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Mervyn challenges SLFP CC to try and take action

Apr 21 (Island) SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that there were two disciplinary enquiries instituted against Minister Mervyn Silva. One was regarding the allegations of extortion levelled against him by members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, including the chairman. He was yet to receive the official report on this inquiry at the local level. The other was regarding Mervyn Silva not replying, more..

Snap polls likely for three PCs

Apr 21 (DM) Amid speculation about snap elections to three provincial councils, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed ruling party organisers to revamp party activities in their areas, political sources said yesterday. Speculation in political circles is that the govt is likely to dissolve the North Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils by July and hold elections in early September. The term of office of these councils is due to expire only next year. more..

Rs 300 m consumer goods imported as PVC doors

Apr 21 (Island) The Customs yesterday busted a racket involving the import of consumer goods worth Rs 300 million from China, by a businessman from Wellampitiya, under the pretext of bringing in PVC doors. Had the consignment been cleared as PVC doors, with the bogus declaration, the loss suffered by the govt would have been Rs 9,750,000. Among the items found in the two containers were decorative building materials, readymade garments, and more..

'India very serious about political solution'

Apr 21 (DM) The Indian parliamentary delegation, upon conclusion of its visit to Sri Lanka , said that India is ‘very serious’ about a political solution to the Tamil national question , and urged the govt of Sri Lanka and the TNA to resume political dialogue as early as possible. “We are very very serious about a political solution,” she said. Addressing a packed press conference, India’s opposition leader Sushma Swaraj who led the Indian delegation, said that she asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to more..

Editorial: Restore 17th amendment to save democracy

Apr 21 (DM) With the govt virtually staggering under intense and unprecedented pressure from the United States, India and other powerful sections of the international community on reconciliation and accountability issues, effective action needs to be taken and taken fast to prevent Sri Lanka from turning into something like another Sudan. While an Indian parliamentary delegation is holding wide-ranging talks in Sri Lanka and insisting on a political solution based on more..

PMG and union on collision course

Apr 21 (Island) Postmaster General D.L.E.R. Abeyratne yesterday assured that he would do his utmost to look into the grievances of Postal Department employees. He told The Island yesterday that he had received a number of requests in that regard, following which he had instructed the Administration Division to submit a full report within the next two to three weeks. The PMG said that any worker, who wanted to take legal action against the management, was free to do so. more..

SLMC Municipal Councillor wants Hakeem to resolve EP Muslim grievances

Apr 21 (Island) Amidst mounting speculation that the SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem is to be the UPFA’s Chief Ministerial candidate at the next Eastern Provincial Council(EPC) Election, an SLMC Municipal Councillor has urged him to ensure that the govt resolves the numerous problems faced by the Muslims. Haniffa Madani, the sole SLMC member in the Akkaraipattu Municipal Council, told The Island more..

Bus conductor opts for pickpocketing

Apr 21 (DN) The Chilaw Division Unsolved Crimes Unit arrested a former bus conductor who has been picking pockets for over 20 years. According to Police, the suspect from Moratuwa admitted he had snatched over 2,500 wallets and other belongings from unsuspecting victims in buses and engaged in pickpocketing and snatching, in alliance with a woman living in Nattandiya. The suspect was a conductor working in private buses and had begun picking pockets and more..

Museum ‘break-in’ – a political mystery

Apr 21 (LT) According to police sources investigations into the stealing of precious artifacts from the National Museum have been swept under the carpet. The non-operational state of the system of surveillance cameras at the Museum during the theft was suspicious as sources in the Museum had stated that it was not possible under normal circumstances for the system of cameras to be out of order. It is also revealed that police investigators have paid their attention to more..

'SL may lose support of Muslim countries'

Apr 21 (DM) Sri Lanka may lose the support of Muslim countries if attacks on mosques continue, the UNP said yesterday. The party made this point while condemning the incident that took place in Dambulla yesterday morning. UNP MP Kabir Hashim told a news conference that the people in this country would be compelled to use alternative ways to secure their rights if the govt failed to safeguard the people’s right to engage in their religious observances freely. more..

Bank of Ceylon overseas branch profits soar

Apr 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's biggest lender, state-owned Bank of Ceylon, has reported a sharp increase in the profits of its two overseas branches in neighbouring south India and the Maldives last year. Bank of Ceylon's Chennai branch profit increased by 43 percent to 133 million Indian rupees in 2011 from the year before. The branch's capital also increased to 25 million US dollars from 10 million dollars. Bank of Ceylon's Malé branch profit doubled to 109 million Maldivian rufiyaa in 2011 more..

Health checks for Danselas

Apr 21 (Island) A team of Public Health Inspectors (PHI) will be deployed by the Kandy Municipal Council to carry out inspections at all ‘danselas’, eating houses and all food serving stalls in Kandy and suburban areas during the ‘Wesak Full-Moon’ days.’ This measure being taken by the Municipal Council on a directive of the Chief Minister of the Central Province Sarath Ekanayake at a meeting held to discuss arrangements for the Wesak celebrations in Kandy. more..

'We were abducted by an armed gang, but released through Police'

Apr 21 (DM) Leader of the FSP Kumar Gunaratnam who was allegedly abducted on April 7 and released on April 9 shared his thoughts about his future politics and past activities in an emailed interview. Excerpts of the interview are as follows. Q: There are rumours surrounding your abduction along with Ms. Dimuthu Attigala. Some say it is voluntary disappearance to get public attention and political mileage? What is your response? more..

I am not responsible for any dealing in drugs - Angela

Apr 21 (AD) Actress Angela Seneviratne, whose name has been mentioned in recent reports of hashish detection at the Central Mail Exchange, today denied any involvement in case and pointed out that the only connection was that she had once lived at the house, to which the hashish parcel was addressed to. Media reports had claimed that parcels alleged to have contained hashish were detected at the Colombo Central Mail Exchange and that they were addressed to more..

Govt gives Rs. 22.5 billion electricity subsidy for low unit consumers last year

Apr 21 (Island) A staggering Rs. 22.5 billion subsidy was given to electricity consumers using less than 90 units last year. This amount includes Rs. 6.5 billion subsidy given to industrialists by the govt. Power and Energy Minister’s Media Secretary, Dhanushka Ramanayake said that a subsidy of over Rs. 16 billion was a huge concession given to low unit users. He said the number of electricity consumers has surpassed five million at present- more than 4.5 million more..

UPFA MPs request President for ministerial posts

Apr 21 (AD) MPs Nishantha Mutuhettigama, Lakshman Wasantha Perera, Sarath Weerasekara and Sanath Jayasuriya have written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa requesting ministerial positions. Mutuhettigama said that they, as candidates who gained the highest votes from their respective districts in the general election, had decided to make the request from the President. The Galle District MP said he personally handed over the request letter to more..

US ambassador to Sri Lanka: Who Is Michele Sison?

Apr 21 (AG) The political crises of the Indian Ocean island nations of Sri Lanka, which is emerging from a 25-year long civil war that killed about 100,000 people, and Maldives, still reeling from a recent coup, will likely seem unhappily familiar to President Obama’s nominee for next U.S. ambassador, who has previously served in such war-torn nations as Lebanon and Iraq. Born May 27, 1959, in Arlington, Virginia, Michele J. Sison is the first Filipino-American more..

Investigations into fire at Kelanitissa Power Plant

Apr 21 (NF) The Ceylon Electricity Board says that investigations have been launched into the fire that erupted in the power control system at the Kelanitissa Power Plant. Chairman of the CEB Professor Wimaladharma Abeywickrama said the fire has not caused damage to the equipment of the power plant. The Chairman further said that power plant was powered down during the last few days with the increase of hydro-electric power generation. He went on to say that more..

Rugby: Philippine make history in win over Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (ABS) The Philippine Volcanoes made rugby history on Saturday by surviving Sri Lanka’s furious rally late in the game to grab the Division 1 crown of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations. The victory earned the Philippine team a chance to compete in the 2013 HSBC Asian 5 Nations Championship, the first for the country. Oliver Saunders spearheaded the Volcanoes’ first half surge en route to a 28-18 victory over the top seed Sri Lanka. more..

Pillayan calls for Indo-Lanka accord

Apr 21 (CG) A former Sri Lankan rebel on Friday called for the implementation of an accord inked between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known by his alias name Pillayan, told a visiting Indian delegation that India must ensure the key agreement is implemented. The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord was signed in Colombo on July 29, 1987, between late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and more..

Health Ministry issues dengue alert

Apr 21 (CG) Health authorities today issued a dengue alert as heavy rain lashed the country and more rain was predicted next month. Health Ministry spokesman W.M.D Wanninayaka said that over 10,000 people have been affected by dengue so far this year. He said that the number of people affected by dengue during the first three months of this year alone was higher than the figure seen during the same period last year. As a result the Health Ministry today declared more..

Indian MPs urge Sri Lankan Govt., TNA to resume talks

Apr 21 (Hindu) The Indian joint parliamentary delegation that visited Sri Lanka has urged the Govt of Sri Lanka and “other stakeholders, including the TNA,” to resume dialogue and move towards an early political settlement. Attesting that the Government-TNA talks were a lost cause, the delegation said: “We would earnestly suggest urgent consultations to create conditions for launching of the Parliamentary Select Committee.” more..

Alleged rapist returns to Sri Lanka, says NGO

Apr 21 (SL) A Sri Lankan man alleged to have raped several Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women at a garment factory in Jordan, has reportedly returned to Sri Lanka and is now involved in running a job recruitment agency, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (IGLHR) has said. Director, IGLHR, Charles Kernaghan, said that he had been informed by workers at Jordan’s Classic garment factories, that Anil Santha, formerly employed by the Classic Fashion Apparel Industry more..

Talks with SL president fruitful: Congress MP

Apr 21 (IBN) Terming as 'fruitful' talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on issues including devolution of powers to Tamil-speaking areas, a Congress MP, who was part of the parliamentary team that visited the island republic, on Saturday said a report would be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On their return from Sri Lanka to assess rehabilitation of internally displaced Tamils, EM Sudarsana Natchiappan, one of the four Congress MPs representing more..

Sri Lanka April 2012

Editorial: White van myth exploded

Apr 22 (SO) Abducted by unidentified men in a white van! This has been the buzzword of those who have been conspiring against Sri Lanka and its Govt during the past few years. Be it the LTTE rump, Tiger sympathisers, Tamil diaspora, countries supporting them indirectly or even opportunistic Opposition politicians here - all used this popular slogan in different forms to achieve their hidden agendas. Surprisingly, none of them has come forward to furnish any concrete evidence to more..

Editorial: How to end foreign interference

Apr 22 (SL) The visit of the 12 member Indian parliamentary delegation led by the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj may be likened to locking of the stable door after the horse has bolted. The American sponsored-European Union backed Resolution moved against Sri Lanka was what the Rajapaksa govt desperately wanted to avoid. But it was passed with the backing of India – which could have been avoided had India decided otherwise – much to the chagrin of Sri Lanka. more..

Joint TNA May Day Rally - An expression of TNA cooperating with major political parties

Apr 22 (AT) Holding a Joint Opposition May Day Rally in Jaffna signifies that TNA is not opposed in cooperating with the major political parties in the country, said TNA Leader R. Sampanthan. When asked about the UNHRC and TNA’s position, Sampanthan said "I don’t want to say anything about it. It is the Govt that has to say what it wants to do about it. Once the Govt makes its position clear, then we can react to that." more..

Editorial: Action in the ‘Missing’

Apr 22 (NS) When Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle went missing and later resurfaced, the issue of abductions and disappearances as well as the primacy of the law and related matters once again took centre stage. While some claim that ‘international pressure’ on human rights and civil society activism were instrumental in the two reappearing, it is inconceivable that the Government, if it was indeed involved in the incident, had not calculated the repercussions. more..

Editorial: Oh no..! We mean, oh India…

Apr 22 (LB) Though relations with India were obviously strained after that rather notorious negative vote in Geneva, there is no question that the Indo-Sri Lankan connection is not irreparably damaged as some of the gleeful cynics had predicted. On the contrary the visit of the Indian parliamentary delegation here is an indication that though the people of Sri Lanka can be wary now about the northern neighbour, there should not be any apprehension that the country is inhabited by ghouls. more..

UNP deceived my party – Mano

Apr 22 (AT) The leader of the DPF - Mano Ganesan spoke on variety of subjects in an exclusive interview with Asian Tribune. He said that he continues to work with UNP because of his desire to work for the welfare of his community in particular and the nation in general, despite UNP has deceived him on the party list MP nomination, which is legitimately due to him. When asked Mano Ganesan whether he regrets for supporting the former army commander more..

Editorial: Small is beautiful

Apr 22 (Island) The thinking behind the decision of the leaders of then Ceylon to invest heavily in `colonizing’ the dry zone of this country was the desire to shift population from overcrowded wet zone villages into the jungle-girt dry zone which once made this country the granary of the east. This development thrust was strongly resisted by some who said that the area was inhospitable to human life with mosquitoes "as big as crows." Nevertheless, Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake more..

Editorial: The intricacies of the Indian factor

Apr 22 (ST) Travel broadens the mind, and so, it is a positive development that a delegation from both Indian Houses of Parliament visited Sri Lanka this week. Their brief was to see how the people of this land live, and if they do so in peace. To liken it to the historic visits made by Ven. Mahinda Thera may be going over the top, but it was a welcome visit given the fractured relations between the two countries separated by a narrow strip of sea called the Palk Strait. more..

'Wimal Weerawansa has become a joke after he left our party'

Apr 22 (DBS) JVP MP Vijitha Herath spoke to the Daily Mirror about drama revolving around the disappearance of Premakumar Gunaratnam, the survival of the JVP and the interference of India in internal matters of Sri Lanka. Q: What is your opinion on the perceived white van culture that is present in the country at the moment? A: The white van culture that is present today was something that was very familiar in Sri Lanka during the 1987-89 period, more..

Time for TNA, Govt to bury the hatchet

Apr 22 (NS) The drama that began even before the delegation of Indian parliamentarians arrived in Sri Lanka continues with the visitors throwing their political weight around and attempting to extract concrete commitments from the Lankan political establishment. The drama that began even before the delegation of Indian parliamentarians arrived in Sri Lanka continues with the visitors throwing their political weight around and attempting to extract concrete commitments from the Lankan political establishment. more..

Take realistic stance

Apr 22 (NS) A twelve-member Parliamentary delegation from India led by Lok Sabha’s Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj arrived in the island last Monday. The explicit purpose of their visit was to monitor the progress made in the resettlement of war-displaced Tamil civilians in the North and the Indian-funded development projects in the province. However, some political analysts have described their visit as more a post-Geneva fence mending exercise than a fact-finding mission. more..

Can India, UN dictate terms to Sri Lanka?

Apr 22 (NS) The DMK, a constituent party of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre in India, on Tuesday urged the Indian govt to press the United Nations for a referendum on a ‘Tamil Eelam’ in Sri Lanka. DMK head Karunanidhi had also said he had one unfulfilled desire, and it was the creation of a separate State for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. One of the Indian daily newspapers, The Hindu reported that the DMK leader said that many new countries had come into more..

Listen, India has spoken

Apr 22 (LB) Visiting leader of opposition in the Indian Lower House of parliament – Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj winding up her MP-delegation’s tour of Sri Lanka, urged the govt and the TNA to fully engage the possibility for a genuine political settlement regarding the Tamil issue in the country. She stated that the Sri Lankan govt must implement 13 Amendment Plus, ‘which means devolution of power and beyond,’ she said. She also reiterated India’s commitment to remain more..

Open letter to Karunanidhi

Apr 22 (LB) What the hell is this now! There I was peacefully relaxing over the New Year contemplating during the nonagathe with a double dose of the Olde Stuffe, which I am told by our family astrologer and general factotum is permissible, when my reverie is disturbed by a friend asking me whether I read about your recent comments. Now I am the kind of person who does not read your comments recent or otherwise. I find these potty Indian politicians with egos bigger than more..

Merill J. Fernando sacked from Tea Council Chair

Apr 22 (Island) Following fast upon the US resolution drama in Geneva, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is once again involved in a major controversy, this time involving his Ministry – Plantation Industries under which the Tea Board and the Tea Council functions. It all began with a proposal submitted to the Chairman of the Tea Council, Merill J.Fernando by the Tea Exporters’ Association last August. Fernando who is fundamentally opposed to more..