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Fresh probe on aid workers & Trinco killings

Mar 6 (DM) Amid external pressure on accountability issues, the govt assured the international community in Geneva last week it would reopen investigations into the 2006 killing of five students in Trincomalee and 17 aid workers at Mutur. Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris gave this assurance during an interactive session with representatives of countries interested in the Sri Lanka issue. Amnesty International officials asked what happened more..

CIMB Group in partnership with John Keells in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (TS) CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB Group) and John Keells Stock Brokers (Pvt) Ltd (JKSB) have entered into a strategic collaboration to promote and facilitate trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and provide co-branded research for CIMB’s clientele. JKSB, a founder member of the CSE and a subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC, the largest listed entity on the Colombo Stock Exchange, would be CIMB Group’s trade execution partner in Sri Lanka while supporting CIMB in more..

Lankan banking team in push for investment

Mar 6 (GT) Sri Lanka’s impressive economic growth averaging 8% over the last two years will help the nation attract more foreign investments in various sectors, the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, said yesterday. Cabraal, who is leading an 11-member delegation of bankers from Sri Lanka on a three-day tour of Qatar to meet the country’s senior officials in different sectors said the delegation is on a mission to highlight the investment more..

2,000 Tamils stage protest at UN in Geneva

Mar 6 (AFP) Thousands of Tamils from across Europe protested in front of UN headquarters in Geneva Monday demanding the creation of an international tribunal to try "war crimes" committed in Sri Lanka. Some 2,000 protestors, according to the SDA-ATS Swiss news agency, waved banners and placards in favour of self-determination for the Tamil minority and denounced "genocidal acts". "We have proof of war crimes. We demand justice," declared some placards, more..

Sri Lanka's national media criticised at UNHRC

Mar 6 (Island) Special Rapporteur on human rights workers yesterday criticized the Sri Lankan national media. Addressing the UNHRC sessions, Ms Margaret Sekaggya said: "Regarding other parts of the world, I have once again been alerted that should human rights defenders in Sri Lanka seek the protection of my mandate, they, their families and colleagues may be subject to reprisals. This ongoing situation, combined with smear campaigns against defenders in more..

Sri Lanka Launches UNICEF's Flagship Report

Mar 6 (SOS) In the city of Colombo, yesterday (2), Sri Lanka celebrated the launch of this year’s publication of the UNICEF flagship report. The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World was jointly launched by the Sri Lanka Presidential Secretariat and UNICEF. The annual report takes the pulse of the status of children in countries across the globe. The theme of the report generally changes year-to-year. more..

Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs

Mar 6 (DN) The govt is planning to bring in two important pieces of legislation which when implemented, could result in a significant reduction in tobacco smoking in the country. “The govt will bring in laws which would require the industry to include pictorial health warnings on all tobacco packaging and also to ban smoking in all public and work places,” Health Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake said during a media workshop more..

Issuing Paracetamol to be reduced

Mar 6 (DM) The Health Ministry has sent a circular to all govt hospitals directing them to reduce the amount of issuing Paracetamol tablets to patients who seek OPD treatment. The Director, Health Services has instructed to make adequate supervision on the issue of drugs to avoid any wastage. A senior official of the ministry said the supply of Paracetamol tablets cost the govt Rs.200 million a month and steps were being taken to reduce that expenditure to the minimum. more..

Stern action against errant party members, regardless of position: Ranil

Mar 6 (ST) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe warned on Friday that stern action would be taken against any party member regardless of the position he holds in the UNP if he acts in breach of party discipline. “When people are taking to the streets in protest against the govt, these people are attempting to sabotage this process and strengthen the hand of the government. Whatever positions these saboteurs may hold, our party will take stern action against them,” more..

'Demonstrations are sycophantic'

Mar 6 (LB) Well-known attorney S.L. Gunasekera when asked of what he thinks of a probable resolution against Sri Lanka at the Geneva UNHRC sessions had this to say. “These western nations did not give a damn when our people’s fundamental rights were being violated. They nurtured terrorists and allowed such groups to arm themselves in order to commit murder and mayhem in our country. more..

Three brutal murders in a week

Mar 6 (SL) The last month was marred by a number of shocking murders in different parts of the island. The most recent incident involved the body of a 48 year old woman, which was found at a well-known hotel in Colombo. Police said that last Tuesday (28), hotel employees of the Renuka City Hotel in Kollupitya, were drawn to a foul smell emanating from one of the hotel rooms, which had been occupied by a married couple. more..

Arun humiliates Diaspora during Geneva confrontation

Mar 6 (Island) Slain EPRLF MP Sam Tambimuttu’s son, Arun, targeted the Tamil Diaspora on the sidelines of the current session of the UNHRC, in Geneva. The outspoken SLFP organizer for Batticaloa, Arun Tambimuttu told the Diaspora that he wouldn’t seek revenge from those who had assassinated his father and mother in Colombo over two decades ago. They were shot dead on May 7, 1990. more..

Docs, nurses clash over infant deaths at Mahamodara Hospital

Mar 6 (Island) Nurses and doctors are quarrelling over the cause of infant deaths at the Special Care Baby Unit of the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital, Galle. Seven babies have died during the past two weeks due to suspected bacterial infection. President of GNOA Saman Rathnapriya said that the SCBU was located in a tumbledown building hit by the Boxing Day tsunami, 2004 and more..

Workers allowed to proceed with 13 petitions against police attack

Mar 6 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with thirteen petitions filed by Free Trade Zone employees, who had alleged brutal police assault on May 30, 2011 at Katunayake. The petitions alleged that the police attack had been aimed at disrupting a peaceful demonstration conducted by them within the premises of the Free Trade Zone. more..

Homosexuality rising among prisoners

Mar 6 (DM) An increasing trend towards homosexuality had been noticed among prisoners giving rise to fears of the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, a health official said yesterday. National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention Unit Director Dr. Nimal Edirisinghe spoke of these concerns at a Kalutara District Awareness Programme on sexual health. more..

Cheers and jeers for maids' day off in Singapore

Mar 6 (AFP) Singapore's decision to grant foreign maids a weekly day off was welcomed Tuesday by social workers and rights groups, but some employers grumbled and critics said the move falls short of international labour standards. While Singapore is proud of its squeaky-clean image and widely admired for its economic development, it has been regularly criticised for its treatment of foreign workers. more..

Maldives lists SL as closest friend and adviser

Mar 6 (Island) While India and China seek greater influence over the Maldives, the new unity govt of President Mohammed Waheed, said yesterday that they had always obtained Sri Lanka’s advice, which was considered to be one of its closest friends. Maldivian Minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef said that his country was a non-aligned nation, but considered Sri Lanka to be its closest friend, ally and adviser. more..

UNP willing to assist Govt. implement LLRC recommendations

Mar 6 (Island) The UNP said yesterday that, as an initial step, it would support the government in implementing the LLRC’s recommendations, which have already been agreed upon by the people’s representative. UNP Media spokesman Gayantha Karunathillake MP, told The Island that his party’s position had already been conveyed to the government in writing but there had been no response. more..

'HRC should take Sri Lanka into its confidence'

Mar 6 (DM) Former Attorney General Mohan Pieris said that it was a vital necessity for the Human Rights Council to take Sri Lanka into its confidence and weed out any seeds of prejudice against the country, which is well on its way to reconciliation. Following the clustered Interactive Dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on torture and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Senior Advisor to the cabinet more..

Editorial: Change Now

Mar 6 (DM) Self-realization is the best form of visualization. After more than three decades of following or swallowing wholesale the globalised capitalist market economic system, Sri Lanka has now come to the realization it cannot proceed or develop further without social justice. Social economists believe that at present some 40 per cent of our people are struggling or surviving on the poverty line. That means they are earning only about Rs.200 a day for an average family of four. more..

Nanda Malini detained at Kuwait airport

Mar 6 (SM) Veteran songstress Nanda Malini and four other Sri Lankan artistes have been detained and interrogated at Kuwait Airport on March 01. They had arrived in Kuwait on board a SriLankan flight at around 6.00 pm for a musical event ‘Obai Ramya Sanda Kirana’ at the invitation of Sri Lankan resident in Kuwait Sumith Ranjan, but were detained at the visa counter. The baggage all five artistes were taken into the custody of the airport authorities, and some of the more..

Emphatic Sri Lanka level finals

Mar 6 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan took full toll of a wayward Australia as Sri Lanka forced a third triangular series final in Adelaide. Chasing 272, the visitors galloped to the target with 5.4 overs to spare, benefiting greatly from a rollicking start when the first three overs reaped 30 runs. Dilshan alternated between the brazen and the cheeky, crashing 10 fours and also being struck on the helmet when he attempted his patented Dil-scoop. more..

Tax hike on Potato imports

Mar 6 (DM) The Govt has increased the import duty on potatoes by 10 rupees per Kilo. Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the increase is intended to protect local farmers. “Our government, in our Mahinda Chinthana policy framework made it very clear that we will protect the local farmer. It is based on this policy that we decided to increase the import duty for potatoes” he said. The current tax would be increased from Rs.20 to Rs.30 per Kilo. more..

Rupee firmer on bank dlr sales; stx edge up

Mar 6 (Reuters) Rupee ended firmer on Tuesday as banks sold dollars amid concern the currency will depreciate further, while the stock market moved sideways as concerns over corporate profits loomed in thin trade. The rupee closed 121.45/55 a dollar, firmer than Monday's close of 121.95/122.05, in light trade, dealers said. A Reuters monthly forex poll on Wednesday has forecast the rupee to fall as far as 128.50 by the end of August. The rupee has fallen 5.9 percent since Feb. 9, more..

Significant drop in essential food prices

Mar 6 (GDI) The Agriculture and Training Institution said that the prices of essential food items have come down considerably during the last week. It said that the Divi Neguma programme, fertilizer subsidy and the public sector encouragement for food production have contributed for this situation. The Institution said the prices of rice have decreased with the arrival of Maha season rice in the market. The price of Nuwara Eliya potatoes has more..

Mahela fined for arguing with umpires

Mar 6 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has been fined 10% of his match fee for arguing with the umpires during the second final of the CB Series in Adelaide. Jayawardene was found to have breached Article 2.1.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to "showing dissent at an umpire's decision during an international match". The incident happened during the 44th over of the Australia innings when Farveez Maharoof bowled a waist-high full toss to Michael Clarke, who more..

‘Postal’ gives way for ‘Lotus Tower’

Mar 6 (LT) The govt has decided to remove the old Central Postal Exchange close to Postal Headquarters on D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, and buildings demolished to find space to build the ‘Lotus Tower.’ The internal parcels and transport sections are maintained here. The govt has already informed postal department to shift the internal parcels and transport sections. The internal parcels section maintained at the Central Postal Exchange has a staff of 178 and parcels to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.03.2012

Sri Lankan nominated as a Young Global Leader

Mar 6 (GDI) The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland has nominated Asanga Abeygoonesekera as an emerging Young Global Leader. He is one of the 192 exceptional individuals around the world to be honoured as Young Global Leaders this year. The Forum of Young Global Leaders, brings together outstanding leaders, aged 40 years or younger, who have committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy over the next five years to collectively work towards a better future. more..

SL Ambassador to meet Kuwaiti CID

Mar 6 (DM) The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Kuwait H.M. Wijeyratne is to take up the issue of the alleged harassment of local songstress Nanda Malini and her crew at the Kuwait airport, when he meets the Kuwaiti CID officials next Sunday. The Ambassador asserted that the Kuwaiti authorities had been acting on a malicious tip off by a section of Sri Lankans. "There is a lot of inter group rivalry among sections of the Diaspora living in Kuwait and I intend on meeting the head of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Emotions lend charm to Jayawardene's captaincy

Mar 6 (CI) The cricket world is full of too many nice and cool captains. Virender Sehwag is so afraid of breaching the spirit of cricket that he doesn't want to claim a dismissal that he believes is rightfully his side's. Michael Clarke finds mankading immoral, takes runs off overthrows off his bat but wants them reversed, and is generally conscious he is not seen as pushing the line. MS Dhoni maintains his cool, not changing things despite his team's poor results, more..

UK tells Lanka to move quickly

Mar 6 (SL) Britain has urged the Sri Lanka government to move quickly on implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). In a written statement to the British House of Commons, British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said that Britain sees a political settlement, respect for human rights and accountability for alleged war crimes as being essential elements in post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka. more..

West wants ‘regime change’ in SL-Tamara

Mar 6 (DM) Sri Lanka’s ambassador and Permanent Representatives to the UN in Geneva Tamara Kunanayakam slamming the west said that the Western countries want only a ‘regime change’ in Sri Lanka. “Their real objective is “regime change”! Many Ambassadors in Geneva have been telling me that this is also what they want to achieve in Sri Lanka, so we take it very seriously. Over the past 10 years, the US has sought to impose the concept more..

Second death reported in the Sother Expressway

Mar 6 (LN) One person was killed when a lorry met with an accident on the Southern Expressway at 1:30 pm today, Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said. "The vehicle which was travelling from Galle to Kottawa had toppled near the 8.3 km post on the Southern Highway,". The lorry has overturned when one of the tyres deflated suddenly, he said. Two others who were in the lorry at the time, including the driver and the cleaner had sustained injuries and were admitted to more..

Dilshan's rare all-round feat

Mar 6 (CI) The 179-run opening stand between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene is the second-highest for Sri Lanka against Australia after the 237-run partnership between Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya in Sydney in 2003. It is also the eighth-highest opening stand for Sri Lanka in the second innings in ODIs and the third-highest partnership in this tournament. The 179-run stand is also the highest ever for Sri Lanka in a tournament final surpassing more..

'Friends having different opinions not unusual'

Mar 6 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Palitha Kohona expressed confidence that Sri Lanka would be able to secure the support of a majority of countries at the UNHRC. Ambassador Kohona pooh-poohed suggestions that Sri Lanka’s relations with certain Western countries had deteriorated, and argued that it was not unusual for friends to have differences of opinion. more..

No more ODIs at Rangiri Dambulla Stadium

Mar 6 (ST) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage revealed today that it has been decided not to hold day/night one day international matches in the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium. The stadium had been removed from the day / night ODI venues in Sri Lanka since it does not have adequate facilities for practices for the players, he said. He added that an international tournament is scheduled to be played during the months of July and August in Sri Lanka but there would be no day/ night matches. more..

Tilvin scoffs at rumours of JVP-UNP alliance

Mar 6 (DM) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva scoffing at speculations in the political circles that the party was to come to an agreement with the UNP to topple the UPFA Govt said, the speculations were totally unfounded and incorrect. “We have no intention whatsoever to work with the UNP as we have our own strategy and a policy on how to bring to an end the dictatorial and corrupt govt. The UNP is known for spreading these kinds of rumours from time to time when they have crises. more..

Sri Lanka row over Catholic letter on human rights

Mar 6 (BBC) One of Sri Lanka's governing parties has called for the prosecution of a leading bishop after he condemned the govt's human rights record. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar and 30 priests wrote to the UNHRC calling for an inquiry into the legacy of Sri Lanka's civil war. But Buddhist nationalist JHU party accused the bishop of sympathising with separatist rebels. Correspondents say his comments have also led to a rift within the church. more..