes in the tax structure is the plan to tax government servants for the first time in 33 years. Public servants were taxed before until the UNP Government of 1977 provided tax-free status to public officials with the intention of attracing the best talent in a new economic environment after Sirima Bandaranaike’s 1970-77 closed-doors economy. more..

Editorial: And then they came for the Sri Lanka Guardian

Mar 31 (LG) ‘No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art to save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. ‘In the course of the past few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. ‘Electronic and print-media institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. ‘It has been my honour to belong to all those categories and more..

Five-year plan to boost milk production

Mar 31 (SO) Sri Lanka imports milk powder worth over Rs. 36 billion annually. The Livestock Development Ministry together with Milco (Pvt) Ltd., will cater to the country’s milk food requirements under the five-year development plan, said Chairman Milco, Sunil Wickramasinghe. Wickramasinghe who is an expert in the milk industry with an experience of over 28 years in a private sector milk company said that the country could achieve self-sufficiency in more..

Editorial: 'Crusader aggressors' in a quandary

Mar 31 (Island) President Barack Obama and his allies have put their thinking caps on after plunging feet first into a military campaign against the Gaddafi regime. They may have thought of doing a quick job by ousting Gaddafi and installing a puppet government with the help of the rebels on the warpath. But, they have found, to their horror, that their ragtag heroes baying for Gaddafi's blood have al Qaeda links! Worse, Osama bin Laden's cadres have been plundering more..

Editorial: The threat of attack

Mar 31 (DM) Civilian casualties mounted in NATO (US) led air war in Libya, as the war over resources progressed in its second week. The US, British and French bombs and missiles left hundreds of Libyans dead and injured. The number of civilians killed in the air war touched 100 early this week. It looks like after its failed attempts to encroach into South Asian oil deposits, the fossil fuel hungry West had decided to take the Chinese juggernaut head on. more..

Cheap tickets in Cinema theatres

Mar 31 (GDI) The National Film Corporation is to introduce new measures to attract maximum number of spectators to Cinema Theatres. Under this measure tickets to watch films are to be provided at a concessionary rate from the 25th of next month. Accordingly half of the fee will be charged from the women who come to watch the 6.30 pm show of a film. Furthermore, senior citizens will also be charged half of the ticket fee during the week days. more..

A radical will explore ‘revelation’ and ‘report’ critically

Mar 31 (DM) Siddhartha Gauthama, our Budun Wahanse, in the Kalama Sutra, advocated that the Kalamas should not take things at their face value. In this discourse that can be taken as a Charter on Free Inquiry, this particular element of ‘not going by revelation or report’ contains very useful and pertinent lessons to the radical or would-be radical as well as to any other individual who seeks to engage in a better-informed and therefore more productive and more..

Gen (Retd) Daluwatte assumes duties as Chancellor of KDU

Mar 31 (moD) Former Chief-of-Defence Staff Gen (Retd) R De S Daluwatte today (March 30) assumed duties as Chancellor of Sri Lanka's prestigious Kotalawala Defence University. A glamorous military parade including a Guard-of-Honor was presented by the officer under trainees at the Kotalawala Defence University at Rathmalana this morning. Gen (Retd) Daluwatte preceded Gen (Retd) Dennis Perera as the 3rd Chancellor to take office at KDU. more..

Poor Sri Lanka in a billion dollar extravaganza

Mar 31 (SL) Sri Lanka is plunging headlong to stage a super colossal sporting event which is considered to be the second biggest sporting carnival in the world after the Olympic Games. Last week the Chief executive of the Commonwealth Games was in Sri Lanka to discuss with President Mahinda Rajapaksa the application made by Sri Lanka to stage the 21st CWG games in the ‘City of Hambantota,’ the only other applicant being Australia which wants to stage it in Gold Coast. more..

Commercial Bank director steps down amid controversy

Mar 31 (LBO) A director of Commercial Bank has stepped down amid pressure from the state, deepening a controversy over recent appointment of state-connected officials to private listed banks. Commercial Bank said in a stock exchange filing that Ranjith Fernando had "decided to withdraw prior to considering his re-election by the shareholders" at an annual general meeting Wednesday. Lakshman Hulugalle, director general of media centre for national security, has been more..