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Merits with regard to the resolution

Feb 25 (DM) Sri Lanka yesterday appealed the member countries of the UNHRC to take their respective stands on merits with regard to the resolution to be moved against the country by the United States next month. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told journalists here in Geneva that the govt’s delegation led by him had bilateral engagements with 25 foreign delegations including those from the Non Aligned Movement and the organisation of Islamic countries. more..

HC issues notice on Customs Chief, Pesticides Registrar

Feb 25 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe yesterday issued notice on the Director General of Customs and the Pesticides Registrar to appear in Court and show cause as to how they released 13 containers of arsenic containing pesticide when there was an order issue by Court prohibiting their release. The Judge issued notice to the two respondents after the Centre for Environmental Justice had filed a petition in Court against the two of them. more..

Put off UNHRC resolution till October: Govt.

Feb 25 (DM) Amid attempts by the United States to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka at the 19th United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions, the govt said it would prefer the matter being taken up at the Universal Periodic Review in October this year. According to the UNHRC, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights record of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. more..

Close relative gave contract to kill businessman

Feb 25 (Island) A very close relative, who allegedly gave a contract to kill millionaire businessman and owner of Hotel Biyagama, Bernard Jayaratne and the hitman were expected to be arrested soon, a top police source said. He said the police had gathered sufficient evidence to arrest the suspects after extensive grilling of the close relative and they had also traced the calls he had made to the contract killer. Investigations had revealed that a contract had been given by more..

Another Welikada extortion racket busted

Feb 25 (Island) Yet another extortion racket operated from the Welikada jail was busted at Moratuwa yesterday following the arrest of two persons, Moratuwa police said. Sources said the two suspects now in custody were attempting to extort Rs. 25.000 from an area businessman, on the instructions of a man inside the jail had masterminded a large number of ransom cases. He was a convict known as Manna Samantha of Moratuwa with over 100 cases of ransom taking and more..

Marie Colvin: The uncrowned Queen of Intrepid Journalists

Feb 25 (DBS) It was with a deep sense of sadness that I read about the death of Marie Catherine Colvin the respected war correspondent of Britain ’s “Sunday Times” 22nd along with a French photojournalist Remi Ochlik in Syria on February. Both were at Baba Amr, a suburb of the besieged city of Homs, when the house in which they had been staying came under artillery shelling “As they tried to escape the building, Colvin and Ochlik were hit by a rocket and killed,” more..

'Govt implementing LLRC recommendations'

Feb 25 (DN) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday said that his ministry has already started implementing some of the recommendations made by the LLRC. The minister said that the ministry attempts to ensure that all ethnic groups are involved in the administrative affairs of the country and that this is the fundamental task in maintaining a relationship between diverse ethnicities. more..

Kidnapped child rescued, relative arrested

Feb 25 (Island) A three and half-year-old girl, who was abducted by a youth from a kindergarten at Mundalama on Thursday, was rescued by police at Pallama in Anamaduwa yesterday. The suspect, who is a relative of the child, too had been taken into custody, police said. The child’s mother, B. Lalitha, told The Island that when she inquired from the pre-school teacher about her child, the teacher had said that more..

Universities paralysed for second consecutive day

Feb 25 (Island) All university activities came to a standstill for the second consecutive day, yesterday, due to a two-day strike launched by the non-academic staff demanding rectification of their salary anomalies. President of the Inter University Trade Union Federation R.M. Chandrapala said that they were now likely to go for an all out – strike from Feb. 29. "Our executive committee will meet today or tomorrow to decide on what to do next," he said more..

Constitutional changes in the offing while AG studies LLRC Report

Feb 25 (Island) With the UNHRC scheduled to open it annual four week session in Geneva on Monday, the govt said that Sri Lanka’s legal framework was likely to be changed, depending on the recommendations of the Attorney General, who was in the process of studying the LLRC Report. Acting Foreign Minister Neomal Perera said that the LLRC Report which was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa about three months ago had to more..

Mobile prostitution ring using Chinese women

Feb 25 (DM) Three persons including two Chinese women who were alleged to be involved in a mobile prostitution ring were remanded till February 27. The main suspect, a Sri Lankan who had allegedly operated the ring and procured two Chinese women for prostitution had been arrested by the Kollupitiya Police while he was obtaining Rs.3,000 from the decoy who carried out the raid in purchasing two Chinese women in Kollupitiya in the night on more..

'CPC losses are due to airlines'

Feb 25 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka claimed that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s losses are due to the two state-backed airlines, Sri Lankan and Mihin Air. The minister, categorically denying charges that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) owes money to the CPC, said that Sri Lankan Airlines owes the CPC a sum of Rs. 18 billion. The minister said it was “unfair” to blame the CEB for the losses made by CPC and more..

‘Sri Lanka for home grown solution’

Feb 25 (DN) The Sri Lankan delegation to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva has impressed on the international community that resolving the grievances of Sri Lanka’s communities after the conflict, is an entirely internal matter and that the issue could be resolved by Sri Lanka independently. Sri Lanka adopted a domestic approach to resolving this issue which is the LLRC process, External Minister Prof G.L Peiris and the Head of the delegation said more..

Tailor accused of misappropriation

Feb 25 (DM) The Colombo Fraud Investigations Bureau yesterday filed charge sheets against a tailor shop owner who had allegedly misappropriated money belonging to police officers attached to the Ministerial Security Division to the tune of Rs.500,000 with the promise of supplying sports uniforms. In a complaint to the police, the Chief Security Officer of Minister Dullas Alahapperuma alleged that he paid Rs.500,000 to the tailor shop owner Shaminda Wimalasekara of more..

NTC reprimands bus drivers and conductors

Feb 25 (CT) National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairmen Roshan Gunawardena yesterday said legal action will be instituted against bus drivers and conductors who mistreat commuters. The decision is in consequence to an incident where a bus conductor had been found guilty of pushing a student from the bus causing him severe injury. The conductor had pushed the student as he had not offered the conductor the precise fare for his journey. more..

TNA to skip UN rights meet on Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (PTI) The TNA has decided not to attend next week's UNHRC meet in Geneva, where a resolution is expected to be moved against the Colombo govt over its rights record, saying that it does not want to "exacerbate tensions". "The TNA considers it imperative that in the present situation calm should be maintained and that nothing should be done which could exacerbate tensions. In these circumstances the TNA has decided not to be present in Geneva," more..

Foreign experts to be invited to Army's 'Defence Seminar-2012' on post-war 5Rs

Feb 25 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army, acclaimed now world-wide as one of the best counter terrorist forces in the millennium, is set to place its new diversified 5R 'peace warrior' roles visa-a-vis post-war development assignments before the world during the forthcoming 2nd Defence Seminar 2012 on the theme 'Towards Lasting Peace & Stability'. The three-day Defence Seminar fixed for Aug 8-10, expected to be addressed by subject experts from foreign countries, more..

SL delegation complete successful discussions in Geneva

Feb 25 (DM) The Sri Lankan delegation engaged in a lobbying spree against the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka said today that they had highly successful rounds of talks with the representatives of different countries yesterday. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told journalists here these countries were convinced that the international intervention would disrupt a delicate process already in place in Sri Lanka to address the issues concerned. more..

Nambiar speaks up about ‘White Flag’ incident

Feb 25 (ICP) With controversy revived about Sri Lankan war crimes including the murder of surrendering prisoners, Inner City Press on February 24 asked UN official Vijay Nambiar to explain his role in these "white flag" killings, and if involved Major General Shavendra Silva should be a UN Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping. On camera, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman insisted that Nambiar would not answer the question. more..

'Fonseka would’ve been Lanka’s best bet at UNHRC'

Feb 25 (SM) Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka would have been Sri Lanka’s best bet at the UNHRC, said ex-chief justice Sarath N. Silva. Mr. Silva was speaking at a meeting organized by the Galle district association of professionals. He said that he read in newspapers that G.L. Peiris, seven other ministers and 52 officials have gone to Geneva to counter calls for an international war crimes probe. The former CJ said that the best man who would have gone there was more..

'India should raise UN report on Lanka rights violations'

Feb 25 (PTI) The Communist Party of India on Saturday demanded that India should raise the issue of the United Nations report on the last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka that alleged human rights violations by the Army, during the meeting of UN Human Rights Commission at Geneva. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CPI national secretary D Raja said India and the government have the moral responsibility to raise the issue in international arena to more..

Sports Minister appoints probe committee on SLPL deal

Feb 25 (PTI) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has appointed a top level probe committee to look into the deal made by the Singapore based company, Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which promoted the aborted Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL). Sports Ministry officials said that the committee would be headed by a former police chief and would consists of the Director General of sports, legal officer of the governing body Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), more..

'Sri Lanka Shangri-La investment a message for investors'

Feb 25 (LBO) Starting construction of a 550 million dollar hotel investment by Shangri-La, a Hong Kong based leisure group in Sri Lanak is a signal for other international investors, minister Basil Rajapasksa said. "Not only are they managing the hotel, they are investing the total amount so it’s a very encouraging sign," Rajapaksa told Friday after breaking ground on a 661 room hotel. "It gives message to the world and investors to come to Sri Lanka." more..

One nurses union not satisfied with agreement reached with main union

Feb 25 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) warned they would stage a massive protest next week if four circulars were not issued by Monday to settle nursing demands. President of the GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya expressed dissatisfaction regarding the settlement reached with the other nurses union (PSUNU) on their emands. He said there were four circulars to be issued which include the promised increments to the uniform allowance, the telephone allowance more..

'GoSL refers to US HR record, demands impartiality'

Feb 25 (Island) Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the hands of those wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before the UNHRC, on the basis of unsubstantiated UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s so-called Panel of Experts (PoE) report, weren’t clean. Unlike unproven allegations contained in the PoE’s report and ‘Channel 4 News’ production, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ the conduct of those human rights champions had been exposed on numerous occasions since more..

Editorial: A hidden hand behind public protests

Feb 26 (SO) Divergent views have been expressed on the soaring world crude oil prices and the corresponding increase of local petrol, diesel and kerosene prices. In the backdrop of the increase in local oil prices which the Govt was constrained to take as the last option, the Opposition resorted to gutter politics by attempting to gain political mileage, projecting a dismal picture to the masses. Opportunist Opposition politicians, both from the UNP and the JVP, trotted out various more..

Editorial: David Vs Goliath in Geneva

Feb 26 (SL) Harsh rhetoric and emotional outbursts before the commencement of the19th Session of the UNHRC next week in Geneva have obfuscated the objectives of the resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka at the sessions. The issue on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan servicemen has polarised into a debate of pride and prejudice. The realisation of the challenges faced by the Sri Lanka govt, the charges made against it by its accusers and dispensation of justice more..

'Govt will defeat UNHRC resolution against SL'

Feb 26 (SO) Minister Maithripala Sirisena called upon everybody to rally round regardless of political affiliations to thwart attempts being made by certain countries to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions to be held in Geneva. He said the Govt is confident that it would be able to defeat this resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions. At present the Govt has confidence and is determined to overcome the challenge. more..

Editorial: United nations will flourish

Feb 26 (NS) There are two kinds of united nations, the first is the in-your-face institution that was birthed after World War II, where rivers of blood were produced in the mad rush by some to carve the world among themselves. This ‘united nations’, or rather the ‘United Nations Organisation’ has moved far from the founding principles and is widely seen as a bullying tool for bully-nations. Right now, in Geneva, there are moves to censure Sri Lanka over some allegations made by a more..

Editorial: It’s eyeball to eyeball, in Geneva

Feb 26 (LB) Sri Lanka is facing war by other means, and it is all happening in the most placid of locations, in the picture-postcard backdrop and the lake serenity of Geneva. The feature article on the opposite page gives an on the spot rundown of events that had transpired in that city. Nobody is able to predict the outcome of the battle, but it is not exactly a moving spectacle when the big, rich and the powerful seem to gang up against the long-suffering that deserve a more..

Bakery owners will decide on price increase

Feb 26 (Island) The price of a loaf of bread has been increased by five rupees with effect from midnight Friday, but the All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association said the scale of upward revision is the discretion of bakery owners because there is no price control on the product. "There is a regulation applicable only to the weight of a loaf of bread, which should be not less than 450 grams and not on the price", N.K. Jayewardena, the president of the Association said more..

Editorial: Geneva and the New York sideshow

Feb 26 (Island) We are sure that anybody with an iota of commonsense would wonder why Ms. Louise Frechette, who heads a UN Peacekeeping Panel, would not first lodge her objections to Major General (Retd.) Shavendra Silva serving on her panel as a representative of the Asia/Pacific Group with that group itself rather than trying to unilaterally shut him out of proceedings. After all, Ambassador Silva, now serving as Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, more..

Editorial: Good governance the answer

Feb 26 (ST) And so went the blurb on the jacket of the 'Mahinda Chinthana' for the President's re-election campaign manifesto in 2010. Beginning tomorrow, his Govt will need to pool all its resources 'to win the world' or at least the majority of the 47-member UNHRC that meets in the Swiss city of Geneva. His Govt is faced with a resolution spearheaded by the world's single most powerful nation, the United States of America. Our Political Commentary on this page names a more..

'Patriotic political parties should stand together'

Feb 26 (SO) The UNP after a prolonged silence has thought it necessary to issue a statement on the report of the LLRC. Apparently the statement echoes the concerns of the unpatriotic parties working against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, rather than representing the interests of the minority communities in Sri Lanka - particularly the Tamils and Muslims. UNP in criticising the LLRC report states that its findings to the effect that the Ceasefire Agreement more..

Sri Lanka takes on Goliaths

Feb 26 (NS) The 19th sessions of the UNHCR begin in Geneva tomorrow. These sessions have assumed an unprecedented significance for Sri Lanka given the much publicised resolution on the Human Rights situation in our country due to be moved on the initiative of the United States. It is well known that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is behind this resolution. The copies of the resolution on Sri Lanka had been circulated among the member nations of the Council by the US diplomats more..

Lanka’s hurdle in Geneva

Feb 26 (NS) Tomorrow, Sri Lanka will face probably is toughest diplomatic hurdle in recent times when sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) open in Geneva with the distinct possibility of a resolution against the country being endorsed by the Council. The resolution that is likely to be considered relates to claims of war crimes being committed, especially by Sri Lankan armed forces in the final stages of the Eelam war with the LTTE in May 2009. more..

Vaas bats for the clubs

Feb 26 (ST) Always there is the other side of the coin. There is another school of thought in any subject and cricket is no different. Yet, there is one common ground, both parties talk of the same common goal. They both are concerned and they both talk about sustaining local cricket and making it attuned to cater to the needs of the demand of international cricket. Last week this column featured former Sri Lanka opening batsman who set ablaze the more..

5th column: Land of the free, home of the hypocrites!

Feb 26 (ST) My Dear Barack, I thought I must write to you when I heard that the United States was sponsoring a resolution against our country at the UNHRC this week. To me, that seems rather silly-and I will tell you why-but I am told that is the way it is. I suppose you are aware that we ended a war against the most ruthless terrorist group in the world two and a half years ago and did so with the greatest difficulty. I am not sure whether you know this, but that group, more..

Geneva: Where the vultures are gathering

Feb 26 (LB) Tomorrow the circus will begin. The tents are up in Geneva. The trapeze artistes, the tightrope walkers and the clowns are all dressed up raring to get on with the job of entertaining the multitude. In the days of the Roman empire the people may not have had rights (human at that) and freedoms but they had bread and circuses. Maybe just to keep the plebs happy the Roman emperors gave it a high-sounding Latin name - panem et circenses. more..

An irreversible turn in the fortunes of the govt

Feb 26 (Island) The govt is being torn in many directions by contrarian forces; it’s hard to predict how things will turn out because it may capitulate in different degrees in diverse directions to placate five discordant wolves tearing at its victuals. After war victory, success in the 2010 election cycle, and in an improving economic climate, I said in this column about two years ago that this regime would be stable and popular for the first half of more..