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Sri Lanka to trains skilled workers for foreign jobs

Mar 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to train more skilled workers with international standards to fill foreign employment which brings almost half of the foreign income to the country, an official said on Wednesday. Amal Senalankadhikara, chairman of Sri Lanka's Foreign Employment Bureau said that workshops have been started to train housemaids who are mostly going to the Middle Eastern countries. "The arrangements also have been made to introduce internationally more..

Buddhist monks hand over petition to US embassy against resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (Xinhua) Nearly 3000 Buddhist monks on Wednesday handed over a petition to the United State ambassador in Colombo against a U.S.-backed draft resolution presented to the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva on Sri Lanka. The Buddhist monks stated that the country after three decades civil war is in a position that it needs the support of the entire world. "We hope that the powerful nations including the U.S. and the entire world would treat us friendly more..

Wimal should first be true to his word-UNP

Mar 14 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said that Minister Wimal Weerawansa should first be true to his word and boycott American products before calling on others to do. Responding to the statement made by Minister Weerawansa calling Lankans to boycott American products, MP Jayasekara said,“ Wimal Weerawansa uses an I Pad which is itself an American product, he uses his IPad to find songs to sing through Google at parties I have been present, so how can he ask more..

International rating agency confident about Sri Lanka's higher growth

Mar 14 (Xinhua) International ratings agency RAM is optimistic that Sri Lanka's economic growth for 2012 will be around 7.6 percent the country's central bank downgraded growth to 7.2 percent, RAM chief said here Wednesday. RAM Ratings Lanka CEO Adrian Perera said he is confident that the country can touch on a 7.5 percent- 7.6 percent mark by the end of the year. The new projection is a realistic number from 8 percent at the beginning of the year and that a 7.5 percent to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.03.2012

Strauss focuses on preparation

Mar 14 (CI) England captain Andrew Strauss is anticipating a tough test of his side in Sri Lanka but insists that England can take the heat. England succumbed to a 3-0 Test series defeat against Pakistan in the UAE with a failure to adapt to the conditions and the Pakistan spinners seen as major factors in their downfall. Strauss is expecting conditions in Sri Lanka to prove even tougher. While his batsmen are likely to be tested by spin once again, they now face the added problem of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat, rupee weaker

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed flat Wednesday, with foreign investors being net buyers and the rupee fell to a new low in forex markets, brokers and dealers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed down 5.19 points at 5,418.07 points and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks gained 0.39 percent to close at 4,822.31 points. Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees with a volume of 45.4 million shares traded. Foreign net buying was 71 million rupees. more..

USAID partners with Sri Lanka to address sexual crimes

Mar 14 (USE) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice, launched its Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program with a roundtable discussion in Colombo on March 12. The SAFE program aims to increase prosecution of sexual crimes through improved response to victims, better evidence collection and stronger coordination more..

Sri Lanka devaluation seen improving tea export margins

Mar 14 (LBO) The fall in the value of the Sri Lankan rupee following a snap devaluation last year has helped tea exporters improve profit margins and regain competitiveness, Finlays Colombo, a top exporter has said. Its chairman Kumar Jayasuriya said the firm had a difficult year in 2011 because of problems in key export markets like the Middle East and Japan. But he said, the biggest challenge Finlays faced was in respect of the exchange rate with the rupee actually more..

Top-heavy Sri Lanka take on sedate Pakistan

Mar 14 (CI) The best and worst of Pakistan's unpredictability were on display against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup opener on Sunday. The batting was a rollercoaster ride from a high of 135 for 1, a low of 198 for 7 and a surge to 262 for 8. Pakistan then saw the opposition eyeing a comfortable win at 224 for 5, before Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal averted what would have been an embarrassing loss with a burst of 5 for 17. The game was Bangladesh's to lose, and they went ahead and lost it. more..

Sri Lankans employed abroad will be honoured as “Overseas Heroes”

Mar 14 (GDI) The Western countries including the European Union was unable to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka because of remittances being sent by the Overseas Heroes (Rata Wiruwos). This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Employment Development and Welfare Dilan Perera addressing a media conference. The media Conference was held to enlighten the media personnel about the future programmes of more..

Let’s take accountability seriously

Mar 15 (NS) The United States has tabled a resolution on Sri Lanka at the 18th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva. While it appears on the surface to endorse the report of the LLRC, calling for the swift implementation of recommendations, the resolution includes a demand for the kind of oversight mechanism that the USA itself has not and will not allow with respect to her general conduct. These include the conduct of military operations, the treatment of prisoners and the more..

Reforms essential

Mar 15 (NS) The UPFA parliamentary group members who participated in the ‘Ape Gamana’ (Our March) two-day seminar held at the Diyatalawa Military Academy (DMA) have reportedly made a series of decisions. One among these decisions is that the govt should immediately pursue the task of bringing about reforms to all election laws and procedures. The need for electoral reforms, of course, is a matter on which there has been wide agreement among almost all the political parties. more..

Ignoring facts in statistics

Mar 15 (NS) Marie Colvin, correspondent of Britain’s Sunday Times, was killed resently in the city of Homs in Syria. Colvin was an extremely important figure for Sri Lanka. This is not because she lost an eye while trying to sneak into govt controlled territory from an LTTE held area, but because she was the first person to publicly claim that Sri Lankan forces executed LTTE leaders who surrendered, and that thousands of Tamil civilians more..

Iran – Oil – Rajapakses on the run

Mar 15 (CT) A hornet’s nest of connected issues is exploding. If Israel attacks Iran what will happen in the Middle East and to oil prices? If not what will happen to oil prices? The Rajapakse government is under attack on all sides and is crumbling; can we make any sensible predictions even six months ahead? I think this is the time to analyze, understand and act. The US does not want Israel to attack Iran because the consequences in the Middle East cannot be foreseen. more..

The geopolitical matrix of Sri Lanka’s conflict

Mar 15 (GV) I am appreciative of the fact that this is a seminar on geopolitics. I think geopolitics has been underestimated; perhaps overestimated earlier and then there was a reaction, the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. I am not a geopolitical determinist. I do not believe that geography is destiny. If we look at the case of Cuba for instance, it is very clearly a dramatic rupture from any notion of geopolitical determinism. more..

The return of Prasanna Vithanage

Mar 15 (CT) It was disheartening when eminent film director Prasanna Vithanage, following a successful series of internationally recognized films announced in 2009, that Akasa Kusum would be his final Sinhala movie. What prompted him to take such a decision was not explained, but it certainly was a tiding of gloom for the local film industry. Three years later, after a few experimental forays into the local theatre sphere in-between, more..

Cricket dilemma: Looking at the system through a different perspective

Mar 15 (ST) Problem! A problem has no shape, but has its own dimensions. In the animal kingdom they have their own inbuilt parameters to cope and deal with the problems and the humans have to use their own ingenuity to create and solve their own kind of problems. That is the definite coherent difference between the two species and that is why the human walked that extra mile than the rest of the creatures that trod this earth from the time of the first appearance. more..

Editorial: Yanks, Tigers and Clowns

Mar 15 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has grabbed the limelight once again––for the wrong reason as usual. When UNSG Ban Ki-moon appointed an advisory panel on Sri Lanka, he and his supporters surrounded the UN head office in Colombo; he launched a fast vowing to end his life unless the UNSG changed his mind. The latter didn't give in and the former did! Now, Weerawansa has called for a boycott of American goods and services including Google, of all things! Why should more..

Role of education in building a harmonious society: Challenges and opportunities

Mar 15 (DBS) The key words in the title are harmony, education, challenges and opportunities. The main theme is however reconciliation to achieve national harmony and the role education plays in this process. We are gathered here to speak, listen and probably ask questions, because we acknowledge that we have contentious issues that have caused disharmony in Sri Lanka. more..

Why doesn’t MR present his case to Indians?

Mar 15 (Island) Most of the Tamils kept away from Prabhakaran lest the govt should wreak its vengeance on them. Still it did. However, the fact remains that the fear of LTTE on the one hand and the pressure of Tamils outside Sri Lanka on the other made the Sinhalese govt go slow in their plan to have one nation, one flag and one anthem. The steps Colombo has taken after vanquishing the LTTE do not hold much promise for the Tamils. They feel too lonely, too neglected. more..

People need relief from crime, fraud and deception

Mar 15 (Island) The persons behind the recent cruel murder of a mother and daughter at Kahawatte, for instance, as revealed in investigations, are either political activists or those having close connections with politicians. This nexus between criminal elements and politicians is not something rare or unusual in this country. It is the scandalous proportions that this ugly phenomenon has assumed that cause much public concern. The people of this country having been more..

Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa’s white elephants

Mar 1 (SL) Hambantota, the constituent district of President Mahinda Rajapaksa became the focal point since he was elected to office in November 2005. Spending billions of rupees to initiate unnecessary projects in Hambantota, the Rajapaksa administration has spent colossal sums of money in a perverse sense of home-based patriotism. These projects are now white elephants of this regime. Amongst them are the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, more..

Key officials absent at top tourism fairs

Mar 15 (ST) A revenue crisis at the Treasury is badly affecting the tourism sector with key officials unable to attend crucial overseas fairs due to budget constraints. For the past two years, Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) Chairman Nalaka Godahewa, the main govt official promoting tourism, has not attended the UK-based World Travel Mart held in November and the International Tourism, Berlin which began this week. Industry sources observe that there is an increased need for more..

Molested by divine healers and soothsayers

Mar 15 (Island) The Karuwalagaswewa police arrested 2 ‘divine healers’ for sexually molesting a 16 year old girl. She had fallen unconscious on several occasions and was taken to a divine healer. The 59 year old spiritual healer had sexually molested her on several occasions under the pretext of curing her. Since there was no cure she was taken to a light reader. According to him, the girl was pregnant. The ‘light reader’ (anjanam eli) 24 years in age had more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Two Test series is not ideal – Strauss

Mar 15 (Island) Bungling by Sri Lankan cricket officials has reduced the national cricket team’s Test series against England into a two match affair, contrary to the traditional three match fixture, but nevertheless there’s all the more reason for Sri Lanka’s contest against the tourists to be looked forward to, as England are currently the number one ranked team in the world. They have been expertly led in the last couple of years by Andrew Strauss, who became more..

'Farmers need to cultivate environmentally adaptable paddy varieties'

Mar 15 (DN) Farmers need to be motivated to cultivate paddy varieties which are adaptable to changing environmental conditions to reach global targets of self-sufficiency, said Mahailuppallama Field Crops Research and Development Institute Acting Director Dr. WMW Weerakoon. "Sea levels will rise due to climate change towards the end of this century. The sea levels would be between 20 to 59 cm. There could be direct impacts of the sea level rise through submergence more..

Muslims lash out at LTTE terrorism

Mar 15 (DN) A cross section of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka yesterday condemned LTTE terrorist atrocities which were aimed at ethnic cleansing. They recollected the gloomy era of the country when Muslims in the North and East were subjected to untold hardships and harassment from LTTE terrorists who wanted to carve out a separate homeland by killing tens of thousands of Muslim and Sinhala civilians. They said that their basic rights were more..

Navy facilitates Palaitheevu St Anthony's feast

Mar 15 (DN) The Palaitheevu St. Anthony's Church annual feast was held successfully from March 9 to 11 under the direction of the Defence Ministry and supervision of the Navy Commander. Sri Lanka Navy facilitated the conduct of the annual feast which was attended by over 14,000 devotees. The Northern Naval Command provided infrastructure facilities for the pilgrims and priests including the installation of sanitary and drinking water facilities in Palaitivu island more..

Olivia Newton John in Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (CG) The star of the hit movie Grease and Grammy award winning singer Olivia Newton John will be in Sri Lanka next month as part of her Asian tour. John, who acted alongside John Travolta in Grease, will perform at the Musaeus Auditorium in Colombo on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5, her website said in a posting. Olivia’s U.S. album debut, “Let Me Be There,” produced her first top ten single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy Of Country Music more..

Lanka prepares for oil find

Mar 15 (Island) The govt is planning to conduct an international licensing auction for several exploratory offshore oil blocks located off the coast of the country to the North and Northwest in three months or so, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) Director General Saliya Wickramasuriya told business leaders as the organisation commenced engaging the country’s private sector in a bid to building up local content in this industry. more..

Cabraal says change a reflection of success

Mar 15 (FT) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal termed the reduced forecast for 2012 as an “excellent situation” and insisted that it was a reflection of the country’s success. Addressing a Business Leaders Forum Cabraal remarked, “7.2 per cent growth isn’t small. We’ve only exceeded this twice in our history. It’s not a tumbling down situation, it’s an excellent situation. We may sometimes see a little correction, which is needed, as it is for the stability of the nation. more..

Army provided liquor for Kataragama gem miners

Mar 15 (Island) The Tangalle police recently raided a mini tavern operated under the pretext of an Army Welfare canteen on the land where gems were discovered in Tammennawa, Kataragama. The supposed army canteen was run by a soldier. The police seized 81 bottles of arrack and 31 bottles of beer. When the Lance Corporal was questioned he had told the police that he operated the place on the instructions of a senior officer. The Lance Corporal was handed over to the Military Police. more..

Petition seeks Interpol notice against Douglas Devananda

Mar 15 (Hindu) A city advocate has filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State Home Secretary and the Director-General of Police to take steps leading to the issue of a Red Corner Notice by the Interpol against Sri Lankan Douglas Devananda. A Division Bench of Justices Mohan Ram and Akbar Ali on Wednesday adjourned the petition by two weeks. Pugalenthi had already filed a writ petition seeking more..

US backed Resolution on Sri Lanka: Treat it as a first step-ICJ

Mar 15 (TC) Madam President, The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the initiative of the United States of America to introduce a draft resolution on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. The time for assurances, commitments, plans and intentions has long passed. The time now is for action by the Govt of Sri Lanka, and time for this Council to take responsibility in the face of a Government that is clearly unwilling to comply with more..

UNP opposed to war crimes inquiry targeting security forces

Mar 15 (Island) The UNP said yesterday that it was opposed to a govt assurance to the UNHRC that it would probe the conduct of troops involved in the final phase of the war against the LTTE. Assistant Leader of the UNP, Joseph Michael Perera said that that the LLRC Report should be implemented in keeping with the pledge given by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime to the international community, but it would oppose any attempt on the part of the govt to conduct war crimes more..

GoSL alleges US trying to set a bad precedent at UNHRC

Mar 15 (Island) Sri Lanka yesterday alleged that the UNHRC would lose its credibility and legitimacy if the US succeeded in its effort at moving a resolution against the country at the current session of the UNHRC. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Geneva, Tamara Kumanayakam said that her govt was gravely concerned that this precedent setting initiative, which seeks to address past issues, would, if adopted, effectively transform more..

Free Osu Sala drugs during paramedic strike

Mar 15 (DN) Patients seeking treatment at state hospital OPDs can obtain prescribed drugs from Osu Sala outlets free of charge during the period of trade union action by paramedics, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said all demands of paramedics except one, were granted yesterday after discussions. "The paramedics agreed to stop the trade union action at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Castle Street Maternity Hospital, Kandy Teaching Hospital and more..

'Sri Lanka protected from all conspiracies'

Mar 15 (DN) Sri Lanka had been protected from all foreign conspiracies, due to the blessing of the triple gem, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. She was addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony for a building for the Mawpiya Sevana Theravada Bikkhu Training, Educational and Multi Disciplinary Vocational Training Centre, at Meepagama in Kalawana. The ceremony was held under the patronage of Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and more..