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Indian Board wanted Arjuna removed as SLC Chairman!

Apr 28 (Island) Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who held the position of Chairman of the Cricket Interim Committee in 2008, seems to have paid the price for opposing the IPL, during his tenure. Ranatunga took over as head of Sri Lanka Cricket in early 2008 and was removed from the position later that year by Minister Gamini Lokuge, after Board of Control for Cricket in India applied pressure on the Sri Lankan govt, an SLC document reveals. more..

JVP threatens estate agitation over flour hike

Apr 28 (Island) Estate workers will launch an agitation against wheat flour price increase. They are demanding a reduction in kerosene and wheat flour prices or an increase in their daily wage. President of the All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union, former JVP MP Ramalingam Chandrasegar told ‘The Island’ they were mostly dependent on wheat flour products and now they would have to launch a struggle to have their daily wages increased to compensate the hike in wheat flour. more..

Bandula promises libraries to schools countrywide

Apr 28 (Island) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the ministry would launch a new programme to develop libraries in government schools country wide, including neglected Northern and Eastern Provinces. He said that new libraries would be set up under the programme in schools without proper library facilities. According to the minister, the younger generation were turned away from reading as a result of most schools not maintaining a proper library. more..

Five remanded for abducting foreigner

Apr 28 (CT) Five people who were arrested in connection with the abduction of a Guniea national were produced before the Magistrate yesterday and remanded till 9 May, Mount Lavinia police OIC Kumara Nalawansa said. A complaint was made on the 25April at about 10.45 p.m. to the Mount Lavinia police saying that a Guinea national was kidnapped by a group of individuals in a car that evening. more..

Lanka ranked 22nd in Change Readiness survey

Apr 28 (NS) Sri Lanka was ranked 22 in the recently published Change Readiness index based on research by KPMG and the Overseas Development Institute which offers a new and unique perspective on the ‘change readiness’ of 60 developing and emerging economies. The Change Readiness Index captures government capability and the capability of a country as a whole - including the private sector and civil society - to manage and respond effectively to change. more..

50 Indian companies participate in realty conference in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (Hindu) India-Sri Lanka bilateral trade has increased by over 65% last year, close to U.S. $5 billion, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha, has said. According to Mr. Kantha, Indian companies had invested about U.S. $150 million in Sri Lanka last year. He said both countries are witnessing a boom in real estate segment and construction industry, which provides opportunities for enhanced cooperation. Construction sector in both countries is more..

'Govt. yet to officially deny Mahinda’s ‘13A Plus’ assurance to India'

Apr 28 (Island) The govt was yet to officially deny India’s claim that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had assured them of his commitment to implementing "13th Amendment Plus", as a means to resolving Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue, the UNP said yesterday. India had on three occasions referred to President Rajapaksa’s assurance. The first time was after his last official visit to India. more..

Sri Lanka credit ceilings not proposed by IMF

Apr 28 (LBO) Administrative controls imposed on Sri Lankan banks as part of a package of measures to combat a balance of payments crisis, were not among the preferred measures advocated by the International Monetary Fund, an official said. "Most economists would say a price mechanism is a good way of matching demand," IMF's resident representative Koshy Mathai said. "We probably would have relied more on interest rates rather than on credit ceilings." more..

Karuna asks Tamils to revive Eelam struggle in Sri Lanka peacefully

Apr 28 (PTI) Observing that fratricide among Tamil groups in Sri Lanka had weakened the Eelam (separate homeland) struggle, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today urged his partymen to dedicate themselves to reviving the cause peacefully as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. "The Sri Lankans exploited the fratricide among Tamil groups to emerge victorious, leading to the downfall of the Tamil race," Karunanidhi said about the military victory against more..

SLMC decides to support protest

Apr 28 (Xinhua) An alliance member of the Sri Lankan govt on Saturday decided to support protests against a decision to relocate a mosque in central Sri Lanka. The SLMC which has members in the Sri Lankan cabinet, met for several hours to decide its position on the mosque issue. Following the meeting, party leader and Justice Minister in the govt Rauf Hakeem told reporters that his party had decided the mosque should not be relocated without a consensus more..

Crossing barriers

Apr 28 (DH) When bilateral relations go beyond photo-op occasions, that’s when relationships materialise into ties. This is what is happening between Indian artists and Sri Lankan artists. A brain child of Colombo-based Theertha International Artists’ Collective and Bengaluru-based 1 Shanti Road, the three-years, ongoing project called Sethusamudram has entered its second year. Artists from both countries are working together to create contemporary narratives. more..

Meeting of revived pro-Eelam outfit in Chennai on Monday

Apr 28 (Hindu) The first meeting of the revived Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), an outfit launched by DMK president M. Karunanidhi in 1985 to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamil cause, will be held on April 30 at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters. Mr. Karunanidhi, who is also the TESO president, will chair the meeting, which will be attended by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani, more..

“No truth” to reports of new refinery by Lanka IOC

Apr 28 (AD) The Ministry of Petroleum Industries says there is no truth to the allegations by certain media and groups claiming that Lanka Indian Oil Corporation has submitted a proposal seeking to construct a new oil refinery in Sri Lanka. Approval has not been granted to any company, foreign or local, to establish a new oil refinery in the country, the ministry declared in a statement today. The Petroleum Ministry stated that more..

Sri Lanka's road to peaceful co-existence

Apr 28 (GN) Following a protracted and violent civil war that lasted for more than 26 years costing thousands of lives and destruction of property, it would have been natural to assume that Sri Lanka would set itself on the path of healing through national reconciliation with all its peoples; Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims. Yet, within many Tamils there exists a widespread belief that the Sri Lankan govt is trying to wipe out their Tamil culture and religious identity by more..

Lankan fishermen arrested by Indian authorities

Apr 28 (NF) Sixteen Sri Lankan fishermen who were found fishing in Indian waters have been arrested by the Indian authorities. Assistant Director of the Department of Fisheries Lal de Silva stated that the fishermen along with three of their vessels had been taken into custody by the Indian Authorities on the 24th and 25th of this month. He stated that the arrested fishermen had set to sea from Negombo and Trincomalee. He added that the arrested fishermen are currently detained in Chennai. more..

UNP groups clash in Agalawatta

Apr 28 (AD) Shots were fired following a clash between two factions of the United National Party (UNP) at Agalawatta, Matugama today. UNP Western Province Councilor Shiral lakthilake, Southern Province Councilor Maithri Gunaratne and Ravi Jayawardena along with several supporters of the Sajith Premadasa group had travelled to Agalawatta today to inform the public of the commemoration of late President R. Premadasa to be held in Colombo on may 01. more..

Editorial: Isolated incidents can send wrong signals

Apr 29 (SO) The tense situation that erupted in Dambulla over the construction of a mosque was most unfortunate. Such untoward incidents, resorted to by a handful of mischievous elements, could send the wrong signals to the international community. The situation was, however, defused due to the Govt's swift action. Else, disgruntled elements could have exploited it to fan communal unrest. On the other hand, it could also provide 'ammunition' to the LTTE rump to more..

Editorial: Use and abuse of religion and nationalism

Apr 29 (SL) The conflict of intertwined forces of nationalism and religion with similar opposing forces has been the cause of many horrendous wars during the last millennium. These unfortunate conflicts keep repeating themselves in varying degrees and last week we witnessed the flaring of one such incident at Dambulla which the govt commendably doused out soon. The conflicts of different nationalisms—quite often intertwined with religion— are of global occurrence and more..

Lalith Athulathmudali was accepted as a leader nationally and internationally

Apr 29 (TC) Nineteen years ago on April 23 as I sat in the hospital varandah unable to muster enough courage to see the slain body of Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali, I had a sad and strange feeling that this was the end of great politics in our nation. Today, as we are challenged by the international community, I still feel the loss. There are only two names that come to mind about who could have saved the nation and the embarrassment that we are compelled to more..

Editorial: Atta hi attano nato!

Apr 29 (NS) Satyajit Ray in his film ‘Ghare Baire’ (Home and the World) based on the novel by Rabindranath Tagore, offers a comment not just on women’s lives and roles but a thoughtful observation on nationalism. Set in early 20th century India, the story is framed by the movement to boycott foreign goods, a position articulated by the ‘radical’ nationalist Sandip. The Bengali boble, Nikhil, who is not given to noise-making and chest-beating patriotism offers the view that boycotting is not enough, there has to be local production too. more..

Editorial: Sense over nonsense in Dambulla

Apr 29 (LB) What's called for in the immediate term in the Dambulla mosque brouhaha is for the top level leadership of the government to issue a statement reassuring the Muslim community of the Dambulla sacred area environs that their constitutional right to practice the religion of their choice will not be traduced – and that efforts would be made to ensure that the controversial mosque would be retained in its original location, if it can be ascertained beyond reasonable doubt that more..

'UNP cannot celebrate May Day ignoring Premadasa commemoration'

Apr 29 (SO) Imthiyaz Bakeer Markar, a former Media minister in the UNP Govt, is a popular political figure among Muslim, Tamil and Sinhalese voters alike. The Sunday Observer met him last week to inquire about his future political career with news circulating that he has disowned active politics and has declared that he will not be contesting any future elections. Q: What is your ties with your party now? more..

Editorial: The Party and the President

Apr 29 (Island) The decision of Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin to resign from the leadership of the increasingly unpopular ruling party, United Russia, and hand it over to his future prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, should make us here in Sri Lanka open our minds to the question of whether our all powerful executive president should retain the leadership of the political party that brought him to office. Putin who is swapping jobs with Medvedev is on record saying, more..

Editorial: After Geneva - Act effectively, but carefully

Apr 29 (ST) It is now a month since the much-publicised resolution against Sri Lanka was passed at the UNHRC in Geneva. The Cabinet is only now going through the recommendations of the LLRC and one might grudgingly admit that even this little progress comes because Sri Lanka's Minister of External Affairs is scheduled to visit the United States next month and will be handing over a progress report with a Top Secret 'Action Plan'. more..

Police play hide and seek as they attempt to ‘take a statement’

Apr 29 (LB) Udul Premaratne is a lawyer and human rights activist, and a member of Activists for Human Rights. LAKBIMAnEWS spoke to Premaratne about his recent escapade with the police as they tried to 'take a statement' from him. Q: Why were you present at the protests on April 21 carried out by the residents of Wanatamulla? A: When I heard that the police have unlawfully searched, rounded up and violated the privacy of around 400 residents more..

Nation shouldn’t split over Mosque

Apr 29 (NS) Years after focusing on differences between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities, another aspect of ethnic relations in Sri Lanka came under the spotlight last week when a controversy erupted over a mosque located in Dambulla, which is also home to a sacred Buddhist shrine. A group of Buddhist monks and lay persons began protesting over the location of the mosque and staged street protests demanding its demolition. Precisely why the dispute erupted at this point in time is unclear more..

The Australian revolutionary

Apr 29 (Island) I was itching to say what I wanted to say about the much discussed Premakumar Gunaratnam case for the past three weeks but there were other issues that cropped up. First came the New Year holidays. Then came the Stephen Rapp report followed by a serious crisis in the economically as well as politically vital tea industry. This week, despite the very interesting May Day that’s coming up, I am going to say what I have to say about the Gunaratnam case. more..

Dambulla controversy

Apr 29 (NS) The protest by the laymen and Budhhist monks in Dambulla over an alleged illegal erection of a mosque in Buddhist Sacred Area became the talk of the town previous weeks. While, the Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala Thera says the lands were belong to the temple, the authorities from the mosque claim they also have the ownership for the land. However, the issue is not yet sorted out. The govt has taken measures to stop the construction work within more..

Desist from violent protests

Apr 29 (NS) The protest staged by a group of bhikkhus and laymen led by Ven. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Viharadhipati Thera of Rangiri Dambulu Raja Maha Viharaya calling for the demolition of a Kovil and a mosque in Dambulla has triggered a volatile situation that could pose a threat to the national harmony and peace in the country. The statement issued by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne last Sunday that the mosque at the centre of the dispute would be relocated to a suitable site in the more..

May Day mayhem before May Day

Apr 29 (LB) A right royal row has broken out in the UNP over the location of the party’s 2012 May Day celebrations, with Sajith Premadasa seemingly determined to undermine the UNP dream of carrying off a successful May Day operation in the Jaffna peninsula, in the wake of plans by the party leader to ally with the TNA, and mount a challenge to the govt by playing the minority card. Premadasa has been told flatly by the party general secretary Tissa Attanayake that more..

SL's largest shopping mall to begin construction later this year

Apr 29 (ST) A property development comprising what is anticipated to be Sri Lanka's largest shopping mall will start construction later this year, according to Singaporean property tycoon S.P. Tao, the non-executive Chairman of Overseas Realty, the property's developer. Quoted in Overseas Realty's 2011 Annual Report, which spanned the 12 months to end-December 2011, Mr. Tao stated that "Havelock City’s commercial mixed use development, which will more..

Govt. pot boils while MR is away

Apr 29 (SL) Pressure on the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt mounted last week due to several reasons. Key among them were: the clash between Muslims and Buddhists over a Muslim mosque in Dambulla, moves by French NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF) to file a report against the govt at the UNHRC in Geneva and the screening of Channel 4’s video, Killing Fields Part 2 in Ottawa, Canada. The govt had to deal with these issues in the absence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who left on the 23rd on an more..

Kelaniya PS men want police protection

Apr 29 (LB) The political rivalries in Kelaniya are escalating as the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha (KPS) members are gearing to retaliate against Minister Mervyn Silva’s goons – if the police fails to provide protection for their families. KPS chairman Prasanna Ranaweera has lodged a complaint with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and IGP N.K. Illangakoon following an alleged goon squad linked to Minister Silva having damaged KPS vice chairman Chamila Duminda’s more..

Give up confrontational politics

Apr 29 (CT) One time LTTE key financier Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) has said Tamil political parties should shy away from confrontational politics and embrace realistic thinking in overcoming issues faced by the Tamils. Pathmanathan made this observation during an opening ceremony for a home for the orphans in Mulliyawalai in the Mullaitivu district on Friday. The orphanage and several other post-war development activities have been more..

South funds North, says Bank MD Aravinda

Apr 29 (ST) More money from Sri Lanka's South is still moving up North since deposits in the North-East are lower than the loans obtained from this part of the country that is awakening post war, a leading banker said this week. "We are lending more than the deposits," in this regard, "we are effectively taking money from the South to the North and East," Sampath Bank Managing Director Aravinda Perera said during an interview with the Business Times. more..

British national murder case put off

Apr 29 (CT) The case against the eight suspects charged for the death of the British national in Tangalle last year was postponed by Tangalle District Judge and Magistrate Euresha Thulani de Silva on Friday. The suspects are charged with causing the death of Kuram Shaikah Zaman and causing serious injuries to his companion, Russian national Tracheva Victoria Alexandra. They are also charged with unlawful assembly, damage to property, causing terror in the vicinity and more..

'Only abide by judicial review on Dambulla'

Apr 29 (BBC) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says that it will only abide by a judicial review on the Dambulla mosque issue. The leader of the SLMC, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said that it was the decision taken by the party following an extensive discussion on the issue on Saturday. He said that the party is not in support of an administration decision to resolve the issue. Minister Hakeem said that SLMC would not agree to more..

Now phone calls through a dongle

Apr 29 (ST) Hutch, seen as the third player or running alongside Airtel in the mobile telecom market, has launched a unique service: taking and receiving calls through the Hutch dongle. This was revealed to the Business Times on the sidelines of the 3G services launched by Hutch Telecom Lanka (Hutch) last week. Sanjaya Senarath, General Manager, Marketing, Hutch said that taking or receiving calls while surfing the internet with Hutch Dongle is a feature not available more..

Mubarak pays victims of motor accident

Apr 29 (LB) 'Irresponsible driving’ on the part of Sri Lanka Test cricketer Jehan Mubarak is what caused the serious accident involving his Defender and a motorcycle on April 22 in Maikkulama, Chilaw, it has been decreed. Mubarak was returning to Colombo after having visited Wilpattu National Park with friends when the accident which occured left the motorcyclist dead and his passenger seriously injured. Mubarak described the fateful incident thus: more..

'Foreign reserves level could stop IMF loan'

Apr 29 (LB) Sri Lanka’s net foreign reserves have declined to a woeful US$4 billion, and the IMF will not grant the next loan tranche unless Sri Lanka builds up foreign reserves, economists warn. As a result, the Central Bank plans to issue more bonds and obtain loans to shore up foreign reserves, sources said. Sri Lanka’s gross foreign reserves have declined to US$6 billion although the govt flaunted an alleged reserve base of US$8 billion. more..