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Woman fined eight cents for prostitution

Mar 8 (AFP) A Chinese woman who pleaded guilty to prostitution has been fined 10 rupees by a magistrate, the maximum punishment under an 1841 law, a report says. The woman was arrested and charged under the British colonial-era Vagrants Ordinance against prostitution, the Financial Times newspaper said. "After taking into consideration the provisions (of the law) Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne ordered her to pay a fine of 10 rupees," more..

JVP dissidents attacked: Erstwhile colleagues blamed

Mar 8 (Island) A meeting of the JVP dissidents was attacked yesterday at Angunakolapelessa. A spokesman for the rebels told The Island that a group of persons armed with clubs had stormed the place immediately after its commencement. He said the JVP was behind the unprovoked attack. Former Southern Provincial Councilor Jayantha Wanniarachchi said that ten JVPdissidents had been hospitalized following the attack. more..

Sri Lanka car sales expected to dip

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's auto sales are expected to dip in 2012 with pent up demand being met and rapidly rising lease rates, Tilak de Zoysa, deputy chairman of Associated Motorways, the island's largest auto dealer said. Sri Lanka's rupee also dipped from 110 to around 120 rupees in the second week of February pushing up the price of imported cars. AMW, which has the agency for India's Maruti, the island's best-selling brand and also Japan's Nissan is estimated to have more..

Govt to conduct survey on abortion laws

Mar 8 (KT) The government of Sri Lanka will conduct a public survey on Thursday to seek opinion on the proposed amendment of the country’s abortion laws. The Child Development and Women’s Affairs Ministry which is spearheading the public opinion poll stated that the survey would be conducted in the three areas that the government is attempting to legalise abortion. Recently the government proposed to legalise conditional abortion for underage and more..


Mar 8 (TT) For Sri Lanka, the battleground has shifted from the Wanni jungles to the cool precincts of Geneva, where the United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting. Here it is trying to defeat a resolution — drafted by the United States of America and now being considered by the council — that calls for Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission within a time frame and start investigations into human rights violations during more..

Exports not hurt by global recession – EDB Chief

Mar 8 (Island) The year 2011 was a very good year for exports with performance exceeding expectations and exceeding the revenue target of US $ 9.1 million and the services of exports were added, they would be still higher, EDB Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said. He said that the improved performance was driven by agricultural exports which grew by 10.6% and industrial products which grew by 27.3%. However, the fisheries sector dropped by 3.4% He said that the more..

Canada charge first suspect in MV Sun Sea human smuggling case

Mar 8 (NP) Two years ago, Royal Thai Police raided a Bangkok apartment building and arrested Thayakaran Markandu and three others suspected of amassing supplies for a human smuggling ship that was preparing to sail to Canada. They were let off with a fine. But on Wednesday, the RCMP issued an arrest warrant for a man with that same name, alleging he helped organize the MV Sun Sea, the cargo vessel that arrived off more..

Sri Lanka tells UNHRC to not to fall prey to bogus HR defenders

Mar 8 (CT) Sri Lanka’s former Attorney General Mohan Peiris urged the UNHRC President “not to fall prey to those who masquerade behind the cloak of human rights defenders,” following up on a warning given by the President. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the HRC, warned countries against “intimidating” human rights defenders, activists and lobbying during proceedings and side events. more..

Protection of female child will ensure protection of entire society - President

Mar 8 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark International Women’s Day 2012 ceremonies said this year’s theme ‘Let’s protect the female child’ is very appropriate and meaningful as the protection of the female child will help ensure the protection of the entire society. “I have great pleasure in issuing a message to mark International Women’s Day ceremony 2012 organised by the Child Development and Women’s Affairs Ministry,” the President said. more..

India yet to decide on rights resolution against Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (Hindu) India is yet to take a position on the U.S.-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. “But the general view in [the] country, specific to human rights resolutions, is that they do more harm than good. This has been our response to such resolutions for a number of years,” said official sources. India is still to take a stand on the resolution backed by Norway and western countries, besides the U.S., though more..

Pharmacy licence to be cancelled

Mar 8 (CT) The license of a pharmacy in Kandy is expected to be cancelled for dispensing a wrong medicine prescribed for a four-year-old child .The condition of the child aggravated and resulted in urgent medical attention. The Public Health Inspector (PHI) Amith Perera stated that the child was rushed to the Peradeniya Hospital after his glucose levels fell considerably. The child’s condition worsened when the wrong drug and dosage, dispensed by the pharmacist, was administered. more..

Milk powder imports to stop

Mar 8 (CT) All milk powder companies have decided to stop the importation of milk powder, a senior official of the Maliban group of companies said. Marketing manager of Maliban group of companies, Malinda Siriwardane told Ceylon Today that the decision to stop all imports was taken as the government has failed to increase the price of milk powder. “Along with the devaluation of the rupee, the import price of milk powder has increased. We have been asking the govt to more..

US submits draft resolution on SL

Mar 8 (DM) The United States today submitted the draft resolution against Sri Lanka to the UNHRC. Welcoming the constructive recommendations made by the LLRC in its report but, the resolution also notes with concern that the report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international humanitarian law. It also stated that the report of Sri Lanka's domestic LLRC and its findings and recommendations while acknowledging more..

Grant aid: expression of gratitude - Nobuhito Hobo

Mar 8 (Island) The Japanese govt yesterday provided grant assistance totalling 1.0254 billion Japanese Yen (Rs.1.55 billion) towards three projects aimed at facilitating social and economic development especially in lagging regions including the North and East of Sri Lanka. The monies have been allocated for procuring industrial products, rehabilitating the Killinochchi Water Supply Scheme and for the improvement of Japanese Language Learning Equipment more..

GNOA wants discussion on Nat. Drug Policy Bill

Mar 8 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) urged the Health Ministry to discuss the Bill on the National Drug Policy with relevant trade unions before submitting it in Parliament for approval. President of the GNOA Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that the need of a proper National Drug Policy was already causing severe problems in the Health sector with the flooding of unwanted drugs into the country and severe waste of funds. more..

Glittering find pits prospectors against environment

Mar 8 (ST) The accidental discovery of a gem bearing layer of land which was auctioned for mining for Rs 271 million, has given rise to rumours of the existence of more such gem-bearing land in the Kataragama–Thammanawa area, leading to a frenzy among villagers in the area, forcing the police to step in to bring matters under control. “There is no new gem deposit. People believed that there were gems in more..

Energy expert says ‘revamp Sapugaskanda refinery immediately’

Mar 8 (LB) “Immediately revamp the Sapugaskanda oil refinery which is more than 40 years old, rather than pursuing the wisp-o-will of building a large grassroots refinery with a foreign partner,” said Al Troner, President of Asia Pacific Energy Consulting, Houston, USA, who was one of the guest speakers and participants at the Asia Energy Security Summit 2012, held last week in Colombo. more..

‘Centre will consider Jaya’s views on visits by Lankan VIPs’

Mar 8 (PTI) The Centre today assured the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, that it will take into account her opinion on unannounced visits by Sri Lankan VIPs to the State, saying it will take the matter “seriously”. “We are a federal state, we have the greatest respect for States. Whatever is the assessment of the State Governments, we will take it seriously, but we will see how we can reconcile the issue,” more..

Lanka to present its case

Mar 8 (CT) Sri Lanka will be heard by the UN Human Rights Council today ahead of a public discussion about the US backed resolution against Sri Lanka organized by the US mission to Geneva. A strong Sri Lankan delegation is heading for Geneva to be present for the session along with Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam. Former Attorney General and Advisor to the President, more..

3 months leave for Duminda creates rift in SLFP

Mar 8 (LT) It is reported that another period of three months of leave from Parliament is to be given to Duminda Silva, the main suspect of the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandera. This is to be proposed in Parliament on Friday by the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva. However, political sources say a rift has been created within the SLFP regarding Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, a strong man of the govt,coming forward to present the proposal on more..

Geneva: India,SL take common stand on NGOs, paymasters

Mar 8 (Island) An unexpected condemnation of India over accountability issues at the current sessions of the UNHRC has prompted India to take a line similar to that of Sri Lanka on the issue of foreign-NGOs. Sri Lanka and India have, according to Geneva based sources, taken exception to the views expressed by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya, who was critical of them on more..

South Africa pledges help on reconciliation for Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (TW) South Africa was ready to help Sri Lanka work towards reconciliation, the International Relations Department said yesterday. Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the two countries agreed to work towards the implementation of the Sri Lankan LLRC. The LLRC involved the return and settlement of displaced communities, human rights, and restitution and compensatory relief for those affected by more..

'No cause for alarm over fuel price hikes'

Mar 8 (ST) Sri Lanka has never had it good and despite the recent fuel price hike and the policy rate changes, inflation is still 'low' and there's no cause for alarm, according to a renowned statistician. "There's very often an overreaction (to situations) amongst us. For instance there was much noise made on the fuel price increase. But inflation will not go anywhere near what it was some two years ago (due to this increase)," said Anila Dias Bandaranaike, former Central banker and statistician, more..

Allegation: Deputy Minister demanded Rs 25M protection money

Mar 8 (DM) A businessman from Minuwangoda has complained to President Mahinda Rajapaksa that a deputy minister from Gampaha District had tried to extort Rs.25 million from him. The millionaire businessman had informed the president that the deputy minister had telephoned him and threatened to kill him unless he paid him Rs. 25 million. The deputy minister had asked the businessman to have the money ready more..

'UNHRC battle be fought to the very last minute'

Mar 8 (GDI) "In a wide ranging interview Tamara Kunanayakam, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, explained the motivations of the West and mostly the United States for pushing a resolution against Sri Lanka: “What, in fact, are the US trying to tell us with their draft resolution? They are not saying that our LLRC report is bad. They are not saying that there is gross and systematic violations of human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: Women Empowerment: A routine task

Mar 8 (DM) Commemorative days are lifesavers for forgetful people, who, without a loud wakeup call, do not pay heed to the happenings around them. At a time when ungratefulness has become the norm, it is a sorry sight that the media and various other advertising campaigns are being summoned to remind- the people of their responsibilities. Hence, the International Women’s Day, marked worldwide today has become more of a showcase event that provides reasons to more..

Diyawadana Nilame case on April 20

Mar 8 (SM) Colombo district court judge Dhammika Ganepola today (Mar. 08) said that the verdict in a case filed by Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy Pradeep Nilanga Dela will be delivered on April 20. The respondents cited in this case are Ven. Kolonnawe Siri Shanthavijaya Thera, Ven. Sumangala Thera, Dias Illangamuwa and Upali Newspapers Ltd. The petitioner said the suspects had complained to the commissioner of Buddhist affairs and the bribery commission about more..

Australia beat Sri Lanka to win Commonwealth Bank tri-series

Mar 8 (CI) Unwavering spells from Clint McKay and the stand-in captain Shane Watson delivered the triangular series trophy to Australia in a fittingly tense third final against a doughty Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval. As the injured captain Michael Clarke watched intently from the boundary's edge, Brett Lee and McKay nipped out Sri Lanka's top four batsmen inside the first 10 overs, after the visitors had more..

Foreign couple arrested

Mar 8 (CT) A 18 year old Kuwaiti boy and a 16 year old Indian girl have been taken into custody from a house of ill repute by the Galewela Police. According to the police, the two suspects were found at a brothel which was catering to foreigners. The two did not posess proper travel documents either. The police sources said that the couple had arrived in the island a couple of weeks ago and they did not have proper visas to extend their stay. The brothel was raided on a tip-off by the 119. more..

Sri Lankan rights issue: India not to act hastily

Mar 8 (Hindu) India’s stand at the ongoing U.N. Human Rights Council meet in Geneva on the resolution against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes would be taken based on the overall ties between the two neighbours and the sentiments in the country, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said on Thursday. “Certainly we will take into account the overall relationship between India and Sri Lanka and the sentiments that are prevalent in our country. We will take every factor into more..

UDA in talks with India's Tata on US$50mn project

Mar 8 (LBO) Urban Development Authority is in talks with India's TATA Housing Development Company, to develop an underserved area in Colombo an official said. The project involves relocating shanty dwellers in Colombo's Slave Island area to new housing and developing the vacated area. "We are going to sign a preliminary MOU (memorandum of understanding) with them", UDA Chairman, Nimal Perera, said. more..

Govt.Infor – SLF join for a noble task

Mar 8 (GDI) The Department of Govt Information and the Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF) today signed a MoU to conduct a monthly public lecture series titled ‘Trends’ (Pravanatha) in order to enlighten the general public on the current and contentious issues. The first lecture under this series will be held next Monday, the 12th at the SLFI Auditorium under the theme ‘International Challenges against Sri Lanka’. The Resource Personnel who will deliver the lectures under more..

Sri Lanka consider convention centre near airport: official

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of building an international convention centre close to the main airport in Katunayake outside the capital Colombo. Export development board (EDB) chairman, Janaka Ratnayake said the government may release land for the project. Sri Lanka is holding Expo 2012, an export trade fair from March 28 to 31 at the Bandaranaike International Convention Centre in the capital after a gap of 15 years. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.03.2012

Sri Lanka: A wild mix of ancient and modern Asia

Mar 8 (AN) In the classic film The Bridge on the River Kwai, filmed in Sri Lanka, the protagonist Col. Nicholson remarks: “We can teach these barbarians a lesson in Western methods and efficiency that will put them to shame. We’ll show them what the British soldier is capable of doing.” It’s this sort of colonial attitude the island formerly known as Ceylon has shaken off so spectacularly, forging its own identity as a racially diverse nation comprising Sinhalese, Tamil, more..

Mahinda Chintanaya or Neo Liberal Chinthanaya

Mar 8 (DM) The emergence of the Neo liberal school of thought can be attributed to the Washington Consensus (WC) which was set up in the late 1980’s (1989) and the WC had a set of 10 economic policy prescriptions tailor made for crisis affected developing countries. The WC was developed by the IMF, World Bank and the US Treasury Department. Its policy prescriptions included opening out the economy to trade and investment and expanding market forces within the local or more..

WikiLeaks: Blake asked “Strictly Protect” Lalith Weerathunga

Mar 8 (CT) “Weeratunga (please strictly protect throughout) acknowledged the Ambassador was right and said he had been discussing this same problem with Peace Secretariat Director Kohona and others within the govt.” the US Ambassador to Colombo informed Washington. “He said the military was operating on a long leash and urged the Ambassador to be in touch with Secretary of Defense Rajapaksa to make these same points since he had more..

Over-rate fine only blip in Australia's victory

Mar 8 (CI) Australia's stand-in captain Shane Watson will be in danger of a suspension during the ODI series in the West Indies after he and his team were fined for a slow over-rate in their triangular series final victory at Adelaide Oval. After a tense match, won by 16 runs, the ICC match-referee Chris Broad calculated that Australia were one over short of the required rate over the course of Sri Lanka's innings, meaning each member of the team lost 10% of their more..

Devananda proposes joint patrolling to prevent clashes

Mar 8 (DM) Minister Douglas Devananda had proposed joint patrolling by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Coast Guard to prevent the clashes between fishermen of the two countries. Minister Devananda who arranged a meeting between the representatives of fishermen’s associations in the two countries in the Kachchativu Island recently, said that such joint patrolling would be the only effective mechanism to prevent the encroachment of international maritime boarder. more..

Sri Lanka up to a fight at Human Rights council

Mar 8 (Hindu) Even as the United States submitted a draft resolution in the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Sri Lanka stepped up its diplomatic offensive in a bid to ensure that it did not come in for adverse criticism in the Rights body. The draft resolution on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka, submitted aims at promoting reconciliation and accountability and stresses on the need to implement the recommendations of more..