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Protests, devolution and solidarity

Mar 12 (Island) On March 4, Sunday evening, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne spoke at a public meeting titled, ‘Post-war Sri Lanka: The Political Solution and its Historical Context’, organised by the South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI) at the Brecht Forum in New York City. We were fortunate to engage Wickramaratne, a long-time member of the LSSP, a former senior advisor to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, and a member of the team that more..

Editorial: Tigers clawing Indian democracy

Mar 12 (Island) Has the Indian Central Govt's writ ceased to run in Tamil Nadu? Although India claims its policy is to safeguard Sri Lanka's territorial integrity, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa vows to carve out Eelam. She and her government are openly supporting the LTTE, which enjoys unbridled freedom to operate in Tamil Nadu and attack Sri Lankan interests with impunity. The situation has become so bad that today, not even Sri Lankan academics could visit that more..

Major breakthrough in Kahawatte killings

Mar 12 (SO) In April last year, villagers of Niladura in Divulwela staged a mass public protest by burning tyres on roads to vent their anger over the inability of the Kahawatte police to solve the mysterious murders of elderly women in their areas. Nine elderly women who lived alone at their homes at Kotakothana-Divulgala, Opatha, Katange, and Niladura villages were killed by sharp cutting instruments and their mutilated bodies covered with clothes to conceal the wounds. more..

Red tape delays transfer of Indian prisoners in Colombo

Mar 12 (Hindu) The wait for 40 Indian prisoners in a Colombo jail continues, even as some fellow foreigners in prison, notably from Pakistan, could head home in the next few weeks. The fate of the Indian prisoners is caught up in procedure in New Delhi, whereas the case of the 20 Pakistani prisoners is being processed by its Interior Ministry in Islamabad. “Pakistan is trying to work out modalities for the transport of the prisoners. more..

Sri Lankan delegation likely to visit Visakhapatnam next month

Mar 12 (Hindu) A team of businessmen and experts from Sri Lanka is expected to visit the city on April 6 to explore opportunities in and around Visakhapatnam. This promise was given to a team from the city, which recently returned after their visit during March 2-7 to Sri Lanka to explore business opportunities and exchange programmes. The Sri Lankan team comprising 30 members is expected to spend sometime in Hyderabad and Chennai before landing here. more..

World Cup semi-final was fixed – report

Mar 12 (Island) The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to investigate allegations that Indian bookmakers, with the help of a Bollywood actress, have been fixing the results of international games and English County Championship matches, the London Times reported. The London newspaper, in a front-page article headed: "English cricket in bung scandal" said it had evidence that tens of thousands of pounds was being offered to players to throw part or all of international matches, more..

Govt. should be ashamed of failure to appoint school principals – JVP union

Mar 12 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers’ Service union said that the government should be ashamed for not being able to appoint principals to over 8,787 government schools. Mahinda Jayasinghe, the General Secretary of the union affiliated to the JVP said that the government should take the responsibility for the failure on its part to fill vacancies. According to him, UPFA politicians continued to appoint their henchmen as more..

Noodles from kurakkan

Mar 12 (DN) Noodles have been produced from locally grown kurakkan for the first time in Sri Lanka. This is an invention of Anuradhapura Post Harvest Technical Institute engineer B D M P Bandara Dissanayake. Kurakkan noodles is the result of two years of experimentation. It is a 100 percent kurakkan product with several health benefits. Dissanayake told the Daily News that the first experiment in this regard was in 2010. more..

Achala Jagoda to join JHU?

Mar 12 (SM) MP Achala Jagoda, who has left the NFF, is planning to join the JHU and has already met its secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka for talks, Neth FM reports. Quoting political sources, the radio channel said Mr. Jagoda was to contest for a future parliamentary election on the JHU ticket. When contacted, he confirmed having met Mr. Ranawaka, but said only the UNHRC issue, and nothing political, had come under discussion. more..

Prabakaran's son's killing: Sri Lanka denies knowledge

Mar 12 (Hindu) Did the Sri Lankan Army kill LTTE chief V. Prabakaran's son, Balachandran, in cold blood on May 18, 2009, around the same time that Sri Lanka won the last Eelam War? This is the main question raised in a new Channel 4 video, to be aired on Wednesday. Writing in United Kingdom's Independent newspaper Callum Macrae, the maker of Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, narrates the scene: more..

President lauds flourishing Japan-Lanka ties

Mar 12 (DN) President Mainhda Rajapaksa extended an open invitation to all Japanese people to come and witness the beauty and rapid development taking place in the country, especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The President observed that the friendship between Sri Lanka and Japan has been flourishing each day. He noted that Japan with its long lasting friendship with Sri Lanka has contributed greatly towards the betterment of the country. more..

Governor orders arrest of bogus VIP vehicles

Mar 12 (Island) Governor of the Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa has issued instructions to police to take into custody motor vehicles driven on Kandy roads with the state Emblem and VIP lables on the windscreen. Governor issued the instructions to the Senior DIG H. N. B. Ambanwala sequel to several complaints, the governor had received to the effect that some bogus persons displayed the State Emblem and VIP labels on their motor vehicles. more..

Sajith hits out at US-resolution

Mar 12 (DM) The US- resolution on Sri Lanka filed at the UN Human Rights Council is a violation of the UN charter and an infringement of internal affairs of a country, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday. Sharing his views on the Geneva resolution with the Daily Mirror, Mr. Premadasa said it violated article 2.4 of the UN Charter which said that all members of the UN should refrain in their international relations from the threat or more..

Two private buses belonging to SB’s brother set ablaze

Mar 12 (Island) Two private passenger buses belonging to Central Provincial Council’s Chairman Saliya Bandara Dissanayake were set on fire in the early hours yesterday. The two vehicles valued at approximately Rs. 8 million had been parked in close proximity to the Hanguranketa residence of Saliya Bandara Dissanayake. Three police teams have been deployed to conduct investigations. Chairman, Central Provincial Council Saliya Bandara Dissanayake is the brother of Higher more..

Divi Neguma 3rd phase targets 2.5 million households

Mar 12 (Island) Under the third phase of the govt’s Divi Neguma programme 2.5 million households have been targeted. Nearly 75,000 officials from various ministries such as Hone Affairs, Agriculture, Fisheries, Samurdhi, Economic Development, Minor Crops, Livestock and Animal Husbandry would carry out a house to house programme till the 31st of March to motivate people to participate in the campaign, said Secretary Ministry of Economic Development R.A.A. Kithsiri Ranawaka. more..

Docs decide unanimously to strike

Mar 12 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Committee yesterday unanimously decided to launch a country-wide strike after March 13 to protest against the non-payment of their Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) Allowance. The exact date of the trade union action would be finalized on March 13, the GMOA said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Treasury Chief Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Health Ministry more..

CEB must provide efficient service -minister

Mar 12 (DN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) depends on public money and is duty bound to treat their consumers in a friendly manner by providing an efficient service. This is the prime responsibility of the CEB, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. "The CEB is one of the most important and most powerful institutions in the country. It has to play a major role, specially in the country's development programme", he added. more..

‘Certain Western countries trying to divide country’

Mar 12 (DN) “If United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva implements the proposal presented by the US regarding the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, it will result in the division of the country. The US is trying to divide the country by presenting false allegations against Sri Lanka with the aim of granting a part of the country to Rudra Kumar. But,the patriotic Sri Lankans will never allow that to happen, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. more..

Govt. borrowings from Central Bank surge

Mar 12 (Island) Credit to the private sector from domestic banks slowed down in January 2012 with Rs. 49.2 billion being generated in new loans while credit to the govt from the Central Bank and the domestic banking sector surged, generating new loans amounting to Rs. 93.3 billion, latest data showed. Domestic bank lending to the private sector grew 37.1 percent in January 2012, up from Rs. 1,364.7 billion a year ago to Rs. 1,870.7 billion. more..

Pakistan offers Jinnah Educational Scholarships for Sri Lankan youth

Mar 12 (Island) The High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka invites applications for Jinnah Scholarship from deserving Sri Lankan students pursuing their studies at Ordinary Levels and Advance Levels. The Scholarships will be awarded according to the final list of merits from all the applicants. The Govt of Pakistan has been awarding Jinnah Scholarships for Sri Lankan students for the past six years through Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka. more..

Mahamodara Postnatal Unit closed

Mar 12 (DN) The Health Ministry has issued instructions to shut down the Postnatal Baby Care Unit of Mahamodara Hospital temporarily from Saturday. Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palith Maheepala and Health Services Director General Dr Ajith Mendis had visited the Mahamodara Hospital at the request of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. They had conducted investigations at the hospital and taken several decisions regarding the Postnatal Baby Care Unit. more..

Lanka dismisses US move over alleged rights abuses

Mar 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka today dismissed as unfounded and unfair a US move at the UNHRC in Geneva to censure Colombo over alleged crimes against humanity during the final stages of the ethnic conflict. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the powerful Defence Secretary, said the accusations of human rights violations levelled by the international community is unfounded and unfair. Rajapaksa, the younger brother of the president more..

Dr. PB says, ‘people will not give us a chance…’

Mar 12 (Island) "People will not give us a chance if we do not know how to provide services efficiently," said Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury who was the Chief guest at the certificate awarding ceremony for the Treasury officials who followed English Language courses conducted by the British Council under the Fiscal Management Efficiency Project which was held at the Peoples Bank Auditorium on last week. "Fiscal Management needs efficiency. more..

Sri Lankan govt ‘executed civilians during war with Tamil Tigers’

Mar 12 (MO) A documentary showing graphic new footage of executed civilians in Sri Lanka, including the son of the leader of the Tamil Tigers, hopes to provide conclusive evidence of war crimes by its government. A year after screening Jon Snow’s award-winning documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields about the dying days of the civil war – Channel 4 has returned to the island to uncover more evidence of alleged abuse. The 60-minute documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: more..

GoSL reminds US of what its ‘own man’ in Colombo revealed

Mar 12 (Island) Sri Lanka striving to defeat a US-led resolution at the current session of the UNHRC strongly believes a statement attributed to former US Defence Attache, Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith at a seminar in Colombo can’t be ignored by those pursuing the government on the human rights front. The unprecedented statement made towards the end of Lt. Col. Smith’s tenure in Colombo in response to a query raised by retired Indian Maj. Gen. Ashok Metha disputed more..

Ananda Thera accuses rival union of claiming PSUNU’s ‘trophies’

Mar 12 (Island) Public Services United Nurses Union (PSUNU) President Muruthtettuwe Ananda thera yesterday challenged the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association to prove that the demands gained by the PSUNU were really theirs. The PSUNU was well aware of the ulterior motives of the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association, he said. The PSUNU had won its demands after discussions with Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Secretary more..

Finally health workers to get scooters

Mar 12 (Island) All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday claimed that the Health Ministry was not providing usable motorcycles to family health workers (midwives) who had to work in remote areas. Around 6500 family health workers were provided with cheap motorcycles in 2005, but they were now unusable. As a beginning, the ACHSU would meet the Southern Province Health Secretary A. Welwawala today to discuss the problem. more..

Ranil hatches another plan

Mar 12 (CT) Senior UNP members have accused party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of planning to sack those working closely with parliamentarians Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa at village levels. The internal battle within the party has reached an all-time high, according to them. Disciplinary action contemplated by the party leadership against three vibrant UNP parliamentarians has had a serious inroad into the party unity, they pointed out. more..

Coast Line railway ploughs through southwards

Mar 12 (ST) The renovation of the Coast Line railway from Kalutara to Alutgama and the laying of the second railway line from Wadduwa southwards have left hundreds of families without a proper access road to their homes. Residents told the Sunday Times that the main road used as the access to their homes has been taken for the second line of the railway track resulting in the loss of their road. more..

Mahinda recalls close relationship with Anura

Mar 12 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa recalled his close friendship with Anura Bandaranaike and the services rendered by the Bandaranaikes to the people, when he addressed a public gathering on Saturday after opening the newly build Anura Bandaranaike ward and blood bank, now part of Wathupitiwela hospital. A close associate of the late Bandaranaike, Tirukumar Nadesan spearheaded more..

Truckin’ It

Mar 12 (SL) This time of the year is always exciting for many school-going children. A change in routine from the monotony of the first school term: and it would seem, this is the case for both boys and girls. Having studied in a girl’s school myself, it was always a good source of amusement, wondering what the boys would be up to this year and if any of them would have the guts to jump in. They never did, perhaps the school’s formidable reputation put them off, more..

''There is growth and inflation is down: ALL TOSH'

Mar 12 (LB) Statistics posted by the Central Bank (CB) depicting that inflation has come down by 2.7 per cent while the cost of living has soared due to the rise in fuel prices raises many doubts, said UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva. “I can’t begin to think how the CB can compile such data even as the prices of fuel went up drastically in February. Juxtaposed to that, they insist that inflation has come down. Such statements are made as the Central Bank has been politicized,” more..

CMC threatens to seize 867 properties for non-payment of rates

Mar 12 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is in the process of auctioning 867 private properties for non-payment of rates, but the rate defaulters have been given time till March 31 to pay up or face the consequences. A CMC source said that they had the legal requirement to seize such private properties for evading payment of taxes worth Rs. 2.5 billion over the last 25 years. State properties do not come under this law and have settled Rs. 1.5 billion. more..

'Govt. trying to create a rift within TNA'

Mar 12 (DM) TNA's leader R. Sampanthan said that the govt has continuously tried to create a rift within the TNA. “This has been happening for a long time. The Govt has continuously tried to create a rift among us. They stole the only Sinhalese member who was a member of our party. I insisted on giving him nominations at the general election despite objections by a lot of people and he won the election, thereafter the govt stole him” he said. more..

Champika warns: After Sri Lanka, target could be India

Mar 12 (DM) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday that India should stand together with China and Russia with regard to the Us-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the UNHRC as otherwise they could be the next target over the Kashmir issue. He said India would oppose the Us-sponsored resolution and believe that India would take a wise decision and stand with China and Russia when the resolution backed by the United States is presented more..

Chief Prelate of Mihintale Rajamaha Vihara suspended

Mar 12 (CT) Venerable Namalweva Rathnasara has been temporarily suspended from the post of Chief Prelate of Mihintale Rajamaha Vihara by the Malwathu Chapter. Speaking to Ceylon Today on behalf of the Malwathu Chapter, Ven. Pahamune Sumangala thero said that Rathanasara thero has been suspended temporarily due to the court case filed which has been against the thero where he is accused of sexual molestation. more..

Sri Lanka tries to prevent resolution move

Mar 12 (DM) Sri Lanka is more focused on convincing the international community that there is no need to move the resolution against the country at the 19th session of the UNHRC instead of waiting to defeat it at vote, officials said yesterday. A Sri Lankan delegation headed by Minister G.L. Peiris is expected to leave for Geneva again soon to lobby for the country in the wake of the summation of the Us-sponsored resolution against the country. more..

Minister appeals to consumers to use electricity frugally

Mar 12 (Island) Sri Lanka was the only country that regularly supplied electricity without interruption despite the Electricity Board having suffered losses while many countries in the neighbourhood had imposed daily power-cuts, said power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka inaugurating the supply of power, to Sri Dalada Maligawa from the refurbished electricity supply project. The improving of the electricity supply system has cost more..

Editorial: Letting thugs have the upper hand

Mar 12 (DM) In any society, the rule of law is the ultimate guardian of people, in which they place their absolute faith in meting out justice. However, in a governance such as ours where the executive enjoys a supreme power over the other two institutions, it seems rather difficult for the judiciary to exercise its full authority granted by the Constitution. The repercussions of such interferences range from blatant breakdown of law and order to the public losing faith in judiciary. more..

Kalmadu Tank destroyed by the terrorists restored

Mar 12 (GDI) The Kalmadu Irrigation Tank in the Kilinochchi district, renovated under the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme was declared open yesterday by Minister Basil Rajapaksa. This tank bund was exploded by the LTTE at the last stage of terrorism destroying the livelihood of 4,650 farmer families in the Kandawalai DS Division in Kilinochchi. Kalmadu is an earthen dam across the Nethali Aru basin, located 18 km East of Kilinochchi. more..