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'India to back Sri Lanka at UNHRC'

Feb 28 (SL) India will back Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, Minister in charge of Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said today. Samarasinghe said that apart from India even Thailand and Malaysia will also back Sri Lanka at the ongoing session. The US is expected to put forward a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC calling for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). more..

Despite objections Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva sits tight

Feb 28 (LB) Major General Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations is not caving in. He says he would continue to serve in the UN Senior Advisory Group (SAG) to consider rates of reimbursement to troop-contributing countries, notwithstanding media reports that he had been removed from the advisory group by its chair Canadian Louise Fréchette. more..

Tea prices to Middle East affected by US sanctions

Feb 28 (ST) Tea prices continue to be affected by the US sanctions on Iran, Sri Lanka’s biggest tea buyer, while despite promises, there are few options being offered by the Govt, tea industry officials and bankers said. Suggestions, which have received the blessing of the industry, to design a contra-trade mechanism or an escrow account to minimize the impact, has also drawn little Govt attention. more..

Docs battle on over aborted strike

Feb 28 (Island) In response to the article which appeared in The Island yesterday headlined ‘GMOA parent body says no strike at NHSL today’ about NHSL Branch President Dr.Susith Seneratne’s announcement to the media of a token strike by doctors yesterday at the Colombo National Hospital and the GMOA Parent body’s flat denial of it, the latter told The Island that the GMOA President should not have corrected him in that manner because more..

Uni non-academics will go on strike again

Feb 28 (DM) Universities in the country will be inactive for a second time this month from Wednesday as non-academic university staff will go on strike again since the govt had not come forward for discussions to address their demands for higher wages and benefits, university non-academics said today. The Executive Officers, Academic Sub-ordinary and University Executive Staff Union Joint Committee went on strike on more..

Probe reveals Sri J’pura Hospital malpractices

Feb 28 (Island) The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday revealed the contents of the Mahinda Amaraweera Committee Report on the Sri Jayawardenapura hospital to the media. The Report alleged maladministration, financial irregularities, purchasing of drugs and medical equipment outside tender procedures and issuing of prescriptions to patients on admission to purchase drugs and more..

Site of second gem land declard out of bounds

Feb 28 (Island) The government yesterday declared the site of the second gem deposit (illam) at Kataragama, close to the Thammennawa tank, out of bounds to all prospectors with immediate effect. The ban would be in force till such time a team of eminent persons carries out a detailed examination of the soil from the said land for its gem content. Since both locations of the gem land came under the Forest Conservation Department’s purview more..

Fire kills Lankan couple in South Korea

Feb 28 (DM) A young Sri Lankan couple who were due to return Sri Lanka for the upcoming Sinhala New Year were burnt to death in a tragic incident reported in South Korea. The victims U.P. Bandula (36) and his wife Suba Bagya (28) had been living in an air-conditioned shipping container-turned-home near Browns & Company in the Kimpo Town where both worked. The tragic incident had taken place last Sunday when a fire broke out suddenly trapping more..

Sixty days since court order; Duminda still at large

Feb 28 (SM) OIC of the special investigating unit at the CID Merrill Ranjan Lamahewa informed the Colombo Magistrate court today (Feb. 28) that the CID is yet to receive Attorney General's advice on the arrest of MP Duminda Silva. He was speaking thus after the case into the murder of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others were taken up by the court today. more..

'Subsidising fuel, electricity no longer sustainable'

Feb 28 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera has defended the recent fuel price increases saying the revisions were undertaken only after it became apparent that subsidising fuel and electricity was no longer sustainable. In a statement appearing in the website of the Ministry of Finance and Planning said the Petroleum Corporation sustained a loss of Rs. 90 billion in 2010 and if prices were not increased, the loss would soar to Rs. 200 billion this year. more..

Sri Lanka rupee hits new low, but state intervenes

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee hit a new record low of 123.20 on Tuesday on importer dollar demand, but a state bank sold greenbacks to reverse the drop in an apparent break with the central bank's new policy not to intervene at a specific price, dealers said. "A state bank sold dollars at 123.00 and gradually brought down the level to 121.00," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. Three other dealers confirmed the move. more..

Editorial: Start at the cradle, get back to fresh milk

Feb 28 (DM) With the focus now on Geneva and state propaganda organs whipping up demonstrations against the US sponsored resolution on accountability issues in Sri Lanka, attention has been temporarily diverted from the issue that directly affects the lives of millions of commonpeople. The prices of milk powder and other essential food items are rising in the aftermath of the huge increase in fuel prices and the Govt needs to consider long–term measures to control the more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.8-pct

Feb 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices fell Tuesday for the second day after a seven-day rally, with turnover boosted by large deals in Aitken Spence, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed down 0.82 percent (44.92 points) at 5,431.67, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.71 percent (33.96 points) to close at 4,719.43. Turnover was 5.86 billion rupees. Most of the turnover came from two large deals in Aitken Spence at 115 rupees a share. more..

ODI tri-series: India thrash Sri Lanka, win bonus point

Feb 28 (CI) Turnarounds don't come any better. Fortunes don't change more dramatically. And emotions don't bear a starker contrast. At the halfway stage, Sri Lanka would have felt they had one foot in the final, having left the India bowlers deflated after a dominating performance with the bat. And they would have been right to think that way, the Indian batting having shown little promise in the series and the team on the brink of elimination. more..

Sri Lanka may see tyranny of markets to be worse than IMF, World Bank

Feb 28 (LBO) The pain imposed by the tyranny of markets could be much more painful than adjustments caused by the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, an economist has warned. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, an economist who has been at Sri Lanka's central bank, finance ministry and at the Commonwealth Secretariat said borrowing in commercial markets required good policy and transparent reporting. "Now that we are exposed to the market and rating agencies more..

46 remanded over Magazine Prison riots

Feb 28 (SM) Forty six detainees of the New Magazine prison who were arrested over the chaotic incident reported from the prison on Jan. 24 have been remanded further until March 13. Colombo Additional Magistrate Praharsha Ranasinghe issued the order after taking up the case today. Though the suspects had applied for bail, the Magistrate noted that this was possible as they have been charged under the Offences Against Public Property Act. Producing a report, the CID informed more..

Uni. students protest against COL

Feb 28 (DM) University students today said they were in the midst of discussions with fisheries, teachers and labour unions who had vowed to unite in their take trade union action in protest against the increasing cost of living and people’s suppression. Medical students protesting outside the Jayewardenepura medical faculty today vowed to bring together people working in all spheres and that they would continue to protest until their demands were met. more..

Teachers in the North want transfers

Feb 28 (DM) Teachers unions today urged the authorities to provide transfers to over 400 teachers many of whom had served up to 15 years in the North during the war. Ceylon Teachers Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin said the teachers in Mulaitivu, Kilinochchi, Tunnukai, Vavuniya North and Mannar were supposed to be transferred on January 1 but that it was postponed to March 1. Following discussions with Northern Province Governor Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri it had been more..

Refugee relocation on the fast track

Feb 28 (IBN) A relay-hunger fast agitation by five Lankan Tamil inmates of the Chengalpet Special Detention Camp drew an official response on Monday, the eighth day of protest. According to sources, a team of 10 officials including the Revenue Divisional Officer and Tahsildar from Kancheepuram district and police officers from the Q-Branch and local police met the five fasting Lankans and promised to release them within 45 days from the special camp to normal camps. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28.02.2012

Jayasuriya, Afridi in All-Star cricket match in Toronto

Feb 28 (LR) Hard-hitting batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi will play in an All-Star T20 cricket match at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Canada on May 12, according to Kat Rose Inc. The duo will represent the Asian XI pitted against an International XI led by former South African wicketkeeper batsman Mark Boucher and Zimbabwean Brendon Taylor. The International XI may also include legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara. Alistair Campbell, Chief Selector of the event said, more..

University of Bolton comes to Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (Island) Having emerged as a university with strict focus on quality and clarity, University of Bolton is a highly reputed provider of education in the United Kingdom. With a proud history spreading not only to the United Kingdom but other countries as well, the University is one of the most sought after educational destinations in the world. Marking yet another milestone in its history, the University of Bolton entered the domain of education provision in more..

Ruling on preliminary objections against verdict in Hicorp case postponed

Feb 28 (NF) The ruling on the preliminary objections against the verdict delivered by the Colombo High Court on Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka in the Hicorp case was postponed for the second time today. Judge Sunil Rajapakse said that since facts pertaining to the ruling need to be further studied, it will be postponed to 1.30 p.m on March 15. Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was brought to more..

A belated glimpse of India's ability

Feb 28 (CI) Ah, India, we've been expecting you. And this is how you arrive. Two days after even your captain, the man who loves to strike when everybody else has given up hope, had given up, not desperate enough to even check the playing conditions for some backdoor route. At a time when you are struggling to put four fit bowlers on the field. Two days after your captain said you needed to restrict oppositions to 200 to win the game, given how bad the batting had been. more..

An off day for captain Jayawardene

Feb 28 (CI) You had to double-check to make sure it was Mahela Jayawardene captaining Sri Lanka today. India's chase of 321 in 36.4 overs was the quickest successful one of a 300-plus total in ODI cricket. Yes, India had nothing to lose. Yes, their batsmen were in the zone. Yes, this was a flat pitch. Sri Lanka, though, made blunders. Jayawardene is a shrewd captain. Often he defies modern captaincy formulas, and attacks to win. He takes wickets to slow runs down. more..

Vaiko asks PM not to support Sri Lanka at UNHRC

Feb 28 (PTI) MDMK chief Vaiko on Tuesday termed as shocking a Sri Lankan official's claim about New Delhi's backing of Colombo in the ongoing UNHRC session and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to support it. "It is shocking that Mahinda Samarasinghe, the chief Lankan negotiator, has stated that India will support Sri Lanka in the crucial voting at the ongoing session of the UNHRC at Geneva," more..

World leaders speak on human rights obligations and Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (NF) Speaking at the 19th Human Rights Sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday, Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Surapong Tovichakchaikul said that Sri Lanka has made considerable advances towards national reconciliation and sustainable development. Meanwhile, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Jeremy Browne said that they hope that the Sri Lankan Govt will implement the recommendations more..

EU council also backs move

Feb 28 (SL) The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) has backed moves to keep Sri Lanka on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council. A statement by the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union said that the decision was taken yesterday when the council met to adopt its priorities at the UNHRC. Earlier this month the EU Parliament had also adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka which calls for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry into some of more..

'Market will beat the Central Bank no matter how powerful the governor is'

Feb 28 (SL) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva speaking said that the reported intervention by the Central Bank to stabilise the dwindling rupee was unfortunate. “If the Central Bank has intervened to more than reduce extreme intraday volatility of the rupee, it only goes to show the weakness in character in staying the course it took,” he said. The Central Bank earlier said that it took a policy decision not to intervene to stabilise the Sri Lankan rupee. more..

A stake in Sri Lanka

Feb 29 (NS) Stakeholder is a relatively new word in a family of words that often mean less than they should. Grassroots and empowerment are slightly older words in the same family; which are soft versions for radical (root), dissent and protest. Each reiteration of these concepts has made them softer and softer, so that, they sound good at dinner parties and you can, as they say, ‘take them home to mother’. I am uncomfortable with the word, used in the context of radical politics, more..

Deforestation as Development

Feb 29 (NS) The connection between those two was made last week specifically in relation to the Plantation Industry and the incalculable damage it has done to our country. That includes, to take the holistic view required, all its inhabitants, its waters that sustained its fauna and flora, their habitats, their interaction with each other and with other beings. Among the last are those commonly referred to as ‘people’. Together they made up a culture of living, one that was all-inclusive. more..

'We support Govt on national issues'

Feb 29 (SO) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake began his political career under the able stewardship of the late Lalith Athulathmudali who had left an indelible impression in the political history of the country. Karunanayake was a trusted lieutenant of Athulathmudali from his young days and nobody would dispute the fact that the latter wanted to groom the former to be a promising politician in the years to come. Karunanayake was aggressively involved in more..

Geneva: Possible outcomes and the tasks of the people

Feb 29 (CT) As you know, the Geneva sessions started on the 27th February. A possible, and most probable outcome would be a resolution calling for an independent international mechanism to investigate war crimes. (Appointing a Court of Inquiry under the Army Commander will provide more ammunition for the foreign powers to denounce the credibility of the Regime. It is a joke anyway! It will not hold!). While I have steadfastly stood for accountability, I have also resisted more..

Maj. Gen. Silva in New York: Sentrnce without a hearing

Feb 29 (DM) They find convicting suitable even beore a hearing. They label individuals to satisfy their partialities, thus sidelining such individuals in the most blatant manner for no obvious fault of their own. This is the plot outline of Major General Shavendra Silva’s story in New York. Had Sri Lankan armed forces been found guilty of the various charges levelled by the international community, their move would have been justifiable; yet not in conditions such as these, more..

Army helps to construct new buildings for Mahajana College,Thellippalai

Feb 29 (TC) If not for their knowledge and hard work, the modern three-storied building complex would still be under construction. Thanking the soldiers for constructing the building within eight-months, the Principal of Mahajana College, Kunaratnam Velsivanandan said people in Jaffna co-exist with soldiers. “They help us a lot in our day-to-day life and are friendly with people. more..

Editorial: Co-chairs' Trojan horse

Feb 29 (Island) The people of Sri Lanka have spoken. Their message is loud and clear. They have condemned, in no uncertain terms, moves being made in Geneva to pave the way for foreign intervention in this country. They have seen how self-appointed western messiahs plunged other countries into utter chaos on the pretext of helping bring about democratic change. The Arab Spring has already given way to a winter of despair if what is happening in Egypt, Libya etc is anything to go by. more..

Handy Perinbanyagam and the Jaffna Youth Congress

Feb 29 (Island) The coming week will be diplomatic high noon at the UNHRC session in Geneva.The Sri Lankan govt has reportedly decided to take an ‘ethical stand’ against what it has described as "unethical distortion", by interested parties, of Sri Lanka’s true position that "given the considerable progress that has been achieved in the implementation of the recommendations of the domestic mechanism from the release of the LLRC Report to date and the Road Map for more..

'We waged the war on behalf of U.S as well'

Feb 29 (DM) Q: The latest reports indicate that Sri Lanka and the United States are in for a head-on clash in Geneva. In your view, what hopes are there for a credible compromise? A: It is very strange and sad to see Sri Lanka and the United States in a collision course in the UNHRC over Sri Lanka’s fight against terrorism. The USA promoted the idea of eradicating global terrorism. The world regarded the LTTE as the most equipped, best trained and more..

The independence struggle continues

Feb 29 (Island) What is happening in Geneva? The UK, our colonial master for more than two hundred years, if counted from the day they first settled in Colombo has intervened to request for UN intervention if the proposals of the LLRC commission were not implemented. They have not given a deadline meaning that one "fine day" from their point of view they would decide as they please that LLRC proposals have not been implemented, and it is time for action. more..

On being targetted!

Feb 29 (SL) Being targeted for attack, denigration and perhaps worse, does provide some (unwanted) excitement in one’s life, I have discovered. On the “up” side of the equation, it must be admitted that it takes less effort to pull together the information that I require for this column each week! Having returned to the land of my birth, a most fulfilling personal relationship proved ephemeral because entering into public debate on the “wrong” side of the Rajapaksa Regime, more..