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Large number cannot prove identity

Mar 1 (Island) A survey carried out in 2011, by the Ministry of National Languages and Social integration has revealed that a large number of people residing in the Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura and Matara districts lack legal documents such as NICs, birth and marriage certificates to prove their identity. Ministry sources said that plans were afoot to issue the relevant documents to the public in the identified districts under more..

Russia exposes Western double-standards

Mar 1 (Island) The Russian Federation yesterday accused the US and its allies of using the UNHRC as a weapon to undermine other countries. Speaking on the fourth day of the sessions, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gennady M. Gatilov emphasized that Russia wouldn’t endorse attempts to transform the UNHRC into a tool of political pressure, to divide govts into ‘bad’ and ‘good’ or ‘students’ and teachers’ or to dilute the more..

Don't seek exclusive rights to Sri Lanka, India told

Mar 1 (IANS) India should not feel uncomfortable with Chinese presence in Sri Lanka as there is "plenty of room for both", said a Sri Lankan MP and adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said India should not try to seek "exclusive rights to Sri Lanka". Rajiva Wijesinha, who was here Wednesday on his way to Nepal, said, "India should not feel uncomfortable" about China's growing presence in Sri Lanka. more..

Navy facilitates Kachchathive Church Festival

Mar 1 (SLN) Under the direction of the Ministry of Defence and the supervision of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake, Sri Lanka Navy facilitates the conduct of the annual feast of the St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchathive on a grand scale. The feast, which is scheduled to be held on 3rd and 4th March 2012, will be attended by a large number of devotees including clergy from Sri Lanka and more..

Husband arrested over honeymoon killing of wife

Mar 1 (SM) The husband of a 47-year-old woman found with her throat cut at a hotel room in Kollupitiya has been arrested on suspicion. The couple, newly married, had been spending their honeymoon at the leading hotel facing Galle Road. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said the man is a Tamil resident at fifth lane, Kollupitiya. Sudarshani Shakila Kanakasabey, a divorcee with two children, was killed on the night of February 28. more..

Back UN vote against Sri Lanka: Writes Jayalalithaa to PM

Mar 1 (DC) India should support a US-backed resolution holding Sri Lanka accountable for war crimes and strongly condemn Colombo, chief minister J. Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister Wednesday. Her letter is bound to increase pressure on New Delhi to realign its Lanka policy in a big way. Tamils across the world have been critical of Indian softness towards Colombo, particularly in the final stages of the Eelam war more..

'External meddling will hamper SL’s progress'

Mar 1 (DN) External intervention at this time is singularly unhelpful and will indeed inflict grave damage on a sensitive internal process which is moving forward, Minister G L Peiris said in Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday. He made these remarks during a series of meetings with Ugandan govt leaders. Prof Peiris had meetings in the Ugandan capital with Uganda Vice President Edward Sekandi, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Foreign Affairs Minister Oryem Okello. more..

TNA writes to 47 member states of UNHRC urging support for resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (TC) In a letter dated 27th Feb, TNA leader R Sampanthan has written to all 47 member states of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva urging support for the envisaged resolution on Sri Lanka. The full text of the letter is as follows. I write to you as the leader of the TNA, the principal elected representative of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka, to extend my gratitude for your sustained commitment to peace, justice and substantive democracy in our country. more..

Editorial: The right to be right

Mar 1 (DM) The interpretations have changed beyond recognition. According to them, the patriots are those who surrender to local pressure in order to defeat international pressure while the traitors are those who speak out their hardships in public protests against the sky-rocketing cost of living. One may hardly find a day devoid of a protest or strike in the capital. People have opted to the method, not because it is the most effective mode of putting across their message to the rulers, more..

Rs 28,500 million to Purchase paddy in the Maha Season

Mar 1 (GDI) On proposal made by President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning the Cabinet decided to make available Rs 28,500 million as pledge loan to Paddy Marketing Board, District Secretaries, Cooperative Societies and the private sector to purchase paddy from the farmers during 2011/2012 Maha season. The expected paddy harvest from Yala Season 2011 and Maha Season 2011/2012 is around 4.5 million MT. With the expected paddy harvest more..

Presidential Secretariat pressurizes state institutions & officials to agitate against Geneva resolution

Mar 1 (LT) The government is forcing state employees and state institutions to carry out various agendas to express support to the government claiming that war crime allegations against Sri Lanka are to be presented to the Summit of the Human Rights Commission being held in Geneva. The Presidential Secretariat has written to Divisional Secretariats and their staffs to carry out ‘Sathyagraha’ campaigns. more..

Govt. on wonderful spending: NTUC

Mar 1 (DM) Trade unions today charged that the govt invested an exorbitant amount of funds on wasteful ventures that did not generate any income but failed to provide fuel at a lowers cost to boost the country’s production which could uplift the peoples lives. National Trade Union Center (NTUC) Chief K.D Lal Kantha said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cricket Stadium, the Norochcholia power plant, the Hambantota port, the Deyata Kirula exhibition the beautification of Colombo and more..

Tense situation in Maligawatta

Mar 1 (DM) A tense situation prevailed in Maligawatta today morning when authorities went to the area to demolish unauthorized construction which they have being planning for a long time. The residents did not move out of their houses and shops which were to be demolished by the authorities which were marked as unauthorized construction. Police said that the move was called off as the residence was behaving violently without moving out of their houses and shops. more..

We are not Sri Lanka’s enemy: Butenis

Mar 1 (CT) The US is not the enemy of Sri Lanka and come what may in Geneva, the two countries will continue to have good bilateral relations, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Patricia Butenis exclusively told Ceylon Today last morning. “No doubt we are going through a tough time now, but I hope to continue the good working relationship I have with key people in the Sri Lankan Govt,” Ambassador Butenis said. more..

Sri Lanka shares end up 0.2-pct

Mar 1 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed firmer Thursday with big deals in Hayleys and LB Finance pushing up turnover, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed up 0.21 percent at 5,469.68, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.26 percent to close at 4,763.19. Turnover was 2.6 billion rupees. Lanka Securities said LB Finance Plc and Hayleys Plc made the strongest contribution to the daily turnover with each stock crossing the billion rupee mark. more..

'Govt. should listen to friendly countries'

Mar 1 (DM) Govt should listen to the countries that had pledged their support to Sri Lanka in Geneva and implement the recommendations made by the LLRC as these nations have stressed that these recommendations should be implemented soon, the main opposition UNP said today. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said today that the nations which had pledged tosupport Sri Lanka including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia had wanted Sri Lanka to implement these recommendations while more..

We’re ready for combined agitations until fuel prices are brought down – NTUC

Mar 1 (LT) A mass agitation movement to oppose the increase in prices of fuel and other commodities and services would be launched on 5th March combining all the agitations that had been carried out until now at various places states National Trade Union Centre (NTUC). This was revealed at a media conference organized by the NTUC at the Colombo Public Library auditorium today. Representatives of state and private sector trade unions, more..

IT literacy development project for upliftment of 6500 rural primary schools

Mar 1 (GDI) A programme has already been launched to upgrade 1000 selected Secondary Schools and 5000 Primary Schools, to uplift the school system in the country, under the "Mahinda Chinthana". In parallel to this programme, it is proposed to launch a three year special project aimed at providing IT educational facilities, Internet facilities as well as Educational Software and Teacher training to 5000 Primary Schools, including 1590 Small more..

Editor charts new political course

Mar 1 (UCAN) The Ravaya weekly, has been widely regarded for its editorial independence and radical political views during decades of unrest and war. Some critics, however, say that it has abandoned its roots and adopted a more moderate position with respect to the current administration of President Mahinda Rajapakse. On the occasion of its 25th year of publication, Ravaya’s editor, Victor Ivan, defended the newspaper’s social and political evolution. more..

'Good that we aren't depending on favours'

Mar 1 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene is confident Sri Lanka can take plenty of positives from the tri-series even if they fail to beat Australia at the MCG and qualify for the finals. However, the Sri Lankans have by no means given up on the tournament, despite a loss to India in Hobart that could have left them demoralised. In his first series back in the captaincy, Jayawardene has the chance to guide Sri Lanka in to the best-of-three finals against Australia. more..

Simple equation for startled Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (CI) So much has changed in the course of an innings. Had India failed in their most unlikely pursuit of 321 inside 40 overs to earn a win and a bonus point in Hobart, Australia's final round robin match against Sri Lanka would have served primarily as a preparatory spar between the two sides ahead of Sunday's first final in Brisbane. However the extraordinary effort of Virat Kohli has added plenty of edge to the encounter at the MCG. Sri Lanka must now win or tie to make the finals, more..

Three injured in J’pura clash

Mar 1 (CT) Three students were admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital a short while ago following a clash between students at the Sri Jayawardenapura University, police media unit told Ceylon Today Online. A student had been threatened through a text message and while this student showed the message to another studnet in the same faculty around 50 people had arrived and started assaulting the students with poles. The incident had occured at around 3.30 p.m. and more..

'US, EU accused of protecting criminals'

Mar 1 (SL) The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) have been accused of protecting war criminals who support the LTTE. Government Minister and JHU member Patali Champika Ranawake told reporters at a press briefing today that even Britain is giving room for the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to make statements against Sri Lanka from within the parliament premises. “The US and the EU and Britain are giving war criminals political asylum. more..

China to continue supporting Sri Lanka's independence

Mar 1 (Xinhua) Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said here on Thursday that China will continue to support Sri Lanka's efforts in safeguarding state independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and realizing social and economic development. Liang made the remarks when meeting with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka. Liang expressed thanks for Sri Lanka's solid support on China's core interests. more..

A minimum Rs.350 hike on gas cylinders needed

Mar 1 (AD) The Laugfs gas company stated that domestic prices of a LP gas cylinder should be increased by around Rs. 350 as international gas prices have increase greatly. W.K.H. Wegapitiya stated that a metric ton of LP gas has increased by US $159 in the international market that has caused great difficulty for the gas companies to keep selling domestic cylinders at the same price. Furthermore, he stated that it the depreciation of the Rupee has further added to this situation.

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.03.2012

Clear picture of country’s S and W a must success in IT/BPO: CEO/ICTA

Mar 1 (GDI) A clear picture of the country’s strengths and weaknesses is essential if Sri Lanka is to achieve success in IT/BPO, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka CEO, Reshan Dewapura. “As the world competes aggressively to attract offshore business, it is imperative to have a clear picture of Sri Lanka’s relative strengths and weaknesses as an offshore location”. This was stated by ICTA CEO during his address at the press conference held at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo recently. more..

Sampath Bank raises US$62.5mn from overseas loan

Mar 1 (LBO) Sampath Bank has raised 62.5 million US dollars from a syndicated loan among Middle Eastern investors which will help the bank grow its assets 23 percent in 2012. Managing director Aravinda Perera said the bank was seeking 30 million dollars but the loan was oversubscribed to close at 63.5 million US dollars. Ravin Basnayake, country head Citibank Colombo, a lead arranger of the deal, said the oversubscription indicates the confidence of investors in the bank. more..

Will act according to parliament - Cabinet

Mar 1 (CT) The govt, whilst taking into account the recommendations of the LLRC, will do what the Parliament decides, acting Cabinet spokesperson Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. “Whatever the LLRC report says, we are finally accountable to the parliament, and the recommendations of the parliament are what we will carry out,” Abeywardena said. “This is why we have proposed a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), more..

Sri Lanka to receive a Japanese loan to modernize its only intl. airport

mar 1 (N360) Japan has agreed to provide a loan of around Rs. 40 billion to Sri Lanka to modernize the country’s only international airport in Katunayake. The loan which amounts to 28,969 million Japanese yen will come through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Once received, the money will be utilized to improve and modernize the facilities of the BIA. Sri Lankan govt says, the facilities at BIA is expected to be modernized to transform it as a more..

Kuwait prohibits importing poultry, eggs from Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (KUNA) The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR) on Thursday announced the prohibition of all poultry, eggs, and chicks from Sri Lanka due to the emergence of bird-flu cases in that country. In a press statement, PAAFR also affirmed the prohibition of importing poultry, eggs, and chicks from Australia due to reports, issued by World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), which revealed the emergence of the same pandemic. more..

Loans to rehabilitated LTTE cadres for self-employment

Mar 1 (GDI) The proposal made by Mr Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, the Cabinet decided to introduce a scheme through a State Bank to provide loans up to a maximum of Rs.250,000 for self employment purposes, to 10,375 persons from the North and East who have successfully completed the rehabilitation programme conducted by the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. more..

Preventing politicians from going to Hell

Mar 2 (NS) Today, our country is being governed with a system of governance that encourages the commission of antisocial activities. Taking advantage of this situation to their own benefit many politicians are engaged in numerous, nefarious and evil activities which pave easy entrance to Hell. Commission of sins is the cause for entry into Hell. Politicians commit them with no limits. Politicians are considered as leaders of the society and expected to command respect of the people. more..

Post-war art

Mar 2 (NS) Bertie Wooster: If you ask me, Jeeves, art is responsible for most of the trouble in the world. Jeeves: It’s an interesting theory, sir. Would you care to expatiate on it? Bertie Wooster: As a matter of fact, no, Jeeves. The thought just occurred to me, as thoughts do. Jeeves: Very good, sir. Two years ago, a fringe event at the Galle Literary Festival, at which the Editor of this newspaper was also a participant, looked at how and if English literature in post-war Sri Lanka would be more..

Circus entertainers appeal for help: Flying without wings

Mar 2 (SO) “We are entertainers. Unlike others who are engaged in their own business at permanent places, our community is travelling all over the country, entertaining people by performing acrobats. Our job is entertaining people. We also act as clowns too. Our performers consist not only humans, but also animals and birds.” These are remarks made by Niroshan Udaya Kumara, the owner of Sri Lanka’s oldest circus performance group “Pasipiya”. more..

Build the people’s resistance movement!

Mar 2 (CT) In the mid 1980s, the Philippines was rocked by a sustained people’s resistance movement that finally deposed of the hated and corrupt dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, who had to flee the country in a US Air Force helicopter. The Catholic Church, representing the majority of the people, played a critical role in this dramatic change. The people’s uprising was catalyzed by the defection of two key military officers- Enrile and Ramos, who occupied the office of the Defense Secretary. more..

Editorial: Failed teachers' wrong lessons

Mar 2 (Island) Russia on Wednesday slapped the swashbuckling international bullies right across the face in Geneva much to the relief of their hapless victims. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady M. Gatilov did not mince his words when he condemned sinister attempts by some countries to transform the UNHRC into a tool of political pressure to undermine others. He said Russia did not approve of attempts in some quarters to categorise countries as more..

That Perine power

Mar 2 (ST) No one has ever made me feel quite as short as Perine Fernando does. At 5'11, the first (and so far only) Sri Lankan 'super' model to strut along the haute couture runways of Paris, London and Milan, Perine is a local legend and an international celebrity. We meet her as darkness falls across the courtyard of the Old Dutch Hospital where a celebratory cocktail party marks the launch of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week more..

Thank you, Madam Navi Pillai

Mar 2 (GV) Thank you madam, for being the voice for the voiceless. The poverty stricken, wounded, displaced and marginalized Muslim and Tamil victims of the brutal thirty year war in our country have been forced into submission by the ruthless and racist Rajapakse regime which has gained a stranglehold over power through a deliberate and well planned conspiracy which was plotted out with impunity and arrogance to deny its citizens of democracy and justice. more..

Jayatissa, Jeyaraj and Jacobinism: Debating srilankan-ness in post war Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (GV) Much is being written nowadays about post-war Sri Lankan identity and the challenges of unity in diversity, among which are well-meaning interventions extolling the virtues of building a modernist, inclusive Sri Lankan nation that transcends narrow, parochial ethno-cultural identities. Given the fact that we completely and calamitously muffed the first opportunity to do so at the postcolonial historical moment, and fought a thirty-year ethnic conflict more..