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CJ worried over conduct of some lawyers

Apr 1 (ST) President’s Counsel Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa was inducted as the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for 2012/2013, at the 38th annual convocation held yesterday at Hotel Taj Samudra. Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, addressing the gathering as chief guest said that though it’s noteworthy to see young faces in the legal fraternity, it is saddening to receive complaints on a daily basis, over the conduct of some lawyers. more..

‘I survived because of my political contacts’

Apr 1 (ST) Sagara Senaratne, a SLFP Colombo district organiser-cum-businessman who was bundled into a van by a gang of six men earlier this week and dumped on the roadside several hours later, is still recovering from the shock. “In fact I am contemplating whether I should remain in Sri Lanka or return to Australia where I lived for 10 years,” Mr. Senaratne said. Mr. Senaratne, a former provincial councillor and brother-in-law of Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga more..

Businessman's son rescued

Apr 1 (CT) Four suspects were arrested last evening by the Serunuwara police in connection with the abduction of the son of a businessman, Police spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said. “We conducted a special operation and we were able to capture the suspects by conducting some fraudulent activities in order to cheat the suspects,” SP Rohana added. The victim was freed last evening at around 6.30 p.m. “The suspects appeared along with more..

Sri Lanka waits for India’s ‘No threat report’

Apr 1 (NS) Sri Lanka was keen on the proceedings of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu and has already written to them for a ‘no threat report’, revealed Minister Champika Ranawaka. He said that it had already identified the issue and taken measurers with the Indian govt as well as the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). “We have written to the Indian govt via the Ministry of External Affairs, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 1 (ST) It's no secret that there is a concerted effort to erase the name of the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka from the various monuments put up in the wake of the war victory. A visitor to the north recently made one such discovery at Mullaitivu. When he visited in June 2010, there was a monument of two upright granite slabs, each about ten feet or so in height, one praising the men who fought in the war and another with the names of those who gave leadership to it. more..

Ex-AG Mohan Peiris as witness: Court will decide on May 17

Apr 1 (ST) In the magisterial inquiry into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, Homagama Magistrate T.G.S.A. Perera on Monday reserved order for May 17, whether or not to call former Attorney General (AG) Mohan Peiris as witness, The Magistrate reserved the order after the prosecution challenged the validity of the transcript copy of the statement made by the former AG in Geneva last year. more..

FUTA to strike to ‘safeguard state universities’

Apr 1 (ST) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has decided to resort to stern trade union action to safeguard State universities, beginning with an island-wide strike from April 26. A statement issued by the association said it has decided to resume trade union action because of the lack of interest on the part of the govt to work with the university academic community to develop a higher education policy. more..

US whacks Lanka on oil now

Apr 1 (LB) Sri Lanka is not among the eleven countries exempted by the US last week from Iran oil sanctions, despite Minister Susil Premajayanth recently claiming that a concession was granted. The countries that escaped new US sanctions are Japan, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK, the US State Department said. The reason given is that they have already significantly reduced their Iran oil purchases. more..

Sri Lanka under pressure after UN rights body adoptes U.S. bill

Apr 1 (Xinhua) Recently concluded 19th session of UNHRC in Geneva has brought Sri Lanka to a position where the country is under the microscope on accountability for its wartime conduct and steps it takes on ethnic reconciliation. The United States -sponsored resolution was adopted with 24 out of 47 countries voting for and 15 against, despite heavy lobbying in the diplomatic circles and angry protests in the streets at home. It is first major diplomatic drawback for the nation that more..

GK depositors stage protest demanding justice

Apr 1 (Island) Struggling Golden Key depositors staged a peaceful protest in Colombo yesterday demanding justice as they continue to suffer for the past three years without neither their capital nor interest following the collapse of this Ceylinco subsidiary in 2008. Carrying placards and banners, desperate depositors gathered near the former GK head office at Duplication Road and went in a procession to Temple Trees to hand over a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Ambassador Kohona honored with MDG Achievement Award

Apr 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona, was felicitated at an awards ceremony organized at the United Nations by the Jack Brewer Foundation, along with the Ambassadors of Mexico and Malawi for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) at the UN. This recognition acknowledges Sri Lanka’s rapid progress in realizing the MDGs, mandated by the UN General Assembly in 2000. more..

Govt.’s left allies say 'learn unlearnt lessons of the past'

Apr 1 (Island) Three left parties within the govt – the LSSP, CP and the NLF – last week warned the govt of the need for united and effective action to protect national sovereignty against the US-led conspiracy attempting extra parliamentary regime change here. Minister Dew Gunasekera, the General Secretary of the CPSL, said that the LLRC has said that the main parties share responsibility for creating the ethnic problem and it was necessary more..

Women in Devanpiti under threat

Apr 1 (SL) Social workers said that women in the Devanpiti area in Wellankulam in Mannar are facing threats to their livelihood as a result of abductions taking place in the area. The Devanpiti women traditionally made their living collecting cashew nuts from the area and selling them on the Mannar-Jaffna road. “This was their livelihood even during the LTTE period,” social workers said. However, two women had vanished while working in the cashew estate last year. more..

CPC still running at a loss

Apr 1 (SL) Despite the govt imposing a major hike in fuel prices in February, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is still facing a severe financial crisis, trade unions said. Secretary of the JSS Ananda Palitha said that the CPC is facing a severe financial crisis as a result of supplying fuel on credit to govt institutions. “Although the govt explained that fuel prices had to be increased to safeguard the cash strapped CPC, the corporation is yet to get the benefit of the price hike,” more..

EPDP murder by LTTE?

Apr 1 (DM) Investigations are underway to ascertain if the three suspects arrested in connection with the murder of a member of the EPDP in Kuchchaveli, were former members of the LTTE. “We are yet to establish any connection of the suspects with the LTTE, we have not ruled out that possibility. The investigations are still underway” Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. Meanwhile, the three suspects were handed over to the TID for further investigations more..

Sri Lanka to get Singapore budget carrier service

Apr 1 (LBO) Singapore-based Tiger Airways, a budget carrier, said it is starting thrice-a week flights to Sri Lanka's capital Colombo from May 31, as the island attraction as a tourist spot grows after the end of a civil war. "We are pleased to announce the launch of our direct flights between Singapore and Colombo," Stewart Adams, Managing Director of Tiger Airways Singapore said. "This marks the launch of our second new route since the beginning of this year, more..

Sri Lanka to get Singapore budget carrier service

Apr 1 (LT) The Central Bank is carrying out large scale propaganda on behalf of the govt using print and electronic media. The advertisements are not on financial or economic policy of the govt. They are aimed to show that there is no economic crisis and a large economic development is taking place in the country. Despite the govt stating there is an economic development there is nothing to collaborate it to the people and the Central Bank has taken the role of more..

Asia – Pacific Scout Jamboree begins in Dambulla today

Apr 1 (Island) The Asia Pacific Scout Jamboree, coinciding with the centenary celebrations of the Scout Movement of Sri Lanka, will kick off at D.S. Senanayake Vidyalaya, Kandalama, and Dambulla today. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will open the ceremony at 4 pm and will issue a stamp and first day cover to commemorate the centenary in his capacity as the Chief Scout of Sri Lanka. He will also launch a Rs. 2 coin with the emblem/logo of the Scout Movement more..

Lankan held in India with fake passport

Apr 1 (PTI) A Sri Lankan national has been arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi for allegedly possessing a fake Indian passport, after he was deported from Paris, police said on Sunday. Viera Aji (32), who allegedly had a passport in the name of Aiva Kumar Shivasankaran, was apprehended at the IGI Airport on Saturday, a senior police official said. “He was deported from Paris as an illegal entrant and arrived at IGIA by flight No AF-226. more..

NCPA wants schools on alert

Apr 1 (SL) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has advised schools to form alert groups and educate parents and teachers on taking safety measures to prevent incidents of abduction and abuse of children outside schools. Chairperson, NCPA, Anoma Dissanayake, said these measures are being taken following cases of abduction and sexual harassment that were reported to the NCPA in recent times. One case involved a girl who was allegedly sexually harassed by a stranger near a school, more..

Crucial IMF meeting on Sri Lanka loan

Apr 1 (ST) The Executive Board of Directors of the IMF meets tomorrow (Monday) for a crucial session to decide on the final tranche of a US$2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka. The board will be considering the seventh review of an IMF mission that visited Sri Lanka last month ahead of approving the final tranche of US$800 million which, if granted will be disbursed at a higher interest rate of 3.1 % against 1% for the earlier tranches. more..

Soldiers try to force Kugan’s wife to sign Sinhala document: MP

Apr 1 (ST) Four army personnel forced the wife of missing JVP dissident group Jana Aragalaya Movement member and activist Kugan Muruganathan, to sign a document in Sinhala, which she could not understand, MP Ajith Kumara said. On March 23, four army personnel had come to Kugan’s house in Achchuveli and forced Kugan’s wife to sign the document, which she had refused to do. Then, several persons clad in civilian clothes were seen monitoring Kugan’s house from the street, more..

Report says 106 condemned to death last year

Apr 1 (SL) A report by Amnesty International (AI) says that 106 people were sentenced to death in Sri Lanka last year but yet Sri Lanka continued to be among the execution-free countries. Official information received by AI indicated that 106 new death sentences were imposed in Sri Lanka in 2011 and 362 people were on death row at the end of the year. In late December 2011 the National Human Rights Commission announced that it intended to propose that the govt abolish more..

Sirikotha attack: Guilty members face the axe

Apr 1 (ST) UNP members found guilty of participating in the attack on its headquarters Sirikotha will lose their party membership, senior party member and Chief Opposition Whip MP John Amaratunga warned yesterday. His warning came in the wake of a report by a committee that probed the attack which took place in December last year. The committee headed by President’s Counsel Srinath Perera presented the report to the UNP Working Committee. more..

Basil to visit India in May

Apr 1 (CT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa is to visit India in May, highly placed govt sources said. During the visit, Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet the top level leaders and senior officials of the Indian Govt. The discussions will be based on strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka, the sources said. In addition to political issues, Rajapaksa will also discuss with Indian authorities about trade deals between India and Sri Lanka and matters pertaining to more..

Committee report prejudiced: Karu

Apr 1 (DM) Former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya today said the report submitted by the committee headed by Srinath Perera P.C. to look into the attack on party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ was a culmination of a pre-conceived partial course of action. Mr. Jayasuriya said in a statement that, “It is obvious that the report is an attempt to submit a predetermined set of recommendations in the guise of a report.” He said the committee had forgotten or deliberately more..

Australia urged to release Tamil detainee

Apr 1 (BBC) Refugee rights activists in Australia have called on the Australian government to release a Sri Lankan Tamil detainee who was admitted to the hospital after being assaulted by the security guards. Ian Rintoul, of Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) in Sydney told BBC Sandeshaya that Australia's immigration minister should conduct a full inquiry into the assault in Villawood detention centre on Saturday morning. more..

Nine killed and 22 injured in separate accidents

Apr 1 (NF) Nine persons have been killed and twenty two others have sustained injuries in accident that occurred across the country during the twenty four hours that ended at two this afternoon. A bus and a car had collided in the Kothalawela area in Kaduwela early today, killing two people who were travelling in the car while eight persons in the bus and two others in the car were injured. Two persons were killed when a van and a bus collided in a separate accident more..

'Sri Lanka needs to build up its strategic location'

Apr 1 (CT) Sri Lanka is buoyant for investments and should exploit its strategic location to attract more foreign investments. The country has much scope for growth particularly in the export arena and should focus more on strengthening bilateral trade, sustainability, advanced reconciliation steps to provide a competitive edge. The Expo 2012 Symposium on Trade, Investment and Tourism held recently featured many local and international representatives more..

A year of flattery and slump!

Apr 1 (ES) Although the Lankan Lions did not really hustle out to snatch stumps as souvenirs, or take off on a festive lap of honour after the final ended at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011, they did leave a dominant impression as the second best. Only, they failed to impose themselves as finalists in the months that followed. Of course, there were immediate fallouts in the most conventional manner. After cursory deliberation, more..

‘Sri Lanka Expo’ to be repeated in 2014

Apr 1 (CT) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Industry and Commerce is to hold the next ‘Sri Lanka Expo’ in 2014 building on the success of ‘Expo 2012'. “Under the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we are now planning to host this international series once in every two years. As a result, our next ‘Sri Lanka Expo’ series is now being primed to be held in early 2014” announced Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. “The Expo 2012 and also the conducive business and more..

A historic venue as England search for redemption

Apr 1 (BBC) Jonathan Agnew began his podcast with Geoff Boycott on Thursday talking about how romantics were dreaming of an historic England victory. Well if those romantics did not get the result they wished for in the first Test, they should at least be pleased with the venue for the second because the P Sara Stadium is an enchanting location. To give it its full name, the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium is the oldest cricket ground in Sri Lanka and is home to the more..

Stop attacks against critics - media groups

Apr 1 (BBC) An umbrella group of media organisations has urged Sri Lanka govt to stop all attacks against its critics, including journalists. In a statement issued in the wake of recent hate speeches in state-run media and a cabinet minister publicly admitting attacks against journalists, the Alliance of Media Organisations (AMO) says it is disturbed by the trend. Admitting responsibility for the abduction and assault of Poddala Jayantha in June 2009, more..

New Tennis boss Issack has his work cut out

Apr 2 (SL) The new chief of Sri Lanka tennis, Iqbal Bin Issack, might’ve wished he had inherited a more helpful legacy. Financially, the SLTA is in apparent want, as suggested by its inability to deliver on its promise of incentive payments to the promotion-winning 2011 Davis Cu p squad. So the player-administration relationship hasn’t been exactly what it should be. The administration’s failure to attract sponsorship only went to compound SLTA’s financial woes. more..

Sri Lanka’s Economy is doing well (theoretically)

Apr 2 (SL) The IMF is positive on the Sri Lankan economy. But ask anyone on the street and they will simply give you a thumbs down and say many disparaging things while complaining about the ever rising cost of living. It doesn’t matter that food prices have been dropping for well near a year now, Sri Lankans are always complaining about the cost of living. But they have good reason to do so now. The fuel prices are up and inflation expectations are on the rise. more..

Philip Gunawardena: The Red Lion from Boralugoda

Apr 2 (TC) Don Philip Rupasinghe Gunawardena, popularly known as Philip, was considered to be the founder of the Marxist movement in Sri Lanka. He was the most senior member of the group that started the LSSP. He became a Marxist while he was living in England. Soon after his return to Sri Lanka in November 1932, he plunged into active politics, organizing urban workers, plantation workers and rural peasants. more..


Apr 2 (NS) Although patriotic Sri Lankans might like to boast that they are the best in the World at the corruption game, there are lessons to be learnt from other countries. Although patriotic Sri Lankans might like to boast that they are the best in the World at the corruption game, there are lessons to be learnt from other countries. Somalia holds up the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index at number 182. Sri Lanka is at number 86 (improving on a previous 91), more..

Ugly side of patriotism

Apr 2 (NS) Patriotism has got to be one of the most abused terms in the modern lexicon. Patriotism generally refers to one’s commitment to a nation and tends to be inclusive; it is not dependent on validation by or exclusion of others. Of late, this traditional patriotism has been hijacked. Patriotism has got to be one of the most abused terms in the modern lexicon. Patriotism generally refers to one’s commitment to a nation and tends to be inclusive; it is not dependent on more..

'LTTE spin doctors clutching at straws'

Apr 2 (SO) Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, who commanded the Sri Lanka Navy immediately after Sri Lankan Security Forces achieved victory against the LTTE, is now the Sri Lanka High Commissioner for Australia and also the Sri Lankan envoy to New Zealand. As a former military Commander turned diplomat Admiral Samarasinghe says that it is unfortunate to see the US sponsored resolution being passed at the 19th session of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka without a more..

Post Geneva challenge posed by Sri Lanka to British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Apr 2 (DBS) For this reason, and, the improbability of securing a majority in the UNHRC for a resolution establishing an independent international inquiry that they continue to press for the implementation of the “constructive” recommendations of the LLRC. This is despite being scathing about Sri Lanka’s wanton failure to investigate human rights violations and acknowledging it plays a game of “brinkmanship” in managing its international relations. more..