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'UNP has not called for Sajith’s explanation'

Mar 14 (Island) The UNP has not called for Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa’s explanation over his public comments on the US resolution to the UNHRC pertaining to Sri Lanka, Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga said. Asked, about speculation that the UNP was contemplating taking disciplinary action against Premadasa, for making independent remarks to the media, he said that as far as he was aware the Advisory Committee headed by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Nurses union’s clash gathers pace

Mar 14 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) staged a protest outside the Health Ministry yesterday afternoon demanding an increase in their risk allowance and recruitment of nursing degree holders. President of the GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that the Health Ministry had only given into three of the demands made by the rival Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) and failed to approve the most important ones. more..

Colombo facelift kicks off

Mar 14 (FT) Tenders have been called by the Defence Ministry for the US$ 213 million World Bank-funded project to give Colombo a major facelift that aims to minimise floods and beautify the capital. Titled the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project, the Defence and Urban Development Ministry is focusing on flood control and water front management, medium and small scale infrastructure development as well as institutional building up of local authorities. more..

President inspects Gampaha jogging track

Mar 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected the public jogging track opened near the Black Bridge (Kalu Palama) on Gampaha-Orutota road during a surprise visit yesterday morning and used it for his own morning constitutional. The four kilometre jogging track has been laid on a picturesque plot of land on either side of the Oruwal Oya for the benefit of the public as part of a giant development programme launched in the Gampaha district, said a press release by more..

Pakiasothy, Sunila and Nimalka working with LTTE rump

Mar 14 (DN) Pakiasothy Sarawanamuttu, Sunila Abeysekara and Nimalka Fernando continue to work with the LTTE terrorist rump and betray Sri Lanka in Geneva. On Friday, at the anti- Sri Lankan Human Rights Watch event in Geneva, Pakiasothy, issued a statement saying that there was a culture of impunity in |Sri Lanka and spoke against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Pakiasothy who broke all traditions at a recent seminar in Singapore and criticised the President saying he more..

Sri Lanka's sinister white van abductions

Mar 14 (BBC) Almost three years after the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka is still dogged by allegations of human rights violations. Amid fresh moves in the UN's Human Rights Council to hold Sri Lanka to account, the BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo reports on a rise in sinister abductions by anonymous squads in white vans. At a small shrine in her home, Shiromani lights a candle and rings a bell, offering prayers to the Hindu deities. She has few consolations now. more..

Bogus Circular sent with forged signature of Public Admin Ministry Secy.

Mar 14 (Island) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne has requested IGP N. Ilangakoon to conduct a probe into a fraudulent circular with the heading, Recommendation of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka, bearing No 010/ 2012 dated March 8th 2012. The Minister said it was issued by a certain organisation to all Secretaries of Ministries, Provincial Councils, Heads of Departments, Chairmen of State Corporations and more..

Ministers contradicting each other; Karu

Mar 14 (DM) Former UNP deputy leader Karu jayasuriya asked the government to clarify its position regarding the implementation of the LLRC recommendation as there were contradicting statements by Ministers. “Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe assured that the Govt would implement the recommendations of the LLRC in Geneva. However, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Leader of the House and a member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Council has declared more..

Sri Lanka goes all out against UNHRC resolution

Mar 14 (FP) In its first official reaction to the uproar in India over whether or not it should support a US backed resolution against Sri Lanka, Presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekera said that they expected India to vote against the resolution. The resolution seeks to draw attention to Sri Lanka’s absence of accountability in the aftermath of the war against the LTTE. “India is like our relation. Our President has constantly said that. more..

CEB engineers pull out of additional responsibilities

Mar 14 (Island) Nearly 100 engineers of the powerful Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) yesterday decided to pull out from all technical and evaluation committees of the Board with immediate effect. Sources said yesterday that things were moving at a snail’s space in all on-going projects due to engineers pulling out from all their additional responsibilities. Engineers are involved from top management level to Cabinet approved tender boards and implementation of projects more..

CID unaware of Duminda's condition

Mar 14 (CT) The CID informed the Colombo Magistrate yesterday that they are unaware of the health condition of wanted main suspect, MP Duminda Silva, during proceedings of the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case. The Officer-in-Charge of the Special Investigations Unit of the CID, SSP Merril Ranjan Lamahewa made this statement testifying before of Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis. The 16 arrested suspects were produced in court by Prison officials. more..

US: Sri Lanka should reconcile with Tamils

Mar 14 (AP) The U.S. warned Tuesday that Sri Lanka risks renewed conflict unless it addresses war crimes allegations, while rights groups said that abuses by security forces continue, three years after fighting against Tamil rebels ended. Sri Lanka has reacted angrily to the growing international pressure to account for thousands of civilians suspected to have died in the final months of the quarter-century-long war, when govt forces finally crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers. more..

GoSL points finger at UK complicity in civilian killings

Mar 14 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt yesterday challenged those wanting the UN to intervene in Sri Lanka in the wake of unsubstantiated war crime allegations to discuss the deteriorating situation in many other parts of the world, due to excesses on the part of Western powers. Unfortunately, those human rights champions were mum on indiscriminate violence directed at civilians, an authoritative GoSL official said. Referring to the recent killing of 16 Afghan civilians, more..

Bid to censure Lanka at UN puts India in a fix

Mar 14 (TOI) India finds itself in a political bind over a UNHRC move to censure Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations during the last weeks of the war against the terror group, LTTE. Although the vote is still a few days away, it is now embroiled in domestic political compulsions of a weak UPA govt since its ally DMK has openly asked the Centre to vote against Sri Lanka at the HR Council. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has had to write a letter to DMK chief K Karunanidhi, saying efforts are on to achieve a "forward-looking" outcome that more..

Sri Lanka's point unlikely to find takers in U.N.

Mar 14 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's argument at the UNHRC is unlikely to win it many friends since it insists that for the purpose of fixing accountability, the clock started ticking only on Dec 16, 2011 — the day a committee that probed the root causes of the ethnic problem submitted its report to Parliament. Sri Lankan forces had overwhelmed the Tamil Tigers on May 19, 2009. Sri Lanka says following the LLRC's report, three committees were set up to oversee the implementation of the recommendations more..

Oslo, EU pressure GoSL on HR front, silent on LTTE rump

Mar 14 (Island) Failed peace facilitator Norway yesterday told Sri Lanka to address violations of international laws that allegedly took place during its battle against the LTTE. In a statement before the current session of the UNHRC session, Norway said that it expected Sri Lanka to implement recommendations of LLRC and to address alleged violations of international law without delay. Norway said that it would support the US-resolution on Sri Lanka. more..

Malwatte prelate refuses to reinstate Mihintale viharadhipathi thera

Mar 14 (Island) Head of the Malwatte Chapter of the Siyam Nikaya, Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera has refused to reverse a decision by the Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha (Supreme Council of the Sangha) of the chapter to suspend the Mihintale Viharadhipathi post of Ven. Namalwewe Ratanasara Thero. A pro-Ratanasara deputation arrived in two buses from Mihintale to request the Most Venerable Mahanayake Thera that Ratanasara Thera be more..

Prostitution rings in Colombo

Mar 14 (SL) This is a side to Colombo not many see, or admit to have seen. While prostitution is illegal, the oldest profession in the world is thriving in the streets of Colombo. Where there is demand, there will most certainly be supply. Whether it is need for money or out of force prostitution is functioning in a strange harmony with the legal professions. But the question is, how can it function so well if it is illegal? The answer is, of course, obvious to many. more..

Now, 18th Amendment raised in Geneva as NGOs step-up attack

Mar 14 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt has come under heavy NGO flak on the sidelines of the 19th sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa strongly criticized for introducing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, to pave the way for him to contest the next presidential polls. A Presidential Secretariat source told The Island that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution couldn’t be a human rights issue. more..

Lawyers call for an immediate halt to ongoing abductions

Mar 14 (AHRC) 'Lawyers for Democracy' (LfD) is gravely concerned with the breakdown of law and order and the rising cases of abductions in Sri Lanka. On 11th March 2012 media reported of the failed incident of a 'white van' abduction in Kolonnawa/Wellampitiya where the suspects were subsequently handed to the police by the public. LfD has since come to learn that the police have released the suspects at the order of more..

Emirati mum, child die on holiday... food poisoning suspected

Mar 14 (E24|7) A young Emirati woman and her child died yesterday in Sri Lanka from alleged food poisoning. The husband has been admitted to hospital under intensive care. The family were on holiday in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, one website quoted sources close to the family as saying that the couple hailed from the Wadi Kope valley in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. “The 24-year old husband is identified as more..

Army treated us kindly - ex-LTTE cadres

Mar 14 (DN) The Sri Lankan soldiers treated us well. We never believe the human rights violation allegations made against the Armed Forces by international forces, said a group of rehabilitated LTTE cadres in Kandy on Monday. The former LTTE cardres said that people should set aside communal differences and rally round to safeguard the hard won freedom. They expressed these sentiments when they visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa, more..

Surveyor General corrects Minister: No shortage of surveyors

Mar 14 (Island) Surveyor General, Mahesh Fernando, correcting a recent statement of a minister, said that there was no need to hire surveyors from India to survey Mahaweli lands when Sri Lanka had enough surveyors for the task. Recently the Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that 200 surveyors from India would be brought down since the govt’s attempts to deploy local surveyors to complete the task had failed. more..

Ministry phone used to demand ransom, police investigation reveals

Mar 14 (SM) Investigations have revealed that the phone used by a deputy minister in Gampaha to threaten a Minuwangoda businessman and obtain Rs. 25 million from him is a number registered under a ministry. Chinthaka Perera, the managing director of a private company, lodged the complaint to Minuwangoda police, and the complaint also mentions the deputy minister’s name and the phone number. more..

SM Krishna statement on Lanka situation

Mar 14 (NDTV) Parties from Tamil Nadu demanded again today that the government commit to voting against Sri Lanka for its alleged war crimes at a UNHRC session in Geneva. Members of parliament from the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu walked out of the Rajya Sabha this morning after tearing the statement made by Foreign Affairs Minister SM Krishna on the issue. Here is Mr Krishna's entire statement.Honourable Chairman, I rise to inform the House on more..

Concerned over charges of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka: US

Mar 14 (PTI) Expressing concern over the new allegations of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, the United States has said it supported bringing to book all those responsible. The US statement comes in the wake of surfacing of new charges against Sri Lankan troops, in particular a new video footage showing execution of a 12-year-old boy, purportedly son of slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran. "As we've stated many, more..

Sri Lanka 2012 economic growth downgraded to 7.2-pct

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic growth for 2012 has been downgraded to 7.2 percent from an earlier projected 8.0 percent, but inflationary pressures may remain weak, the Central Bank said amid measures to counter a balance of payments crisis. The central bank raised policy rates in February, allowed a rupee peg to break in February after it lost more than a quarter of its foreign reserves, amid strong credit growth. more..

Sri Lankan ghosts haunt India

Mar 14 (AT) Deep-rooted contradictions are surging to the surface in India's Sri Lanka policy. The deep bonds of ethnicity, culture, geography and history make India and Sri Lanka inseparable. Yet this is also a tragic story of the imperatives of geopolitics and the compulsions of domestic politics crisscrossing plain human dignity and compassion - especially for the land that gave birth to Mahatma Gandhi. But for contemporary India, politics comes first. And politics is pitiless. more..

March 27 commissioning of Upper Kotmale in doubt

Mar 14 (Island) The much-discussed commissioning of the Upper Kotmale hydro electricity plant would be delayed according to power sector sources despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa having reserved March 27 for its opening. Ministry officials said that the delay was due to a number of technical issues and non co-operation by some senior officials. Going by the present pace of work, a Ministry official said, the plant would be commissioned by the end of April or more..

With Sri Lanka resolution, Indonesia has chance to show international leadership

Mar 14 (JG) Indonesia stood up to be counted recently, joining in a call for accountability for govt crimes against the people of Syria. But Indonesia is now faced with another crucial test of its willingness to take international leadership, and the issue is closer to home. What about Sri Lanka? Later this month, a number of countries will sponsor a resolution at the UNHRC calling on the Sri Lankan govt to take action to ensure justice and more..

Jayalalithaa's MPs tear up Foreign Minister's statement on Sri Lanka resolution

Mar 14 (NDTV) Parties from Tamil Nadu demanded again today that the govt commit to voting against Sri Lanka for its alleged war crimes at a UNHRC session in Geneva. Members of Parliament from the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu walked out of the Rajya Sabha this morning after tearing the statement made by Foreign Affairs Minister SM Krishna on the issue. In Chennai, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that the Prime Minister's response on the proposed vote is unsatisfactory. more..

Angelo Mathews out of Asia Cup

Mar 14 (CI) Sri Lanka have been dealt a blow as their allrounder Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a calf injury. Mathews had missed the finals of the recent Commonwealth Bank series in Australia due to the same problem. No replacement has yet been named. "The last couple of days Angelo has had some fitness tests, he hasn't pulled through those well, so we made a call to send him back home," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said. "He will try to get ready more..

WikiLeaks: Hard to campaign for “Carnival of fools” – Anura B

Mar 14 (CT) “Sri Lankan Foreign Minister (and brother of President Kumaratunga) Anura Bandaranaike told the Ambassador he is contemptuous of SLFP Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse’s alliance with the Marxist JVP, will not campaign very hard on Rajapakse’s behalf and is not at all sure he would want to be Prime Minister in such a government-‘a carnival of fools’ the US Embassy Colombo informed Washionton. more..

Japan further relaxes travel advisory to Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (GDI) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has announced that Japan will further relax its travel advisory on the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, based upon the information provided by the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka. The “Travel Advice & Warning” is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and released in Japanese language for Japanese nationals countrywide and has four levels depending on the potential risks on the security. more..

Banks urged to limit credit for cars

Mar 14 (LBO) Central bank has asked banks to limit credit to buy motor cars, in a bid to reduce imports, as the country faced balance of payments pressure and lost more than a quarter of its foreign reserves. The Central Bank said vehicle dealers had built up large inventories of cars over the past few months and banks may "prudently consider the limitation of credit for the import of motor vehicles, which would, in turn, lead to the easing of pressure on import expenditure." more..

Issue on UN resolution against Lanka sensitive: Indian govt

Mar 14 (PTI) Amid pressure from various parties to support a UN resolution against Sri Lanka, Government today made it clear that it will decide on its action keeping in mind the implications on the reconciliation process as it does not want deepening of confrontation in that country. Making a statement in Parliament, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the issue was sensitive and India needs to consider the implications carefully. more..

JVP challenges Wimal over Google boycott

Mar 14 (DM) Challenging the request made by minister Wimal Weerawansa’s to stop consuming American products and to refrain from using Google, the JVP urged the govt to abolish the defense pact signed with the USA and to impose an export embargo on that country. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said that the cabinet should implement these steps if it is genuinely confronting the resolution that had been brought by the US on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC. more..

Darusman expresses support for US resolution

Mar 14 (AP) Marzuki Darusman, the Head of the advisory panel to the UN Secretary General on Sri Lanka has expressed his support to the US backed UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka. He has further launched his campaign urging the UNHRC member countries to support the resolution in Geneva. Darusman who led the three member UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon’s advisory panel on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka has already held discussions with the representatives from more..

EPDP commends LLRC recommendations

Mar 14 (GDI) The EPDP, headed by Minister Douglas Devananda has stated that the political leadership of the country in the past failed to put forward a mechanism through which the different communities of the country could live in harmony. It says that Sri Lanka, which was a role model for other developing countries in terms of education, health and other qualities of life indicators, has however now emerged from the brink of destruction. more..

Shaminda Eranga picked to replace Mathews

Mar 14 (CI) Shaminda Eranga, the fast-bowling allrounder, has been picked to replace the injured Angelo Mathews in the Sri Lanka squad currently playing in the Asia Cup. Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, said that Eranga was picked because the team needed to bolster its rank of fast bowlers for the rest of the tournament. "Lasith Malinga is nursing a groin strain and he was left out of the first match against India," De Mel said. more..