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Waligapola local councillor beats to death youth over love affair

Mar 11 (LB) Angry residents of Hatanwela, Godakawela, protested yesterday against police inaction in arresting a Waligapola (UPFA) local councillor, Wasantha, aka ‘Ali Baby’ who is accused of the murder of a 21 year old youth last week. Dozens of policemen in the Ratnapura district, in a joint effort, stopped the protestors who were on their way to the Godakawela police station. Last week, the local councillor severely assaulted Amila Pradeep Kumar over a love affair and more..

Further curbs on fuel use as crisis deepens

Mar 11 (ST) The govt may be forced to introduce further curbs on fuel use if it cannot find new sources to obtain crude oil, Minister Susil Premajayantha warned yesterday. As a last ditch attempt, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will negotiate directly with state-owned ventures abroad leaving out the middlemen, he said. The move would mean the practice of calling for bids through local agents of foreign suppliers would be suspended, he added. more..

Education dept says no complaints received against principal

Mar 11 (ST) Police are yet to make a breakthrough in their investigations into the shooting at the Galle Sangamiththa College principal’s residence last Saturday. Police media spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that a special investigation was being conducted. A gunman opened fire at the principal’s residence in Uluwitike, Poddala, when she was at home with her husband and son. Police said six shots from a T.56 rifle had been fired at the main door of the residence. more..

Price control on medicinal drugs

Mar 11 (ST) Legislation to impose price controls on medicinal drugs will be introduced in Parliament within a month, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The pricing formula to be so introduced would be jointly implemented by the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs, he said. The new legislation, the draft of which has already been approved by the Attorney General’s Department would be finalized next week, he said. It would then be presented to Parliament. more..

SL must learn right lessons from Geneva

Mar 11 (ST) The SOS message arrived after Sri Lanka's 52-member delegation -- which was a heavy burden on the country's purse -- returned to Colombo early this week from the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. The breather from the on-going 19th sessions was in the belief that the United States-backed resolution on Sri Lanka would be moved only later this month. So much so, the delegation leader, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe chose to undertake more..

Joint trade unions to petition President demanding deputy director’s removal

Mar 11 (Island) A police team visited the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) last week seeking details of trade unions and their leaders active in this semi-govt medical facility, sources said. The visit of the law enforcement officers is widely believed to be linked to the campaign mounted by joint trade unions against the "irregular appointment" of SJGH deputy director, Dr. (Mrs) Chamila Ariyananda. They are demanding her immediate removal. more..

‘LTTE separatists have infiltrated human rights organizations, media outlets and NGOs’

Mar 11 (Island) Influential members of the Canberra Federal Parliament were given the full picture of the realistic situation in Sri Lanka and briefed on how LTTE separatist elements had infiltrated human rights organizations, some media outlets and NGOs in a bid to destabilize the country, at a seminar held in Australia on February 29. This seminar was organized on the initiative of Admiral (Retd) Thisara Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia more..

Geneva resolution: Showdown or damp squib?

Mar 11 (ST) As discussions proceed at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, it becomes evident that the US may not have as much support as it anticipated for its disputed resolution against Sri Lanka. While the draft has reportedly been circulated to member states of the HRC, clearly there are divisions of opinion in the Council over the US and EU backed move. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Mar 11 (ST) One year after sweeping the Embassy Chef Challenge with a smoky asparagus soup and roasted duck breast with plum chutney, Danish chef Lars Beese is back. But this time, don't expect Beese to win accolades for his modern twist on Danish cuisine, says a report in a blog site of the Washington Post. The report adds: As the head judge at this year's competition, Beese's job is to pick apart the flavour and presentation of far-flung global specialities created by more..

Sangakkara delivery at Knox Tavern was awe inspiring

Mar 11 (ST) Kumar Sangakkara has quickly emerged as one of the most eloquent and prolific speakers of the modern era and his recent delivery at the Knox Tavern in Melbourne underscored what an impact he has had since that fantastic delivery at the Colin Cowdrey event at Lords in England which shot him to international acclaim. Over 200 Sangakkara fans packed the Knox Tavern to capacity as Sangakkara, more..

New rules for selling perfumes

Mar 11 (SL) The government is to introduce new regulations for cosmetics and perfumes, Dr. Hemantha Beneragama, Director, Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) said. Dr. Beneragama said that several perfumes and beauty products are sold in the market without proper registration. He said that at times these perfume dealers obtain the registration of the Ayurveda Department and then advertise their products without obtaining a registration from more..

UN men in mystery visit to Colombo

Mar 11 (NS) Mystery surrounds the sudden arrival of four officials from the United Nations Human Rights section which has not been intimated to the Foreign Office in Colombo, authoritative sources disclosed. The four officials of the UN hailing from Australia, Afghanistan, and Nepal are now occupying the oldest hotel in the city of Colombo. They noted that the arrival of these officials had violated all diplomatic norms and protocol, more..

STF takes over BIA security from SLAF

Mar 11 (LB) The law enforcement authorities have decided to seek the services of the Special Task Force (STF) to provide protection to the goods storage section of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) which up to now had been under the control of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). Informed police sources told this newspaper that as the SLAF is an armed force they have decided to entrust the task of providing security to the BIA goods storage section to more..

Oil bill to top $ 5 bn. this year

Mar 11 (Island) This year’s oil import bill is estimated to top US$ 5 billion as a result of the increase of world oil prices and currency fluctuations, petroleum sector sources indicated. Last year, the cost of oil imports hit a record high of US$ 4.63 billion, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury S.R. Attigala of the Department of Fiscal Policy of the Ministry of Finance and Planning said. He hoped that the price stick will result in a decrease in the petroleum consumption pattern and more..

The commonwealth games bid: The biggest fraud in Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (SL) Sri Lanka spent around US$ 8 million (SLR 880 million) for the recent Hambantota 2018 bid to host the Commonwealth Games. This included hundreds of millions spent on PR firms, which represented Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Games bid, and on the 120 strong delegations to St. Kitts and Nevis, while Australia sent only 20 representatives. Although official figures have been given for the expenses of more..

Sweeping reforms, including Senate, for reconciliation

Mar 11 (ST) A proposed National Policy on Reconciliation calls for an amendment to the Constitution to create a Senate. Legislation in particular areas should require the consent of two thirds of the Senate in addition to two thirds of Parliament or the First Chamber. This is one of the highlights of a set of proposals formulated by the Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation, Rajiva Wijesinha. more..

GK depositors hope to chase Sicille in UK

Mar 11 (Island) A four-member team representing depositors of the collapsed Golden Key (GK) is expected to fly to the United Kingdom next month (April) to lodge a formal protest with the British govt over "violation of human rights" as Mrs. Sicille Kotelawala has been provided a safe haven on British soil. As a director of this crisis-hit Ceylinco subsidiary, a judicial arrest warrant had been issued in Sri Lanka against Mrs. Kotelawala but she left the country and more..

AEA begins testing SL seas

Mar 11 (NS) Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has found low levels of radioactive contamination in a can of imported fish recently and scientists attached to the Authority had begun testing samples of water, plants, sediments and fish from the seas around Sri Lanka for radioactive contamination, its Chairman Dr. Ranjith Wijayawardana said. The team, which was given an on- the-job training by an Australian based Oceanographic Consultant to the International Atomic Energy Authority more..

Sri Lanka: The irrelevance of India in Geneva

Mar 11 (EAR) No one knows how India will vote on the US sponsored resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva but its jellyfish like slithering has become such a farce that how it votes has become irrelevant. Delhi has shown such prevarication and slobbered so much, that it has shown its hand; it is lost, confused, at sixes and sevens and does not know where it stands. Since it is at a loss for words, whichever way it eventually raises its robot hand makes little difference, more..

These are not white flags

Mar 11 (IE) The recent Colombo Art Biennale 2012, “Becoming”, was a natural progression from the impulse that had driven the first-ever biennale of contemporary art in Sri Lanka, “Imagining Peace”, held a few months after the war came to an end in 2009. In the run-up to the inaugural biennale, the country was still steeped in civil war and “imagining peace was about as hard as negotiating a jungle of landmines,” as artist Pradeep Chandrasiri put it. more..

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka in the regional context

Mar 11 (EAR) The 19th UNHRC sessions in Switzerland is drawing much attention from the Lankan officials and some of the Expatriate Tamil communities. Strangely only the TNA seems to have a sensible view about the whole set up. We refer only to TNA’s decision not to put in a show in Geneva. Recently, contrary to its politics, class base, and tradition TNA also took part in the working peoples’ protests about living conditions, albeit on the UNP stage as the ‘moderate’ Tamil parties the TULF, more..

Freedom eludes five T.N. fishermen in Sri Lankan jail

Mar 11 (Hindu) Over 100 days have passed since 5 fishermen from Rameswaram set out to sea from Pamban on Nov 28, 2011. A few hours after they crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing in Sri Lankan waters, they were picked up by the Sri Lankan Navy. Instead of following the established convention in such cases — as both India and Sri Lanka have been doing in the recent past — the Sri Lankan authorities charged them with smuggling narcotic drugs into the country. more..

‘Malaysia should support resolution on Sri Lanka’

Mar 11 (FMT) It will be an embarrassment for Malaysia and particularly the Tamil community if Malaysia does not support a resolution on war crimes committed by Sri Lankan security forces in 2009. K Arumugam, co-ordinator of the Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC), representing 51 Indian-based NGOs, said sources in the Malaysian delegation to the at 19th UNHCR in Geneva, had indicated that the govt might vote against the resolution. more..

A Buddhist monk wins the prize Islam Phrophet competition

Mar 11 (ABNA) Kasima Trou, the Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka won the prize of Essay writing contest on the topic of “Muhammad (PBUH), greatest person in the world regarding humanity.” The Award ceremony held in the presence of Some Sri Lanka Islamic and non-Islamic figures. “It is necessary that each educational system embed other religious lessons in school books,” said Kasima Trou in the ceremony. He underscored,” Such an important policy let students get familiar more..

SB & Mahindananda to auction Hanthana range

Mar 11 (LT) Villagers in the area carried out an agitation yesterday (10) protesting against the attempt to sell 200 acres from ‘Thune Kanuwa’ area in Hanthana range. The agitation has been carried out by villagers, employees in various plantations in tea estates in the area, trade unions and other mass organizations. They say the estate company has asked the superintendent of the estate to auction the land and a Malaysian company is aiming to buy it. more..

FIFA funding 'wasted' in Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (BBC) The sports minister of Sri Lanka says the government is planning to revive football from its 'seriously collapsed' state. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage blamed the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) for it mismanagement that put Sri Lanka "even behind Maldives" in the league tables. "I have warned the FFSL and informed that they need to change their management strategies," he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya. more..

Lankan sentenced in Dubai

Mar 11 (GT) Three cleaners have been jailed for three months as they stole a watch worth Dhs15,000 belonging to a hotel client on Dec.10 last year. The convicts, identified as BC, 34, a Bangladeshi national, NM, 31, a Sri Lankan and MA, 21, an Indian, had on Feb.9 denied the allegations before Judge Jassem Mohamed Al Beloushi. “However, sufficient evidence was brought to light and the Dubai Criminal Court has awarded a three-month-jail term to each of the trio,” more..

India asks mission to take up attack on fishermen with Colombo

Mar 11 (PTI) India has asked its mission in Colombo to take up the issue of 16 fishermen being allegedly injured by the Sri Lankan Navy with the authorities in that county. Sixteen fishermen from Rameswaram were injured in an alleged mid-sea attack by Sri Lankan naval personnel while fishing near the IMBL in Palk Straits. Ministry of External Affairs has asked its mission in Colombo to take it up the issue with Sri Lankan authorities concerned, more..

Abduction claim: Mayor stands ground, Army denies

Mar 11 (SL) The Army says a group of soldiers who were arrested over claims they attempted to abduct Kollonawa Mayor Ravindra Udeshantha last night, had not attempted to abduct him as claimed. However Ravindra Udeshantha insisted that the soldiers had attempted to abduct him. He said that the soldiers were released last night. Army Spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi said that the soldiers were involved in a verbal confrontation with more..

Geneva: A dialogue of the deaf

Mar 12 (NS) The Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is currently pulling out all stops at the UNHRC to thwart a United States led call to compel the country to implement the recommendations of the LLRC which inquired into the conflict between the LTTE and the GOSL between 2002 and the end of the conflict in 2009. The US call has the support of its Western allies, international Tamil organizations, human rights advocacy groups and the human rights bureaucracy at the UN. more..

Kahawatte murders: Tip of narcotic iceberg

Mar 12 (NS) When the main suspect of the gruesome Kahawatte double murder of a mother and her young daughter made a statement to the police, a local politician, the brother of the main suspect, had threatened the officer in charge saying he had no business to question his brother. The politician had threatened to remove the officer adding that he remained in that position because of his (the politician) wish. However the tragic double murder suspects including more..

US resolution: What is it?

Mar 12 (NS) The US submitted a draft resolution to the UNHRC Session in Geneva on Wednesday. While welcoming the ‘constructive recommendations in the report submitted by the LLRC,’ the resolution ‘notes with concern that the LLRC report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law’. Leader of the TULF, V. Anandasangaree said the need of the hour was to address the needs of the people who had suffered more..

Facing two angry Tamils: Interpretations of past and present

Mar 12 (CT) Whenever my articles have been posted on web sites, I have generally not engaged those readers who have inserted comments. Unlike Dayan Jayatilleke, I do not have the energy to participate in what often turn into dog fights. Besides, the blog format is not conducive to lengthy clarifications of the article type. It would also be difficult in many instances to defend myself without adopting a pontifical tone that would be self-defeating. However, more..

Four blind men and the devolution elephant

Mar 12 (CT) The reactions to the LLRC report, on the subject of institutional, administrative and legislative measures need to be taken to promote national unity, remind the parable of the four blind men and the elephant. For example, the section on the subject of “the need for devolution of power” generated different interpretations depending on the hidden or open agenda of the respective writer/speaker. Those who once took the position that more..

'Minds devastated by conflict cannot be healed by infrastructural development'

Mar 12 (CT) Q: Having made a detailed submission before the LLRC in your capacity as the former Defence Secretary, what are your views of the Commission’s final report – in brief? A: If you consider the five focal points in the Order given by the President (Gazette Extraordinary 1658/19), the LLRC Report has addressed a substantial amount of issues, though some criticize its inadequacies, and, contrarily some criticize it for overstepping. more..

Geneva Conspiracy : As you sow so shall you reap

Mar 12 (CT) Last week several thousands of govt supporters have shouted “hands off Lanka” protesting on the streets across the country against the US-sponsored resolution. Protests were held throughout the island slamming the US move at the UN Human Rights Council as interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. The most ridiculous thing was the acting Minister of External Affairs himself took part in the protest with the people who shouted “US don’t support terrorism”, more..

Stay healthy with politics of medicine

Mar 12 (SL) Medical consultant Dr. Militant Deshapremi looked hard at my clinical reports and then glared at me. ‘You people are killing yourselves, my country and our govt,’ he barked. Am I killing people and the govt? Dr. Militant Deshapremi is a dedicated patriot and a passionate supporter of the Rajapakse regime. ‘Your life style is draining the scarce, valuable, precious foreign exchange reserves— our President and Central Bank governor are trying to conserve— more..

Rajapaksas continue to abuse power and victimise innocents, in North and South

Mar 12 (TC) Last week Sri Lanka’s august legislature granted another three month leave-of- absence to MP Duminda Silva. It’s more than two months since the Acting Magistrate of Colombo, Prasanna Alwis, issued an order to arrest MP Duminda Silva in connection with the Kollonnawa quadruple-murder. Mr. Silva is thus a man wanted by the Lankan judiciary, a man evading the courts; he has been a fugitive from justice for more than two months. more..

Let’s exploit the govt’s discomfiture

Mar 12 (Island) Even those who deem the anti-GoSL (I do not call it anti Sri Lankan) moves at the UNHRC in Geneva, gross interference in Lanka’s national sovereignty, imperialist bullying, and the like, would, I am sure, be pleased if the upshot is an improvement in law and order. To the more narrow minded I suggest: ‘OK forget the Tamils, if across the country, there is decrease in abductions, assassinations, beating political opponents, militarization of society and more..

A road to reconciliation: Will we take it?

Mar 12 (Island) Despite the many limitations and criticisms levied at the final report of the LLRC, it must be recognized that in the presentation, the report reached a level of professionalism, objectivity and breadth in scope, within the relatively short period of time mandated to the Commission. The much talked about Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa was not without its critiques. Many felt that the TRC was "weighted in favour of the perpetrators of abuse." more..