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SriLankan Airlines to introduce ayurvedic therapists on-board

Mar 9 (DN) For the first time in the global aviation history, SriLankan Airlines will introduce Ayurvedic therapists on airline flights. SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe said that they have already entered into a contract with Siddhalepa Spa which already has a centre at the Colombo Airport. He said that this service would be made available for long haul destinations and would be offered to Business Class. "What we are planning is to have a therapist more..

Sex workers from China, Russia and Uzbekhistan haunt nightclubs and casinos

Mar 9 (LB) Police records indicate that there are a large number of foreign tourists who visit Sri Lanka purely for purposes of prostitution and other illegal trades. These records reveal that most of the women who visit the country for prostitution are Chinese, followed by women from Russia and Uzbekhistan. These women operate in the Bambalapitiya and Kollupitiyia areas. It is also said that around 300 to 400 such foreign sex workers have more..

International Women's Day Celebrated at Temple Trees

Mar 9 (GDI) Sri Lanka celebrated the International Women's Day Thursday at a special ceremony held at the Temple Trees under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. This year's celebrations under the theme Let's Protect girl Child" were held under the guidance of the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs. Attorney General Eva Wanasundera who delivered the keynote address said that more..

Polls Chief gives more time to obtain temporary IDs

Mar 9 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya has extended the deadline to March 17 for voters without NICs to obtain temporary identity cards to cast their ballot at the local government elections to the Maritimepattu and Pudukudirruppu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District on March 24, said former Additional Commissioner of Elections (Local and Provincial) W.P. Sumanasiri more..

Anti-SL resolution: Norway’s dilemma

Mar 9 (Island) Will Norway, which facilitated the failed Sri Lankan peace process, vote for a US-sponsored resolution targeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s govt over accountability issues at the current session of the UNHRC? Oslo had refrained from commenting on war crimes charges directed at Sri Lanka during the high level segment at the UNHRC so far, though the Norwegian mission in Geneva was working closely with the US-led grouping, more..

Oil for rice barter system soon - Agriculture Minister

Mar 9 (DN) Sri Lanka can use a barter system to exchange rice for oil in three to four years, said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Participating in the Post Harvest Technology Institute Research Symposium, he said that the country can overcome all its difficulties within the next few years. “Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in rice. We will take measures to exchange our rice with Middle Eastern countries. more..

Kelani water treatment plant to open soon

Mar 9 (DN) The Kelani Right Bank Water Treatment Plant along with the Kelani Ganga Water Treatment Plant will be inaugurated at the end of March. The Water Supply and Drainage Ministry has planned the project with the intention of providing drinking water to towns in the northern part of the Western Province. These towns are Biyagama, Kiribathgoda, Kadawatha, Ragama, Wattala, Kandana, Ja-ela, Seeduwa and Ganemulla, he said. more..

'Key medical institutions without heads'

Mar 9 (Island) Around 50 key state medical institutions, including the Colombo National Hospital, Castle Street Maternity Hospital, National Blood Centre and Mahamodara Maternity Hospital, do not have permanent Medical Superintendents or Directors to head them. As a consequence, many administrative lapses, including delay in ordering drugs and medical equipment, delays in evaluation processes of doctors, monitoring of health care services provided by more..

Sri Lanka's former war-zone credit flows up

Mar 9 (LBO) Branches of banks in Sri Lanka's northern province are now lending most of their deposits in the region itself in a resurgence of economic activity following the end of a 30 year war. The loan to deposit ratio of banks in the north was as low as 19 percent in 2009 indicating only 19 cents of every rupee of deposits were loaned in the area. But by Sept 2011 it has climbed to 52 percent from 33 percent by end 2010. "I think it is a very healthy sign," Central Bank Govener more..

Soldiers’ killing over personal dispute - Army

Mar 9 (DM) It has now been revealed that a Soldier shot himself after killing two other soldiers over a personal dispute in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna, Military Spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi stated. ‘According to initial investigations, there is no third party involvement in this case, it was due to a personal dispute,’. Three soldiers who were on duty at Murugan Kovil, Chavakachcheri were killed due to a shooting incident last night. more..

Member states in UNHRC 'deeply divided'

Mar 9 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s human rights issue are causing huge divisions in the United Nations. The member states of the UNHRC are currently informally debating a resolution which was sponsored by the United States following Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, and it’s causing strong disagreements between them. Human rights activist Sunila Abeysekera who has been observing the debates in Geneva said “divisions between countries in the Human Rights Council became more..

Editorial: Looking for our Shangri-La

Mar 9 (DM) Indeed we have heard much about the breaking ground of the famed Hong Kong based Shangri-la hotels and resorts, one of the world’s premier hotel companies venturing into Sri Lanka. The ordinary citizen would naturally ask if another one of those grandiose activities, our govt has started, would have any impact upon their difficult lives. The ordinary person seeks his or her own ‘ShangriLa’, where life in his or her own village or township would be a more..

Sri Lanka apparel exporter says US demand to be strong

Mar 9 (LBO) Demand from the United States for apparels would be strong this year, though Europe may be weak and domestic conditions in China, a key competitor favoured Sri Lanka, a top industry official said. "I am of the view that the American market is beginning to pick up," Mahesh Amalean, head of MAS Holdings, a top apparel exporting group said. "There is labor shortage in China, in the areas where appeals are manufactured." He said capacity in China more..

Why we should be talking about Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (Time) As 47 countries meet in Geneva to take stock of the world’s human-rights performance, Sri Lanka finds itself in the dock, haunted by the legacy of a fierce civil war that spanned two and a half decades and came to a violent end three years ago. The Sri Lankan govt is under fire for failing to investigate human-rights violations said to have taken place in the final months of the military’s scorched earth offensive — a relentless battle more..

'Govt breaks down self confidence of the youth'

Mar 9 (LT) The govt has commenced a scheme to destroy the self confidence of the young people in this country says the National Organizer of Socialist Youth Union (SYU) former MP Bimal Ratnayake. He said this addressing the ceremony held at the Kurunegala branch of the ‘Wishwa Computer Education Centre’ to award certificates to the third batch of its students. He said repressing opposition that rises up due to unemployment issues of youths destroy their self confidence. more..

Over 500 prosecuted for using illegal fishing methods

Mar 9 (Island) Strict legal action was being taken against persons who violate the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 02 of 1996 by using illegal fishing vessels, equipment and transport methods, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The Ministry had filed 563 cases against fishermen and the other supportive employees for using illegal fishing gear including tractors to haul ‘Madel’ nets, he said. Nearly 419 cases were filed in 2010, 144 cases were filed in 2011 more..

One of Sri Lanka's finest ODI shows

Mar 9 (CI) Sri Lanka missed out on a golden opportunity to shrug off the runners-up tag and take the winners' trophy in a meaningful tournament when they messed up what should have been a very gettable target at the Adelaide Oval, but that shouldn't take away from what has been a terrific tournament for Mahela Jayawardene and his team. They inflicted four defeats on a buoyant Australian side that was coming off a more..

Ranawaka says Kerawalapitiya not his baby

Mar 9 (Island) The Kerawalapitiya Thermal Power Plant does not come under the purview of his Ministry, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told Parliament yesterday. The Minister was responding to a question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. MP Jayasekera wanted to know whether the operations of the Kerawalapitiya Thermal Power Plant had been suspended owing to a bill amounting to Rs 3,800 million. The minister said it was not gazetted under his ministry. more..

Bus fare revision unreasonable – JVP

Mar 9 (Island) The DNA yesterday accused the govt of dancing to the tune of bus owners and thereby putting commuters into difficulty by permitting an undue bus fare hike. DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making a special statement in Parliament, said that the revision of bus fares was due only in July this year, but the govt had advanced it by five months to permit the fare increase demanded by bus owners. MP Dissanayake said that according to Cabinet Paper No 02/0942/104/049(1), more..

'India should back resolution against Sri Lanka'

Mar 9 (PTI) DMK President M. Karunanidhi on Friday said India should declare support for the U.S.-backed resolution against Sri Lanka in the ongoing UNHRC meet in Geneva for alleged “war crimes” on Tamils during the internal conflict. “The tears have not dried up. If those in the Central govt watched those visuals just once they would realise the importance of the plea made on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Karunanidhi, whose party is a key more..

Police deny political interference

Mar 9 (CT) Police today denied claims that the investigations related to the Kahawatte dual murder were delayed due to political interference. Three suspects have been arrested in relation to the Kahawatte dual murder. It was also stated that the CID had conducted investigations successfully. “A certain amount of time is required to solve crime and it cannot be done immediately. Therefore, we strongly deny claims that political interference delayed investigations”, the Police media unit said. more..

Govt. trapped country, people in tight spot

Mar 9 (SM) JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe alleges the govt has made the country and the people trapped in an international tight spot by promising to implement the LLRC recommendations at the insistence of the US in Geneva. US officials Maria Otero and Robert O’ Blake had threatened president Mahinda Rajapaksa during their recent visits to the island, he says. Head of the government delegation Mahinda Samarasinghe had sacrificed the country and the people more..

Sri Lanka to cut 2012 growth forecast below 8 pct

Mar 9 (Reuters) Central bank will soon lower its 2012 growth forecast of 8 percent to a figure no lower than 7 percent, owing to tighter monetary policy measures and the depreciation of the rupee, the bank's governor said. The bank had originally forecast this year's growth at 8 percent, slowing from an estimated 8.3 percent expansion in 2011. The IMF, which has given a $2.6 billion loan programme to Sri Lanka, on Monday said the economic growth would more..

Interpol traces Cecile Kotelawala to England address

Mar 9 (SM) Interpol has traced Cecile Kotelawala, wanted in connection with the Golden Key Credit Card scam, to an address in England. The confirmation was intimated to Colombo high court judge Sunil Rajapakse today by officials of the Interpol Sri Lanka branch. Cecile, her husband, former chairman of Ceylinco Group Lalith Kotelawala, and eight other directors stand accused of misappropriating nearly Rs. 7.2 billion deposited in Golden Key Credit Card Company. more..

'Sri Lanka favourites for Asia Cup'

Mar 9 (ANI) Former Pakistan bowler and head coach, Waqar Younis has said Sri Lanka’s scintillating performance in the recently- concluded CB series in Australia makes them slight favourites for the Asia Cup. “We have seen both India and Pakistan struggle recently in One Day Internationals with Sri Lanka doing unexpectedly well in Australia. If you go by form alone, then Sri Lanka have to be considered slight favourites, but in the sub-continent, pitches and more..

Draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled

Mar 9 (Hindu) The draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled for consideration by the Human Rights Council at its 19th Session in Geneva was prepared after “careful reflection and after extensive dialogue and bilateral engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. govt,” the United States has said. The resolution has been roundly condemned by both the Sri Lankan government and the vocal Tamil Diaspora for different reasons. more..

Time for Tea: Mark Davison visits The Ceylon Tavern Tea Room in Dorking

Mar 9 (TST) Celebrating the unseasonably mild, spring-like weather last week, I ventured out and enjoyed an afternoon stroll around Dorking. In South Street, crocuses were in flower on the banks near the old red telephone box and they added a welcome splash of colour to the street scene. Glimpses of sunshine broke out through a blanket of cloud and gently illuminated the backdrop of the chalky North Downs. A gentle stream of shoppers came and went from more..

Little to choose between Australia and Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (CI) At the end of a long and gruelling summer, Australia, faced with multiple injury problems, appeared jaded as the CB Series went on. However, as has usually been the case, they were able to pick themselves up for the crucial contest and managed to put it past a spirited Sri Lankan team in the finals. Despite losing to Sri Lanka in four out of six matches before the third final, Australia produced an impressive bowling performance to defend a modest target of 232. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09.03.2012

Colombo residents defy government bid to demolish “unauthorised” housing

Mar 9 (wsws) Protesting residents from Colombo’s Maligawatta flats defied riot police and other government personnel sent to demolish extensions to their tiny flats on March 1. More than 100 people, mainly women and children, picketed to stop the destruction, holding placards that read: “We voted for this government but this is how they treat us” and “Do we have to live on the road?” minister Wimal Weerawansa ordered the demolition of all “unauthorised” more..

Indian Army Commander to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (PTI) Southern Army Commander Lt Gen AK Singh will undertake a four day-long visit to Sri Lanka from March 12 to further bilateral military ties between the two nations. The Army Commander will proceed on a goodwill visit and will call on the chiefs of Sri Lankan armed forces and will meet the defence secretary there," officials said here today. During the visit, Lt Gen Singh will discuss issues related to mutual cooperation, defence engagements and more..

'Alarming rise' of sexual abuse in Jaffna

Mar 9 (BBC) Girls as young as seven have been sexually abused and sexual violence against women is on the increase in northern Sri Lanka, say health officials. According to a senior health official in Jaffna peninsula 32 incidents of child abuse and sexual abuse have been reported during the last two months. Dr S Sivaruban, the JMO of Jaffna Teaching hospital, told Sandeshaya “"nine out of those 32 incidents are serious and cruel sexual abuses," more..

Escalating violence against women and girl children: An open letter to President

Mar 10 (CT) “Sadly, your Excellency, we have to face on this important day, that women and girl children in Sri Lanka face unacceptably high levels of violence and abuse. Not a day goes by without one or two accounts of the most horrific sexual and physical abuse, where perpetrators are from all walks of life, even politicians, armed forces personnel, govt officers to name a few.” Sri Lanka’s women’s organisations wrote to President Rajapaksa. more..

The myths of womanhood and the path of human liberation

Mar 10 (CT) This article is written on the premise that the condition for the emancipation of humankind is the complete emancipation of women from the thousand chains of bondage that bind them. There is an entire pile of historical mythology surrounding womanhood designed to keep women eternally suppressed as the property of man, objects of sexual pleasure and as domestic slaves. This pile of mythology denies women of their fundamental democratic right to self-determination as more..

Only Tamashas and flowery statements for the Women’s Day?

Mar 10 (CT) Written on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, which falls on 8th March. Governance is a word understood by many Sri Lankans as a western concept. A majority of Sri Lankans also believe that this word is bandied about by Western or so called “imperialist” powers, to point a finger at a country coming to terms with an outstanding war victory, which trounced terrorism. However good governance is the way a govt should more..

Women’s Day 2012: Concerns, challenges and opportunities from Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (GV) For years, Groundviews has featured content that probes gender from a Sri Lankan perspective. For Women’s Day 2012 we have created a Bundlr bundle of over 35 of the most compelling submissions. The content covers a range of issues, from the outrageous denial of the existence of rape by Sri Lanka’s witless Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya, to the every day violence and abuse faced by women even in Colombo. more..

So much hysteria over so d…d little, or “It’s the money, stupid!”

Mar 10 (SL) It seems like the media, all three elements of it – the blatantly sycophantic, those pretending “objectivity in reporting” and those critical of undemocratic practice – have filled their pages and the airwaves with a barrage of reporting and speculation about and analysis of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva which would have commenced by the time this column sees print. Just in case the froth and bubble generated by these elements is inadequate to the larger more..

Outer Circular Highway to link key expressways

Mar 10 (SO) Two decades ago, no one would have thought, the four towns, Kottawa, Kaduwela, Kadawatha and Kerawalapitiya, identical only due to their names starting with the letter K, would become towns with such significance in the present day context. Today, as the country moves on a fast track development, these towns which had no significance in the transportation network in the country, are being transformed into one of the key junction cities linking more..

The courage and nationalism of the youth of a bygone era

Mar 10 (Island) Last weekend, there was a book launch with a difference at Colombo Hindu College’s Saraswathy Hall in Bambalapitiya. Historian Santasilan Kadirgamar had brought out a book Handy Perinbanayagam – A Memorial Volume. The book was in two parts. The first dealt with the beginnings of the Jaffna Youth Congress in the mid 1920s and the significant contribution these young school masters of Jaffna made to the political scene in the country for nearly a decade. more..

Editorial: Living with ruling party terrorism

Mar 10 (Island) People heaved a huge sigh of relief on May 19, 2009, when Prabhakaran's corpse was found in a swamp. They thought they would be able to live in peace as the LTTE had been effectively neutralised. But, they were mistaken. Terrorism is far from over. Three suspects with links to the ruling party have been arrested over the Kahawatte killings. On the day of LG polls in October last year a gun battle between two gangs led by govt politicians, Duminda Silva and more..