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Thousands of voters 'missing' in north

Mar 7 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka says that over two thousands registered voters in two electoral bodies in the north are unaccounted for. UNP quoting the elections commissioner said nearly 10-15% of people out of 21,000 registered voters in Pudukudiiruppu (PDK) and Maritimepattu in Mullaitivu district are either dead or missing. "Therefore, we requested the election commissioner to consider issuing temporary identity cards," more..

Gruelling series reaches gripping finale

Mar 7 (CI) When the triangular made a comeback this Australian summer, there was trepidation around it. After all, it was going to involve 12 ODIs before the best-of-three finals series between sides that were used to playing each other. Familiarity between India and Sri Lanka has borne boredom for a long time now, and on top of that Australia had a strong mental hold over India after a summer full of Test-bashing. more..

'All progressive forces will be rallied to win genuine victories'

Mar 7 (LT) While an attempt to conceal genuine issues of the masses is being carried out by feigning a pseudo patriotism and inciting people for pro-govt agitations claiming that a resolution is to be presented to the UNHRC to take President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the electric chair, Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is working hand in glove with imperialists led by the USA as well as India says more..

Duty Attorney at Police stations

Mar 7 (DN) Sri Lanka while reiterating that it has a zero tolerance policy on torture, yesterday said that the country is in the process of studying a major amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to provide a Duty Attorney scheme at every police division. The govt is studying the possibility of introducing this scheme on the lines of Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) in the UK providing legal services as a mandatory right at Police stations to every suspect within a short time of arrest. more..

Now, India lambasted at UN HR parley

Mar 7 (Island) Having solicited India’s support for US-led resolution targeting Sri Lanka, the UNHRC has launched a derisive attack on Premier Manmohan Singh’s govt demanding far reaching constitutional changes to improve India’s own human rights record. India is a key member of the 47-member UNHRC divided into five regional groups. Diplomatic and political sources, based both in Colombo and Geneva, said that more..

Sri Lanka export fair signs up 370 exhibitors

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka Expo 2012 will kick off on March 28, with 370 exhibitors and a series of technical sessions and 700 foreign visitors including a 150 strong delegation from China already registered to attend, an official said. Chairman of Sri Lanka's Export Development Board, Janaka Ratnayake said the exhibition which will showcase export products and services has attracted, trade and business associations, more..

Tense situation in Kahawatta

Mar 7 (CT) Several houses has been set on fire in Kahawatte by aggravated residents of the area after the police arrested a suspect in connection with the dual murder in Kahawatte which occurred in February. Several houses including a house belonging to a UPFA provincial councilor has been set on fire by the aggravated villagers and tires set on fire. The decomposed body of the duo was found in separate locations – one at a rubber estate and more..

Nanthikadal opens 3 years after the war

Mar 7 (SL) The Nanthikadal lagoon, located near the final battle ground of Sri Lanka’s 30 year war, where the leader of the LTTE was killed, has been opened for civilians three years after the war ended, the military said on Wednesday. The Nanthikadal lagoon was declared open for civilians to fish with de-mining in the surrounding areas being completed. “There were several mines in the area after the war so it took some time for the mines to be cleared. more..

No fuel subsidy in Chilaw as pledged

Mar 7 (BBC) Fishermen in western Sri Lankan coastal town of Chilaw say they are struggling for survival due to fuel shortage, lack of proper income and difficulty in finding alternative jobs following the recent steep increase in fuel price. The only petrol station franchised to supply fuel or a subsidised price in Chilaw, Nimal Petrol Station, was seen closed on Wednesday, forcing fishermen to lodge complaints. In response, the petrol station says there is a severe delay in more..

National road network to be further developed

Mar 7 (GDI) Measures are underway to develop national road network this year. The People's Bank will assist the Government with an allocation of around Rs 12 billion for road development and rehabilitation projects this year. The rehabilitation of the Anuradhapura -Trincomalee road (97 kms), Ibbagamuwa-Madagalla road via Kubukgate (34 kms), Giriulla - Narammala road (16 kms) will be undertaken with Rs 8 billion, Rs 3 billion and Rs 1 billion funding from more..

Jayalalithaa opposes visits by Lankan VIPs to TN

Mar 7 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday asked the Centre to "discourage" frequent visits of Sri Lankan VIPs to the state as the people were "greatly exercised" over the island government's conduct on the Tamils issue. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa also said the Sri Lankan VIPs be allowed to Tamil Nadu only after consulting the state. Noting that Sri Lankan VIPs and other dignitaries come on more..

Police power for ‘Geneva’ comedy

Mar 7 (LT) All police stations in the island have been ordered to carry out ‘Bodhi Poojas’ to bestow blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the govt. This order has been made by the Ministry of Defense with the signature of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The announcement issued states members of community centers should be gathered at temples, Hindu temples and mosques and carry out ‘poojas’ and religious activities to bestow blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and more..

Pelwatte Sugar production commences

Mar 7 (GDI) Production in the Pelwatte Sugar Factory started yesterday. The target of the factory is to produce 26,000 metric tons of sugar per year. The factory which was mismanaged by the private sector was re-acquired by the govt recently. It has a workforce of nearly 7,000. Sugar cane has been cultivated in 6,300 hectares and the factory purchases sugar cane at Rs. 3,500 per ton. Under the private sector management sugar cane had been purchased only at more..

5,671 cases of disappearances remain outstanding in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (SM) According to the Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, 5,761 cases of involuntary disappearances remain outstanding in Sri Lanka. The report was submitted to the 19th session of UNHRC on 06th Feb 2012. However, these numbers do not include disappearances that had taken place in the Wanni during 2007- 2009. The report says that the Sri Lankan govt didn’t respond to any of those general allegations. more..

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh in trade talks after 19 years lapse

Mar 7 (Xinhua) As Sri Lanka-Bangladesh trade tops an all-time high of 46 million U.S. dollars, the latest round of trade talks kicked off between the two countries, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen is attending the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Co-operation (JE&TC), said the ministry in a statement. The talks have been convened after the lapse of nearly two decades with the last round being held in 1993. more..

US exploits UNHRC resolution to pressure Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (wsws) The US is proposing a resolution on Sri Lanka in the current session of the UNHRC, which started last week. While the Sri Lankan government has opposed the move, the resolution will do nothing to address the war crimes and gross abuses of democratic rights by the military in the final stages of the island’s civil war against the separatist LTTE. The draft resolution calls on the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations of its own LLLRC, more..

Sri Lanka offers prayers to ward off 'conspiracy'

Mar 7 (PTI) With a US-backed resolution targeting Sri Lanka's rights record likely to be taken up at a UNHRC meet in Geneva, the govt here on Wednesday organised Buddhist religious prayers aimed at defeating the alleged international conspiracy against the country. "We have organised simultaneous 'adhistana poojas' (prayers of determination) today at most leading Buddhist temples," Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Deputy Finance Minister, said. more..

There is no forgetting in the Blogosphere

Mar 8 (NS) Post-modernist theory suggests the past is unknowable. There is no objective fact that we can call ‘history’. There is no way of deciding whether one representation of the past or another is true. Up to a point. Much of what we know is a garbled version of what historians have written. We might make mistakes in our search for the truth about the past, and new discoveries are always being made. That does not mean that the concept of truth itself is relative. more..

Preventing politicians from going to Hell - Part II

Mar 8 (NS) Recently, we have seen how certain politicians, whose honesty and integrity are questionable, were being awarded Buddhist Titles. During a period when the country is celebrating 2600th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s attainment of Buddhahood under the theme “Let us prepare ourselves for the Buddhatwa Jayanthy by adhering to Buddhist ethics by following virtuous conduct”, isn’t it a big joke to adorn these corrupt politicians with such high titles? more..

Ranil Abeynaike: Hero ‘Thomian Class of 62’

Mar 8 (NS) When somebody known to all who has taken the country by storm is snatched away at an unexpected moment, grief embraces the minds in an unbearable manner. In such a backdrop, popular yesteryear cricketer and cricket commentator Ranil Gemunu Abeynaike passed away at 57 on the morning of February 21, 2012. Ranil, the man with a mellifluous smile was admired by millions of cricket fans in this country. As a commentator, more..

The gloomy doom of the Sinhala language: Another focus in need of nurture

Mar 8 (CT) In a moment following 33 months since the trounce of the hardnosed LTTE (on May 18, 2009), with the utmost sacrifices in armed-backing of the armed-forces, also coupled with the unassailable leadership-backing of Retired General Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, and the headship-backing of the current head of state President Percy Mahendra (Mahinda) Rajapaksa, when Sri Lanka is in apparent agony with regards to many a topic of grave citizen concern, more..

Sri Lanka at the Crossroads

Mar 8 (CT) The deafening roar of true-blooded patriotic Sinhala lions on the streets on the 27th, orchestrated by the Regime, confirmed my worst fears. Although the grip that the Regime has had on the Sinhala masses has been seriously dented by the recent jacking up of fuel prices and the killings and armed repression of protests by the armed forces, I would not underestimate the reserves still in command of the State. The beast in most ferocious when cornered. The situation may be more..

NARA projects on course to improve fish harvesting

Mar 8 (SO) The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) will implement the marine related policies of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry, Dr. S.G. Samarasundara Chairman of NARA said. Several departments come under the NARA, namely the Institute of Post Harvest Technology (IPHT), Oceanography Division (OD), Inland Aquatic resources and Aquaculture Division (IARD), more..

Some comments of Udayasiri Wickramaratne’s ‘Suddek Oba Amathai’

Mar 8 (GV) It is Lakshman Piyasena, introduced to me by my friend Jayantha Dhanapala, who first told me of Udayasiri Wickramaratne’s play. Piyasena urged Dhanapala and me to see a performance of Suddek Oba Amatai and kept us informed of dates when the play was due to go on the boards in Colombo. I am most grateful to both Messrs. Dhanapala and Piyasena for directing me to this excellent piece of theatre. Accordingly, a few weeks ago, I was privileged to watch a more..

Barack and Mahinda: Best buddies

Mar 8 (SL) Today, we bring to you a World Exclusive: Last week’s exchange of letters between Percy Mahinda and Barack Obama which reveals the extremely cordial state of relations between the two countries contrary to popular belief. My dear Barack, I wish to convey my very grateful thanks to you and the American people for coming to my rescue and saving me from the dire political straits I was in last week. For the first time since I became president the people of my more..

TINTIN: An adventure like no other

Mar 8 (ST) I went to see the Tintin movie at the Liberty Cinema in the company of my young nephew and his lovely fiancée. I wanted to see it on the big screen but was rather reluctant to go on my own, so the young couple took pity on the old Uncle and off we went. Mind you, I did pay for the tickets! It was nice to visit the old Liberty after a lapse of 35 years. I have known Tintin circa 1955 whereas Steven Spielberg first discovered Tintin only in 1981! more..

Editorial: Uncle Sam drops the fig leaf!

Mar 8 (Island) US Attorney General Eric Holder's revelation in a speech at the Northwestern University law school in Chicago on Tuesday that Americans who pose a threat to their country could be targeted for death overseas like al-Awlaki, an Islamic cleric with alleged al Qaeda links, who was killed in Yemen, could not have come at a worse time for the Obama administration or at a better time for its critics. The UNHRC sessions are on in Geneva, where the US delegates more..

The TNA’s case for land powers to provinces

Mar 8 (Island) The TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran in presenting his case for devolving Land Powers to Provincial Councils has cited 3 principal reasons, as reported in The Island, Feb 25, 2012. In essence, the 3 reasons are: 1: That "…decisions over land must be made at a unit of governance that is close to the people and by decision makers who understand the specific needs of the people in the area. Land issues by their very nature are region specific, and influenced by hundreds more..

Galle Music Festival: Extravaganza of Rhythm and Colour

Mar 8 (CT) The citizens of Galle (as well as music lovers interested enough to travel in from the rest of Sri Lanka) have just concluded a memorable weekend. Galle came vibrantly alive to celebrate one of the country’s most important music festivals, which brings together under one roof artistes, especially folk artistes from all around the country. The festival, started in 2009 as part of a Music Cooperation program between Norway and Sri Lanka, alternates between more..

Not too late for President Rajapaksa to take remedial action

Mar 8 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa confronted his moment of truth at Geneva on February 27 when the 19th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) started discussing Sri Lanka. It was third time Sri Lanka’s accountability issue had figured at the 47-member body. This time it is going to be difficult for Sri Lanka to ward off discussion as the U.S. has circulated a draft resolution that questions Sri Lanka’s accountability during the last days of Eelam War in May 2009. more..

Banks increase borrowings from CB as liquidity tightens further

Mar 8 (Island) Benchmark Treasury bill rates and overnight interest rates increased further as rupee liquidity continued to tighten with commercial banks increasingly borrowing from the Central Bank to maintain positions. The Central Bank injected Rs. 5 billion into the banking system on Tuesday as rupee liquidity continued to tighten. It had pumped in Rs. 9 billion over the previous two days which saw the interest rate for these transactions pick up to 8.8 percent from 8.75 percent last Friday. more..

Connections | March 05, 2012

Sri Lanka: Global road map versus great Indian roadblock at Geneva

Mar 8 (ER) There is an uneasy silence prevalent in New Delhi about the 19th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva. Though the Indian govt wants to keep its cards close to its chest the world is no longer prepared to play blind. At the same time the Indian government may not miss an opportunity of carrying earthen pots to Geneva, like our Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna did in Colombo in January this year to observe Pongal, in order to demonstrate more..

President initiates annual repainting work of Ruwanweli Maha Seya

Mar 8 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday initiated work on the annual repainting of the Ruwanweli Maha Seya amid the blessings of the Maha Sangha and the devotees who thronged the Ruwanweli Maha Seya premises yesterday. The President participated in religious observances conducted by the Ruwanseli Maha Seya Chief Incumbent Ven. Pallegama Hemarathna Nayaka Thera. The Ruwanweli Seya which is 338 feet in height and 942 feet in circumference is painted annually before more..

Economic growth to slow down to 7.9%, says JKSB

Mar 8 (Island) Investor sentiment is expected to remain weak as uncertainty grips the country’s equities market with economic growth is expected to slowdown to 7.9 percent this year, but better positions could be built in the medium to long term, John Keells Stock Brokers (JKSB) said in a comprehensive economic and capital market report titled "Timing is Everything: Sri Lanka Market Strategy". "A steady decline in the indices over more..

Nurses demand to know what has become of money

Mar 8 (Island) A nurses’ trade union yesterday claimed that a German NGO had gifted Rs. 3,000 million to the Health Ministry to relocate the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital after the Tsunami catastrophe, but that project had not been implemented. President of the GOMA Saman Rathnapriya said that what had happened to those funds was anybody’s guess. He alleged that the government had only laid the foundation stone in a land belonging to the Irrigation Department in Karapitiya in 2009. more..

‘Health Ministry responsible for infant deaths in Galle’

Mar 8 (Island) National Organiser of the Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemorative Association Dr. Jayantha Bandara blamed the Health Ministry for the deaths of twelve babies at Mahamodara Teaching hospital. He said though health workers had pointed out many shortcomings at the hospitals, the Health authorities had done precious little to correct the situation. Therefore, he argued, the Health Ministry could not absolve itself of the responsibility for the infant deaths. more..

History in the making in Adelaide

Mar 8 (Island) The country will come to a standstill today as the national cricket team is searching for a rare honour in Australia in the grand finale of the tri-nation Commonwealth Bank Series at City of Churches with the Adelaide Oval hosting the third and last final between Sri Lanka and Australia. Sri Lankans from all over Australia were attempting to reach Adelaide from various parts of the country including a group of 50 Sri Lankan supporters from more..

All island Divineguma New Year fair

Mar 8 (CT) The Ministry of Economic Development plans to conduct an all island New Year fair to coincide with the launching of third stage of Divineguma National Development programme. The objective to hold Avurudhu fairs in all Divisional Secretary’s areas is to promote small and medium scale cottage industries as envisaged in Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma programme. These Avurudhu fairs will be conducted under the co-patronage of the Samurdhi Commissioner General’s more..

Geneva resolution : Pro-Lanka protests to sweep Europe

Mar 8 (DN) Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans will take part in protests across Europe this week at the proposed UN resolution backed by the United States and several Western countries against the motherland at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva. A massive protest organized by Sri Lankans in Rome will be held today at Piazza Dei Venezia, while a number of such protests are scheduled to take place in a number of cities in more..