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Man admits having sex with maid - but she denies it

Apr 3 (National) PH, a 38-year-old bank employee from Sri Lanka and his maid AT, a 27-year-old also from Sri Lanka, were both charged at the Dubai Misdemeanours Court with having sex outside marriage. The maid was also accused of stealing Dh40,000 worth of jewellery from the man's wife and using it to buy a plot of land in Sri Lanka. Prosecutors said that in June the maid had been on holiday with her employer's family in Sri Lanka when she expressed a wish not to more..

'Sri Lanka may end forex interventions by May'

Apr 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka expects to end all interventions in forex markets by end May with forex sales for oil payments already less than planned, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We haven’t committed to exactly when interventions will end," Governor Cabraal said. "The need for intervention is already less than we have expected. We are expecting that interventions will be less. "It is likely that from end-May there would be no need for more..

Sri Lanka rupee up on IMF tranche approval

Apr 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee gained 1.7 percent Tuesday as exporters sold dollars after the IMF approved disbursement of a long-delayed loan tranche of $426.8 million to the government.The rupee strengthened to 126.00/126.30 a dollar from Monday's close of 128.25/128.30. Dealers said the currency strengthened to 125.60 some importer dollar demand curbed the surge. The currency has risen 4.3 percent since hitting a record low of 131.60 on March 19. more..

Millions of runs for Jayawardene

Apr 3 (CI) Milestone (or not) of the day: When Sri Lanka moved to 38, with a square cut by Mahela Jayawardene, it brought up the two millionth run in Test cricket. Not everyone, though, will agree. All Test statistics, and this was a problem when the 2000th Test was celebrated at Lord's last year, included the Australia verses World XI match at Sydney in 2005. Many feel that it should not be included in records because it wasn't between two Full Member teams. They have a point, too. more..

Conspiracy against Dayan?

Apr 3 (CT) Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka hit back hard at the External Affairs Ministry yesterday, claiming “Power hungry conspiratorial elements are now trying to 'white van' my reputation, instead of examining how, why and where they failed in Geneva." Dr. Jayatilleka was responding to the show cause letter sent by W.G.S. Prasanna, Acting Director General of the Overseas Administration Division of the External Affairs Ministry, more..

Lenten retreat and prayer for the Sri Lankan Catholics to prepare for Easter

Apr 3 (AN) Prayer Retreats, Stations of the Cross, pilgrimages and fundraisers: this is how the Catholic Diocese of Kandy (Central Provinces, Sri Lanka) has been preparing for Easter, during the period of Lent. "The priests of each parish - Fr. Nandana Manatunga, director of the Human Rights of the diocese explains to AsiaNews - have organized special programs to reflect on the living conditions of Tamil faithful in the North, the needy , the sick and those in prison." more..

Ferry services to resume from Tuticorin port on April 19

Apr 3 (Hindu) After a gap of five months, ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo will resume on April 19, A. Subbiah, Chairman, V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin, said here on Sunday. Flemingo Liners, the vessel operator, is likely to charter a 450-seat vessel this time. Previously, Scotia Prince, a nine-deck vessel with a seating capacity of 1,044 was operated twice a week between these two ports. Owing to some technical reasons, the service was suspended in November. more..

Sri Lankan opposition warns country at critical stage

Apr 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's opposition warned on Tuesday that the country was at a critical stage after the UNHRC adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka. Member of the Marxist JVP Anura Kumar Dissanayake told legislators that the govt must stop making contradictory statements on the resolution and take a clear stand on the issue. The UNHRC, which met in Geneva recently, adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka with a majority vote. more..

'Implementation of law more important than enactment'

Apr 3 (DM) The people of this country by and large, have lost their faith alarmingly in the administration of justice. Unless all stakeholders, namely judges, lawyers, executives and the law enforcement authorities, commit themselves to this worthy cause, one cannot expect to uphold the Rule of Law and ensure the proper administration of justice fairly and squarely said the newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Mr. Wijedasa Rajapakshe PC more..

Sri Lanka says IMF funds boost its foreign reserves

Apr 3 (Xinhua) The Central Bank said Tuesday that the announcement by the IMF that it had approved a 427 million U.S. dollar loan will help boost the country's foreign reserves. Sri Lanka's foreign reserves had in recent times seen a drastic drop resulting in the bank allowing the Sri Lankan Rupee to depreciate as against the U.S. dollar to record low levels. However the Central Bank said in a statement that with the IMF approving the loan the disbursement as well as more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 03.04.2012

Divi Neguma third phase on April 5

Apr 3 (GDI) The government has made all arrangements to launch the 3rd phase of the Divi Neguma National Programme at the auspicious time of 09.10 am on 5th of this month, under the theme “Isurumath Nivahanak – Asirimath Maubimak”. Under this stage, the Ministry of Economic Development has made arrangements to uplift the economic standards of 2.5 million families throughout the country. Divi Neguma National Programme is being implemented under 3 main sectors. more..

Mahela surprised England dropped Monty Panesar

Apr 3 (BBC) Century-making Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said he was "surprised" that England replaced "match winner" Monty Panesar for the second Test. All-rounder Tim Bresnan came in for the 29-year-old left-arm spinner after England opted to play a third seamer. Use accessible player and disable flyout menus"Monty is always a match winner on a wicket that will turn a bit," Jayawardene told BBC Sport. "We anticipated that [decision] as well. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Pact compels SL to support US: JVP

Apr 3 (DM) According to the defence pact signed between Sri Lankan and the United States in 2006, Sri Lanka will be compelled to support the US or its allies if a war involving them erupts in this region, the JVP said today. Opening the debate on the US-sponsored resolution against the country at the UNHRC, JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said though some govt ministers had made anti-US diatribes, they remained silent when such agreements with far reaching consequences against the country were signed. more..

President honours exemplary mothers with Abiman Matha

Apr 3 (NF) Mothers who have brought up children amidst numerous difficulties; and these children have gone on to become assets to the country, were honoured by President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently. Newsfirst takes a look at a few such mothers who were bestowed with the title Abiman Matha as there is much to learn from these shining examples to society. Ten mothers were honoured by the President at the Anandha Maithriya Maha Vidyalaya in Balangoda. This programme has been more..

WikiLeaks: Ranil has called for the arrest of Basil, Lalith and P.B.

Apr 3 (CT) “Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told his UNP parliamentary group that the President’s brother and advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Presidential Chief of Staff Lalith Weeratunga, and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera were implicated in the alleged pre-election deal with the Tamil Tigers to assure Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election. They should therefore also be arrested, just as former Airport Authority Chairman Tiran Alles was. more..

Sri Lanka continues battling Human Rights campaigners

Apr 3 (MT) In May 2009 when the Sri Lankan army decisively defeated the LTTE in the battlefields of Wanni in the north, the entire population of the island felt great relief. There was a strong feeling of reconciliation among all sectors of society after 30 years of a bloody civil war. The people simply wanted peace. But today the country is largely at peace. The rebuilding process at full blast, new highways, housing estates and hospitals are coming up. more..

MSF Ends Mental Health Program in Kilinochchi District

Apr 3 (MSF) After 18 months of activity, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mental health program that provided counseling to people resettled in Kilinochchi district, in the north of Sri Lanka, ended in April 2012. In that time, 454 people suffering from psychological trauma related to conflict and resettlement received one-to-one counseling. A further 101 people took part in group counseling sessions, and 113 people received more..

Underrated Jayawardene among the best

Apr 3 (CI) This Test series has moved to Colombo, the captains have tossed up again and a new match has started. That may all sound blindingly obvious but for long periods of the opening day at the P Sara Oval it was as though the action was still down the coast in Galle. James Anderson was outstanding with the new ball, as he is on virtually every occasion these days, and England stuck to their task after Andrew Strauss lost another important toss. more..

Defeated but not lost

Apr 4 (NS) Hundreds of thousands of patriots who gathered a few days ago in various parts of the country to demand sovereignty and protest against the hegemony of the western imperialism are no doubt disappointed with the outcome in Geneva but the extent to which the so called superpower had to dilute the resolution against Sri Lanka to win the support of just a slim majority of the UNHRC members shows how shaky its dominance has become. Not only the USA had to unmask itself and more..

Lessons to be learnt

Apr 4 (NS) The possible consequences of the Geneva resolution against Sri Lanka, as interpreted by different groups and individuals widely vary. While some opine that it is fraught with grave consequences to the country’s sovereignty and independence, others dismiss it as inconsequential. In fact, the situation is not dissimilar to the famous example of seven blind men’s attempt to ascertain the shape of an elephant. The interpretations were observed to depend – as is the case in respect more..

Srinath Perera Committee: Attempt to submit a predetermined set of recommendations in a guise of a report

Apr 4 (TC) On close scrutiny of the report submitted by the Srinath Perera P.C. Committee appointed to investigate and report on the alleged incidents at Siri Kotha on 19th December, 2012 , on the day of the election of office bearers, it is obvious that the report is a culmination of a pre conceived partial course of action. It is apparent that this is an attempt to submit a pre determined set of recommendations in the guise of a report. more..

Imperative for Sri Lanka to deflect attention from UNHRC Resolution and develop a realistic action plan

Apr 4 (TC) On the face of it, the Indian decision to vote in support of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka seems a departure from its stated doctrine for the Indian sphere of influence. It was the former Indian PM Indira Gandhi, that stated, also referred to as the Indira doctrine that, “India will neither intervene in the domestic affairs of any state in the region unless requested to do so, nor tolerate such intervention by an outsider power”. more..

Sri Lanka like Muhammed Ali in reverse stings like a butterfly and floats like a bee

Apr 4 (TC) The day after the much ballyhooed UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted, we thought that the Rajapaksa govt had finally got it right. The chief propaganda sheet of the govt, the Daily News, had as its headline in coconut sized letters: Might is Right. Indeed this is a basic principle in life and throughout in nature it works but not openly acknowledged. But the Daily News was not accepting the hard reality. It was trying to defy the mightiest of the mighty: more..

Floriculture as a thriving business

Apr 4 (SO) Growing flowers is not just a hobby anymore. The effect of flowers based on various cultures of the world has turned in to a lucrative business. Cut flowers, cut foliage as well as live plants comprise a significant percentage of the world market. And above all, today the word is not 'growing flowers' but it is floriculture. Sri Lanka, being a tropical paradise with a high density of plant species stands a better chance in this trade with a more..

Cornered administration does not intend genuinely implementing LLRC recommendations at all

Apr 4 (TC) So now the truth is plain to see, unvarnished and appalling in its consequences for Sri Lanka. The LLRC, says the Govt at a press briefing this week, has exceeded its mandate and therefore only those recommendation that are ‘feasible’ will be implemented. We will return to this question of what is meant by ‘feasible’ later on in these column spaces. Little would prove to be as distasteful as the sight of these Govt Ministers, from the Minister of External Affairs more..

Sri Lanka and America: The good, the bad and the ugly

Apr 4 (Island) The US has come under much political flak for sponsoring and securing the passage of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. Officially, the Sri Lankan govt has kept its criticisms above board. Unofficially, it has let loose much bile including ministerial garbage against the US, all under the rubric of anti-imperialism. This conflated confusion is counterproductive to the government’s legitimate as well as sinister agendas. It creates, on the one hand, more..

First stop Prabhakaran's bunker

Apr 4 (ST) So geographically close, but politically so far. A whole generation had grown up unable to visit the North and parts of the Eastern province of Lanka, during the 26 years of civil war. It is therefore not surprising that the region which was out of bounds, holds a special interest for all Lankans. When a temporary truce opened up the North-East for about a year around 2002, I seized the chance to make my first visit to Jaffna in May 2003. more..

Further cuts in Peradeniya funding?

Apr 4 (Island) Reliable information suggests that the University of Peradeniya will receive a 30% cut in recurrent expenditure this year. Neither the promise to change salaries to those negotiated by FUTA last year nor the promises to include the academic community in forums that make policy decisions on higher education have materialized. Instead, only 1.19% of GDP has been allocated for education; a paltry amount compared to the 6% of GDP recommended by FUTA more..

Consult & concur, or confront & combust

Apr 4 (Island) When Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his legions from Cisalpine Gaul into Northern Italy in 49BC it was a historic act of defiance which gave an idiom to many languages; it is to pass a point of no return. Has the regime in Colombo crossed the Rubicon or is there time to change? Colombo is now isolated having lost India, the USA, Western Europe and the great majority of African and Latin American votes. That is a fact, whatever palliative statements Hilary Clinton and more..

US$ 50bn Chinese led private investment no misnomer

Apr 4 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce issuing a statement yesterday gave out more details on the proposed US$ 50 billion investment planned for the development of Hambantota, with a top official saying it was no misnomer. As Sri Lanka-China trade topped US$ 2.2 billion in 2011, an international port city in Hambantota region to compete with Singapore, is proposed by a Beijing based private investment group with no less than more..

Editorial: A welcome move

Apr 4 (Island) The govt has come under pressure from the US to investigate 30 involuntary disappearances, as we reported yesterday. All disappearances must be probed and those responsible for them brought to justice. The govt should have conducted investigations on its own without waiting for a foreign intervention. Ending extra judicial killings and abductions is a prerequisite for restoring the rule of law. It is paradoxical that successive govts known for their aversion to judicial more..

On the implementation of the LLRC report

Apr 4 (Island) The UNHRC wants Sri Lanka to implement the LLRC report and to monitor the implementation. The UNP shouts from roof tops that if the govt had implemented the LLRC report then nothing would have happened in Geneva as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. It is true that the LLRC was appointed by the govt without a mandate to go into the so-called ethnic problem but one could argue that no recommendation on the failure of the Ranil Prabhakaran Pact aka Ceasefire Agreement, could have more..

Connections | April 02, 2012

National Secretariat for kithul industry

Apr 4 (DN) A special National Secretariat will be established for the kithul industry with the objective of enhancing the industry's contribution to the gross domestic production, said Minister Douglas Devananda addressing the media recently at the ministry. Under the Mahinda Chinthana, special attention has been given for the development of the kithul industry. The ministry has launched a National kithul Production Programme by paying special attention to 18 districtswhich are Rathnapura, Kandy, Kaluthara, Galle, Kegalle, etc. more..

Thilan disappointed with two-Test series

Apr 4 (Island) Veteran Test cricketer Thilan Samaraweera expressed his displeasure over limiting the current Test series against England to a two-match affair as the tourists are currently ranked number one team in the world. For two decades since gaining Test status, Sri Lanka’s encounters against England had remained just one off games and it all changed when a highly motivated side, admirably led by Arjuna Ranatunga, beat England at the Oval in 1998 to win Sri Lanka’s first more..

All UNPers should join Sajith-Wimal

Apr 4 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa yesterday requested all UNP members to join its Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who had fearlessly opposed any foreign intervention in the country. Mr. Weeraswansa who was speaking during an adjournment debate on the Geneva resolution in Parliament yesterday said all sensible UNPers should join Mr. Premadasa to save themselves and the party. He made this point by stating that the UNP would suffer more setbacks in more..

DEW asks international community to mind its business

Apr 4 (Island) Senior Minister DEW Gunasekera told Parliament yesterday that the govt was well aware of the inevitable fact that the anti-Sri Lanka resolution in Geneva would end in defeat for the country but it valiantly stood its grounds against undue interventions of foreign nations in its internal affairs. Participating in the adjournment debate on the recent Geneva resolution against Sri Lanka, he said that the international community’s more..

Jaffna powerless due to road reconstruction

Apr 4 (Island) The govt has been forced to switch off power in the Jaffna District for eight hours daily to reconstruct a proper two-lane carpeted road network in the whole District. The Asian Development Bank is funding the project which is expected to cost USD $ 103 million. At the same time, the govt had obtained Rs 18,000 million from China to carpet and improve the A-9 Kandy highway from Galkulama to the Jaffna Peninsula by December 2013, more..