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War crimes in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (Dawn) There are signs that the international community is gearing up for action to hold Sri Lanka accountable for alleged war crimes committed by its forces at the end of the brutal civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. A resolution is being prepared for next month’s session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and Pakistan, where the Sri Lankan president begins a three-day visit today, should not stand in the way of justice more..

Military continues intimidation of SEP in Jaffna

Feb 10 (wsws) In a further sign that the government and military are stepping up their efforts to intimidate the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), two naval officers visited the house of a party member last weekend to demand he provide his details. The incident appears to be part of broader efforts by the military to gather information about the SEP. This campaign of intimidation started after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) prevented an SEP public meeting, scheduled to be held more..

Govt. to pay compensation to fishermen killed by November Storm

Feb 10 (GDI) Govt has decided to pay rupees one hundred thousand each as compensation to closest relatives of fishermen who have lost lives and are missing. People of the Southern and South-Western part of the country had experienced an unprecedented wind storm on 25th November of last year and it claimed the lives of 17 fisher-folk while 11 were reported missing in the Galle and Matara districts. As a result of this devastated wind storm, marine fishing had been more..

Cabinet Sub-Committee to monitor HR Action Plan implementation

Feb 10 (GDI) Govt has decided to appoint a Cabinet Sub-Committee to monitor the process of speedy implementation of the proposals in the Human Rights Action Plan of Sri Lanka. The Cabinet has approved the following members to the Cabinet Sub-Committee. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Basil Rajapaksa, Prof. G.L.Peiris, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Dilan Perera. more..

Sri Lanka tea small farmers raise output concerns

Feb 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea small holders, who produce the bulk of the crop, have said rising costs of production, mainly driven by higher labour costs, is making the sector unsustainable. The tea small holders, who account for 76 percent of the national tea output, might be forced to compromise on agricultural standards, reducing yields in the future, a statement said. “Right now the tea small holders, who are the mainstay of Sri Lanka’s tea industry, more..

Nasheed supporters protest outside Maldivian embassy to Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (Xinhua) A group of protesters gathered outside the Maldivian Embassy here in support of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed, an official said. Sri Lankans and Maldivians gathered outside the embassy chanting slogans and held up placards reading "Hands off Our Democracy, stop Beating Protesters and say no to Maldivian Military Junta."Despite a heavy police presence the protest was conduct peacefully and the group had dispersed after a few hours, more..

Australia hold on for five-run victory

Feb 10 (CI) Angelo Mathews narrowly failed to deliver victory to Sri Lanka at the WACA, where the Australians held on by five runs in a thrilling finish. Sri Lanka needed 18 from the final over bowled by Mitchell Starc, and Mathews gave them every chance by pulling the first ball for four and driving the next delivery over long-off for six, before a pair of singles left the visitors needing six from two balls. But Mathews skied the next delivery to long-on, where more..

Where time stands still

Feb 10 (Hindu) Hill stations are a gift of the British Raj. Nuwara Eliya in upcountry Sri Lanka is a typical ‘little England' left behind by the British. It has often been compared to the Nilgiris of South India. But in the case of Nuwara Eliya time seems to have stood still or, at best, travels at a snail's pace. The picture-postcard hill station is best enjoyed by those who have the time and the temperament to stand and stare, stay and feel. A park, a lake, a racecourse and more..

Angelo Mathews does exist, then

Feb 10 (CI) I once wrote that Angelo Mathews did not really exist. He just seemed a bit too awesome. And not like other Sri Lankan cricketers. Angelo wasn’t a graceful middle-order mestro, or a tubby fighter. Angelo wasn’t a top-order slogger, or even a tricky spinner. That’s what Sri Lankan cricket was; we’d got use to their best players fitting these stereotypes. And suddenly here was this broad-shouldered, seam-bowling allrounder who could win a game batting, bowling or fielding. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 10.02.2012

Hirdaramani factory in carbon neutral "first"

Feb 10 (JS) A Sri Lankan firm's eco-friendly garment factory has been awarded CarbonNeutral certification - making it the first apparel plant in Asia to achieve this accolade and helping shore up the country's reputation as a leader in ethical and sustainable manufacturing. The Hirdaramani Group's 'Mihila' factory was assessed by The CarbonNeutral Company, a global provider of carbon reduction solutions. The process required a detailed greenhouse gas assessment from more..

Sri Lanka setting up footwear training school, industrial zone

Feb 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka has begun work on setting up a footwear training school and industrial zone as part of a drive to expand footwear and leather exports with Indian support. It also plans to have a degree programme on footwear and leather at the University of Moratuwa, said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka. It has started work on an industrial zone designated for leather and footwear production and will be setting up a more..

Australian entangled in a final act of civil war

Feb 10 (CT) In the frantic confusion of the last hours of the Tamil Tigers' war, some sought a way out. Through text messages and phone calls they offered an unconditional surrender, in return for safe passage out of the war zone. Now, two years on, an Australian citizen and senior Sri Lankan diplomat stands accused, in an application to the International Criminal Court, of complicity in the murder of surrendering Tamils. A Herald investigation examines more..

SL gets over 85,000 tourists in January

Feb 10 (DM) The number of tourists visited Sri Lanka during the month of January 2012 rose 15.7 percent to 85,874. Arrivals from all the major markets have increased during the month, with the highest number of tourists coming from the Western Europe amounting to 36,497 tourists. This was growth of 11.9 percent year-on-year. Arrivals from Eastern Europe during January grew 22.3 percent to 6,838 compared with the previous year. Tourists from Middle East also rose 70 percent more..

‘Britain is also responsible for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka’

Feb 10 (WL) Britain’s only concern vis-a-vis Sri Lanka has always been its own geopolitical, strategic and economic interests. On the eve of transfer of power, the British and Sri Lanka govts signed a “Defence and External Affairs” agreement of serious importance. In exchange for ‘Independence’, Britain would give military assistance to Sri Lanka, and would be permitted to station and have bases for its Army, Navy and Air Force in Trincomalee, Colombo and Katunayake. more..

Marsh baffled at losing Sri Lanka job

Feb 10 (CI) Geoff Marsh has spoken of his disappointment at being sacked as the coach of Sri Lanka four months in to his two-year contract. Marsh guided Sri Lanka to their first Test win in South Africa in late December and he believed the team was making solid progress, but within four weeks he was told he was no longer required and he was replaced by Graham Ford. Marsh joined Sri Lanka at a time of change: a new interim committee had been placed in charge more..

Illicit cigarettes worth Rs.2.6mn seized

Feb 10 (DM) Illegally imported cigarettes worth around Rs.2.6 million branded as Gold Leaf were seized by the Fort Police when they were hidden inside a house in Maligawatta. The cigarettes were hidden inside the house and they were contained in nearly 6,100 cigarette packets. It contained 121,460 cigarette sticks were contained in the cartons. The value of the stock is yet to be established. Three suspects including two women were arrested during the raid which was more..

American national assaulted

Feb 10 (DM) A private bus driver who had allegedly assaulted an American national and his driver was remanded till February 24 by the Dambulla Magistrate Sanath Morawaka today. The remanded was M.M. Chaminda Udaya Sampath, a bus driver working on the Colombo-Polonnaruwa route. When the Polonnaruwa bound bus driven by the suspect collided with a vehicle moving towards Sigiriya, the bus driver started assaulting the other driver by dragging him out of the vehicle. more..

Sri Lankan immigrant racket busted in Europe

Feb 10 (SL) A racket involving the transport of illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka to Europe has been busted by the European police, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said on Friday. The Ministry said that the racket was busted following more than a year of joint international efforts at police and judicial level. The network is suspected of facilitating the illegal entry of people from Sri Lanka to France, frequently using a route through the United Arab Emirates, more..

Pol sambol, kirihodi and iddiappam

Feb 11 (NS) Rememberence of favourite foods and people associated with a particular food is invigorating for many living away from their land of birth because they correlate to feelings of well-being, security and affection. With my wife it is the pol sambol made by Josie; the lady who fed her family for close to 50 years. For my six-year-old daughter it is Sandamali’s (the lady who looked after her the first three years of her life) kirihodi. more..

Mellowing hardliner Gammanpilla

Feb 11 (NS) One time hardliner politician has appreciably become mellowed judging by his present views expressed in an interview published on January 22 in The Nation. He was the prominent member of the JHU who once declared that the Thamilians in this country should go back to India from where they came from. Like the late Wijetunge, he also added that this much maligned community of people should be like creepers depending on the majority community. more..

Who killed Razeek? And why? Unanswered questions two years after his abduction

Feb 11 (GV) Pattani Razeek was a Sri Lankan Human Rights Defender who disappeared on 11th February 2010. At the time of his disappearance, Mr. Razeek was the Managing Trustee of the Community Trust Fund (CTF) and an Executive Committee Member of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA). For over a year following the disappearance, there was no credible action by the police to more..

MR’s deviation and Kachchatheevu

Feb 11 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement on re-convening another All Party Conference to discuss a political solution to the national question has indicated the govt’s indecisive approach towards the ethnic issue. Rajapaksa since first assuming office in 2005 has come forward with various proposals and actions claiming to find a solution to the ethnic issue. Given the govt’s indecisive approach towards finding a solution to the ethnic issue, opposition political parties are more..

The 'Singapore Model' Vs the 'Miracle of Asia'

Feb 11 (SL) From time to time, someone trots out an invidious comparison/contrast between Sri Lanka and the South Asian City State created and managed by Lee Kwan Yew and his successors. Let me, this Sunday, make a similar effort. Sri Lanka emerged out of World War II, with its foreign exchange coffers brimming with hard currency reserves and democratic governance that was the envy of many newly-independent nations in the region and elsewhere. In that newly-euphoric more..

Objective of committees: Produce more committees, not results

Feb 11 (SL) “A committee is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, it wilts and dies scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in turn.” This is the demystification of that bureaucratic and political panacea for most of political and bureaucratic ills - a committee – by Northcoate Parkinson a former British civil servant who became a well known writer by exposing creations of British more..

Sri Lanka: Illusion of Freedom

Feb 11 (AHRC) It happened 500 years ago in America. On February 2, 1512, Hatuey was tied to a stake at the Spanish camp where he was burned alive. Just before lighting the fire, a priest offered him spiritual comfort, showing him the cross and asking him to accept Jesus and go to heaven. "Are there people like you in heaven?" he asked. "There are many like me in heaven," answered the priest. Hatuey answered that he wanted nothing to do with a God that would allow such more..

Climate change, food security & virtual water an asymmetric threat to Sri Lanka

Feb 11 (GV) Today, in an integrated and inter-dependent world, Sri Lanka does not have the leverage to reverse climate change but mitigate and adapt. Climate change is caused mostly by human actions which began with the industrialised West and followed suit by emerging economies exacerbating this. Some consider climate change to be a negative result of human efforts for development whilst others consider it as irresponsible efforts for profit making at the cost of the planet. more..

Operation Holdfast: Contours of a coup conspiracy

Feb 11 (DBS) “Operation Holdfast” was the codename given by a group of conspirators to a plot devised to overthrow the SLFP Govt headed by the world’s first woman Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike through a bloodless coup d’etat in January 1962. “Operation Holdfast” was not implemented as planned because the chief architects of the conspiracy called it off at the eleventh hour due to some details of the plan becoming known to the Govt a few hours before the more..

Editorial: Sailing between Scylla and Charybdis

Feb 11 (Island) The US and the EU would have us believe that their draconian sanctions on Iran were necessitated by a genuine desire on their part to curb nuclear proliferation. But, Their economic offensive has the trappings of a calculated move to head off Israel, which is looking for the slightest opportunity to carry out air strikes on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. The US and the EU do not want another war to contend with; they are faced with the daunting more..

Porn Politics on the move

Feb 11 (Island) "Do you think they were caught napping?" "What napping? They were caught watching." "Who or what is all this napping or watching about?" "The three Indian politicians, ministers in fact, from Karnataka…." "Why? Were they caught in another telecom, cricket or athletics scam?" "It’s nothing like that. They were caught watching a porn video on a mobile phone in the State Assembly". "So what’s the problem? Indian politicians are known to fall asleep even with high decibels of snoring, because the debates are so boring more..

Arrogance and Reconciliation never go together

Feb 11 (Island) It is this columnist’s view that if the LLRC’s recommendations are implemented in the same spirit that they have been made, the solution to the National Question will ultimately fall into place. There is no need for any rhetoric about a Parliamentary Select Committee. Any Parliamentary Select Committee with some of its members holding divergent and extremist views is unlikely to reach consensus. That is why, instead of a PSC, if there is a more..

Chandrapala Liyanage appointed as addl.DG of Information Dept.

Feb 11 (GDI) Chandrapala Liyanage has been appointed as the Additional Director General of the Department of Govt Information with immediate effect. Liyanage who was the Presidential Media Coordinating Director from 2005 to 2008 has been appointed to this new post by the Public Service Commission on the advise of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Liyanage who first joined the Govt Information Department as an Information Officer in 1994, later held the posts of more..

People not burdened by CoL - Yapa

Feb 11 (DN) The govt loses Rs 26 from every litre of diesel and Rs 36 from every litre of kerosene oil. The govt never gives the full weight of the cost of living to the people, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said that a tax of Rs 2.50 has been imposed on diesel and this is the only tax imposed on diesel. "The govt spends a large amount of funds for free health service, free education, fertilizer subsidy, electricity etc. Both three-wheeler and more..

Top captaincy, now for the runs

Feb 11 (CI) The brains in the ICC cricket committee have to routinely coming up with new regulations to take out uniformity and formula from ODIs. They introduced Powerplays to break the pattern of 15 overs' restrictions and to reduce the duration of middle overs, but the captains found a formula there too, finishing the bowling Powerplay as soon as possible and taking the batting one right at the end. To fight that, the cricket committee has introduced more..

Full implementation of 13th Amendment a non-starter

Feb 11 (Island) External pressures, notably by India, are intensifying on the Govt to give a lead to implement the 13th Amendment first adopted in 1987. The TNA representing a significant segment of the Tamils in the North and in the East is stridently demanding powers for a merged Province that even go well beyond the 13th Amendment. Whatever was negotiated, said or done in the past primarily to entice the LTTE to give up the armed struggle and join the more..

Make preparations count

Feb 11 (FT) Sri Lanka sometimes seems to know the answer to everything, but the solution to nothing. Human rights are an important part of peace, democracy and sustainable economic development. It should be focused on with genuine and serious intent, empowered to impart justice. After the lapse of three years as part of early contingency plans for the next United Nations General Assembly Meeting, the Govt in October 2011 adopted the National Action Plan for more..

Little response for online petition against SL

Feb 11 (DM) An online petition, created in August 2011, calling on the British Govt to support an independent investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka has only attracted 3,430 signatures to date. This falls far short of 100,000 signatures required for the petition to be considered for a debate in UK’s House of Commons. The petition in the official e-petition website of the UK Govt urges the “British Govt to support the establishment of more..

DSG expresses fears Ameresekere’s Notes filed in SC becoming public

Feb 11 (FT) Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices N.G. Amaratunga, Suresh Chandra and Sathya Hettige on Thursday heard the Fundamental Rights application of Petitioner Nihal Sri Ameresekere, public interest activist, on the commonly referred to Expropriation Law. The Respondents were represented by President’s Counsel D.S. Wijesinghe and Deputy Solicitor General Janak de Silva. Ameresekere in his submissions urged the Supreme Court to more..

Ravi K's logic

Feb 11 (CT) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayke raised a privilege issue against Ceylon Today and another Sinhala newspaper for ‘erroneously’ reporting that he had been fined for exceeding the speed limits on the Southern Expressway. The MP said his privileges have been violated by the reports and requested the Speaker to take action to ensure his rights. He said he does not approve the attempts to do politics through media. The MP said he represented Parliament for 18 consecutive years, more..

Impending world oil crisis: Govt in talks with alternative suppliers

Feb 11 (DN) The govt has initiated discussions with alternative suppliers of oil in preparation of the impending world oil crisis due to the US economic sanctions on Iran, said Petroleum Industries Ministry Secretary Dr R S H Samaratunaga. He said that the govt has begun discussions with Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the supply of oil. He observed that the six months grace period for oil related transactions as announced by the US would be over by more..